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Scoring is a language; can you, Reid?

Well that was progress of a sort, wasn’t it? A clean sheet and a point away from home? Even if it was at the team 20th in the table who haven’t won at home since August? Come on, let’s take the positives where we can.


I didn’t follow the game at all as I was at a panto in Wigan all afternoon. Write your own punchline. After me complaining last week that he wasn’t playing, Fondop didn’t make the squad at all, having sprained his ankle. Sorry, Mike. My fault. From the highlights, it looks like we were the better team, even the Maidstone commentators said so. Although they did also describe one of their defenders’ cock-ups as “reminiscent of a George Elokobi clearance”, prompting me to shout “THE FUCK DID YOU JUST SAY ABOUT GEORGE ELOKOBI?”. Abraham could have had a hat-trick, and by all accounts we did everything but score. David Unsworth believed we should have won, saying “we just didn’t have that killer instinct, that killer touch, be it either a finish or a pass”. We looked far more settled at the back, we need to sort out our lack of a threat at the other end of the pitch. “That’s why strikers cost a lot of money, that’s why everybody’s after a striker.” Well it’s a good job we’ve all been putting plenty of money behind the Rocky bar into the striker fund, eh Dave?


Tuesday saw us announce the signing of Alex Reid after he was released by Stockport County. Striker who scores goals who’s proven at this level? Tick, tick, tick. Reid was County’s top scorer in the 2020-21 season with 21 goals, and had scored 8 goals this season in 17 appearances on loan at Solihull. Unsworth was keen to big him up, saying “He’s big, he’s strong, he’s quick, he can play all across the front, he can play as a 10”. Tom Williams posted a Twitter thread full of praise for him. Yes, we all know that Boundary Park is a graveyard for strikers, but he sounds like he might be exactly what we need. We might not even need Hope to score 20 this season. Which he was definitely on course to do before he got injured. And I’m delighted that he isn’t the same Alex Reid who was married to Katie Price. Apparently that one got his nipple ripped off in a cage fight. I’ve no idea how or why I know that.


Hopefully onwards and upwards, then. No game this weekend, which might be a good thing. Given the turnover of players in recent weeks, it might not be the worst thing to have an extra week for Peter Clarke to further establish himself at everyone’s surrogate dad and for our (hopefully) new star striker to work with the squad. And it means a weekend off to enjoy the extravaganza that is the Christmas World Cup!


It’s gone about as well as we all expected, hasn’t it? Having previously told travelling fans that alcohol would be sold inside the stadia, Fifa announced two days before the start of the tournament that was no longer the case, and alcohol would only be available in corporate hospitality. “well what did you expect? It’s a Muslim country, you should respect their culture.” Fine, except the corporate hospitality boxes are still in a Muslim country. As is the (ahem) ‘Fifa fan festival’, where alcohol will still be sold. And if you sign a big old contract with Budweiser to supply alcohol in the stadia, and tell everyone that alcohol with be available in the stadia, then it’s not unreasonable to expect that alcohol will be available in the stadia.


Another late announcement from Fifa was that any player wearing the rainbow One Love armband would be booked. I’ve a lot of sympathy with people who argue that the players should have worn it anyway and taken the booking, but the people who really deserve your criticism are the ones who decided to award their most prestigious tournament to a country with an appalling human rights record, whose laws punishing homosexuality by death are totally at odds with what Fifa claims to be its values on inclusivity, and who have chosen to crack down on even the mildest displays of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. Seriously, fuck Fifa, and good on Alex Scott for wearing the rainbow armband while presenting at England’s opening game.


The Lemsagams, or perhaps Barry Owen or Karl Evans, appear to be in charge of announcing the official attendances at the World Cup. Organisers claimed that the crowd at the Argentina v Saudi Arabia game was 88,012. The ITV commentators stated that the ground was clearly not full, and the Lusail Stadium’s capacity is only 80,000. Mike Keegan seemed less that convinced by the official figure given at the Spain v Costa Rica match. At the Netherlands v Senegal game, the attendance was given as 41,721 in a stadium that holds 40,000, prompting someone to speculate on Twitter that “they’re including the poor bastards set in the foundations”. Seriously, fuck Fifa.


But it's been entertaining on the field, and I can't help but get sucked in and watch every match, mostly at work on my phone. It started beautifully for England, and I hoped that the 6-2 win over Iran meant the end of Southgate's over-defensive tactics...... And then he subbed both Saka and Bellingham at 0-0 vs USA. ARRRRRRRRRGGH. We should still go through, because there is more chance of Latics winning the National League by Easter than there is of Wales putting 4 past England. And maybe we'll kick on from there. I hope so. I hope Reid gets 20 goals this season. Fuck it, I still hope that Hope gets 20 goals this season. Dream big, children. KTMFF.



Written by Arlene Finnigan. Photo © Oldham Athletic.

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