Tag Archives: league two

POLL: Who will finish higher in League Two… Oldham Athletic or Salford City?

Before League Two starts again, both Oldham Athletic and Salford City will be looking to gain promotion this season.

With both teams having a challenging season ahead, it’s time to decide who will have the more successful League Two campaign. One side are newly promoted and looking for another promotion after last season’s playoff win in the National League. The other side finished 14th last season after another turbulent campaign under three different managers.

With fixtures being released, new signings in mind and pre-season friendly’s to come, who will have a better 2019/20 campaign?

Salford City

Newly promoted last season and they’re already causing a fuss with other teams by being one of the most highly anticipated teams of the season. They’ve been picked to go on Sky for their opening game and the Class Of 92 want them to have a successful season. Can they?

Oldham Athletic

With a new man in charge starting next week alongside starting their transfer campaign by signing defender Zac Mills. Oldham are on the hunt to finish higher this season.

Latics have also picked out Salford as one of their key dates. If they can get on top of their team and style of play before the start of the season, can they manage a higher league finish?

Who will finish higher in League 2

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Plymouth Argyle looking to cherry pick Bury’s best players

Ryan Lowe is set to raid former club Bury for a number of players to join Plymouth. After a number of off-field problems, Lowe opted to switch Gigg Lane for Home Park, now he’s hoping his former players will follow suit.

It’s reported that Plymouth will target the attacking trio of Danny Mayor, Jay O’Shea and Nicky Maynard who combined to help Bury achieve promotion from League Two last season. The manager clearly knows how to get the best out of the players, why change something that isn’t broken?

Sign all three and do what they did last season, bobs your uncle, promotion sorted. If only life was that easy.

O’Shea, 30, played an integral role for The Shakers last campaign, scoring an impressing 16 goals in 50 appearances. Striker Maynard managed 21 goals, which ultimately proved the difference between Bury being promoted and finishing in the playoffs. The situation surrounding Mayor is different, as his contract expires at the end of the month.

Bury fans will probably be frustrated that Lowe is looking to return to Gigg Lane for signings, however, he’s Plymouth manager now. Forget the past, he has a new challenge and job. If he got the best out of players that resulted in promotion, it’s common sense to want to work with them again.

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.

Salford City needs to stay focused this year amidst early signs of what’s to come

Recently promoted Salford City will be fighting to go higher than League Two next season. 

The Class Of 92’s team managed to get to the play off’s last season and move from the National League to League 2. They’ll have a tough 18/19 season playing a new set of teams and going into a level of football that will have them in the spotlight, on TV and playing in competitions that the club has never been in before. 

Manager Graham Alexander will have to put his priorities right with the team. He’s managed teams in higher leagues than the National League before, so he’s got experience and hopefully, he will do well inspiring the club but what should they focus on? 

Focus on the League

This season will see Salford compete in the Carabao cup and the EFL Trophy which will be exciting for the team, staff and fans. However, the team found their spark last year and got promoted off their style of play, goals and hard work.

The team should give the competition’s their best efforts, definitely, I just think they should put all their efforts into the league, try and remain in the division and then maybe the next season give the cup games more attention. 

Television & Fans Of Other Teams

If you look at all the posts on social media that Sky and Salford have been posting about cup ties, fixtures and news ahead of this new season. Tonnes of fans have jumped on the fact that Salford has already been picked to go on TV. Their first game of the season against Stevenage has been picked, and now their cup tie with Leeds is expected to be an interest of Sky TV.

The first thing I think Salford need to do is not let the pressure of televised games get to them, and the second thing is to ignore the hate and abuse from other teams. A lot of fans are saying that because of the money and ex-Manchester United players behind the team, that’s the reason Sky are “favouriting” them over other teams.

It may be true but the players don’t deserve the abuse. Adam Rooney even picked up on this in an interview and basically said that “anyone who doesn’t support Man United doesn’t like Salford because of their owners” he also went on to add, “we’ve had tonnes of abuse off people this year but if people want you to fail, all you can do is succeed and move on and hopefully rub it in their face.”

Oldham Athletic fans react to the Carabao Cup ‘We might as well have fun on our journey to the National League, lighten up’

The Carabao Cup Round One draw has been released, and here is was Twitter has to say about it.

Oldham Atheltic has drawn Blackburn Rovers away in the first round of the Carabao Cup, taking place on August 12th 2019.

It seems as though Oldham fans aren’t filled with confidence about the draw, whilst Blackburn Rovers fans seem complacent by presuming the tie will be easy for them.

There seems to be a big difference in the confidence of the fans.

If Banide’s Latics can pull off a fantastic performance against Championship side Blackburn Rovers it could signify a new era Oldham Athletic, and if they lose the tie, it seems as though nobody would be shocked.

Oldham Athletic fans not feeling very optimistic ahead of the new season ‘Macclesfield and Salford as key fixtures, I feel sick’ ‘That’s a tough start’

Laurent Banide’s side have revealed their fixtures to fans this morning and how has it gone down?

The Latics finished 14th last season in League Two. They start their 2019/20 campaign facing Forest Green away on the 3rd of August, Crewe at home on the 10th and Bradford away on the 17th.

Oldham’s Twitter account posted their fixtures in a unique way, they put out their opening five fixtures in one post. Their ‘festive fixtures’ in another and then what they predict to be their, ‘Key Fixtures’ to be before posting a full rundown of the season to come.

According to them, Macclesfield, Salford and Bradford are dates for the fans diaries but some have disagreed…

‘Yes!! Come on The Ammies!!! Live on Sky Sports!’ ‘On Sky straight away… what a surprise’ Salford City already causing a stir before the seasons started

Fixture day has arrived and Salford’s first games in League Two are here. 

After The Ammies managed promotion last season, the fans have been waiting on their fixture list to weigh up how they think their team will progress.

As Salford’s official Twitter page revealed their opening games this morning, I expected fans to be giving opinions and talking more in general about their upcoming season, however, it’s been more a case of ‘who’s on TV.’

Salford will face:

Stevenage FC at home to kick off their league two campaign on the 3rd of August.

Crawley away on the 10th of August.

Port Vale at home on the 17th of August.

Sky has revealed how the Stevenage game will be aired on the opening week but that seems to be the talking point for all fans today. With Salford being the newly promoted team, you do expect them to be a hot topic. Although a lot of fans are suggesting that because of the Class Of 92’s money, input and influence on the what happens with the team, this is why they are getting televised matches when other teams should get a look in.

There are some who have given more of an opinion on the fixtures themselves, and some even having a dig at Paul Scholes’ recent betting scandal. Television aside, what’s your opinions on the opening fixtures?

Banide will be hoping Curacao international can flourish

Who can new manager Laurent Banide look to in his current squad to ensure a better season for Oldham than the last?

With a new manager and assistant coach in Laurent Banide and Bouziane Benaraibi. Oldham have an experienced duo at the helm of the team who have previously worked together at Umm Salal.

The French coaches will be looking to vastly improve the performances and potentially push for promotion, as many would argue that Oldham is a team who belong in the EFL League One. Most definitely not in the fourteenth position of the EFL League Two.

Gevaro Nepomuceno is a 26-year-old winger who joined the Latics in September 2017 and recently signed an extension which will take him to May of 2020. This gives him this season to prove to Banide that he should be a part of his plans.

Gevaro has already participated in 78 games for Oldham since his arrival, scoring 7 goals and assisting 13, during two very unimpressive seasons for his new English side. However, under new management, this international and very experienced player could flourish.

He is also very versatile, having played on either wing, attacking midfield and even left back throughout his career. He will be essential to the maintenance and progression of the League Two side.

If Banide furthers Gevaro’s contract at the end of the season, it will be because he sees him as part of Oldham Athletic’s future.

Ex Bolton Wanderers player should have a huge impact On Salford City’s debut EFL season

With Salford promoted to League 2 last season, who will make a big impact for the team?

For Salford City, this is breaking new ground in the clubs history and one that the fans will soak up every last second of throughout the course of the season. 

Many players impressed last campaign as the Ammies gained promotion through the playoffs, with a win over AFC Fylde. However, a different level of football awaits.

Which player could make the biggest impact in League 2… 

Tom Walker

Personally, I think Salford have got a great team collectively and have done the right thing in getting rid of players they didn’t think were beneficial. The team members that they have kept in a contract are all great, but I’ve picked out Tom Walker as someone I think people should keep an eye on next season. 

The 23-year-old midfielder started his youth career at Bolton Wanderers and in 2015 he signed for the first team. However, between 2015 and 2017 he only appeared 18 times, although he did bag one goal. In 2016, he was loaned to Bury and made 11 appearances and then went on to Stockport. He made 5 appearances before moving to United FC of Manchester, and in 2018 their fans were gutted when Salford signed him. Walker has since made 57 appearances and scored 11 goals for the class of 92’s team. 

As well as his impressive form, another reason why I think Walker will have an impressive season is that his ex-teammate, Oscar Threlkeld has just signed for them too. This would give Salford a strong defensive midfield duo but Walker has also proven himself as a goal scorer too. 

It would be disappointing to see ownership run Bury’s legacy into the ground

Bury have been given more time to find a buyer to save their historic club.

Owner Steve Dale, who bought the club last December from Stewart Day, has unsuccessfully paid players and staff for the past few months, despite their fantastic efforts to be promoted to the EFL League One after finishing second in the 2018/19 EFL League Two.

Bury are suffering from debt in the region of £4.5million, and are seeking a potential buyer. Of which there are currently “at least two live considerations to buy the club with both interested parties having signed NDAs [non-disclosure agreements] as part of this commitment to progress”.

It is amazing to see Bury managing to perform and get promoted under the circumstances of the club, and if they can rid the weight of debt and an insecure future, it could allow the club to progress and blossom. However, if Bury resort to selling off a large number of players, it could be an incredibly embarrassing season in League One for Bury.

Being one of England’s most historic football clubs, it would be disappointing to see ownership run its legacy into the ground. Hopefully, the Greater Manchester side can find suitable ownership which can allow them to remain in League One next season and build from there.

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