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Worthington Cup 2nd Round 2nd Leg, 21/9/99
Wigan Athletic
Matters arising
By Matt Rowson

Further to last week's preview there are just a couple more points to be made:

Point One. Chelsea didn't lose Saturday's game, whatever others may suggest. Watford won it... there's a difference. Whatever the "Pride of London"'s failings, Watford fought like tigers, played inventive, thrusting football and won the game. Chelsea, however, undoubtedly contributed to their own downfall by underestimating the task in front of them, something that was evident from Didier Deschamps' increasing frustration throughout the game. You could almost hear them thinking "damn, we should be pasting this lot 6-0" (translate as appropriate).

This is not a trap that we can allow ourselves to fall into on Tuesday. Two goals up we may be, but last week at the Vic remains Wigan's only defeat this season, so these guys are no mugs. They have yet to lose in their new JJB Stadium. There's a certain poetry in the way that this game following Saturday mirrors Saturday following Milan for Chelsea. We have to prove ourselves more sussed than Chelsea were at the weekend.

Point Two. There are certain players, particularly in lower divisions, whose chief contribution to any game seems to be to maim members of the opposition. They are often called Darren, and fittingly the Latics' Mr.Sheridan seems one such individual. Every time we encounter Sheridan he can be guaranteed to go into tackles studs up at least once, last Tuesday's recipients were Nick Wright and Peter Kennedy, one in either half. On Saturday he assaulted Stoke captain Phil Robinson who was stretchered off and required 21 stitches to a gash on his thigh. Not the sort of area where you can realistically envisage a "mistimed tackle" being responsible.

This isn't a case of a footballer being too enthusiastic, or even "hard but fair". Sheridan is a nasty piece of work, and should be put down for the good of the game.

Point Three, and with the only relevance to Tuesday being the hometown of our opponents: Rugby is rubbish. End of story. And to Frank Skinner's maxim "Never trust anyone who doesn't like football", I'd add "especially if they like rugby". A dodgy lot, one and all.

For details of the Wigan players, see the first leg preview.