Tag Archives: oldham

The 2 Wigan wonderkids who could have a major impact on the club’s season

With Wigan finishing 18th in last season’s Championship, it’s safe to say that the Latics will be hungry for a better League campaign and a higher finish in the table going into 2019/20.

Most teams are looking elsewhere this time of year and trying to sign a few players that can improve their line up. However, Wigan’s manager, Paul Cook suggests that the Latics’ blossoming youth team is something worth shouting about. So who could make a difference in the upcoming season? 

Scott Smith

The teenage midfielder is captain of the under 18’s Wigan side. He has had a quality run with the youth team, but yet to be called up for first team responsibilities. He is making a name for himself within his squad. All it would take is for Cook to take a chance on him and have him on the bench a couple of times, therefore easing him into the first team as a substitute to start off with.

The 18-year-old has also just been named in “The 11” award, which recognises 11 young players with achievements on and off the pitch. The academy manager congratulated the youngster and said, he has “set the standard” for the next group of Under 18’s. 

Callum Lang

The 20-year-old has already been named as a first team player but has not had the chance to show Wigan fans what he is capable of. The striker started his youth at Liverpool, before moving to Wigan and was eventually called up to the first team. Afterwards, he was sent straight out on loan to Morecambe in 2017, where he managed 30 appearances and 10 goals.

When the 2018/19 season approached, he was loaned to Oldham Athletic where he worked wonders. In 42 appearances he managed 13 goals. He should be given the chance to see if he can prove himself for Wigan’s first team, especially if no one puts an offer in for him over the summer. 

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’.

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.

Here’s Two Reason’s Why Oldham Athletic Fan’s Should Be Excited By The Thierry Henry Backed Binade

The Latics have been without a manager since Paul Scholes left back in March but they may have found their answer in Laurent Banide. 

Oldham fans found out yesterday that the Frenchman has signed a one year deal with the club, following Pete Wild’s temporary stint and this could be exciting if the 51-year-old can work his magic. Thierry Henry has previously backed Banide stating that he was one of the most influential coaches in his playing career. This has got to be promising for Oldham and their fans.

Henry’s backing aside, what else can he bring to the club? 

Experience 

Laurent has spent the last decade managing various clubs in the Middle East. Just a few include Monaco, Al-Nast, Al-Dhafra and Al Orobah. It’s not just managing that he’s been a part of, he’s also been a big part of a lot of clubs coaching staff and with him playing such a big part, he’s now been managing since 1990.

The long list of clubs year after year may be a worry that he hasn’t been able to stay at a club for a long period of time, although if he does well in this deal, he could be tempted to stay with Oldham. 

Chairman’s Backing 

Once the deal was done, Oldham chairman, Abdallah Lemsagam said he was delighted to welcome the Frenchman and, that he was looking forward to working with him in the 2019/20 campaign. He believes he has chosen the right man to take his club forward, and if he can deliver this would mean more money to invest in players and transfers, better results and hopefully climbing the league. 

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.

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!

Stick or Twist: Should Jim Gannon Twist With The Oldham Athletic Job or Stick With Stockport County Following Promotion

Another rumour on the managerial merry-go-round is that Stockport County boss Jim Gannon could be off to Oldham Athletic.

The Vanarama National League North manager of the year, took Stockport to the National League North league title last season and presumably will manage them in the National League next season.

Gannon is in his third spell as manager at Stockport, after being made a member of the clubs hall of fame, having also played at the club for roughly 10 years making over 350 appearances.

In the eyes of many, Gannon has done a great job taking Stockport into the Vanarama National League, despite this Stockport are a semi-pro team with part-time players, so you could see the attraction of the move to Oldham. However, is the attraction of moving up one division strong enough to part Gannon with his beloved Stockport? I personally don’t think so.

The last time Gannon left the club at his own devices, was the chance to go to Scottish Premier League side Motherwell, who at the time was playing in the Europa League, Oldham are just nowhere near that level.

Gannon has really got a project going down at Stockport County, having got them promoted out of the Vanarama National League North, a division they had been stuck in since the 2013-14 season. Following the promotion, you have to think, a club the size and calibre of Stockport County will attract the right kind of players and will flourish in the National League.

Therefore leaving very little reasoning for Gannon to move to lower midtable Oldham in League Two, as give it a couple of seasons and Stockport could be in a similar position themselves – should they succeed in a very tough National League division.

Are Oldham Athletic Looking To The Continent For Their Next Coach

A decision on who might be installed in the managerial hot seat for the coming season took a new twist recently, with reports that owner Abdallah Lemsagam might be looking at candidates outside of the UK.

Three of the names mentioned are:

Pablo Correa

It is no secret that AL has contacts in Europe but whether they extend to being close to former Auxerre manager Pablo Correa remains to be seen. Correa was in the frame for the Latics post at the same time as Paul Scholes but it is unknown if he was interviewed at the time.

The 52-year-old Uruguayan is a former forward who spent most of his playing career in his home country, before moving to France where he managed 2nd tier teams Nancy and Auxerre before finding himself out of work in March this year. He is not currently favourite for the post but he does have the managerial experience that many Latics fans believe is vital.

Andries Jonker

The former Wolfsburg coach is high on the list of current favourites. He is currently without a post and, has a great deal of experience having been an assistant manager at Barcelona and Bayern Munich and head of the soccer school at Arsenal.

The 56-year-old Dutchman would represent something of a coup for Athletic if he did arrive here, however, there has been no indication that he has shown an interest or been approached.

Paco Herrera

The current favourite for the job is Spaniard Paco Herrera who has held a number of posts in Spanish football and, was also ‘Chief Analyst’ with Rafael Benitez at Liverpool.

He hasn’t lasted more than half a season at any of his last three posts at Sporting Gijon and Las Palmas in Spain and Aris Salonika in Greece, so why he is favourite to arrive at Boundary Park is something of a mystery.

There was no surprise surrounding the appointment of Paul Scholes as it was football’s worst kept secret, but it looks like speculation as to who will step into the Oldham hot seat may remain up in the air for the time being despite the calls for an appointment to be made soon.

Two Reason’s Why Oldham Athletic Should Go All Out For Shrewsbury Town’s Sam Jones

The EFL Hub on Twitter has revealed that Oldham Athletic are to look at Shrewsbury midfielder, Sam Jones.

The 27-year-old only signed for Shrewsbury Town last season but was only given the chance to play for the club five times. This would suggest that not only are Oldham looking for new signings but, maybe the Welsh international also wants to sign for a club who will actually be able to give him starts. Jones has been around in terms of clubs, he’s played for; Heanor, Alfreton Town, Gateshead and Grimsby before signing for Shrewsbury last year, and he’s managed to bag double-figure goals in most seasons. That’s impressive for a midfielder but since 2014, Jones has been at a different club every season.

So why should Oldham make it their mission to sign him?

Midfielder and Striker For The Price Of One

Jones has got a really impressive goal record behind him. He managed 16 goals for Heanor Town in the one season he was there, 13 goals for Alfreton Town over the 15/16 season, 9 goals for Gateshead when he was there from 2016 to 2017 and another 13 for Grimsby Town in his appearances for the club in 2017/18.

The 27-year-old then moved to Shrewsbury in the same season, managed one goal out of the five appearances he made and even went on to score two more in the 12 appearances he had for Cheltenham. Oldham would have a goal scorer and a strong attacking midfielder all in one man, double-figure goals in nearly every season he’s played as a midfielder sounds really positive.

Being Wanted

As the stats show, Jones isn’t a stranger to moving around. He hasn’t managed a solid stay at a club in years. Since 2014, he’s represented a different team every year. Oldham Athletic could offer the midfielder a lot more starts and the chance to show off his ability.

If the transfer does go ahead then maybe Jones might be looked at internationally again also. He played for Wales Under 19’s but as he approaches 28, he could aim to get some first team caps too.

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