Strikers, who needs ’em? You hand over the remains of your copper jar to fund their bus journey to the DW Stadium (or in this case, Ewood Park) and it’s the midfielders and defenders that grab the precious goal bonus. Which, considering the world’s current economic climate, is probably one individually wrapped mint chocolate ‘acquired’ from the Manchester Holiday Inn. Nope, only joking – I took them all during my stay at the Salford Pen Conference and they haven’t had the chance to restock for months.
But none of this should have mattered, since Latics were wearing the colours of the world’s most successful national football side… Colombia. What, John, I was supposed to write ‘Brazil’? Ah, that explains why nobody thought to wear the customary Carlos Valderrama perm – hey, I’m sure Don Cowie could have grown one in time!
Oh, I conveniently forgot that you don’t automatically assume a team’s qualities simply by wearing their kit – remember the Holland-inspired orange away strip that yielded a grand total of 0 league wins and thousands of funny looks on the high street? Nope, because you’ve since expunged it from your memory. Except hold on a sec, considering that recent Germany defeat, perhaps the spirit of the Samba Boys was downing a pint in Blackburn on Saturday?
Back in the US of K
Initially, it didn’t seem that last fornight’s 951 days travelling (figure estimated) had affected Latics and their 43 (figure estimated) international players. Callum McManaman remained particularly energetic, and it wasn’t long before he tripped over Alex Baptiste’s shoelaces just 14 yards from the goal line. A bemused Roger East was so enamoured by the Scouse speedster that he felt obliged to lift his arm at a right angle, zombie-like, and award a pen. And I’m definitely not talking about those writing implements I collect from Blackburn hotels, because I took those too.
Unfortunately, by the time the ref snapped out of his daydream, Ivan Ramis had already filed his application to enter the Jason Puncheon ‘Where’s the Crossbar Again?’ Club. Aw no, we forgot to pack a penalty taker?! We always forget to bring something important with us on these holidays to central Lancashire.
Undeterred, Latics sought to make amends before tuna sandwich time. Debutant Delort, McManaman and Emmerson ‘International Goal’ Boyce each fired shots, but not a single bullet penetrated BeeBurn’s titanium reinforced barn door AKA Paul Robinson. Rosler instantly retreated to the arsenal for tinfoil hats and extra large grenade rounds.
Perchinho in slo-mo
Here’s a fact for you. Did you know that before Saturday, James Perch had never scored a league goal for Latics? It sounds crazy, but all his others have been in League Cup, FA Cup, Mickey Mouse Trophy and Harry Ramsden’s Cup matches. Well, maybe not the last one as I think that’s a competition to find the best fried fish. In my mind.
Indeed, Perch’s 52nd minute goal was his first in the Championship since signing for Wigan in July 2013. And because it was hit from at least 93 (figure estimated) yards out, it crept past Robinson in Jamie Carragher’s Sky Sports Super Slo-mo. Hmm, the barn door must have creaked open when one of those hens snuck out.
True to historical form, a furious Blackburn promptly Hulked up to obliterate the visitors’ lead within the time it takes to boil an egg. Cough. Ben Marshall emulated Perchinho’s strike with the precision of a world-class signature forger, while Jordan Rhodes’ full-pitched header had Scott Carson edging to the wicket keeper. See, Geoff Boycott was right – add two goals to the against column and you’re in trouble.
Except this was no theoretical commentator cliché. This was the real life, and the hosts were blocking out a hard-fought win, even in the presence of a four-man slip cordon once Shaun Maloney was introduced. Ahah, now *there’s* our penalty taker tucked away under the rubber ring!
But the pool was immediately closed when Ben Marshall floated home the greatest effort of all – the exterminator, the winner. Poultry in motion.
To the victors, a large bucket of fried chicken with extra lobscouse juices. To the losers, a bucket of ice cold water and a stern reminder that poultry puns are the lowest form of humour. B’gork.
JWAW would like to stress that it has never ‘acquired’ any of its items from any hotel, in Manchester or elsewhere. Also, I can never go back to the pen convention after inadvertently using a 2B pencil within plain sight of the managing director.