Writer: Ryan Kalisz
Date:Sunday May 22 2011
No interview here I`m afraid, but I`ll do my best to remember what was said over a couple of pints of hardcore limewater with worbo! I say 'remember`, but let`s face it, my memory is almost as solid as Carlo Ancelotti`s job... oh… sorry, I mean as non-existent.
We had a bit of banter about the situation of our two clubs; Wigan were facing relegation if they didn`t pull out the stops for today`s fixture, meanwhile Stoke were hoping to secure a top half finish and delicately place the red and white cherry on the extraordinary cake that has been this season. It was squeaky bum time for worbo`s beloved Latics, who he has been supporting since he was a wee worbo, and you could sense his apprehensiveness.
The way that 'Survival Sunday` could have potentially panned out was very complicated, which worbo and I did ponder over for a bit, but couldn`t be bothered to work it out exactly. In short; he reckoned that if Wigan lost, they were down for sure, with a draw being 'touch and go`.
So going into the match, from Wigan`s perspective, what didworbo think about his team`s chances? He concurred with me that Stoke aren`t just about long balls and abilities in the air, we can pass a ball and have fantastic counter-attacking threats in the likes of Jermaine Pennant and Mathew Etherington down the wings. But he felt that Wigan equally had their threats, Charles N`Zogbia especially is a fantastic winger on either side. He can cut players up and retain possession well had has been the kick-start to many Wigan attacks this season. Worbo felt it would be close, but had a feeling that his side could pull off a good result, predicting a 2-1 win.
Grandad knew it was going to be a tough game today and said: "I wouldn`t be a bit surprised if it`s a draw you know". I however, was quietly confident about grabbing the three points and predicted a 2-1 win for us… how wrong was I hey?
Stoke were dominating the first 20 minutes or so and were looking most likely to score, but we didn`t. We couldn`t put the chances away, and with the decisions going against us i.e. the disallowed goal and the stonewall penalty shouts; our fortune was not going to be so lucky this afternoon.
All credit to Wigan however! Worbo told me that Martinez organizes his squad in a manner that parallels Barcelona, which admittedly I did have a little chuckle over, but the more I watched them pass, the more I believed worbo`s word.
They deserved the points today and deserve extending their stay in the Premier League. It`s no skin off our nuts in all honesty, because we already secured a fourth year in the top flight and have Europe to look forward to next season.
It was great to meet worbo and pick his brains about the game. I wish him and all at Vital Wigan every success in the future, and hope we`ll see each other again soon! But obviously I`ll be hoping that he`ll be congratulating me the next time we do meet up.
Date:Sunday May 22 2011
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