Callum McManaman, who has played for Wigan since he was 16-years-old, is a name most football fans are familiar with because of his HORROR TACKLE on Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara last month. However, it has become apparent that the 21-year-old is actually a half decent player, and after scoring in the FA Cup 5th Round, quarter-final and semi-final, has started to attract headlines for the right reasons.
The talented youngster, who grew up playing for and supporting Everton, has been linked with a move to top clubs this summer, although the contract extension he signed at the beginning of the year would ensure Wigan are entitled to a fair transfer fee.
April 25th 1991: Callum McManaman is born in Huyton, Merseyside.
1998: McManaman joins Everton’s youth system as a 7-year-old.
2007: McManaman signed for Wigan on a free transfer as a 16-year-old after being released by Everton.
April 2nd 2008: McManaman made his debut for Wigan reserves
May 24th 2009: McManaman makes his Wigan debut as a 78 minute substitute in their 1-0 win over Portsmouth, Wigan’s youngest ever player to represent the club in the Premier League.
2008/2009: McManaman played 1 game in all competitions.
May 25th 2010: McManaman signed his first professional playing contract with Wigan.
January 8th 2011: McManaman scored his first goal for Wigan in their 3-2 win over Hull in the FA Cup.
January 9th 2011, Roberto Martinez (Wigan manager): “Since the first time he participated this season against Arsenal in the League Cup, straight away you could see he is desperate to be on a football pitch. In his first game he showed a little bit of everything; a real magic touch, really hard work, real quality and a street-wise talent that is really rare to see. We’re extremely pleased to have a player that has come through the youth set-up. Since Leighton Baines came into the first team we haven’t had another youngster and I think it’s important we try to give them opportunities because it’s a real sign for the future of Wigan.”
April 29th 2011: McManaman signed a contract extension to keep him at the club until 2013.
April 29th 2011, Martinez: “Callum has continued to progress this season and we are delighted he has now signed this new contract. Callum represents a real example for every youngster at our football club. Technically, he’s a very gifted player with a natural raw talent and over the last 10 months he’s developed immensely, tactically and physically.”
June 29th 2011: McManaman named in England’s 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup squad. He played in all the games.
2010/2011: McManaman played 7 games in all competitions and scored 1 goal.
October 17th 2011: McManaman joined Blackpool on a three month loan.
October 17th 2011, Martinez: “Callum is a vital player for the future of our football club and now we must fulfil his needs in order for him to reach his outstanding potential by playing Championship football, which will be the perfect challenge to test all the good things that he’s been working on over the last few months. We expect Callum to be back with us to help the team with his individual level sharpened up after the loan experience. Loan periods at the right time are needed in the progression of any young footballer to reach their full potential, and one very fresh on our mind could be Tom Cleverley from last season. We wish him all the very best for the next three months or so.”
October 21st 2011, McManaman: “I want to play and I’m expecting to be involved. Hopefully I can show everyone what I can do. My game is all about staying wide, getting at the full-back and trying to make things happen. When I came on the other night, I was aware we needed a goal and so I was positive, getting some shots in and trying to make a difference. Tom (Ince) was doing the same. You want substitutes to get on and change matches. Tom certainly did that and I think I did OK too.”
On being dropped by Everton: “That was a massive shock because I was a huge Everton fan, so it was pretty difficult when they no longer wanted me. But I think that experience made me stronger. I went to Wigan and have been there ever since. Roberto Martinez wanted me to go on loan and get games, and I had no hesitation in coming to Blackpool. Ian Holloway is certainly different to what I’m used to, but it is really enjoyable and a great learning curve for me. I’m here until January and my only aim is to play as many games as possible and prove what I am capable of. Forest is a big game for us but a second win of the week can really move us up the table. I want to be part of a team doing well in the league, and I’ve seen no reason why Blackpool can’t be up there challenging because we have some really good players.”
December 3rd 2011: McManaman scored his first goal for Blackpool in their 1-0 win over Reading.
December 3rd 2011, Ian Holloway (Blackpool manager): “That goal alone was worth the entrance fee. How McManaman did that I don’t know even know, he turned and dragged it back, he had no space to hit it in and slotted it in.”
December 6th 2011, Martinez: “It’s been great to see Callum enjoying his football and growing while at Blackpool. It was important for him to get regular minutes under his belt, and we’ve all been admiring his progress from a distance. He’ll be returning to our club as a more mature and confident player, ready to fight for his place in the first team. And we’re all looking forward to seeing him back here in the first week in January.”
December 6th 2011, McManaman: “I’ve loved every minute of my time at the club. I just hope to spend as much time on the pitch as possible between now and when I go back.”
2011/2012: McManaman played in 14 games and scored 2 goals for Blackpool whilst on loan and scored 4 games and scored 1 goal for Wigan.
September 24th 2012, Martinez: “It’s so important that everyone’s got an opportunity. It’s great to see Callum’s development over the last two or three seasons and I think he showed that he’s ready to help the team in many games to come.”
January 25th 2013: McManaman signed an extension to keep him at the club until 2016.
January 25th 2013, McManaman: “It was an easy decision (to stay). I was just made up to get it completed. The club is very important to me. When Everton let me go earlier in my career, Wigan were the ones who gave me the opportunity and I owe it to the club to stay loyal. It was the best thing that happened for my career. I’ve loved every minute of it so far and I’m still enjoying it now. I want to keep improving, keep making appearances and maybe get more starts under my belt. Hopefully in time that will come, because I believe there is a lot more to come from me.”
February 21st 2013, Martinez: “Callum is a real example of what we want in our football club – youngsters that, if they work well, if they apply themselves well, are going to have opportunities. He’s been working really hard and enjoying his football, and what he did against Huddersfield is going to help the team because that talent is welcome in any group of players. We’re delighted that Callum is developing into an impressive young footballer and he’s going to be very important for us until the end of the season. He’s a player who can create something out of nothing, and those players are quite rare. We need to understand he is still a young man and he’s still developing, and he deserves that time and that patience to allow him to be as good as he can be. But clearly this season he’s put himself in a position where, as you saw in the last game, he can be effective.”
March 10th 2013, McManaman: “I was there for nine years and was released when I was 15 and it broke my heart to be honest but I still look out for Everton’s results. I was gutted when it happened but you just have to get on with it. It was make or break when I left. I either packed it in or went and found another club and Wigan came knocking and I haven’t looked back.”
March 18th 2013, Ryan Taylor (Newcastle player): “Nothing to do with the scoreline an the fact it was a red but as a footballer it’s the definition of a ‘shithouse tackle’. Wow. Not even a yellow.”
March 18th 2013, Dave Whelan (Wigan chairman): “The ball was there. Young McManaman went in for the ball and got the ball as clean as a whistle, but in the follow through they collided. The referee saw it all, he had a clear view on that. He hasn’t gone over the ball. That’s an accident. There is not one ounce of malice in Callum McManaman. He is an enthusiastic young boy. He has got great prospects. He was very upset by it all.”
March 18th 2013, Martinez: “Remember it’s Callum’s full debut in the Premier League. I haven’t seen the replay, I believe he touches the ball and then it’s a bad challenge, but it’s nothing malicious, he’s not that sort of boy. It’s the normal enthusiasm that you get in your debut.”
March 18th 2013, Alan Pardew (Newcastle manager): “It is an awful challenge. The pictures speak for themselves. I thought it was a bad challenge and I was 60 yards from the incident. The players knew because they were on top of it and there was a lot of bad feeling about that incident when it goes unpunished. He (Halsey) said ‘If I’ve missed it I apologise’ – that was at half-time.”
March 19th 2013: FA confirm that McManaman will face no charge or punishment for his challenge on Massadio Haidara.
April 13th 2013, Martinez: “The whole situation has been very unfair on him… but today we saw the real Callum McManaman. It’s great to see that it’s now all about his talent. He’s an attacker, not a defender, and we can see that in how he takes the goal. He seems like he’s been playing at Wembley many, many times.”