TALKING SPORT - Will Rodallega return to haunt his old club?

0
Have your say

HUGO Rodallega hasn’t scored for Fulham yet. What odds he does it against Wigan this Saturday?

Because annoyingly quirky things like that always seem to happen to Latics.

Just like the round of applause the fans gave Latics in the eighth minute against Wolves on the final day to celebrate securing their eighth season in the top-flight. You just knew Wolves would score in that minute, didn’t you?

The same way you knew Paul Scholes would score on his 700th United appearance. The same way Peter Crouch – I’m not going to make any reference to his ridiculous height – broke his long Liverpool barren run against Wigan with a deflected goal which changed direction more sharply than a boomerang.

We knew then it would be taken off him... so he added another for good measure.

So not only am I hoping Latics are victorious on Saturday, I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that no tabloid writer is given the easy line: “Rodallega returned to haunt his old club...”

WHEN it comes to reflecting on a season, it can be a struggle remembering the feats of the early months. I’m 34, getting on a bit.

But I won’t have to go too far back for try of the season. Josh Charnley’s extraordinary 90m effort against Catalan was spectacular – what a shame only 7,000 fans were there to witness it.

The rugby league authorities have done so much wrong recently, it was about time they did something right. They have gone some way to redeeming themselves with a slick, Hollywood-style advert to promote the play-offs series.

If you haven’t seen it, view our Wigantoday.net website – it’s well worth a watch, even with the notable flaws (Michael Dobson’s presence, it was released after the start of the play-offs, it’s not been on TV...).

But the RFL need to do much more to attract crowds to the play-offs. In this country there’s a culture of fans buying their season tickets and that’s it.

Cut-price tickets have to be the way forward – nothing screams ‘non-event’ quite like empty terraces.

Even if they don’t cut the top-eight to six, or tinker with the play-offs to ensure there are no repeat fixtures, they need to make the play-offs more affordable and appealing.

A 90-second internet advert won’t do that alone.

PLENTY of people had a problem with Anton Ferdinand refusing to shake hands with John Terry and Ashley Cole last weekend.

It will no doubt be added to the catalogue of footballers shaming their sport.

The incident was bad sportsmanship, apparently.

About the same time, about 200 miles away, Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck shook every Latics player’s hand, like a good sportsman does.

But five minutes later, he was attempting to launch himself into orbit with a dive Tom Daley would have been proud of.

Thankfully, Ali Al Habsi saved the resulting penalty.

But if the footballing authorities want to get serious about stamping out bad sportsmanship, it will need more than a debate about players shaking hands. A six week ban and a six-figure fine would be a good start.