Tag Archives: paul scholes

Three Players That Ole Will Hope To Light Up Old Trafford Tonight

Man United face the mighty Barcelona in the Red Devils first quarter-final since 2014, when they were dumped out by Bayern Munich under David Moyes and only the second since 2011.

United haven’t fared well in the Champions League, after a purple patch of reaching the final three times in four years. Coincidentally losing two of those finals against tonight’s opponents Barcelona. At that time the Catalan outfit were THE team in Europe under Pep Guardiola, as they changed the footballing landscape with their brand of tiki-taka style.

Barca added to their Champions League tally last in 2015, beating Juventus 3-1 in the final.

The Red Devils have only beaten Barcelona once in the Champions League era, in that memorable Paul Scholes 1-0 win back in 2008. Barca have won three times, with the teams drawing on four occasions including back-to-back 3-3 draws.

If United are to get themselves a leg up to take to the Camp Nou, we’ve identified three players that need to be on their game tonight…

Paul Pogba

The Frenchman’s performances have tailed off lately and after an impressive start under Ole. However, Pogba is more than capable of changing the momentum of the game.

He can go missing in the big games, but tonight Solskjaer will be hoping for Pogba to bring his A-game and control, what will be a fascination midfield battle.

Chris Smalling

Smalling seems to be one of Ole’s first choices in the defence. Smalling can make United fans nervous at times, and often looks like bambi on ice. However, when he wants to, he can defend with the best of them but it’s that inconsistency within games that United fans can’t put there full faith and confidence in the English defender.

Anthony Martial

The Frenchman can light up the stands at times. His goalscoring form has certainly taken an upward trajectory this season, there was point in the season he was simply undroppable.

Unfortunately, injury derailed this and he’s struggled to re-find his groove. Martial can get Old Trafford up on their feet, and set the tone for the evening.


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.

Trying to Make Light of The Oldham ‘He Said, They Said’ Situation

A friend of mine used to be a secondary school teacher. He often had to mediate in arguments between pupils when he knew that neither side could be believed, and the outcome was always going to be an uneasy truce which wouldn’t last long. He would have probably thrown in the towel pretty quickly had he been brought in to arbitrate in the current row between Oldham supporters, newly departed manager Paul Scholes and Chairman Abdallah Lemsagam.

There has been a good deal of animosity aimed at the chairman since he arrived, mainly because of the number of employees who have departed the club due allegedly to his interference in team affairs. One of those who is no longer with us Craig Davies, felt the need to go public about it. Hell hath no fury however, and Davies who was part of the side relegated last season possibly thought that he deserved to stay at the club even though he was pretty unpopular with the fans.

It is certainly true to say that Lemsagam has been guilty of clearing out an awful lot of staff, which left the club without an assistant manager to take over when Frank Bunn was sacked given that Andy Rhodes had already been shown the door. That list includes manager Richie Wellens, players Anthony Gerrard and Jack Byrne, Chief Executive Mark Moisley, Head of Media Luke Ingram and Academy Manager Tony Philliskirk.

The Original Retro Football Shirt Cushions Store

The arrival and swift departure of Paul Scholes has also been surrounded by rumours which are difficult to prove. Key to the growing opposition to Lemsagam was a story in the Mail, which claimed that Scholes left because of several incidents involving a missing team bus for the trip to Bury and creditors who ‘ripped out a gas supply’. Anyone curious enough to question those claims will have realised that they have been completely fabricated and the club were quick to deny them.

If fans are going to digest news from a source which has been banned by Wikipedia for being unreliable, then we are going to get nowhere fast.

The supporters trust has worked hard and made encouraging noises about bringing both sides together and ultimately this is the only way forward. In his defence, Lemsagam held a meeting last week in which he produced evidence of the purchase of a new boiler (as if he needed to) and a letter from the coach company stating that they provided the coach.

He also claimed that he had no idea why Scholes left and had given him full autonomy regarding team affairs. There was also a denial that he had offered players contracts for next season without consulting the manager and various other denials.

I truly believe that Scholes left because in the closeted world he lived in prior to arriving through the main door at Boundary Park, nothing ever prepared him for life as a League Two manager and he realised he was way out of his depth.

What needs to be done now is to bring all parties together to seek a solution. Demonstrations, disruption and the absence of dialogue will only serve to make the situation worse. We may not be in the best position we desire but we still have a club in the football league and everyone should work towards making sure we remain there.

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Peter Wild Again Steps Into An Uncertain Future At Boundary Park

It makes perfect sense to invite Peter Wild to take over as coach till the end of the season. His previous spell included the victory over Fulham and a couple of league victories, that had us temporarily believing that ‘one of our own’ was going to lead us to the playoffs.

Bringing in a new face now serves no purpose if the problems at the club aren’t ironed out soon. There needs to be a period of transparency because at present what passes for concrete information is based on rumour and conjecture. Also, anyone who doesn’t manage to secure nine straight victories, will be hounded out by those fans who don’t actually care who picks the team as long as they win every game.

The main bone of contention at present is that owner Abdallah Lemsagam is interfering in team selection and, has offered certain players extensions to their contracts for next season. If this is true (and the original story was from a dubious source) then it is obviously going to affect the appointment of a new manager.

That same story mentioned a missing team bus and a gas supply ‘ripped out by creditors’. This has been denied by the club but still, the rumours persist.

Peter Wild’s reintroduction to the hot seat has prompted some fans to suggest that he is merely the puppet of Lemsagam, and whatever side is put out will have nothing to do with Wild’s choice and everything to do with the Chairman’s wishes.

Should Wild work some magic into the side however, the doom merchants may have to change their current ideas. It is quickly becoming overlooked that Paul Scholes departure was very swift indeed. His apparent lack of desire to carry on cannot have been arrived at, after lengthy wrestling with his conscience because 31 days in a job doesn’t give you a full idea of what the job entails – whether you’re managing a football team or cleaning windows.

There are certain players at Boundary Park who have done very little to be awarded a place in the first team, however they continue to be picked. Many supporters feel that they know better than the manager where team selection is concerned (that is human nature and it will never change). Furthermore, if those players are in the side because the Chairman has insisted they are, then, Athletic are heading for a situation matching those at Blackpool and Leyton Orient and I doubt whether the fans have the stomach for such a battle after years of decline.

With a free weekend due to International call ups, the Supporters Trust has called a meeting on Saturday to try and gauge the mood of the fans. There may be only nine games remaining till the end of the season but, the plot for this mad season may take another unexpected twist yet again.

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