Tag Archives: Abdallah Lemsagam

‘Have I actually just booked and paid for Morocco away in a pointless preseason game? Yes, yes I have’ Oldham Athletic fans looking to take over Morocco

Oldham’s pre-season preparations usually involve trips to local non-league sides, but they are heading much further afield in the next few weeks.

Owner Abdallah Lemsagam has organised a 10-day training camp in his home country of Morocco, culminating in a friendly game with Raja Casablanca on Sunday 14th July.

It is not unusual for clubs to take a squad to Europe or further afield as part of pre-season training. However, Oldham has tended towards the Isle of Man, Scotland and a break from tradition with a trip to Lloret de Mar about 50 years ago.

They did win a trip to the Seychelles in the early ’90s for being the club with the best disciplinary record in the Premier League. Striker Ian Olney spoiled the trip somewhat, by elbowing one of the Seychelles team in the face in the first five minutes of the ‘friendly’ game organised by the islands football association. They must have been wondering what they’d let themselves in for.

The Moroccan trip came out of the blue and has given Latics fans very little time to decide whether they are going to make the trip or not. For some, it’s a no brainer:

The club is running a three-day trip out to Agadir for the game, and given that Moroccan football doesn’t get a lot of coverage in the UK, Latics fans will probably have been searching the net to find out more about Raja Casablanca and their fans.

What they will have found is a passionate bunch of supporters, who managed to sell out their 70,000 capacity Stade Mohamed V on 5 occasions last season. The game will take place at the 45,000 capacity Stade Adrar however where Latics will be based.

Moroccan football appears to be everything UK football isn’t with choreographed chanting, massed banks of supporters in a huge stand, flares, smoke bombs and general madness. It looks fantastic.

For Latics supporters and players used to the library like atmosphere of Boundary Park, it will no doubt be an amazing experience if not a little intimidating to say the least.

Oldham Athletic’s Edmundson on the brink of departure to Rangers while Lemsagam receives both plaudits & critics

The saga surrounding the transfer of George Edmundson appears to be nearing its end.

According to reports north of the border, Glasgow Rangers have beaten off competition from Peterborough and Portsmouth to sign the promising young defender.

It brings to an end several weeks of thrust and counter-thrust between Oldham owner Abdallah Lemsagam and Rangers, who were told the player would cost them far more than they offered.

At one point, Rangers appeared to have lost interest. However, the insistence of AL that he was not going to back down on his valuation assured that Oldham got the fee they asked for.

It was an attitude that has gone done well with some supporters.

Along the way, however, AL has apparently upset the Peterborough Chairman Darragh MacAnthony. He took to Twitter to complain at length over the transfer dealings, despite it being described by many as normal transfer activity.

It seems that AL can successfully upset people away from Boundary Park as well. He may well have gone some way to mending rifts by getting what is a very good price for George.

Some supporters are obviously impressed.

It is always sad to lose a decent player like Edmundson. However, his chances of career success are far better with Rangers than they are with Peterborough, and their petulant Chairman.

Are Oldham Athletic Fans Prepared For The French Invasion?

There isn’t much news that could be described as unbelievable when you’re talking about Oldham Athletic. However, that doesn’t stop the rumour mongers casting their lines and waiting for a bite.

The latest one apparently backed up by someone who claims they are scouting for the club, is that ex-Arsenal and Crystal Palace striker Marouane Chamakh has been coaxed out of retirement at 35 to turn out for Latics in League Two next season. As rumours go, it had a degree of believability given that the player has both Moroccan and French citizenship, but a player who hasn’t kicked a ball since February 2016 is pushing the imagination a little too far.

It is not beyond belief however to expect an influx of French players. Given the imminent arrival of new coach Laurent Banide or, ones who are connected with Abdallah Lemsagam’s Sport2jlt company based in Dubai.

There are more French players than you can shake a baguette at who find themselves without a club, having failed to get a contract extension and many ends their playing careers out in Dubai or Saudi Arabia. It is therefore fairly obvious that any incoming players from that area aren’t going to be fresh-faced youngsters.

Right midfielder Billy Ketkeophomphone is a free agent having been released by Auxerre, presumably because they didn’t have a shirt wide enough for his name. However, at 29 he may still have a season left in him, despite his previous problems with injury.

On the books of Sport2jlt is Brazilian forward Wanderley or Wanderley Santos Monteiro Júnior to his mates. The 30-year-old striker had an impressive record in the UAE Gulf League, scoring 36 goals in 58 appearances. There is little knowledge of what the standard is like out in the UAE, and how it compares with League Two.

There has been one rumour surrounding a player who isn’t based in Angers or Abu Dhabi, and that is the very un-French sounding Billy Clarke who has been released by Bradford City. He spent a large part of last season out with a cruciate ligament rupture, but the 31-year-old attacking midfielder might be tempted to stay in the region despite the interest shown from Exeter City.

Without a doubt, there will be further rumours concerning new signings as the start of the season approaches. Nevertheless, as with the new coach, whether they are well known or not cannot be guaranteed. Plans for next season certainly need to be stepped up a gear for as the French say: ‘Qui n’avance pas, recule’.

Here’s Two Reason’s Why Oldham Athletic Fan’s Should Be Excited By The Thierry Henry Backed Binade

The Latics have been without a manager since Paul Scholes left back in March but they may have found their answer in Laurent Banide. 

Oldham fans found out yesterday that the Frenchman has signed a one year deal with the club, following Pete Wild’s temporary stint and this could be exciting if the 51-year-old can work his magic. Thierry Henry has previously backed Banide stating that he was one of the most influential coaches in his playing career. This has got to be promising for Oldham and their fans.

Henry’s backing aside, what else can he bring to the club? 


Laurent has spent the last decade managing various clubs in the Middle East. Just a few include Monaco, Al-Nast, Al-Dhafra and Al Orobah. It’s not just managing that he’s been a part of, he’s also been a big part of a lot of clubs coaching staff and with him playing such a big part, he’s now been managing since 1990.

The long list of clubs year after year may be a worry that he hasn’t been able to stay at a club for a long period of time, although if he does well in this deal, he could be tempted to stay with Oldham. 

Chairman’s Backing 

Once the deal was done, Oldham chairman, Abdallah Lemsagam said he was delighted to welcome the Frenchman and, that he was looking forward to working with him in the 2019/20 campaign. He believes he has chosen the right man to take his club forward, and if he can deliver this would mean more money to invest in players and transfers, better results and hopefully climbing the league. 

‘Laurent Banide’s Blue & White Army’ ‘This Will Go Badly’ Oldham Athletic Announce New Manager Which Leaves Fans Divided

The news that former Monaco manager Laurent Banide has stepped into the hot seat at Boundary Park has surprised a number of people, probably because he was nowhere in the betting for the job.

The Frenchman has been tempted to Boundary Park by owner Abdallah Lemsagam, despite the post being billed as something of a poisoned chalice in the last few years.

Given Banide’s recent appointments in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait it is not difficult to see where Moroccan Lemsagam has been looking to find the new coach.

When the news broke, people were quick to point out the number of jobs he’s had.

The club was obviously delighted to get their man as the press release stated:

‘Oldham Athletic are delighted to announce that the club have appointed Laurent Banide as Head Coach on a one-year deal.

The 51-year-old has managerial experience abroad which includes stints at AS Monaco, Al Nasr and Al-Orobah FC.

Most recently, Banide was in charge at Umm Salal SC in Qatar, before leaving in 2018.

Laurent Banide enjoyed a playing career at AS Monaco, Marseille and Strasbourg before moving into a coaching role with Monaco in 1993 where he spent 12 years before being made First Team manager.

Banide will officially start his reign in charge on July 1st, 2019 when the players report back for pre-season training.

Chairman Abdallah Lemsagam said; “I’m delighted to welcome Laurent to Oldham Athletic.

“He brings a lot of experience to this club and I’m looking forward to working alongside him the 2019/20 campaign.

“I believe Laurent is a fantastic coach and is the right man to take this club forward going into the new season.”

An official interview with the new Head Coach will be released in due course.

Welcome to the club Laurent!

Banide becomes Oldham’s first foreign coach and has already divided opinion:

It is obvious that Banide will need to win over the supporters pretty quickly, and part of that process will involve bringing players in to bolster what is at present a very threadbare squad. However, until then, the best Oldham fans can hope for is a period of stability at the club. Bien accueillir Laurent!

Are Oldham Athletic Looking To The Continent For Their Next Coach

A decision on who might be installed in the managerial hot seat for the coming season took a new twist recently, with reports that owner Abdallah Lemsagam might be looking at candidates outside of the UK.

Three of the names mentioned are:

Pablo Correa

It is no secret that AL has contacts in Europe but whether they extend to being close to former Auxerre manager Pablo Correa remains to be seen. Correa was in the frame for the Latics post at the same time as Paul Scholes but it is unknown if he was interviewed at the time.

The 52-year-old Uruguayan is a former forward who spent most of his playing career in his home country, before moving to France where he managed 2nd tier teams Nancy and Auxerre before finding himself out of work in March this year. He is not currently favourite for the post but he does have the managerial experience that many Latics fans believe is vital.

Andries Jonker

The former Wolfsburg coach is high on the list of current favourites. He is currently without a post and, has a great deal of experience having been an assistant manager at Barcelona and Bayern Munich and head of the soccer school at Arsenal.

The 56-year-old Dutchman would represent something of a coup for Athletic if he did arrive here, however, there has been no indication that he has shown an interest or been approached.

Paco Herrera

The current favourite for the job is Spaniard Paco Herrera who has held a number of posts in Spanish football and, was also ‘Chief Analyst’ with Rafael Benitez at Liverpool.

He hasn’t lasted more than half a season at any of his last three posts at Sporting Gijon and Las Palmas in Spain and Aris Salonika in Greece, so why he is favourite to arrive at Boundary Park is something of a mystery.

There was no surprise surrounding the appointment of Paul Scholes as it was football’s worst kept secret, but it looks like speculation as to who will step into the Oldham hot seat may remain up in the air for the time being despite the calls for an appointment to be made soon.

Oldham Athletic Fans Yearly Panic About A Lack Of Signings Starts A Month Early

There’s something that happens every year when the football season ends – the players tend to go on holiday.

This is obviously a situation that many fans find difficult to accept but they may have a point. After all, who has ever seen Sergio Aguero or Harry Kane taking advantage of happy hour in the bar of the Rosamar Beach and Spa Hotel in Tenerife, or struggling to inflate a lilo on the beach in Benidorm? Exactly.

If a club hasn’t made significant numbers of signings by the time the fixtures are out then the season can be pretty much written off according to some. Oldham have secured the services of Alex Iacovitti and Gevaro Nepomuceno and, signed 10 youngsters up for the Academy but for some that aren’t good enough with the 19/20 season just 59 days away.

There was an uproar from certain quarters when Jose Baxter and Peter Clarke were released at the end of the season. It was argued that they would be snapped up immediately by our rivals, and return to Boundary Park to wreak havoc on the club for our short-sightedness in releasing them.

Of course, they might well do but at present, neither have a new club or look like getting one…or they could be on holiday.

It is true that some clubs like Northampton have made a number of signings, but with the transfer of George Edmundson still up in the air. Waiting to see how much money we might have to spend, before diving in for the likes of ex Macclesfield forward (Harry Smith) with a staggering 8 goals last season seems perfectly sensible.

There is also a myth that all the decent players will get ‘snapped up’ and we’ll be left with the bottom of the barrel. However, it is a fact that given the size of some Premier League and Championship squads, loan signings often do not surface until the season has started. Both Sam Surridge and Callum Lang didn’t join the club till late July last year.

It would improve the atmosphere that exists at present if the club could decide who their new coach will be, but until then, the more impatient of Oldham’s supporters are doing their blood pressure no favours as the day’s tick by.

Who Is Former Man United Youth Mackenzie Chapman, & Why Should Oldham Athletic Fans Get Excited

Oldham’s new intake of young players a few weeks ago included 17-year-old goalkeeper Mackenzie Chapman.

The news that Athletic had taken on 10 schoolboys for two-year scholarships is welcome. Not just because it demonstrates that the club is serious about building a squad from the youth setup, but because it quelled a myth that owner Abdallah Lemsagam was planning to get rid of the club’s Academy.

On the contrary, Lemsagam intends to Develop the academy and the pipeline of talent.” as he mentioned in his ‘Vision and Plan‘. That is good news for young players like Mackenzie Chapman who has been on the books at both Manchester United and Burnley. He is described as a good shot stopper in his player profile on the club’s website and, that is definitely a plus for a goalkeeper!

Having a ‘keeper who two Premier League sides thought was worth a look at, bodes well for Latics and all eyes will be on who gets the No. 1 jersey next season after the departure of Daniel Iversen. I don’t expect Mackenzie to be thrust into the first-team action straight away, but as he has already played for the youth team on a number of occasions, he may well enter into first-team reckoning before long.

Mackenzie is too young to remember Chris Ogden who was an integral part of the Oldham side in the early 1970s. Ogden rose from the junior ranks to become Latics first choice in goal and managed 128 appearances.

Another find like Chris would be a great addition to an Oldham side who are keen to develop their young talent.

Edmundson Gives Rangers the Potential Green Light With Latest Oldham Athletic Rejection

If a book was written detailing the number of times Oldham Athletic have been involved in a bidding war over any of their players, it wouldn’t take up much room on a bookshelf.

At present, however, George Edmundson Latics highly-rated defender is being sought by several clubs with the asking price thought to be around the £400,000 mark.

At the forefront of those clubs is Glasgow Rangers who, it is reported have had a bid for George rejected. Oldham are keen to add to his value and, have offered the player a better contract but his head seems to have been turned by the prospect of playing in the Europa League and the Scottish Premier League.

Apparently, Rangers are not keen on increasing their bid and so the usual game of cat and mouse will take place, with the hope that one of the parties will back down.

For Oldham, having a player who is sought after is something that doesn’t happen that often, and they may be playing a dangerous game with a club who can afford to look elsewhere if needed.

There is also the added worry that all this attention could affect the confidence of Edmundson if he has set his heart on a move to a bigger club. He could well find himself still at Boundary Park at the start of next season if Latics’ asking price becomes a stumbling block.

It is unlikely that Athletic will increase their contract offer to the 21-year-old, given the restrictions the club face with owner Abdallah Lemsagam vowing to run a tight ship.

It only takes an injury in pre-season training to a Rangers defender for them to hurriedly return to the negotiating table but for the promising defender. He will be hoping that he stays on their wanted list for all the right reasons, and starts next season in the blue of Rangers rather than the blue of Oldham.

What Type Of Oldham Athletic Fan Are You After Lemsagam Outlines His Vision?

Oldham fans opinions have fallen into several key categories over the last 12 months and the divisions seem to be multiplying weekly.

The latest missive from club owner Abdallah Lemsagam has caused division when its intention was to heal some rifts. The different categories of fans seem to fall into:

The Eternally Optimistic

These supporters get most of their Latics news from the radio or newspapers and while they are obviously concerned about the future of the club, they are confident that whoever is in charge is doing it for the right reasons.

Blissfully unaware of the storms that rage on message boards, Facebook and Twitter, they are the lifeblood of small clubs and their lives revolve around Oldham Athletic as probably did the lives of their parents and grandparents. They are not to be pitied or described as ‘Happy Clappers’ are not stupid and they have as much right to an opinion as everyone else. They will welcome Lemsagam’s vision for the future.

The Silently Worried

If you’re a member of a message board but ‘lurk’ in the background rather than post on there you are among friends. Your views are not based on rumour and outright invention but carefully measured over years of watching the club.

Lemsagam’s announcement will soothe the silently worried somewhat, but they will need the reassurance of a few wins when the season starts to be won over properly. These people aren’t stupid either and shouldn’t be leapt upon if they offer an opinion that differs from the next group.

The Fiercely Opinionated

The Internet has a lot to answer for and giving a platform to all and sundry to spread lies, guesswork and unsubstantiated rumour is just part of its problem. Lemsagam’s vision for the club will be picked apart and largely ridiculed, despite it being just what has been asked for less than a week ago.

The keyboard warriors have been guilty of spreading rumours that have been little more than opinions shared over a pint, and the sad fact is that these stories are pounced on as being true. Anyone who asks for proof is met with a rebuff for having their head in the sand, and when the stories are proved to be untrue the original post is revisited and deleted.

Declarations that they have no intention of watching the team again occur daily. There are fewer shows of petulant behaviour in a nursery playground but as always, a run of decent form will change the mood on social media and signal a mass deletion of past messages.

Lemsagam’s words might be lost on these fans but they are not stupid either, and amongst the nonsense there exists the odd lone voice of reason which gives some measure of hope.

The Waste of Space

Hardly worthy of a mention are those who will never accept Lemsagam or anything he says because of his race. These people are the ones we don’t want at Boundary Park because their views are indeed stupid. Exceptionally so.

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