Middlesbrough 1-0 Wigan: Uwe Was a Smoggie

Uwe Fuchs

Uwe Fuchs: the Parallel Universe Jesus (c)Gazette Live

Win or lose, April is a time of celebration for one Wigan Athletic blog at the very least. It is the month we remember the birth of that eponymous Wiganer of Jesus Was a Wiganer ‘fame’, one third of Whelan’s Three Amigos, the unforgettable Jesus Seba. His arrival at Wallgate almost exactly 20 years ago signalled a rapid rise to prominence for the club that claimed him as one of their own, even if he only hung around the tapas bars of Wigan for just over a season.

So much has happened in the intervening decades that a paragraph of virtual text could not accurately summarise the rise and fall of a small town club… in fact it only takes a short sentence: Wigan Athletic won the FA Cup. I still can’t believe that actually happened – was 2013 a lucid dream? I spent the whole summer expecting to wake up as a brain in a jar. “We gave you that as a birthday present,” the man at the Matrix memory machine would say through the 2-day old cigarette dangling from the left side of his mouth.

The 1994/5 season was also a great one for Middlesbrough, who topped the Division One (now Championship) table ahead of Reading, Wolves, Tranmere… and Bolton. On the basis of that campaign, I would suggest that there is a ‘parallel universe’ blog entitled ‘Uwe Was a Smoggie’ in honour of cult figure Uwe Fuchs, who scored nine goals to help them regain their place in England’s top tier. Remind me to book a ticket to the Large Hadron Collider and explore the multiverse for such a site.

Race for the FA Permer League hots up

And who’s to say the same won’t happen this year? When the deflections fly into the one place Al Habsis can’t reach them, you know you’re well equipped to climb back into the Vidal Sassoon Permer League. I’m referring, of course, to Patrick Bamford’s 20th minute opener, a goal brought about by sheer force of will and the type of pressure that could implode a deep water fish if he ventured out of his depth.

Pama League

The Permer League is sponsored by Pama. (c)Lisa Risager

One might term such a deflection ‘fortunate’, but you could equally say it was unfortunate that a selection of the hosts’ other first half efforts were deflected wide or punched away at the last second by Ali. The Championship chasers presided over proceedings much as a dog watches his favourite bone, ready to strike when that pesky poodle next door dared to show its dirty face.

But Latics prodded with a relatively uncertain finger, their lengthy nails causing minor discomfort as the half drew to a steady close. Keeper Konstantopoulos dropped a cross on the edge of his area, while a persistent James McClean scraped a brace of corners from the bottom of the ice cream tub – a smidgen of strawberry quality amidst crumbs of curdled vanilla.

Real Wigan Club de Fútbol

Up to half time, the visitors had been playing with Leon Clarke as an island, a solitary striker in a salty sea of midfielders and wingers. But by the 65th minute, they had made all three subs – the attack-minded Fortune, Waghorn and Kvist had beefed up the frontline to post-supper Pavarotti proportions. Now the real Wigan Athletic, a side that had been hiding in the safety of plastic seating and branded water bottles, was coming to the fore.

Fortune sent out a smoke signal by testing Konstantopoulos for the first time – a creditable effort by the goalless striker’s standards. Perch was next to try, but momentarily forgot that the corner flag is not a goalpost, much to a well-positioned Waghorn’s great disgust. But he kept emotional gesticulations inside a tightly-sealed Tupperware container to be released another day – Easter Monday, perhaps?

Amidst the aborted Boro breakaways came one final chance for Latics. After more good work from Fortune, Kim slid the ball through to McClean at the back post… but his left foot bootlacer was no match for the spinning ball, which slid down his shin to relative safety for the hosts. Let this scuffed effort symbolise the missed opportunity of a prized point against nervous opposition not quite feeling their usual selves. Cough.

That’s all, Fuchs

I can’t stop thinking about that Uwe Fuchs bloke, though. Quite often a man will rise from obscurity to take the league by storm, then fade away quicker than Steve Bruce’s transfer budget – remember Amr Zaki? And whatever did happen to Roy Essandoh?

Well, what we need right now is a man to step forward and make himself a cult figure, if he isn’t already. A man who will be immortalised in the name of a future equivalent of the internet weblog. So who, if anyone, is it gonna be?

Gute Nacht!

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