Date: 28th January 2011 at 11:37am
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The exit of Riga.

Morning all. A Wigan preview will follow, but first of all we must comment on the news that came out of Bolton yesterday that Riga Mustapha had finally come to an agreement with the club and his contract had been, as they say, ‘mutually terminated’. Which, translated means, you’re cack, we don’t want you, why don’t you take this big bag of cash and piss off.

Sorry. For those of you who may have forgotten, Riga Mustapha is a footballer who plays in midfield. He signed for us on a free transfer in the summer of 2008 after being released by Spanish club Levante, due to the club being relegated and not paying him for a few months. He played a total of twenty two games for T’Trotters over two and a half years. He also managed to get another five months more money from us as he refused to take it and run in September. While I know that he was perfectly within his rights to sit out his three years, if there was any good will towards him for the way that he had been treated by Gary Megson, it went when we he didn’t follow Danny Shittu out of the door. You know when you’re not wanted when you are told to train with the reserves.

And, yes, at least I had some goodwill towards him. It was a strange purchase by Megson, primarily as he was seen as an attacking player. His dreads gave him the look of Ricardo Gardner and, with the possibility of the pair of them flying down the wings, an exciting proposition beckoned.

We were soon made to remember that, although Megson may have bought attacking players, his philiosophy was and ever would be defend, and Riga found himself on the bench time and time again. I only ever saw him play once, at Fulham early on in 2008-09 when we all called for him to come on. And when he did he gave their defence problems, but at the same time caused his own team trouble by giving away the ball due to continuously running into trouble when an easier pass was on.

As soon as St Owen came in, Riga’s time was up and he only appeared twice under the new manager, both in FA Cup games last season. Unwanted and unregistered, he has finally gone. Why the manager didn’t want to include an attacking winger in his twenty five man squad, especially given the lack of subs over Christmas, is one of those imponderables. That Celta Vigo, now in the Spanish Second Division, were linked with him earlier this month, probably answers the question. He was never Premier League quality. And with his leaving, the door can close on those Megson signings that we can really call ‘flops’.


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