Talking football: Proof Latics can never be written off

Jordy Hiwula celebrates his dramatic winning goal
Jordy Hiwula celebrates his dramatic winning goal

We’ve all come in to work on Monday morning wondering what on earth happened over the weekend.

But spare a thought for the bloke running the Chesterfield FC Twitter account, who discovered his weekend work (inset right) had gone viral.

Let’s be honest, when you find yourself writing the words ‘no tempting fate here I hope’, you’re probably on a slippery slope.

And he must have watched the last 10 minutes with head in hands as goal after goal went in to his side’s net.

Gary Caldwell, after the game, insisted he was ‘never in doubt’ Latics would turn things around at 0-2.

Hmmm, I wasn’t so confident after 80 minutes...but credit the players for summoning the guts and character to produce one of the greatest comebacks in recent memory.

Real ‘I was there’ stuff.

Just a shame I saw so many Latics supporters heading for the exit gates well before Leon Barnett’s goal gave Latics hope.

A valuable lesson once again learned, the hard way.

Never write off Latics.

I’m obviously not privy to the inner workings at Doncaster Rovers FC.

But I did think that the decision to dispense with the services of boss Paul Dickov was a tad harsh.

Not just because they’ve only played half a dozen games.

But the performance they gave at the DW last month – when Latics were extremely fortunate to avoid a home defeat – suggested they were very much on the right track.

Another sad indictment of the pressure involved at all levels of the game these days, which makes the panic button an all-too-easy solution.

He’ll be back.

We’re always rightly proud of the achievements of our sporting teams from Wigan on a national level against other far bigger towns and cities.

So how about Iceland, who have qualified for next summer’s European Championships, in a group containing mighty Holland...with a population the size of Wigan.

Truly remarkable stuff.

In these tight economic times, I feel it my duty to draw your attentions to quite literally a licence to print money, coming your way on April 9, 2016.

Coventry City over the weekend announced the signing of Marc-Antoine Fortune, the man who failed to locate the backside of a cow with a banjo for much of his two-year stay with Latics.

Save the date. Anytime goalscorer. Lump on. Thank me later.

What a great achievement for Wayne Rooney to have hit the half-century of international goals and, in doing so, becoming England’s all-time record goalscorer.

And what a shame that some have preferred instead to try to denigrate his accomplishments.

‘Football’s easier these days’, ‘defenders aren’t allowed to kick strikers now’, ‘he’s never done it on the big stage’, etc.

You’ve heard all the excuses.

It was interesting, therefore, to see a comparison between Rooney’s 50 goals (from 107 caps), and Sir Bobby Charlton’s 49 (from 106).

We won’t even dwell on the hat-tricks scored by Charlton in one-sided romps against USA (8-1), Luxembourg (9-0), Mexico (8-0) and Switzerland (8-1) that accounted for almost a quarter of his tally.

Rooney scored only 14 goals in friendlies, compared to Charlton’s 22. His total of 36 goals in competitive internationals is far better than Charlton’s 27.

Nine of his efforts were winning goals, compared to six of Charlton’s. And, perhaps most interestingly, six of his goals came at major tournaments, compared to five of Charlton’s.

This is not to try to in any way belittle Charlton, who is clearly among the greatest players these islands have ever produced. But Rooney, too, belongs in that company.

His record also compares favourable with modern-day legends Lionel Messi (104 caps, 48 goals) and Cristiano Ronaldo (120 caps, 55 goals).

Maybe Rooney’s quality will only truly be appreciated when he hangs up his shooting boots.

You truly don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.