July 16, 2024
Pigeons on steps

"Do you think we could bill Coyle for the cleanup costs?" "Nah, just borrow some pigeons from Wallgate."

"Do you think we could bill Coyle for the cleanup costs?" "Nah, just borrow some pigeons from Wallgate."
“Do you think we could bill Coyle for the cleanup costs?” “Nah, just borrow some pigeons from Wallgate.”

So the Coyle experiment is over, but at what cost? Forget that horrendous run of results, it’s the veritable pigeon’s banquet of Krispy Kreme doughnut crumbs spread across the DW upholstery like a light sprinkling of snow we should worry about. Very seasonal, but a pain to remove without a whole DIY store of jet washers and carpet shampoo.

While volunteers were lathering up the Head and Shoulders (other mint-flavoured soft drinks are available), the Wigan Athletic roadshow log-rolled its way ‘Dahhhn Sahhf’ (copyright Danny Dyer). That’s supposedly how they built those Moai statues on Easter Island without the aid of sophisticated technology, don’t you know.

I’m not suggesting northern settlements are primitive, but I often stare at the remnants of my wooden cooker and wonder if they can afford plastic ones in more affluent areas. They once had a live demonstration stand for Aga cookers in Bolton town centre and I thought those £4,000 Dr Who machines were top secret government projects.

I suppose this says more about my general intelligence than access to technology, however. The fact I missed the opening half an hour because ‘I thought the game was on Sunday’ seems to suggest the former is closer to reality, so it may be a good idea to look elsewhere for a professional review of this afternoon’s showdown in the Lions’ Den. In fact, it’s a miracle you’re still reading after all that irrelevance.

At least I *admit* to making stuff up…

Guess which one's Russian
Guess which one’s been to Russia. (c)Gallardoval

With no point of reference for those ‘missing’ 30 minutes, here’s how I imagine things went. Just before kickoff, suited representatives from the Pools panel strode onto the pitch, signalling like Aussie rules football umpires. This meant Millwall were awarded a goal head start due to Wigan’s overall pantsness, prompting pantomime cheers and cries of ‘oh no it isn’t!’. Sadly, my friend, it was all too real.

Steve Morison claimed the hosts’ early Christmas gift of a goal, though the official scorecard says ‘Freebie, 2 minutes’. Who is this bloke, and how soon can we sign him?

Someone must have been playing around with a photocopier at the Latics Xmas party, because the period 30-65 minutes was a rough facsimile of the same passage of play against Leeds on Wednesday. Heartened by the fact they hadn’t been knocked out before this time (not literally, of course), Wigan’s definite improvement was characterised by a greater slice of the possession pie. (Obligatory stealth pastry reference — check.)

Looney Tunes Adventures

It’s one thing to own an Aga, it’s a whole other thing to know how to use it. Millwall keeper David Forde enjoyed a toasted sandwich (possibly ham) in front of Grandstand –or whatever the BBC show on Saturday afternoons these days–, occasionally disturbing the game’s non-resting participants with a chortle at Bugs Bunny’s antics.

In my own convoluted way, I’m trying to suggest Wigan never really troubled the goalie. The opposition goalie, that is – Scott Carson could be witnessed fumbling around on many an occasion. Nerves will do that to you, I guess.

And goals will certainly make you nervous. Jermaine Easter’s 84th minute strike might have ended the game, but Forde was still chewing on his sarnie when James McArthur somehow beat him (not literally, of course) at his right hand post. What’s that, a Wigan goal?! This is not allowed, surely?

500 words and no sheep puns?

Alex Ferguson is not concerned about whatever's going on at the Wigan bench
Alex Ferguson considers a future as manager of Wigan. For 0.5 seconds.

No matter how poorly you are playing, you still have to try and increase your attacking threat in the final five minutes, Roberto (cough). Thankfully Wigan did so, drawing a creditable save from the invigorated Ford, who tipped the ball over the bar with one hand whilst monitoring Des Lynam’s videprinter updates with a portable television in the other. Modern multitasking at its finest to deny Leon Barnett a plucky equaliser.

The game, however, was as auxiliary as I made it sound with my usual flippant commentary. I won’t go so far as to say that even Alex Ferguson would have been sacked in Coyle’s situation, but Wigan Athletic’s current form would be enough to ruin the managerial career of many a shorts-wearing, Irn Bru-chugging Scotsman. I grow tired of these losses, so bring on the next boss, please.

Second opinion

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