He guided Wigan to a delightful push up the table that had them as Chelsea’s closest challengers for a while, had his side playing good attacking football, remained humble throughout, even while earning back-to-back Manager of the Month awards. So what more can be said about Paul Jewell?
Well, sarcastic bastard is a start – in a good way of course. After losing their last two Premiership matches to Arsenal and Tottenham, it seems some segments of Wigan’s fans are remarkably criticizing the some players for not pulling their weight.
“I keep forgetting we are Wigan and we should be top of the league week-in and week-out,” said Jewell. “But I know some of the supporters are getting a bit anxious because we’ve lost to Arsenal and Tottenham. We’ve slipped to fifth in the league, so we are really panicking.”
“There’s all kinds of crises going on here at the moment, so it was good to get a victory against a top side like Newcastle.
“It’s not about me, but one or two things have been coming back to me that some of the players have been criticised. I find that unbelievable.”
They’ve only been in the Premiership for a matter of months, but the club is quickly finding out all the lovely side effects of being a top flight club – leading to Jewell joining a pretty fast-growing group of managers willing to have a go at supporters for perhaps being a tad fickle. A JJB Stadium record crowd of 25,004 watched the 3-2 loss to Arsenal on November 19, but a week later that figure dropped to 22,611 for the 2-1 loss to Spurs.
“Let’s have it right,” added a disbelieving Jewell. “We’ve lost two games, the first against Arsenal who we pushed all the way in front of 25,000.
“Then we play Tottenham and we lose 2,500 off the gate. How’s that? How does that work?”
Admittedly Spurs are a smaller draw than Arsenal and it’s not like the attendance got cut in half or anything, but it remains to be seen if Wigan’s support really does drop off as the results start to be less-than-mindboggling. It would be unfortunate, since the crowd can really make a difference for a newly promoted club in keeping morale, and results, positive. We’d hate to see the Latics lose their way after such an inspired start.