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Club News


8 April 2015

Scotland international believes his former colleague and friend is a “good appointment” by chairman David Sharpe.

  • “It’s a great opportunity for Gary” – James McArthur.
  • Midfielder backs Caldwell’s qualities and says experienced staff will prove crucial.
  • McArthur looks forward to Jordi Gomez reunion on Saturday as Palace meet Sunderland.
Former Latic James McArthur feels the appointment of Gary Caldwell as Wigan Athletic manager is a positive one by Chairman David Sharpe.

The 27-year-old, who played alongside Caldwell for four years between 2010 and his departure for Crystal Palace in 2014, made 156 appearances for Latics and says that his former captain at both club and international level will get Latics back to playing the way fans were accustomed to.

“I think it’s a good appointment and it’s really good for him to get such a good job at a young age; I’ve watched Gary’s interview about getting the job and I know he didn’t think it would come so soon,” McArthur explained.

“It’s great that he’s got this opportunity; he’s got five games to try and save the club from relegation and then he’ll reassess the situation from there.

“I think Gary will get Wigan back to playing the football that the Wigan supporters are used to seeing; I think they lost that a little bit by going long ball sometimes and I think he’ll bring a bit more of a Martinez style back to the club and the players will enjoy that.”

McArthur equally feels that Caldwell’s skills as a leader make him an ideal appointment, though he expects the former Celtic and Hibernian defender to lean on the experience of Graham Barrow and Eric Black alongside him.

“He’s got the leadership qualities; me and Ben Watson were speaking about it and we were saying that he’s got to listen to the experienced people around him like Graham Barrow and Eric Black, though,” he continued.

“It’ll be important that he listens, continues to learn and he knows he needs to hit the ground running really.

“You could always see he was going to be a manager, he knows the game inside out and we wish him all the best.

“He’s got great leadership qualities; everyone respects him, he demands that off everyone – it’ll be a hard transition but one I’m sure he’ll take in his stride.”

And does McArthur wish he could come back and play under his good friend?

“No, definitely not! When me and Ben were talking, we were saying that it will help him a bit that he hasn’t got the likes of myself, Ben and Shaun [Maloney] around him as players because we know him as a friend and we have a lot of banter so with new players it makes it easier.”

This weekend sees McArthur come up against former Latic Jordi Gomez as Crystal Palace meet Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and the Scot is looking forward to the reunion.

“The last game against Sunderland I didn’t feature in and I was a bit gutted but hopefully we’ll get a duel in the midfield and I’ll overcome him.

“He’s a quality footballer but at Palace we’re doing really well right now and it will be a good game.”

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