Welcome to Wrexham Season 2 Episode 9 “Glove Triangle” Recap & Review

Glove Triangle

In the wake of Rob Lainton’s injury, Mark “Chomp” Howard has stepped up for the majority of this season. He has rarely lost, rarely even made a mistake. He has no bad blood about Lainton coming back as the starting keeper. During Wrexham vs Bromley, Lainton gets a kink in his knee on the anniversary of his wrist injury. Bad luck at Bromley, despite the win.

Fans are fond of Mark Howard and so, of course, is his family. Howard studied journalism and media at uni. Because he’s nearly 40 years old, he says he’s planning for the next steps after his football career. He speaks on a podcast with legendary keeper, David Seaman. Howard is eager to be part of the push toward earning promotion.

Wrexham coaxes keeper Ben Foster out of retirement, contracted for the remainder of the season. Rob explains that, despite American audiences not knowing him, he’s incredible. He played for Manchester United in the Premier League as well as England’s national team. Howard is understanding if not a little disappointed.

Ryan and Rob dispel rumors that they paid a ton of money to sign him. Foster is on the same page on his podcast, explaining that he just wants to help a team he loves and used to play for move up a league. He warms up quickly with the team, and they with him.

Foster and Howard clear any sense or worry of bad blood, as both are laser-focused on what’s best for the team they both love. They unleash their social media skills for Wrexham, doing a podcast episode together. As his first game approaches Foster starts to feel the pressure, as it seems all eyes are on him.

During Wrexham Vs York City, Foster is put to the test, at least at first. His confidence and skill become apparent quickly, and so does the rest of the team. Speaking from experience, Foster believes his new team to be far above their current league in terms of skill. Wrexham wins 3-nil.

The episode wraps up largely via Foster’s social media footage, but also features a heartfelt conversation near the locker room with Rob McElhenney, and a game of pool with Mark “Chomp Howard.” It ends with fans reminding us that Notts County is right in line with Wrexham, and they’ll face off in the final game of the season.

The Episode Review

It’s a keeper episode, no pun intended. Make no mistake, there’s no confusion here about the importance of keepers. However, this episode happens to start off as one of the weakest points of the season. In the first half, there’s not much game footage, a lot of podcast footage, and a bit mundane when it comes to the talking head footage. The decision to sign Ben Foster, while understandably good for the team and being explained as inexpensive, sits uneasily the whole first half.

Of course, Howard needs to not be the only healthy keeper. However, he’s done so well all season. Despite this, Wrexham nabs an even older, legendary keeper to ultimately replace him. This is the first time Wrexham has truly felt like “that super-rich team.” Howard takes it like a true gentleman. After all, it really is good for the team, but it feels like something that happened mostly due to the extra fame the show has given the club.

Even Ben Foster himself feels bad for Howard. Surely, they could’ve pulled someone up or across as a backup? It’s understandable at the end of the day, but somehow reeks of privilege. For the first time, even loving the show, a dark revelation sets in. Maybe the show, the money, and the fame created the success. Ryan’s line is hard to argue with, though. “I’m coming back to just… get this club into the next league– that’s it.” Ultimately it was Coach Phil’s decision to make, and I wouldn’t want to be at the wrong end of his ‘passion.’

The episode picks up in the second half, and it’s hard to say that comes as a surprise. Within even just three straight minutes of football highlights, Foster’s presence starts to elevate the episode as well as the team. By the time they win, and he marvels at the beauty of ending his career on the same team he started on, it’s hard not to share his joy. It feels like a glimpse behind the curtain to see him and Rob McElhenney exchange excited words. It feels appropriate that he and Ryan Reynolds do a sort of postured, social media-feeling video together.

Overall, the episode felt like the first hill of a big roller coaster. It was kind of a pain to get up, but when it gets going, and you round the peak and drop, it was worth the watch.

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You can read our full Season 2 review of Welcome to Wrexham here!

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