From shocking foul to diamond for Callum McManaman

 

wembley

Was this shock bigger than Wimbledon in 1988? Was it the biggest since Sunderland in 1973? These were the questions being asked here last night, but it was another FA Cup final that came to mind while watching Callum McManaman tear Manchester City apart.

In 1978 Ipswich Town upset Arsenal 1-0 with a goal from a hitherto unheralded midfielder, Roger Osborne. Yesterday Ben Watson filled that role, but it was another Englishman whose performance prompted the comparison.

The key player 35 years ago was a young winger who was just emerging on the scene, David Geddis. The player who set the tone yesterday was another fresh native talent, Callum McManaman,

Back in 1978 Geddis was so impressive that even the football agnostic Margaret Thatcher, then Leader of the Opposition, recognised it. Unfortunately she did not recognise him.

In those days players did not wear their names on the backs of their shirts and no one had informed Thatcher that there had been a change in the teams in the programme. So when asked for her man of the match she said: "Ipswich's No 10, Trevor Whymark, played well."

McManaman's name stretched across his No 15 shirt but were it not for a tackle in March he would be equally unknown. The late-developing 22-year-old from Huyton, the Liverpool suburb which also produced Steven Gerrard, Peter Reid and Joey Barton, was castigated for a terrible challenge on Newcastle's Massadio Haidara.

It was McManaman's debut and the criticism rumbled on because the referee Mark Halsey failed even to award a free-kick so that the issue was not put to bed on the day. Lesser characters would have gone into their shell but McManaman has continued to show the form of his previous match, the FA Cup quarter-final at Goodison Park, in which he scored. The goal was especially sweet as he had been on Everton's books from the age of seven to 16 before being released by the club.

"I can't believe [what's happened] to be honest," said McManaman last night. "I'm made up. I just had a feeling this morning when I got up that I just knew it was going to be our day.

"The longer it went on, we knew we had the better chance. Eventually the goal came. The gaffer said before the game, 'Just treat it like any other game. Go into it, don't be afraid'."

Geddis's career never lived up to the promise that he showed at Wembley but McManaman has every chance of progressing further. His sensational end to the season could even catapult him into the national squad for the forthcoming South American tour, for while the England manager Roy Hodgson had few of his compatriots to watch yesterday, the winger's performance made his attendance worthwhile.

Martinez is confident that whatever comes his way McManaman will remain unaffected. "He doesn't care about wearing the best shoes or driving the best car, but give him a football and he is happy," said the Wigan manager, adding: "He is one of the big diamonds in English football."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'