Shaun Maloney of Wigan gets past Michael Carrick of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester United at DW Stadium.
Towards the end of each season, teams need players who are going to stand head and shoulders above the rest of their peers and say. Hey guys I'm going to carry us over the finish line, well Latics haven't fallen short their this season. There were at least four players who could so easily have won April's player of the month. But it goes to a man whose season started, just as ours got into life.
That players is of course Shaun Maloney. The ex-Scotland international (not for very much longer) has come into this team and shown them all how to play football and have quite literally taken control of anything happening in the midfield, it was that little bit of experience and know how that we have been missing this season.
Maloney of course came into the squad in March to set up Victor Moses for the goal that would save us a point against Norwich. Before against Liverpool scoring his first club goal cooly from the penalty spot. Some people may have thought he would slip away, but if anything he has gotten stronger.
Against Manchester United anything that was good about Wigan going forward went through our little midfielders. And the goal that would seal us three points and a memorable victory would have to come from the feet of our tiny wizard. He showed so much poise and control on the ball it was fantastic to watch.
Maloney would miss the Arsenal game, and many would have felt that we would have been weaker for it. But Maloney's form meant that Jordi Gomez had to produce something special and the Spaniard didn't fail us their assisting and scoring in the game.
Maloney would return half way into the game against Fulham, and for his usual self have a quiet game. But after the sheer volume of matches he had like many other players looked tired.
So with the home game against Newcastle came a point to prove. And that point was well and truly shown as the team put on a master class of football. In no small part thanks to Shaun Maloney. He found that gap in the middle of the park and was the relief player that you need when the ball is needed to be off loaded when your team mates are under pressure.
While he was forever tracking back and making up ground to stop a strong Newcastle side from getting on the attack. Eventually he was reward with his third goal in Wigan colours and it was his best one yet. A fine interchange of passing from Beasejour to Maloney. Then Di Santo back to Maloney to send the striker through one on one with Tim Krul before he slotted the ball home.
Lovely football and we hope that he keeps it up!