Sometimes you don’t have to be good, you just have to be lucky. Or in the case of Blackburn’s Grant Hanley, a little bit stupid. I’m not sure how that game would have gone had it remained 11 v 11 but it was a highly fatigued looking Wigan Athletic which took to the field on Sunday against a much fresher Rovers outfit.
I think a draw would have been a fairer result but I’m not about to complain about that. It goes some way to recompense the travesty at Watford, even though in this case the player has no-one else but himself to blame for leaving his team-mates a man short for eighty minutes.
It must have been a great moment for Owen Coyle after the Blackburn fans spent a large part of the game baiting him, not to mention those Latics fans who subscribe to the “all good things come to those who wait” principle. Incidentally, those who leave five minutes early: have you learnt nothing over the years about this football club??
So we got out of jail but I don’t generally believe that we need any extra luck to do well this season, just the standard amount doled out to every team will be fine. And the referees, well in the Premier League – I can’t use the word I’d like to about them so I will say that they favour the big teams. In the Championship, they just seem incompetent, that’s the difference.
We should be fine as on paper we have one of the strongest squads in the division which most managers would love to swap with the possible exception of poor old beleaguered hard done by ‘Arry. On a normal season we could and should be up there.
Yet I think most right thinking people would also acknowledge that due to the player and manager overhaul we should expect the customary slow start. Not to mention the European campaign which I’m enjoying every minute of – it is however making the day job harder, causing a fixture backlog and games in hand always come second to points in the bag.
We’re not going to zoom up the table overnight but we are seeing a slow progression to where we need to be, and it may only really start to blossom once we’ve said Adieu to foreign shores and get the chance to spend a few bob in January.
As we head into yet another international break, much deserved in the case of many of our squad, there is plenty to be optimistic about for the coming months.
First published in the WEP 12th Man column on Wednesday 9th October 2013
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