Let me guess you woke up this Friday morning, or maybe it’s the end of the Japanese School day? You looked on NewsNow & thought “Rooney Cuts Toe Nails”, WTF?
*Here’s a WTF link for those in the Far East!
Okay I know I’m digressing with the Match preview for this weekend, but I’ll get there. Scroll down to ‘Spleen Over” if you want to avoid, well my spleen!
The WTF bit! Well as you know leading into this Premier League match, it’s been an International break for a couple of weeks! So the media types (me included) have had little Premier League news to go on, the Transfer window has closed shut & the comedy that is Brendan “I’m 1st choice I am” Rodgers only has so much steam.
So the lack of Premier League News, normally means a well timed book serialisation or an exclusive interview, so step forward Wayne. So the ‘Cuts Toe Nails’ headline that brought you here, it’s probably the only one we’ve NOT had in the last 2 weeks:
- Injury was millimeters from ending Wayne’s Career.
- Wedding Anniversary surprise date with Wayne.
- Wayne’s fitness with Hodgson.
- Will Wayne make a midfielder in the future?
- Having Kai made Wayne grow up.
- Wayne reckons Messi is better than Ronaldo.
So before you start, if you’ve lasted this long, before you post a comment to vent your own spleen, No I’m not jealous, not of Wayne, his money, his skills, his looks, his Man United. I’m using Wayne to make a point.
Just what the editor here at TNS always tell us to do, is “find the Real Story”‘!
Unfortunately for myself & many football loving people, in the last 2 weeks, the real Premier League story is “there isn’t a Story!” Yes, the injury, it’s an injury, there’s been many, it’s not the first, it won’t be the last, do you remember Stuart Holden? If not, go on Google ‘Stuart Holden injury’, it happened in March 2011.
The rest of the stories, do we really need to know? An example, do we really need to know that Peter Crouch is still not doing something, e.g. playing for England. & this is essence of the problem, media is 24×7 now, you die if you don’t post something, keep the momentum or chase the Vital story.
The irony is I’ve used media to get you here, to argue the case of media quality vs media quantity, I know which side so far this story is on.
Just if there is no news, can we have ‘No News’ & let us do something less boring instead?
So to Wigan’s next match, away to Manchester United at Old Trafford, kick off is 3pm on Saturday the 15th September.
Played at the DW on the 11th April, it was part of the great run Wigan had in their last 9 games. One word can simply describe it…………….MALONEY*.
The lad curling it inside the right hand post to mark the first time Wigan had picked up points, let alone beat the Great & Mighty Manchester United. The game was one of the 7 wins in their last 9 games to ensure Premier League football for an 8th Season.
Earlier that season Wigan had lost to United 5-0 at Old Trafford, in what was a typical United scoreline for Wigan! In fact we’d lost the previous 13 Premier League games to United, make it 14 if you count the Carling Cup Final in February 2006. Also to show had bad we’d been against United, in the previous 9 games we’d only ever managed to score 1 goal, Hugo getting it in a 2-1 defeat in April 2009.
So that last game was a bit of a shock.
So to this time round, Referee for the game is Michael Oliver, who’s last match was Poland & Portugal’s Under 21’s match. This will be the first time he’s refereed either team. He’s been involved in 4 Premier League games in differing capacity this season. A 4th official at City’s matches against QPR & Liverpool, the referee at the Villa vs Everton & the opening game of the season, Fulham’s 5-0 thumping of Norwich. His card count includes Ciaran Clark’s sending off in the Villa Everton game. His assistants will be Ledger & Scholes (no not that Scholes) & the 4th official will be Fergie’s old mate Phil Dowd…..I do hope Mr Oliver keeps fit from here to kick off?
Form coming into the game, has been mixed for both teams, Wigan have simply won 1 (Southampton), drawn 1 (Stoke) & Lost 1 (Chelsea). United, Won 2 (both 3-2 against Fulham & Southampton) & Lost 1 (Everton). Think the main aspect looking at United’s mixed start, though it’s seen 6 points, it’s also seen United concede 5 goals in 3 games. They hung on for dear life against Fulham & needed 2 goals in the 87th & 90th minute to beat Southampton, a team Wigan had clinically dispatched in their own back yard a couple of weeks earlier.
As we are only 3 games in to the season league position is tenuous as to May 2013, but we have United in 5th & Wigan in 9th.
Injuries, Wigan have Alcaraz (Groin) & Beausejour (Hamstring), with Alcaraz expected to return Saturday.
United have a very wide treatment table with, Kagawa (Back), Van Persie (Thigh on International duty), Evans (ankle/foot), Jones (recent Knee Op), Smalling (Metatarsal), Fletcher (Bowel), Young (Knee) & Rooney (Leg Laceration – see above) all injured. Of these, half in Van Persie, Evans, Young & Kagawa are all expected to have late fitness tests?
Expectations, heart says a draw, head says a defeat, hoping our goal difference doesn’t take a battering. The only other factor I believe could change the way United approach this match is the Van Persie injury and or the Champions League match they have against Galatasaray on Wednesday evening. Van Persie has score 66% of all United’s League goals and you’re aware United dropped down to the Europa League last season, so I could see Fergie resting players to ensure a good start in the Champions League.
Who knows anyway, I do know the Wigan squad is stronger from last season, they have kept the core of the team together & they learned a great deal at the end of last season, so we could see points for the 2nd match on the spin vs United?
* Oh thanks to the Independent for the Maloney Picture.
** & I am aware that Other news in the last 48 hours has been significant in the eyes of football, I too want Justice, just I’ll leave it to others to comment on.
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