It’s an Omen: Misadventures of the Wigan Athletic Goalkeeping Staff Vol I

As I thrust apart my curtains on Friday morning, I was greeted with an unsettling sight: snow, and plenty of it. “Hopefully this isn’t an omen,” I gulped while hurriedly thumbing the 24-hour forecast for Robin Park.

Little did I know that mere miles from my darkened doorstep, an even more sinister omen was about to unfold. Minutes later, goalkeeping coach Mike Pollitt would drive his motorised vehicle into a brick wall they placed so inconveniently beside a public roadway. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt.

It was the start of a misadventurous weekend for the Wigan Athletic goalkeeping staff, who would each experience their own Friday 13th moments of bad fortune before Sunday had expired.

I would like to say that Jussi Jaaskelainen is fine too. However, after taking such a strong blow to the head, I’m sure he would have required a couple of nights in with the cushions and medicinal hot water bottle. For the crumpled SUV read that Peterborough attacker, for the misplaced brick wall read Jussi, I suppose.

Whether Lee Nicholls was unfortunate is much more debatable. While it is true that he conceded a goal Our Jussi would probably have palmed into the massed ranks of an appreciative South Stand, it is also true that Marcus Maddison’s free kick took an awful dip some six yards from the sub keeper’s exposed left hand post.

Whatever the case, it ain’t fun to concede a goal, especially when it’s the first at the DW since Roman times. I think Steve Bruce was the manager back in those days.

But Nicholls didn’t seem too downhearted, even briefly flashing a wry smile as his post-match interviewer forced him to relive the incident.

And hey, despite all these freakish occurrences within the space of just 32 hours, you might be pleased to hear that Latics actually increased the gap to third place in the League One table last weekend.

It’s easy to feel invincible when you have the enviable power to defy the laws of nature, but please refrain from punching the air just yet – I still need to have them remove all black cats, ladders and cracked mirrors from the DW Stadium!

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