Emmerson Boyce sealed his place as a Wigan Athletic legend when he wrote his name into the record books by making his 200th appearance for the club at the weekend.
Unfortunately the match will be one the former Quarrendon School (now Vale Academy) pupil will want to forget after the Latics were thrashed 4-0 by a Luis Suarez-inspired Liverpool, and he was involved in an ugly bust-up with teammate James McArthur.
The incident, which came about after an underhit cross-field pass from McArthur to Boyce set up the Reds for a counter attack, sparked criticism from pundits on the BBC’s Match of the Day highlights show. But Wigan manager Roberto Martinez was quick to pour cold water on the incident and insisted he was ‘happy’ to see such passion on display as they battle against relegation.
“If I’m honest, I was glad to see that because in the position we are in we need passion,” said Martinez.
“We can’t have players who accept defeat and go through the motions.
“It was a moment of frustration between the players who had the feeling we had thrown away the opportunity to win three points.
“The reaction from James and Emmerson is something I want to see in the dressing room.
“I think they were demanding a little more from each other and then it became a little argument. If everyone could have that passion, we would have been a lot more competitive than we were in the first 20 minutes.
“At half-time there was a lot of respect between the two players, who analysed their frustration and used it in a good manner to perform better in the second half.”
Ahead of his landmark 200th appearance, Boyce took to Twitter to say: “Cannot wait to make my 200th appearance in today’s game, especially as it’s at the DW Stadium too.
“I would like to thank the fans for all their support.”