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Wigan – a journey back to the top (part 1)

I’ve decided to go with Wigan Athletic for my first save on FM16. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Latics and the challenge of getting them out of League 1 feels like a worthy one.

Two relegations in three years sees the club that beat City 1-0 in the FA Cup back in 2013 on a very worrying downward spiral. But with a relatively new chairman (David Sharpe, grandson of Dave Whelan) and now a new manager, a fresh approach can hopefully propel the club back to the top flight of English football.

On their relegation to League 1 chairman David Sharpe said this:

“Our target is immediate promotion. We have the right management team in place to rebuild.”

Read more at http://www.wiganlatics.co.uk/news/article/wigan-athletic-chairman-david-sharpe-reflects-on-relegation-2429625.aspx

Club Info

  • Nickname: Latics
  • Stadium: DW Stadium (25,133 capacity, all seater)
  • Junior Coaching: Adequate
  • Youth Recruitment: Average
  • Budget: 3 million
  • Best player: Chris McCann


I’ve set myself an ambitious target of getting the Latics back to the dizzy heights of 2013 (minus the relegation of course):

  1. Promotion from League 1 (in 1st season)
  2. Promotion from the Championship
  3. Re-establish Wigan as a competitive Premier League club
  4. Re-lift the FA Cup

I’m not going to set a time frame for this simply because of how challenging and competitive the Championship is, but I will be aiming to earn promotion from League 1 in my first season.


3 million seems like a very healthy budget for a League 1 side but the quality of players available that are interested in joining the club are very low. Bearing in mind that we have a realistic chance of promotion in the first season I don’t want to waste money on players that won’t be good enough for the Championship. With that in mind I’ve turned my attention to free transfers and the loan market, with the view of saving some money for January or even next season when a better crop of player is available, hopefully.

Here are my 5 pre-season signings:

  • Jermaine Pennant (free transfer)
  • Adil Chihi (free transfer)
  • Tyias Browning (loaned from Everton)
  • Rolando Aarons (loaned from Newcastle)
  • Mason Bennett (loaned from Derby)


With Jermaine Pennant’s crossing ability and the height and presence of target men Holt and Davies it seems only natural to put an emphasis on attacking set pieces. As our primary style of play I’m going to go with a balanced 4-4-2 formation (1 target man, 1 poacher) and instruct the players to play a possession game, short passing, but with plenty of crosses in to the box.

Comments (2)

  • Hi mate, I’m doing a Wigan save, would you be able to help me with tactics etc? That’d be great thanks

    Comment by Alex Burns (14/05/2016)
  • For me, you can’t go wrong with 442 in the English lower leagues. I played possession based football but got the crosses in at every opportunity. Worked well for me but there’s no one way of doing things of course. Look at your squad, pick a formation and style that you think suits them, give things a try and adjust as you go along.

    Comment by Manager Diary (15/05/2016)