TALKING SPORT - From Bantam bait to heavyweight in a week

IT’S never dull following Wigan Athletic.

They dispense of in-form West Ham in the Premier League, lose to League Two opponents Bradford on penalties and then go to White Hart Lane and get the win. All in the space of a week.

And they were good value for the three points at Spurs. They played with confidence and style, Ben Watson scored a vital goal and had some of the best midfielders in the league in his pocket, and the 1-0 scoreline flattered the beaten hosts. West Brom are the visitors this Saturday. Let’s hope for more of the same, and less surprises.

SPURS player Kyle Walker said last week: “No disrespect to Wigan, but out of the (next) three (games) this is the easiest game.”

No disrespect taken, Kyle. None at all.

GARETH Hock has always been something of a freakish talent, and he provided further evidence of that last Saturday... with a spectacular sidestep to evade the Press.

I wasn’t the only one to cynically suggest the BBC’s man of the match award was a blatant ploy to ask him about his possible move to Parramatta on camera. Especially after an error-littered performance well below his usual, lofty standards. He described the link as “rumours” as he made his way through the interview with what appeared a look of panic on his face.

He was clearly uncomfortable.

So when he emerged from the Craven Park dressing room and agreed to be interviewed, it caught me and the other waiting journalists off guard.

Yet before the first question could be asked, we were interrupted by a suspiciously well-timed phone call, and Gaz promised to return as he walked off to take the call.

He never did.

So I never got the quotes I wanted... but there were plenty of reasons to suggest there’s much more to it than just “rumours”.

THE best of sport is so often illustrated with the support athletes offer to good causes.

On Sunday, I felt like I’d arrived at the Wigan training ground in a DeLorean, as heroes of the past Offiah, Robinson, Betts and Connolly trained for the Joining Jack Dubai 7s team.

Bradley Wiggins’ presence as a water-boy should guarantee plenty of exposure – a lifeblood for any charity.

And the following day, Latics’ Franco di Santo Tweeted a picture of himself wearing a Joseph’s Goal wristband, in support of the charity set up by my colleague Paul Kendrick, just days after being named in the Argentina squad alongside Messi.

That’s di Santo in the squad, by the way, not Paul. Just to be clear.

SUPER League club bosses meet this week at a conference in the Lake District to discuss Super League issues.

History has taught me not to hope for too much.

About a year ago, they met in similar circumstances and agreed a cash-free sponsorship deal. Months later, Bradford hit the wall and Salford hit trouble.

Let’s hope dinner is served with a dollop of common-sense.