Tag Archives: oldham

Wild Should Be Looking to Strengthen in These Two Key Areas After Oldham’s Chaotic Season

If Peter Wild is given the Oldham managers job at the end of the season, and if he wants it of course, he will no doubt be looking to improve the current squad by getting rid of some of the players who haven’t figured this season and strengthening certain areas where we are in need.

Some would argue that there isn’t a great deal wrong with the squad, it is the person in charge of the club who needs attention but like it or not, Latics will once again be starting a season in the bottom tier and several of the players who have served us well this season are not going to be around.

Top of the shopping list has to be a ‘keeper who is as good as or better than Daniel Iverson. That is going to be no mean feat, given that Daniel has had a terrific season and looked at one stage to be challenging for the record of most clean sheets in a season. Getting a ‘keeper in on loan from a club in a higher division seems to be the most likely option but to do that may mean waiting until the 2019/20 season is almost upon us given that club managers leave it late to decide which is their best team.

The other key area is in attack mainly because of the loss of Callum Lang who returns to Wigan at the end of the season. It could be that Wigan, currently courting with relegation from the Championship might see Lang as a player who could do a decent job in League One should they go down. Whatever happens, Lang deserves to play at a higher level and like Iverson, will not be persuaded to sign for Latics given the perilous state of Oldham’s finances.

Once again, Wild may have to look for a season long loan signing or two as I cannot really believe that Chris O’Grady will still be with the club. Finding attacking players who can weigh in with 20+ goals a season has to be the most difficult of tasks but it will have to be addressed if Latics hold any hopes of getting out of League Two.

There are some who would welcome a period of stability after what has been a crazy season and I’m sure Peter Wild would agree with that.

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If Oldham Have Faint Hopes Of Reaching the Play-Offs then They Have to Brush Aside Swindon

There are lots of computations in the top third of League Two and rather than relying on some complicated algorithm, coach Peter Wild will be approaching each of the remaining six games with the calm and assured manner which he has come to be associated with.

He has wisely asked for calm heads among players, staff and fans as Latics approach the game against Swindon looking for their fourth win in a row. It is obvious that the team need to get a win against the Wiltshire club who are currently one place and two points above them in the table.

Earlier in the season, the teams managed a goalless draw which would normally be seen as a decent result for the visitors but neither team will be content to repeat it, especially as it might mean that other clubs can move above them. Now is not the time for half measures however, and only points in the bag will do.

Swindon will be as fully aware of this as Athletic and with one less game to play, their plight can be seen to be more urgent.

The game has been made more interesting by the return of ex-Oldham boss Richie Wellens, who described his exit from Boundary Park to the local newspaper as due to the poor playing surface forcing a change in his preferred playing style. As far as Latics fans were aware, he was sacked for being responsible for us dropping into the league’s basement for the first time in 50 years! Still, who can hold their hands up and say they have never been economical with the truth on their CV!

Both clubs are pretty evenly matched in recent form but, that shouldn’t worry Latics who threw the formbook out of the window when they beat Tranmere two games ago.

If Callum Lang can keep up his goalscoring antics backed up by a strong midfield, determined defence and safe hands in goal then there is no reason why Athletic can’t go into the Easter fixtures in a strong position.

The Boundary Park pitch might not presently be as lush as it should be, therefore at least Richie Wellens will have a ready made excuse if his team leave empty handed.

5 points off PlayOffs, 3 Unbeaten, 1 Game in-Hand, Wild’s Got Things Going Right For Oldham

While most of the country were glued to their TV’s watching the Champions League quarter finals unfold, fans of any of the clubs in the top third of the League Two table will have had their eyes on the two fixtures being played at a much less lofty position.

Bottom placed Macclesfield were engaged in a fight for survival against seventh placed Exeter and, Swindon and Newport were hoping to take advantage of their game in hand to edge them nearer to the play off places.

Latics fans would have been hoping for a draw between Swindon and Newport and an unlikely but not impossible win for Macclesfield. Their wishes came true as a certain Harry Smith scored two vital goals for Macclesfield, which lifts them out of the relegation places and the other teams played out a goalless draw.

The results could not have been better for Latics, Carlisle, Colchester and Stevenage who are all capable of reaching seventh place. The one difference however, is that Latics have a game in hand and could tip Exeter out of the last promotion place if they keep up their current winning form and beat Exeter on the 27th April.

Of course to do this, Latics need to win four or five league games on the trot, something they haven’t managed to do for the best part of 14 years therefore, it might well be made easier if the teams around them continue to drop points.

In the games leading up to Easter, many of the teams surrounding Latics face some tough fixtures and given that injuries, suspensions and fatigue all play a part in late season ambitions, there is still a great chance that Latics could, incredibly as it seems, be in contention for a top seven finish.

Already, our remaining away games that would have been largely ignored at Cheltenham, Exeter and Newport are being targeted by Latics impressive travelling army. It seems incredible that Oldham’s season has been given almost a second chance and if they can overcome Swindon this weekend to make it four wins in a row it will certainly appear that with Peter Wild back in charge things are starting to go right again.

Can Wild Make it Three Wins on The Bounce With This Midfield

Facing a game on Saturday where a win could put Oldham within four points of a playoff place, requires the best players at peak fitness and mental aptitude. Peter Wild knows that his choice for the starting line up at Colchester will be crucial given that Latics are attempting to win three league games in a row for the first time this season.

Key to our possible success is the role played by the midfield players. We have been lucky in being able to watch four players in particular improve as the season progressed. It should not be a difficult choice for Wild to pick the players who have more than earned their places in the last two games but the return of Jose Baxter after suspension could complicate matters.

Wild will probably stick with the winning formula of:

Johan Branger

Not everyone’s first choice but his recent performances have qualified him for a starting place. If Baxter was to be included, Johan would probably find himself on the bench.

Christopher Missilou

An extremely powerful player who had possibly his best game for the club against Tranmere. Hit his only goal of the season against Yeovil in Paul Scholes first game and, if he could add a few goals to his already capable repertoire he would certainly be able to play at a higher level.

Mohammed Maouche

Making up a French threesome in midfield is Maouche who even when not having the best of games shines out like a beacon. His defence splitting pass to Callum Lang for Oldham’s second goal against Tranmere was sheer class.

Gevaro Nepomuceno

Another player who would be sorely missed if he wasn’t in the starting line up. A superb crosser of the ball and a useful player to have who can fill in at full back when needed.

Sub: Jose Baxter

The talented Scouser has struggled with fitness this season but is showing signs of hitting top form. His enforced absence from the side following the sending off at Lincoln, could mean that he is short of match practice. A formidable player to have on the bench however.

Latics Fans are Wild about Peter

There was an inevitability about Peter Wild returning as coach after Paul Scholes turned his back on the club. Peter comes across as Mr Reliable and rather than appoint someone who was unknown, and could have been yet another managerial casualty before the end of April given our madcap season, appointing Wild who was already highly regarded made perfect sense.

His record with the first team is exceptional having recorded six wins in ten games in charge and, there are now many who believe that Wild should have been given a longer period in charge and the whole Paul Scholes shambles could have been avoided.

On Tuesday night against Tranmere, despite the presence of a big turnout of visiting supporters Latics put in their best league performance of the season and ended a sequence of seven straight wins. The entire Latics team put in a superb shift and coupled with the victory against Grimsby three days earlier has incredibly pushed them up to 12th place, seven points behind 6th place Forest Green Rovers and with a game in hand.

It seems impossible to be talking about the play offs again but given that we face games against the teams around us in the next few weeks, we can at least shape our own destiny. Incredibly hope has once more come knocking at the Boundary Park door.

There is little doubt that Oldham fans see this revival as proof that Wild can motivate the players when Scholes couldn’t. To be able to get a side who looked lost and lacking in concentration a few weeks ago, to keep a clean sheet against the league’s top scorer and play them off the park in the process was a formidable task but Latics were up for it.

We should not be under any illusions that we can afford to take any of the remaining games for granted, because even the loss of one point can make an enormous difference in the final table. The six points gained over the last week have temporarily cast aside the shadow of displeasure that exists at the club between owner and fans and, it is worth pointing out that those who still believe that Abdallah Lemsagam is picking the side must concur that he is doing an excellent job. Or it could just be that Peter Wild is.

Eventful March is One To Forget For Oldham Fans

March is always the make or break month for clubs. The surge for promotion needs to be well under way as does the climb to safety. The number of games remaining by April Fools Day is usually down to single figures and, apart from a few rare occurrences clubs are pretty sure where they are going to end up in the table.

Not unsurprisingly given previous league results, Latics started March with a promising first half display at home to Stevenage with a goal from Jose Baxter separating the sides before conceding an equaliser in the dying minutes. Indeed, Stevenage could have left Boundary Park with all three points after striking the crossbar deep into injury time. Letting in late goals continued a trend which had seen Latics slip down the table and it was seen as a problem that Paul Scholes needed to fix fast.

There was no late goal at Cambridge a week later but despite going ahead in the first half courtesy of an own goal, Latics failed to capitalise on their lead and another disappointing point at a club who had spent most of the season trying to get out of the relegation scrap wasn’t the result we were looking for. With a trip to leaders Lincoln facing us three days later, there was a feeling that we had squandered the chance to pick up points against sides we really should have beaten.

Latics were now without a win in five games which was obviously not the introduction to football management that Paul Scholes was expecting.

The Lincoln game started well enough for Athletic but like on many other occasions this season Latics failed to make their advantage pay and the result was inevitable. The sending off of Jose Baxter was also going to have a bearing on forthcoming games, however, that problem was quickly forgotten when Paul Scholes walked out of the club two days later.

Losing the second manager this season, this one after only 31 days just about summed up the farce that this season has become. The fans turned on owner Abdallah Lemsagam due to his alleged interference in team affairs, but any plans they might have had to demonstrate their wrath disappeared under the Boundary Park rain clouds as the next home game against Tranmere was postponed.

Also postponed was the game at Newport due to International call ups which left just one more game in the month, a home game against Grimsby with Peter Wild back in the management hot seat.

Despite the worry that recent off field events might have an influence on the game, Latics scored a goal in each half without reply and the impressive debut of Alex Iacovitti gave some hope for the remaining games. Given recent events at Boundary Park, March wasn’t much different from the rest of the season. It might not be to everyone’s taste but at least Oldham fans can claim that they are fully prepared for anything life in League Two throws at them.

Is Backing Oldham’s Chairman Lemsagam into a Corner the Wisest of Moves?

Hardly a day goes by without a claim and counter claim by fans and owners of Oldham Athletic regarding the current economic situation. Social media is awash with snippets of information from unreliable sources put forward as concrete evidence.

Trying to sift through this jigsaw is a time consuming task and, it is not helped when the local online newspaper claims that Chairman Lemsagam might move Latics away from Boundary Park. This caused a huge amount of discontent last time it was suggested in 2011, but closer inspection of the article shows that the Chairman never mentioned moving. Needless to say, the story will be doing the rounds despite it being untrue.

TheNorthCurve

Retro Football Shirt Cushions

What the article did reveal however, is that the ground the stadium sits on isn’t owned by the club. It is in the possession of two companies Brassbank and Brassband. A quick search shows that Brassbank has two directors Daniel Gazal and Simon Blitz, who were both directors at Oldham but resigned in 2010.  If that doesn’t raise some eyebrows, it certainly should do. A search for Brassband brought up some obvious results, none of which were connected with football!.

A letter has been drafted and sent to Lemsagam from the Supporters Trust detailing the level of discontent expressed at a supporters meeting held on March 23rd. It is a lengthy document detailing the expectations of the fans and listing 13 questions they want answers to. Amongst other things, the Trust demanded from Lemsagam, transparency and openness and offered assistance in this. A clear plan for the future, trust and integrity in order to display that the club is in safe hands and delegation of control and authority… 

We expect the appointed first team manager to have authority over all matters related to team selection and training. We don’t expect interference of any type from the owner

The 13 questions included requests for proof that payments had been made to a coach company, a gas supplier and whether the rent had been paid on the stadium. Also asked for was proof and a breakdown of the £5 million Lemsagam claims he has spent on the club and, how the £400,000 received from TV rights in our FA Cup run has been spent. More proof was called for regarding the club accounts, staff pension contributions and why there is only one director registered at Companies House. Mr Lemsagam is also required to provide a proposed draft budget for next season and attend a meeting with fans no later than 20th April.

The overall tone of the letter is confrontational to say the least as I’m sure the original meeting was. I will be very surprised if Lemsagam decides to throw himself at the mercy of a hostile audience given the level of belligerence that now exists, and I will be even more surprised if he offers to reveal the budget for next season which would benefit rival teams. He may well feel that cutting his losses and running would be preferable to the current antagonism.

Bringing the world of football straight to your door

However, meeting the fans somewhere in between might go a long way in diffusing the situation. If what the Chairman says is true about who owns the land at Boundary Park, questions need to be asked about why those people are still in the picture. Perhaps approaching Gazal and Blitz to ask them what their intentions are will prove more enlightening that finding out whether the gas bill has been paid on time.

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