Tuesday, 1 February 2011
Well we have to go with what we've got after a quiet day down at the Stadio yesterday. Bit peeved myself as I stood outside for 12 hours and had my Zippo lighter all ready to burn my shirt if Ryan Small - Wigan's best midfielder - had been sold to Atherton Colls.
"My sources actually told me" that Liverpool were looking at Ry but he was in the pub and they couldn't get hold of him for the medical. Manager (and Chairman) John Neafcy was reportedly spotted in the Park Lane Social Club with five mobile phones on the table in front of him. He somehow managed to miss Mike Ashley's call though as he was at the bar getting the Guinness in. Unfortunately he'd no credit in any of the phones so it looks like the club is missing out on the £12m for Steve Edwards.
Chorley FC were linked with Paul Vermiglio but when we informed them that - while he was on a free - we needed them to pay off the fines he owes the club. They took one look and concentrated on bringing in Fernando Torres as he was a cheaper option.
The Robins were linked with a lad from Goose Green United but he refused even to talk terms when he heard he wouldn't actually get paid, would have to sell weekly predictions and pay subs. Another lad from The Almond pub in Skem was thought to be on Neafcy's hitlist but it later transpired that the Vodkat League informed the club that under new FIFA rules we had our full quota of plastic Scousers on board already.
"C'est la vie" or "Is right" as they say over that way.
Neafcy was linked with some lad called Connor Sammon - who he'd spotted on telly last week. Big Fat Gypsy Weddings to be exact but Dave Whelan got in first and his offer of a night down King Street and first shout on doing his driveway won the deal for the near-neighbours.
So a quiet day - and in fact quiet transfer window - and it's "as we are" for Norton away in the cup this weekend.
It's the Vodkat League Challenge Cup 2nd round. The last home game that Norton played was abandoned after the visitors kicked-off on the field and there was a pitch invasion forcing the referee off...
Good job we're taking a firm - Me and the good Doctor Baker! Just hope they don't chase us to the station as it's miles away. Which reminds me of when I went to Bournemouth watching Wigan Athletic and a set of youths chased me and Dell Ward (the original Cockney Latic) all the way to the station. We'd been running for about two miles, turned around and thought they must be gone now - No they were still coming. Admittedly we were both a lot fitter then but since that day I've never gone to the match wearing a Fila BJ tracksuit and Diadora Borg Elites. Ah great days...
Friday, 14 January 2011
The Robins midfield discuss who's taking the free kick...
Well it's the annual trip to Scouseland...
No not a few bevvies in The Poacher at Winstanley but a trip to Valerie Park Prescot. The home of Precot Cables and AFC Liverpool. Oh and last Sunday some team called Paddock (inc half Marine's side) played there in the FA Sunday Cup Third Round.
Paddock 3 Hetton Lyons Cricket Club 2
Admission inc 12 page programme, Â£2.00
Attendance - 80 (estimate)
According to Tony Kempster's site.
Well I suppose the pitch is that bad another game won't matter. Well I'm saying it's that bad - really I'm just guessing but if history tells us anything it will be its usual mudbath.
Anyhow back to Scouseland. If in fact Prescot is in Liverpool. It's all to do with the colour of the bins, apparently. I haven't a clue. It is a strangely depressing place to be honest. Not like us Wiganers can say much but there's a real tumbleweed blowing down the street type vibe about the place. There are plenty in the alehouses, mind and last year we had a few in The Sun Inn (fantastic) and The Deanes House (dull). I'm sure we'll have a few this time...
Oh and the reason to go?
Well it's third v fourth we always win there - mind you they always win at our gaff and well.. it's a Saturday. Why not?
May the best team win and all that but more than that let's look forward to a decent game between two honest decent clubs.
Ground: Valerie Park
Address: Eaton Street, Prescot, Merseyside, L34 6ND
Telephone: 0151 430 0507
Kit Colours Home: Red Shirts, Red Shorts & Red Socks.
Directions: From North: M6 to Junction 26, onto M58 to Junction 3. Follow A570 to junction with A580 (East Lancs Road). (Approach junction in right hand lane of the two lanes going straight on). Cross A580 and take first road on right (Bleak Hill Road). Follow this road through to Prescot (2 miles). At traffic lights turn right, straight on at large roundabout (do not follow route onto Prescot by-pass) and right at next lights. 100 yards turn right at Hope and Anchor pub into Hope Street. Club will be in sight at bottom of road. From South: M6 to Junction 21a (M62 junction 10). Follow M62 towards Liverpool, to junction 7. Follow A57 to Rainhill and Prescot. Through traffic lights at Fusilier pub, 100 yards turn right at Hope and Anchor pub (as above). From East: Follow M62 as described in 'From South' or A580 East Lancs Road to Junction with A570 (Rainford by-pass), turn left and take first right. Follow route as 'From North'
Nearest Railway Station: Prescot
Come out of railway station and you will see shopping centre straight ahead. Take road/path at right hand side - will take you to main road. Ground just up on your left.
Pub: The Sun Inn
11 Derby Street, Prescot, Liverpool, Merseyside, L34 3LE
We'll be joining the AFC fans in The Sun Inn before the game. Just on the main road 50 yards down from the ground. The pub sponsors AFC Liverpool and is a cracking establishment with real ale.
"Bring on the Robins"
ps Buy a programme - it's a cracker
pps The chips aren't bad either.
Thursday, 6 January 2011
1969ish: Latics have been away at somewhere like Worksop Town and it is 6.15pm. Stood outside the newsagent waiting for the Post & Chronicle Football Pink. Pass the money over the counter and read the front page quickly.
"Yesssssssss - won."
And run back home to give the copy to my grandad or dad and wait a few hours for them to read it before they pass it over to you. And before a fish and chip supper, cards and the Match of the Day.
2011(just): Sat on the bed. BBC website on the laptop, twitter feed on the phone and Radio 5 on in the background. And four managers are going to get sacked and everybody's loving it. Meanwhile Latics are losing at Bolton and Chelsea are losing at Wolves and Lawro is on about Hodgson and Robbie Savage is getting excited that four managers could get sacked and that Arsenal “have no plan B”. Like Savage ever had a Plan A.
But hey this is the modern world. Everybody has an opinion.
In fact as Ray Davies said: “Everybody's a dreamer and everybody's a star
And everybody's in show biz, it doesn't matter who you are.”
And there are match threads on websites written by people that never go to a football game. Expert managers and expert tacticians. In their bedrooms on their laptop, twitter feeds on their phone and Radio 5 on in the background. Lawro talking tactics. BWFC_Fan talking tactics. BaggieForever talking tactics. Liverpooltilidie talking tactics.
And all the rest of that bollocks.
On Radio 5 Live (sic) Mark Bright is ranting about Arsenal fans ranting about “Boring, boring, boring City” and he’s probably right. As he is when he is ranting about Liverpool fans ranting as the soap opera goes on and on and on.
Ancelotti to be sacked for his team being fifth – I saw them play in the old second division.
Hodgson to be sacked for his team being twelfth – they were in the old second division in 1961
Houllier to be sacked for his team being in the relegation zone – I saw them play in the old third division for crying out loud.
And as for Grant and West Ham - well they’ve been up and down like the proverbial yo-yo.
Times change: Preston were once invincible and now they lie bottom. Well done Maurice old boy - keep up the good work.
Ah you are doing – Phil Brown in line for the job. Fucking hell…
And times change and it’s twenty past three and nobody’s been sacked and the soap opera that is football is having a quiet day. The calm before the storm they hope. Where soap stars like Rosie Webster shag blurts like Scott Sinclair who in another age: She would be working in Greggs and he’d be playing for Dulwich Hamlet and still it’s all 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1 and Beckham is/isn’t singing for Spurs. And that bald beaut Dharmesh “My contacts tell me” Sheth is talking about players - I have never heard of before and will never hear of again - signing for Manchester City while I’m sat on the bed. BBC website on the laptop, twitter feed on the phone and Radio 5 is on in the background while some serial Wigan Athletic messageboard fuckwit - amongst a sea of serial Wigan Athletic messageboard fuckwits - is spouting shite on a er... messageboard.
Whilst over on another million football boards other fools are destroying young managers, players, and the game in general. Not a single one of them have a fucking clue about football. But it’s all 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1 and “sack the manager” and you haven’t a clue… and… and…
And a not a single one of them have ever heard of the Post & Chronicle’s Football Pink...
Please note that we are now on the second batch of the Bobbin' Along book.
Many thanks to those that have bough the book but there are still plenty that haven't read the gritty book that details the club's first season in the Vodkat league.
Bobbin' Along - a 162 page book detailing the Wigan Robin Park's first season in the Vodkat League - is now on sale.
Written by the club's media officer Andrew Vaughan, it is a retrospective look at the 2008/9 season. The book takes a wry look at the ups, downs, mud, sweat and beers of that season while at the same time recording all the facts and figures.
Vaughan is a well-known figure in local writing circles. He was the founder of the original Wigan Athletic fanzine Cockney Latic and co-founder of The Mudhutter fanzine.
He is the author of Punk Football and co-author with Martin Tarbuck of Pies and Prejudice both available from Mudhuts Media.
His first novel Faded Lois Dreams - set in London in 1982 on the cusp of what is now known as the casual movement - will be released at the beginning of February 2011 and has already received lavish praise for its inventiveness, literary breadth and poetic brilliance.
Bobbin' Along, Vaughan admits, is a much more simple book.
"Basically it is just a gentle stroll through the Robins' debut season in the Vodkat League.
"It's just my view of the club, the league and football at this level.
"There's plenty of humour and some insights into modern football but I've mainly written it as a memento for all those involved and to raise the profile of the club, the league and non-league football in general.
"Of course if we can make a bit of money for the club that would be great also."
Vaughan, like many, struggles with aspects of the modern game - and everything that goes with it - and readily admits his love of football has been re-ignited by the non-league game.
"It isn't for everybody, but I like the friendliness and honesty of the game at the grassroots level."
Bobbin' Along can be ordered by sending a cheque (made payable to Wigan Robin Park Football Club) for £10 along with your name, address, phone number and email address to: Robin Park Arena, Loire Drive, Newtown, Wigan WN5 0UN. If people could mark the envelope for the attention of the Robins' secretary Taffy Roberts that would help.
It will also be available at all of Wigan Robin Park's home matches.
Click image for full cover...
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
Tuesday, 4 January 2011
The beautiful Megan Dodds - who played Kitty De Luxe in the Viva Blackpool programme - any excuse and all that...
Third time at the Mechanics Ground and another lively affair.
Not sure what they put in the sea air - or the beer for that matter in the excellent Shovels pub - but any how the games are always feisty affairs with loads of banter from the terraces and the dugouts.
This was never going to be any different as the two sat at the summit prior to kick off.
But first the beer. I had to stay loyal and go with a few (too many) pints of Wigan brewery Allgates' Winter Meltdown. Picked it cos it was a "light beer". I've since discovered:
Originally brewed in October 2009 as a monthly special but due to demand it was retained as a seasonal beer.
It is brewed with low colour Maris Otter & Lager malts to provide a perfect light coloured beer with the Brewers Gold hops providing a well balanced bitterness ideally complemented with the lemon and citrus aromas from the use of Pioneer as the late aroma hop. Oh and it's 4.8%
I think it was the spearmint and fruit chews that got me a bit wobbly though.
But all-in-all a very decent pub with a good range of beers and well worth a visit if at one of the three grounds within 100 yards of it. And Wigan Council moan about putting floodlights up in a field in middle of nowhere - well that's floodlights for football clubs, St Pats can out up 24 of the buggers, but I digress.
As for the game - well they had a player called Whacker. And that pretty much summed up their game. He whacked it, others whacked it and two top strikers Ben Waddington and Nial Cummins chased everything causing the Robins defence all kinds of problems all day.
But more on this Whacker character, What a whinging whining little git he was. Screeching like a little girl every time anybody went near to him. Feigning injury, diving the lot. He's been watching far too much Premier League stuff and I'm really surprised he wasn't wearing a snood!
Somebody else that had been been watching far too much Premier League stuff was the fat ref as Ryan Small became the first of five Robins - and (just) one Blackpool player - to enter the referee's book for a strong challenge. Ry got the ball but no fatty number one went straight to his pocket while the lad that got hit was rolling around like he'd been shot. Thought for a moment it was going to be red but thankfully it was only a yellow hue.
Fatty number two was the bloke that is always known as "the fat linesman" who as normal was about as near to play as the woman that was serving pie and peas in the clubhouse. It's all very well but when the home side are playing the long ball game you've got to be up to the mark and this fella just isn't good enough.
As for the goals - well their two were carbon copies, through passes and expertly finished by Ben Waddington.
Our one was also pretty much a carbon copy, through pass and expertly finished by their centre half for a cracking own goal.
The final thirty minutes was pretty much stalemate - Wigan responded well to going behind by controlling possession but the home defence coped with everything that the Robins could throw at limiting the visitors to long range efforts.
With time running out we threw everybody - including keeper Jay Foulds - forward but last-gasp defending from Blackpool denied us as they hung on for a vital victory.
Special word for the large contingent of travelling fans who applauded the lads off as they knew the team had contributed to an enthralling encounter.
Top day out - bar the result!
Next up the Daisies from over the hill on Saturday.
I'm sure we'll bounce back...