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Examining Oldham Athletic’s 19/20 League Two Opponents: Salford City, Scunthorpe Utd and Stevenage Borough

The Football Manc Cave continues the definitive guide to the 19/20 League Two season for Oldham Athletic supporters.

Salford City

The involvement of several bored ex-Man Utd players and their money in Salford City has seen the club catapulted into the football league a lot quicker than expected.

Nickname: The Ammies (no idea why)

Sponsor: Should be Holts Brewery but is probably some IT Consultancy on Salford Quays

Star Supporter: L S Lowry

Club Mascot: Mick the Matchstick Man

Half Time Entertainment: Welly Chucking

Will Oldham Take Over The Town?: Nailed on certainty

Mad Chairman Score Out Of 10: Karen Baird. Accountant. Knows her way around a paper shredder

One to Watch: Adam Rooney. Ordinary for Oldham and a bit past it. Ginger.

Style Of Play: Attempted Class of ’92 style but more hopeful kick and rush.

Speciality Pie Flavour: Tripe and Cow Heel

Away End Capacity and Condition: Not that many in a ground undergoing a revamp.

Likely Pre Match Songs: The Coronation St. Theme

End of Season Prediction: 5th

Scunthorpe United

Scunthorpe have been up and down the lower divisions for years without ever looking like achieving anything. Had a ludicrous interest in George Edmundson turned down.

Nickname: The Iron (Something to do with the steelworks I guess.

Sponsor: Not British Steel, they have less money than the football team

Star Supporter: Metal Mickey

Club Mascot: Iron Man

Half Time Entertainment: Jousting

Will Oldham Take Over The Town?: Probably not but we’ve made valiant attempts in the past.

Mad Chairman Score Out Of 10: Peter Swann, owner of Cool Fun Ltd which is the last thing you’d expect in Scunthorpe

One to Watch: Certainly not George Edmundson.

Style Of Play: Desperate

Speciality Pie Flavour: Meat but look out for the iron filings

Away End Capacity and Condition: 1678 in a soulless void of a ground

Likely Pre Match Songs: Anything Heavy Metal

End of Season Prediction: 15th

Stevenage Boro

If you had been on a ten season-long run of attending consecutive away games, Stevenage would probably be where you decided to call it a day. It is one of the most boring places on the planet.

Nickname: Boro (eye roll)

Sponsor: The local scout troop

Star Supporter: Nobody famous has been anywhere near the place.

Club Mascot: Whoever gets in the ground first.

Half Time Entertainment: Watching paint dry.

Will Oldham Take Over The Town?: No chance

Mad Chairman Score Out Of 10: Phil Wallace. Asking fans to fund the club. 6/10

One to Watch: The traffic lights changing outside the ground.

Style Of Play: Painful

Speciality Pie Flavour: Bland

Away End Capacity and Condition: 1400 but no one ever wants to go there

Likely Pre Match Songs: Boredom – The Buzzcocks

End of Season Prediction: 7th

Next Week: Swindon Town, Walsall and Oldham!

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’s Edmundson on the brink of departure to Rangers while Lemsagam receives both plaudits & critics

The saga surrounding the transfer of George Edmundson appears to be nearing its end.

According to reports north of the border, Glasgow Rangers have beaten off competition from Peterborough and Portsmouth to sign the promising young defender.

It brings to an end several weeks of thrust and counter-thrust between Oldham owner Abdallah Lemsagam and Rangers, who were told the player would cost them far more than they offered.

At one point, Rangers appeared to have lost interest. However, the insistence of AL that he was not going to back down on his valuation assured that Oldham got the fee they asked for.

It was an attitude that has gone done well with some supporters.

Along the way, however, AL has apparently upset the Peterborough Chairman Darragh MacAnthony. He took to Twitter to complain at length over the transfer dealings, despite it being described by many as normal transfer activity.

It seems that AL can successfully upset people away from Boundary Park as well. He may well have gone some way to mending rifts by getting what is a very good price for George.

Some supporters are obviously impressed.

It is always sad to lose a decent player like Edmundson. However, his chances of career success are far better with Rangers than they are with Peterborough, and their petulant Chairman.

There’s a nervousness around Oldham Athletic with the fans divided ahead of the new season

Every football supporter secretly starts off a season believing that their club can win the league, but Oldham fans appear to have decided that more misery is to be inflicted on them in the coming campaign.

There has been little enthusiasm shown for next season, probably because of the absence of news from the club regarding new signings and the appointment of a new coach.

Even with one of those issues solved with the arrival of new coach Laurent Banide, the outlook is cautious, to say the least.

It is true to say that supporters get very nervous if a full squad isn’t in place by the first week in June. This close season seems to be worse than usual, probably because of the circus that surrounded the club last season.

At present, it is difficult to see how a side could be put together from the 18 players whose faces appear in the first team list on the club website. For a start, we only have one goalkeeper in Zeus de la Paz. He had little opportunity to prove himself last season, given the heroics of on-loan Daniel Iversen.

Defensively we look threadbare as well. With the George Edmondson transfer still unresolved, and Jamie Stott rumoured to be attracting interest from Stockport it doesn’t bode well for Oldham.

It is the forward line which is giving Latics fans the most amount of sleepless nights, with only Chris O’Grady, Jonathan Benteke and Johan Branger currently listed as being with the club. Replacing Callum Lang was always going to be a major task. However, unless there are plans to bring in one or two more forward players soon, the prospect of a struggle next season seems very real.

With Banide not due to take up his appointment till July 1st, the signing of players might not materialize till then prompting further nervousness. On ‘OWTB’ one of the Oldham message boards, ‘Chaddy14’ adopted a hopeful approach:

Personally, I would like to welcome Laurent to Latics and wish him every success. I dread to think what he must think about the club and this group of “fans” he is joining if most of these posts were passed on to him (an translated if need be before anyone else has yet another pop).
I’ll judge him by what he does and the impact he has on the coaching at the club and remembers that he was not part of the “past” and to be honest he can’t be worse than the quitter Scholes!
God help him at a meet the coach pre-season with some of the contributors on here! At least he’s a fully qualified/badged coach unlike some of our historic crop of “managers”
Good luck!

However, there are some people who just won’t give the new man or next season a chance.

Should Wigan Athletic Be Going All Out for Oldham Athletic’s Edmundson or Focus Elsewhere

George Edmundson is presumably on route to Peterborough or Rangers. Both clubs are battling for his signature, although it seems The Posh have moved ahead in the race, after reportedly having an offer accepted for the young defender.

Edmundson was named in the 2018/19 EFL League Two team of the season and, is attracting interest from a number of sides. Oldham will be hoping for an auction, to raise as much money as possible for their departing defender.

Wigan manager Paul Cook is on the hunt for a ‘ball-playing’ defender, but I think Matt Miazga will sign on loan from Chelsea, which will fill that void. The Latics signed Danny Fox in the January transfer window, who has performed brilliantly since joining from Nottingham Forest. He’s a real leader and comfortable playing out from the back. Chey Dunkley and Cedric Kipre are both young, strong defenders, but aren’t great footballers in terms of distributing the ball from the defence. Miazga would give us that physicality and ability to start attacks from the defence, that Cook is looking for.

I expect the majority of our transfer budget to be spent on a new number nine, to score us 15-20 goals, and the rest on a new midfielder to replace Reece James. Most of our signings will be frees and loans unless we sell one of our assets like Sam Morsy for a sizeable fee. A centre back isn’t an immediate priority, so I’d say it’s unlikely we’ll be joining the chase for Edmundson. Especially considering an auction will likely see the fee rise to around £1 million, Wigan could put that money towards a new striker.

Don’t get me wrong, I really rate Edmundson, and I believe he’ll be worth a lot more than £1 million in a couple of years time, so he’s a very good long-term investment. However, Wigan needs to buy players, for NOW, players that are going to impress from the off and push us up the table next season.

Rangers’ Packed Out Ibrox or Peterborough’s EFL Push – Oldham Atheltic’s Edmundson Tough Decision

George Edmundson is a man in demand and it’s being reported that a deal has been agreed between Oldham and Peterborough, which will see the defender join The Posh imminently.

Rangers have also been interested in signing the young defender. Steven Gerrard’s side finished 2nd to Celtic last season and, will be looking to win the league next campaign. Edmundson could provide that real stability and leading figure at the back, that Gerrard is searching for.

The highly-rated Oldham player is spoilt for choice. Two great, ambitious clubs are fighting for his signature, which will only improve his performance and reputation.

Peterborough are suggesting they are really up for a promotion push next season, having already signed Mohamed Eisa for big money, and added experience in signing Mark Beevers. Both are very good signings in League One, if they keep hold of Ivan Toney and Marcus Maddison, I expect to see them challenging for automatic promotion. Darren Ferguson almost guided his side into 6th spot last season, but perhaps they needed to be better prepared for life in the Championship anyway,  and I feel this summer they are building a squad to prepare for life in the higher division.

On the other hand, Rangers are a much bigger side and an attractive proposition for most footballers. It’s an opportunity to play at a packed out Ibrox every week, play in old-firm derbies and work with Steven Gerrard, sounds tough to turn down?

Either way, whichever club he joins, he’ll succeed and it’s a great move. Does he want to stay in England and try to climb the EFL with Peterborough, or move onto pastures new and sign for Scottish giants Rangers? That’s his choice, and I imagine it’ll take a while to decide.

Oldham Athletic’s Edmundson Transfer Saga Continues With Rangers FC

Transfer fees received for players who have come up from the Academy ranks are the lifeblood of many smaller clubs. One sale can keep a club afloat for a very long time and, although such deals are generally unliked by supporters it is the harsh reality of lower league football.

Bearing in mind that almost anything Abdallah Lemsagam does at the moment is viewed as wrong. His doubling of the supposed value of George Edmundson to £1 million has raised a few eyebrows, and possibly increased what we might have got for him from Rangers if we had accepted their first offer.

If that works then it must be regarded as good business, whatever your view is of the Oldham owner.

There are a good number of players who would gladly jump at the chance to join the Ibrox club, but those sort of opportunities don’t come along every day and no one can blame George for wanting to further his career. Putting in a transfer request is often the best way to get talks moving but, Latics are right to dig in their heels.

A club with a huge fan base however and income to match, must pay the right price if they want to poach players from the lower divisions and Lemsagam is playing the right game by insisting on a reasonable figure for the highly rated defender.

It would not be the first time that a club has had to dig deep to get their man. Swansea City paid Exeter £2.2m for the services of Matt Grimes in 2015 when he was a League Two player.

It is unlikely that Rangers boss Steven Gerrard will be persuaded to part with the full asking price for Edmundson. However, a figure nearer £600,000 with add-ons would represent a decent bit of business for Latics and perhaps give out a signal to any potential future coach at Boundary Park, that we might have funds available to build a decent side for next season.

‘So We Can’t Buy Any Players Until Edmundson’s Sold, Fold The Club Now’ Oldham Athletic Fans React!

Oldham Athletic fans learned last week that George Edmundson would love a move up North. He knocked back a new contract offer and put in a transfer request.

The club has since had interest from Wigan Athletic, Hull City and most importantly, Rangers. It has since been reported that Oldham have rejected a second offer from Steven Gerrard’s club. That offer being around £500,000. It seems they want to take as much money for the defender as possible, as losing him would be a big loss for the club, but what do the Oldham fan base think?

There have been mixed reactions amongst Twitter, some thinking the price increase is a clever move, some aren’t so sure. 

One optimistic fan thinks it could be possible.

Another Oldham fan agrees and thinks the transfer fee being increased is promising. However, the negotiations seem to just be rejections at this point.

Another fan trying to see the bright side.

Then we have a couple of fans not seeing the light.

And finally a fan that is in total despair.

Opinions aside, a players future is at stake and he clearly isn’t happy at his current club so let’s hope an offer is accepted soon, but who will it be from? And how much?

Edmundson Gives Rangers the Potential Green Light With Latest Oldham Athletic Rejection

If a book was written detailing the number of times Oldham Athletic have been involved in a bidding war over any of their players, it wouldn’t take up much room on a bookshelf.

At present, however, George Edmundson Latics highly-rated defender is being sought by several clubs with the asking price thought to be around the £400,000 mark.

At the forefront of those clubs is Glasgow Rangers who, it is reported have had a bid for George rejected. Oldham are keen to add to his value and, have offered the player a better contract but his head seems to have been turned by the prospect of playing in the Europa League and the Scottish Premier League.

Apparently, Rangers are not keen on increasing their bid and so the usual game of cat and mouse will take place, with the hope that one of the parties will back down.

For Oldham, having a player who is sought after is something that doesn’t happen that often, and they may be playing a dangerous game with a club who can afford to look elsewhere if needed.

There is also the added worry that all this attention could affect the confidence of Edmundson if he has set his heart on a move to a bigger club. He could well find himself still at Boundary Park at the start of next season if Latics’ asking price becomes a stumbling block.

It is unlikely that Athletic will increase their contract offer to the 21-year-old, given the restrictions the club face with owner Abdallah Lemsagam vowing to run a tight ship.

It only takes an injury in pre-season training to a Rangers defender for them to hurriedly return to the negotiating table but for the promising defender. He will be hoping that he stays on their wanted list for all the right reasons, and starts next season in the blue of Rangers rather than the blue of Oldham.

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