Ah, the solution is at hand! Is it any great coincidence that Captain Gareth B. ‘Kop Conqueror’ Caldwell was sacked on World Pasta Day, of all moderately amusing food-related pseudo-holidays? Picture, if you will, the scene in Rigalettos on a mildly mild Octember evening…
Sharpy: How can you order anything but farfalline on this most revered of days?
Caldwell: I’m having my usual Tuesday night lemon curd pizza and not even your grandad’s magic warchest can stop me.
The Sharpster: Such effrontery! That’s it, Bobby Caldwell – you’re out!
Calds: OK, as long as I can get my lemon pizza to take away.
Though this certainly-not-fabricated incident pushed Chairman Sharpe into an immediate decision, AGL can exclusively reveal it was Nosey Barstool‘s hard work that initially convinced him to relieve G-Bob C of his position.
“But Mr Small Time Internet Weblogger, how could such a bumbling, Pink Panther Wafer-munching excuse for a private dick *ever* get anyone sacked?”
That’s because he is in fact… Graham Barrow.
*Eastenders drum fill begins, transforming into a dubstep remix on the fifth beat
There is much reason to dislike the first game after a managerial change. Most notably, club commentator Matt McCann once dedicated a whole game of football -yes, 90 minutes of radio time- to an extended ‘obituary’ for the recently sacked Chris Hutchings. The year was 2007 – with Latics lurching around in the bottom three of the Premier League after 12 games, Mr Chi Poption was (rightfully) pushed down the River Dougie.
Figuratively speaking, of course. And I believe it’s spelled ‘Qi’.
Mercifully, this weekend’s game passed by with barely a mention of the departed… er, what was his name again?
Back on planet ‘Earth’…
The leaping Adam Bogdan was busy baulking a strong Cardiff start with his elasticated limbs. After semi-miraculously picking Anthony Pilkington’s header from the fat Welsh air, he guided to safety the Lancastrian winger’s second probing effort.
Ever the competitive types, Reece Burke and Jake Buxton also joined the fun with some perfectly timed goalmouth blocks of their very own. Indomitable defending characteristic of the past few games, the likes of which can spare a manager from Sharpy’s portable guillotine.
“I was saving it for Halloween, but…” — David Sharpe
…Figuratively speaking, of course.
But when Latics regained the ball, they were deadly.
…They didn’t actually score a goal (at least not yet), but a slightly misguided Jordi Gomez free kick *did* nearly kill Peter Whittingham in the Bluebirds’ wall.
Thankfully, the ‘Whitmeister’ recovered quickly to retaliate with a much more effective free kick of his own. Sean ‘Cereal Quest’ Morrison helped his delivery onto Bog Man’s six yard stage, but no Cardiff man was brave enough to get that close to a growling General Redbeard.
The hosts’ overwhelming authority continued into a frenetic second half. But luckily for the visitors, so did Bogdan’s supple wrists, which delivered a quick backhand slap to Aron Gunnarsson’s exposed backside.
…Figuratively speaking, of course. The Icelandic international’s shorts were firmly belted to his waist as Bog’s big hand firmly pushed his strike away from all known civilisation. Naturally.
Was the Bog Man’s presence (or maybe just his beard) in itself enough to deter the ‘Birds? Two marginally mistimed headers from Sol Bamba would suggest that maybe this was gradually becoming the case.
Something was certainly irking the home side. And it was an irritation that would only become more annoying.
Up to now, Latics had managed to fashion the occasional isolated opportunity – a deflected Grigg snap shot, a Buxton header just wide of the post etc. But now, with the incoming Craig Davies at the point of a sharpened triangle, it was time to avenge Caldwell’s untimely ‘death’.
…Figuratively speaking, of course.
“Justice!” – Ed
Appropriately enough, it was the 73rd minute substitute that set in motion a game-winning attack.
Goal Hanging Griggsy might have made way for Disco Dancing (?) Davies, but gamecraft wizard Mr Jordi Gomez was still lurking near Cardiff keeper Ben Amos. And when Michael Jacobs expertly guided the ball towards his magical boots, ES2’s cult hero needed only caress the ball over a panicking goal line for that nose-bleeding winner.
…Although we weren’t to know it at the time – that certainty only arrived when Stephen Warnock performed yet *another* goal line save in the seventh of a gargantuan five minutes added on. Typically solid Caldwell-esque defending.
And so, after last week’s slightly unfortunate loss at the hands of those troublesome Gulls, the balance of karma had been restored.
But it was far too late for our good friend Gary, who cannot celebrate a long-awaited and hard-earned victory – he probably doesn’t even know the score by the time you’re reading this… in the year 2032.
A parting note for G. Caldwell Esq.
Farewell, Dear Gary! I sincerely hope your taste in notepads is enjoyed elsewhere. As a final gift, please accept this framed portrait of your good self from everyone (well alright, just me) at AGL.
Captain Caldwell, that win is for you.
*Doffs non-existent cap