Found May 10, 2013 on Fox Soccer:
Football-everton-bolton
Sir Alex Ferguson takes charge of his final Manchester United home game when Swansea City visit Old Trafford on Sunday. Whether to recall Wayne Rooney is likely to be Ferguson's biggest selection dilemma following reports that the striker has asked to leave United in the summer. Rooney started on the bench against Chelsea last weekend, but will hope for a recall, and there could also be a place for Paul Scholes following his spot among the substitutes a week ago after three months out through injury. Ferguson stalwarts Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs may also start, and David de Gea could be restored in goal after Anders Lindegaard was given a chance in the 1-0 defeat by Chelsea. Swansea will continue to be without top scorer Michu after he picked up a hamstring injury against Manchester City last weekend. Itay Schechter came into the side against Wigan and justified the decision by scoring his first Premier League goal, so he will hope to keep his place. Ki Sung-yueng has missed the last couple of games due to a dead leg, while Chico Flores and Roland Lamah also remain on the sidelines. Wigan Athletic and their supporters this weekend make a journey made many times by their rugby league counterparts down the years. The Warriors, as they are now known, have almost made the Challenge Cup their own at times, not least the spell from 1988 to 1995 when they triumphed eight times in succession at the national stadium. They have won the competition a record 18 times, most recently in 2011, but while Wigan may be the most evocative name in rugby league, they are mere minnows in the football world. For a club only admitted to the Football League in 1978, not promoted to the top flight until 2005 and that has spent the past four years battling against relegation, emulating the Warriors to become Wembley winners would be no small achievement. In the past there has been a perception that the supporters of the two clubs care little for each other, something that has not altered since they both moved into the DW Stadium in 1999. The FA Cup run could change that and, at administrative level, the relationship between the co-habiting clubs is healthy. "There's a lot of thought for Wigan Athletic throughout the town and certainly from me and a lot of Wigan rugby league supporters," said Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan, who took over the club when Latics owner Dave Whelan relinquished control in 2007. "I'm going to Wembley, Wigan Athletic are special to me. "The Premier League profile that they've given to Wigan is also an additional benefit to Wigan rugby league." Wigan-born Lenagan's interest in football can hardly be questioned given that he is also the executive chairman of League Two Oxford United. Wigan Athletic receive plenty of brickbats for the size of their support, the inference being that, with average crowds of 19,000, they do not belong in the Premier League. But that figure is still treble what it was a decade ago and with many other football fans in the area enticed by the nearby giants of Manchester and Merseyside, Lenagan claims the theory that Wigan is purely a rugby league town is a myth. "I don't think it is," he said. "It's 60 per cent rugby and 40 per cent football and what's wrong with that? "I know that we've got 10 per cent common spectators who watch football and rugby. It's like rugby union and rugby league, I like both games." The challenge for the Latics is now to capitalise on their Wembley appearance to give impressionable youngsters fewer reasons to declare their love for Manchester United, Liverpool, or their cup final opponents Manchester City. The only frustration is that their achievement in reaching the final for the first time is being overshadowed by yet another battle against relegation, and one that is not going well for Roberto Martinez's men. Wigan are three points adrift of safety with just two games left to save themselves after a damaging loss to Swansea in midweek. Lenagan said: "I think Martinez is a great coach. They're the perennial avoiders of relegation and I hope they do exactly the same this year." The implications of succeeding in both challenges over the final week of the campaign, with European football also on the way next season, could be significant for club and town. A recent report revealed that Premier League football brings ?330million into the Greater Manchester economy, of which Wigan is a part. Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council, said: "It has been really important and having Wigan in the Premier League means we as a town benefit as well. "We're really proud of the club and the way they have performed this season in the FA Cup. "It is going to be good for the club, we are going to paint the town blue - which is unusual for Wigan as we usually paint it red in the colours of our rugby team. "It's not unusual for Wiganers to go down to Wembley, but it is the first time for the footballers in the FA Cup final and we are going to get behind them. "We've worked out Wigan football and rugby have been down to Wembley just under 30 times, that is pretty good for a relatively small town." With Wigan also leading the way in Super League and aiming to secure a Challenge Cup quarter-final place this weekend, it could be a heady year for a town with more than one sporting passion. The France international has been linked with a series of potential suitors after a difficult second season in English football, but is adamant that he is content where he is and that all that matters currently is the fight for Barclays Premier League survival. Cabaye told the Chronicle: "I have three years' contract left and now my mind is just to save the club. We have two cup finals then it will be the holidays. "But I am at Newcastle. I don't want to think about the future with two games left. I am very, very happy to play for this club and these fans." The scrap to preserve the Magpies' top-flight status continues at relegated QPR on Sunday, when a point would be good enough to keep them up should FA Cup finalists Wigan lose at Arsenal on Tuesday. Even then, serious questions would have to be asked during the closed-season after a campaign which Cabaye admits has been nowhere near good enough. He said: "We all made some mistakes at the start of the season - that's why we are fighting for relegation. "But if we learn from our mistakes, no problem. We are only human and we all make mistakes, but now is time to learn and prepare. "We need to finish strongly and then prepare well for next season. We have to be ready to fight and play and be ready again in the Premier League, like we were last season." Click here for completely free ?10 bet with Sky Bet The Scot has been handed a six-year contract by the Old Trafford outfit, and will begin work as soon as the season is at an end. For Moyes that means two more matches at Everton, whilst Vidic gets to play two more matches for Sir Alex Ferguson, including Sunday's encounter with Swansea. As Ferguson's final game at Old Trafford, it promises to be an emotional occasion. And Vidic knows he has plenty of reasons to thank the man who lured him to United from Spartak Moscow in December 2005. But the Serbian has no sense of trepidation about the change at the top. "I'm looking forward to working with David and I believe I will have the same success I had with Sir Alex," Vidic told United's official website. "David and Sir Alex share some similarities - they are very passionate, they are both winners and you can see the way they approach the games and how they run things." It has been suggested Moyes will work his new charges hard in training, but that merely ties in with the regime that is about to reach its end. "David Moyes did a great job with Everton," said Vidic. "He is the man who gets his players to work hard and show discipline. "He did that well with Everton because in the last few years they've been successful in getting into the top six." Moyes himself is honoured to have been given the chance to fill Ferguson's mighty shoes. Although he will officially take up his post at the beginning of July, Moyes' work will start before then, with meetings planned with chief executive elect Ed Woodward to discuss their joint strategy going forward, having been given the strongest possible backing Ferguson. "It is a great honour to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester United," said Moyes. "I am delighted Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job. "I have great respect for everything he has done. "I know how hard it will be to follow the best manager ever, but the opportunity to manage Manchester United isn't something that comes around very often. "I am really looking forward to taking up the post next season."
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