When Wigan won the FA Cup

“Wigan Athletic” by (Mick Baker)rooster is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Wigan went from celebrating cup success to feeling the lows of relegation all within three days.

During a tough season in the Premier League, Wigan came up against an incredibly strong Man City side in the 2012/13 FA Cup Final.

City had won the Premier League in the pervious campaign and were looking to add some extra silverware to their trophy cabinet.

It was Wigan’s first time in the final, and when you combine their poor season with the strength of Roberto Mancini’s City squad, it didn’t look like it was going to be a successful one.

It would be Wigan who got the first chance of the final, when Callum McManaman found himself in the box with plenty of time, however failed to hit the target.

City’s first chance of the game came from Carlos Tevez when the ball broke loose in the box, it looked like a chance that Tevez would normally put away however, it was denied by an incredible save from Joel Robles.

The first half brought some controversy when Roger Espinoza went down in the penalty area after a challenge from Pablo Zabaleta and nothing was given.

Wigan once again proved that they were dangerous on the counter-attack and that man, McManaman, once again found himself in City’s box, twisting and turning, putting several defenders on the ground, however, his shot was eventually blocked by Zabaleta.

McManaman’s fast pace was ultimately too much for Zabaleta as the winger drew two fouls from the defender seeing him sent off for two yellow cards.

In a game that was very evenly contested with both teams totalling 15 shots each, it could have gone any way.

With 91 minutes on the clock the game looking like it was going into extra time, a corner was whipped in from Shaun Maloney right onto the head of substitute Ben Watson and into the City net.

With the City players and coaching staff stunned, the final whistle blew, and Wigan were the champions of the FA Cup.

This was Wigan’s greatest achievement, Martinez and co had brought fantastic joy to the supporters.

Unfortunately, that joy wouldn’t last long and three days later, a defeat to Arsenal would decide Wigan’s fate and send them back down to the Championship.

Wigan became the first team to win the FA Cup and be relegated in the same season.

This is something I don’t think we will see again for a long time.

Where are they now?

Joel Robles

Robles went on to have spells at: Everton and Real Betis.

The goalkeeper joined up with Martinez for a second time, signing 2 months after the Spanish manager was announced.

Within three years Martinez has promoted Robles to number one, ahead of Tim Howard.

However, Koeman did not share the same opinion as the Spaniard, and in 2017 signed Jordan Pickford from Sunderland.

Robles is now playing at Real Betis where he is the first-choice keeper.

Emmerson Boyce

Boyce went on to have spells at: Blackpool and Ashton Town.

Boyce became the first International ambassador of Street Soccer USA.

After retiring in 2016, Boyce returned to Wigan as an academy coach.

The former full back has also been known to do some media work in the game.

In 2020, Boyce announced his return to football, signing for non-league side, Ashton Town.

Paul Scharner

Having spent time at Wigan between 2006-2010, Scharner returned to the English side on loan in 2013.

The Austrian was known for his unusual haircuts and colours.

Scharner now works as a sports performance coach and is enjoying spending more time at home with his family, something that wasn’t as easy to do when playing.

Antolín Alcaraz

Alcaraz went on to have spells at: Everton, Las Palmas, Libertad, and Olimpia.

Like his teammate Robles, the defender too, followed Martinez to Everton.

Alcaraz has won the Paraguayan Primera División three times since his return to his home nation (2016, 2017, 2019).

Roger Espinoza

Espinoza went on to have spells at: Sporting Kansas City and Swope Park Rangers.

In 2015, Espinoza returned to Kansas City, where he is still currently playing just now.

James McCarthy

McCarthy went on to have spells at: Everton and Crystal Palace.

As I am sure you have noticed a theme going on from when Martinez took over at Everton, McCarthy too, joined the Toffees in 2013.

McCarthy is currently at Palace, however, has only featured eleven times in the league, four of which were from the bench.

James McArthur

McArthur went on to have a spell at: Crystal Palace.

Like his fellow compatriot McCarthy, McArthur too is currently at Palace.

The two have now played together at three different clubs.

Jordi Gómez

Gomez went on to have spells at: Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers, Wigan, Rayo Vallecano, Levski Sofia, and Omonia.

Gómez is still currently playing and can be found in Cyprus playing for Omonia where he has been for the last three years.

Callum McManaman

McManaman went on to have spells at: West Brom, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland, Wigan, Luton Town, and Melbourne Victory.

In 2020, after playing for several clubs in England, the attacker moved to Australia, where he is currently playing for Melbourne Victory.

Arouna Kone

Kone went on to have spells at: Everton and Sivasspor.

After four years at Everton, Kone moved on to Turkey.

Currently playing for Sivasspor, in 2019, Kone became the club’s top goalscorer.

Shaun Maloney

Maloney went on to have spells at: Chicago Fire and Hull City.

After retiring, Maloney moved into coaching.

The former winger started his coaching career at former club Celtic.

He is currently assistant manager to his former manager Martinez at Belgium.

Ben Watson

Watson went on to have spells at: QPR, West Brom, Watford, Nottingham Forrest, and Charlton.

Watson will always be remembered for the late winner in the final.

In 2020, Watson signed for League one side Charlton, where he is currently playing just now.

Roberto Martinez

Martinez went on to have spells at: Everton and Belgium.

As was mentioned numerous times above, Martinez moved on to Everton, where he managed for three years.

He is currently the Belgium manager and at the 2018 World Cup, he secured a third place finish, the countries greatest finish in that competition.

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