Wigan Revisited

Posted by dandan

Strange as it may seem, sometimes being a football fan can be a very lonely business.

Although you are one of millions of like-minded souls if you support a major club like Arsenal, it is still possible to be terribly alone in your own home, perched in front of the TV. Watching moments of triumph and disaster unfold in front of you, particularly when your partner or housemates have no interest or real understanding of just how important these events are. The sheer joy of the interaction with friend or foe being an essential part of the football experience, win or lose the verbal interface increases the agony and the ecstasy and makes the moment unforgettable.

Blogs like this one help immensely if you are lucky enough to have access to the Internet at home. Indeed it was a chance remark from one of our poster’s today, that he goes to sleep thinking of the Arsenal that got me thinking about this.

In my working life I covered some 50,000 miles a year by car in this country alone, always listening to 5 live, I must have clocked up thousands of hours over the years as I drove on Autopilot through the 8 till 10 slot, night after night, heading for home or a hotel bed.

Supporting a club like Arsenal meant that I got more than my share of live commentary’s as we usually did well in all four competitions and were constantly on midweek radio. But still it was not the same, how often did I get strange looks from the occupants of the other cars as I yelled and cheered my way through city traffic. But that is the point, those cheers were nothing but silent mouthing’s to all those who saw me and though I knew the old stadium they were describing, like the back of my hand it still wasn’t the same I was not part of the action.

So where does Wigan come into this, well all you who rail and rant at the what you saw as the capitulation of our club that day, think of all those poor buggers who couldn’t see, but only hear at 70 MPH on some motorway and just how bad they must have felt and know how lucky you were just to be there.

Now one of our posters described it as Snatching Defeat out of the Jaws of Victory, which brought to mind this super poem by Peter Goulding, a real football fan in Ireland who saw his team cock up their run in and lose the last match of the season that would have gained them promotion.

Gloom upon gloom

Snatching defeat out of victory’s jaws,
We threw it away once again.
Draws became losses and wins became draws
And all we have left is the pain.

We thought for a while we’d get out on parole
And walk out, head high, from this jail.
But promotion remains an impossible goal
And suddenly we’re looking frail.

Condemned once again to spend twelve months or more
In this cold and despicable prison,
Staring at walls and the cold concrete floor,
While others in here have arisen.

Conditions down here defy human rights,
The rations decidedly meagre
The minutes tick slow in this cold, lonely nights,
When you’re sentenced to be a low-leaguer.

© Peter Goulding 29th November 2009

So you Gooners how would you be feeling today if that had been your fate. Be happy we have another year in the top flight coming up.

52 Responses to Wigan Revisited

  1. Morning all

    A nice bit of nostalgia from dandan for a Thursday morning. When we all starting blogging together I realised that this was the best free therapy around – long may it last 😉

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Wonderful DD.

  3. Alfa says:

    Dandan, classy post, pure poetry throughout, not just the poem.

    Listening to a commentary on Internet radio in some remote country, or watching a match at 3 in the morning in a hotel room on a channel where you can’t even identify the language gives a similar feeling.

  4. London says:

    Hmmmm Morning Dandan

    Consider relegation, seems a bit like asking us to consider hell, I am not sure I believe that either really exists.

    I jest, another enjoyable read.

  5. London says:

    Morning Chary (from previous page)

    Good point: there is some real competition for places up front now.

    I rate Djourou higher than most so if Gallas stays I am happy with the back line. I fully expect Sol to stay as well as your favourite French man.

    I really cannot see Wenger adding to the midfield on the basis that Fabregas stays of course.

    Wenger doesn’t give up on players quickly, it is one of the reasons why Walcott and Ramsey chose Arsenal over Chelsea and manu and it is for this reason I do not expect to see a new goal keeper; he will stick with Fabianski.

    In short, I think if Gallas and Fabregas stay our transfer business for the summer is done.

    The only previso I would add is if a real bargin comes up, Wenger can’t resist a two or three mil special (Diarra).

    As a fan I will always want the squad to be strengthend but if it stays like this I won’t go into the next season moaning.

  6. Alfa says:

    I wonder if Cesc listens to Cinc de Ràdio Viva on his mobile while on the way back from Wigan? 😆

  7. London says:

    Morning Alfa

    That is a funny thought.

  8. Big Raddy says:

    I empathise fully with the sentiments of being alone and lonely.

    As an ex-pat one of the things I miss most is my attendance at THOF. The build up, my footie mates (most of whom go back well over 20 years), the pre-match beers, the comraderie and post match wind down. Highs and lows shared.

    I loved the first sentence upon meeting of “How is the family?” immediately followed by “What do think of our chances today?” without the opportunity to answer the first question.

    Commonality, a shared experience.

    But if I cannot be there, then the Blogs and this one in particular, are a wonderful second best.

  9. Alfa says:

    Morning London.

    I’m with you on the likely transfer activity but you’ve known my pessimistic view of Arsenal’s finances for a long time. Of course things are getting a bit better now but am I right in thinking from some of your recent comments that you are tending more towards accepting that we were in a tougher situation financially than the club let on at the time? And that we still aren’t out of the woods (although a lot better than most).

    Not wanting to open the whole debate up again, just interested in your point of view.

  10. kelsey says:

    Again a nice piece of nostalgia dandan..

  11. London says:


    I think you are right; hindsight has made things a bit clearer.

    Wenger went fishing in January; the bait was the statement we are looking for a new striker. If David Villa had said that he would have like to join Arsenal I believe that the club would have found the money. Does that mean we could afford him, well yes, I suppose it does.

    I could write for hours on this but I think the financial side bores most people.

  12. London says:

    I’m not going down the lonely road today too depressing and besides when you have found Arsenal, you are never alone.

  13. Alfa says:

    London, thanks, good point about Villa.

    Great quote from Bobby on Sky today:

    He told Catalan Radio Station Ona FM: “I don’t think that Arsenal are going to allow Cesc to leave.

    “Cesc is the image of Arsenal. I’ll bet that we will once again see Cesc in an Arsenal shirt.

    “If we see a great Cesc today it’s because Arsene Wenger has great confidence in him, as such I don’t see Cesc leaving Arsenal.”

    Asked whether Fabregas would force the club to put his transfer through, Pires added: “I don’t think so, because he’s a very good kid, he has a very good education and knows that he’s got to where he has today thanks to Wenger and to the confidence the team has in him.”

  14. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Wonderful post dandan – just what the doctor ordered.

    In traditional ‘Rasp style’ I am now going to do a 180 and say that I believe Cesc is going to stay – cue Raddy to say I told you so 😛

  15. London says:

    Is it possible to love Pires even more?

  16. London says:

    Morning Rasp

    Nothing wrong with a 180, especially when is comes round to what I have been saying all along, you should trust me more 😉

  17. Rasp says:

    Hi London,

    OK, I will believe everything you say from now on … so tell me – are we going to buy a goalkeeper? 😆

  18. Alfa says:


    what changed your mind? Some insider information or was it just a good day at the show 🙂

  19. Alfa says:

    London, Bobby’s comment showed the pure Arsenal class you are always talking about. That last paragraph doesn’t just remind everyone what Cesc owes the club, it also makes it clear that leaving would show a lack of education and class on his part.

    Bobby is available by the way, can we get him back on a ‘Sol’? 🙂

  20. Rasp says:

    Morning Alfa,

    Actually it was just sifting through the reports and trying to decide which were total fabrication, which were journalistic slant and which may have had a modicum of truth. But what finally swayed me was what Cesc said, although as I mentioned last night, some sites have construed thjat as ‘he’s going’ and some as ‘he’s staying’

  21. dandan says:

    Morning all.

    I am sorry about that kelsey the post was really meant as a two fold statement and cheer up, that despite all the complaining of some who go to matches they are still in the final analysis so much better off than others, who for so many reasons cant.
    Obviously there is no one alive who has been put through the wringer in quite the same way as the guy in the poem. because the Arsenal have not been there in that time. Count our blessings with us mate if you can cos the Arsenal world is really a special place

  22. Rasp says:

    Alfa, we should get Bobby back, TH14, DB, Sol etc and start a veterans league 😉

  23. Alfa says:


    can you imagine us being 2-1 down against the Mancs with 25 minutes to go, then through some quirk of the rules AW bringing TH14,DB, Freddy, PV on and we win 3-2?

    Then TA takes out Rooney in injury time when he looks certain to score.

    Then I woke up 😦

  24. London says:


    Bad news……no new goal keeper.

  25. Rasp says:

    OK London, (that is my view too), so who is going to be the No.1 and who is going to be the No.2 choice for next season?

    I’d still want us to offload a keeper (Almunia) and start with Fab2 as No.1 and Chesney as No.2 but slowly bring Chesney into the side.

  26. tommystout says:

    Morning folks.. good post DD, is that a first for poetry on this blog, nice touch.
    London – No GK? that upsets me deeply!
    On another website today legrove they have it on good authority that green is a done deal after the world cup!
    I take gossip talk with a pinch of salt, how do you view this websites opinions and their claims to know people on the inside?

  27. Rasp says:


    Like the new avatar – what’s it all about?

  28. SharkeySure says:

    Still maintaining your own high standards Dan Dan…in a word …..brilliant !!

    I stand by my comment of last week re Cesc. Barca just don’t need to be buying another player for so much money, even if they had the cash to do so, which I seriously doubt they have.

    Imagine still owing Inter money for Ibrahimovich long after you’ve sold him on for for less than a third of his purchase value, then going back to the Bank for more finance.

    Surely even Barca aren’t that crazy.

  29. Rasp says:

    Morning tommy,

    We’ve had poetry on before, I’m just crocheting a baroque tapestry to go at the top of the page 😛

  30. SharkeySure says:

    Oops….Morning All

  31. kelsey says:

    I have deleted the comment, as it’s my problem none of yours.I apologise, i should not have said it on an open forum.

  32. London says:


    Wenger will start with Almunia and contunue to introduce Fabainski……no change.

    What I would like? Well that is a comepletely different question.

    Morning Tommy

    “How do I view these websites opinions and their claims to know people on the inside?”

    My answer starts with the letter b, ends in the letter s and has two ll’s in the middle.

  33. Morning again

    London – she blogs in her best girlie whining voice – are you sure about no new goalkeeper?

  34. Morning kelsey – hows the weather, seriously hot yet?

  35. London says:

    Morning Peaches

    Of course not, there was a time about three years ago when I was actually wrong about something 😉

  36. andy says:

    Nice post DD. I have supported The Arsenal as long as I can remember but have only ever seen them in the flesh 3 times so cant relate too much to the missing the atmosphere part but defo about people not understanding how important it is to you. My wife says “Is it an important game” every time we play and every time I answer with “EVERY GAME IS IMPORTANT” in a slightly more irritated manner each time !

  37. SharkeySure says:

    “how do you view this websites opinions and their claims to know people on the inside?”

    With a big fat dollop of whole hearted and well founded scepticism !!!!

    No doubt its the same guy who swore that Carlton Cole was a done deal in Jan, even though Cole was still out injured !

  38. andy says:

    Robert Green will be our no1 at the start of 2010/11 and Fabianski no 2. Mark my words…..Oh and Upson and Melo 2 (still hoping)

  39. tommystout says:

    morning rasp/ london. i hope you are wrong about the keepers. though i do want almunia to leave. I feel that fab2 will be targeted by obstruction tactics from now on, how would wenger counter this treatment… or is it something that be prevented by the defenders!??

  40. tommystout says:

    hope you are right andy, though i am not bothered about upson, i’d prefer mertsacker!

  41. andy says:

    Tommy. Me 2 i think but Upson will be cheaper therefore more likely. Also be good to bring them in as a settled partnership. My head tells me it probably wont happen but can but live in hope.

  42. tommystout says:

    so why am i marking your words andy that green will be our new No.1, are you a man in the know? 🙂

  43. Rasp says:

    I liked the look of intense concentration on Green’s face in the tunnel for the England game – none of the nervous twitching and fidgeting you see with Almunia

  44. Rasp says:

    I’d still rather have Joe Hart 😦

  45. andy says:

    haha Tommy no just have a fresh optimism this season. Just guessing same as every1 else.

  46. Alfa says:

    Tommys, put it this way, if Peter Hill-Wood rang me and told me that Robert Green was definitely on his way, I would still be thinking ‘maybe’ and that is no disrespect to Mr. Hill-Wood, just a reflection of the reality of uncertain situations and not relying too much on other peoples’ perceptions.

    By the time you have Chinese whispers of rumours being passed around I think it is best to assume that nothing you read on a blog has any truth in it unless it has already happened.

    Or as London puts it better, a load of brollies.

    (That is what you meant London?)

  47. Alfa says:

    Rasp, just fancied a change. It hasn’t appeared on my computer yet.

  48. dandan says:

    England 7 for 1 cook got dodgy LBW

  49. Rasp says:

    I had a dodgy decision the other day when the bowler took my middle stump out 🙄

  50. Rohan says:

    Hang your head in shame, Rasp. 😀

  51. SharkeySure says:

    Hey Rohan,

    Do you bring any news/updates from ‘The Madhouse’..?? I can hardly bare to read it myself these days.

  52. Rasp says:

    The lines of communiucation were slightly crossed today – so we’ve put up a new post from Rocky for the rest of the day.

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