You are herePaul Scharner: Wigan is the GREATEST town in England.

Paul Scharner: Wigan is the GREATEST town in England.


WHO needs Harrods, posh West End restaurants, the King’s Road and Red Rom when you’ve got Primark, pie ’n chips, Wigan Pier and Dave Whelan?
That is the view of Austrian ace Paul Scharner, who insists Wigan is the GREATEST town in England.
Eccentric Scharner, 32, will be charged with the task of trying to extend Chelsea flop Fernando Torres’ miserable run of only one goal in 11 games when the Latics visit Stamford Bridge today.
And the defender, who returned to Wigan on loan from Hamburg last week, insists he would never swap living in the industrial Lancashire town for London’s plush West End.
The pies at the DW Stadium have been voted the best in the Premier League and Scharner finds them far more appetizing than the caviar Chelsea’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich likes served up.
Scharner said: “Wigan is the greatest place in England.
“I only see beauty here — from the nice nature surrounding the town and the iconic Wigan Pier to the food and, most importantly, the warm, hospitable people — surely the nicest in the country.
“Even the cold, blustery weather here in the North West has a charm to it.
“Wigan has been my home for seven years now. Even when I left the club in 2010 to join West Brom my family and I remained living here.
“The first three years in England were difficult. I had to adapt to the weather, food, culture and language — but after that, right up to before I joined Hamburg last summer, we loved it here.
“We made so many friends, had a great social life and felt as though we’d been here all our lives. I felt like a true Wiganer — so when manager Roberto Martinez rang me last week inviting me back, there was no way I wanted to let the chance slip by.
“This is truly where we belong. It’s my home.”
Scharner — nicknamed The Spaceman because pals think he is from another planet — is living in a hotel, making him the Premier League’s very own Alan Partridge.
He added: “I’d love to invite people to my home here so I could cook them some of my favourite Austrian dishes but in November we rented it out on a fixed lease, so my missus and two children are in Germany.
“I’m living in a hotel room for the duration of my loan but I’m not complaining.
“I miss my wife and her wonderful cooking and my kids but I feel at home because I’ve so many friends here.”
Scharner, who is more famed for his midfield skills, signed as a defender to help ease an injury crisis.
And he put in a tidy, no- nonsense shift in the 2-2 home draw with fellow strugglers Southampton last Saturday.
He said: “It was amazing last week. Everyone was so happy to see me again and I was so happy — it was such a great reception at the stadium.
“It’s great when you come to a place where you’re well-known and everyone likes you.
“But we have some serious business to get down to and that’s to save Wigan from relegation — and we need 20 points to be sure of survival.
“Last season, Wigan went on an amazing run to stay up. Over the last 10 games they would have been in the top three. We must do that again.”
Scharner’s return came on the same day another madcap player, Mario Balotelli, departed for AC Milan.
The Austrian, who used to prepare for games by meditating in a deck chair in a field full of sheep and cows, insisted it is better to be odd than normal.
He added: “One thing you can say about Mario is he’s interesting. It’s far better to have a personality and be different.
“I see us not just as footballers but entertainers. Fans pay a lot of money so it’s important to give more of yourself.”
Scharner, who unwinds by listening to Mozart, reckons Chelsea are there for the taking.
He said: “Last time I played there Wigan lost 8-0! But Chelsea are a team in transition so we’ll try to take advantage.”
By JUSTIN ALLEN
The Sun: 09th February 2013

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