February Analysis: Baxter, Lang and Edmundson in the Spotlight
February was not a good month for Oldham despite an excellent start and the much heralded arrival of Paul Scholes. The early promise shown in Pete Wild’s last game win at Crawley and, Scholes’ debut win over Yeovil has dissipated somewhat with only 2 points gained from the last four matches. That form has eliminated any hopes that Latics could make a late surge for the play offs. With 17 points separating us from the relegation places, an end of season top 12 place is probably the best we can hope for.
This probably appears to be a situation close to disaster for some Oldham fans who expected a swift return to League One. However, given the fact that (once again) Latics are finishing a season with a different manager than they started it with, the fact that we are not approaching our last 10 games worrying about how many points we might need to avoid the drop should be treated as a bonus at the very least.
The Fulham game aside, there have been some extremely positive performances by several players, especially on loan Sam Surridge and goalkeeper Daniel Iversen. February’s Player of the month vote is being contested by three players who have had differing seasons so far, but there is little to choose between them for Latics fans casting their votes.
Given his recent revelations about his off field demons, Baxter has shown that when fit and motivated he can turn in a performance which proves he is one of, if not the best midfielder in League Two. With enough games left to increase his match fitness, Scholes will be looking for Baxter to finish the season strongly and perhaps be in consideration for next season’s plans.
It’s difficult to describe Callum Lang in more glowing terms than those that have already been heaped upon him. Quite simply one of the best loan players we’ve ever had and a credit to the game. Exceptionally gifted and by all accounts an extremely friendly and approachable individual. I’m not sure if an on loan player has won Player of the Season at Boundary Park but Lang must certainly be in the frame for it.
Getting Edmundson signed up on a contract till June 2020 is probably one of the best bits of business the club have done in recent years. Already attracting attention from clubs in higher divisions, George has been a rock at the heart of the defence alongside captain Peter Clarke. His inclusion in the side has certainly aided Oldham’s positive goal difference to being the best in many years. A future captain if we can keep hold of him.