Jussi J: Man of the Moment

He gets no respect, I tells ya.

The formidable Finn forfends four forwards from five fine finishes, and what is his reward? Swines pinching a sneaky swig from his personal goalmouth water bottle. I sincerely hope that Oldham man asked permission first, mainly because you never know what liquid is actually in there.

Even the Jussi fanclub in ES2 seemed irked by his speed of distribution. Turning to face them with outstretched palms, he intimated there wasn’t a lot he could do about his midfielders going missing in the DW’s newly-laid shag pile.

And when the stadium announcer awarded the J-Man a richly-earned (sponsors’) man of the match, there was a collective groan.

But I like to think it was secretly a murmur of appreciation, and that the East Stand and Jussi have since resolved their lovers’ quarrel with a spot of jam on toast.

‘Juicy’ J can hardly be blamed for the referee’s tendency to spend 60 seconds drawing 30ft wall guidelines with his (quickly exhausted) magic foam. Nor is it his fault that it suddenly became night time at precisely 3.30pm, causing the remainder of the first half to be played out in the dark. (Although DW did begrudgingly send someone to put 50p in the box.)

Most of all, he cannot be blamed for his strikers’ (lack of) penetration.

I remain convinced that Joel Coleman the Goalman would never have reached Conor McAleny’s free kick, had it snuck inside his right hand post.

And the DW was fraught with tension as in-form Biltong Grigg so very nearly rode the wave of baited breath to an 85th minute winner.

But otherwise, this green carpet was justifiably rolled out for the Real Latics (to be confused with Real Latics Club de Fútbol of the Primera Lancashire).

If anything, these (relatively) rare scares serve to remind us that Jussi actually is there to produce his trademark tickles round the corner. If they work against Oldham’s Cameron Dummigan, then they can certainly stop Walsall’s Tom Bradshaw.

…Right?

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