Don’t mention the ref!!

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Are we bothering with a 12th Man column this week or are we just going to have a full page dartboard with Howard Webb’s face on it instead? I suspect the output will look much the same regardless but personally I’ve spent too much time savaging those big club loving pseudo officials to bother repeating myself again. It is beyond a joke, if indeed it was a joke. Let’s look forward instead of continually bleating about the “small club syndrome” which undoubtedly costs us 10-12 points every season.


That’s one paragraph about it already. Must. Stop. Slating. Referees. It’s been a few years since Henri Camara wriggled a diving header under Tim Howard at the DW that Monday night a few seasons’ back and it’s fair to say that our record versus Everton since then has been at best mediocre. The Toffees have got their season off to a flyer and despite only minimal acquisitions each season seem to be a team who constantly overperform under the fine stewardship of David Moyes.


We are slowly getting dragged into the mire and three points from Saturday’s game would be just the ticket to steer the good ship Wigan Athletic away from what could turn into another perennial relegation struggle but with four wins and a draw under their belt Everton find themselves in the heady reaches of a Champions League spot. What response from Wigan Athletic following a disappointing few weeks’ performances? Is this a permanent downturn or just a poor run of form?


It seems like when winning becomes an option and not a necessity, we step down a gear. It’s great that for all the years we have now been in the Premier League we have always pulled out the results when it matters but whereas every game is winnable for us between now and Christmas – no seriously it is – how many of us those will we take three points from? And will it be the ones we expect to – home games against other teams around us – or away at the big guns? I guess none of us ever really know as Wigan Athletic fans; except that 4-0 reversal at Old Trafford – everyone saw that coming!


Still, that is half the wonder of following our team: nothing is guaranteed and amidst all the disappointments and let downs, there is the occasional nice surprise to make up for it. Let’s hope we get one this Saturday!

First published in the Wigan Evening Post 12th Man Column on Wednesday 3rd October 2012

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