Talking Football: Now that’s a lot more like it!

Max Power
Max Power

Two wins in the space of three days and, all of a sudden, things look a lot more rosy for Wigan Athletic.

I asked in last week’s column whether, after four league draws on the spin, the glass was half-full or half-empty.

Well after back-to-back victories, Latics are now unbeaten in eight matches and only a point and a place off the play-offs.

Eight goals from the wins over Colchester and Peterborough says everything about the threat going forward.

And although Gary Caldwell will be rightly concerned about shakiness at the back in the last half hour at Peterborough, things are definitely heading in the right direction.

Until the backline finds that elusive solidity, Latics will have to continue scoring more goals than the opposition to keep their run going.

And the options available to Caldwell will surely be the envy of the rest of the division.

The front three of Will Grigg, Yanic Wildschut and Michael Jacobs would not look out of place in the Championship – and will only getting better with each game.

With the likes of Craig Davies, Grant Holt and Jordy Hiwula champing at the bit for a chance, it’s a healthy competition for places that is contributing towards the recent resurgence.

As Caldwell and several of his players have admitted this week, if players are not playing well enough, there’s always someone else behind them who will.

Latics look to have finally found their feet on the road, with two wins and two draws from their last four outings.

That run will be put to the test this weekend when them travel to West Yorkshire to face a Bradford side who are aiming for promotion themselves.

In their present form, though, Latics won’t fear anyone as they aim to climb into the top six – which would get the early leaders looking anxiously over their shoulders.

Ex-Latics favourite James McClean is never far from the headlines – and we’ve still got the annual ‘Poppy or No Poppy’ furore to come next month.

The Irishman was in the thick of it again after West Brom’s 1-0 win over his old club Sunderland last weekend, with his celebrations not going down too well with the disgruntled away end.

In fairness, most will feel McClean deserved his moment after being the subject of abusing chanting for much of the game. But did he have to?

The game was over – he’d already won!

I always loved interviewing McClean during his two years with Latics.

Humble, honest (sometimes too much!), thoughtful, self-deprecating, self-critical – he told it like it is.

But with yet another warning from the FA on the way, surely the penny should be dropping that all this extra focus and attention is not doing him any good.

Certainly not in the eyes of Baggies boss Tony Pulis.

“He’s not the sharpest tool in the box,” Pulis assessed. “And that’s not being disrespectful to him!”

It’s been another busy week covering the goings on at Latics.

But I had to spare a thought for my colleagues over in Leeds for the latest episode of ‘Elland Road’.

Manager controversially sacked, manager controversially appointed, fans in uproar, owner banned by the Football League.

Or, as they call it in Leeds: ‘Monday’.

Looking on the bright side, we are now only three Leeds managers to Christmas.

And scientists reckon

by 2020, you’ll never be more than six feet away from a former Leeds manager.

On a serious note, Latics fans will have watched

on with added interest given Uwe Rosler’s involvement.

Although it didn’t work out for the German at

the DW, I hoped he’d bounce back with the challenge of returning the glory days, which seem so long ago now, to Leeds.

Sadly that’s not proved to be the case and, after two huge disappointments in the space of 11 months,

it’ll be interesting to see where the German’s next move takes him.

In any other week, Leeds owner Massimo Cellino would have walked away with quote of the week for this brutal assessment of Uwe Rosler’s tenure:

“I wanted them to play heavy-rock football, but instead it was like country music.”

But then there was Mark Lawrenson, who came up with this startling description of Olivier Giroud’s goal for Arsenal against Bayern Munich on Tuesday:

“It’s come off his nose, he’s French, so he’ll have a big nose.”

But the top gong has to go to Sheffield United manager – and ex-Latics goalkeeper – Nigel Adkins, for this David Brent-esque exchange with a reporter at a press conference:

NA: “What’s the biggest room in your house?”

Reporter: “The living room?”

NA: “The room for improvement.”

Heard the best-ever excuse for being late to a football game on Tuesday from Paul Rowley, who covers Latics for Radio Manchester in addition to his day job as the BBC’s political reporter.

“I was delayed by the Chinese Prime Minister!” spluttered Paul.

And true as well!