Lose to Swansea, beat West Brom. Lose to Bradford, beat Reading. Should this continue we may be disappointed by this afternoon’s game. The need for consistency is paramount if we are to be genuine contenders.
Wigan are struggling as they often do at this time of the season; fortunately, they have a knack of picking up points close to season’s end and thus escaping relegation.
Just 80k people live in Wigan which is a testament to the brilliant job done by the management, both at team and board level. Especially as this is Rugby League country, a town where football is for nancyboys. Wigan Rugby club have been World Champions 3 times which is astonishing.
The football club will always be in the shadow of the Warriors but nonetheless are a club to be admired. Formed in 1932 they are the youngest club in the PL. In 1995 when Dave Whelan bought Wigan they were a 4th Division team sitting 83rd in the 92 club league, yet just 10 years later they made it to the PL. Back in ’95 their average attendance was 1,800, now it is almost 19,000 – a huge success for a small club.
I do not know very much about Dave Whelan but he has done a great job for his club and his support of his managers is a lesson to other trigger-happy owners. Roberto Martinez has also done well given the constraints he works under; he is destined for bigger clubs and bigger budgets.
As to AFC: The only question is whether AW will continue with Theo playing in the middle. My guess is No – I expect to see Giroud start and Theo back on the wing but with license to venture infield. The problem with this is that Ox doesn’t start and I think he needs to get a run of games to re-establish himself, alongside Jack, as the futures of English football.
Koscielny is fit again but I cannot see AW starting him today. I believe the Kos/BFG partnership is our best CB pairing, whether Mr Wenger agrees remains to be seen.
The 5 midweek signings were a sign of the future for AFC. A sign of the media narrative – that AFC are in crisis and AW has lost support of both the fans and the dressing room, is the obsession about Theo. Please, please, please Theo either stay or go. The uncertainty must be a negative around the club – if we ask the question do you imagine his team-mates don’t? I would send Frimpong round to Dench him.
Right onto the important stuff: Today’s English Explorer. Sir Walter William Herbert (1934 – 2007). Usually our explorers are long dead but Wally Herbert was lucky enough to enjoy The Invincibles. He is described as the Greatest Polar Explorer of our Time.
Herbert , not the American Robert Peary, was the first person to walk to the North Pole – it took two years (1968/9) to complete the 3,800 mile return trip and he was forced to winter on the ice. Peary’s claims have been disputed since Herbert, as the great Polar expert, was asked to write a biography about Peary. He discovered that there were huge discrepancies in Peary’s account of his journey and that it would have been impossible for Peary to complete his walk. Thus Herbert became the first man to walk to the North Pole. Having spent 15 years living and exploring the Polar cap and in the process walked and sailed over 23,000 miles Herbert retired to become a renowned author and artist. He was knighted in 2000.
Beard. Moustache. Ice. Knighthood.
My hope is that the euphoria of the players surviving the End of the World scare will promote a fine performance. The Mayans have predicted 3 points.
p.s. Ryo has only played 3 games for Wigan in an injury plagued season. He is currently out with an ankle injury.
Written by Big Raddy