Seven years in, and will they ever learn? Or maybe it’s not a learning issue; maybe it’s the fact that they simply can’t be bothered looking up the facts about Wigan Athletic.

Rarely does a pre-season blog from a self-professed expert, a thread on a rival team’s forum, or the general patter in football circles amongst those who should know better, avoid the steaming pile of ignorance and tiresome misconceptions that has been trod in time and time again over the years.

Bloggers, fans, pundits, by all means come in and learn a bit about Wigan Athletic, but for heaven’s sake please wipe your feet. After seven seasons of the same doo-doo, it’s getting harder and harder to get the stains out of the carpet.

So, let’s begin the lesson with some general stuff:

Wigan is situated between Liverpool and Manchester. It is not particularly close to Blackpool despite what I read on another club’s forum last week. Maybe you have driven through Beech Hill and that’s what confused you. (Beech Hill does have a hill, but no beach. Also, there are no donkeys, but you could probably get your hands on an ass or two if you gave it a go.)

Second point: Wigan is not a rugby town, and the only true rugby town that I’m aware of is Rugby. Like most places a majority of the inhabitants prefer football, unfortunately, not necessarily Wigan Athletic. We also do happen to have a good Rugby League team, but as Leeds also have a good Rugby League team and Cardiff have a good Rugby Union team, would you consider them to be rugby cities?

Next lesson: footballers rarely actually live anywhere near their team’s stadium. This point should be considered by all those from a London club who were in competition with us for a player recently, and whose supporters aired their derision with their ‘Why would he chose to live in Wigan?’ comments. Simple answer – he hasn’t; he’s just chosen to play football here, in the same way that if I got a job as a toilet attendant I wouldn’t set up home in one of the cubicles. As it happens, there are some lovely areas of Wigan, but unfortunately they don’t have a sufficient quantity of Wetherspoons or kebab shops to attract your average away supporter, so you’re unlikely to ever see them.

Onto the subject of relegation: Wigan have been favourites to do down for the past seven years, so predicting it is not a newsworthy revelation. I suppose we should be grateful we even get a mention, but next time you blog, write and speculate, along with the winners and who will be relegated, why not include your predictions for mid-table obscurity and we’ll be delighted to be included?

In the past we have lost many of our best players such as Bullard, Roberts, Heskey, Palacios, Valencia and N’Zogbia to the accompanying choruses of ‘Best player gone? You’re doomed!’. But yet again to your utter dismay, when you peep through your curtains, we’re standing in your garden bouncing a football in our hands waiting for you to come out and play.

And let’s go marching into this season:

I’ll start with young Victor Moses: honestly, he is not as influential as Match Of The Day make out. As skilful as he is, he more often than not fails to deliver an end product, and vanishes in a puff of smoke if things aren’t going his way. He could be a fantastic player; could be, but isn’t yet. He will be missed however, because unless Gomez is playing, the crowd will have nobody to swear at.
Also on the subject of Victor Moses: he is not a winger – despite what it may describe him as on the internet and in newspapers, and realistically, he never will be a winger. A winger crosses the ball.
Moses isn’t keen on that part of the game. In fact, while Hannibal was crossing the Alps on elephants, Victor was trying to dribble his way over. Victor easily passed his medical when he signed for Wigan. Unfortunately, it was the last thing he did pass whilst at the club.

This next one is a simple point: we have two players at the club whose names are very similar, they being James McCarthy and James McArthur. If giving your valid expert opinion, please try to get the right one: (published on a blog-site this week) ‘James McArthur started his career at Wigan like a house on fire but he has failed to sustain those high levels. Despite being a regular starter last term, he contributed little to Wigan’s survival in the Premier League’

Maybe the house on fire bit is a hint that McArthur worked as a fireman for the first three months of his Wigan career because he was rarely seen, and as the fire station is across the road from the stadium he could easily have combined the two jobs for a bit of extra cash. When he did start playing regularly however, he was pivotal to the team’s survival, and his form kept Diame out of the side – which brings me nicely onto the next point…

Diame and Rodallega have indeed left the club in order to further develop their careers and seek a new challenge, which roughly translates as ‘to further develop the amount of black ink on their bank statements and seek a new challenge of finding ridiculously expensive things to buy’. Why shine a spotlight on their departures however when neither player featured much in the post-Christmas resurgence? So yes, their warm-up routines and sitting back down on the bench techniques will be sorely missed by us this season, other than that, I think we’ll manage without them.

Rodallega: Hot shot? Sadly not. He was Wigan’s top scorer by virtue of being the club’s longest serving striker. I once won an award in a pineapple throwing competition whilst on holiday. There were only two of us in the competition and the other bloke went to the bar after his first throw. Granted it was my tenth throw that eventually beat him – but I was the one who got the certificate.

And for the attention of bloggers, keyboard warriors and visiting supporters alike:

Yes, our ground is too big for us, but we’ll grow into it.

Yes, they are here and they are there, but if the empty seats are everywhere, that means the away section as well. A bit self-critical if you ask me.

I personally think the ground is okay and given the cool climate in the North West negating the need for air conditioning, I don’t think the issue of no fans is a problem.

No, you’re wrong; we don’t sing at the rugby either.

If it’s such a hole and you want to go home, take a right as you come out of the South Stand, round the car park and follow signs for Wigan North Western. Alternatively, taxis congregate near the Red Robin.

Yes you can sing one for us if you’d like to. Do you know anything by Neil Diamond?

Apparently, we’ve been going down with lots of different people since 2005. The name Gillian Taylforth springs to mind.

A town full of what? Have you seen my sister? I wouldn’t touch her with yours.

If you’re going to blog, comment, and write pieces that contain references to Wigan Athletic, please can you at least come up with something original, and at the very least get some of your facts straight-ish.

We know we are the ugly, snot-faced, gap-toothed kid that the big lads don’t really want at the birthday party, but did you not notice at the end of last season we’ve brushed our hair and had a bath, and we’ve already taken our place at the table and are tucking into the jelly?

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