A funny thing happened…

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You turn your back and it all happens.  A busy couple of weeks at work, a week away camping and the club manages to put fans through all sorts of turmoil.  Old friends have dragged up old arguments new friends have joined the party but more have checked out and all the while agents seem to be determined to do two of our better players a disservice.  All this has been played out against a soundtrack of whinging and whining from the message boards, some fans are worried about being a laughing stock others just bothered about getting their ticket for Old Trafford.  Join us as I run my beady eye over the events of the last few weeks

Jason Jarrett
What gives there?  More money? A better opportunity? Or just a lack of confidence in his own ability?  One thing is for certain Jason’s part in the promotion party should ensure him a place in our memories, without that he may just have faded away.  Throughout his time with Latics, Jarrett went about his business quietly and unspectacularly.  His performance against Reading hinted at a higher level of ability than I’d previously given him credit for but I guess it’s down to Norwich fans to see if he can achieve this consistently.  A tip of the hat on the way out but I’m guessing that if he’d stayed around it would have been a case of making the numbers up.  Good luck JJ, hopefully if we see you soon we’ll all be in the Prem.

Magno Vieira
His departure hardly made the same splash that his namesake’s current transfer is doing but I suppose that’s to be expected.  Going off what I saw of his time at Carlisle last season the lad was definitely not ready for our first team so it’s not one we’re missing out on.  Will be missed more for the intrigue that having a Brazilian coming through the ranks gives you than anything else.  You’d have thought that being on a free would interest the teams that have had him on loan, but it would seem that he’s off to somewhere warmer, and who can blame him?

Breckin and Eaden
Now I was away when all this was going on so I, thankfully, missed out on the mass panic that these two leaving caused.  When it comes down to it, neither was going to make a splash at this level.  Eaden was constantly pilloried last season and it wasn’t the first time that Breckin had been linked with what effectively would have been a step backwards (Rotherham and Sheff Utd were mentioned last season).  I can understand some concern over not having replacements readily in place some of the things that were said will have left plenty with egg on their mushes when in the days after Jewell brought in both a Centre Half and Right Back.

The first, but I’m guessing not the last, “who!?!” of the summer.  Mixed messages are coming out of France over this lad and he’s either a big headed trouble maker or a candidate for player of the season.  Now people may rightly have concerns over signing a defender from a relegated team but without having seen him play we’ll just have to trust Jewell’s judgment that “Pascal is a great player…he’s just what we need at the back – strong, quick and versatile”.  It’s a good sign that Marseille were interested, but then again that could be paper talk.

Mike Pollitt
It’s difficult to comment on the signing of a reserve keeper.  You can have your opinion of whether he’s the right player or not, but at the end of the day you don’t want to be proved right or wrong because it means you’ve lost your first No 1.  I’m sure Pollitt is a good back up for Filan but I’d still like to see us sign a younger keeper for the longer term.

Ryan Taylor
There’s been a lot of noise about this youngster over that last season or two and we’ve managed to pick up a player that at worse is one for the future.  It’s hard to trust the judgment of fans when a player comes from a lower division, think back to how many players you have thought of as world beaters but just couldn’t make the step up, but the reckoning is that we’ve got a good one and at a reasonable price.  Jewell sees him as a versatile player and alongside Wright, Tealey and the Frenchman he’s of the opinion that our right hand side is complete, let’s hope he’s right.

Jimmy and The Duke
A little snapshot of the modern game here in Wigan.  Clubs struggling to pay the ‘going rate’ in a way that won’t cripple them, players struggling to keep a façade of commitment whilst their agents are busy grabbing the limelight and lining their pockets.  Come on – which football agent deserves a 5+ minute live interview on Sky Sports news, especially when they fill it with as much drivel as Ellington’s did.  I suppose you could call what’s going on “playing the game” debating the finer parts of the contract whilst making the dithering about whether to sign or not public in the hope that you drum up interest in your player that will either get you a better deal at club A or by moving to club B.  The way things work these days if they actually wanted to move then we’d have been approached, publicly, by clubs after their signatures.  Suffice to say I think both players will sign on the dotted line at some point.

Wage Structures
Leave it alone, the lot of you.  Any speculation about how much our players are getting paid or being offered is just that.  It’s all guesswork based on little snippets in the paper and on message boards.  Whatever is on the table will be based on what is best for the club and what Jewell reckons a player is worth.  Historically we’ve had problems getting players to talk to us for whatever reason (Hulse, Blake, Roberts (first time around) and more recently Parker are examples).  Once we actually get to talk to someone it tends to be less of a problem to get them to sign.  Remember one thing, it doesn’t matter how much you whinge, the club will carry on as they see fit.  The only time you’ll be able to say that they should have done it differently is when it all comes down around their ears.  I for one have a feeling that’s not going to happen.

This needs sorting out, now.  The club’s stance is correct and the threats to withdraw services by GMP are, as far as I’m concerned, little more an attempt to bully Latics.  Whatever happens (or has happened) with regard to the owed money until the police’s approach to pricing and their conduct throughout this situation has been properly examined.

Best Buddies?
So PJ and Jose are drinking partners now?  Not quite sure what to make of that, but if this Ze Castro Deal comes off and he’s a good one then it’s all good.  It would also be interesting to know which other players Mourinho has pointed out to Jewell a couple of silky skilled Portuguese lads in the squad sounds quite an attractive proposition.  What with the Boavista friendly we’ve obviously now got decent connections over there now, so how’s about a pre season on the Algarve next year?  Yeah – I doubt it too.

I think that has us roughly up to date so I’ll sign off no with a timely reminder that nothings over until it’s over and this hasn’t even begun yet, so let’s have a minute and think about what you’re saying before go laying into Jewell, Whelan or anyone else, we all want this to go well but we’re far from being at Panic Stations yet.

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