Things we learned this fortnight (18 September 2012) – The Late Edition

Ali Al-Habsi

Al Habsi was beaten four times as Oman were thrashed 4-1 by James McCarthy's Republic of Ireland. Cheer up, Ali!

After a brief hiatus for the international break, Things We Learned is back with a bumper two-week edition. Quite a lot has happened in the 16 days since last we met, though you have to drive that drill just a bit further into the crust to unearth noteworthy discussion points. Or, as I did, slob about while playing Gran Turismo and hope something interesting happens the day I sit down to write. So erm, yeah. Those internet pirates, eh?

Having two ex-Wigan men in the England squad is making at least some impact. Tom Cleverley seems to have taken the (old) Wigan Athletic ethic of ‘miss easy chances’ with him to the international stage, while Leighton Baines must have borrowed the boots Franco Di Santo used during his ‘Di Flecto’ period. Must also be the reason why Bainesy was removed with a good chunk of the game remaining a la Franco 2010.

Franco Di Santo applause

Franco has made that No. 7 shirt his own

Speaking of whom, rumours abound regarding Franco Di Santo and his looming contract expiration. With less than twelve months to run on Franctastico’s current deal, West Ham might well be interested – if you believe all you read (here’s a tip: don’t). It’s intriguing that just one year ago, nobody would have even considered approaching the goal-starved Argentine, but a great spell in the Latics first team has thrust him into the limelight. Verdict: paper talk, but something to keep an eye on.

Agh, do we have to talk about Saturday’s game some more? Let’s get it over quickly and painlessly…

Danny Welbeck is more proficient at getting penalties at Old Trafford than Wembley. We should henceforth switch all England home games to the Theatre of Dreams to accommodate this fact.

There, that will do, won’t it? :P Looks like Stretford End Arising had a much easier time of it, so if you’re up for reliving the torture once more, be my guest. That’s a great blog, by the way. Much better than the one you’re reading now.

Roman Golobart, who is currently on loan at Tranmere, used a recent Wigan Today interview to have a pop at Scottish lower league pitches. There was likely no malice in his comment, but it can easily be taken the wrong way:

“That style of football, in bad weather and on awful pitches, was hard, but I like to think I proved myself up there.”

Maybe it’s just me and my love of playing devil’s advocate. Expect to see possibly the largest member of Roberto’s Spanish Armada in the centre of defence on the DW Stadium’s pristine turf some time in the future.

Picture of the week:

The Sharpy's Fish and Chips Stand

It's official: The North Stand is now "The Sharpy's Fish and Chips Stand"

Aaaand finally, to end on a weblog backslapping note, thanks to TalkSport who featured last week’s JWAW Things We Learned on their blog on 3 September. I wonder if it got a mention on the radio too? This backwater site is truly going up in the world, y’all!

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