Firing Bullets – Pish Posh

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About as regular as a Northern Rail service from Layton station, I thought it was about time I got off my proverbial and started spouting off at you all on the internet again.  I know you’ve all missed me, maybe.  Ok, maybe not, but with such an exciting ninety minutes on Saturday, there’s plenty to talk about, or at least enough to give it you in six bullets…

  • It’s all Lee Collins’ fault

Don’t worry, I had to look him up, Lee Collins, for the less nerdy of you, is the referee that saw fit to give Sam Morsy two “stupid” bookings at Millwall last Tuesday.  Stupid as in two bookings that probably cost us both that game and the Peterborough one. 

Five clean sheets from six games tells you what Morsy has brought to the Latics team, but that’s only half the story.  Greater defensive stability has meant we’ve seen a more free flowing attacking effort that was somewhat lacks gin Saturday.

A quick scan of Morsy’s record suggests he’s due at least two suspensions a season.  The word “liability” has been bandied about (I would suggest mischievously) in some quarters, and you can have some sympathy with that view, with four points, that would have seen Latics level with Burton, arguably dropped over these two games.

Then again, you’re never going to win every game and we’ve seen every suggestion that Morsy could be one of those players whose rough is worth taking for the smooth. 

  • Do you ever wonder?

Why the people who follow Latics away tend to be more optimistic* than fans who almost exclusively leave their support at the DW?  No, it’s not because they’re better, more impassioned supporters, it’s probably just that they get to see Latics at their best. 

It’s that old thing where teams come to the DW and set up to not lose, two banks of four, doubling up their markers and all that.  It’s hard to play sparkling football when the opposition aren’t that interested in attacking all we’ve seen that all too often this season with teams either not interested or not able to cause any real threat.

It was refreshing last week to see the space we created by switching formations against Bury and Peterborough’s energy early on this week suggested we might be in for something similar.  But things settled down into a familiar pattern quite quickly and with the Posh (me neither) doing a pretty good job at stopping Wildschut, Caldwell could have probably done with making some changes.

  • Three into 45 doesn’t go

Ok, so that’s not even close to being mathematically correct, but you try making three changes in the first half of a match and see how well it goes. 

As much as Morsy’s absence and Peterborough’s reluctance to come at us, the loss of Jääskeläinen, McAleny and Pearce contributed to both the sluggish performance and the end result.  Even more worryingly, they all been key players in recent weeks and you have to hope that none of them are out for any length of time. 

McAleny is perhaps the least concerning with Colclough, Vucic and Florres all vying for the same sort of position, but Pearce was a big miss in the early part of the season and will be again now.  Even more so, Jussi has been a revelation since taking the gloves from Richard O’Donnell and despite a number of false dawns, we’re still not 100% certain just how good a keeper Lee Nicolls is.

  • Free kicks are in the eye of the beholder.

I’m still not certain how good the dead ball  was that got Peterborough their equaliser.  I’ve heard people say that Nicolls should have saved it, others talk about a wicked last minute curl on the ball.  Either way, placing a ball on the base of the opposite post from twenty-odd yards out takes some doing and placing too much blame on a young keeper with only intermittent experience over his career so far.

Would Jussi have saved it?  Would Mike Pollitt have saved it?  More importantly, is big Mike still on player/coach contract and will he step into the breech and fill the bench if the Finn isn’t fit next Saturday?

  • The benchmark for a true laticsmon…

Well, back in the JCL conflict of the early noughties, there were plenty of people who thought the true test of fandom was whether you’d done Colchester, away, on a Tuesday night.  For what it’s worth, I hadn’t (haven’t) and I thought it was about as interesting a debate as the other main falling out point of the time, who our best left back was.

It’s not a Tuesday night, this Saturday (obviously) but it is Colchester away.  They’re rock bottom with barely a win to their name, we’ve not been built since we played… Oh balls, that’s the unbeaten run coming to an end then.  I’d best start researching one of their players for my first goal scorer bet this weekend then.

  • And finally, it’s probably a blank anyway…

But my lad came up with his first ever Latics song this Saturday, yes it really was that good a game.  Remember, he’s only ten, so you go easy on him or give me all the credit if it catches on.  All together now…

“One macker, two macker, three McAleny,

Four macker, six macker, seven McAleny

Eight macker nine macker ten McAleny

Hey, McAleny”

Until then… have fun


*It’s all relative, in a sea of miserable gets, the moaner is king, or something

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