Tag Archives: football league

Wigan Athletic’s wingers re-find their form, they’ll soon shoot up the Championship, agree?

Wigan Athletic gained a big three points on Saturday, after defeating Charlton Athletic 2-0 at the DW Stadium.

Although it’s three points, we dominated the game throughout, I’m still slightly worried about our ability to break sides down in open play. Our two goals on Saturday came from defender Chey Dunkley off two corners, goals a goal, it doesn’t matter how you score them. However, it’s not a reliable source, your centre half isn’t going to score two every week. We need more from our creative players.

Nobody played badly on Saturday

Nobody played badly on Saturday, Joe Williams, Antonee Robinson and Dunkley stood out for me. Whereas the only two I felt slightly underperformed were Michael Jacobs and Gavin Massey. I do sympathise with both, as they’re jobs have changed now we have Kieffer Moore upfront.

Jacobs and Massey are both players that like to drift inside, look to link up with the number 10 and score goals. Jacobs has 30 goals for Wigan, which proves he’s a good finisher if he gets into the box, while Massey has 11 goals in two seasons, and is still returning to full fitness. With Moore up front, they are expected to provide the width and put quality crosses into the box for Moore.

Personally, I think our full-backs are quicker and put better quality into the box, and this is something we should look to exploit. If Jacobs and Massey are more comfortable drifting inside, get Robinson and Nathan Byrne on the overlap, they both possess serious pace, especially Robinson.

When Josh Windass returns from injury, I expect him to play behind Moore, and Lowe will play in his preferred right wing position. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the Windass and Moore works. At the moment we aren’t really benefiting from Moore’s flick-ons, however, Windass is very good at running in-behind defences, so it could be a match made in heaven.

Rochdale have every chance against Man Utd with this back 4

Brian Barry Murphy’s Rochdale travels to Old Trafford tonight, looking to pull off a shock win that would see them advance into the fourth round of the EFL Cup.

The Dale can be inspired from Colchester United’s penalty shootout victory over Tottenham Hotspur last night, as they held them to a 0-0 draw.

After enjoying a good start to their League One campaign, Rochdale have picked up just one point from their last three games, so this is an opportunity for a massive upset. There’s no pressure on the visitors, enjoy yourselves and see what happens.

What will their defence look like tonight…

16-year-old Luke Matheson should continue at right-back. On his professional debut, the defender handled Aiden McGeady, arguably the best player in the division, which suggests he isn’t fazed by the big challenge. Playing at the Theatre of Dreams will be a dream come true for the youngster.

Jim McNulty will provide that experience and stability for the game, guiding his young full-back through the 90 minutes. Although the 34-year-old is new to playing at Old Trafford, he’s an experienced head that will thrive on playing against United.

Alongside him will be Eoghan O’Connell as he looks to build his partnership with McNulty stronger with each passing game.

Finally at left-back, will be Rhys Norrington-Davies. A super young talent on loan from Sheffield United that has already contributed with both goals and assists this season. Davies is a modern-day full-back that is capable of attacking and defending, the size of the Old Trafford pitch will play to his strengths.

If Rochdale can score first it’ll be an interesting game, as they play some very good football under Murphy.

Wigan Athletic fans have good reason to be happy ‘Smashing performance, full of commitment, pace and effort killed them!’

Wigan Athletic gained their first win since the opening day of the season, after beating Charlton Athletic 2-0 at the DW Stadium.

The Latics were unchanged following their 2-2 draw at Hull City before the international break. Paul Cook’s side took the lead early in the first half, thanks to Chey Dunkley volleying home a Charlie Mulgrew corner.

The Addicks offered little threat throughout, and after Wigan had a couple of penalty shouts turned out, Dunkley doubled the home sides lead, heading home a Michael Jacobs corner.

A massive three points for Cook and Wigan, as it saw them move clear of the relegation zone. Let’s see what their fans made of it…

Salford City looking for back-to-back wins with this solid defence today against Crewe

Salford City will be hoping to earn back-to-back wins for the first time this season, as they beat Grimsby Town on Tuesday at Moor Lane. They have a tough game, as they travel to high-flyers Crewe Alexandra who sit second in League Two.

Graham Alexander will desperately be hoping his side can put a string of results together, to overcome a poor start. Well, it was expected that it would take Salford time to adjust to life in the EFL, however being the bookies pre-season favourites to win the league added pressure.

So, let’s take a look at how their defence should look tomorrow, as they look to keep another clean sheet at Alexandra Stadium…

In goal will be Kyle Letheren. The shot-stopper has done well since signing for The Ammies from Plymouth Argyle in the summer. The 31-year-old offers that vital experience and leadership, to a youthful, inexperienced Salford side. Letheren marshalled the side well last week, to ensure the clean sheet and will be hoping to do the same again today.

Salford’s defence

Cameron Burgess made just his third start for the club since signing from Scunthorpe United in the summer. In two of those three games, they’ve kept a clean sheet so read into that what you will. Despite being just 23, the Australian has bags of experience playing at this level for Fulham, Cheltenham Town, Bury and Oldham Athletic. He is comfortable playing out from the back, which is important when playing a back three.

Lois Maynard and Carl Piergianni will make up the back three, both of which were an integral part of the promotion-winning side last season.

Although Salford is an attractive club for players to join, it’s imperative they maintain a structure and keep players that have gone up the leagues with the club, and understand the club as a whole. Both players are good defenders, and importantly solid on the back, which allows them to build attacks from the defence, exactly what Alexander wants from his defenders.

2 changes that Rochdale should make against Fleetwood to bring home the 3 points

Rochdale drew 1-1 at home to Lincoln City in mid-week. Stephen Dooley opened the scoring before Tyler Walker levelled late to grab his side a valuable away point.

Brian Barry-Murphy will head to Fleetwood Town with the aim of returning with three points, that could propel the Dale back into the top half.

Let’s take a look at how the gaffer might tweak his side today…

I expect Aaron Morley to return to the starting line-up today. The midfielder started the season well, bagging goals against Carlisle United and Southend United in consecutive matches. With Rochdale being largely reliant on Ian Henderson for their goals, it’s important they utilise other sources if they arise. Morley has shown a liking for getting forward this season, and he’s added that extra that quality to his game.

Jimmy Ryan may regain his place in central midfield for the trip to Highbury. Fleetwood is a tough place to go, and they play with energy and strong attacking intensity. Ryan has experience of playing at this level and knows how to take control of games. The veteran is a good ball-winner and retains possession well.

Although youngsters like Callum Camps have enjoyed brilliant starts to the season, Ryan’s experience and knowledge are invaluable in games like today.

Rochdale have lost just two league games so far, from eight, both to sides with significantly bigger budgets, Peterborough and Sunderland. The Dale haven’t got the points they deserve so far. However, their performances must be pleasing staff and supporters, and they’re scoring goals which is good.

A win at Fleetwood would give a huge morale boost to everyone at the club, and see Rochdale climb back into the top-half, results depending.

Oldham fans react to another managerial appointment’Good Luck Dino. Don’t bother buying a house up here I’d just rent if I were you’

Frenchman Laurent Banide was sacked as manager of Oldham Athletic yesterday, then replaced by Dino Maamria, less than 20 minutes later. Does that have to be some sort of record?

The Latics sit 21st in League Two and are winless in five games. Maamria will take charge of tomorrow’s fixture against Morecambe, played at Boundary Park. The Shrimps have lost five of their last six league matches, therefore Maamria has a perfect opportunity to start his reign with three points tomorrow.

Let’s have a look at how Latics’ fans reacted to the dramatic half-hour yesterday…

How can Dino Maamria get Oldham Athletic motoring again in League 2

Oldham Athletic appointed Dino Maamria as their new manager yesterday, just 20 minutes after sacking Laurent Banide. The Latics sit perilously close to the foot of the table and need a couple of results to kick-start their season.

The Latics have drawn their last three league games 2-2 against Plymouth Argyle, Grimsby Town and Scunthorpe United, so you could argue Banide has been a little unlucky in recent weeks. If Oldham had held on in a couple of those games, they’d be halfway up the league and the Frenchman would probably have kept his job. That’s football for you.

However, without sounding harsh, I don’t think Banide was ever going to work. To come to your first English club, with no money and an average squad, was always going to prevent its difficulties. One thing that Maamria recognised in his press conference, was that Oldham is a historic club that he is honoured to work for, that’s important.

Oldham have a strong, loyal fanbase. New managers need to connect with fans on a personal level and make them proud to be Oldham supporters. The fans will turn up in decent numbers on Saturday vs Morecambe, hoping for a result to kick off the fresh start. One big win and good performance will get the fans on side, so it’s imperative they start well.

Oldham have a squad that is capable of finishing mid-table in League Two. They’ve been scoring goals this season, just conceding them too, which is a problem Maamria will address immediately. He’ll be looking to make Boundary Park a fortress, get his side well organised to stop conceding goals, and building a side that Oldham fans will enjoy watching.

Will Wigan Athletic regret letting this versatile midfielder go?

Wigan Athletic sold Leandro Da Silva Lopez to Hull City in the summer, for a minimal fee. Is it a transfer that Wigan will regret in years to come?

Lopez arrived with a big reputation from Peterborough, who are known for selling on quality, young players to Championship clubs. The Portuguese youngster rarely featured, however when he did play, I was impressed, considering his age and lack of Championship football experience.

I liked his versatility and attitude. He can play across the midfield, at right-back or as a wing-back. Although he’s not the most physical, his pace is a great attribute and he’s exciting on the ball. When playing against Burnley in pre-season, I thought he done very well defending against Dwight McNeil, then he was sold a couple of weeks later.

Whether Lopez requested it, in order to find first-team football I don’t know, but I think we’ve let a decent player slip for a nominal fee.

Obviously it’s too early to say we’ve let a good player go, but from what we’ve seen at Wigan so far this season, I doubt he’d of done any worse. A young player that had a great attitude on the pitch, and deserved a run of games in the first-team, in my opinion.

I would’ve preferred to see Lopez leave on loan for a year, learn his craft and gain experience, then come back next season and try to break into the team. I just don’t understand signing a highly-rated youngster, never giving him a go, then selling him for half the price a year later. Oh well, let’s hope he doesn’t go onto be the next big thing, I’ll come back to this article if so.

Two things Shrewsbury fans can expect from Wigan Athletic’s youngster

Shrewsbury Town fans got their first viewing of Callum Lang last weekend, as they drew 1-1 away at AFC Wimbledon.

Many Wigan Athletic fans wanted and expected this to be the breakthrough season for Lang, he featured a lot during pre-season under Paul Cook and done well.

I’m pleased he went out on loan. He’s got the potential to be a very good striker, but he’s not ready for Championship football just yet. He needs experience and to add physicality to his game, at present Lang would get bullied by some championship defenders due to his slightness.

However, Shrewsbury fans can look forward to a striker that will score goals if given chances. Lang scored 13 on loan at Oldham Athletic last season. He was arguably their best player while hitting double figures the season before at Morecambe. A natural goal scorer that is lethal in the box.

Another great attribute that Lang possesses is pace. Especially around the box, he’s brilliant at finding space and making runs in front of defenders, just a very clever striker that knows how to score goals.

Shrewsbury is a good fit for Lang. A club that will be pushing for top six, hopefully, create him plenty of chances, he can score double figures and come back ready to give it another crack at Wigan.

We have to be careful, how long will he stay happy going out on loan every season. At some point, he’s going to ask for a first-team chance or a move away, it’s not like we’re banging the goals in ourselves at the moment. Lang will be a good striker in a few years, he’s got the natural ability and just knows where the net is, that’ll take you far in today’s game.

Making these 2 changes will see Salford City ease past Grimsby Town

Salford City fell to a disappointing home defeat to Cheltenham on Saturday, to leave The Ammies winless in seven league games.

It’s a worrying time for manager Graham Alexander, who will be hoping his side can bounce back to form against Grimsby Town tonight.

Salford had drawn their five previous league matches before Saturday’s defeat, which will frustrate fans, players and staff. However, the result and performance on Saturday will send the alarm bells ringing. Cheltenham brushed aside Salford, winning 2-0 at Moor Lane.

Alexander’s side were the bookies pre-season favourites to win the League Two title, with just eight points from eight games, Salford is already losing ground on the early pacesetters.

Let’s take a look at a couple of potential changes that may change their fortunes tonight…

Emmanuel Dieseruvwe

Emmanuel Dieseruvwe was their star man on the opening day, as they beat Stevenage United 2-0. The forward looked quick, strong and had an eye for goal, as he bagged two. Since then, he’s scored just the one goal, and started Saturday’s game on the bench.

Perhaps it’s time for him to be reintroduced into the starting line-up, and he can rekindle the form shown in the early part of the season.

Ibou Touray

Ibou Touray is another player I expect to return to the starting line-up tonight when Grimsby visit Moor Lane. The defender has been away on international duty, which is perhaps the reason for his absence on Saturday.

Touray is a big, strong physical presence that certainly offers Salford that stability they lacked on Saturday. At present, they are conceding too many goals. A clean sheet tonight would do the world of good, and maybe kickstart their slow start to the campaign.

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