With Latics’ League 2 campaign well underway and points on the board, an unfamiliar sense of optimism seems to lurk in the air around Boundary Park.
Could this be due to a misplaced sense of belonging to League 1?
Might it be owing to the free-flowing passing style of our new look side?
Or is it just the new pies that are going down well?
It is my belief that something much deeper and underlying, holds the key to not only this optimism but possibly the keys to success also.
Over recent years the volume of loan signings has been high, and since the takeover, I think it’s fair to say playing staff have flowed both in and out. This, in my opinion, has led to a lack of passion and pride being shown on the pitch. No sense of belonging, no sense of pulling on the famous Blue and white actually meaning anything to them.
This was particularly relevant at the beginning of last season, where lacklustre performances and players trudging off the pitch with little regard for the fans, all showed the Boundry Park faithful that they were not up for the fight, and had no pride in playing for the club.
Although it picked up over the course of the season, it was this dismal attitude at the beginning which ultimately cost us our League Two status.
However this season, with fewer loan signings, the same dismal, none committal attitude does not seem to be present.
In fact, Daniel Iverson has been superb between the posts and Sam Surridge’s work rate, attitude and passion cannot be faulted. Combine this to a spine made up of Peter Clarke, Christopher Missilou and Jose Baxter, the results will surely follow, and they have.
When Frankie Bunn was appointed, in all honesty, we Oldham fans were a tad disappointed as it felt like yet another cheap appointment with no ambition. But it’s fair to say he has begun to win us over, but not with stunning football or overzealous claims of promotion, but with the much-needed passion and pride.
Frankie has clearly taken this same matter to heart, and instilled it within the squad, urging them to play for one and other to try to achieve something together. You can see the squad knitting closer with each game and, although they are far from the finished article, things are definitely looking up for Latics.