top of page

There'd Better Be A Rhinoball

You know what, it was kind of easier when it was just a rant every week. It’s getting increasingly difficult to appeal for patience and faith in the long-term project. But on we go.

Maidenhead was a pretty brutal reality check, in a season that’s been full of them. On entering the ground I couldn’t help comparing it to Prescot Cables and wondering which ground was bigger. At least at Cables there’s a bar and they get enough pies in. The performance, once again, was pretty meh. Our goal was a hilarious comedy of errors – let’s be kind and focus on how well Fondop did to win the ball, eh. I’ve no idea whether or not it was a penalty for them, because I had a pretty awful view, and by the sound of it I didn’t miss much. We left early, not in disgust, but in a doomed attempt to get the train – solidarity with the RMT (views my own, personal capacity, not necessarily the views of the Boundary Park Alert System podcast etc etc). I’m not going to comment too much on the reaction after the game, because more than enough has been said already.  We’ve been crap for years, I understand people’s frustrations, but as I’ve said before, I don’t think being performatively angry, either in person or online, is helpful.

When we did eventually get a train back into London, we found ourselves sat opposite Darren Royle, who politely declined a beer (probably worried someone would get a photo and try to have him denounced, Diane Abbott-style), but was as friendly and open as we’ve come to expect and chatted away to us for the whole journey. The really nice thing was, he recognised Andy from when he helped clear out the space that became the fans’ bar. Once again, imagine that happening a year ago. Imagine Abdallah or Mo or – ha! – Barry happily chatting away to supporters on public transport on the way back from the game. Obviously I’m aware that he’s not going to say “yeah it’s all pretty fucked and we’re probably gonna go down again and Frank’s bitten off more than he can chew” to two Latics fans on the train, but it was all pretty reassuring. I’m going to go ahead and assume that the rumour someone tried to put about on social media about us moving away from Boundary Park is bollocks, because the board have done a hell of lot of work surveying the ground and finding out what work needs doing if they’re planning on razing it to the ground and building houses on it. They know things aren’t good enough on the pitch; they’re working on it, we’ve already seen what they’re doing to address our injury problems. Things are crap. They know that. I’ve a lot more confidence that things will be put right after talking to a boyhood Latics supporter, who happens to be a successful businessman (and Joe Royle’s son), than I did after being told that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and Nicky Maynard isn’t pulling up any plants.

The Athletic published a good in depth interview with David Unsworth yesterday, and the easy option for someone writing a Latics blog at midnight on a Friday night after a long week would be to lift quotes from it, so let’s do that. “This is a big club and if we get it right we can bounce up and get promotions quickly. It feels like the right place for me.” Glad to hear it, Dave. "In my mind, we could be a League One club, knocking on the door of the Championship. The owner has come in, totally started again, and he’s asked me to help him build it from scratch." The club needs rebuilding from scratch. It's been a mess for years. Putting things right is going to be a massive job. It's good that the owners and the managers know what needs to be done. He’s ambitious, he’s been given a long-term project to rebuild every aspect of the club on the football side, and he seems to be up for the challenge. And the Rothwells haven’t appointed an idiot brother to undermine everything he’s doing.

I’m desperate for us to win today, because the atmosphere around the ground will be utterly horrible if we don’t. We need to get some wins from somewhere, anywhere, and soon. I’m still optimistic about the direction the club is going in, and Unsworth is saying the right things and making the right appointments. Here’s hoping we start reaping the benefits soon. It’d be really, really nice if that starts this afternoon. No messing about, lads. Into these Welsh fuckers.

(yep, choosing violence again this week)

Written by Arlene Finnigan

162 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page