So, I would write some sort of a pseudo-serious match preview with injuries and that here, but I’m gonna leave that up to the guys that know about this sort of thing to report with integrity and impartiality. Instead, I believe I shall have a bit of a blather about… well, not much.
As a Wigan Athletic supporter, this weekend has been somewhat depressing for me. Not only am I suffering from the final throes of laryngitis, but just to rub it in we’ve had the town’s sunniest weekend of the year, throughout which I have been forced to watch other teams battling it out in both the league and FA Cup on the boob tube.
Yep, for some reason we’re scheduled to play on a Monday night this week. As I sit here goofing off, erm, I mean typing away on my keyboard, the sun is shining through the blinds and I’m once again forced to stay indoors. By the time 7PM rolls around, it’ll no doubt be minus 3 degrees as I make my way down to the DW for a game that should have been played in glorious sunshine on a Saturday. I like those days, they’re the ones I remember the most; the 3-1 victory over Reading that clinched top flight football; our first Premier League game against Chelsea; the time I missed McCulloch put us 1-0 up against Forest because I was down in the concourse getting a drink (which I had, like, three sips of)…
Well, maybe not all of Latics’ most memorable moments have been blessed with blazing sunshine on a weekend afternoon (Highbury 2006, anyone?), and I’m not saying the weather actually has much of a bearing on how much I enjoy a game, I just find it hard to get motivated for these incessant weekday evening matches.
No doubt today’s attendance will suffer as a result of its Monday scheduling, and the fact it’s on Sky TV doesn’t help much (actually, it’s on ESPN in case anyone’s interested).
Still, the opportunity to drag ourselves from the doldrums with a result against a team in the top half of the table, no matter how remote, offers a sliver of hope amongst the doom and gloom of commercialisation and the fact you might have to take Tuesday morning off work (wait, that’s supposed to be a bad thing?). I bet you’d like to say you were there the time Little Wigan beat the Mighty Liverpool, 36 times champion of Europe and originator of some of the finest exponents of the beautiful game this side of Balaguer?
Well, I know the chances are small, but there’s always some hope. Who knows, maybe this will be the day we turn things around and pull ourselves clear of the dreaded drop zone. Wishful thinking? I do a lot of that, so forgive me.
I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that even when things aren’t looking too rosy and we’re likely to get hammered once again, we ought to get behind the team, because what else can we do? Sit at home and finish off a six pack of Carling? Well, we could if we wanted to but that ain’t our style. Forget the fact the £30 match admission fee is more than half your weekly income and try to enjoy things for once.
Cheer up, it might never happen. Relegation, that is. And who knows? Maybe we’ll be in for a pleasant surprise this evening.