Tag Archives: latics

The 2 Wigan wonderkids who could have a major impact on the club’s season

With Wigan finishing 18th in last season’s Championship, it’s safe to say that the Latics will be hungry for a better League campaign and a higher finish in the table going into 2019/20.

Most teams are looking elsewhere this time of year and trying to sign a few players that can improve their line up. However, Wigan’s manager, Paul Cook suggests that the Latics’ blossoming youth team is something worth shouting about. So who could make a difference in the upcoming season? 

Scott Smith

The teenage midfielder is captain of the under 18’s Wigan side. He has had a quality run with the youth team, but yet to be called up for first team responsibilities. He is making a name for himself within his squad. All it would take is for Cook to take a chance on him and have him on the bench a couple of times, therefore easing him into the first team as a substitute to start off with.

The 18-year-old has also just been named in “The 11” award, which recognises 11 young players with achievements on and off the pitch. The academy manager congratulated the youngster and said, he has “set the standard” for the next group of Under 18’s. 

Callum Lang

The 20-year-old has already been named as a first team player but has not had the chance to show Wigan fans what he is capable of. The striker started his youth at Liverpool, before moving to Wigan and was eventually called up to the first team. Afterwards, he was sent straight out on loan to Morecambe in 2017, where he managed 30 appearances and 10 goals.

When the 2018/19 season approached, he was loaned to Oldham Athletic where he worked wonders. In 42 appearances he managed 13 goals. He should be given the chance to see if he can prove himself for Wigan’s first team, especially if no one puts an offer in for him over the summer. 

The 2 Oldham Athletic players who could have a major impact on the club’s season

Who can Laurent Banide look to rely on to provide a successful first season under his newly founded reign at Boundary Park?

With a new managerial approach, Oldham Athletic and Laurent Banide will be hoping for much improved season to that of the 2018/19 EFL League 2 season which saw them finish at a distasteful 14th place.

The Latics should be challenging to regain their once comfortable position in the EFL League One. With Banide’s first gander at challenging in English Football, what players can help make the difference between his glory and his failure?

Alex Iacovitti

Oldham Athletic is set to obtain this 21-year-old centre-back on the 1st July 2019 permanently after a loan spell with the club. His strong left foot allows him to feature at left-back also.

This young man has been contracted with Nottingham Forest since 2016, featuring loans to Mansfield Town and Forest Green. He has 31 EFL League two games under his belt already and is looking to progress his career with solidity in the starting eleven of Oldham Athletic.

Mohamad Sylla

This French central-midfielder joined the Latics in January 2019, during the midst of a terrible season featuring multiple managers.

With the French manager Laurent Banide coming in to offer stability and projections of a positive future. His effect on Sylla is something to keep an eye on throughout the 19/20 season; can Oldham Athletic develop a French connection of their own?

He has featured in 15 games in the League for the Latics so far. However, with a full season under an experienced manager of the same nationality, he could prove vital to the progression of his new team.

Are Oldham Athletic Fans Prepared For The French Invasion?

There isn’t much news that could be described as unbelievable when you’re talking about Oldham Athletic. However, that doesn’t stop the rumour mongers casting their lines and waiting for a bite.

The latest one apparently backed up by someone who claims they are scouting for the club, is that ex-Arsenal and Crystal Palace striker Marouane Chamakh has been coaxed out of retirement at 35 to turn out for Latics in League Two next season. As rumours go, it had a degree of believability given that the player has both Moroccan and French citizenship, but a player who hasn’t kicked a ball since February 2016 is pushing the imagination a little too far.

It is not beyond belief however to expect an influx of French players. Given the imminent arrival of new coach Laurent Banide or, ones who are connected with Abdallah Lemsagam’s Sport2jlt company based in Dubai.

There are more French players than you can shake a baguette at who find themselves without a club, having failed to get a contract extension and many ends their playing careers out in Dubai or Saudi Arabia. It is therefore fairly obvious that any incoming players from that area aren’t going to be fresh-faced youngsters.

Right midfielder Billy Ketkeophomphone is a free agent having been released by Auxerre, presumably because they didn’t have a shirt wide enough for his name. However, at 29 he may still have a season left in him, despite his previous problems with injury.

On the books of Sport2jlt is Brazilian forward Wanderley or Wanderley Santos Monteiro Júnior to his mates. The 30-year-old striker had an impressive record in the UAE Gulf League, scoring 36 goals in 58 appearances. There is little knowledge of what the standard is like out in the UAE, and how it compares with League Two.

There has been one rumour surrounding a player who isn’t based in Angers or Abu Dhabi, and that is the very un-French sounding Billy Clarke who has been released by Bradford City. He spent a large part of last season out with a cruciate ligament rupture, but the 31-year-old attacking midfielder might be tempted to stay in the region despite the interest shown from Exeter City.

Without a doubt, there will be further rumours concerning new signings as the start of the season approaches. Nevertheless, as with the new coach, whether they are well known or not cannot be guaranteed. Plans for next season certainly need to be stepped up a gear for as the French say: ‘Qui n’avance pas, recule’.

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.

Examining Oldham Athletic’s 19/20 League 2 Opponents: Crewe, Forest Green Rovers and Exeter

Continuing the definitive guide to the 19/20 League Two season for Oldham supporters.

Crewe Alexandra

Trainspotters flock to Crewe railway station as it’s one of the most historically significant railway stations in the world but they wouldn’t want to suffer the embarrassment of being seen at Gresty Road.

Nickname: The Railwaymen (eye roll)

Sponsor: Hornby

Star Supporter: Thomas the Tank Engine

Club Mascot: Derek the Delayed Diesel

Half Time Entertainment: The Buffet Car Sandwich Challenge

Will Oldham Take Over The Town?: Pretty good chance if we’re doing well

Mad Chairman Score Out Of 10: John Bowler 82 years old and associated with the club since 1980. Very quiet on the scandal that hit the club last year. 10/10

One to Watch: Perry Ng the player with an aversion to vowels.

Style Of Play: Containment with delays and cancellations.

Speciality Pie Flavour: Mysterious and deep filled lucky dip

Away End Capacity and Condition: 1680 seats with a few obstructive pillars.

Likely Pre Match Songs: Paddy works on the railroad

End of Season Prediction: 13th

Exeter City

The only two games Exeter supporters are bothered about next season are the ones against Plymouth who share the same bare patch of football wasteland which is the South West of the country. Nobody else cares about either of them.

Nickname: ‘The Grecians’ which the origin of is apparently the subject of speculation and debate. Or not.

Sponsor: The Clotted Cream Company

Star Supporter: Coldplay’s Chris Martin

Club Mascot: Winnie the Witch
(The city is infamous for being the last place where a woman was trialled and executed for witchcraft.)

Half Time Entertainment: The ducking stool challenge

Will Oldham Take Over The Town?: There were plans to last season with a win needed to keep up with the playoff places but distance is always going to be a problem.

Mad Chairman Score Out Of 10: Julian Tagg. As the club is owned by the supporters they don’t appear to have any problems with their Chairman. Funny that! 1/10

One to Watch: Jonathan Forte because ex Latics players always get one over on us.

Style Of Play: Hopeful

Speciality Pie Flavour: Some sort of meat but don’t ask for gravy this far South.

Away End Capacity and Condition: 950 but the ground is looking a bit tired.

Likely Pre Match Songs: Something unintelligible about drinking cider

End of Season Prediction: 16th

Forest Green Rovers

The first thing people say when you mention FGR is their switch to being 100% vegan so I won’t mention it. Only kidding…

Nickname: Rovers (double eye roll)

Sponsor: Nigirizushi Steaks

Star Supporter: Bear No Grills

Club Mascot: Tommy Tofu

Half Time Entertainment: Hunt the Hot Dog

Will Oldham Take Over The Town?: Doubtful given the red meat eating habits of your average Oldhamer.

Mad Chairman Score Out Of 10: Dale Vince the architect of the ‘vegan revolution’ at the club. Our highest scorer so far 11/10

One to Watch: Reuben Reid. Having played for most of the clubs in the Football League (including Oldham) the only reason he hasn’t left FGR is probably because he’s too weak to move due to the vegan diet.

Style Of Play: Pass (the stinky tofu) and move.

Speciality Pie Flavour: Raw Vegan Cantaloupe and Watermelon Nigiri-Sushi

Away End Capacity and Condition: 1000 and nothing special

Likely Pre Match Songs: Green Onions – Booker T and the MG’s

End of Season Prediction: 10th *(10 points deducted for selling an inedible pastie)

Next week: Grimsby Town, Leyton Orient and Macclesfield

These Two Things Will Make it a Good Season For Wigan Athletic Next Year

If you offered any Wigan fan an 18th placed finish at the start of last season, trust me, we’d of snapped your hand off. The last two times we had been in the Championship, we were relegated.

Paul Cook has done a superb job at Latics. The former Pompey gaffer won League One at the first time of asking, and kept us in the Championship with relative ease, in his second season. Bare in mind we only spent around £4 million last summer, and are still playing with players who won us the League One title, he’s overachieving.

Now we’re looking to build on a good season, and push for a comfortable mid-table finish (you never know, we might sneak 6th). I look at two things that will be pivotal this summer, as we prepare for another rollercoaster campaign.

We need a goalscorer

Wigan were very good in a number of games last season but didn’t always get what they deserved. Lots of ‘pretty’ football and positive wing play, but nobody to put the ball in the net. We defended well and controlled a majority of our home games, however, scoring goals was a problem.

I’m realistic, we aren’t going to splash out £8 million on a proven goalscorer. We need Cookie to find a gem, work your magic Paul.

Keep Sam Morsy

Wigan have been a victim of losing their star players for years and years. It’s often done with the club’s interest at heart, in terms of finances (we don’t want to end up like them down the road) but I think Morsy needs to be kept at all costs. He’s club captain and been with Paul Cook for most of his career. The team feeds of Morsy’s hunger and endeavour, always pressing and hunting for possession, he sets the tone and standard for others to follow – we can’t lose that.

OPINION: Josh Windass to Take on Nick Powell’s Role For Wigan Athletic – Agree?

With Nick Powell on the verge of signing for Stoke City on a free transfer, Wigan manager Paul Cook is faced with the task of replacing him. However, the replacement might be a lot closer to home than he first thought – Josh Windass.

After signing for The Latics from Rangers last summer, he has failed to make a positive impact, but that’s largely down to Powell playing in his favoured position. Now Powell is leaving, it offers Windass an opportunity to nail down the ‘number 10’ spot and prove his worth in the side.

Powell suffered from a hamstring injury at the start of 2019, which allowed Windass a chance to have a proper run in the side. He absolutely delivered, scoring in three consecutive games. There’s no doubt he has the ability – always wanting the ball, loves to run at defenders and beat them, and his finishing has improved massively since he joined the club.

His attitude is questionable at times, and that’s why he splits opinion with Wigan fans but was that frustration because of the lack of first-team opportunities? Yes.

In my opinion, he should start next season playing behind the striker, give him 15 games then judge him. Windass really carried the side when Powell was out injured, taking games by the scruff of the neck and trying to win them on his own.

I expect us to sign a new striker in the summer, so hopefully, Windass can strike a good relationship with the new recruit. I believe him failing or flailing next season, could define our whole campaign. Powell has been so influential to us over the years, it’ll be interesting to see how we play without him.

Is Windass good enough to fill the void? Can he score 10+ goals from midfield? Give him the chance to fly, it’s make or break time Josh.

Wigan Athletic Should Look At These Two Players Instead of Jamal Lowe

Wigan are interested in signing Portsmouth attacker Jamal Lowe. After Pompey’s playoff disappointment, the club are bracing themselves for bids from a number of clubs for their prized players this summer.

Lowe had a successful season on a personal level, scoring 17 goals, so a potential move to the Championship may tempt him into leaving Fratton Park.

Also, Paul Cook has already signed a couple of his old Portsmouth mates, Kal Naismith and Gary Roberts, why not make it a hat-trick?

Lowe is a very good player, and I’m sure he’d do well in the Championship. He has pace, trickery and an eye for goal, all of which will bring him success in this division, however, there’s a number of things that are putting me off signing him. Should he be a priority when we’ve lost a number of players in other positions and, how much of our transfer budget would he take up. Wigan needs to prioritise this summer and, fill the void spots before they think about adding quality for competition for places purposes.

I estimate Lowe would cost upwards of £2 million and spending that on a position we are already strong in, doesn’t make sense to me. I look at two alternatives that could be signed on free transfers…

Albert Adomah

Adomah was among the eight players released by Aston Villa following their promotion to the Premier League. Although he didn’t feature a great deal last season, I still think he’s a good player at this level. He’s always been somebody I’ve enjoyed watching, purely for his directness and pace.

Wigan could do with signing a couple of quick players this summer, to help us counter-attack when playing away from home. I imagine there’ll be a number of clubs looking to secure his signature, if Wigan isn’t one of those, I’ll be very disappointed.

Yanic Wildschut

I’ve got my tin hat on. I think our fan base are completely 50/50 on whether they would want Wildschut to return. For me, it’s a no brainer. He moved to Norwich to better his career, it didn’t work out, now come home and never gamble with your future again.

No matter what your opinion on him is, you can’t deny he’s unplayable on his day and a real asset to any club. Blistering speed, physicality, end product and he’s FREE. This is a controversial statement, but I’d take him back in a heartbeat.

OPINION: Birmingham’s Lukas Jutkiewicz Fits The Wigan Athletic Bill Perfectly

The rumour mill has started. I usually take ‘transfer rumours’ with a pinch of salt, mainly because Wigan are apparently on the verge of signing Giovani Dos Santos and Jordan Rhodes every transfer window.

However, the link to Lukas Jutkiewicz which has surfaced over the past few days is very credible, given Wigan are in the market for a ‘target man’ type striker.

Paul Cook’s side finished a credible 18th place last campaign but scored just 51 goals. With Leon Clarke returning to Sheffield United and Nick Powell rejecting a new contract offer, the Latics will be left with limited attacking options.

Joe Garner netted eight goals last season, and youngster Callum Lang will be returning after his successful loan spell at Oldham, but I’m sure Cook will be on the lookout for a striker who can score around 15-20 goals and propel his side to a top-half finish.

Is Lukas Jutkiewicz the saviour to his problems?

He’s certainly a striker that would ‘fit the bill’ in terms of fitting into our style of play. Wigan have attacking threat on the wings, with Gavin Massey and Michael Jacobs usually adopting the wide areas, however last season we didn’t have a finisher to benefit from their creativity. Jutkiewicz scored 14 goals last season, which is a good return in a Birmingham side that struggled for large parts of the season.

Whenever I’ve watched Jutkiewicz, he’s always been a handful for defenders. A similar type of player to Chris Wood who works hard, fights for every ball, constantly harrying defenders and always in the box at the right times. I expect Wigan to use Josh Windass more next season, and I feel like he could flourish playing ‘number 10’ behind a striker like Jutkiewicz.

It’s a yes from me, make Jutkiewicz a blue, a Wigan blue.

Would other Wigan fans be happy with the signing?

OPINION: Wigan Athletic Should Forget signing Portsmouth’s Jamal Lowe, Here’s Why…

Is Paul Cook about to be reunited with another one of his pals from Portsmouth?

Wigan are interested in signing attacker Jamal Lowe. Pompey lost against Sunderland in the League One play-off semi-final, therefore it is expected that Lowe will be playing his football away from Fratton Park next season, and in the Championship.

Lowe, 24, scored 17 goals last season from out wide, a very good return. I really rate him as a player – direct, quick, likes to beat a man, scores goals, but Wigan already have players that can do that, and are proven at this level. With Christian Walton (Brighton), Antonee Robinson (Everton) and Reece James (Chelsea) all returning to their parent clubs, and Nick Powell expected to join Stoke at the end of the month, replacing their departures must be a priority this summer.

The Latics are already blessed with quality wingers, Michael Jacobs, Gavin Massey, Anthony Pilkington and Gary Roberts, so in my opinion, the last position we should be spending a considerable amount of our transfer budget on is a winger. I’d rather see the cash spent on a ‘target man’ style striker, who could be assisted by the wingers mentioned.

Although Lowe is undoubtedly a talent, and would probably make the step-up to the Championship without a problem, he shouldn’t be our first signing this summer. If we had endless amounts of cash (maybe the McCarthy has become available) then yes I’d be hoping we signed him. However, a new goalkeeper, left back, central midfielder and striker should be the ultimate focus for us this transfer window.

Cook has already brought Kal Naismith and Gary Roberts to the DW Stadium from Fratton Park, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Lowe transfer happened.

A few loans each from Benfica and Chelsea, then sign Lowe, i’ll take that.

« Older Entries