A point for Latics in the Southend wind tunnel


I had never been to Southend before. I was looking forward to seeing the town, at the same time keeping my fingers crossed that Latics could perform against the local football team. Walking around the English seaside in the off-season was always going to be anti-climactic, but the amusement arcades were still open even if the chill gusts of moving air raged around the beach. I wondered if that wind would abate some twenty minutes’ walk away from the shore at the antediluvian Roots Hall stadium. It didn’t.

Wigan Athletic’s trip to play an in-form Southend United on their narrow pitch was never going to be easy. It was to be made increasingly harder by that cold, blustery wind that was to swirl around the pitch. It was not going to be a day for good football. Latics would have to have to slug it out with the home team to come away with any points. In the end they came away with a well -earned point, thanks to the effort they put in.

Once again Gary Caldwell surprised us with both his team selection and its shape. He decided to field a taller than usual backline of four. With Leon Barnett and Jason Pearce in the centre and Donervon Daniels and Chris McCann on the flanks, Caldwell’s team was well prepared for an aerial bombardment.  The Wigan manager is not a fan of 4-4-2, but yesterday chose to employ it with Will Grigg and Alex Revell operating as twin strikers. Don Cowie came in to play in front of the back four, with Francisco Junior in an advanced midfield role. Reece James and Max Power made up the middle of the diamond.

Good football was at a premium in the first half. Junior tried hard to provide some, but too many of his passes were sucked out of play by that swirling wind. Latics had breathed a sigh of relief after just six minutes as Ryan Leonard’s sweetly hit shot from just outside the penalty box struck their crossbar with Jussi Jaaskelainen beaten. Wigan just could not get any fluency to their game, the front two struggling to make any impact on the home defence. James had looked out of place tucked in there in midfield, but was to return to his normal role at left back after 40 minutes when McCann was withdrawn due to injury. David Perkins came on to take that left midfield role vacated by James. Southend had looked the more likely to score, but Jaaskelainen’s handling was secure and his back four solid in defence.  But Latics had almost taken the lead after 37 minutes when Barnett’s shot from a corner was cleared off the line by Will Atkinson.

Wigan came out for the second half with the look of a team wanting to be more purposeful in their football. After five minutes Barnett once again went close from a corner, this time his shot being saved by goalkeeper Dan Bentley. Although Latics were more dominant they still had to contend with a home team keen to add Wigan’s scalp to their collection. But the Wigan defence held firm after a spell of pressure by the home team. Michael Jacobs came on for Grigg after 65 minutes, adding little more life to the proceedings, although Southend still threatened in breakaways.

Craig Davies’s introduction in place of Junior after 75 minutes breathed even more life into Wigan’s play. The big man was a real handful and the Southend defence started to look vulnerable as Latics pressed forward in the final quarter. Latics almost won it in the last minute when another Barnett effort hit the crossbar, this time from point blank range.

But Southend hung on to a draw they probably deserved. That they were happy with the result was visible through the smiles on the faces of their players as they left the field to a standing ovation from a crowd that had been largely muted throughout the course of the match.

The Good

The defence was solid throughout. Barnett and Pearce formed a formidable partnership, rugged in their tackling and strong in the air. Daniels provided security at right back, although more restrained in attack. It was a surprise to see McCann start at left back, but he looked comfortable until injury forced him off. James looks better as a full back than as a wing back or midfielder and he performed well after being moved back there. Jaaskelainen was a beacon of calm at the back, oozing confidence to his defence.

Davies added an extra dimension when he came on, menacing the Southend defence. Jacobs too made a difference when he came on, his direct running adding variety.

Playing in “wind tunnel” conditions was never going to be easy. But Latics matched Southend tackle for tackle in the earlier stages until they finally got to play something resembling their normal brand of football in the final quarter. Moreover it was their second consecutive clean sheet away from home.

The Bad

The pairing of Grigg and Revell were ineffective. Grigg does not thrive at jumping for lofted passes and Revell just does not seem to threaten in the opponent’s penalty area. Caldwell’s preference of Revell over Davies was hard to fathom. Davies is not only superior in challenging for long balls, but offers so much more threat on goal.

Sadly Junior could not produce the final pass, despite his promising approach work and movement. He remains a work in progress as he continues to try to adjust to the sheer physicality of the game at League 1 level.

Perkins had been left on the bench, following recent displays which were disappointing by his previous standards. The man from Heysham had been playing out of his skin for so long and it was perhaps inevitable that he could not keep it going. Caldwell will be hoping that the player can rekindle that flame that made so much difference to the team before.

Without Jacobs or Wildschut, the starting lineup looked short on creativity. James looked out of place in midfield and one wondered if Jordan Flores or Andy Kellett would have been more effective in that position on the left of the midfield diamond.

Player ratings

Jussi Jaaskelainen: 8 – a calm, reliable presence at the back. Excellent in his handling, sensible in his distribution.

Donervon Daniels: 7.5 – a much better performance than what we saw against Burton.

Leon Barnett: 8.5 – a rock in defence and unlucky not to score on three occasions.

Jason Pearce: 8 – a quality central defender at league 1 level. Inspirational in his role of captain for the day.

Chris McCann: – looked comfortable at left back until being substituted after 40 minutes.

Don Cowie: 5- solid and hardworking, but uninspiring in his passing.

Max Power: 7 – worked hard to wrestle midfield control from Southend.

Reece James: 7 – solid in defence and enterprising in attack when moved to left back. Had a good shot saved in the second half.

Francisco Junior: 5 – promised so much but delivered so little.

Alex Revell: 5 – ineffective.

Will Grigg: 5 – ineffective, withdrawn after 65 minutes.


David Perkins: 6 – worked hard.

Michael Jacobs: – his willingness to run at the opposition defence adds an extra dimension to Latics’ play.

Craig Davies: – a threat to the Southend defence.




Caldwell gets it wrong – Burton Albion (H) Match Reaction

A dull, scrappy game offering little in the way of entertainment seemed to be heading for a goalless draw until Abdenasser El Khayati scored for the visitors from a breakaway in the 74th minute. Au ugly, but well organised Burton Albion side, who had looked like they had come for a draw went on to inflict on Wigan their first league home defeat of the season. Once again Wigan were unable to defeat a team in the upper reaches of the League 1 table.

Gary Caldwell had chosen to field an unchanged starting lineup, following a 1-0 victory against lowly Shrewsbury on Saturday. It was to be a 3-4-3 formation with Alex Revell in the lone centre forward role and Michael Jacobs and Yanic Wildschut playing wide.

Wildschut made one of his trademark runs in the first minute with a cut back to Tim Chow in a good position, but the young player fluffed his shot. But Burton tightened up. They had clearly done their homework and Wildschut was heavily marked. Jacobs was ineffective on the right and Revell a lonely figure up front. Latics were playing cautiously, unwilling to put enough men into the penalty box for the fear of a breakaway at the other end. Their right hand side was having a torrid time, with Chow way out of sync, Daniels poor in his passing and Jacobs looking like a shadow of his normal self. Latics main idea of attack was to feed Wildschut, although the service he received left much to be desired. But Burton had little to offer going forward too.

Given the way Latics were struggling to break down the Burton defence one wondered if Caldwell would make a change at half time, not only in terms of players on the pitch, but in the team’s shape. The rigid 3-4-3 system was not getting the best out of the players, who looked lethargic. With such talent on the bench, surely Caldwell would bring on someone like Francisco Junior who can change the tempo of a game, but the African was not to come on until after Burton scored.

The second half started with another cross from Wildschut finding Chow at the far post, but he could not get high enough to head the ball down and the chance was lost. Burton had shown us an ugly side to their game in the first half with players going down as if poleaxed, with the referee surrounded by their teammates. It continued in the second half, much to the crowd’s frustration.

Latics just could not find a way through Burton’s defence and the game seemed to be heading for a draw. Craig Davies had come on for Revell after 65 minutes, but Latics had kept to the same shape and there seemed to be no way through the visitors’ defence. Then came Burton’s breakaway goal in the 74th minute, which prompted Caldwell to bring on both Junior and Will Grigg. Junior was pushed into an advanced midfield role, with Grigg partnering Davies up front. However, Burton continued to defy Wigan although a goal seemed certain after 85 minutes when Max Power’s shot inside the area was somehow blocked and Reece James hit the post from the rebound.

Given the amount of timewasting from Burton, the referee added seven minutes on at the end of the game, but Latics were unable to get the equaliser.

The Good

On a day when so many players were below par it is hard to come up with positives. Caldwell had clearly been preaching patience to his players, as they struggled to break down the Burton defence. Sadly the patience was there, but it was dynamism that was lacking.

The Bad

Caldwell had put out the same lineup despite a lacklustre performance in the previous game. Sadly in this match he did not get the best out of the players at his disposal.

The rigid 3-4-3 was easy for the visitors to read and the situation was crying out for a change in approach. Jacobs looks only half the player when playing wide. He has been most effective in a free role supporting the forwards from central midfield. Playing ugly to get a result is one thing, but Latics seemed happy to keep grinding away with little end-product.

Caldwell had a wealth of talent at his disposal, but left it too late making the necessary changes. Revell put in a good shift as a lone centre forward in the Fortune style. He could not be faulted for effort or commitment. However, Grigg’s career goalscoring record shows a strike rate almost twice as much as that of Revell and Davies’ too is 50% more. A twin strike force of Grigg and Davies could have been employed from the start, rather than at the later stages when things were getting desperate. It could be argued that Caldwell is using Davies cautiously because of potential injury, but he is clearly not getting the best out of Grigg. Grigg’s self-confidence can hardly be expected to be high after being repeatedly left out of the starting lineup.

Caldwell deserves some credit in persevering with Chow after an unimpressive display against Shrewsbury. He is a local lad and his presence in the starting lineup will give young players in the development squad the message that there are potential chances for them too. However, Chow looked out of his depth in this game, short of confidence and off the pace of the play. Chow’s more natural position is in midfield. Moreover questions need to be asked about bringing in a rookie young player against a team that is a rival for promotion.

Player Ratings

Jussi Jaaskelainen: 6 – a quiet night apart from the goal conceded. Calm in his distribution.

Tim Chow: 4 – sadly lacking.

Donervon Daniels: 5 – played better in the second half, but not at his best.

Craig Morgan: 6 – generally solid, but beaten for pace on the Burton goal.

Chris McCann: 7.5 – solid in defence, with good distribution from the back.

Reece James: 6 – worked hard.

Max Power: 6 – worked hard, if not at his best.

David Perkins: 6 – a bundle of energy as always, but not as influential as he often is.

Michael Jacobs: 5 – was he fit after the injury he received on Saturday?

Alex Revell: 6 – worked hard.

Yanic Wildschut: 6.5 – not at his best, being heavily marked, but was nevertheless the main danger to the visitors.


Craig Davies: – a frustrating evening for him.

Will Grigg: – not at his best leaping for long balls. But why is he not in the starting lineup?

Francisco Junior: – added creativity to the midfield, but brought on too late.

Fan views – Part 3: Will Grigg and Craig Davies

Given that we now have a wider readership than in our earlier days we will occasionally republish articles from our archives, that some may not have seen. We ask our long-established readers will bear with us on this. We will continue to put out our stream of current articles.

Our site stats have shown that our readership has been particularly interested in perspectives of Latics players from fans of their previous clubs. Thanks to contributions made by bloggers on the fan sites of those clubs for these articles from our archives.

Click here for our previous fan views on Yanic Wildschut and Jordy Hiwula.

Click here for our previous fan views on Andy Kellett and Haris Vuckic.


An MK Dons fan’s view of Will Grigg


Written by:  Harry Wright of the Cowshed Chronicles BlogSpot.

Date published: July 15, 2015.




When Will Grigg arrived in Milton Keynes on a season-long loan from newly promoted Brentford, the midlands-born striker was the second of three young, hungry strikers Karl Robinson was to employ for the 2014/15 season after Tom Hitchcock was acquired on a free transfer from QPR.  A week later Benik Afobe joined from Premier League Arsenal and the Dons front line, that was to score 101 league goals, was complete.
The Northern Ireland international was to make an instant impact at Stadium:MK, netting an equaliser in the Dons season opener as we came from 2-0 down to triumph 4-2, however it didn’t take long for Grigg to truly endear himself to the Dons faithful as the frontman scored the first two goals in our unforgettable 4-0 annihilation of Manchester United in the Capital One Cup, famously using his chest to caress the ball past a helpless David De Gea. 
Playing second fiddle to the prolific Afobe for the first half of the season, Grigg had to accept he was not going to be given a constant run of starts due to Karl Robinson’s rotation policy as Afobe grabbed himself 19 goals until Wolves decided to pay big money to lure the England u21 international to Molyneux in mid January.  The departure of Afobe was followed up by Tom Hitchcock’s loan move to fellow League One club Fleetwood Town and left the former Walsall forward as the lone striker at Stadium:MK and oh how he delivered.
A blistering second half of the season containing a crucial brace away at Swindon left Grigg with 20 league goals from 43 games taking his total tally for the season to 22, only the second ever player to reach the milestone of 20 league goals in a Dons jersey, finished off with a header against Yeovil in a 5-1 demolition resulting in the Dons automatic promotion to the Championship for the first time.
But it’s not just the goals Grigg gets that made him a fans favourite in Milton Keynes, despite not even being our player, it’s the manner in which he plays and the qualities he brings to the squad as a whole.
Without having much strength due to being just 5’11 Grigg is a very clever player, his movement and trickery to evade defenders often means he finds himself in acres of space.  A classy, natural goal scorer, Grigg is a poacher, frequently in the right place at the right time to finish off the hard work done by those supporting him. Effective yet unspectacular the forward will get goals wherever he plays for sure.
Grigg’s work rate his also very good, never giving up on chasing a lost cause, combining an element of comedy in his celebrations with a dance branded ‘the Griggle’ by Dons fans, the striker’s personality rubs off on the fans and team mates alike and will not only add quality to the squad but also lighten up the dressing room at the DW stadium.
Grigg is undoubtedly a brilliant signing at League One level with proven experience and quality. The only question will be, can Wigan get enough support up to him to the poacher to get the goals to fire Wigan back to the second tier?


A Bolton Wanderers Fan’s View of Craig Davies



Written by:  Chris Mann  of the Burnden Aces fan site http://www.burndenaces.co.uk (Twitter @BurndenAces )

Date published: July 7, 2015



Wigan Athletic today completed the free signing of Craig Davies, seven days after his contract at Bolton came to an end.

Davies joined Wanderers in a £300,000 transfer from Barnsley in January 2013 and went on to score a total of 11 goals in 58 appearances for the Trotters, prior to his release.

Whilst those statistics may not look too appetising, it’s worth noting that 31 of those outings were from the substitutes’ bench.

Davies was a hugely popular figure amongst Bolton supporters, with his never-say-die attitude and willingness to put his body on the line earning him many plaudits, although it wasn’t until Neil Lennon’s arrival as manager in October 2014 that we began to see the best of what he had to offer.

All of a sudden, Davies became a focal point of the Bolton attack and was producing arguably the best form of his career – including a Man of the Match display in a 3-1 win over Latics at Macron Stadium.

Then, in a cruel twist of fate, he was struck down by three separate hamstring injuries that restricted him to just three starts after the turn of the year.

The club weighed up whether to offer him a fresh deal, but financial restraints at the present time meant it made little business sense to take a risk on an injury-prone player and Davies was an unfortunate victim of the cost-cutting measures currently in place.

 If he can put his fitness issues behind him, Davies has the ability to be one of the Championship’s top players. However, inconsistent form and the amount of time he spends in the treatment room has stopped him from fulfilling his undoubted potential.

If you can get 20+ games out of him next season, Wigan will have got themselves a good player who is more than capable of scoring the goals to get you out of the division at the first attempt.

With all those aforementioned worries, though, it would be unwise to pin all hopes on him, so I’d be expecting Gary Caldwell to bring in at least one more striker during the summer transfer window.

Striking problems for Caldwell ahead of Shrewsbury match


Will Gary Caldwell lose sleep over choosing his attacking players for the Shrewsbury game tomorrow?

Question – which club in cash-strapped League 1 can afford to leave a £1 million striker on the bench?

The response is that Wigan Athletic can. Moreover they did it last Saturday when Will Grigg was not only on the bench, but was not called on to the field of play as the game at Rochdale progressed.

Wigan Athletic’s affluence is clearly the envy of so many clubs in their division. According to Rochdale manager Keith Hill, Latics are the Manchester United of League 1. Indeed the squad that Gary Caldwell has put together is formidable compared those of their rivals. There is a minimum of two players fighting for each position, a healthy state of affairs as far as the manager is concerned.

Of course, Latics are in a lower division now, but it could be argued that Caldwell’s squad is superior to that of Malky Mackay in the Championship. The biggest weakness in Mackay’s squad was in the area of strikers. The hapless Scot not only persisted with a centre forward who went on to score one league goal in 34 appearances, but also played  winger James McClean as a central striker, where he looked like a fish out of water.

In contrast Caldwell has a wealth of striking options available to him. At Rochdale he employed a 4-2-3-1 system, meaning that he had four specialist attackers in his starting lineup. Typically this season he has lined up with three attackers in a 3-4-3 formation, but with wing backs pushed far forward. But even though he played with four attackers he was still able to leave Grigg on the bench, with Jordy Hiwula, Sanmi Odelusi and Haris Vuckic not even making the match day squad.

Caldwell has been talking to the media recently about his sleepless nights, as he mulls around in his head the different permutations and combinations available to him. One wonders if his sleep will be any better tonight given the Shrewsbury match coming up tomorrow. It is not only the personnel he chooses for the match to be considered, but also the “shape”. According to Caldwell he had decided on a new formation early in the week because of the way Rochdale attack. Then his headache was to choose the players to lineup in that different “shape”.

In previous eras there have been managers who have had a set way of playing, with the players having to fit into the system. There have been other managers who have adapted the style and shape of the team in order to get the best out of the players at their disposal. This was certainly the case for Wigan Athletic in the 2011-12 season. Latics were bottom of the Premier League in November 201l. Following yet another defeat, this time by Wolves, Roberto Martinez switched from a flat back four to having three central defenders and two wing backs. The change in shape was to catalyse a revival in performances, enabling Latics to finish in 15th place, 7 points clear of relegation. The 3-4-3 system had become the norm under Martinez as he used it to get the best out of the players at his disposal.

Having played in Martinez’s 3-4-3 and seeing its results Gary Caldwell is clearly a fan. Like Martinez, Caldwell too looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the upcoming opposition. Martinez would sometimes change his team’s shape during a game if things were not working out, although he would typically stand by his 3-4-3 set up. In contrast, already in his brief reign, Caldwell has adopted a variety of tactical formations and is not afraid to radically change his team’s shape within the ninety minutes.

What kind of tactical formation will Caldwell employ tomorrow against Shrewsbury? Will he persist with his four attackers in the 4-2-3-1 formation or will he revert to 3-4-3? Will Caldwell consider the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition before figuring out his formation?

Part of the reason for Grigg’s benching at Rochdale will surely be down to his late arrival, following his early release from the Northern Ireland squad. Another factor must be the presence of Craig Davies. The 29 year old is a superb centre forward at League 1 level. Were it not for a succession of injuries the big man would surely have played at higher levels throughout his career. Following a hamstring problem he was absent for more than five weeks. He came back on October 20th at Peterborough as a 76th minute substitute. He made a similar late entrance in the next two matches before starting in the FA Cup match at Bury. Davies started in the next two matches against Blackpool and Rochdale, being substituted around the two thirds mark in each. Caldwell is using Davies wisely in the hope that he can have a sustained run in the team without injury. Davies’ ability to turn a defender makes him a nightmare for opposition defences, but he also has pace and no mean levels of skill and tactical awareness.

Caldwell will be seeking the right blend among his attackers. Yanic Wildschut’s emergence has provided a whole new dynamic to the forward line and his is one of the first names to go on Caldwell’s team sheet. Michael Jacobs has been one of Caldwell’s leading players this season and will surely challenge for a place tomorrow. But what of the players who did not make the squad last week?

After scoring two goals against Blackpool, Hiwula could count himself unlucky not to have been included last week. In fact in terms of goals per start and goals per appearance in his career he is statistically Latics’ best goal threat:


Hiwula is not a “target man” type of striker, but he clearly has an eye for goal and will remain in Caldwell’s thinking.

Caldwell might not sleep well tonight, as he decides on tomorrow’s lineup. Moreover he will surely also be thinking ahead of the visit of high flying Burton Albion on Tuesday. Will he stick with that same four-pronged attack that did so well at Rochdale or will he bring back Grigg to partner Davies up front?

However, many managers in League 1 will not feel even one ounce of sorrow for Caldwell, who currently has an abundance of options at his disposal. His team selection headaches are those which so many other managers in the division would love to have.

Caldwell’s first choice – David Perkins


The 2014-15 season will be remembered as among the worst in Wigan Athletic’s history. Ironically Uwe Rosler had put together a squad that, on paper at least, was as good as any other in the Championship division.

How Latics could have suffered relegation with the talent they had at their disposal beggared belief. But the reality was that by the end of April, under their third manager of the season, the unthinkable happened and Latics were heading for League 1.

Why it happened remains open to debate. The authoritarianism of Rosler, the lack of acceptance of Malky Mackay by the players, divisions between factions recruited by different managers, plus a host of other theories came to the fore during the month of May. But there was a bottom line which all could agree on – last season’s players just did not seem to want to fight to make things better.

Fans wanted players who would be proud to wear the Wigan Athletic shirt, those who would battle against the odds, as so many had done in the club’s rise up the English footballing tree.

Given the seeming lack of commitment from last season’s players, fans were largely supportive of the club’s moves to dispatch so many of them to new clubs. Young chairman, David Sharpe, talked about bringing in the “right kind of player”, someone who was “hungry” and would fight for the cause. But at the same time there were fans who wondered how successful the club’s recruitment team would be in securing the services of such players. Moreover would those players have the quality needed to get the club out of League 1?

Caldwell’s first signing was announced near the end of May. It was a 32 year old on a free transfer from Blackpool, on a one year contract. Latics were going to be his eighth club. Moreover feedback from Blackpool fans was not exactly positive. Why would Caldwell want to sign a player with David Perkins’ track record?

However, some fans remembered Perkins performing well against Latics in the past and others thought that the contract was only for a year, so what was the harm giving the player the chance?

At the time Caldwell had commented “It’s a no brainer for me. I’ve always been impressed with his energy and willingness to give 100 per cent, and we feel he can contribute greatly this season. He is a very combative player, always willing to work hard and I’m delighted to add him to the squad. We’ve been looking at him for a while, I’m sure he can do a good job for us.”

However, despite his comments, Caldwell’s first signing of the summer appeared somewhat underwhelming. Was it a sign of things to come? Would the next signings to be made follow a similar pattern? Free transfers and players appearing to be past their sell-by dates?

But despite initial impressions, Perkins has been the best of Caldwell’s twenty-plus signings up to this point. From the outset Perkins has set the tone, showing the type of commitment so sadly lacking last season. At 33 now,  he seems to have more energy than players ten years younger. During a game he never stops running.

But there is more to Perkins’ game than to hassle the opposition. He certainly does that, but it is to his great credit that he has almost seamlessly fitted into the style of football Caldwell espouses. Despite his workhorse image, Perkins has a good left foot and is comfortable with possession football.

The first signing of the summer was to become the first name on Caldwell’s team sheet. Perkins has made 19 starts, more than any other player. Moreover he goes the full 90+ minutes, not one to be substituted. But how good a player is Perkins?

Wigan Athletic fans have always loved a player like Perkins who will run himself into the ground for the cause. His performances speak for themselves. But there are critics who question the player’s ability. There are those who question the performances of a side where Perkins can stand out largely through his commitment. Many would doubt that a team of eleven Perkins(es) would achieve promotion.

For me, there are three moments that encapsulate the huge contribution the Lancashire-born player has made up to this point.

At the end of September, Latics were 2-1 down at home to Millwall going into time added on. Perkins put a lovely pass inside the full back for Tim Chow to provide the cross that was to lead to Will Grigg’s equaliser.

In early October Latics faced high-flying Walsall, but having committed so many forward for a corner in the first half Wigan found themselves short-handed. Tom Bradshaw raced in on goal from a counterattack. But Perkins somehow got back and miraculously blocked the Walsall striker’s shot, saving a near certain goal.

Then last Saturday Latics were 2-0 ahead at Rochdale, in the closing stages. Somehow Perkins was up there supporting the attack. He has never been much of a goalscorer. Moreover at that stage of the game he must have been near-exhausted, given what he had already put into the game. Nevertheless he put in a blockbuster of a shot but was unfortunate to find the goalkeeper at the right place at the right time. The exertion of the shot, following his immense physical contribution to the game, seemed to knock him back. But he is not one to be deterred and finished the game out.

Given Perkins’ huge contribution, a couple of weeks ago Caldwell announced an extension of the player’s contract for another year, stating that:

“Everyone can see what he gives us on the pitch, he’s the sort of player that every team needs and typical of the man, there are no airs and graces, he just gets on with his job day-in, day-out and gives us great consistency. We’re delighted he’ll be here for another season because his experience and energy has been an invaluable asset to the team.”

Perkins himself is clearly enjoying his football at Wigan. On signing his new contract he reflected on his performances time at Wigan compared with  his previous clubs:

“I couldn’t be prouder to play for the club, all of the players and staff have been great since I arrived here. It’s one of the most enjoyable times of my career. I’m coming into work and actually enjoying it, over the last two or three years I’ve not enjoyed my football at all, and it became more of a job whereas now it’s my passion again and I look forward to every day at this club.”

It could be argued that David Perkins is Caldwell’s best signing up to this point. Perkins epitomises the “new era” type of player at Wigan Athletic. He is a key cog in a machine that will fight up to the last minute to get a result, a far cry from what we saw last season.

Perkins might not be the most talented player in the squad, but he should not be underrated. He fits well into Caldwell’s tactical system and that demands some level of skill. At 33 years of age he might well be playing the best football of his career.