Category Archives: league 2

Laurent Banide’s vision for Oldham Athletic should change the clubs fortunes

Laurent Banide stresses the importance of youth players and having a hands-on approach to managing this Oldham side.

“He is still one of the best coaches I ever worked with”. Who said that? No other than Thierry Henry.

Beginning at Monaco, Banide played a role in the development of world-renowned French footballers such as Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet.

As Banide states in his press conference with Oldham Athletic, “you need to give confidence to young players and work with the strong points of the player”.

Oldham have recently signed 28 year-old goalkeeper Gary Woods and 27 year-old full-back Zak Mills. By appointing experienced players to help resurface the Latics, it may allow Banide to spend more time developing the young talent at Boundary Park.

Banide ensures the supporters that he has a “philosophy” and a “projection” for the club, which should certainly alter the mood in the Oldham camp after several disappointing seasons and unstable management. Should Banide’s keep his promise of trying to provide the fans with exciting football, we could see a totally different Oldham walk out onto the field at the beginning of the 19/20 EFL League Two campaign.

In terms of his approach, Banide says that he “prefers to work on the field and try to see our possibilities”. This hands-on approach could see Oldham players improve individually as Banide stands beside them in training assessing their strengths and weaknesses.

The Frenchman tells us that there is a “good energy with everyone here”, indicating that the club are prepared to turn things around and still have a positive attitude despite previous seasons.

With an abundance of experience and recommendations from Theirry Henry, alongside a very positive press conference given by Banide, Oldham fans should be excited for the upcoming season as their new manager has high hopes of improving the status of the club.

Danny Mayor’s Comments Speak Volumes Regarding The Future of Bury

‘Tell us what is happening’ were the latest comments said to Bury chairman Steve Dale regarding the club’s future and wages for all of the club staff.

The author of those comments was Danny Mayor, who alongside fellow critic of Dale Nicky Adams, speaks volumes for the worries held within the dressing room.

Mayor was at the heart of Bury’s success last season but is yet to sign a new contract keeping him at Gigg Lane. Having spent six years with the Shakers, Mayor has seen everything from promotion to relegation.

Despite dipping in and out of form at times, the number 10 was on top form notching up many goals and assists helping his side to promotion, including the decisive goal at Tranmere in the final week of the season.

Yet he may have played his last game due to the grave uncertainty regarding the future of the club. Speaking to the Bury Times, Mayor spoke out against the chairman and the issues surrounding wages.

“I’m the same as the other lads, I don’t really know what’s going on,” said Mayor.

We’ve not been told anything about whether the club’s going to be sold or not.

We’re kind of in limbo, really.

We saw the statement but we’ve heard a lot of things before and it’s not come to fruition so we have to take it with a pinch of salt.”

Mayor has been linked with several clubs including Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday over recent weeks. There were even reports about a move to near neighbours Salford City as they began their transfer window with the signing of Richie Towell.

However, despite numerous transfer talks, the midfielder seems happy working with Ryan Lowe as are so many of his colleagues. Up to 70% of players want to stay working with their manager this upcoming season.

Despite the positive comments regarding their future which will certainly please fans, no fans would argue with a mass exodus should Steve Dale fail to pay wages or his successor as club chairman.

A nightmare worry could still become a damming reality if a new owner is not in place by June 20th, the day of the new fixture release.

“It’s tough for everyone. I’d love to say everything’s going to work out and I’ll stay at Bury but I can’t sign anything when it’s not been offered.

I can’t keep waiting around to see what they say, hoping the club gets bought. A lot of lads are in the same situation.

They’re out of contract and they’ve got families, and they’ve got to do what’s best for them.”

This Oldham Athletic Back Line Will Stop Northampton’s Top Scorer Andy Williams

Oldham have been pretty lucky with injuries this season and have only had a couple of players out for lengthy periods. When we have struggled with losing a defender there has always been cover available. Unfortunately, the injuries to Peter Clarke and George Edmundson and on loan ‘keeper Daniel Iversen will probably mean that the back line for the final game will look completely different than usual.

Obviously, Athletic hope to finish on a winning note with Callum Lang signing off in style after failing to find the net in the last five games. His fourteen goals this season have helped Latics stay within reach of the playoffs and of course steered them into the 4th round of the FA Cup.

Northampton’s main threat comes from 32-year-old Andy Williams who appears to have spent most of his career shuffling between West Country clubs Hereford, Bristol Rovers, Yeovil and Swindon before moving to Doncaster then Northampton.

A forward whose online profile describes him as weak at aerial duels, holding on to the ball, passing and very weak at finishing shouldn’t prove to be much of a handful against Athletic’s rejigged defence. But he is obviously in the side for a good reason and shouldn’t be ignored. He is obviously popular with the supporters and recently said about them “Deep into myself I play the game, without your love it always ends the same while life around me goes on everywhere, I’m playing Solitaire

The Oldham back four will probably include Tom Hamer, Alex Iacovitti and Rob Hunt but could well include Jamie Stott who has returned from a loan spell with Stockport, having picked up two young player of the year awards following their success in the National League North. Also in the running has to be former youth team player Javid Swaby-Neavin who signed professional terms this week alongside midfielder Harry Robinson.

Also in the mix could be Jay Sheridan and Sonhy Sefil who has a contract till 2020 but hasn’t featured at all this season. Whilst all eyes might be on the players who will be performing for the last time for the club, it is the players who find themselves playing in the back line who might be the ones who influence the game the most.

Two ‘Ugly’ Players Oldham Need Next Season To Compete in The Physical Side Of League Two

League Two football can never be described as ‘pretty’. There are a number of players capable of producing the odd flash of brilliance but on the whole, League Two is the place finesse goes to die.

It is unsurprising then that League Two champions Lincoln’s approach to the game consists of throwing themselves to the ground at every opportunity, barging the opposition out of the way and having a goalkeeper who can deliver the ball from box to box on a regular basis. This method was ably demonstrated in their recent win at MK Dons.

It would be churlish to suggest that Oldham should adopt a direct game in an effort to escape League Two next season but, one of the ingredients that have been missing lately are players whose only mandate late in a game is to get the ball upfield as far as possible. A four-game sequence saw Latics concede in the 90th minute at home to Crewe, Morecambe and Stevenage and Bury away losing out on a possible six extra points.

As yet it is unknown what the squad will look like after the last game of the season has been played out. However, as far as defenders are concerned and if rumours are correct, skipper Peter Clarke may move on and on-loan Alex Iacovitti will be returning to Nottingham Forest leaving a void in the sort of players we need who can play ‘ugly’ football when it is required.

There are always a good number of players around who will fit that requirement and two that would certainly be suitable and available are:

Mal Benning

Mansfield’s 25 year old left back has also played as a centre back and in midfield for the Stags this season. He has an option of a further one-year extension to his contract which expires in June, but with the club on the verge of a move into League One his direct style may be deemed as useful in League Two but lacking substance in a higher division. He has not produced many goals but managed to find the net direct from a corner against Northampton.

David Wheater

The 32-year-old Bolton captain and defender would be the perfect replacement for Peter Clarke. Strong in the air with good concentration and blocking skills. He is described as being a threat at set pieces and a good player to have if the ball needs clearing quickly. His only weakness appears to be his passing ability.

Given that all of the Bolton players have an uncertain future, Wheater might be persuaded to drop a division given that he would be able to remain living in the area, and presumably has plenty of experience of being part of a squad playing for a club with a controversial owner!

Three players Bury Just Can’t Do Without Next Season In League One

As the 2018/19 football league season draws to a close, the question of promotion for Bury has finally be answered. Yes, of course Ryan Lowe’s side would eventually join Lincoln City in League One next season, as confirmed on Tuesday night at Tranmere Rovers.

Other than the division change, the thought that Bury could be without their best players and even manager is a worrying thought all fans will not even want to consider.

So as the Shakers look to prepare for life in League One, without or without Lowe and his backroom staff, we take a look at the three players Bury will want to cling onto next season…

Danny Mayor 

Scorer of the goal that earned Bury promotion in their 1-1 draw with Tranmere on Tuesday night, the key to the side’s creativity throughout this season as well. Missed so much during April in defeats against Cambridge and Carlisle through suspension, the idea the upcoming League Two club could lose their midfield man isn’t really an option anybody with an affiliation to the club would want to consider.

With 12 goals and 11 assists this season in all competitions, Mayor will no doubt be in hot pursuit for many League One and even Championship clubs. With the club back up for sale and with no takers at present, Mayor may look elsewhere to extend his playing career, especially considering the fact he turns 28 and arguably in the prime of his career.

Nicky Maynard 

Again another obvious choice to list, yet considering he is the clubs top goal scorer this season in a promotion winning one, Maynard’s first season in Greater Manchester may well be his last.

His 21 chart stopping season is bettered by only two players in League Two this season in James Norwood (Tranmere) and Tyler Walker (Mansfield Town). He didn’t start his playing season till September either, so his record in front of goal is one any other investor couldn’t ignore. Like Mayor, the ex-Aberdeen man will not want to see a salary reduction. The chances of him remaining as the frontman of Bury are most definitely in doubt.

Dom Telford 

Potentially a left field name to mention in this list yet after starring in the Checkatrade Trophy run this season, the 22-year-old is someone the Shakers will want to keep hold of and not let a relatively young striker head out the exit door.

Even though players like Jay O’Shea or Nicky Adams may be standout options, 14 goals in only his second full playing season is no bad total. With youth on his side, he could well be the long term choice up front for Bury and an immediate successor to Maynard up top.

Bury host Port Vale in the final match of this memorable season back in League Two. How many players make the team sheet for opening fixtures in August is anyone’s guess however.

“We all play in Blue and Tangerine” Oldham’s Classic Shirt of the 1970’s.

If you happen to be an Oldham Athletic supporter over 50 and spend far too much time reminiscing over games played four decades ago and the hairs in your ears stand on end every time you hear the word ‘tangerine’ mentioned, then you are part of a select group of people who were lucky enough to watch Oldham play in a classic era of football at Boundary Park.

That era was of course the early 1970’s when player turned manager Jimmy Frizzell guided Oldham out of the old Fourth Division playing in a swashbuckling style with players who went on to become Latics legends.

Most importantly though, the club had changed their traditional blue and white kit to that of tangerine shirts and blue shorts. Apparently, this move had been introduced by a young Ken Bates who was Chairman of the club for five years in the 1960’s to give the team a distinctive edge.

To be fair, it has to be pointed out that Blackpool FC had been turning out in a tangerine kit for some time (bizarrely their first game in tangerine was against Oldham in the opening game of the 1923/24 season) so it wasn’t a unique idea but nobody who supported Oldham was interested in that minor detail and tangerine scarves were top of every supporters birthday and Christmas want list. In fact many of us bought two so we could wear one round each wrist as was the sartorial style of the day.

The kit was immensely popular and never clashed with an opposing side (Blackpool were three divisions above Oldham) so the decision as to what to wear at an away game was never in question. Replica shirts hadn’t yet become a money spinner for clubs however so it was scarfs and wooly hats (if you were under 10) that was the order of the day.

The local press often referred to Athletic as the ‘tangerine terrors’ as they swept aside their opponents in the 70/71 season scoring 81 goals and gaining promotion in 3rd place. Key to their success were the goals from possibly Latics best ever strike force of David Shaw and Jimmy Fryatt with 23 and 24 goals respectively.

The club has recognised the importance of the kit to supporters and a version of it is the current change strip and has been in past seasons. At Fulham in the FA Cup this season, the 4000+ Latics fans serenaded their London counterparts to their own version of the Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’, “We all play in Blue and Tangerine“.

Part 1: Fifa19 Challenge: Oldham to the Champions League in Six Years

Hello, I’m Ian, and I’ve been handed the task of taking Oldham Athletic to the Champions League in six seasons!

Yeah, you read that right…six seasons!!

If you didn’t know we put a Twitter poll out of various Fifa19 challenges:

The winner by some distance was Oldham to the Champions League.

So, having last played Fifa17, and not picked up the PS4 pad for a while, I’ve set myself on the professional level – we’ll see how it goes.

Now I have a little system that I feel works for manager type games, and I’m hoping it pays off one more time. I’ve disabled the first transfer window, as I want to see what I’ve got in my team for the first half of the season at least. So no incomings until January, which I’m hoping I don’t need as I bid to build the bank for later seasons.

The board have set the following objectives for the season:

  1. Win League Two
  2.  Get to the last 32 of the FA Cup

My first course of action was to hire two scouts for my youth academy, this is going to be vital in the coming seasons. With the 1.4million budget I’ve got, I need to rely on youth coming through and also start to become a feeder club to bring in the money for when I hit the Championship and Premier League.

I feel like I’ve got two decent scouts to start off with; One with experience and one with judgement. I’ve set them both a 6-month assignment in England and Scotland to find the best out there they can…so we’ll see come Jan.

My formation is going to be determined with the players I have to hand, I like either a 433 or a 442 diamond with my wingers way out wide, a holding midfielder and a player with the free-range behind the front two – a little old school but I prefer it.

I currently have a squad of 27 players, in January I’d like to trim that by a couple. I like to have two in each position, ideally a first-team starter and either a youngster or an older player as a backup. I also like to have 2 utility players who can play a number of roles in defence and midfield.

On first glance it’ll seem two out of my six strikers will be earmarked to go in the winter window, and possibly a left back.

We’ve just entered a preseason tournament with the prize money set at £1.3m. We have Accrington, Antalyaspor and Yeni Malatyaspor in the group stages, I’m quietly confident we can claim one of the two qualifying spots to progress through.

I should have a clearer idea of the formation path I want to go down after the tournament before season one starts…

Let’s get going!

Oldham’s Season is Stumbling to an End, But What Can Wild Learn From Their Newport Defeat?

It is very easy for fans to cast aside an end of season defeat when there is very little to play for.

However, for the coach and players, the penultimate game of the season can prove to be a valuable lesson in both understanding why the squad haven’t achieved more and what they need to do to improve.

Tuesday nights defeat at Newport was almost inevitable, given that Latics had already failed at the hurdle of needing to win their last three games. The players can be forgiven for having their attention on a beach in Marbella, rather than the drab surroundings of South Wales. With Newport still able to make it into the top seven, the game was always going to be keenly contested.

What Athletic’s players were probably not prepared for was the physical onslaught wreaked on them by a Newport side desperate not to lose.

Both captain Peter Clarke and George Edmundson had to leave the field with injuries, following Newport’s attempts to barge into our players at every opportunity. It highlighted a problem we have had with other sides this season who are intent on imposing their physical strength on the game, once they have decided whether the referee will let them get away with it or not.

Athletic have won a good number of games this season with confident, passing football but they need to also learn that playing ‘ugly’ in the manner of MK Dons, Lincoln and Newport also gets you results and although it isn’t a pretty sight, it is sadly part of the formula for escaping League Two in the right direction.

For Peter Wild, the lesson learned needs to be to expect spoiler tactics and aerial bombardments as part of League Two life and to adjust his team accordingly. Latics fans wouldn’t want to see our players crumble into a heap at the sight of an opposition players shadow, but imposing ourselves on the game right from the kick off might be a valuable lesson.

Oldham Suffer First Defeat, But Has Wild Done Enough To Deserve The Job?

Winning the last three league games was always going to be a big ask for Peter Wild and his squad, especially as two of those games were away from home and a fair distance from Boundary Park. However, it doesn’t matter how far or near games are, they have to be overcome and although Latics lost for the first time in six games the performances since the defeat at Lincoln have been well worth the entrance money.

As there have been no additions to the squad or players returning from lengthy injury absence, the credit for the 14 points from six games must go to Peter Wild and the effect he has had on the squad.

There has been no great change in tactics but Wild obviously recognises the limitations of the squad and has managed to adjust accordingly. Given that the players know Wild well and appear to be content with his style of coaching, the idea of anyone else taking over the reins at present would be an unpopular decision.

Many believe that if the club hadn’t got themselves involved in the Paul Scholes debacle, we might be preparing for the playoffs instead of missing out on them by the skin of our teeth. The six points from seven games under Scholes may long be looked at as a wasted opportunity.

Consequently, giving Wild the job on a full time basis must be looked at as a serious option, and that decision should be made before the end of the season to put a halt to any uncertainty and to give the players who will still be with the club and the supporters some much needed normality.

With two games still to play, Wild will be looking to get Athletic into the best league position possible and has hinted that some players who haven’t been featured this season may see themselves in the starting line up. One of those is midfielder Chinedu Uche who was on the bench at Exeter and, is another youngster who Latics are hoping to push into the first team.

There is unlikely to be a large following from Oldham at Newport on Tuesday night given that our slim chance of reaching the playoffs has ended, but it is a game that the South Wales club really need to win to put them in a strong position going into the final weekend of the season. Peter Wild may wonder what his future holds at Boundary Park but he won’t let it get in the way of seeking three points.

Steve Dale Puts Bury Up For Sale as Bailiffs Tried To Take The Goalposts

Bury chairman Steve Dale has announced he has put the League Two up for sale to new prospective buyers. The club back in court on May 15, having had a previous hearing on April 10 adjourned at the Insolvency and Companies Court.

In a statement released on Thursday, Dale announced he was only a temporary custodian of the club. He announced since his arrival last November, temporary plans had been put in place to ensure the clubs long term future, but admitted in a lengthy statement on the clubs website, decisions taken had been ‘worse than imagined’.

Dale said, ‘I have outlined in my previous statements the difficult environment we bought into in late November, which has been well documented. Even though I was advised by my advisors not to proceed, I decided I could help, given the information we had was true.

Whilst not ideal, we took it on. This football club was in serious trouble, and this turned out to be far in excess of what we could have comprehended. I can confidently say that had the takeover not gone ahead when it did, Bury Football Club would have been no more’.

It’s fair to say the club has been living on thin ice now for long time. Club memorabilia and goalposts were among the items debt collectors tried to take, trying to prevent Ryan Lowe’s team from playing their home games.

Moreover, Dale goes to further state that he and his company are the reasons the club is still afloat today, for without him, Bury FC would have gone bust.

Citing massive outgoings on player wage bills and staffing levels equivalent to that of a championship club. Ghosts of the Stewart Day era look set to haunt the future of the club and as the statement suggests, work done over the past few weeks by Dale could ensure the League Two clubs survival, with the hope a new custodian take the role.

The Statement continues with,’Let’s be clear here; there would have been no Bury FC had we not took it on. Was it 100 times worse than we thought? Yes, it was. I can’t expand on this, as it would prejudice our case in law. We have daily battles to keep the Club alive, but one thing is clear the Club needs to understand what it is. It’s a Club with c4,500 regular fans; it has staffing levels akin to a Championship Club. We need c£1.6m to pay wages, HMRC, pensions (not creditors) to the end of May, and we have a projected income of c£180k for this period’.

Life at Bury has been more than eventual where issues off the pitch have been as a big a talking point as events on it where the team itself is doing rather well, second in League Two.

In the final part of his message, the soon to be outgoing chairman credited work done on the football side of the club and, said there was interest from potential investors in buying the club.

Furthermore, over the last few days, I have received some expressions of interest. Given this, I would like to openly invite offers to me directly, to take over ownership of the Club.

Consideration will be given to prospective buyers who are able to commit the necessary time, money and full, undivided attention that’s needed to build upon the progress we’ve made which is considerable, and secure the future of this great Club for many years to come’.

The final line could be in doubt, for the time being at least. Whoever takes over from Dale has by no means an easy job.

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