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Oldham Athletic are keen on former Bolton Wanderers and Rochdale man, here are 2 attributes he brings with him

Nottingham Forest man Zach Clough had a loan spell at Rochdale during the 18/19 season. Now, neighbour’s Oldham Athletic are looking to add him to their squad this summer.

Clough, the 24-year-old striker, played in 13 games for Rochdale whilst on loan last season, in that time he scored one and assisted one. Some arguments were made about Clough’s fitness during his spell at Rochdale. However, Zach Clough has definitely proven himself in English football, having played big roles in squads such as Bolton and Nottingham Forest.

League Two side Oldham Athletic are desperate to add the 24-year-old Mancunian Zach Clough to their squad, despite his contributions to higher leagues than their own.

Here are two key qualities that Clough could bring to Banide’s Oldham Athletic…

Higher league experience

It is understandable as to why Rochdale wanted his services to help push them through a troublesome 18/19 season. His statistics show a player who would be immensely capable of EFL League One football.

At Championship level, Clough has 72 games worth of experience and at League One he has 32 games under his belt, a 24-year-old with over 100 games experience in high tier English football.

Should Oldham secure this deal, their fight to regain a spot in League One would seem much more likely, as this calibre of player would definitely belong in the League One/Championship region.

Goals, goals, goals! Oh, and assists too.

Stretching from the youth Premier League to the professional Championship and League one, with domestic cups in between, Clough has 41 goals and 16 assists in 159 games since the beginning of his career in 2012.

Despite the ups and downs in his form, Clough knows where the back of the net is, and in League Two we could truly see him shine as he gains stability and a run of form. In an Oldham Athletic shirt, we could see Clough hit the 20 goals a season mark, with 5 to 10 assists for his teammates.

68% think Oldham Athletic will place higher than Salford City next season

We wanted your opinion on League 2 ahead of next season and you didn’t disappoint.

We asked here whether you thought Oldham or Salford would finish higher in League 2 next season and after the votes, you decided that Oldham will have a better campaign than Salford.

68% had the same opinion and now that the results are in, I must say, I agree with you. In all credit to Salford, I do think they will have a good season and stay in the league although I do think that fans, other clubs and even Sky have got their hopes up for the team. They have got games on TV and are probably one of the highest anticipated teams of next season but all of this does add up to a lot of pressure and could see the team crumble.

Oldham, on the other hand, has a hard campaign ahead of them. They have a new manager in Laurent Banide and their fans are expecting them to aim a little higher this season. They finished 14th at the end of the 2018/19 football year and now that they have a new manager, it will be a big test for them. However, they know the league, they’ve already had the experience of playing against these clubs and should, in theory, do better than newbies, Salford.

My personal prediction is that Salford will end up finishing around 12th to 14th and Oldham in at around 10th. I may be aiming high here but I do see Oldham improving and Salford playing well enough to test this new league and shake it up.

Revolving door: Oldham Athletic’s 2 in, 2 out before the window shuts

Banide has a lot of alterations to make to his squad if he wants to achieve success with The Latics, here is some advice for him…

Oldham Athletic have fallen from comfortably remaining in League One to falling down to the lower end of League Two. The Oldham board have appointed Laurent Banide to get the team back to where they want to be, but there are a few changes he should make before setting his sights on promotion.

Who to bring in…

Ched Evans

After a loan spell at Fleetwood last year, the 30 year-old striker has rejoined newly promoted Premier League side Sheffield United. It is almost a certainty that he will not be part of the plans for his contracted club. Evans achieved 17 goals and 4 assists in the EFL League One last season, hitting the target 67% of the time. As Oldham sit in League Two, Evans could hit over 20 goals in this division, as he would surely prefer game time over being left out of plans all season long at Sheffield United.

Demetri Mitchell

Lower-league sides are not strangers to a loan deal for young players who belong to the top Premier Leagues clubs. This Man Utd under 23s player recently spent a year at Hearts in Scotland, but only gained 20 appearances worth of experience. With Oldham, he could bolster their defence as well as gain more experience for himself in a physical English league. Oldham needs quality in their side in order to prosper this season.

But who should Oldham politely ask to exit the club?

Chris O’Grady

O’Grady comes with bags of EFL experience, but at 33 years of age, and only achieving 7 goals in 38 appearances last season, It is clear that new manager Laurent Banide needs attacking players who can hit the 20 goals a season mark for a few consecutive seasons at Boundary Park.

Thomas Hamer

Hamer is a 19-year-old defender who is a product of Oldham’s youth academy. Last season, he maintained the pressure of 35 first team appearances, 28 of which were in the EFL League Two, where Oldham conceded 60 goals. It is possible that this youngster needs a loan away from the club in order to be fully first team ready by the time Oldham have improved their squad and are able to challenge for promotion. Replacing him with a loanee from a big club may be a suitable course of action.

Round table prediction: Our writers predict where Oldham Athletic and Salford City will finish

Salford City will be up against neighbours Oldham Athletic as the two Greater Manchester teams battle it out in the EFL League Two.

Salford City clinched promotion through the playoffs at the dramatic ending of the 18/19 National League season. Whilst Oldham was bitterly disappointed throughout their EFL League Two campaign, finishing 14th, after capably remaining in League One for many years.

With Salford City’s large fan base, loyal support, high-profile owners such as the Neville brothers and Ryan Giggs, as well their incredible run in form – back-to-back promotions. They have high hopes of making a mark on their new league.

Oldham Athletic are under new management, Laurent Banide, an experienced manager worldwide but none at all in English football. Therefore, it is difficult to project where Oldham will end up this season, as Banide could either end up the hero or join a long list of Latic villains.

Writers at The Football Manc Cave gave predictions on where several clubs will finish at the end of the 19/20 season, and here are the results concerning Salford City and Oldham Atheltic…

Oldham Athletic averaged a 9th place finish according to our writers, indicating that there are signs of improvement in the club, and that Banide can push them further up the table. However, if you are expecting the Frenchman to perform miracles at Boundary Park and win Oldham the league, you may be kidding yourselves. With any luck, Banide can prove us wrong and take Oldham back to League One where they belong.

Salford City averaged an 11th place finish. In comparison to Oldham, this would be a fantastic achievement to a newly promoted club, who have never seen the EFL League Two in their entire history.

According to our writers, Oldham will slightly improve after employing Laurent Banide, and newcomers Salford City will give the EFL clubs a run for their money and finish mid-table alongside their neighbours in Boundary Park.

Bury in a mess as Frankie Bunn walks away from job

On Monday morning, pre-season for the EFL and many Non-League teams will get underway. Some will have played their first pre-season games by the following week, virtually all will have by the time a fortnight has passed.

All except Bury that is, returning to training on Monday morning looks unlikely. As lunchtime approached yesterday it looked as though former Oldham manager Frankie Bunn would take over the toughest job in English football.

Yet suddenly all went quiet as Bunn’s plans to take over the helm at Gigg Lane took a turn for the worst. The speculation train started rolling this morning when Latics defender and captain Peter Clarke left Boundary Park, with fans of the Shakers believing Clarke was joining up with his former manager Bunn to manage Bury, a task not for the faint-hearted.

The club saw their latest Court Case adjourned till the 31st July in the first week of the new season. Nobody can work out whether this was good or bad news. Over the past few days chairman, Steve Dale, plans to turn the club around through a CVA option. Liquidation is still a possibility.

Bunn’s apparent snub to the Shakers comes after former Rochdale manager Keith Hill also chose to walk away from becoming manager too. Offering his services out saying he was ready to return to management, it now appears he couldn’t be less interested in becoming manager, otherwise, he wouldn’t have walked away while unemployed.

Senior players Jay O’Shea and Tom Aldred became the latest players to leave Gigg Lane, both joining Robbie Fowler’s Brisbane Roar. Danny Mayor is rumoured to be in advanced talks with Ipswich Town and Paul Lambert. Tranmere and Plymouth have also been mentioned as potential suitors for Mayor. Goalkeeping coach Brian Jensen has left, joining manager, assistant vice-captain Nicky Adams and head of fitness John Lucas.

However, off the field chaos has to be sorted before any training session can begin. That lies with chairman Steve Dale. The pre-season mess has just got messier.

Oldham Athletic let Rob Hunt go, why was this a bad move

The 23-year-old defender Rob Hunt has left Oldham Athletic to join Swindon Town on a two-year deal.

Oldham fans seem to agree. Rob Hunt was much more impressive during his loan spell there from Brighton, in the second half of the 16/17 season than he was after joining the Latics permanently afterwards.

Under the new management of Laurent Banide, fans should be patient and trusting of the Frenchman to arrange and rearrange his squad according to the setup and culture he wishes to adopt.

However, Rob Hunt and George Edmundson are two youth players who could have evolved into players good enough to help Banide and/or Oldham Athletic get back into League One.

Here are two reasons why letting go of these younger players is harmful to the club…

Free Transfer

Something Banide needs to fix is letting players go for free. At a time where the club is in desperate need of improvement, they need rewards for their departing talent.

Rob Hunt once belonged to Brighton & Hove Albion and has been snapped up by a team who finished one place above them in League 2, Swindon Town. This demonstrates that Hunt is a capable and wanted player, and could’ve fetched a sweeter penny than £0. The positive is that George Edmundson joined Rangers for £700,000, meaning that there are still some funds to improve this squad.

False Economy

Losing a 23-year-old right-back to the team above in the league is something that could be fixed. However, Oldham Athletic have decided to replace him with Zak Mills, a 27-year-old right-back from Morecambe, a team who finished four places behind themselves last season. This is concerning for Oldham fans who may believe that their manager is aiming for a mediocre season in League Two, by sacrificing youth and bringing in older and arguably less useful players.

However, Zak Mills’ contract is only for one year, potentially indicating that Banide wants a stable season whilst he sets his squad up for future improvements.

Oldham Athletic look to push on this season and learning from the past is a must – agree?

Laurent Banide has a big first season ahead of him, as he looks to inject a higher quality of performance from his new club and avoid another bang-average season in EFL League Two.

Finishing with 7 goal difference in 15th place last season, it is clear that Oldham Athletic need to drastically up their game in order to fight for promotion and get back to League One. Where many would argue the club deserve to be.

Banide and Oldham’s first game of the season comes against Forest Green, who impressively finished 7th in the league last season. This will really put the Frenchman’s new team to the test. If they can provide a solid performance and come away with a point or even three, it could kick start a positive season under the new regime by making their mark against one of the league’s better performing clubs.

It will be a huge task for Laurent Banide to bring glory to an underperforming Oldham Athletic side, and there are high expectations on him to drag the club out of the gutter.

With this in mind, what two key things can Banide focus on to allow his side to challenge for promotion next season.

Hold on to Key Players

Bad timing. As of right now, reports suggest that the 21-year-old defender George Edmundson is undergoing a medical at Rangers. Edmundson was promoted from Oldham’s youth in 2015, where he was sent on loan on several occasions before establishing himself in the team after returning in January 2018.

In the 18/19 season, Edmundson made 54 appearances, bagging 2 goals and 5 assists.

It is clear that Oldham Athletic have correctly allowed this young defender to gain the experience and culture he needs, in order to be a crucial part in the Latics’ setup. However, it seems a terrible move to allow him to leave during a transitional era where players who understand and love the club, should be given whatever they need in order to stay.

A Fresh Start

On the flip side, Banide is the first manager from outside the UK & Ireland to be appointed with the role since the founding of the club. Clearly indicating that there will be a brand new approach, which could be a justification for losing a player like Edmundson.

In recent years, every manager at Oldham has failed to complete a full season with the club, demonstrating that the strategies and recruitment have not been up to scratch. Therefore, Banide should scrap any tactics, signings, and attitudes instilled by previous managers that does not adhere to the new approach under Laurent Banide.

Oldham Athletic fans react to the Carabao Cup ‘We might as well have fun on our journey to the National League, lighten up’

The Carabao Cup Round One draw has been released, and here is was Twitter has to say about it.

Oldham Atheltic has drawn Blackburn Rovers away in the first round of the Carabao Cup, taking place on August 12th 2019.

It seems as though Oldham fans aren’t filled with confidence about the draw, whilst Blackburn Rovers fans seem complacent by presuming the tie will be easy for them.

There seems to be a big difference in the confidence of the fans.

If Banide’s Latics can pull off a fantastic performance against Championship side Blackburn Rovers it could signify a new era Oldham Athletic, and if they lose the tie, it seems as though nobody would be shocked.

Laurent Banide Surfaces But Oldham Athletic Fans Are Still Unhappy

Laurent Banide’s appointment earlier this month was something of a surprise to Latics fans who had never heard of the former Monaco coach.

Since then, the mood amongst Latics fans has been mixed with some prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. While others are up in arms that the new appointment wasn’t someone who has bags of experience in the UK at the highest level.

Banide wasn’t due to appear before July 1st but gave his first interview and announced his assistant Bouziane Benaraibi on Wednesday. The interview is short but it should still have satisfied those who were wondering when he was going to surface.

Listen the Laurent Banide’s first interview here

However, some of the multi lingual Latics fans weren’t impressed obviously:

As usual the ‘story’ that he didn’t speak English turns out to be bogus.

The latest accusation though and by far the most ridiculous is that the club ‘has lost its identity’. It will come as a complete shock that we had one in the first place and presumably means that any club with a foreign coach (and there are quite a few) has lost their identity also.

It is the Oldham sense of humour that shines through all the negativity however and best tweet of the day comes from young vlogger Rhys Parsons.

Banide will be hoping Curacao international can flourish

Who can new manager Laurent Banide look to in his current squad to ensure a better season for Oldham than the last?

With a new manager and assistant coach in Laurent Banide and Bouziane Benaraibi. Oldham have an experienced duo at the helm of the team who have previously worked together at Umm Salal.

The French coaches will be looking to vastly improve the performances and potentially push for promotion, as many would argue that Oldham is a team who belong in the EFL League One. Most definitely not in the fourteenth position of the EFL League Two.

Gevaro Nepomuceno is a 26-year-old winger who joined the Latics in September 2017 and recently signed an extension which will take him to May of 2020. This gives him this season to prove to Banide that he should be a part of his plans.

Gevaro has already participated in 78 games for Oldham since his arrival, scoring 7 goals and assisting 13, during two very unimpressive seasons for his new English side. However, under new management, this international and very experienced player could flourish.

He is also very versatile, having played on either wing, attacking midfield and even left back throughout his career. He will be essential to the maintenance and progression of the League Two side.

If Banide furthers Gevaro’s contract at the end of the season, it will be because he sees him as part of Oldham Athletic’s future.

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