Historic strike against Manchester United earns Shaun Maloney a place on the Wall of Colour.Sometimes it takes just a moment to become iconic, and that’s certainly what happened to Shaun Maloney on Wednesday 11 April, when he curled an exquisite right footed effort around David De Gea in the 50th minute of Latics’ history making 1-0 victory against Manchester United.
The Scotsman’s superb goal earned Latics’ first ever win against United, and around 40% of you agreed with our choice for the playmaker to be our icon for 2011/12.
Of course there were plenty of candidates for this one, in a season which saw Latics produce some stunning performances in the final stretch of the campaign.
Victor Moses burst onto the scene, terrorising a number of Premier League defences, assisting and scoring at crucial moments.
Franco Di Santo was arguably as effective on the goal front, with his late winner against Sunderland earlier in the season, outstanding long range effort against Newcastle United in the 4-0 victory, and the first goal in Latics’ 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal.
At the other end Ali Al Habsi continued to be a hero between the sticks, saving numerous penalties, including keeping out the likes of Carlos Tevez and Charlie Adam.
Gary Caldwell won the prestigious Player of the Year award, again a player who produced inspired performances against the likes of Arsenal, and who can forget his winning goal at Anfield.
But for a sheer moment of joy for supporters, Maloney’s goal against Man United wins it.
It was a tough start for the former Celtic man. Arriving from the Glasgow giants at the end of the summer transfer window, Maloney struggled with injury in his first six months at the club, making just one start and three substitute appearances before the turn of the year.
A return to action against Swindon Town in the FA Cup wasn’t too pleasant for him either, picking up another knock which would see the Scottish international out until March.
Then came a tremendous run of form. On as a substitute at Carrow Road with Latics a goal down, Maloney turned provider for Moses to equalise and from then on he continued to impress.
His first league start came six days later against West Bromwich Albion, and with less than 10 club appearances to his name he stepped up at Anfield to convert a penalty in one of Latics’ stand out performances of the season.
Is one moment enough to make Maloney our 2011/12 icon? Let us know if you disagree on Twitter, Facebook and Latics Wall, and begin voting for your 2012/13 icon by [clicking here].
Here are the icons who have made the wall so far:
2001/02 Andy Liddell
2002/03 Jason De Vos
2003/04 Jimmy Bullard
2004/05 Nathan Ellington
2005/06 Jason Roberts
2006/07 Leighton Baines
2007/08 Paul Scharner
2008/09 Antonio Valencia
2009/10 Hugo Rodallega
2010/11 Charles N'Zogbia