Alec Swann - Too good to go is a real no no

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

Sport throws up a number of ridiculous sayings.

‘That was a genuine edge’, well what other type is there?

‘He’s not that type of player’, that tackle obviously didn’t happen, did it?

‘I’m not making excuses, but...’ what are you doing then?

I’m sure I could think up a few more given a chance, a couple of hours watching Sky Sports News would see to that - breaking news, six hours after we announced it second hand - but three will have to suffice.

Sorry, make that four.

Top of the nonsensical list, and particularly aggravating at that, is the phrase ‘too good to go down’.

Year on year, football clubs in various divisions are saddled with this decription and, do you know what, it has never been proven by a side that has ended the season in a relegation place.

Nottingham Forest, in Brian Clough’s final season in charge, are my first recollection of this phenomenon.

They played the game as it should be, even when in a scrap for their continued place on the Premier League gravy train, but they lacked the fortitude to better those above them. In simple terms, they weren’t too good after all.

Fast forward a couple of decades and for Forest read Wigan.

They’ve performed a Houdini act on more than one occasion but they’re going to have their work cut out to provide any kind of repeat this time around.

This season, a couple of out of the blue efforts aside, they’ve struggled. In fact, it is these kind of one-off performances that cloud the judgemebnt of those doing the spectating with the result being the sprouting of the aforementioned gibberish.

A good win against the odds doesn’t mask the dross that’s gone before and, cliche or not, a league table generally doesn’t tell many fibs.

If Wigan do fall through the trapdoor, and I for one hope they do, not because I have anything against them but because I follow Newcastle, then they will have got their just desserts.

Those who follow the Latics may try to console themselves with the fact that their side, through the blue and white spectacles obviously, are superior to others but it will be scant consolation if come August they’re visiting Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium rather than Liverpool’s Anfield.

Who’s too good? Someone in the Premier League is about to find out that they’re definitely not.