June 19, 2024

That’s it, I’m done forever. I hereby renounce my faith in statistics, and encourage anyone with a fondness for this gentle sport to do the very same.

Say it along with me now: “I refuse to analyse football in a mathematical or scientific manner. I will no longer attempt to quantify the patently unquantifiable, nor parrot Mon ‘Jotty’ Jotson’s ‘remarkable’ factistics into my warming pint pot.”

Statistics exist only to propagate pure lies in the guise of ‘facts’. Believe only in what you witness; do not be influenced by the crazed Bovril-sodden wisdom of a teletext-thumbing small time internet weblogger. Because that weblogger only wishes to prod your sensibilities with a blunt pencil until you fling your copy of the Football Magenta at the kitchen wall.

Forget, for one moment, that the Football League is fundamentally based on a system of arithmetic tables. Or that the outcome of games is decided on the number of times you can biff a bag of wind over a line of lime. Because it’s all nonsense.

As a totally random example: what if this particular game -Huddersfield v Wigan- were to be decided entirely on who played better football? Well… you’d need an impartial panel of at least seven esteemed representatives before half a consensus could be reached.

Let me explain in typically obtuse fashion…

Round One. Fight!

Very predictably, the 11-man race for Jussi’s goalmouth began with the first touch of the game. But those hurrying (hurried?) hosts were stymied by untidy bootlaces, which became a real trip hazard as our grinning Finn came into view.

And JJ’s well-polished teeth were far too distracting for some. Elias Kachunga nodded onto the net roofing, while the wonderfully named Jon Stankovic guided narrowly wide of a thick white stick within ten minutes.

Shiny teeth
Ah, but was it Jussi’s shiny teeth… or shiny hair that distracted them?

(The author acknowledges that the previous 2 headed chances were not caused by irregular bootlaces – if anything, they were affected by irregularly cut hairlaces. Thank you for reading, and enjoy your stay at AGL Towers.)

Will Grigg’s for hire?

Maybe not – the official excuse for his absence from the team sheet: ‘Our Will has a cold’. The actual reason? Not even private investigator extraordinaire Garmin Winnebago knows yet. But he shall find out eventually.

Like every single pair of trousers in his wardrobe, Warren ‘Shortsman II’ Joyce dispensed with strikers altogether, pushing a riotous Wildschut back into that mythical ‘odd job’ pseudo centre forward position he occupied at Barnsley.

But it certainly wasn’t a ‘pants’ strategy.

Because when Latics counter attacked, they did not appear as unambitious as their lack of strikers might have initially indicated – Michael Jacobs, Max Power or David Perkins(!) would magically appear in those schoolyard ‘rush centre forward’ positions.

It was Reece Burke, however, that played striker for the game’s opening goal. Yanic was once again an aggressive catalyst, leaving all competitors back in Amsterdam as he bounded towards goal with bells on his toes. Glancing up just once, he located the lurking Burke for a simple sidefoot past Kloppite Danny Ward.


Strikers? Overrated.

WAFC strikerless matches
It’s the right time of year for these babies again.

As the second half commenced, Latics’ defence could be likened to an overstretched elastic band. Catapult fanatics will know that even the thickest of bands have blemishes, and the visitors’ own imperfections were about to be exposed.

When Nahki Wells rolled the ball across Wigan’s six yard line, two bamboozled Ticsmen stumbled, allowing Aaron Mooy to finally beat the J-Man from Will Grigg range. A fitting tribute to the burning (up) one.

But while the Terriers celebrated, Wigan’s rubber band was being repaired, and moments later it would propel Wildschut inexorably towards a jelly-legged Ward. Following one exquisite jink to the right, the visitors’ lead was restored in suspiciously simple fashion.

Well, there was nothing suspect about Yanic’s pinpoint finishing. But on this night, the men in turquoise were infused with that intangible force, a metaphorical ‘get out of jail free’ card of infinite usage.

Nowhere was this more evident than in Huddersfield’s 62nd minute penalty appeal. Our esteemed linesman ruled ‘no contact’ from Stephen Warnock on Wells, while our (not so esteemed) ref ruled that he ‘couldn’t see it’.

…Oooh, saved by the Arse(ne Wenger).

Do I get to collect £200 too?

Get out of jail free
Are there any more of these left in the stack, I wonder?

Following a spate of impromptu substitutions, Latics suddenly had two attackers – (beardless) Powell and (bearded) Davies – standing atop the Huddersfield grass of green. In the spirit of Sir Joyce, however, they were part of the 11-man defensive effort to preserve those three points with every fibre of their overpaid expensive being. Ahem.

And in the end, preserve it they did. Four minutes of stoppage time yielded no further efforts on target, even with Ward now fielding as ‘Field’s seventh (or maybe eighth) auxiliary striker. In a luminous pink ‘keeper’s jersey.

And that’s all. Which is good timing, because I have to leave for the great Wigan Festivus lights switch-off. God bless budget cuts, and goodnight all!

Second opinion

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