Latics’ playmaker hails James McArthur’s impact on club and international scene.
Speaking after the Community Shield game against Manchester United and ahead of his return to Wembley Stadium with Scotland against England, Shaun Maloney was quick to praise his club and country team mate James McArthur who he believes is a key part of both teams.
“It’s nice to have club team mates with you internationally but it’s not too much of a big thing in terms of relationships on the pitch because we’re all professionals.
“One thing I have noticed though is that James (McArthur) has grown into the international scene and he’s become a really important part of the team, much like he is for Wigan Athletic.
“He played really well against Croatia in June and hopefully he’ll keep on performing the same way for Scotland and our club.”
Both Maloney and McArthur are in the Scotland squad for Wednesday’s friendly against England and began training with their national team today.
Similarities between Latics and Scotland were drawn by the 30-year-old.
“As a squad we all get on really well and respect each other and the manager Gordon Strachan has done a really good job of creating unity within the group.
“It’s very similar in a way to what we’ve experienced this summer at club level.
“The unity between players here at club level is very similar to what we have in the Scottish national team.
“The high work-rate that our national manager has instilled in us is also exactly the same as the gaffer here at Wigan Athletic.
“We are expected to give a bare minimum of 100%.”
Looking back on the defeat to Man United, Maloney admitted it was a disappointment to lose but says Latics must only look forward to the next game.
“There were parts of the game that I thought we did well in and equally there were spells that we needed to do much better.
“We’re disappointed with the result but there are positive signs ahead of the season and leading up to half time we really had United on the back foot.
“It wasn’t as enjoyable as the FA Cup final because of the result but it’s still a massive privileged to play at Wembley.”
Tonight’s international game will be Maloney’s fourth appearance at Wembley Stadium in the space of four months and he said it’s right up there with the FA Cup final but for different reasons.
“It’s a huge game for the whole of Scotland and England as well of course.
“The stakes were a lot higher in terms of winning a trophy in the FA Cup final and when it comes down to two nations playing there isn’t really a comparison because we’ll be playing for national pride rather than a trophy.
“It’s on par with any high profile game I’ve played internationally that’s for sure.”