I heard a joke that made me chuckle today. It went something like: “What’s the difference between a box of matches and Wigan Athletic? A box of matches has a striker.” Forget the fact that rough, sandpapery stuff on a matchbox isn’t officially called a ‘striker’ because it’s only a silly joke.
Besides, it’s now inaccurate as WISH FM apparently announced the signing of French beach soccer sensation Andy Delort minutes before kickoff. Just in time, too, as the completion rate for warmup efforts at Ali and company was worse than Phil Tufnell’s batting average for England… since he retired. By the way, many thanks to @samproe06 on Twitter for reminding me of these preparatory pot shots – you receive a complimentary JWAW chequebook and pen!
B-Men Trilogy Part 2: Commencement
As if buoyed by this exciting news, or maybe to compensate for the lack of a Grant Holt (cough), Latics indulged in a spot of bombardment inside the Birmingham area. Or so I’m told – the hosts’ first attempt came so quickly I was still finishing my pre-match pie in the concourse. Not really, I would never be late for a Latics game… ahem.
But Cowie’s earlier-than-dawn effort set the tone for his side’s almost total domination of a whirlwind opening 20 minutes. As if powered by a ne’er-before-seen military strength supercaffeine, the Latics rubber band sat so tightly around the opposition 18-yard box that the men in red and white daren’t snap it. And they were to pay an extortionate reseller price greater than that paid by myself for three disparate analogies in two sentences.
James Perch tried first, but rued the lack of a little hole in the side netting for his ever-so-slightly misguided strike to slip through. Callum McManaman had no need for such questionable rule-bending, however, as one short minute later he found a gaping hole of a different kind – that between Darren Randolph’s open legs. The acting(?) striker had a third goal of the campaign, which isn’t that bad considering he’s only been playing in 60-minute bursts before kicking back for a hot chocolate and custard cream.
Newcastle ’12 MkII
So far this season, Wigan hadn’t sewn up a game before Macca’s departure from the field of play – moreover, they had usually been behind. But they worked hard to change that statistic, and their reward was rich. Just when Birmingham had repaired their own rubber band, a new imperfection gave way; Andrew Taylor found the post with precision, and in the drop of a jaw the ball was rolling up the inside netting.
Is it any wonder every other paragraph contains the words ‘Callum’, ‘Macca’ or ‘slipperier than summertime moss on your decking’? The man is arguably on better form than you-know-when, and don’t just take it from me – look at the scoreboard. Which is probably switched off by now, but that doesn’t change the fact Our Macc had looted more booty than David Dickinson at a ladies’ boot sale convention. Given a microsecond too much time on the ball, McManaman completed Wigan’s terrific treble in just inside first half stoppage time. And it was the best one yet.
Apparently, Scott Carson was playing in goal this afternoon, but by most accounts he was mostly to be found in Never-Neverland. He awoke just in time to pluck Clayton Donaldson’s header from the damp Lancashire air, but quickly returned to a peaceful slumber. Possibly in which he went to the office in only his underpants again.
When Macca was substituted with 15 minutes to play, his work really *was* done. Men in dark suits and shades bundled him into an unmarked vehicle bound for Ouagadougou until the safety of Tuesday morning… whether anyone was secretly tracking him, we will have to wait to find out.
Back at the DW Stadium, McManaman replacement Shaun Maloney teamed up with fellow sub Martyn Waghorn to manufacture a fourth fairly soon after, and Comeback City was ever-shrinking in the visitors’ rear view mirror. Before long it was completely gone – a sleep-saving Scott Carson saw to that with his third save of the afternoon. Hmph, you know those days when you just can’t find the net?
Rosler claimed that the first half against Blackpool last week was his best at the club, but he will now be forced to reconsider. The much-vaunted high pressing game is back, and Blackburn had better watch out. But first, enjoy this free week off, which I hereby grant you without obligation. Other than the fact you have to check back here for the PWU Podcast on Thursday evening, of course!
Also, if any other teams are reading: McManaman was awful. Rubbish player, you don’t want him. Also McArthur sucks.