…and two weeks later

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Well, for one reason or another, I’ve not done an especially good job of keeping my promise of keeping this blog up to date. Plenty has happened in the couple of weeks since I last wrote. We’ve had a few in and a couple out, been linked with shed loads more, the duke saga dragged on and of course we’ve actually got down to playing some football (more accurately I’ve actually got around to seeing us play some football).

First off let’s say hello to;

Damien Francis
– yet again a player joins us without the best wishes of his previous club’s supporters. These days it’s not necessarily a good judge of a player’s ability or attitude. We tend to expect a level of loyalty that isn’t exactly abound in the modern game, how could anyone want to leave our club, no matter what the reason. On paper he did a good job for Naaarich and only time will tell whether he can do the same for us.
Henri Camara – another one with a lot to prove; let’s hope this is the season for it.
Arjan De Zeeuw – looking to disprove the ‘never go back’ theory. Hopefully he won’t undo the good work he did last time around, Latics fans hardly have long memories for this sort of thing.
Josip Skoko – no I haven’t either. An Australian international that needed a work permit. So, to go through that effort, Jewell obviously rates him.

And goodbye to;

Nathan Ellington – 3 excellent years ruined by choosing the new Stoke over the (perhaps) tuppence ha’penny contract we offered him. The Duke should be remembered for what he did on the pitch not this misguided decision.
David Graham – never really got the chance to show his promise, looked a decent footballer but played mostly out of position. Good luck with the Wendys Dave.

All in all that leaves us at least one striker light with a fortnight to go to buy. The links will be many and varied over that time; as long as we can avoid Brian Deane and his ilk we should be fine.

And so to the football, having flown back in for the Boavista game* I have to admit to being more than a little disappointed. Snail racing is done at a quicker pace. If anything it left me more confused about our chances in the coming season than I was after the Reading game.

In stark contrast the Chelsea game was, to understate it, a pleasant surprise. If we can play like that against the champions (albeit the out of sorts champions) then we have little to fear. Only problem is whether we can sustain that level of intensity when we play Fulham, West Brom, Sunderland and the like.

To be honest I’m not sure that it helped the whole thing sink in, the pace of the game and the number of people there made it feel more like a big cup tie than a ‘run of the mill’ league game.

Some observations from the Chelsea game;

  • a wider variety of merchandise available from the geezers on the street than from the club
  • the supporter’s club, how hot was the Champions Bar?
  • Free samples of toiletries – WTF!
  • MFE, the final death knoll for Cockney Latic?
  • Shirts, looking at Sunday’s crowd we must have sold more shirts this season than our average attendance last season.

All are welcome, but leave the rugby shirts at home, or were you expecting Wigan v Widnes and got the ground wrong?
How hard and accurately do these bays hit the ball? There’ll be problems if everyone in the prem can do that.

That’s all for today folks, speak to you soon.

* well ok I got picked up from Croston where we were camping for the weekend.

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