A busy week at the JJB? It may well have been, but as we have come accustomed there’s been little in the way of news coming out of the club. There’s no doubting that the real story of the week is the extra days off Henri Camara managed to pick up by not turning up for the Liverpool clash. Elsewhere the injury situation seems to be picking up ahead of the Carling Cup final (shock, gasp, horror I hear you cry) and despite the initial panic a reasonable chunk of our 27,000 tickets for Cardiff have gone on sale.
Starting at the top, at some point between Saturday lunchtime and Monday morning, Jewell got another chance to test out his French swear words as the club finally managed to locate our errant striker. It turns out that his plane into Paris didn’t arrive in time for him to catch the flight he was booked on back to Manchester. Whether the experience was all too much for him or the manager just didn’t want to see him until he’d calmed down a bit. There’s talk of internal discipline, but as the player didn’t strictly break any rules, I’d be surprised if that was anything more than a strong talking to. Our form during the African Nations Cup has highlighted how important Camara is to the team and I think it’s a fair bet that come Sunday this will all be water under the bridge and he’ll be taking his place in the starting line up.
Early indications are that Lee McCulloch will be fit enough to take some part in the game at Spurs. If he does return he’ll have been missing for about the same length of time as Camara and it may well be that his return proves just as important. The big Scot is a bit of enigma as far as I’m concerned. He’s not the most skillful of lads, isn’t a creative option and is playing in a role that should be alien to him and yet when he’s in the team, we usually look a better, or at least more solid, side. It’s a real answers on a postcard situation this one, but suffice to say I’m happy to see him back.
Lee’s not the only one looking up, David Connolly is back in training. You can call me cynic, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of our other absentees also attempt to pull on a bib during the next seven days.
It might be something to do with having mine safely tucked away, but I’m fairly sick of hearing about Carling Cup Final tickets. The week started off with another Harrods sale moment as people camped out to be first in the queue to get the tickets going on open sale. Are these people that desperate, or are they secretly hoping that Sky will turn up with their cameras to capture this pivotal moment in the club’s history. Either way you have to wonder how people end up that way.
Despite the best efforts of the Latics public to create a panic buying situation, it appears that as of Monday evening there were still in excess of 2000 tickets left. Stories have varied since then but at the time of writing there are some left and now the panic starts that we’re not going to sell out.
Two of the more controversial ticket stories have also raised their heads again this week, and will have no doubt caused a snigger or two to the originally ‘wronged’ parties. First up Carling got around to releasing their freebies to the club for distribution. Now just to recap, these are the tickets for those away season ticket holders lucky enough to have their names pulled out of a hat, some got tickets others got tickets plus hospitality. Most of these lucky boys and girls stayed (we can only assume) smugly silent when the shit hit the fan first time around. Forgive me I can’t empathise with the sense of injustice that was sprayed over the internet when it turns out that the free tickets were from the £36 category, then again from what you hear AST holders should be used to crap views by now.
The other ‘woe is me’ moment sprung up when it came to light that the JJB employees that had seemingly got first dibs on tickets hadn’t got any as yet. Now it appears that this was a false alarm when tickets turned up the next day, if there’s still any of you out there that haven’t got them, maybe you could consider popping down to the ticket office for a couple. If you can’t because you’re not on the database, well go figure.
That’s about your lot, but there’s always time for an “and finally”; it sounds like there may actually be some new official merchandise down at JJB, but with people rushing out to get their Latics shirts embroidered with the commemorative message I wouldn’t imagine it will be very long before we’re hearing complaints about the club exploiting parents by bring stuff out all the time. A Latics bike indeed.
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