THE INTER SEASON INFERNO. WIGAN AT THE EUROS 2016.
The season dribbled to close with almost the same fizzle that it started with. Some of us, especially those who were unable to get tickets for the penultimate celebration to help fill the 3000 empty seats at Blackpool were a tad fed up. Those of us who missed that week-long celebration were hoping to crown the season with a resounding victory against Barnsley. We saw the season do a full circle. A sunny afternoon, a feeling of relief and optimism was finished off with a 1 – 4 hammering and McCann getting sent off. It seemed as if we were back at Coventry. Except this time the big difference was that Wigan were at the top of the table; in Coventry we were at the bottom. And Will Grigg was on FIRE.
It was a great achievement to be the only team in the league to move from rock bottom to sky high tops. Zero points to nearly the promised 100 and a clear indication that we’d taken the league by storm.
I’m waiting to hear ‘Sharpy’s’ prediction for this season. With Nick Powell back, Yanic to his side and that fella who doesn’t need an extinguisher with them both I suspect Sharpie thinks we will be a towering inferno, sweeping through the league like an Australian forest fire.
But really, I mean really, we have to have a quick reflection on last season. I think I only have to mention Swindon, Chesterfield, Shrewsbury, Walsall and Blackpool and nothing more needs to be said. You all know what comes next and you all have your own wonderful memories of those days out. For definite, Time Peake in the space station would never have experienced such an atmosphere as that.
But there was still one big disappointment of the season for us all. Perkins never scored. I feel let down and want a refund on my season ticket, which I’m getting for the first time this year.
And there was the half time challenge where goal shoot replaced cross bar challenge. An altogether better bit of entertainment where we saw people being sprayed by the half time deluge ordered by Gary to make the opposition slip at every nutmeg, we saw hopeful signed shirt aspirants falling A over T, and some buffoon who hobbled on with a walking stick and celebrated his penalty with no keeper doing the Max Power dance.
All good fun.
After all the Wigan street parties had quietened down, the like of which haven’t been seen since Princess Di got married, we all wondered what we’d do next. And if Perkins had scored in the last game, those street parties would have gone on all summer, and we may have missed out on a dreary Euro 2016; oh Perks, why didn’t you score?
But the dreary Euro 2016 came and thankfully went. All teams other Wales, Iceland and Albania were coached by a Mr J Moriniho, who gave a stunning display of parking the coaches. Wales, Iceland and Albania were, I have it on good authority, coached by an unknown Mr Caldwellsson and a part time Icelandic dentist. First of all he told them to forget about football but to concentrate on getting to know each other, then he played some team building games, then he thought about football and then he said…. go and have fun. Watching those 3 teams simply brought memories of last season flooding back, with goal after goal resembling Griggsson goal against Shrewsbury, Macalenysson’s goal against Walsall, Leonssson’s goal against Chesterfield (not the own goal) and best of all was a perfect copy of THAT goal Sir Ben scored. Sign the Icelanders, Gary!
I know for a fact that these 3 teams had every one of Wigan’s games on video. We are that good. Clearly Portugal had a peep at the Wigan video simply to realise ‘who needs Ronaldo when Eder can score like Oh Yanicsson Wildschutsson at Walsall’. Just a shame he didn’t score with an ‘eder. I was however, surprised not see any post it notes being used.
But before we move away from the dreary Euro’s tell me, what on earth do those guys who stand on the goal line do, apart from nothing and get the best posy in the house. They don’t even get a flag to wave.
Most impressive though was the Icelandic fans who had developed Wigan’s oooh aaah chant when we get a corner, to something very similar but with an above head clap. Our influence goes from the pitch up into the stands.
We saw the usual brilliant reffing from Mark Clatterberg, something we have always enjoyed or endured at the DW. He couldn’t even decide which hand touched the ball in the final in the penalty area despite both being very different colours. Match fixing is alive and well at the Stade as well as the DW.
Its all in the build up, and in true Wigan style we never want to peak too soon.
So now we move onto the new season. We were pleased to hear that a friend of Coyle, Knoyle had joined. He was on the verge of foyleing the opposition but has already got injured without even getting on the boyle and kicking a ball. I’d been hoping for a bit more Loylty after a season of toyling hard, but it is going to take a woyle now. I was expecting him to poyle in the goals, and begoyle the opposition. But it doesn’t look as if it’ll happen. Neil Warnock has been on the botox and still plays amazingly for his advanced years, so good in fact he’s been signed. Like the rest of us, who love Sharpie and Gary so much, Nick Powell and Ryan Taylor are knocking on the door and Emlyn Hughes has promised that his allegiance is with THE MIGHTY ‘TICS!! Some (well, maybe one of us) of us would love my MOM FA Cup Finalist Roger Roger back, as well as ‘Jordi scores when he wants’……….. We’ll live in hope; and hope for another meteoric rise up the table, starting about December, remember it’s all in the build-up and we never like to peak too soon.
Pre –season has started with a game against Liverpool….. It was a gorgeous afternoon with hot sun shining. A Liverpool lad decided to have a swim in the canal. So we got off to a good start. The Wigan Central had a good a mixture of a good prognosis for the season. It is all going to be either:
OR a typical
There was an outrageous number of police plus horses, which bearing in mind it was a friendly it looked as if they were expecting WW3 to start. I worry that Greater Manchester police will have not enough law enforcers for a match day.
It was not far off a sell-out. About 20,000 – a good deal more than match day last season.
Both managers had clearly told everyone not to either injure themselves or the opposition. Klop had told the ref that Liverpool needed to practice their free kicks, so Wigan were penalised for every tackle.
The 1st team attackers were played on Saturday v Manure. The Liverpool game was set up to give our defence a chance to defend in the box, and not give away penalties, which on the whole they did pretty well. Wigan enjoyed the help of our 12th player on the pitch, the cross bar.
The second goal was a tad unfair …. rotten tactics meant that smoke bombs, or e cigs, came in, the fog was so thick that poor young Nicholls couldn’t see the ball – the fog was so thick.
Yanic had some great Yanic type runs which I didn’t like to see, because if I thought they were good, then I’m sure Prem Managers will have liked it – and before 1st Sept he’ll be on his way.
Last season Gary told us he had ‘an idea’, and he saved it ’til Christmas. A new trailer load of ‘post-it’ notes have been ordered. We learnt that bringing on subs is a rubbish idea. Within 3o seconds of Davies coming on – Liverpool had scored.
It was a nice relaxing and fun afternoon which gave us a good chance to play against a team who were good at keeping possession, quick with the ball and doing some nice intricate passing. I’m sure Gary will now be asking his son what to do in training this week. No one made a mess of things, and everyone seemed to make a good effort considering it was a friendly. I didn’t leave feeling full of gloom….. so the omens are good.
And now we head off for Bristol on Aug 8 with cracking memories of last season which helped to paste over the disaster of the previous season. So, off we go optimistically in to a season in THE CHAMPIONSHIP. Remember, as we are reminded before kick-off every home game …. the song ‘every little thing’s going to be alright, don’t worry about a thing, ‘cos every little thing is going to be alright’.
And whilst you are hear….. I’m going to run the Wigan 10 km on September 4th. It’s in aid of WIGAN ATHLETIC COMMUNITY TRUST …… If you fancy sponsoring me you can easily go to my ‘Just Giving’ page and pledge as much as you feel able. I think you go to ‘Just Giving’ and search for ‘IhaventaclueRichard’ or: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/IhaventaclueRichard
I’ll be at Wigan Central after the run, and if you make yourself known to me as a kind generous person …… I’ll buy you a drink.