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Yesterday was 31 years since that famous night when Latics fans appeared to be resigned to losing our popular manager Joe Royle. 

 

The Manchester Evening News reported that Joe was clearing out his desk at Boundary Park ready to take the Managers Job at Maine Road as Latics were embarking on their great cup exploits which led us to Wembley in the Littlewoods Cup Final and to the FA Cup Semi Final against Manchester United. 

 

Did anyone think that Joe would stay at little old Latics and turn down the job at our Manchester based rivals? 

 

Does anyone actually know whether the story about the Latics fan standing outside in the freezing cold to plead to Joe to stay was true? If so, any idea who the fan was? 

 

The fact that Joe chose to stay has gone down in Latics folklore as a wonderful vote of confidence in the club and the team & its supporters, and  that City's then chairman Peter Swales was indeed dignified enough to report that he could understand why Joe had turned City down in preference to staying at Latics as "something special is happening there" warm the heart of any long standing Latics supporter

 

Thanks for staying Joe 

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15 hours ago, Wardie said:

I wish he had stayed when Everton came knocking, as well.

Don't recall much popular disappointment then; think the general feeling was that things had run their course.  With the benefit of hindsight.....

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52 minutes ago, Dave_Og said:

Don't recall much popular disappointment then; think the general feeling was that things had run their course.  With the benefit of hindsight.....

But general expectation was that Ritchie would get it? Instead we ended up with Sharp!

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2 minutes ago, Dave_Og said:

Quite 

Makes you wonder, doesn't it? IIRC the only player we lost from the final PL season/FA cup semi team was Milligan, and Richardson wasn't a bad replacement. Sharp started off ok with 5 wins from his first 8 - and only 2 defeats in his first 11 league games. Continue in that vein and we might have been up there towards the end - maybe Ritchie would have maintained (or bettered) it? Instead we lost 5 of the next 9 in the league, winning only 1, and had to settle for lower mid table. Disappointing really.

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53 minutes ago, oafcmetty said:

Makes you wonder, doesn't it? IIRC the only player we lost from the final PL season/FA cup semi team was Milligan, and Richardson wasn't a bad replacement. Sharp started off ok with 5 wins from his first 8 - and only 2 defeats in his first 11 league games. Continue in that vein and we might have been up there towards the end - maybe Ritchie would have maintained (or bettered) it? Instead we lost 5 of the next 9 in the league, winning only 1, and had to settle for lower mid table. Disappointing really.

Sharp went into a very defensive shell as soon as results turned a bit 

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43 minutes ago, oafcmetty said:

Makes you wonder, doesn't it? IIRC the only player we lost from the final PL season/FA cup semi team was Milligan, and Richardson wasn't a bad replacement. Sharp started off ok with 5 wins from his first 8 - and only 2 defeats in his first 11 league games. Continue in that vein and we might have been up there towards the end - maybe Ritchie would have maintained (or bettered) it? Instead we lost 5 of the next 9 in the league, winning only 1, and had to settle for lower mid table. Disappointing really.

Seem to remember when Stitch finally got the gig that he was very late changing things when the games were going against us, waiting till we went behind before making subs. He probably "learnt on the job" here and at Barnsley although was probably a bit too nice to be an outstanding success at the job. 

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Always left a bitter taste that Sharp was chosen over Stitch.  I always thought that Joe would have had a hand in picking his successor and went for Sharp due to the Everton connection.  Just my opinion.  Furthermore, I think Latics fans would have been far more satisfied if Stitch had been given the job and we struggled in the First Division (Championship) as he was so much more in-tune with the club and its expectations / traditions than Sharp ever could be. 

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Sharp’s pretty much first act as manager was to get rid of Stitch. Like he saw him as a threat..

 

He was an awful appointment and an awful manager.

 

As a player for us he scored a few, but there was plenty of games where he just went missing. Don’t think he ever really got what Latics were about, which made his appointment even more bizarre.

 

Throw in the Wembley ‘94 sitter miss and I think he played a significant part in our decline..

 

(I can hear @lookersstandandy rolling his eyes from here..)

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8 hours ago, JoeP said:

Sharp’s pretty much first act as manager was to get rid of Stitch. Like he saw him as a threat..

 

He was an awful appointment and an awful manager.

 

As a player for us he scored a few, but there was plenty of games where he just went missing. Don’t think he ever really got what Latics were about, which made his appointment even more bizarre.

 

Throw in the Wembley ‘94 sitter miss and I think he played a significant part in our decline..

 

(I can hear @lookersstandandy rolling his eyes from here..)

He gave us one of the best away day wins ever....those two goals in front of us at the Platt Lane end.

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