Tag Archives: frankie bunn

‘This move still leaves more questions than answers’ Truro City’s Paul Wilkinson becomes new Bury manager

Paul Wilkinson may well not get a managerial promotion like this again in his life. From working in the National League South at Truro City, to now the new figure head of League One Bury.

The standard of Leagues may have gone up, yet the calibre of facility the 54-year-old will walk into has not.

Only on Monday were the Shakers thrown out of Carrington, their training complex previously used by Manchester City for many years. Known to cost an arm and a leg to run, this should have been an overhead owner Steve Dale got rid of straight away in order to balance the books when he took over, instead of not paying staff.

With the latest departures of Nicky Maynard and Danny Mayor to an already depleted squad. The current standard Wilkinson finds himself in may be the worst of his coaching career.

Having spent all of his career as an assistant manager or caretaker manager, this may not be the wisest pick to take over from Ryan Lowe, a fans favourite as player and manager.

Yet after Frankie Bunn walked away from the club training ground on Friday despite being on the verge of becoming manager. The same move Keith hill made when he expressed an interest, it seemed all hope was lost that Bury would ever find a new coach.

Somehow Wilkinson, whose Truro side finished third bottom in football’s sixth division last season, is the man who can solve all the club’s problems. All this seems doubtful, as does the future of the club still.

Defenders Will Aimson and Chris Stokes have become the latest players to flee the sinking ship this week. Seeking first team football at a new club as pre-season gets underway for clubs up and down the country.

Despite the continuous doom and gloom concerning the Shakers, maybe the announcement of Wilkinson could pave the way for a new era at Gigg Lane? Or a more likely story, this move by Dale is a new way to get a form of administration, the much talked about CVA, over the line.

Wilkinson will now try and organise a squad for pre-season friendlies against Blackburn Rovers and Radcliffe Boro in the coming weeks. Amongst that, crossing his fingers the club survives their latest appearance in court in late July.

Despite the new managerial appointment, this move still leaves more questions than answers regarding the future of the 134-year-old club.

Frankie Bunn and Clarke To Bury Wasn’t Every Shakers Fans Dream Team

When Bury fans celebrated their automatic promotion to League One after the draw at Tranmere last April, the euphoria will have done a great deal to numb the pain of what was going on behind the scenes at the club.

However, the reality of court hearings, unpaid staff, debt, departing players and managers lay ahead. Even when Shakers fans thought they had reached their lowest ebb, another setback was just around the corner.

With manager Ryan Lowe having departed along with several key players. The immediate question has been whether Bury would have enough players to start the new season, and who would fill Lowe’s boots.

One of those questions looked to have been answered with ex-Oldham manager Frankie Bunn the favourite to fill the vacant post. Peter Clarke, released by Oldham at the end of last season was also rumoured to be installed as his number two.

The choice wasn’t the most popular one according to the Football Manc Cave’s poll…

So what would Bury fans have been getting with the new appointment? In a nutshell, there is little evidence that Bunn could have done anything to improve the situation at the club other than to set his sights on avoiding relegation. The possible deduction of points, lack of funds and general malaise which surrounds Gigg Lane is not going to be overcome by installing a manager who is yet to prove himself at any level over a full season.

It is clutching at straws to believe that Bunn or anyone else for that matter, can organise a squad of players who may not have been paid, are facing a points deduction and an uncertain future into a team that can play a full season in League One.

The one slim sliver of hope would have been Peter Clarke as a player/assistant manager, given that he was afforded an almost Godlike status at Boundary Park in his role as captain. Clarke is highly respected in League Two, and building a team around him might have given Bury some chance of performing a miracle and getting themselves back where all the supporters needed them to be.

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.

Pete Wild’s Time at Oldham Athletic is One To Remember for Three Reasons

When you find yourself writing about a departing coach/manager for the third time in a season there can be a fair assumption that the wheels haven’t just come off at Boundary Park, they are rolling down the hill destroying everything in their path.

Peter Wild was a name a lot of people weren’t familiar with when he stepped into departing Frank Bunn’s shoes, following the 6-0 thrashing by Carlisle on Boxing Day. It was suggested at the time that Wild was only given the role, as there were very few people left who were available after the sackings/resignations of a good number of the backroom staff.

He was and still is I might add, regarded as a ‘decent bloke’ with Latics coursing through his veins, with time and patience to pose for photos and share a pint with fans. He could have been forgiven for being completely out of his depth, having only had experience at the youth team level but he undoubtedly knew the players well and quickly applied himself to the task in hand.

There are perhaps more factors people could come up with but for the present, Wild’s short tenure will be remembered for three key reasons:

Fulham 1 Oldham 2 FA Cup 3rd rd

There are young supporters at Oldham who have been starved of any sort of memories that they can pass on to their children. Latics win at Fulham had all the ingredients of an ‘I was there’ game and not only did it receive nationwide coverage for the manner in which Athletic played, it included footage of our manager doing a mad Dad dance on the touchline.

I’m convinced that Frank Bunn couldn’t have got that sort of performance out of the players, and the day didn’t just belong to Lang, Surridge, Iversen and the 4000 Latics fans, it belonged to Wild as well.

Six game Unbeaten Run

When Scholes jumped ship following the defeat at Lincoln, very few people expected us to still have a chance of making the playoffs. Scholes had turned Wild’s tenacious side, into one that looked lost and rolled over easily when things weren’t going well.

Despite that, Wild’s side embarked on a six-game unbeaten run with three wins a row to start with. Promotion hopefuls Tranmere on a seven-win sequence were made to look ordinary, as Latics cruised past them. Mansfield, also aiming for a top three place found Athletic in no mood to roll over, with the six-game run became four wins and two draws with the exact same players that Scholes had at his disposal.

Loyalty is a dirty word

There is very little loyalty in football. Players can kiss their club badges one day then sign for their most hated rivals the next. Anyone who shows even the slightest amount of loyalty is destined to find themselves without a job at short notice if their face no longer fits. Unlike Scholes, we are told Wild approached owner Abdallah Lemsagam about leaving because he wanted to spend some time away from football for personal reasons.

As that is the only official reason given at present we can either accept that or, believe the unsubstantiated assortment of rumours on social media. Whatever the true story is, at present the news is yet again focused on the circus that is Boundary Park but opinion is united in agreeing that Peter Wild is certainly not the ringleader.

Two Players That Could Be Shown the Oldham Athletic Door This Summer

There have been times this season when Latics looked painfully short-staffed, but the days of having a large squad seem to be something we can’t possibly afford any more.

Having said that, there are some players who have been given the opportunity to shine and haven’t taken the chances offered to them. With the retained and released lists due any day, many Latics fans have voiced their opinions on who shouldn’t be at the club next season and two players immediately stand out as being on most people’s lists…

Urko Vera

Vera’s only goal this season came in the opening minutes of the game at Macclesfield, when he was the nearest player to the ball when Athletic were awarded a penalty. He wasted no time in grabbing the ball and getting himself on the scoresheet but that, in a nutshell, is about all he can claim to have done this season.

For somebody who has played for Athletic Bilbao, albeit eight years ago he has fallen a long way down the football pyramid and, the Macclesfield game was the only one in which he played the full 90 minutes. At 31 he may still have something to offer but it shouldn’t be at Boundary Park.

Jonathan Benteke

Another forward player who has failed to impose himself on the side. His only goal was a tap in against Cheltenham in a 2-0 win back in October last year. He did have opportunities to impress when he was involved in five consecutive games under Frankie Bunn, however, with other players far more deserving of a starting place up front, Benteke was reduced to several substitute appearances.

At only 24 he should be able to find another club but if he can’t make his mark in English League Two football, it is perhaps time for him to return to Belgium or Cyprus where he played earlier in his career.

Two Managers Oldham Should Be Looking at in The Summer

It is often argued that Managers are only three defeats away from being threatened with the sack, and in the mad world that is Oldham Athletic, that is usually true.

Stand in coach Peter Wild ended the season with three defeats and although nobody is calling for his head, it is pretty clear that Athletic will, once again be in the market for a new manager this summer. Speculation was rife after Frank Bunn was sacked with numerous names being thrown into the ring – none of which came even remotely close to being appointed.

However, the list of the unknown and undeserving will no doubt be soon drawn up and it is perhaps, therefore, time to dust off some of those names that were being touted after Bunn left and see if their competence is still valid. It has been agreed on many occasions that there is a need for a manager with previous experience to be put in charge, rather than an ex-player or a rookie manager looking to get on the first rungs of the ladder.

Bearing that in mind, it is perhaps wise to ignore some of the people who are currently out of work who failed miserably in their last posts. Such an appointment would tip already nervous Oldham fans over the abyss into madness.

Two managers who might suit the job and shouldn’t cause too many palpitations are…

Phil Brown

In Hull, when you mention Phil Brown to the average City supporter, they get very misty-eyed about the four years he spent with them between 2006-10 leading them into the Premier League. Brown is currently the head coach of Indian Super League outfit FC Pune City, but the length of his contract there is unknown. He has a great deal of experience and might be persuaded to return to the UK.

Gary Caldwell

Currently, manager of Partick Thistle, Caldwell had a spell with Wigan and a less successful period with Chesterfield. He appears to have a no-nonsense approach to the game which was demonstrated when in the lead up to his side’s critical last-day showdown with Queen of the South. Where both teams were playing to avoid the relegation play-off position, Caldwell’s assistant Brian Kerr took to the private team WhatsApp group to ask the Thistle players to submit their own starting XIs for the match anonymously.

That message subsequently found its way into the public domain, leaving Caldwell furious with the culprit, understood to be striker Ally Roy. Roy wasn’t on the bus to Dumfries that afternoon, and Caldwell was keen to emphasise that he alone would bear responsibility for selecting a side from those who travelled with him!

If nothing else, Gary Caldwell would put paid to any stories about Abdallah Lemsagam picking the side.

Trying to Make Light of The Oldham ‘He Said, They Said’ Situation

A friend of mine used to be a secondary school teacher. He often had to mediate in arguments between pupils when he knew that neither side could be believed, and the outcome was always going to be an uneasy truce which wouldn’t last long. He would have probably thrown in the towel pretty quickly had he been brought in to arbitrate in the current row between Oldham supporters, newly departed manager Paul Scholes and Chairman Abdallah Lemsagam.

There has been a good deal of animosity aimed at the chairman since he arrived, mainly because of the number of employees who have departed the club due allegedly to his interference in team affairs. One of those who is no longer with us Craig Davies, felt the need to go public about it. Hell hath no fury however, and Davies who was part of the side relegated last season possibly thought that he deserved to stay at the club even though he was pretty unpopular with the fans.

It is certainly true to say that Lemsagam has been guilty of clearing out an awful lot of staff, which left the club without an assistant manager to take over when Frank Bunn was sacked given that Andy Rhodes had already been shown the door. That list includes manager Richie Wellens, players Anthony Gerrard and Jack Byrne, Chief Executive Mark Moisley, Head of Media Luke Ingram and Academy Manager Tony Philliskirk.

The Original Retro Football Shirt Cushions Store

The arrival and swift departure of Paul Scholes has also been surrounded by rumours which are difficult to prove. Key to the growing opposition to Lemsagam was a story in the Mail, which claimed that Scholes left because of several incidents involving a missing team bus for the trip to Bury and creditors who ‘ripped out a gas supply’. Anyone curious enough to question those claims will have realised that they have been completely fabricated and the club were quick to deny them.


If fans are going to digest news from a source which has been banned by Wikipedia for being unreliable, then we are going to get nowhere fast.


The supporters trust has worked hard and made encouraging noises about bringing both sides together and ultimately this is the only way forward. In his defence, Lemsagam held a meeting last week in which he produced evidence of the purchase of a new boiler (as if he needed to) and a letter from the coach company stating that they provided the coach.

He also claimed that he had no idea why Scholes left and had given him full autonomy regarding team affairs. There was also a denial that he had offered players contracts for next season without consulting the manager and various other denials.

I truly believe that Scholes left because in the closeted world he lived in prior to arriving through the main door at Boundary Park, nothing ever prepared him for life as a League Two manager and he realised he was way out of his depth.

What needs to be done now is to bring all parties together to seek a solution. Demonstrations, disruption and the absence of dialogue will only serve to make the situation worse. We may not be in the best position we desire but we still have a club in the football league and everyone should work towards making sure we remain there.

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Win, Lose, Draw: Scholes’ First Three Games Analysed

Detailed analysis of a new manager is something that has existed for a considerable period of time and is unlikely to ever change. I cannot ever remember hearing anybody say “Let’s give him 10 games to find his feet and then review his performance before we pass judgement”. Unheard of.

Given that Paul Scholes was always going to attract more attention in the Oldham hot seat than lesser mortals, he will be well aware that every team selection he has made and tactic employed will have been poured over by Latics keyboard analysts around the globe.

Rather than stun everyone into disbelief with a trio of victories, Scholes has lived up to his rather safe and uncontroversial demeanour with a win, a draw and a defeat.

The win against Yeovil and Scholes’ first game was rightly hailed as one of the season’s best home performances. It was arguably Oldham’s best side that started the game and despite losing Tom Hamer to injury early on, the introduction of Rob Hunt who seemed to have lost favour with Frankie Bunn was seen as a sign that Scholes had as much faith in the full back as many Latics fans have.

Three home games in seven days, however, were always going to put a strain on a threadbare squad and a pitch that cuts up easily. Fellow play-off hopefuls Crewe were the next visitors, and Scholes had to do without Hamer for the game. Callum Lang put Latics in front but a late equaliser from Crewe earned them a point. It was a game Latics should have won but a draw and a win in Scholes first two games was seen to be good progress.

It certainly helped Latics keep in touch with the playoffs and, a win over lowly Morecambe would see us within 3 points of seventh place. Once again, however, changes had to be made to the starting line up but they were obviously too disruptive to the smooth running of the side. Mohammed Maouche was on the bench having had a lengthy run in the side, and young Jamie Stott introduced for only his third appearance of the season.

An early strike for the visitors put us on the back foot for most of the game and, another late goal was conceded to give Scholes his first taste of defeat at Boundary Park. Losing in such a manner brought back memories for Latics fans of past games, where we have gone behind early and had to chase the game and lost out in the dying seconds because of a lack of concentration. The Morecambe game had both these problems.

Of course, all will be forgotten if Scholes can rally the side to win against Bury and edge us nearer the top seven. However, he may well have his eye on next season and a squad he has built himself, rather than trying to work miracles with a ragtag assortment of players who know that their future at the club is short lived.

Can Oldham Upset Ranieri’s Fulham This Afternoon?

The FA Cup is the greatest football tournament on Earth, no other competition comes remotely close. The history, drama, spectacle and passion of the FA Cup is unsurpassed and despite attempts to portray other tournaments as equal to it, they will always be a poor second.

Whether you’re involved in it as a player or spectator be it in the early qualifying rounds watched by a handful of people or, in the Wembley Final in front of a worldwide audience of millions, the magic of the FA Cup often throws up some classic games and the opportunity for the smaller clubs to cause an upset.


After successfully navigating past Hampton & Richmond and Maidstone in the first two rounds, Oldham finds themselves in the 3rd round for the first time in five years. I can say with absolute confidence though that as the day of the draw got closer, the growing list of teams who Latics fans hoped we’d be pitched against did not include Fulham!

I have no wish to paint Fulham as the poor relations of the Premier League but they are currently in the relegation places and Craven Cottage is hardly the Nou Camp. However, this can work in Oldham’s favour if past experience is anything to go by. The cost to a club of dropping out of the Premier League is dramatic, to say the least, and it will not have escaped the notice of everyone associated with the London club that the FA Cup is at present something of an unwanted distraction.

Most clubs in the top two divisions make wholesale changes to their first eleven when faced with a game against a side which are 60+ places below them. It is a natural move and gives fringe players the chance to show their worth and enables regular first teamers to get a rest. However, this has backfired on clubs with regularity and cooked up some classic encounters.

Oldham have benefitted on several occasions at this stage in the competition from team selection ‘tinkering’ and it will be interesting to see if the Fulham side resembles the one that was beaten by Arsenal on New Years Day.

In comparison Latics seemingly have everything going for them. Two victories in a row, a stand-in manager in Pete Wild following the sacking of Frankie Bunn who has been virtually plucked from the terraces and has hit the ground running. The signing till the end of the season of Callum Lang and the secret weapon of two youngsters who Wild knows well, Harry Robinson and 15 years old Jack Williams just waiting to step up for their share of FA Cup glory.

A 2pm kick off in the capital on a Sunday might well have kept the travelling supporters down to the bare minimum of die hards but this game appears to have captured the imagination of the fans and there will be just short of 4000 Latics fans at the game hoping for an upset.

Who Will Want To Ride in The Oldham Managerial Ejector Seat?

Once again, Oldham Athletic are in the hunt for a new manager following the sacking of Frankie Bunn the day after the humiliating 6-0 defeat at Carlisle. Prospective candidates may well be put off by the fact that they will be the 25th change in manager at Boundary Park in the past 18 years. It doesn’t bode well for anybody with long-term job aspirations.

However, there is no shortage of managers, twiddling their fingers in front of daytime television who are desperate to get back into the game.

In no particular order because the betting seems to be changing hourly, is the Football Manc Cave guide to some of the likely (and a couple of very unlikely) candidates…

*Odds provided by https://www.thesackrace.com/teams/oldham-athletic

Owen Coyle 2/1

A much-travelled striker who mainly played north of the border, Coyle managed Burnley, Wigan, Blackburn and Bolton and might be looking to add Oldham to his obvious desire to have managed every team in Lancashire.
PRO’S No nonsense Glaswegian
CON’S Doesn’t drink

Gary Bowyer 6/1

Certainly not a much traveled player or striker but he did guide Blackpool back into League One in his first season in charge.
PRO’S Quit Blackpool having tired of the shambolic running of the seaside club.
CON’S (See PRO’S)

Darren Ferguson 6/1

Successful at Peterborough in two spells but resigned from Doncaster in June 2018. Currently without a job.
PRO’S Once said he was going to shoot a referee.
CON’S His Dad might turn up to watch him.

John Askey 12/1

Probably in the short list only because he had a decent spell at Macclesfield. PRO’S Managed to get Macclesfield back into League Football despite reports that the players weren’t being paid.
CON’S Nobody has heard of him.

Kevin Nolan 10/1

A decent career as a player but an indifferent one as a manager. Sacked by Notts County this season.
PRO’S Will probably accept buttons as wages.
CON’S Was in the Bolton side that knocked us out of the FA Cup in 2005. Oldham fans have long memories.

Paul Hurst 14/1

Fast emerging as the Oldham fan’s favourite for some reason.
PRO’S Was committed to working within Ipswich Town’s small transfer budget and the Championship’s lowest wage bill.
CON’S It didn’t work.

Darrell Clarke 16/1

Certainly not the experienced man Oldham fans are reputably looking for but he did have some success at Bristol Rovers.
PRO’S Not afraid to lay blame at the feet of the board if necessary.
CON’S Looks like a car salesman

Peter Clarke 14/1

Oldham’s current captain and for some, the obvious choice to avoid any disruption in team morale.
PRO’S Knows what he’s getting into.
CON’S Knows too much

Mark Hughes n/a

May be persuaded to take a drop in wages and become Oldham’s most unpopular manager in its history before he’s put a foot on the pitch due to that goal.
PRO’S I’m sure there must be at least one.
CON’S You really shouldn’t need to ask.

George Parkin n/a

What George severely lacks in experience he more than makes up for in enthusiasm. A very left-field tongue-in-cheek choice I admit, however, perhaps it’s time for a supporter to take over – why not.
PRO’S Will more than halve what we spend on playing kit.
CON’S May not be able to remain in the technical area for long.

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