Tag Archives: league 2

Ryan Lowe’s Two Huge Games in a Crunch Four Days for Bury

Ryan Lowe has taken to management this season like a duck to water but, will need to see steer his side over two giant hurdles. When his Bury side takes on local rivals, Oldham Athletic and then Portsmouth in The Checkatrade semi-final only a few days later.

Although Bury will be underdogs in next Tuesday’s crunch semi-final.  Opponents Portsmouth will come up against an attacking outfit that has outclassed virtually all of their League Two rivals, since the start of the season.

Having scored 85 goals in all competitions this season, the place for football entertainment has been no other than Gigg Lane. Lowe having played as a striker himself has made it no secret in wanting to promote an all-out attack style of play, and his tactics have been merited with Bury’s current league position.

A home win on Saturday could see the Shakers leapfrog Lincoln to the summit of League Two, something which looked unlikely after January’s end to end 3-3 draw. Having had his style of football backed by non-other than Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, this way of playing had every chance of proving to be successful.

And The German has been proved correct so far with the way that Bury have played this season, now in second place in League Two and four points clear of MK Dons who occupy the leading playoff spot (4th place).

Having also picked the brains of Brendan Rodgers and Rafa Benitez, lifelong reds fan Lowe has already had a vocal taste of what a successful life of a manager is like. Benitez having won the 2005 Champions League with Liverpool and, Rodgers dominating Scottish football to the point he’s won the ‘double treble’ in Scotland since moving North of the border in 2016.

Now Lowe has the chance to secure his own success as a manager. A win against either, or both Oldham and Portsmouth – would take his side closer to putting a trophy back in the Bury trophy cabinet, league or domestic cup.

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Iverson, Surridge and Lang. Oldham Enjoying Their Best Ever Season For Loan Signings

Loan players are usually met with a mixture of apathy and frustration by supporters hoping for that ‘big’ signing but when you’re in the football league’s basement, even bargain buys are hard to come by.

The loan system has helped Oldham a great deal in the past and although the skills of some of the players we’ve had have been questionable to say the least, there are others who have worked their way into the hearts of the fans and were sorely missed when they departed.

It cannot be just a coincidence that Oldham’s position in the league has coincided with the inclusion of three of the best loan players the club has ever had, but it was their performances in the FA Cup at Premier League Fulham that we have to thank them for.

Daniel Iverson

It is not unusual to get a goalkeeper on loan from a club much higher in the league pyramid as they usually have several all hoping to make it into the first team. Leicester’s Kasper Schmeichel seems to be enjoying an extended run in goal this season which left Daniel with little hope of inclusion. That was great news for Latics fans however who have really taken to Iverson.

His solid performances have led to the club having a positive goal difference for the first time in many years, and he will be remembered fondly for a long time to come.

Star moment: The penalty save at Craven Cottage.

Sam Surridge

There were a few Latics fans who had mixed feelings about Surridge at first but once he got the feel of football at this level he showed that he had skill in abundance. Gifted with excellent balance and an eye for even the slightest of goal opportunities, Sam made some useful contributions before returning to Bournemouth. His success at Boundary Park was rewarded by his inclusion on the bench for the South coast club’s trip to Anfield.

Star moment: His penalty at Craven Cottage

Callum Lang

Oldham have got much from Wigan over the years, much to the annoyance of our fans who maintain that we are the only club entitled to call ourselves the Latics! However, this season we’ve managed to secure the services of one of the best forward players to be seen at Boundary Park since Andy Ritchie strutted his stuff.

20-year-old Lang was on loan at Morecambe last season so knows what to expect from League Two. He has contributed nine goals this season with none more important than the winner against Fulham. An extremely likeable character who is always the last to leave the field after applauding the fans. He should have an excellent future in football. If it’s with Oldham for longer than the end of this season, Latics fans would be delighted.

Star moment: The winner at Fulham

The Future is Ginger? Winning Over the Oldham Supporters – Paul Scholes’ Greatest Challenge Yet

With the dust having now settled, after the whirlwind that surrounded the appointment of the new Oldham manager. There will be a very short period of calm for Paul Scholes before he has to face the reality of life at Boundary Park, in front of supporters who believe we should be playing at a much higher level.

He will be well aware of the views of a large section of the support having sat amongst them on numerous occasions and, may well share them of course. However, as he is now the person who is responsible for picking the team and must face the consequences of how they perform, he will no doubt see a side to the club that is hidden from the rest of us.

There are still pockets of resistance among Oldham supporters who would have liked to see someone with experience given the job. We should not be in the business, however, of giving second chances to people who have failed elsewhere. Neither should we be a springboard for those who have aspirations to be managers, but have few contacts in the game and fewer ideas about how a club is run.

I honestly believe that Scholes lies somewhere in the middle of those two options and as such, is ideal for the job. He has been variously described as dour and lacking in charisma, but he is here to win games and steer Oldham back on a course to promotion and not to perform stand up comedy. He was quite right in pointing out that the chance of getting into the playoffs might have eluded us this season, which rubbed a few people up the wrong way but the reality is that we are still six points short of the playoffs and running out of games. However, it will not have escaped the notice of Latics fans that if we win our game in hand, that reduces it to a very achievable three points.

Scholes’ appointment seemed to be ideally slotted in to maximise his chances of getting off to a good start, with a run of three consecutive home games against sides in the bottom four of the table. I’ve seen similar scenario’s go horribly wrong of course, but Scholes overcame the first and arguably most difficult of the three hurdles by beating Yeovil emphatically on his managerial debut.

Scholes arrival didn’t put an extra 1000 on the gate, it was a damp Tuesday night in February after all but there will be very few Latics fans not relishing the next two games.

I have no doubt that there was one particular fan kicking every ball and urging the players on against Yeovil, and that was Peter Wild who was given glowing praise by Abdallah Lemsagam as he returned to his duties with the Academy players. If we do sneak into the playoffs, it is good to see that the club recognises the part he has played this season.

7 Weeks: Oldham Still On The Lookout For A Manager

When Peter Wild was thrust into the limelight after the sacking of Frankie Bunn on Boxing Day, I’m sure he didn’t think that he would be still in charge of the first team seven games later.

That in no way suggests that Wild doesn’t have any ambition, I’m sure he has that in abundance but it was made pretty clear that the appointment was temporary and that a new man would be along soon to take over.

Of course, nobody expected Latics to pick themselves up from the 6-0 deficit at Carlisle, win the next two league games and dump Premier League Fulham out of the FA Cup making the choice of the new manager a little difficult, to say the least.

Bunn had barely left the building before the bookies had made the ‘local boy who done good’ favourite for the job. It was not Peter Wild however but Paul Scholes, one of Oldham’s ‘celebrity’ fans alongside Eric Sykes, Graham Lambert, Nicola Stephenson and several others you’ll never have heard of.

Scholes has been linked to the manager’s job previously, not because he has any valuable managerial experience but simply because of his love for the club and undoubted success at Old Trafford.

Given that appointing managers at Boundary Park with no track record seems to be considered acceptable, one would have thought that Scholes would now be into his sixth week into the job and facing calls for him to be sacked.

However, there appears to be a fly in the ointment in the shape of his involvement with Salford City. Most of what has been written about Scholes involvement with the National League side being a stumbling block to him joining Oldham is conjecture at the very least. However, it has been rightly pointed out that if what is stopping the club naming Scholes as the manager is the issue of his shares in Salford, then his future intentions must be brought into question.

Given that Scholes attended Boundary Park on a regular basis in the past and has not disguised his love of the club, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect him to jump at the chance to get on the managerial ladder and sever his ties with Salford. If we have waited seven weeks just to be told that Scholes won’t be taking the job as he’d rather play at being a club owner with his class of ’92 mates, then we have once again been taken for mugs and another chapter can be added to the volume of embarrassment that Oldham Athletic has become.

It is a long shot to suggest that Oldham can make any impact on the table, given that they are currently 11 points off the playoffs – so appointing a new manager at this stage may seem futile. I’ve been unable to find odds on who might be the next manager and I suspect the bookies like many of the fans, have lost interest as well.

Lowe’s Wise Moves In January Could Be Key To League One Football Next Season

The unusual yet charming bond between Bury and Rangers struck again on deadline day, as Bury saw off ‘two Scottish Premiership clubs’ to sign midfielder Jordan Rossiter on loan until the end of the season.

Deadline day just wouldn’t feel right without a new player coming through the door and Rossiter decided on a move South of the border to end this current season. Having watched the pulsating 3-3 draw with Lincoln City last Saturday, the Rangers man felt he just couldn’t say no at the possibility of a loan move to Bury.

Rossiter grew up and spent his early playing days in the Liverpool academy. The return to the North West will therefore bring Bury’s newest addition closer to home. Rossiter was no slouch in the Anfield set-up and, has played under Brendan Rodgers whilst he was still part of the club before Jurgen Klopp joined in 2015.

Rossiter’s early career has been plagued with injury mostly but will plan to become a permanent fixture on the pitch for Bury rather than the treatment room. Another midfield option seemed rather necessary this window as Bury head onto the home straight.

The 21-year-old will look to become a permanent fixture in the side but will need to shake off a ‘sick note’ tag, which looks to be the only question mark against this signing. Its been frustrating at times for Rossiter having only made 16 appearances for Rangers since his arrival in 2016.

What certainly isn’t frustrating, however, is Bury’s growing force in the transfer market as Ryan Lowe secured his second Rangers signing of the season. The initial addition was Jamie Barjonas who is now back in Scotland following on from his loan stay at Bury.

Rossiter isn’t the only January arrival to the side however. Scott Wharton has also joined the side from Blackburn Rovers this season, he too is on-loan until the season is out and the same age as Rossiter.

Wharton is back in League Two as quickly as he left it,  having started his season at leaders Lincoln making 16 appearances. Lowe’s willingness to add depth to the squad seems appropriate, especially seen as Bury also have The Checkatrade Trophy to fight for between now and May alongside their league form which, all being well, could lead to promotion.

Window Closed: What Are Oldham’s Aims Now After January Window Signings

Shortly before the signings Zak Dearnley and Oladapo Afolayan on transfer deadline day, you could have been mistaken in thinking that the club had decided to give up on the rest of the season given the dark mood on social media. People were generally upset that Sam Surridge hadn’t been replaced following his return to Bournemouth. Well actually we did replace him but after less than two games, however, some have decided that 31-year-old Urko Vera isn’t up to the job.

There is no doubt that a similar fate awaits the two young newcomers unless of course, one or both of them hit the ground running and the side ends its run of two league defeats. The signing of the two promising forwards from Premier League clubs came as a surprise as most of the team appears to be made up of players from Abdallah Lemsagam’s contacts in Europe.

The signing of Dearnley particularly resurrected the idea that Paul Scholes appointment as manager was imminent and given his obvious Man United credentials, he might have been involved in the negotiations. Oldham’s immediate aims might appear to be to get some decent results under their belt but the most pressing problem is off the pitch

Without doubt, the vacant managers’ seat needs to be filled and if reports are to be believed, Scholes needs to sever his links with Salford City and end his TV pundit role with BT Sport before his name can be painted on the office door. This appears to make sense but the story is reported from what is usually an unreliable source.

There are thirteen teams above Oldham with similar promotion desires at present and the club face six of them in the next ten games. Latics inability to beat MK Dons who were on a poor run of form, prompted the talk that the club had lost any momentum they might have had when Peter Wild took over the reins – it is certainly true to say that we aren’t being included in any talk of playoff aspirations.

A decent run of two or three wins leading up to the local derby with Bury on February 23rd would help settle supporters, who feel they have been let down by the apparent lack of transparency shown by the club chairman. However, if the negotiations regarding the appointment of Scholes are to be believed, there is obviously a need for a softly softly approach which may not be finalised till next week.

In the meantime, Athletic need to get back on winning ways and the last minute signings could be the key that has been missing.

Would Oldham Fans Accept A Plan To Rebuild Over 2-3 Years?

There has to be a tipping point in a season when any faint hopes of a promotion bid that may have been harboured are laid aside and plans made for the following season.

Of course, the later that decision is made the better for all concerned. Nobody wants to see all hope abandoned before the Christmas fixtures have been tackled, but when you’ve been a supporter of Oldham Athletic for any length of time, giving up on promotion any time after the end of January is seen as a successful campaign.

At present, Oldham lie 8 points short of the last playoff place and would need for argument’s sake, 75 points to be in 7th place at the end of the season. That represents another twelve wins from our remaining 17 games which is not impossible but at present seems highly improbable. Unless we are about to sign some incredibly gifted players in what remains of the transfer window and, announce a new manager who promises the earth. Then we might as well get used to the idea that our remaining games are going to be used to blood youngsters and give fringe players a chance to put themselves in the window before they are inevitably let go in May.

The days when supporters accepted that a manager had a plan to rebuild a side that might take a season or two are long gone. Six games appear now to be the length of fans patience, and I might well be being charitable.  Given the amount of money that is now associated with the game, any new owner is automatically expected to dip into their wallets and finance the drive towards the league title. Of course, it has worked in certain circumstances but expecting Oldham owner Abdallah Lemsagam to break the bank at a League Two club with little over 4000 supporters is close to expecting the impossible.

However, it is unclear whether Lemsagam’s ambitions match those of the supporters – even the ones who believe we have reached our allotted place in the League Pyramid. According to a statement in August last year, he reiterated that he was at the club for the long haul and that protecting the club from winding up orders etc was his long term goal.

That might not sit well with those who expected us to buy our way out of the division, but history has shown us that clubs who take the path of boom or bust inevitably end up in the type of situation that Bolton Wanderers find themselves in and whilst a short stab at glory is great for morale, it is rare that a club struggling for support beneath the shadows of its illustrious Premier League neighbours can maintain that position for long.

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