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Why making ex-Bolton man Captain will be a good move from Oldham Athletic

David Wheater has been made the captain of Oldham Athletic for the 2019/20 campaign. The Redcar born defender will provide significant experience to a misfiring backline. Wheater is well known for his leadership qualities, having served Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers for the majority of his career.

The 32-year-old was at Bolton last season, however, after all of their financial difficulties, the defender has opted for a move to the Latics.

Although Wheater’s best years are probably behind him, he is still very capable of doing well at this level. A very strong, tough defender that is dangerous in both boxes. Wheater scored 15 goals during his time at Bolton.

Oldham have a relatively young, inexperienced squad. Wheater will add that experience and leadership that you need in this division. Having played for Middlesbrough and Bolton in the Championship, he is proven at a higher level than this. However, he may make his presence felt and be more beneficial to Oldham, off the pitch.

To have a player like him in training and in the dressing room, it’s sure will give a massive boost to Oldham. When it comes to seeing out results, you can guarantee Wheater will fight and win his battles in defence. It’s important that Laurent Banide builds a defence around him, that can benefit from his experience.

Oldham have started the season poorly, picking up just four points from their opening five matches. A 1-2 win over Cambridge United on Saturday will hopefully provide that stepping stone they can kick on from. The Latics return to Boundary Park on Saturday to face Colchester United, hoping to string together back-to-back wins, which would propel them towards mid-table.

What is going wrong for Banide at Oldham Athletic?

Oldham Athletic’s recent performances give positives and negatives despite overwhelming defeats

They have lost every pre-season game and league game so far but pulled off a 3-2 win in the Football League Trophy against Liverpool U-21s. The Latics really got to show what they were about against a weaker opponent.

The victory proved that there are class and quality in the squad to be worked with. Segbé Azankpo proved to a clinical finisher and Chris Eagles were heavily involved in attacking play throughout. This is Oldham’s threat.

Their organization in maintaining pressure and defending is lacklustre, leaving holes and gaps to exploit at the back.

Oldham’s situation is somewhat similar to that of Man Utd last season. Their weak defence stops the attack from progressing confidently and without fear. Solskjaer now has Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and the Reds put four past Chelsea on the opening day of the Premier League.

How can Banide fix his squad?

Of course, Banide cannot be blessed with such an investment. But a recognized manager like himself should be able to get the best out of the defence he has. By giving his current defence a structure and system to go by on a weekly basis, the talented attackers in the side would have more freedom. This would result in the Frenchman’s side improving, winning and gelling as a team.

In the early days of the season, it would be unfair to judge the new manager. He has come into a difficult position at a struggling club. But their defeat against Crewe and their victory over Liverpool U-21s proved that the side has a bit of bite about them when they attack.

If this can be utilized throughout the season, whilst defensive philosophies are upheld – we could still see Oldham Athletic blossom this season.

Unlike other managers in recent years, Banide should be given time to implement a system and a squad that can progress the club further. Unless they get relegated, of course.

Two Oldham Athletic players that need to shine for Binade against Blackburn Rovers

Laurent Banide could find a pass this season if he can take his team far in the Carabao Cup. But he needs these two Oldham Athletic players to show up to see them past Blackburn Rovers…

Oldham Athletic was keen on beginning the season under new manager Laurent Banide, as the Frenchman looks to take Oldham Athletic to the other end of the table.

Unfortunately for the Latics, they currently find themselves on zero points after two games in League Two. They have played both home and away and have been outplayed on both occasions, suffering from less possession and fewer passes than their opponents.

Banide’s side was dominated by a strong Forest Green. But was also easily bested by a Crewe side who was recently obliterated by Plymouth Argyle. This shows that Oldham is unable to match not only the top teams but the fairly average teams also.

Regardless, Banide’s Latics will go toe to toe against Championship’s Blackburn Rovers. They currently find themselves on zero points after two games. Though they have faced very fierce opponents in Fulham and Charlton.

Should Oldham cause an upset in this game, they would need moments of brilliance from the quality they have, as it appears the reigns of Banide aren’t controlling much thus far.

The Football Manc Cave bring you the two players who can lead Oldham Athletic to victory in this big League Cup tie…

Scott Wilson

Banide has started Wilson upfront in both games of the league so far. It appears that he is in favour with the manager and that the Latics believe he can be their goalscorer. The 26-year-old Englishman Scott Wilson scored 14 and assisted 5 for Macclesfield in the 17/18 National League, and continued with 10 goals and 2 assists for the same side in the 18/19 EFL League Two.

Now in the Oldham Athletic strip, Wilson needs to take his game up a level and live up to the trust placed in him by the manager. A winning goal in a cup game against a tough opponent would kick start his career with Oldham.

Chris Eagles

Another recent acquisition for the side is ex-Man Utd and Burnley man Chris Eagles. The 33-year-old is still kicking it. Against such a tough opponent, Oldham Athletic must utilize the experience and quality they have in Eagles.

He has faced teams of all strength and sizes and will be able to set the bar for his teammates against a team who, on paper, beat them with ease.

‘This club is on a massive decline along with the attendance’s because it’s NOT the club we grew up to love’ Oldham Athletic fans react!

Oldham Athletic lost their opening home game of the season against Crewe Alexandra, despite taking the lead after just two minutes.

The Latics have lost both of their opening league games, following last weeks defeat at Forest Green. Laurent Banide is under immediate pressure, as judging from the fans’ reaction to the performance on Saturday, they aren’t warming to him just yet.

Let’s have a look at who they are pointing the finger at…

Two areas Oldham Athletic still need to strengthen before the transfer window shuts

The football season is finally back and Oldham Athletic have lost their first two league games. The Football Manc Cave look at the areas that need improvement for Laurent Banide’s side.

Fans really aren’t happy with how their team have been performing, and all summer they were begging for the club to sign new players.

Banide has had to also adapt as their new manager so fans have been doubting his capability. Some signings were announced before the Latics’ first league game, however, the losses means there are still areas that can be improved…


Before the season started, Oldham listened to their fans who were asking for a tighter defence and signed David Wheater, Tomas Egert and Ashley Smith-Brown. However, this didn’t give them enough time to gel together as a team. Banide needs to take his training sessions as a chance for these players to get to know how to work well together. They might have lost their opening games of the season, the defence can work well, they just need to blend their newest additions into the squad before the season gets any further down the line.

Goal Scorer

A goalscorer is something Oldham desperately need but not just that, they also need someone who isn’t scared to create chances. They have just signed the likes of Chris Eagles who is a winger, and it will take him time to bond with the team too.

Oldham have left it too late. If they would have got their signings in a little earlier then maybe their defence would be tighter, and they could start trying to create a shot on goal. They were dominated on the opening weekend and didn’t produce a shot on target or even a corner. Clearly once the defence is tighter, the goal scorers and wingers need to pull through.

Oldham Athletic’s back four should look like this on Saturday against Crewe

Oldham Athletic lost their opening day fixture away at Forest Green, 1-0. They return to Boundary Park on Saturday, to face Crewe Alexandra.

The Latics struggled to create many major opportunities on Saturday, perhaps that’s where Laurent Banide will look to freshen things up…

However, I look at how their defence should line-up on Saturday…

Alex Iacovitti

Starting with Alex Iacovitti at right-back. A solid young, versatile defender at League Two level. With Latics struggling to create goal-scoring opportunities, perhaps the youngster can look to attack more often and offer support to his winger.

Ashley Smith-Brown

On the other side, I’d give a chance to youngster Ashley Smith-Brown, he’ll inject that energy and pace that Oldham requires. After coming through Manchester City’s academy, Smith-Brown will be looking for first-team football and a regular starting spot at Oldham. The Latics not having the spending power of some of their rivals, perhaps Banide will need to gamble and use his full-backs to start attacks out wide.

David Wheater

The centre half partnership will remain the same on Saturday, and probably for the full season, barring injuries. David Wheater was a brilliant signing. Although he’s entering the latter parts of his career, and his best years are behind him. He still offers that leadership that you need in that league, especially playing in a young, inexperienced squad. Wheater offers a threat in both boxes, with his physicality and strength.

Thomas Hamer

Thomas Hamer has been at the club since 2017. After George Edmundson left to join Rangers this summer, this is his chance to nail down a starting spot and create a partnership alongside Wheater.

Two Oldham Athletic players that must start today

Oldham Athletic will face Forest Green this weekend in their opening game of the season. The Football Manc Cave have picked out two players that should start and why.

Oldham have had quite a poor pre-season campaign which has made fans quite worried about the season ahead. One stand out issue has been the defence as fans have been begging their club to make some signings before the start of the season. Well this week, those prayers were answered as there were signings made and a few are defenders.

With that in mind, here are two players who must start at the back for Oldham in order for them to try and keep it tight…

David Wheater

The 32-year-old has only signed for the club this week and may not get a look in, however, I think he would be able to make a difference to the squad. I’ve seen him play for Bolton over the past 8 years and he puts his all into every game.

As well as making crucial clearances, he will lead the defence and try to create chances. He’s even been known to score in the past too so Oldham fans will have to keep an eye out for that. The ex Middlesbrough player has been one of Bolton’s key players in his time there, and he even captained the team. He’ll be a great asset to Oldham but a great loss to Bolton.

Gary Woods

The number 1 keeper should get a start this weekend. He’s been captain for the club in some of the friendlies this summer so he’s clearly well respected. It’s a sensible idea for Oldham to have their keeper as captain or at least attempting to lead at the back as the defenders need to be tighter in order to help Woods going forward this season.

Hopefully, once the Latics have their defence in order, goals will be able to follow and Oldham will be able to put a better display of football on offer this season.

The final touches: What Banide should be getting right in Oldham Athletic’s training this week

It’s safe to say that Oldham’s pre-season campaign hasn’t gone to plan and as it comes to an end, The Football Manc Cave look at a few things Laurent Banide should be working on in this week’s training sessions.

Oldham enjoyed a pre-season camp in Morocco where they trained on the beach and enjoyed swimming. However, the football didn’t go plan as most of the games ended in goalless draws. Things haven’t gone any better on home soil as they lost 2-0 to Stockport at Boundary Park on Saturday.

Fans have been getting extremely frustrated watching their team over the summer and have been praying that League football will improve.

Here are three things that Laurent Banide should work on in training before the start of the season.


Fans have been screaming at their club to sign new defenders all summer and even though there were quite a few trialists involved in the team on Saturday, they still lost and there was no hope. It’s looking like it may be too late to recruit any new players so when it comes to training, defensive midfielders should be put through their paces in order to be able to pick up the slack at the back. It may not be an ideal plan but desperate measures will have to see some of the players in other positions come through for the Latics.

Possession and Passing

Laurent Banide will hopefully be putting his players through sessions that focus on passing quick and fast and maintaining possession of the ball. Their defence isn’t the only problem as pre-season has seen them not be confident on the ball. Hopefully, if the team can get back on top in defensive areas, they can focus on keeping the ball going forward and aiming to score, which brings us to the next point.

Shots on Target

It took Oldham 88 minutes to produce a shot on target against Stockport, so some shooting practice should be put in place for the strikers. It’s probably safe to say that there’s not enough time for Oldham to perfect all of these areas. However if they can tighten up at the back and focus on keeping the ball, eventually goals will come. Let’s just hope it will be sooner rather than later for Banide’s side.

When will Oldham Athletic be back to League One football?

Laurent Banide’s main objective is to return Oldham Athletic to League One. But when will this happen, if ever?

Oldham Athletic were demoted to EFL League Two after finishing 21st out of 24 in the 17/18 season. Being merely two points away from survival, fans expected Oldham to fight for the top spots of their new division.

Disappointingly, Oldham Athletic finished in a 14th position of the lowest tier of the EFL, showing no signs of improvement since the season before.

In fairness to The Latics, they have suffered with mismanagement over the past few years. Chopping and changing like Henry VIII with his wives.

However, Oldham Athletic have introduced hands-on French manager Laurent Banide. Despite having no experience in English football, Thierry Henry referred to Banide as “the best coach (he) ever worked with”.

Banide is the type of manager to establish a method of football within his side. Something the Oldham blues haven’t had in many years as several different managers have attempted to bring success to the club over a short amount of time, each failing miserably.

It is clear that Oldham are trying something new. Banide is the first-ever Oldham Athletic manager from outside the UK & Ireland.

Although he is a risk, Banide can build something with Oldham, but he requires time…

But how much time does Banide need?

After stepping into a crumbling club, there will be no quick fix for Laurent Banide.

In his first season, the manager must figure out where his squad are. If he can get the best out of each player, their final league position will truly reflect where they stand. This position could be around the top end of the table but narrowly missing out on promotion.

By Banide’s second season with Oldham in League Two, holes from the previous should have been plugged with backing of the manager. With an established method of play instilled into the rest of the squad, new signings can adapt quickly. This is when Oldham should fight for promotion back into the EFL League One, where Banide can begin the next step of his challenge.

Therefore, Oldham Athletic should be beginning the 2021/22 campaign back in the EFL League One.

Should Banide be unsuccessful, Oldham will have to start this rebuild all over again, and could leave the squad in EFL League Two for the foreseeable future.

Season approaching: What have Rochdale and BBM learnt from their friendlies

A mixed bag of results for Rochdale in their pre-season so far. What do these performances say about the future of the club?

Rochdale will be looking to improve on their last two seasons where the club finished 20th and 14th respectively. A big step down from finishing in the top ten consecutively in seasons before.

In their first game of pre-season, Rochdale suffered a 3-1 defeat against Championship side Huddersfield. Huddersfield only managed three wins in the Premier League last season. In perspective, it demonstrates how unequipped Rochdale is to take on teams in the highest tiers of English football.

However, Rochdale faced their other neighbours Oldham Athletic from the league below. The Dale won the game 3-2, which in fairness, shows Oldham’s ability to cope in their previous division League One. The game showed Rochdale lose a 2-0 lead, to pull ahead by 3-2 in the later minutes of the game.

At the weekend, Rochdale was losing 1-0 to Bradford City before the half time abandonment due to the weather.

The pre-season results, so far, show that Rochdale is well below the quality of Championship football. But are slightly ahead of a League Two side who should push for promotion in the upcoming season.

Rochdale needs to grow

If Rochdale fails to grow further throughout pre-season, they can expect a season that is similar to their previous two.

With that being said, ex-Dale player Brian Barry-Murphy was appointed permanent manager last season. Chairman Andrew Kilpatrick said Barry-Murphy was “without doubt the right person to take Rochdale forward”.

This tells the fans that Rochdale are looking to push the club forward, and they should not expect the same degree of failure they have been subjected to in recent years.

Barry-Murphy is likely to test his youth, new signings and possibly trialists in their game against Hyde tomorrow night.

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