Paul Jewell would not be surprised to see old club Wigan write yet another unlikely chapter in their history when the FA Cup holders return to Wembley to face Arsenal on Saturday.
Uwe Rosler’s Latics will be back in the stadium where Ben Watson’s late header stunned Manchester City in one of the greatest FA Cup final upsets of all time last May.
Those feelings of euphoria would turn to despair just three days later, though, as Arsenal’s 4-1 victory confirmed Wigan’s relegation and ended their eight-year stay in the top flight.
Jewell was at the helm when they were first promoted to the upper echelons of English football in 2005.
Events at the DW Stadium over the past 12 months have dumbfounded Jewell, who also played for the club in the 1980s.
It has been a year in which they have twice beaten Manchester City – once at Eastlands to book this semi-final spot – won their first major trophy and played in the Europa League.
“It’s been a brilliant journey,” Jewell said.
“They must be the most difficult team in the country to try and predict the result.
“Again, this year they go to City and get a fabulous result and it was fully deserved.
“Sat here now, and looking at the FA Cup trophy, who would have thought that Wigan would have even been in the Championship at one time? To be the FA Cup holders – it’s just a brilliant, brilliant story.”
And Jewell sees no reason why Latics cannot continue their love affair with the competition.
“You can’t predict with Wigan,” Jewell said. “Arsenal have had a few struggles since Liverpool beat them.”
But I look at the way Wigan have played this season and they’re aggressive in their style of play, their movement is good and I think they have a chance.”