Who are you? We’re Wigan

bernardbefore

No Darren Bent, Kenwyne Jones still suspended. No Cattermole, first choice keeper out too. Wigan 1 Sunderland 9 somehow doesn’t look on the cards. Bernard Ramsdale*, who runs the Olde Tree and Crown Wigan fans’ site and romped home last year as winner of our award for the best “Who are You?” feature, has probably spent his Spurs ticket refund already. But he does not expect to be as glum after Saturday’s game as he was in the “after” part of these before and after shots from last Sunday afternoon …

Salut! SunderlandCrikey. You beat Chelsea only to get thrashed by Pompey and murdered by Spurs. Explain Wigan’s season so far.

Errr, how about inconsistent?

bernardafter

And?

Roberto Martinez, whilst obviously a very clear thinker of the game, may well be finding out that however bright and new his tactics are, they’re about as much use as a vote of confidence from Mike Ashley. It is looking as though some of the players he has inherited are not adjusting to his style of play and the gaffer himself does not have enough squad players to dump the dross that was on display on Sunday.

Rumours are rife of a dressing room split and certain players seem hell bent on leaving in the next transfer window. What we have to hope for is that the manager can bring in every single player he asks for in January to replace those who leave. If he does not get this support from the chairman (who has gone on record in the past stating his dislike of large squads) then we are in for a very long season indeed. I have full confidence that Martinez will get it right eventually, but that team he put out over the weekend should be fined under the trade descriptions act!

And now, doubtless, you expect to bounce back against us on Saturday.

I expect nothing but the unexpected from Latics at the moment. Obviously I am wanting the team to give your men a damned good hiding on Saturday, but somehow I can’t imagine Darren Bent cowering in his two armed ‘snuggie’ blanket whilst watching MOTD 2 on Sunday evening. How he must be dreading coping with the mercurial Erik Edman and chums come three o clock on Saturday! (Bernard didn’t realise at time of writing that we’ll probably start up front with Marco Gabbiadini – ed)

I can’t think why, but I had completely forgotten to watch the programme on Sunday evening and Colin tells me that Jamie Redknapp saw some positives from our performance at Nine Goals Lane. What the heck was Redknapp Jr on, and can I have some please!

That’s as much as you’ll ever want to be asked about 9-1. So what were your feelings on the departure of Steve Bruce and how do you think he’s doing?

On a more serious note, it came as little surprise that Bruce opted for a move to the Stadium of Light. In truth, he was making noises about his frustration of losing key players in every transfer window for quite a few months before leaving the DW Stadium. Up until the sales of Emile Heskey and Wilson Palacios he had gone on record as saying that the Wigan Athletic team he had during the first half of last season was the best he had ever managed.

This along with the imminent sale of Antonio Valencia, which did happen in the summer, had made up Bruce’s mind to look at managing a club whose policy does not include selling its star assets at the drop of a hat. I wish him all the very best at Sunderland and I am sure that you will have a few good times with Brucey at the helm.

I wasn’t best pleased with his raid on us for Lee Cattermole, but as soon as the bid came in, and Martinez claimed that Lee was going nowhere, the deal was bound to happen. The same applies with Maynor Figueroa. Bruce wants him, Bruce will get him. The only downside for us is that he isn’t looking at his old Birmingham muckers Olivier Kapo and Daniele De Ridder!

Happy with your own new regime? How far can they take Wigan?

Oh there’s no doubt about it, if the current regime do not sort out our bone idle, overpaid millionaire playboys, Martinez and company can more than likely take us to the dizzying heights of the Blue Square Conference!

And the top four, in order? If Man City not there, why not? If they are, is that a cause for pleasure or regret?

Chelsea
Manchester United
Arsenal
Manchester City

The Wastelands outfit will break into the top four this season in my opinion. I know that money does not guarantee success, but it hasn’t half helped a mediocre Chelsea team evolve into one of the best in Europe. The same, unfortunately will happen to the Chavs.

Who will go down. And assuming neither Wigan nor Sunderland appear in either list, where we will each end up?

Wolverhampton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers
Hull City

Hull City are in freefall and the Horwich Nomads are there because I absolutely despise them, luckily they are also pants this season and my dream may well be a reality come May (or even February hopefully). Wolves are there because Mick McCarthy has won four Premier League games in 51 attempts. Bet you can’t guess which club one of those wins was against?

Wigan Athletic, despite positive talk from Martinez, will be striving for safety for this season at least and they should successfully achieve it given that the players already at the club are simply better than the likes of those employed by at least seven other clubs in this division. Martinez has already been quoted as saying that next season’s team will hopefully be the best that he has ever managed.

As for yourselves, Bruce reached the magical 40 points mark as early as February for us last season and a final position of seventh (a Europe League placing) was most certainly on the cards. Then the full effect of losing two influential players, rumours of more departures and alleged player unrest ruined our season. I can not see this happening at Sunderland and will be surprised if you don’t finish as high as seventh spot. Whether or not this is enough for your own European dreams, depends on the eventual winners of the domestic cup competitions.

What is the one thing you’d do to make football, or the treatment of its fans, better?

I think the game should be left alone. If wealthy benefactors buy the cream of the football clubs in this country, so be it. Unfortunately that doesn’t bode well for us.

I do believe that goal line technology will eventually become unavoidable. However we do not need a system based on the one in place by Rugby League’s Super League. What you may or may not know is that only TELEVISED games over any weekend benefit from the technology. Every other rugby game played that weekend has a disadvantage compared to the two teams that are being televised. It has been known for disallowed tries, via the Sky camera’s, to be allowed at an untelevised game, and vice versa. So you can hopefully see the point I’m trying to make.

Oh dear, this will sound like 9-1 again. Are there times when you wonder whether all the time, effort and money you put into supporting Wigan raises questions about your sanity? What keeps you going?

I’ve supported the club since 1972 and in truth my loyalty has never been in question. I actually do love the club and I treat it as I would a religion as well. Some people will say that it is just blind loyalty and faith in my club, if this is so it has been justified hasn’t it? Non league to Premier League during that time is something that fans of any other club in the top flight have never seen. A 1-9 tonking will have no effect whatsoever on my future support of a great little club, of which I am extremely proud.

And what is the perfect matchday for you, from beginning to end?

Hmmmmm, Wake up at 1-30pm, fart, belch and scratch my bollocks, then demand my breakfast. By two clock I like to put on my usual winning bet, and meet up with a few mates for a quick pint or six before the game. During the game I usually utter the words ‘I’m not coming here again. Bloody rubbish Wigan’. This is usually spoken when the opposing midfielders and strikers walk through Jason Koumas and Jordi Gomez as if they aren’t there. Which, in truth they shouldn’t be!

If Latics lose, which is more often than not, I drown my sorrows in the ‘Brick’ before heading back into town to put a few shop windows through!

If we’ve won, don’t laugh, we do win sometimes, I celebrate in the ‘Brick’ before heading back into town and I treat myself to a KFC bargain bucket, and apologise for throwing a waste bin through their shop front the previous weekend! It’s then back home to send out for another KFC bargain bucket, fart, belch, scratch my bollocks and go to sleep again!

The Eduardo question: you need a win to stay up or clinch a place in Europe. It’s the last second of teh last game and a blatant dive, seen as such by everyone except the referee, gets you a penalty and the three points. You take it gladly, you take it guiltily or you feel so ashamed you almost wish you’d gone down?

Well in our case, you can forget about needing a penalty for Europe for a start! More than likely we’ll need it to stay up and I’d fully expect us to take the spot kick, with no remorse or guilt at all, miss it and still go down!

Should that now be renamed the Ngog question?

Wasn’t it the ref that officiated our game against Spurs that gave N’Gog that penalty? It’s a good job we were conceding goals faster than a Katie Price ‘bushtucker challenge’ because he didn’t need to give such a controversial decision this time. However, I do think we should have been awarded a spot kick for that one time Jason Scotland came out of his own half!

And how did winning the Salut! Sunderland “Who are they?” award change your life?

Winning the award has broadened my horizons and enriched my life in more ways than words can say and I’d like to say a word of thanks to all those who have given me inspiration along the way. First of all I’d like to thank the Salut! Sunderland team for picking me. I’d also like to thank my wife and children without whom it would not have been impossible. I’d like to thank my mother, like I said, I’d like to thank her but I can’t be arsed! I’d like to thank my old English teachers for learning me about ‘descriptive’ writing and I’d like to thank my fellow Latics supporters along with Gary Megson for keeping Horwich below us in the Premier League. I’d also like to thank the old Wigan Warriors coach who once again ensured that the ‘Klumps’ won jack shit during last season’s ‘Pooper Leeg’, this really does mean a lot to me! I’d also like to thank, if I may my childhood idols. the ‘Brotherhood of Man’, the ‘Bay City Rollers’ ‘Mork and Mindy’, ‘Stig of the Dump’, ‘Captain Marvel’ and ‘Black Beauty’ and by that I mean the horse, not Kenwyne Jones smart arse! I must also offer thanks to the head of the Queen, Gordon Brown, Barrack Obama and the Pope along with all God’s creatures and I wish for nothing but peace on Earth. Thank you!

Come on then. Score between us. I take it you’ll be there?

Is Steve Bruce ugly? How he could delay a move to become our manager due to ‘image rights’ issues is a bloody joke, isn’t it? The Elephant Man with a cold sore is more pleasing to the eye! Do Newcastle United fans still think they support a ‘big club’? Did Harry Redknapp and Jermain DeFive enjoy last Sunday?
Of course I’ll be there, I’ll also stick my neck out and go for a home win by 2-1. I base this purely on the basis that sooner or later a win must materialise!


* Bernard Ramsdale on Bernard Ramsdale:

I’m very pleased with the way the site is growing. It has an almost cult following among the older Latics supporting base. Where Latics are concerned there are a plethora of syndicated, advertising led sites and this one has always been independent and done its own thing, ie, losing money but gaining respect.. That said, there is never any rivalry or back biting done down here in the pub between us and any of the other Latics web masters out there!

In the last pre season this site led a campaign to get a stand of the DW Stadium named after our old ground. In an editorial piece I mooted this idea, which quite a few fans were already thinking of anyway. The trouble was they were we all divided and nothing was happening about it. What we needed was the support of every other Latics web site on the internet and I’m really honoured and proud that every one of them supported the cause and pro actively ensured that it happened. The fans of this great club can achieve their aims providing they stick together and this is proof of that.

The site also has close ties with the club itself, but it will never, ever toe the party line, so to speak. This site is a mouthpiece for the ‘forty somethings’, aka the Springfield Stand moaning old buggers, most of whom have been there, done that and bought the t-shirt.

As for a previous outstanding encounter this was revealed in my last few articles for your great site. The only other one that comes to mind is the game played at the JJB Stadium on 18th August 2008. The game resulted in a 3-0 win for ourselves courtesy of goals from Emile Heskey and Denny Landazaat and Antoine Sibierski who both scored from the penalty spot. (not a N’Gog in sight by the way)! You may be wondering what is so notable?

Well after the game I was in Frankie and Benny’s and the Premier League table was shown by Sky Sports News. Latics were on top of it!

See you all next time and good luck for the remainder of the season, after Saturday!


** See also : Winners from the other side (complete with crazily distorted Bernard pic (a product of the move from Typepad to WordPress)

Colin Randall

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8 thoughts on “Who are you? We’re Wigan”

  1. Bernard is really quiet on a night out, he’s a big thinker !

    (did I spell that correctly?)

    2-0 Wigan on Saturday, another 2-0 against Brum the following week & all should be ok in pieland.

  2. Bernard Ramsdale, good man, anyone who is that happy on a yukalaylee and has a face that needs a wide angle lens for ‘near shots’ deserves having his comments read. I will do that now!

    Berny, CHEERS!

  3. He didn’t threaten very hard vs Arsenal, Bill!

    If Marco’s not available, Bernard, it might end up as Sixsmith and Randall in a 4-3-3 (the three taking account of our aggregate weight) formation.

  4. (Bernard didn’t realise at time of writing that we’ll probably start up front with Marco Gabbiadini – ed)

    Oh no! That’s another three points we can wave goodbye to then! For what it’s worth I think Malbranque isn’t fit to lace Gabbiadini’s boots or Eric Gates’!

    The game should at least be interesting from a Sunderland viewpoint as Maynor Figueroa will be starting after recovering from injury. I’ll keep you all posted of any more Wigan news.

  5. If nothing else, it’ll be fascinating to see how well Sunderland functions without several of its mainstays. Malbranque is forever threatening to score — perhaps this week he’ll finally do it.

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