Hello darkness my old friend – new season new me? Not a chance as Wigan Athletic manage to start the new season much like they performed the most part last season.
As Roberto would say let’s look at the positives – against Leeds we were very much in the game for long periods and if it wasn’t for a needless sending off we could well have got a point against the league favourites.
Against Middlesbrough for the first 25 minutes Latics set off like the proverbial express train. Intelligent build up play and plenty of sight of goal, if not any clear chances. That’s probably it for the positives, then Boro got themselves ahead and there was only one way that game was going to go.
Latics had plenty of bluster in the second half at the Riverside but as so often last season no end product. Of course it shouldn’t have been like this, not after spending over ten million pounds this summer and not after the way we performed so well against Cardiff at the start of the month.
It shows more than ever that financial muscle isn’t the be all and end all in football. It isn’t a quick fix and Latics are still very much a work in progress. Add injuries to that list – Josh Windass, Joe Garner, Josh Geldhart, and now Kieffer Moore and it’s clear we’re struggling.
It’s been a worrying three matches since Cardiff at home, the same errors from last season have come back and it feels like we have just picked up where we were towards the end of last season. I’m not worrying yet, it’s August after all.
Last season we had a great opening couple of months and an awful November to March. I’m sure given the option for a role reversal this season we would all take the latter.
The thing is despite me saying all of the above I can’t get my self worked up to worry about our start to any great extent.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to be glib about our situation – yes it’s disappointing, yes I was hoping for a better start and yes I’ll be worried if it carries on like this but and here’s the thing. We can debate and argue about how well or how poorly we’re doing for the next twelve months.
Latics will continue to thrive and prosper and under the ownership of IEC as with the Whelan family Latics look to be in a good place off the pitch. The same can’t be said for two of our nearest rivals. Bolton’s plight has been well publicised over the last three years, but the plight of a club a bit further up the road hasn’t had anywhere near the level of attention.
Bury are on the verge of extinction after over a 134 years, all thanks to two reckless owners who have virtually driven the club out of the football league.
Bury are the nearest club to my home and as much as I’ve enjoyed watching Latics win at Gigg Lane over the years to lose that club would decimate the town.
They’re similar to us Bury, surrounded by people from the town who would never dream of watching their home town club and instead fill the pubs across the borough of Bury watching the big Manchester clubs – of course part of the reason they’re in the position they are.
The only difference for us is that we had Dave Whelan who took us on that amazing 23 year ride. So although results haven’t been great so far we could well beat QPR on Saturday and move right up in to the top half of the table. It isn’t all bad, certainly not in August.
There’s another reason for a bit of indifference this week – a friend of mine and close friend of many Latics stalwarts passed away after a battle with bowel cancer.
Chris Hough is a face I’ve seen at Latics for as long as I can remember, one of those lads who no matter where, no matter when would be at a Latics match.
I met Chris through the infamous Arky’s tours and have shared some of the happiest memories of Latics with him and like minded people like him.
For someone so likeable as Chris and still so young to be taken from his family in his prime is simply cruel and really knocked me for six over the last couple of weeks.
Whenever Latics do get back on track I’m sure Chris will know it was for him. It wouldn’t be Wigan if a fitting tribute wasn’t a bit delayed.