Tag Archives: Oladapo Afolayan

Wild Could Start These Two Squad Players Against Cheltenham

After last Saturday’s draw against Swindon, coach Peter Wild was quick to acknowledge the impact that his three substitutions had on the game. With the 11 on the pitch being unable to change the pace of the game, the introduction of Baxter, Sylla and Afolayan had the desired effect and Latics salvaged a point after going behind in the second half.

For Wild, fielding the same side which had won three in a row was an obvious decision. Even the return of Jose Baxter after suspension didn’t encourage him to change the winning line up. However, with two Easter games within three days approaching, it may well be advisable for Wild to introduce both Sylla and Afolayan into the starting line up.

Oladapo Afolayan

The 21 year old centre forward on loan from West Ham should be relishing life at League Two level but he has had limited opportunities to show what he is capable of. With only 140 minutes of action in four games he has perhaps not been used to his full advantage.

Playing alongside top scorer Callum Lang instead of veteran Chris O’Grady might well be a tactic that will work against 16th place Cheltenham who have an excellent record in their last 8 home games.

Mohamad Sylla

Sylla has also had few opportunities with only four starts but he had an immediate effect on the pitch against Swindon. A strong, direct player he could possibly edge out Maouche who hasn’t been performing as well as he is able. The Latics midfield seems to have been made up of several French players this season with varying degrees of success but with the slim possibility that we might make the playoffs still possible, Wild will not get away with fielding the same players for every game despite our four match unbeaten run.

Realistically, we only need to lose one of our remaining five games to ensure that we can’t reach the top five and fielding squad players might appear to be risky, but given the few opportunities to show their worth, Sylla and Afolayan might well look upon their inclusion to show how much they have to offer.

Managerless Oldham Will Look To Get Back To Winning Ways With Win Over Crawley

With Oldham involved in the FA Cup two weeks ago then having no game last Saturday because of a frozen pitch, the need to get back into the groove of league football is vital this weekend. Happily, the game is away from the frozen North and although there are warnings of high winds, Latics will be hoping to breeze their way to their first league away win since the end of December.

They will be attempting to beat Crawley in only the ninth meeting between the clubs and will be encouraged to know that manager Peter Wild has a fully fit squad to choose from including the two young strikers signed on deadline day, Zak Dearnley and Oladapo Afolayan. For Wild, the uncertainty of whether he will be in charge for the next game rumbles on but there are indications that the managerial appointment farce may be close to an end.

Both teams sit in mid-table and although Latics have a two-point advantage and two games in hand over Gabrielle Cioffi’s side recent poor results by Latics, especially the defeat at Macclesfield need to be put behind them if they are serious about mounting a late surge for the playoffs. It would be wise for several players to put themselves in the frame for future inclusion in the first team given that this may well be Wild’s last game in charge.

The effect a new manager can have on a squad is often a positive one and if it is going to be Paul Scholes we have some young players who will certainly be aware, that one of the countries most successful midfielders with 700+ games at the top level, can only be beneficial to their career should they grasp the chance.

There have had to be some changes in team selection in recent games due to injury, suspensions and on-loan players departing, but we need to regain the form which brought us 6 league points and a win over Premier League Fulham in the FA Cup.

The spotlight will no doubt fall on the club if Scholes steps in to take up the manager’s post and, I doubt whether he will be content to sit out the rest of the season in safe mid-table and plan for a realistic assault on promotion next season. Players like Scholes do not reach the pinnacle of the game by being less than 100% determined in every game they play and given the chance to display that resolve as a manager, there is no reason why Latics can’t put past nightmares behind them and look to a brighter future.

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.