Wigan 2 Swansea 3: Three lessons as Martínez’s men edge nearer the drop
Wigan 2 Swansea 3: What lessons did we learn as the Latics's hopes of Premier League survival took a blow at the DW Stadium?
McManaman is a future star
Since his “horror tackle” on Newcastle United’s Massadio Haidara in March, Callum McManaman has gone from strength-to-strength at Wigan Athletic. Before making way for Franco Di Santo, the winger showed bags of potential for the Latics, and while it’s clear parts of his game need to be worked on, he has the ability and desire to become a great Premier League player. The 22-year-old teased highly-rated Swansea defender Ben Davies for the entire first half but when he got past the young full-back, the Wigan starlet couldn’t quite find the end product that his tireless energy warranted. He isn’t the only one of Roberto Martínez’s young flock who could leave in the summer for bigger and better things should relegation finally come Wigan’s way. Republic of Ireland international James McCarthy cooly restored the hosts lead after Angel Rangel had cancelled out Roger Espinoza’s first-half stoppage time opener. James McArthur also had another solid game for the lowly Latics despite missing a great chance to make it 3-1.
Laudrup the most underrated manager in the Premier League
At the start of the season, many may have predicted Swansea would suffer relegation to the second tier after losing key players such as Joe Allen and Scott Sinclair, as well as influential boss Brendan Rodgers but Laudrup’s had a brilliant season. The fact the Swans drew with Manchester City on Saturday and few were shocked spoke volumes about the job which the Dane has done. Despite a run of two points from a possible 21 before Tuesday night, eighth place was still a distinct possibility for the Capital One Cup winners. Given their League Cup success and top-flight safety, the Swans could have relaxed at the DW Stadium but they gave a great account of themselves. Itay Shechter scored a leveller just before the hour to make it 2-2 and Dwight Tiendalli, like his Israeli team-mate, opened his account for the Swans by bundling the ball home to put them ahead. Laudrup’s men could still finish on more than 50 points which will be a remarkable achievement coupled with their cup triumph.
Wigan’s luck finally runs out
Wigan seem to somehow get out of certain relegation on a perennial basis but this year it looks like their luck really has run out and Martínez will have to plan for life in England’s second tier. The home side played well but all three goals against them had an element of bad luck about them. Ronnie Stam came on in the 86th minute and he did not manage to make it through the game after getting injured – again. When that happens you know your luck is out. Avoiding defeat against Champions League-chasing Arsenal is probably going to be a necessity now for Wigan, and despite winning their last year, it’s difficult to see them doing it again. Many will say they finally deserve to suffer relegation after somehow surviving years of flirting with relegation but it doesn’t do the FA Cup much good as managers will surely be able to justify weakening sides in cup competitions should Wigan drop down a division.