Talking football: Crisis? What crisis!

Max Power and Ryan Colclough
Max Power and Ryan Colclough

Crisis? What crisis!

That must have been the feeling around Wigan Athletic after normality was restored to the picture on Tuesday night.

Four days’ previous, it’s fair to say not all was well in the garden.

Latics had just suffered their second defeat at home in a row – the Checkatrade Trophy exit being followed by League One promotion rivals Bradford pinching all three points – and boss Paul Cook issued a plea to a section of the support to ‘stop the negativity spreading round’ the DW Stadium.

Both sides had a point.

Cook was rightly entitled to think he, and the team, should be given some slack after a fine start to the campaign, which still saw them second in the table, having lost only once at home in the league since March.

Some of the fans, though, would also have felt justified in showing their displeasure at recent events.

While the Checkatrade Trophy clearly wasn’t a high priority, a fair few still saw it as a realistic chance of returning to Wembley – and didn’t appreciate the decision to field an Academy side in the final group game.

The decision to call off the trip to Rochdale caused further dissention, which came to a head during the Bradford game.

But there’s a time and a place to vent displeasure.

And aiming at that at certain players who were clearly struggling on the day was not on, and Cook was right to try to nip that in the bud.

What Cook needed more than anything, after admitting the Bradford defeat ‘had been coming for a few weeks’, was a return to form from his players.

And while they were still some way off hitting the heights against Doncaster, you could see the confidence and swagger increasingly returning as the goals went in.

The really exciting thing to consider is how many gears Latics have to still to find so far.

The fact Latics stand just a point off the summit, approaching the halfway stage – with so much more still to offer – should have the rest of the division quaking in their boots.

Latics will face a test of their credentials this weekend at Rotherham.

But with the rest of the top five playing each other, it could be a pivotal weekend in the destiny of the League One promotion race.

All of the post-match talk in midweek was about Ryan Colclough’s mad dash to hospital to be there for the birth of his second child.

But what about the sparkling hour he spent on the field before his substitution?

It’s been a season of frustration so far – for every up, such as his goals against Aston Villa and Peterborough, there’s been a down, like his red card after the full-time whistle at Shrewsbury, and breaking his hand.

But he took full advantage in midweek of Nick Powell’s injury and Gavin Massey being rested to really send a message to manager Paul Cook.

Who, when picking a full-strength side, should now be thinking Colclough is definitely worth a starting spot behind the frontman.

Ryan Colclough racing down the tunnel wasn’t the only amazing sight on Tuesday.

For those of us who stayed in our seats, watching the half-time competition – where contestants have to score into an empty net from increasing distances – the sight of the young lad hitting the post from the penalty spot, with no goalie, was priceless.

It’s fair to say the Bradford fans – all 2,700 of them – well and truly enjoyed their trip over the Pennines to Wigan last weekend.

Especially this lad on Twitter, who seems to have ticked every box for a textbook ‘away-day’ with the lads.

“Kicked out of away pub, kicked out of ground, mate banged up, lad chinned a Wigan fan, missed last minute-winner, on way home, on the p*ss minus 1, away-day at its best.”

David Moyes didn’t get off to an ideal start as West Ham boss, with the 2-0 defeat at Watford.

Which promoted the following tweet from London police: “Ringing 999 because @WestHamUtd have lost again, and you aren’t sure what to do, is not acceptable! It is a complete waste of our time. #999foremergenciesonly.”

It also allowed one Twitter user to take a harsh, but fair, pot-shot at Hammers vice-chairman Karren Brady.

“Karren Brady on the Apprentice every week taking the mick out of the contestants’ decision-making, then she goes and hires David Moyes...”