Grasping at plastic

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Did you know that Wayne Rooney has hit the woodwork six times this season? For a man chasing goal scoring records, that’s damn unlucky. Imagine what a blow to the confidence that might be. Then again, when you’re Rooney and you know that your next chance will be along shortly, it’s probably not; he wants to try playing in a team like Latics where you can’t, like, just whisper a few choices words and then wait a few minutes for the next shot.

Hang on, who’s that next on the OPTA list in Martin Tyler’s column today? It’s only Charles N’Zogbia (five times) and then Jason Scotland (three times) and then Hugo Rodallega (twice). That’s ten bloody time Latics have hit the woodwork this season. Ten times they’ve been centimetres away from hitting the back of the net.

You wouldn’t think it’s worth mentioning, but a quick perusal of that list tells you a couple of other things. Firstly, hitting the post doesn’t happen as often as you might think and secondly, it doesn’t happen to every tom, dick or Hull City. Hitting the post ten times at this stage of the season is for the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham not a relegation threatened teams.

Now chances have been at a premium this season and I suppose the conclusion from this stat depends on your views. Then again, I’ve never heard anyone get called crap for hitting the bar (unless it was from a yard out), so I guess you have to go with it being unlucky.

I’ve not got time to go back and find them but it’s a fair guess that they were ten shots that could have lead to goals, that could have led to wins (or at least points), three of them that could have lead to a Jason Scotland scoring spree. All of them would have given a boost to Latics’ quickly ebbing confidence.

I’m grasping at Straws, I know, but I’m a football fan, what do you expect.

The Opta carpentry list taken from the SkySports website:

SIX TIMES:
Rooney (Manchester United)

FIVE TIMES:
Gerrard (Liverpool)
N’Zogbia (Wigan Athletic)

THREE TIMES:
Arshavin (Arsenal)
Crouch (Tottenham)
Dempsey (Fulham)
Pedersen (Blackburn Rovers)
Scotland (Wigan Athletic)
Tevez (Manchester City)
van Persie (Arsenal)

TWO TIMES:
Anelka (Chelsea)
Benitez (Birmingham City)
Benni McCarthy (Blackburn, now West Ham)
Defoe (Tottenham)
Drogba (Chelsea)
Eagles (Burnley)
Fabregas (Arsenal)
Kalinic (Blackburn Rovers)
Kalou (Chelsea)
Keogh (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Kuyt (Liverpool)
Ngog (Liverpool)
Reid (Sunderland)
Rodallega (Wigan Athletic)
Taylor (Bolton Wanderers)

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