Category Archives: EFL

Oldham fans react to another managerial appointment’Good Luck Dino. Don’t bother buying a house up here I’d just rent if I were you’

Frenchman Laurent Banide was sacked as manager of Oldham Athletic yesterday, then replaced by Dino Maamria, less than 20 minutes later. Does that have to be some sort of record?

The Latics sit 21st in League Two and are winless in five games. Maamria will take charge of tomorrow’s fixture against Morecambe, played at Boundary Park. The Shrimps have lost five of their last six league matches, therefore Maamria has a perfect opportunity to start his reign with three points tomorrow.

Let’s have a look at how Latics’ fans reacted to the dramatic half-hour yesterday…

Bolton fans react after GK opens up on his tough year ‘Great attitude & talented keeper, I’m sure he’ll be a success story as Bolton move forward’

Bolton News reporter, Marc Iles sat and spoke to Bolton goalkeeper, Remi Matthews this week.

The Bolton Wanderers reporter got the chance to actually sit and speak to the goalkeeper who has had an extremely hard year. Matthews has come under the firing line from fans for a while now When you actually look at what he’s been through and the stats in the league, I think you’ll change your mind a little.

Ok the financial crisis stage of the club, Matthews tried to get noticed from other clubs in case Bolton were to go under. He had a move to Norwich fall through, he went 5 months unpaid, had a deal for him to move to Crystal Palace blocked by administrators and to top it off, things on the pitch have been even worse.

After the relegation battle last season, the 25-year-old went through a 5 game spell in which the team conceded 26 goals. This obviously led to criticism. The more shocking numbers that Marc Iles explained was that the goalkeeper has faced, on average, 25 shots per game in his 7 appearances so far this season.

The stats are high

He’s is the leagues highest saving goalkeeper with 30 shots stopped to his name so far this season. The keeper has spoken how this has been the hardest year of his life, with the financial difficulties and then now facing abuse over social media about his performances.

Some fans are very quick to think that this is all the ‘keeper’s fault without watching a game. Don’t get me wrong, I have judged Matthews after watching him sometimes, however, he deserves credit. He’s stuck with us, he’s dealing with the comments he’s getting, but people are disregarding the fact that he’s had more work to do than any other keeper in this league so far this season.

You can see why he collapsed to his knees after keeping a clean sheet against Oxford.

Here are your reactions to this interview…

How can Dino Maamria get Oldham Athletic motoring again in League 2

Oldham Athletic appointed Dino Maamria as their new manager yesterday, just 20 minutes after sacking Laurent Banide. The Latics sit perilously close to the foot of the table and need a couple of results to kick-start their season.

The Latics have drawn their last three league games 2-2 against Plymouth Argyle, Grimsby Town and Scunthorpe United, so you could argue Banide has been a little unlucky in recent weeks. If Oldham had held on in a couple of those games, they’d be halfway up the league and the Frenchman would probably have kept his job. That’s football for you.

However, without sounding harsh, I don’t think Banide was ever going to work. To come to your first English club, with no money and an average squad, was always going to prevent its difficulties. One thing that Maamria recognised in his press conference, was that Oldham is a historic club that he is honoured to work for, that’s important.

Oldham have a strong, loyal fanbase. New managers need to connect with fans on a personal level and make them proud to be Oldham supporters. The fans will turn up in decent numbers on Saturday vs Morecambe, hoping for a result to kick off the fresh start. One big win and good performance will get the fans on side, so it’s imperative they start well.

Oldham have a squad that is capable of finishing mid-table in League Two. They’ve been scoring goals this season, just conceding them too, which is a problem Maamria will address immediately. He’ll be looking to make Boundary Park a fortress, get his side well organised to stop conceding goals, and building a side that Oldham fans will enjoy watching.

Will Wigan Athletic regret letting this versatile midfielder go?

Wigan Athletic sold Leandro Da Silva Lopez to Hull City in the summer, for a minimal fee. Is it a transfer that Wigan will regret in years to come?

Lopez arrived with a big reputation from Peterborough, who are known for selling on quality, young players to Championship clubs. The Portuguese youngster rarely featured, however when he did play, I was impressed, considering his age and lack of Championship football experience.

I liked his versatility and attitude. He can play across the midfield, at right-back or as a wing-back. Although he’s not the most physical, his pace is a great attribute and he’s exciting on the ball. When playing against Burnley in pre-season, I thought he done very well defending against Dwight McNeil, then he was sold a couple of weeks later.

Whether Lopez requested it, in order to find first-team football I don’t know, but I think we’ve let a decent player slip for a nominal fee.

Obviously it’s too early to say we’ve let a good player go, but from what we’ve seen at Wigan so far this season, I doubt he’d of done any worse. A young player that had a great attitude on the pitch, and deserved a run of games in the first-team, in my opinion.

I would’ve preferred to see Lopez leave on loan for a year, learn his craft and gain experience, then come back next season and try to break into the team. I just don’t understand signing a highly-rated youngster, never giving him a go, then selling him for half the price a year later. Oh well, let’s hope he doesn’t go onto be the next big thing, I’ll come back to this article if so.

‘We’re just glad to have football’ can only go on for so long at Bolton, agree?

Bolton Wanderers fans have been saying that results don’t matter too much right now, they’re just glad to have football to watch. I am one of those people, but when will it wear off?

Bolton survived and Bury died. It was one of the worst times in football for me and a situation I never want any club to be in again. It should have woken up the people in charge of all leagues and made them re-think rules when it comes to money in football.

The problem is now in terms of Bolton Wanderers is that fans are using this as an excuse for the poor results. Now it’s a question of how long can ‘we’re just glad to have football,’ be used?

Personally, for me, it’s going to take a while for this to shake off because all the fans know how close we came to going the same way as Bury.

This is the reason why we are taking so many fans to away games. We had over 2000 fans at Rotherham and season tickets have started selling fast. We have something to watch again and a club to support with no financial issues again. It’s nice. It doesn’t even matter about the results right now, we just want to keep supporting the team and new management.

Is frustration around the corner?

Now, there will be a point where we can’t use this as an excuse anymore. I think that point will come at around Christmas time when we play teams that are bottom of the league with us. If we don’t take any points from them, then Bolton fans will start to get frustrated. However, I do think relegation is on the cards this season.

We still have to get out of the minus points we are on and that will take a lot of time. By the time we have done that, we then have to start again building up points so it’s a hard job and if Keith Hill manages it, he’ll be a club legend. I just can’t see it happening so for the rest of this season, any points, goals or any good play will be celebrated as we’ve just won the league. I think it’ll be next season when that statement wears off.

For me, I’ll never be able to shake that statement off, because of the Bury fans who have gone through the absolute worst thing a club could go through and I wish they would have survived.

Although it is nice to be able to talk football again, if any Bolton fan starts to moan about performances this year, just think about what could have been.

‘It’s like coming out of prison and being on the tag’ Bolton boss on the clubs current situation

New Bolton manager, Keith Hill has had his first proper interview with the Bolton News. The Football Manc cave is taking a look at Hill’s view on Bolton’s transfer embargo.

It’s something that Bolton are used to and have been under before. A transfer embargo. The EFL is reluctant to confirm the existence or parameters of the embargo but it is believed that the current situation has restrictions on salaries which could remain in place for two years after administration.

Keith Hill spoke to the Bolton News and described the situation as, “it’s like coming out of prison and being on the tag.” Which I agree with as we’ve got ourselves out of the financial mess with new owners, but we still need to be monitored. However, Hill has addressed this and said that he fully backs and understands why the club still needs supervision with spending.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s frustrating. There are currently 23 professional contracts and it’s understood that there are only 2 squad places remaining. As well as players who are already injured and new players like Joe Bunney who has been in a car crash and is recovering, there are also injuries to Daryl Murphy and Chris O’Grady. This leaves them without a senior striker for the time being.

Transfer embargo praise

Phil Parkinson managed with an embargo and he actually got praised for that time that he was in charge for keeping us up. At least with being able to recruit the free agents and players we have in on loan at the moment and at least we have a team to watch.

Looking into the future, I honestly believe it will take a while to get back on top and it’ll take us getting relegated again before we start getting out of the problems we are in.

Two things Shrewsbury fans can expect from Wigan Athletic’s youngster

Shrewsbury Town fans got their first viewing of Callum Lang last weekend, as they drew 1-1 away at AFC Wimbledon.

Many Wigan Athletic fans wanted and expected this to be the breakthrough season for Lang, he featured a lot during pre-season under Paul Cook and done well.

I’m pleased he went out on loan. He’s got the potential to be a very good striker, but he’s not ready for Championship football just yet. He needs experience and to add physicality to his game, at present Lang would get bullied by some championship defenders due to his slightness.

However, Shrewsbury fans can look forward to a striker that will score goals if given chances. Lang scored 13 on loan at Oldham Athletic last season. He was arguably their best player while hitting double figures the season before at Morecambe. A natural goal scorer that is lethal in the box.

Another great attribute that Lang possesses is pace. Especially around the box, he’s brilliant at finding space and making runs in front of defenders, just a very clever striker that knows how to score goals.

Shrewsbury is a good fit for Lang. A club that will be pushing for top six, hopefully, create him plenty of chances, he can score double figures and come back ready to give it another crack at Wigan.

We have to be careful, how long will he stay happy going out on loan every season. At some point, he’s going to ask for a first-team chance or a move away, it’s not like we’re banging the goals in ourselves at the moment. Lang will be a good striker in a few years, he’s got the natural ability and just knows where the net is, that’ll take you far in today’s game.

Two key games for Wigan Athletic to claim their first away win of the season

Wigan Athletic have won one of their last 25 away games, in the league. An incredible stat that not many managers would survive. I’d like to know how many of them we’ve led 1-0 in, a lot, but we can’t hold water let alone hang onto three points.

On Saturday against Hull City was a huge opportunity missed. The Tigers were winless in five and gifted us an early lead. However, a poor piece of defending and a screamer from Kamil Grosicki saw us go into the break trailing 1-2. Joe Gelhard rescued us a late point with a stunning goal, perhaps saving Paul Cook his job too.

So, a look ahead to our upcoming away games…

I wouldn’t be surprised at Wigan beating anyone in this league, home or away. Everyone beats each other, and yes some teams are better than others, but there’s not a lot of difference in quality from the top to bottom. It’s not like we’re playing Manchester City or Liverpool away from home.

Our next away game is Fulham – write off. In all seriousness, I fancy them to win the league so that’ll be very difficult. Followed by Sheffield Wednesday, another very tough place to go that we’ve got a terrible record at.

Then a trip to Pride Park to face Derby County – tin hat on, that’s winnable. The Rams have started the season poorly, and Phillip Cocu could be under pressure going into that game, if their form doesn’t improve between now and then.

A trip to Ashton Gate in late October will be a stern test for us, another very good footballing side that’ll fancy their chances of beating us. Then Stoke City rooted to the foot of the table and we actually beat them 3-0 at The Bet365 Stadium last season, god they must be bad.

Bolton Wanderers 2 key fixtures in the bid to claw back their points deficit

Bolton Wanderers desperately need to get out of the -11 deduction that they are still in. Now that new management has taken over, The Football Manc Cave have picked out two fixtures in 2019 that will most likely see Bolton take back a few points.

Keith Hill has got a lot of work to do. New players, a minus point system to work out of and a lot of pressure. It can be done. Things will get better for Bolton, I’m sure of it. Once the team is fully gelled together and working well, they will concede less and hopefully score more.

Before 2019 is over, Keith Hill will have picked out some games he thinks he might be more likely to succeed and gain some points from than others. We have done the same and here are the fixtures that we have picked out and why…

AFC Wimbledon

Currently, Wimbledon sits at 21st in the league. They have 3 points and are also struggling. On December the 7th, Bolton will play them at home. By this time, you would think that Keith Hill has things under control and Bolton will be on the up.

With that in mind, hopefully, Bolton will be able to get a draw out of this or even, if they’re lucky, a win. If Bolton can’t get something from the teams down at the bottom with them, then they will really struggle even more to get out of the situation they’re currently in.

Southend United

On the 14th of December, Bolton is going to have a hard game against Peterborough away. On the 21st, they then play Southend at home. Southend also sits down at the bottom of the table, they are currently 22nd and on 1 point. It would be a nice reward if Bolton could take something from that game, hopefully, all three points will come of it.

That would be a great Christmas present to the fans and the players will hopefully show their development. It’s going to be a hard job to get the Whites out of the minus 11 they are on, however, I believe Keith Hill will be able to lead the squad to do it in time.

Free-agent fails to impress for Bolton Wanderers, but there is still time

The Football Manc Cave is looking at how Bolton Wanderers new defender, Adam Chicksen performed last weekend.

Just like any other match, the Bolton Wanderers Twitter feed was full of team news, warm-up videos and news before Saturday’s clash with Rotherham. And then a little signing announcement was made. Bolton signed a free agent and ex Bradford player, Adam Chicksen.

Fans reacted to this news quite sarcastically, someone even asked if he had signed the contract on the coach on the way to the game, as there was literally no news of this until it happened. Expectations for the defender were very low, with some saying he was the worst defender they’d ever seen. Not a very hopeful signing for a team who are in desperate need for a good defence.

Thrown straight into the action

The 27-year-old left-back was thrown straight into the mix of the starting line up on Saturday. This came after Joe Bunney was involved in a car crash and couldn’t play this weekend, so desperate recruitment was needed.

With expectations already at a low, the scoreline of the game kind of speaks for itself. A 6-1 loss shows that the defence needs work. It’s not just the new defender who is the issue, all of the defence were unorganised. Chasing the ball and a number of players were running after the same opposition player a lot of the time.

It’s going to take a few weeks before fans will be able to give a proper reaction to his performances, as he will need to get some more playing time in first. He might be rated quite low but Keith Hill is working closely with the squad he has and trying his best to get results. Hopefully, Chicksen will adapt to his role for his time with us, while Joe Bunney recovers and he’ll be a worth while signing… I just can’t see him doing a great job.

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