Tag Archives: OAFC

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’.

Banide has three key areas he needs to strengthen for Oldham Athletic to win a surprise promotion in his first season

Laurent Banide was appointed Oldham Athletic manager on Tuesday. The Frenchman has spent the majority of his managerial career in Qatar and never managed in England, so to say it’s a shock, is an understatement of the century.  

The appointment has certainly split opinion with The Latics fan. It’s either going to be a masterstroke or nightmare, with most fans expecting the latter. The Oldham faithful expected their new manager to have EFL experience, who could battle through the club’s current ‘off-field’ problems, and sign loans/frees who he had connections with.

Anyway, good luck Oldham. Maybe you’ve found the League Two Pep Guardiola, it’s a gamble that will probably make or break their season.

I look at three things that Banide must do ahead of the 2019/20 campaign if they want to mount a promotion push…

Start the season well

If a managerial appointment has split opinion, you need to get the doubters on your side early. Otherwise, things can quickly go pear-shaped. Banide needs to win a couple of home games early, show the players are up for the fight and behind the manager.

Aim to make the fans proud to be Oldham Athletic fans, and excited to be at Boundary Park. A few comfortable wins, positive football and connect with the fans – as easy as that Banide, over to you.

Get the fans on side

There was a largely negative reaction to the announcement of his appointment. Banide needs to have a clear plan for the club. Show his ambition and convince the fans he is the man to take Oldham forward.

Loyal fans will stick with their club regardless of division, managers or players because they are supporters. However, the Frenchman needs to have the fans backing ahead of the season to succeed. Any broken relationships with players or fans will surface, and negatively affect performances on the pitch.

Sign a goalscorer

In League Two, if you have a regular goal scorer who can bag 20+ goals, you’ll generally be challenging at the right end of the table come May. A man of Banide’s experience will know scoring goals is key, particularly in leagues that are competitive and provide tight contests.

Callum Lang scored 16 goals for The Latics last season, I wonder if they’ll explore the possibility of him returning on loan, should Wigan be looking for him to gain more experience in the EFL.

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.

Two Immediate Things Banide Must Do For Oldham Athletic Ahead Of Next Season

Laurent Banide was appointed Oldham Athletic manager on Tuesday. Who saw that one coming? Certainly not me. The Frenchman has spent the majority of his managerial career in Qatar, then turns up at Boundary Park – probably one of the strangest appointments in recent years.  

The appointment has certainly split opinion with The Latics fan, it has the feeling of a three-month tenure going terribly wrong, and him walking away. Oldham fans wanted and expected their new manager to have EFL experience, who could battle through the club’s current ‘off-field’ problems, and sign loans/frees who he had connections with.

Anyway, good luck Oldham. Maybe you’ve found the next Jose Mourinho, it’s a gamble that will probably make or break their season.

I look at a couple of things that Banide must do ahead of the 2019/20 campaign…

Get the fans on side

There was a largely negative reaction to the announcement of his appointment. Banide needs to have a clear plan for the club, show his ambition and convince the fans he is the man to take Oldham forward. Loyal fans will stick with their club regardless of division, managers or players because they are supporters. However, the Frenchman needs to have the fans backing ahead of the season – show your working hard, start building a squad and connect with the fans.

Sign a goalscorer

In League Two, if you have a regular goal scorer who can bag 20+ goals, you’ll generally be challenging at the right end of the table come May. A man of Banide’s experience will know scoring goals is key, particularly in leagues that are competitive and provide tight contests. Callum Lang scored 16 goals for The Latics last season, I wonder if they’ll explore the possibility of him returning on loan, should Wigan be looking for him to gain more experience in the EFL.

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.

What can Laurent Banide Bring to Oldham Athletic Next Season

Is it a fresh start or the same old for Oldham Athletic?

Oldham Athletic have announced that the former French Monaco manager Laurent Banide, would be taking charge of the League Two team who only achieved a 14th place finish in the EFL League Two by the end of the 2018/19 season.

Since the departure of Lee Johnson in February of 2015, Oldham Athletic have appointed 10 different managers, including the likes of Stephen Robinson, Frankie Bunn, Pete Wild and even a month-long spell for the Manchester United legend and Oldham Athletic boyhood fan Paul Scholes, in the hopes of brightening the future of the club. If Banide can last a full season with Oldham Athletic, he would be the longest-serving manager at the club since Lee Johnson.

Banide got the spot as coach of Monaco in 2005 after being involved in the coaching staff since 1993, meaning he has accumulated almost 15 years experience of managing at a competitive football level and over 25 years of coaching experience in general. With his most recent ventures taking him to manage at the top level of football in countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

A big contrast to the recently appointed and disappointed Paul Scholes, who had no managerial experience, Oldham Athletic’s chairman Abdallah Lemsagam says, “He brings a lot of experience to this club and I’m looking forward to working alongside him in the 2019/20 campaign”.

Oldham Athletic were relegated to the lowest tier of the English Football League at the end of the 2017/18 season, and with another sub-par season in their new competition, it is evident that a new approach was needed.

Ever since the founding of the beloved Greater Manchester club, Oldham Athletic have never had a manager from outside of the UK and Ireland, Banide is the first.

Oldham Athletic’s new approach shows a degree of determination and professionalism, can Banide’s wealth of managerial experience take Oldham Athletic back to League One and beyond? And short of appointing the likes of Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho, if Banide can’t improve this Oldham squad, then who can?

It will be an interesting 2019/20 season for Banide and Oldham. Can they adopt stability or will Banide join the long list of managers who failed to last a full season with Oldham Athletic?

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

‘Laurent Banide’s Blue & White Army’ ‘This Will Go Badly’ Oldham Athletic Announce New Manager Which Leaves Fans Divided

The news that former Monaco manager Laurent Banide has stepped into the hot seat at Boundary Park has surprised a number of people, probably because he was nowhere in the betting for the job.

The Frenchman has been tempted to Boundary Park by owner Abdallah Lemsagam, despite the post being billed as something of a poisoned chalice in the last few years.

Given Banide’s recent appointments in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait it is not difficult to see where Moroccan Lemsagam has been looking to find the new coach.

When the news broke, people were quick to point out the number of jobs he’s had.

The club was obviously delighted to get their man as the press release stated:

‘Oldham Athletic are delighted to announce that the club have appointed Laurent Banide as Head Coach on a one-year deal.

The 51-year-old has managerial experience abroad which includes stints at AS Monaco, Al Nasr and Al-Orobah FC.

Most recently, Banide was in charge at Umm Salal SC in Qatar, before leaving in 2018.

Laurent Banide enjoyed a playing career at AS Monaco, Marseille and Strasbourg before moving into a coaching role with Monaco in 1993 where he spent 12 years before being made First Team manager.

Banide will officially start his reign in charge on July 1st, 2019 when the players report back for pre-season training.

Chairman Abdallah Lemsagam said; “I’m delighted to welcome Laurent to Oldham Athletic.

“He brings a lot of experience to this club and I’m looking forward to working alongside him the 2019/20 campaign.

“I believe Laurent is a fantastic coach and is the right man to take this club forward going into the new season.”

An official interview with the new Head Coach will be released in due course.

Welcome to the club Laurent!

Banide becomes Oldham’s first foreign coach and has already divided opinion:

It is obvious that Banide will need to win over the supporters pretty quickly, and part of that process will involve bringing players in to bolster what is at present a very threadbare squad. However, until then, the best Oldham fans can hope for is a period of stability at the club. Bien accueillir Laurent!

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.

« Older Entries