12th Man: Negative fans need to look at the big picture

Gary Caldwell

Gary Caldwell doesn’t deserve negative criticism. Photo courtesy of Wigan Athletic.

There were some astonishing outbursts of dissatisfaction with Gary Caldwell’s management on Tuesday night as Latics were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Millwall.

Some people in the West Stand showed their frustration during the game with vitriolic attacks on the manager. These verbal attacks really do beggar belief.

They are unreasonable and take no account of the constraints that Caldwell is currently working under.

Fans pay their money and have the right to express their opinions but some just don’t see the bigger picture.

Caldwell has had a major rebuilding job at the club following a series of disastrous managerial appointments and he has had to bring in 20 new players in the summer.

He has only been in post for six months but he has already had a lot to contend with. This is his first job as a manager and he has had to learn the ropes while under tremendous pressure to succeed.

Chairman David Sharpe’s unfortunate ‘100 points’ statement certainly didn’t help his cause. Caldwell has had to revamp the club, change the previous style of play and get back to the type of football that was so successful under Roberto Martinez.

The early part of this season has been characterised by a long list of injured players.

Captain Craig Morgan, Vice-captain Jason Pearce, Will Grigg, Craig Davies, Francisco Junior, Haris Vuckic, Kevin McNaughton, Don Cowie, Grant Holt and Shaq Coulthirst have all been out for lengthy periods.

Latics are a work in progress and the fans need to be patient. The team will inevitably face difficulties when they have so many experienced players on the treatment table for long periods.

However, the youngsters who have had to come in have generally done a good job and maintained a position in mid-table.

Despite the negative criticism by some fans, Latics new squad of players have done well, are still unbeaten at home and within touching distance of the play-off zone.

If they can get the experienced players back and fit, the prospects for a move up the table look promising.

The fans that vent their anger at Gary Caldwell really ought to take a step back, consider the progress being made and support their team rather than constantly berating them.

This article was first published in the 12th Man column for the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 2nd October 2015.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Gary Caldwell, League One, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 12th Man: Negative fans need to look at the big picture

  1. Barry says:

    Well said Ian, just don’t get some supporters, but it does seem to be the vocal minority and the same group that were anti-Martinez, maybe they’d prefer Malky Mackay’s brand of sh!te reinstated

  2. Gaz says:

    It’s just not good enough that a rookie manager with a whole new squad a long list of injuries ( half a dozen of which could be considered regular starters) and implementing a new style of play should be a full 2 points of a play off spot after ten games and had the audacity to draw a game or two at home. No wonder the fans are up in arms ( tongue firmly in cheek )

  3. PemLad says:

    Ian, I see that you have picked up, also, on some of the vibes emanating from some of the many forums/boards around. However, after reading some of the comments there too, I do feel that there are questions to be answered. You said: “They are unreasonable and take no account of the constraints that Caldwell is currently working under”. What exactly are those constraints, in your opinion. He has got rid of the deadwood, he has brought into the team the second highest number of players in the league and he has 10 games, this season, under his belt. There should be no constraints at all as far as I can see…at this stage everything should be in place because if it isn’t then again he leaves himself open to criticism for not being ‘on the ball’.

    I certainly do not condone the direct verbal attacks on him at the match for not only is it bl00dy bad manners but it also exacerbates what could be an already difficult situation for him. But, they are his team, he has brought them all into the club, he is responsible for training them, he has selected the team for the day so surely there can be no outside influences affecting how some people see the teams performance…but there are.

    I don’t subscribe to this “we are a work in progress” routine that apologists roll out everytime the team is criticized, yes we are a new (and young team) however, everyone connected with the club, players, medical and training staff should all be professionals at the highest level and as such we ‘should’ be better organised than what some people perceive us to be. As for me, I think we are doing OK, just OK. There is room for improvement in a variety of areas but our home record is ‘just about’ making up for that.

    So to wrap it up, I believe some still have a right to complain if its not going as they would have liked it to have gone, however, there is no excuse whatsoever for the neanderthal behaviour of some who take it just a little too personal to the manager.

  4. ianhaspinall says:

    By constraints I’m referring to the 10 players who have been injured for a significant part of this season. I think at least six of those players would’ve been in the starting line-up for Tuesday night’s game but some of our fans take no account of this. As I said in my article, fans have a right to express an opinion, but some of the abuse that Gary Caldwell has received just beggars belief.

  5. John garry says:

    Main whinge is players don’t look solid as a team we are a bit brittle and sad to say do not look 90 minutes fit as it stands this team is not promotion material you may not like what I say but wigan have spent a lot of money this year so frankly work in progress etc does not cut the mustard
    however I wish Gary all the best as the club has been on the slippery slope since relegation from premier league and I truly blame martinez for relegation and he could not stomach fight to get us back up so there will be a
    Lot of uncertainty in stopping rot until stability is restored I don’t think we will get promotion this year but I hope we can you only need to look at other teams relegated who struggled after wards I.
    I. Leeds wolves Portsmouth etc
    so to be honest second half they need to up their game and stop back peddling you win matches by putting ball in the net and frankly they need to up their game to be more clinical in finnishing
    whether you agree with me or not we are entitled to our opinion and not to be blindly loyal
    no offence is meant and abuse at Caldwell is not helpful or fair but he may be too nice and has not learned how to be firmer with players j.gary@J

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