Playing 40+ games a season in a league which is physically demanding, will obviously lead to fatigue for players who are into their late twenties and early thirties. Add to the equation heavy pitches and fixture pile-ups, and it is little wonder that players who have spent the first half of the season in top form appear to falter on the season run in.
It can be argued that professional football players should be fit and focused enough to be able to play a full season without getting tired, but given the physical demands of the modern game and the narrow margins between success and failure, fatigue is inevitable.
These three Oldham players have looked fatigued lately and having a week off should have been a benefit to them…
O’Grady isn’t the favourite player for a lot of Oldham fans, but he has ideally suited to League Two football with his height and physical strength. There are a lot of other clubs in the division whose front men match O’Grady’s attributes in being a centre forward whose sole aim is to be a physical presence in the opposition box.
Although he is the wrong side of 30 you can bet that Chris will still be looking to get a game for somebody in ten years time. His hat trick against Bury earlier in the campaign will be something he’ll be looking to match before the season ends.
Certainly one of the best midfielders we’ve had at Boundary Park since the days of Nick Henry and Mike Milligan. Now in his second season with Latics he is confident and skilful, and Maouche has the ability to change the course of games. After several excellent performances however, he looked jaded in the second half against Bury last week and a break may have been just the solution he was looking for.
Having already played 38 games this season ‘Missile’ is another player who needed a break. The French midfielder may well be struggling with the UK temperatures but he has put in some solid performances, and has perhaps got his eye on an extension to his one year deal. Another player who appeared to be burnt out after a storming first half at Gigg Lane.