Planning, it’s the cornerstone of… errm pretty much everything really so it’s a good job it’s not a strong point in these parts or else we might actually get things done or end up where we’re supposed to be at any given moment, but what fun would that be? What, I’m trying to say is that I didn’t end up in Manchester on Saturday, neither did we end up managing plan b either, more about that later but I’d decided I was blogging about the night so here goes.
We missed the Latin atmosphere of the Hyundai Fan Park (because we didn’t go it will forever retain a image of being part Barcelona, part Asuncion when of course it was only ever a sunny Castlefield) and instead we got Ritalin fuelled doormen, over confident students, burger and chips and the big screen of the Tudor. Just like Wigan on any Saturday night, but without many people, so more like Wigan on any Sunday night. I assume everyone else was barbequing somewhere or other, which made for a pretty laid back night (not that my head or guts would have agreed with that statement on Sunday).
Still the main event was the football including Latics’ last representation in World Cup 2010.
Germany’s dismantling of Argentina in the afternoon meant that you were starting to suspect that the rest of this world cup was going to turn out to be a rather dull affair, the most disappointing in my memory? Quite possibly with only Paraguay, the honorary notapatchon team of the tournament, left in the hat to fight the underdogs corner.
Antolin Alcarez has arguably impressed the most of six Latics players that went over to South Africa, even though, strictly speaking, he wasn’t a Latics player yet. He’s been solid, got the goal against Italy and overall been a star for telling the world to “sod of, of course he was happy to have signed for Wigan Athletic” in the aftermath of that first game. Here was his chance to put a major flourish on the end of what was already a classic story for La Albirroja.
They came close as well, not as close as Ghana, but bloody close all the same. Paraguay looked, for large parts of the game, a better side than Spain, but unfortunately fell foul of Spain’s fitness, experience and an extremely nervous looking penalty taker. Alcarez had another decent game, barring giving Spain a penalty that they missed, to great uproar, at the second attempt, after being made to remake the first, successful effort.
Of course they’d have walked it if we’d been outside shouting at a massive screen with Vuvuzelas and customised hard-hats to boot, but we weren’t and they didn’t and with no last train to catch it was looking like the long haul for the rest of the evening. It’s amazing how much more amenable going home at midnight is when you’ve just got off a train. Unlikely all the same, but amenable none the less.
So it was off to The Anvil a surprise meeting with Martin “Jimmy” Tarbuck, a good old chinwag and a reminder to plug the new Mudhutter website and their summer special e-zine. They may have been at it longest but there’s still no sign of the quality wearing thin, so you might want to think about popping over and leaving the lads a quick line to let them know they’re appreciated. Oh, and prepare yourselves for a potential WEP front page splash involving school kids and retro Latics t-shirts.
Plan B had been Club Nirvana, Gods Cop, Bez and the Urchins. It was supposed to be abut the St Helens based, Coral influenced “ones to watch” but because one of our number had developed some kind of moral objection to the taxi driving, maraca shaking (and as it turns out non-DJing) DJ for the night we ended up stopping off at the Boulevard (is it still called the Boulevard, I’ve just realised that I stopped looking at pub signs a few years back?).
This meant we got in just in time to see the drums and sound desk being packed up, a shame because these lads really do sound promising and this would have been the first time I’d see them play as “headliners”, if you can headline a one band bill that is. Find out for yourself at Myspace or ReverbNation.
The Bez thing was all a bit strange, not a great turn out but a reasonably full dance floor, until he let people on the stage with him then it looked like no one was in. He wobbled about shouting a bit, mostly about pies and making noise from what I could hear whilst some kid did a reasonably decent job of spinning disks in the corner. Not quite 1990 all over again that’s for sure. By the time he’d finished there was only two of us left, the others having “flagged” and gone on wanders (or home to bed if I’m more honest).
Not that I should be bragging, the last of us managed a little while longer, managing to get a kebab despite the scrum of barely post-pubescent boys drooling over the be-basqued hen night girls at the front of the queue and then with seconds to spare got to Wigan Northwestern in time for the, surprisingly less scary than it is in the afternoon, Skem night bus, it was almost as if I’d planned it.
Have fun, I did.
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