Tag Archives: chris o’grady

Wild Should Be Looking to Strengthen in These Two Key Areas After Oldham’s Chaotic Season

If Peter Wild is given the Oldham managers job at the end of the season, and if he wants it of course, he will no doubt be looking to improve the current squad by getting rid of some of the players who haven’t figured this season and strengthening certain areas where we are in need.

Some would argue that there isn’t a great deal wrong with the squad, it is the person in charge of the club who needs attention but like it or not, Latics will once again be starting a season in the bottom tier and several of the players who have served us well this season are not going to be around.

Top of the shopping list has to be a ‘keeper who is as good as or better than Daniel Iverson. That is going to be no mean feat, given that Daniel has had a terrific season and looked at one stage to be challenging for the record of most clean sheets in a season. Getting a ‘keeper in on loan from a club in a higher division seems to be the most likely option but to do that may mean waiting until the 2019/20 season is almost upon us given that club managers leave it late to decide which is their best team.

The other key area is in attack mainly because of the loss of Callum Lang who returns to Wigan at the end of the season. It could be that Wigan, currently courting with relegation from the Championship might see Lang as a player who could do a decent job in League One should they go down. Whatever happens, Lang deserves to play at a higher level and like Iverson, will not be persuaded to sign for Latics given the perilous state of Oldham’s finances.

Once again, Wild may have to look for a season long loan signing or two as I cannot really believe that Chris O’Grady will still be with the club. Finding attacking players who can weigh in with 20+ goals a season has to be the most difficult of tasks but it will have to be addressed if Latics hold any hopes of getting out of League Two.

There are some who would welcome a period of stability after what has been a crazy season and I’m sure Peter Wild would agree with that.

What Scholes Should Learn From the Lincoln Defeat

Losing an away game against a side who are top of the league isn’t the end of the world, although you would think so given some of the comments on social media yesterday. What slim chance Latics had of sneaking into the playoffs, has now disappeared and the remainder of the season will be played out with the only goal being to achieve a top half league position.It has been Oldham’s lack of consistency which has led them here of course. The fighting spirit we saw which defeated Fulham in the FA Cup has been replaced by vapid indifference. That is surely down to a lack of motivation, and Scholes may well have already targeted certain players to ship out at the end of the season who haven’t really shown any interest in getting us out of this division.

When two forward players in Chris O Grady and Urko Vera are introduced to audible groans from the visiting supporters, the question has to be asked as to whether the squad we have has been strong enough to compete at this level. There are a lot of supporters who don’t think so. All the players who have competed at a higher level need to take a long hard look at themselves and decide whether they want to be remembered for being part of the solution, or part of the problem.

Scholes will have already seen enough of League Two to have realised that the teams who are at the top of the division aren’t there because they play a pretty, free flowing attacking game. Quite the opposite in fact, with Lincoln’s bullish, direct approach coupled with an uncanny ability to fall over at every opportunity seemingly being the key to success. The same can be said of MK Dons, Mansfield and Tranmere.

Nobody at Boundary Park would wish to see Athletic adopt a similar approach, but the one thing I have noticed is the sheer size of some of the players in this division. To counteract the height of Lincoln’s players, the introduction of Alex Iacovitti, on loan from Notts Forest and 6′ 10″ might have been interesting. Instead, Latics back line were battered and subjected to an aerial bombardment that they couldn’t handle. Any summer signings should meet a minimum height requirement or, we are going to face similar problems next season.

One thing Scholes can’t do a lot about is change the mass charge towards the referee whenever there is a foul on an opposing player. It seems to have got worse this season and the mobbing of the referee by the Lincoln players after Jose Baxters foul, contributed to the decision to send him off.

Maybe a mass clear out is needed at the end of the season and, a squad assembled specifically to match those who are going to be heading out of this division in May. That would probably require a certain amount of expenditure and whether that is made available is another story.

Scholes Has Had a Full Week ‘Rest’ With His Players. These 3 Players Should Benefit to Finish The Season With a Bang

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…

Chris O’Grady

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.

Mohammed Maouche

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.

Christopher Missilou

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.

These TWO Players Need To Step Up & Help Oldham In Front of Goal Today Against Sol Campbell’s Macclesfield

Approaching a game which arguably the club needs to win without a recognised strike force is always going to make everyone a little nervous. When the team you are facing are currently fighting for their Football League lives and have enjoyed a small revival in fortune, a shortage of options up front increases the chance of panic stations.

Without Chris O Grady who will be unfit for the fixture and the sporadic form of Jose Baxter, Oldham’s options for the game were possible to move one of the younger players into the first team squad to play alongside Callum Lang.

However, at almost the 11th hour, a rumour that had been circulating about Latics interest in a former La Liga player became reality when he signed for the club till the end of the season. It might seem a little hasty to suggest that he should make an immediate impact but that is often the best way to get yourself on the right side of the fans. The first player therefore who needs to make an impact is:

Urko Vera

I’m not sure how many Spanish forwards who used to play for Athletic Bilbao we’ve had in the past but I’m betting it’s not many. Joking apart, Urko looks just the ticket for this division being a 6′ 2″ centre forward who should revel in the sort of crosses that Gevaro Nepomuceno is capable of whipping into the box.

A true penalty box player who should get plenty of goals if he’s in the right place and definitely the sort of player we have been looking for. He has had a number of clubs with his best spell appearing to be with CD Mirandes in the Spanish third tier. Moss Rose, Macclesfield might not be any sort of equivalent to the San Mames stadium but it will hopefully be where Urko makes his UK debut and it only remains to say Hello Vera!

Johan Branger-Engone

Johan has had limited chances to make his mark on the first team having made only 16 starts this season. One of his two goals was against Macclesfield back in August and he caught the eye with an excellent performance in the FA Cup at Fulham.

Having spent much of the early season games in the first 11 he was not included in the squad or was on the bench in October and November and has since struggled to make the team. It often happens that when a club signs a new player, those who have not made an impact get pushed further down the pecking order and if Johan finds himself included for any part of the game today he must surely put in a performance that catches the eye of Pete Wild or whoever is due to be the next Oldham boss.

In-Depth Look; What’s Oldham’s Main Priority – A Manager, A Defender or a Striker?

There doesn’t appear to be a great deal of activity down at Boundary Park lately and yet common sense would tell you that there is a pressing need to sort out at least two areas requiring attention.

The obvious starting point is the current vacant manager’s position, which has been ably looked after since Boxing Day by stand-in Pete Wild. Some have suggested that the reason there has been little news of a permanent appointment, is that there are very few people interested in it but current betting would suggest that Wild is favourite for the job.

However, owner Abdallah Lemsagam may well be seeing how long Wild’s honeymoon period lasts. It looks increasingly likely that Wild will still be in charge for the 4th round FA Cup tie at Doncaster, but his long term future at the club has either been already decided or Lemsagam has taken the kindest option and allowed Wild another crack at FA Cup glory.

As I’ve said elsewhere, Wild is, without doubt, the cheap option at present and given that Oldham are in need of a decent run of form to keep in sight of the play off places, the introduction of a new manager might interrupt the current decent run of form and incur unnecessary expense.

Many Oldham supporters would be happy for Wild to continue in charge as long as he had a decent sized squad to chose from. The departures of Sam Surridge and Ishmael Miller and the injury to Chris O’Grady have left Wild with very few forward line options for this weekend, and a new striker must now be the club’s main priority.

It is glaringly obvious that having lost top scorer Surridge, Athletic cannot get by with propping up the team using inexperienced youngsters. If we were in mid-table with 10 games remaining and in no danger of relegation I could understand blooding a few youngsters but we have 19 games left in which we could easily get into the playoffs and that has to be worth aiming for.

At the very least, there has to be a couple of players who fancy a crack at glory in the FA Cup 4th round on January 26th. If the carrot and stick approach works why not use it?

Signing a defender might not be seen as a priority by the supporters given that we are enjoying a positive goal difference for the first time in ten years. The form of players like Daniel Iverson in goal and defenders Edmundson, Hunt, Hamer and captain Peter Clarke have been excellent and the only thoughts on signing a defender should be to cover for injuries.

The next few weeks are critical in how this season pans out for the club with games against sides at both the top and bottom of League Two. It is not always wise to leave signings to the last minute in the January window but it looks like that is what might be happening.

Following Derby Win, Bunn’s Latics Are Playoff Material – Here Are Two Reasons Why

There was a nervousness around Boundary Park before Saturday’s game with Bury, probably due to the fact that Oldham had struggled against teams above them in the table. The high scoring Shakers must have fancied their chances but if they did, a magnificent first-half performance by Latics put them in their place.

For me, the performance on Saturday perfectly encapsulated why Oldham have gone from a side who found losing easily, to one who can get into the faces of the opposition and battle for all three points.

Several players deserve a special mention, especially the midfield duo of Maouche and Nepomuceno, skipper Peter Clarke and ‘keeper Daniel Iversen but to whittle it down to just two players then the very obvious first one is…

Chris O’Grady

It is fair to say that O’Grady has had his fair share of clubs, including a previous spell with Latics. There was hardly a ticker tape parade when he signed from Chesterfield in July and to be perfectly honest, there have been times this season when he didn’t look up to the job.

However, his performance on Saturday was first class with the first hat trick at Boundary Park in seven years. Chris is a powerfully built player and his physical presence obviously unsettles opposition defenders.

His three goals came from a left-foot shot, a right foot shot and a header which isn’t just a hat trick, it’s a perfect hat-trick!. A Chris O’Grady who is injury free and fit will help a great deal in getting Oldham into the play-off places and he now has the Bury match ball to remind himself what he’s capable of.

George Edmundson

As Bury attempted to get back into the game on Saturday, the Oldham defence had to stand firm. Along with veteran captain Peter Clarke, former academy player Edmundson threw himself at everything.

An ever-present in the side this season, his inclusion has helped Latics attain the 5th best defensive record in the league and a positive goal difference.  I’m a bit sceptical when it comes to badge kissers but when George left the pitch on Saturday patting his badge, you know that it means a lot to him to have moved up through the ranks and to be playing in the first team.

Long may it continue.