TALKING SPORT - Why Hock left the Warriors with little choice


No-one can accuse Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan of mincing his words about Gareth Hock.

No fudging the issues, no keeping fans in the dark.

Everyone has been asking ‘Why would Wigan let Gaz Hock leave?’

Lenagan has answered those questions, and then some.

In an unusual – perhaps unprecedented – move, he today outlined how their relationship has deteriorated.

And I think most fans would agree there was no way he could have played for the club this season. Not after what has transpired over the last few months.

It’s little surprise that Lenagan feels let down, after the way he stuck by the forward and helped him during his two-year doping ban. Fans may feel the same.

One thing’s for sure, it marks a disappointing end to the 29-year-old’s Wigan career.

Hock has always been a player who polarises opinion. A liability or a game-breaker? He’s been labelled both, sometimes within the same game!

There’s no doubting that, on his day, he has a special talent and an aggressive streak which can unsettle opponents. But Shaun Wane and his coaching staff have worked tirelessly to build a culture at the club, which needs to be protected.

And if Hock was allowed to play after refusing to train, telling Wigan he didn’t want to be there and demanded more money – as he has been accused of – then what message would that have sent out to the rest of the squad?

Wane was left with no choice. Once the dust settles, fans may start questioning who will fill Hock’s shoes?

Two words. Liam Farrell.

He was excellent last year, and if anyone deserves a more regular chance, it’s him.

THE FA Cup may have lost some of its magic down the years.

But try telling that to the Wigan Athletic supporters who will travel to Macclesfield – weather permitting – this weekend.

Tickets for the away end sold out in a matter of hours, with Latics guaranteed their biggest away following in years.

Excitement was rife before Latics saw off Bournemouth in their third-round replay. Proof that cup fever is still alive and kicking in this part of the north west. Roberto Martinez has tended to give some of his fringe players a game in the domestic cup competitions, and that should again mean the likes of Fraser Fyvie, Roman Golobart, Danny Redmond and Mauro Boselli given chances to impress. Whatever team Martinez sends out are more than capable of getting the job done – as long as the attitude is right.

PARAMOUNT has confirmed it plans to make a movie about the life of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Whether they sell it as a work of fiction or claim it’s based on true events remains to be seen.

“It’s not about the bike”? No kidding.