When you find yourself writing about a departing coach/manager for the third time in a season there can be a fair assumption that the wheels haven’t just come off at Boundary Park, they are rolling down the hill destroying everything in their path.
Peter Wild was a name a lot of people weren’t familiar with when he stepped into departing Frank Bunn’s shoes, following the 6-0 thrashing by Carlisle on Boxing Day. It was suggested at the time that Wild was only given the role, as there were very few people left who were available after the sackings/resignations of a good number of the backroom staff.
He was and still is I might add, regarded as a ‘decent bloke’ with Latics coursing through his veins, with time and patience to pose for photos and share a pint with fans. He could have been forgiven for being completely out of his depth, having only had experience at the youth team level but he undoubtedly knew the players well and quickly applied himself to the task in hand.
There are perhaps more factors people could come up with but for the present, Wild’s short tenure will be remembered for three key reasons:
There are young supporters at Oldham who have been starved of any sort of memories that they can pass on to their children. Latics win at Fulham had all the ingredients of an ‘I was there’ game and not only did it receive nationwide coverage for the manner in which Athletic played, it included footage of our manager doing a mad Dad dance on the touchline.
I’m convinced that Frank Bunn couldn’t have got that sort of performance out of the players, and the day didn’t just belong to Lang, Surridge, Iversen and the 4000 Latics fans, it belonged to Wild as well.
Six game Unbeaten Run
When Scholes jumped ship following the defeat at Lincoln, very few people expected us to still have a chance of making the playoffs. Scholes had turned Wild’s tenacious side, into one that looked lost and rolled over easily when things weren’t going well.
Despite that, Wild’s side embarked on a six-game unbeaten run with three wins a row to start with. Promotion hopefuls Tranmere on a seven-win sequence were made to look ordinary, as Latics cruised past them. Mansfield, also aiming for a top three place found Athletic in no mood to roll over, with the six-game run became four wins and two draws with the exact same players that Scholes had at his disposal.
Loyalty is a dirty word
There is very little loyalty in football. Players can kiss their club badges one day then sign for their most hated rivals the next. Anyone who shows even the slightest amount of loyalty is destined to find themselves without a job at short notice if their face no longer fits. Unlike Scholes, we are told Wild approached owner Abdallah Lemsagam about leaving because he wanted to spend some time away from football for personal reasons.
As that is the only official reason given at present we can either accept that or, believe the unsubstantiated assortment of rumours on social media. Whatever the true story is, at present the news is yet again focused on the circus that is Boundary Park but opinion is united in agreeing that Peter Wild is certainly not the ringleader.