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Wigan Athletic fans need to give Cook and the new boys time, agree?

There was quite a meltdown following Wigan Athletic’s defeat to Leeds United on Saturday, with some even suggesting Paul Cook is not the man to take this club forward. Outrageous, this early.

We are three games into a 46 game season. Give them 10 games, see where we are in the table and how good or poor performances are, then we can start talking about who has a future here.

A majority of our signings this summer have played very little or no even Championship football – Kieffer Moore, Jamal Lowe and Joe Williams just a few examples. Moore was outstanding on Saturday, that’s a huge positive. We have a striker that bullies opposition defences, Lowe looks dangerous, Windass was brilliant against Cardiff.

Why all the negativity?

I accept Preston was terrible, it was, I was there. The effort, quality, everything about the match was just poor. No excuses, we must do better than that. I was critical myself of Cook last season, particularly his tactics away from home, however at the end of the season I was happy with our position and points total, so he did his job. To reach the next level, yes we need to do better, Cook needs to improve, just give him and the team time.

This current squad excites me, the potential is there. Don’t jump on their backs and expect too much too soon, building partnerships on the pitch takes time. After that Cardiff game, a majority were saying aim for play-offs, now it’s suggesting Cook should go after losing to Preston and probably the best team in the league. Don’t overreact, back the side.

Our next three league games are Middlesbrough, QPR and Barnsley. They are the sort of games we should be picking up points from, not Leeds with 10 men for 70 minutes.

Wigan Athletic fans still happy despite loss to Leeds Utd ‘Just beaten by a good side with a touch of help from the ref’

Wigan Athletic was handed their second Championship defeat of the season after Leeds United defeated The Latics 0-2 at The DW Stadium.

This was Wigan’s first league defeat at home since New Years Day, some record. A shame it had to come to an end against Leeds, I guess they got the revenge they were desperate for.

The Latics travel to Middlesbrough and Charlton now, before facing Barnsley back at home at the end of the month.

Let’s see how Wigan fans reacted to their side’s loss at the weekend…

With 2 weeks left of the window, what do Oldham Athletic need to do

Leagues 1&2 still have a couple of weeks to get any last-minute signings done. What does Oldham Athletic need to do?

Oldham have had to face a lot over the summer, they’ve spent the majority of it getting used to the new manager, Laurent Banide. On top of that, fans were begging their team to get new signings made which is exactly what they’ve done. I just think it’s come too late and that’s the problem that Oldham are having.

They’ve managed to get the likes of, ex Bolton captain, David Wheater, another ex Bolton man, Chris Eagles and Plymouth left-back Ashley Smith-Brown to put pen to paper. There’s been a few more over the summer too, however, pre-season games showed Oldham that they needed better defence.

The players they have signed have great potential and I honestly don’t think they need to sign anybody else. If they do, that will be a bonus to the squad and it will give Banide more options. For the time being, however, it’s about the training sessions and how they can make the most out of them.

Defence needs work

One of the biggest things that need to be worked on is the defence. Like I said earlier, Oldham lacked quality at the back and the management finally realised that just before the start of the season when they started to recruit. Training sessions now need to be focussed on them and how they should gel together.

The situation that their style of play is in at the minute is very much like Man United’s last season. The back four need to tighten up so that they can push forward on the attack with no problems. Banide needs to work with what he’s already got and make it strong. That’s what he’s there to do, although he hasn’t been there long so he just needs some time. At least that’s what Latics fans are hoping.

Once the defence is at its best, that’s when the training sessions can switch to attacking positions. Banide will either turn this around or end up getting sacked. Who ever ends up in charge needs to work the existing squad up to standard.

Leeds United hunting for revenge against Wigan Athletic today

Oh, Gavin Massey runs down the wing for me. The Leeds United documentary is out on Amazon now, watch it for the meltdown when Wigan Athletic destroyed Leeds’ promotion charge.

Stuart Dallas says Leeds are “chomping at the bit” to face Wigan tomorrow. The Latics pulled off a shocking victory on Good Friday despite being a man down for 76 minutes and conceding the opening goal. You couldn’t write it.

I’ll be honest, I thought Leeds deserved to go up last season. They were the best team to visit the DW Stadium, by a country mile. It was like playing a Premier League team. However, Sheffield United stuck with them all season, won 0-1 at Elland Road and held their nerve in the run-in.

Leeds lost their star striker Kemar Roofe to Anderlecht in the summer but did strengthen with the loan signings of Helder Costa and Eddie Nketiah. Their squad is full of talented, technical players that will dominate most Championship sides. Wigan has to be up for the fight today and attack Leeds with pace and confidence. If we turn if like we did last week at Preston, it’ll be a cricket score, although I’m confident that won’t happen at home.

I’m expecting a feisty affair today. Leeds will bring 75,000 fans, Sam Morsy is back and Leeds will do everything to beat us. We’ve got a very good home record, while Leeds are still the best side in the league in my opinion. The first goal is massive if Leeds grab an early lead they are brilliant at keeping the ball. Whereas, Wigan score a lot of goals at home and might just shock a few. Game on.

With Wigan Athletic’s midfield looking like this, Leeds Utd stand no chance

Wigan Athletic host Leeds United tomorrow, with both hoping to bounce back from disappointing results.

The Latics lost 3-0 to Lancashire rivals Preston North End, while Leeds drew 1-1 at Elland Road against Nottingham Forest, in a game they largely dominated.

I thought we lost the game in the midfield last week, whether that was down to personal or Paul Cook not matching up against Preston’s three-man midfield is another question.

Anyway, let’s have a look at how I think our midfield may look tomorrow against Leeds.

Wigan’s Midfield

Sam Morsy will come straight back into the side after he missed the first three matches with a hamstring injury. A vital part of our team will enjoy a big match vs Leeds on return. He just leads by example, with his pressing, energy and desire. A massive miss at Preston. Alongside him, I’d go with Joe Williams. I thought he was very good during mid-week vs Stoke City. A tough tackler who will support Morsy in midfield. I feel we need more protection to our defence, if we play 4-2-3-1, that’s four attacking players on the pitch. That’s enough to hurt teams, the two behind them are there to recycle the ball, and win it back when you lose it.

On the right side, I’d go with Jamal Lowe. Again, he impressed me against Stoke. Gavin Massey will be pushing for a start, but I just feel like a big-money signing (in Wigan terms) will give that crowd an extra lift. Lowe has bags of pace and energy, what a time to score your first goal, hint hint.

On the other wing will be Michael Jacobs. Although he was poor at Preston, everyone was. Jacobs was outstanding on the opening day vs Cardiff City, so deserves another chance now he’s back to full fitness. One of the players who are brilliant at home, playing higher up the pitch, away from home he seems to struggle due to that lack of blistering pace.

In the central attacking midfield spot should be Josh Windass. He ripped Cardiff apart on an opening day win, grabbing a goal and assist. At Preston he seemed to play as a second striker, it didn’t suit him as we had nobody to play him through on goal. Windass is better dropping deep and running at defences with pace, I expect Moore to make his home debut and link up well with Windass.

Wigan Athletic desperate to find cure for away woes

Wigan Athletic’s start to the 2019/20 season has suggested they are in for more of the same. Good home performances, but poor away.

The Latics won 41 points at home during the 2018/19 Championship campaign, the 10th best in the division. While winning just 11 points on the road, the joint worst in the league.

No other team had a bigger points difference, in terms of home/away points. Wigan’s was 30, while Brentford’s was 28 – who were the closest to The Latics.

You could argue that as long as you hit a points total you’re happy with, by the end of the season, it doesn’t matter where or how you get to that target. Although, if your home form suddenly goes out of the window, you are in big, big trouble.

I’m not going to pretend I know why our form at home is so much stronger than it is away if I did know I’m sure Paul Cook would be on the phone. However, Saturday’s performance at Preston was terrible, there’s no point covering it up. If we want to progress this season we have to do better on the road.

I do worry whether our squad has enough experience, fight and grit to succeed away from home in this division. Preston started with a midfield three on Saturday, we had Lee Evans and Lewis McLeod who just got overran and outbattled all day. Without trying to sound harsh, why did Cook expect any different to happen? These two aren’t defensive midfielders to start with, they are good technical footballers, not Sam Morsy who is brilliant at winning the ball back.

The midfield battle

The game of football is won and lost in midfield, on Saturday you could see from minute one that we were never winning that midfield battle. I wonder whether it’s time to pack the midfield, play with two quick, wide wingers and a target man up front. A 4-3-3.

Josh Windass was an absolute passenger on Saturday. We were too deep to play him in behind, and couldn’t get the ball off Preston most of the time, due to the lack of numbers in midfield.

Whatever happens, going forward, we need a serious shakeup. We can’t afford to just rely on our home form again, it’s not fair on travelling supporters.

Two Oldham Athletic players that need to shine for Binade against Blackburn Rovers

Laurent Banide could find a pass this season if he can take his team far in the Carabao Cup. But he needs these two Oldham Athletic players to show up to see them past Blackburn Rovers…

Oldham Athletic was keen on beginning the season under new manager Laurent Banide, as the Frenchman looks to take Oldham Athletic to the other end of the table.

Unfortunately for the Latics, they currently find themselves on zero points after two games in League Two. They have played both home and away and have been outplayed on both occasions, suffering from less possession and fewer passes than their opponents.

Banide’s side was dominated by a strong Forest Green. But was also easily bested by a Crewe side who was recently obliterated by Plymouth Argyle. This shows that Oldham is unable to match not only the top teams but the fairly average teams also.

Regardless, Banide’s Latics will go toe to toe against Championship’s Blackburn Rovers. They currently find themselves on zero points after two games. Though they have faced very fierce opponents in Fulham and Charlton.

Should Oldham cause an upset in this game, they would need moments of brilliance from the quality they have, as it appears the reigns of Banide aren’t controlling much thus far.

The Football Manc Cave bring you the two players who can lead Oldham Athletic to victory in this big League Cup tie…

Scott Wilson

Banide has started Wilson upfront in both games of the league so far. It appears that he is in favour with the manager and that the Latics believe he can be their goalscorer. The 26-year-old Englishman Scott Wilson scored 14 and assisted 5 for Macclesfield in the 17/18 National League, and continued with 10 goals and 2 assists for the same side in the 18/19 EFL League Two.

Now in the Oldham Athletic strip, Wilson needs to take his game up a level and live up to the trust placed in him by the manager. A winning goal in a cup game against a tough opponent would kick start his career with Oldham.

Chris Eagles

Another recent acquisition for the side is ex-Man Utd and Burnley man Chris Eagles. The 33-year-old is still kicking it. Against such a tough opponent, Oldham Athletic must utilize the experience and quality they have in Eagles.

He has faced teams of all strength and sizes and will be able to set the bar for his teammates against a team who, on paper, beat them with ease.

If Wigan Athletic start these 3, they easily beat Stoke City

Back to the DW we go. Thank god after Saturday. It’s only a League Cup tie, however a good opportunity for players that haven’t started yet to showcase themselves for Wigan Athletic.

Wigan Athletic host Stoke City in the first round of the League Cup. Latics return home after losing 3-0 to Preston on Saturday, while Stoke City have started the season poorly, losing 3-1 to Charlton Athletic in their second league game.

So, a return for Nick Powell may be on the cards. However, let’s take a look at a few players that may start for the home side…

Jamal Lowe

This is a perfect time for Lowe to start his first Latics game. There’s little pressure on the match, of course, we’d like to win, but it’s not a competition we’re likely to win, so it’s a bit of a free hit. I felt we were crying out for a Lowe type player on Saturday, someone with pace and quality around the box. We just lacked creativity on Saturday, all too pedestrian and predictable. Let Lowe have a go, he may well earn himself a starting spot vs Leeds United on Saturday.

Callum Lang

It’s likely Lang will be loaned out again, following the arrival of Bright Enobakhare on deadline day. However, I think the youngster has earned himself an opportunity to start a competitive game for Latics. Stoke’s defence looked very poor vs Charlton, perhaps this will be an open game and a one with plenty of goal scoring opportunities. Lang is a natural finisher, what better way to start his career, than with a couple of goals on home debut.

Joe Williams

Williams arrived from Everton during this summers transfer window, with a big reputation. He’s known for his tough-tackling and hard work, we could’ve done with that on Saturday. Although Preston had an extra man in midfield, that Cook didn’t match up against, we got completely dominated. Lee Evans and Lewis McLeod aren’t defensive midfielders in my opinion, especially away from home, good footballers yes but tough midfielders that can win battles, I’m not so sure. Williams sounds better suited to them affairs, let’s give him a chance and see what he’s got.

‘This club is on a massive decline along with the attendance’s because it’s NOT the club we grew up to love’ Oldham Athletic fans react!

Oldham Athletic lost their opening home game of the season against Crewe Alexandra, despite taking the lead after just two minutes.

The Latics have lost both of their opening league games, following last weeks defeat at Forest Green. Laurent Banide is under immediate pressure, as judging from the fans’ reaction to the performance on Saturday, they aren’t warming to him just yet.

Let’s have a look at who they are pointing the finger at…

‘That performance was atrocious and unacceptable’ Wigan Athletic show no signs of change or adaptation following defeat

That it. I’m never going to Deepdale ever again, in my life. That was my third visit to the place, never seen Wigan Athletic score, let alone get a point.

On a serious note, Saturday was just Wigan Athletic in a nutshell. It’s the hope that kills you. A brilliant performance the previous week vs Cardiff City, followed by that ****show at Preston, backed by 3,000 travelling supporters.

It’s easy to get carried away, it’s only three points and the second game of the season. However, that performance was atrocious and unacceptable. It was possibly worse than last season’s performance at Preston, why haven’t we changed and adapted?

I still really worry for our squad away from home. We just haven’t got that fight and grit in our squad to match home teams. Preston wasn’t brilliant on Saturday, they just outfought us and benefited from our terrible mistakes.

For example, their first goal came after four consecutive corners. That just allows their fans to get behind them, the home side gains momentum and it was a matter of time before we succumbed to the pressure. That’s when you need a leader to just clear the ball, relieve the pressure and rebuild. We don’t have that commanding defensive player.

Home v Away for Wigan

It’s startling to see the difference between our performances at home and away. You could be watching a different team.

In my opinion, Cook needs to change it up away from home. For example, Michael Jacobs is excellent at home, when he’s given time on the ball and starts higher up the pitch. Away from home, he’s a passenger. He isn’t quick enough and doesn’t get time on the ball as he does at home.

The way to play away from home, pace on the counter-attack. We didn’t have any on Saturday, master of our downfall.

Anyway, we got our annual drubbing at Preston. Things can only get better.

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