Talking Sport - Caldwell’s summer of big decisions

Phil Wilkinson
Phil Wilkinson

LATICS’ tumble has been dragged out longer than anyone could envisage.

It seemed every time we all thought they were doomed, a result would go their way or a team would get docked three points, and they would go another week without the dreaded (R) appearing next to their name on the league table.

It’s been death by pea-shooters.

I don’t know about you, but I felt Latics’ misery was compounded by the images of Bournemouth celebrating promotion to the Premier League.

And good luck to them.

But it wasn’t long ago Wigan were making history of their own. And it was only a little more than a year ago when eventual-winners Arsenal needed a penalty shoot-out to get past Latics in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Gary Caldwell has some big decisions to make over the summer - I hope FA Cup-winning captain Emmerson Boyce is retained, and not just for sentimental reasons. But for now, as we approach the final game of a campaign which has lurched from one problem to the next, it’s impossible not to reflect on how far they have fallen in such a short time.

As the James hit goes: “If I hadn’t seen such riches, I could live with being poor.”

WATCH Super League regularly, and it’s hard not to expect each game to be entertaining.

Wigan’s televised games against St Helens and Warrington were both thrilling encounters. But it’s inevitable that many fixtures will fall flat - as Thursday’s game against Wakefield did. It was painful viewing.

Crucially, the Warriors need to make sure that - on those occasions - they come out the other end winning.

Because with Super League operating a top-four play-offs, many good clubs are going to miss out. Third-placed Wigan have a three-point lead on Huddersfield, in fourth. But only two points separate six teams, two of whom have a game in hand. And with 11 rounds to go before the Super-8s begin, the need to get the points is only going to get greater - whether the games are epic or awful.

YOU know you’re getting old when the big pay-per-view boxing isn’t a late night, it’s an early-morning.

I’ll be getting up for the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight at daft ‘o clock on Sunday.

The two finest fighters of their generation, this bout will make them both richer but it won’t prove anything - they’re both closer to 40 than 30, and whoever loses can fall back on the defence that they would have won in their prime. But if you need any more reason to want Money Mayweather to get beaten, here it is.

According to The Guardian, when he was asked if he had been let-off lightly about his troubling history of abusing women, he replied: “When it’s all said and done, only God can judge. But I don’t want people to miss this fight. This is an unbelievable match-up, Mayweather-Pacquiao, May 2nd.”