As Gary Lineker introduced Match of the Day describing how the biggest match in world football took place on Saturday and would be shown first, I was delighted that the Wigan vs Bolton derby had finally been recognised as a proper rivalry. Unfortunately, he was referring to that other lot from Merseyside and their rivals from Manchester. Typical.
Despite not being quite as feisty as a traditional Liverpool vs United affair, it is slightly frustrating how a lot of football fans wouldn’t even recognise Wigan vs Bolton as a particularly interesting derby. Try telling Brian Griffiths that.
Ask any Wigan fan who they despise most and the majority will say Bolton Wanderers, only after the fact that Wigan Warriors don’t count had been pointed out. Personally I’d say Stoke City or Man Utd, but derbies are more of a territorial thing than a hatred matter aren’t they?
Either way, Bolton fans and Wiganers aren’t too fond of each other as a general rule of thumb, and the Lancashire derby is considered our biggest of the season. It’s a shame we don’t win too many of these derbies isn’t it?
Although draws have been on the agenda in recent meetings between ourselves and Bolton (or the filth, whichever you personally refer to them as), the whole attraction of a local derby is earning the bragging rights and rubbing your mates’ noses in it. If you have any ‘mates’ from Bolton that is, some are just too prejudiced for it.
It was about time that one team earned the bragging rights as they were shared after a 1-1 draw at the Reebok in January being the most recent affair (besides the 1-0 cup replay defeat, but nobody cares about the FA Cup nowadays do they?); it was just a shame that it wasn’t us that earned them. Bloody rubbish Wigan.
That phrase may be used more in an ironic context than a serious moan but it wouldn’t be a bad analysis of Latics’ performance on Saturday. Especially when considering common sense ball retention in the defensive third.
I think it’s fair to say someone with half a brain and the footballing knowledge of Maurice Lindsay might appreciate the dangers of giving the ball away to the opposition in such an area, Steve Gohouri and Antolin Alcaraz seem to be less aware of this concept, as we found to our disadvantage on Saturday.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for short passing and building from the back, but there’s a time and a place where you need to give it a big John Smith style hoof and clear your lines.
It wasn’t just on Saturday that this was Latics’ demise. Two weeks ago at Villa Park, both Aston Villa’s goals came from giving the ball away cheaply in midfield.
All three of Bolton’s goals came from careless and sloppy passing which left the defence with little hope from there on in. The three goalscorers all scored their first ever Bolton goals against Wigan on Saturday, isn’t that just typical? It wasn’t the first time either, think back to Andranik Teymourian, Rodrigo and the likes. You can now add Nigel Reo-Coker, David N’Gog and Chris Eagles to that list.
I try to be as positive as humanely possible when it comes to Wigan (which is a challenge) because nobody enjoys reading aimless rants every week (hint hint message board users) but it’s becoming increasingly difficult this season.
That solitary win against QPR at the DW back in August seems a long time ago, since then we’ve seen the revelations of Arsenal losing 8-2 at Old Trafford; Titus Bramble being accused of rape and class A drug possession and most incredibly, Everton actually signing a player.
Without N’Zogbia and Rodallega, Wigan seem to lack attacking threat and this mood of concern has spread throughout the line up.
Caldwell and whoever partners him look indecisive at the back, especially Alcaraz, Gohouri, Figueroa… actually, everyone!
The midfield lacks energy and drive due to the poor form of McCarthy, Watson et al and Moses is very inconsistent.
At least we’ve got a decent keeper though, he can even save Kevin Davies’ penalties. Best of all though, he f***ing hates Bolton apparently. Perfect.
I’ve not got to the stage where I’m applying for my darkside membership yet, but I’m not too confident in the team. It could be worse though, it could be Preston.
Moving onwards swiftly before I drive myself into suicide mode, and I’m sorry guys, but it’s another gripe.
Before the international break, I typed about the trip to Villa Park and the crazy sitting down fiasco, as if it’s became a crime to stand up in public. Well, it appears the level of petulance has been turned up a notch.
I stumbled across an article on the web yesterday, with a link to a youtube video, which reported on the injustice and outrage of how this sitting down nonsense had escalated and an elderly man had unfairly been made an example of on Saturday at Manchester City.
Ironically, the opposition again was Aston Villa, and whilst stewards were insistent that fans sat down, over 3,000 away fans and thousands of home supporters surrounding this man also failed to follow some quite frankly pathetic rules.
The stewards then called for the police who forced the man out of the stadium as he struggled to the ground. The man, who suffers from heart problems, was unfairly taken advantage of after City’s opening goal, scored by Mario Balotelli.
The supporter was then manhandled and forced out of the ground, despite being no different to thousands of others around him. This is of course an absolute joke and a total outrage which should not be tolerated.
For those that are bothered, here’s a link to the youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po0dZfS2CDg&feature=player_embedded
Again, ironically, one of the most recent comments is from a fan who claims he’s “never been told to sit down at Villa Park”.
Obviously he’s not an away supporter then!
For you traveling Latics, enjoy the trip to the toon, and I’ll be back next Monday. I’ve only one request, make sure you stand up at all costs despite what those stewards might insist!
Goal of the Week: Either of the excellent free kicks from Robin Van Persie and Seb Larsson, Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal
Jason Roberts of the Week: It has to be Paul Scharner, typically eccentric, he revealed a t-shirt with a kid’s drawing of a West Brom badge following Albion’s 2-0 win against Wolves. In what was probably meant as a light hearted gesture, Mick McCarthy took it the wrong way and has criticised Scharner since. Scharns has since revealed the t-shirt will be auctioned off for charity, what’s the problem Mick?
Jason Scotland of the Week: Ryan Giggs isn’t usually a contender for this award, but what on earth was he doing on the end of United’s wall for Steven Gerrard’s free-kick? If all walls fell apart that easily then I think most brickies would be out of the job pretty sharpish.
Quote of the Week: Guy Mowbray’s rather harsh reference to a footballing icon takes the gold medal this week: “Now on to a different kind of old boy: Emile Heskey.”
Boselli Watch: After Callum McManaman’s loan deal to Blackpool, Martinez is on the look out for a new striker, Boselli’s ears are burning.