Tonight's visit of Wigan for the Capital One Cup clash is sure to provide an ideal opportunity for old friends to get together and reminisce. No doubt Dave Whelan will relish the chance to wax lyrical about wage caps and recount his thoughts on the TevezZZZgate affair with Messers Sullivan and Gold. it'll be an occasion for the plastic cutlery with the irascible Whelan and his minions come to tea at Upton Park.
|You have been warned!|
Big Sam, however, may not provide an unreserved welcome as the pugnacious pensioner’s role in the affair contributed in no small amount to reducing Big Sam’s war chest during the recent transfer window. Happily, no manner of persuasion could prevent the ambitious Momo Diame from leaving the dull backwaters of Wigan for the bright lights of trendy East London. It is rumoured that in a bid to tempt the imposing Senegalese to stay, Whelan even offered him a lifetime's free supply of his Chav-tastic sports merchandise.
|One of ours now...|
However, Wigan will certainly enjoy playing in front of a crowd as, with the second lowest attendance figures in the premiership, the atmosphere at the narcissistically named DW stadium is best described as funereal. No wonder they also pay the second lowest wages in the league - with the logorrhoeic Whelan repeatedly demanding a League-wide wage cap similar to that he has already imposed on his own team.
|Cauldron like. Note extra wide seats to create the illusion of a crowd|
The fixture is also likely to provide a welcome opportunity for care workers to see at first hand the miserable conditions in which many of the Wigan squad are expected to perform. Recent escapees, Hugo Rodallega, Victor Moses and Antonio Valencia have all described harrowing conditions akin to something from Oliver Twist where players are forced to play barefoot for barely the minimum wage by the parsimonious Whelan and his illusory enforcer, the effervescent Roberto Martinez.
Hungry for success
Whelan, however, may be facing the fight of his life after Republic of Ireland mafia boss Giovanni Trappatoni expressed his outrage at Wigan’s woeful borstal like set up and the treatment of his talismanic teenager James McCarthy - citing severe malnourishment as the principal reason that he never selects the talented midfielder for international matches.