THE term ‘footballing fairytale’ is one of the most over-used phrases in the business.
And I normally try and avoid using cliches like the plague.
But never was that expression more appropriate than at the weekend, when Aspull’s Jordan Flores marked his first league start with a debut goal.
As the bloke on the DW Stadium PA put it: “GOALSCORER FOR WIGAN ATHLETIC...EAST STAND SEASON-TICKET HOLDER ALL HIS LIFE...JORDAN FLORES!”
With many of his friends and family dotted around the stadium, it must have been an amazing feeling for the 19-year-old.
Coming so soon after Billinge-born Tim Chow did likewise against Brighton on his big day last term, it provided another massive feel-good story.
And as Gary Caldwell was quick to point out after the game, Flores and Chow are not in the team merely to provide a local flavour.
They’re in on merit, and they represent the future of a club that enjoyed mixing it with the big boys of the Premier League for eight years, but is relishing getting back in touch with its roots in the third tier this season.
At the other end of the spectrum, it was also great to see Grant Holt come through 90 minutes for the first time in nine months for the Development Squad on Tuesday, scoring two goals in the process.
Whichever way you look at it, his situation in the last couple of years hasn’t been handled as well as it might have by either side.
And the sooner the big man gets back in the first-team set-up, and hopefully among the goals, the better for everyone.
The return of Holt – a proven goalscorer at this level – would be like a new signing for Caldwell.
And there’s another cliche I won’t mind repeating if he starts banging in the goals on a regular basis again.
IT was great to see the Latics chairman engaging with the fans last week when he conducted a live #askDavidSharpe Q&A on Twitter.
Predictably, the chat was infiltrated by one Bolton fan, who perhaps soon wished he hadn’t got involved.
“How does it feel to still be in our shadow? #AskDavidSharpe” was the question from ‘@Seanwanderers1’.
“I don’t care about shadows, I only care about trophies.
“When was the last time you won one?” came the sharp Sharpe reply.
SATURDAY’S 2-1 victory over Fleetwood gave Latics more than just three precious points as they move menacingly up the League One ladder.
It also means they have now played and beaten 99 teams in the Football League since 1978.
All eyes on the visit of Burton on November 24, when Latics can hopefully bring up the century in style against the Brewers.
I KNOW he has (yet another) book to sell, but I can’t help thinking it was poor form from Sir Alex Ferguson to claim he only worked with four world-class players during his time at Manchester United.
Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo, in case you missed it, were the ‘Fab Four’.
I know there’s no love lost any more between Ferguson and Roy Keane but the Irishman certainly came into that bracket.
So too did fellow midfielders Bryan Robson and, at his peak, David Beckham (runner-up European and World Player of the Year in 1999).
In fact, throw in strikers Wayne Rooney, Ruud van Nistelroy and Robin van Persie, defenders Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Jaap Stam and Denis Irwin, along with Peter Schmeichel, and I reckon that’s a pretty formidable starting XI that would be entitled to feel a tad miffed at being snubbed.
I WOULD suggest Sanmi Odelusi owes the producers of Channel 5’s ‘Football League Tonight’ a drink or two after they avoided showing his quite remarkable miss in the closing stages of Saturday’s clash with Fleetwood.
And that wasn’t the only small gripe I had with the programme.
Latics fans will, of course, have got used to seeing their side last up on Match of the Day over the years. But to now find themselves last in the League One goals round-up? Too much!