Tag Archives: Peter Wild

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.

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7 Weeks: Oldham Still On The Lookout For A Manager

When Peter Wild was thrust into the limelight after the sacking of Frankie Bunn on Boxing Day, I’m sure he didn’t think that he would be still in charge of the first team seven games later.

That in no way suggests that Wild doesn’t have any ambition, I’m sure he has that in abundance but it was made pretty clear that the appointment was temporary and that a new man would be along soon to take over.

Of course, nobody expected Latics to pick themselves up from the 6-0 deficit at Carlisle, win the next two league games and dump Premier League Fulham out of the FA Cup making the choice of the new manager a little difficult, to say the least.

Bunn had barely left the building before the bookies had made the ‘local boy who done good’ favourite for the job. It was not Peter Wild however but Paul Scholes, one of Oldham’s ‘celebrity’ fans alongside Eric Sykes, Graham Lambert, Nicola Stephenson and several others you’ll never have heard of.

Scholes has been linked to the manager’s job previously, not because he has any valuable managerial experience but simply because of his love for the club and undoubted success at Old Trafford.

Given that appointing managers at Boundary Park with no track record seems to be considered acceptable, one would have thought that Scholes would now be into his sixth week into the job and facing calls for him to be sacked.

However, there appears to be a fly in the ointment in the shape of his involvement with Salford City. Most of what has been written about Scholes involvement with the National League side being a stumbling block to him joining Oldham is conjecture at the very least. However, it has been rightly pointed out that if what is stopping the club naming Scholes as the manager is the issue of his shares in Salford, then his future intentions must be brought into question.

Given that Scholes attended Boundary Park on a regular basis in the past and has not disguised his love of the club, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect him to jump at the chance to get on the managerial ladder and sever his ties with Salford. If we have waited seven weeks just to be told that Scholes won’t be taking the job as he’d rather play at being a club owner with his class of ’92 mates, then we have once again been taken for mugs and another chapter can be added to the volume of embarrassment that Oldham Athletic has become.

It is a long shot to suggest that Oldham can make any impact on the table, given that they are currently 11 points off the playoffs – so appointing a new manager at this stage may seem futile. I’ve been unable to find odds on who might be the next manager and I suspect the bookies like many of the fans, have lost interest as well.

The Next Month Will Determine Playoffs or Bust For Oldham – Agreed?

A season can hinge on the results of a handful of games and it appears that Oldham are approaching a period of fixtures which will shape whether they finish in the playoffs or in mid-table mediocrity in League Two.

Stability is always a key ingredient in the smooth running of a club, which is something that should have been explained to those currently in charge at Boundary Park. So far this season we have had rumours of unpaid players and the threat of a strike, the sacking of yet another manager and poor results against teams that we really should be getting the better of. Add to that the current circus about who is going to be the next manager, and stability is not the first word you would use in describing Oldham Athletic FC.

Of course, there is the little matter of a possible appearance in the 5th round of the FA Cup to consider. Cash strapped Athletic would love to enjoy the same sort of payout that Lincoln City received from the 16/17 season, which no doubt has helped them build the side currently heading League Two.

For Oldham however, whatever happens against Doncaster this weekend needs to be quickly forgotten in order to address the next few fixtures in League Two. Of the teams we face in the next five games, only Bury can boast to be enjoying significantly better form than us (over the last 4 games) and if ever there was a good time to face MK Dons, it is at present given that they are experiencing a ‘blip’ that has seen them drop to 5th place.

We are currently 7 points adrift of 7th place with a game in hand and it would take a collective loss of form of those above us to sneak us into the playoff positions, especially if we are to continue to drop points against the likes of Macclesfield. A run of two or three wins will solve that, and the immediate solution for owner Abdallah Lemsagam is to decide who he wants to steer the ship.  Uncertainty is no good for the fans and players alike and it is of no use whatsoever to current caretaker manager Peter Wild, who probably doesn’t know on a day to day basis what his role might be when he walks into work each morning.

I cannot believe that the players might have abandoned the idea of reaching the playoffs, there is still too much to play for. The fans, on the other hand, don’t see a great deal of determination displayed on a regular enough basis. Despite that, they still turn out in huge numbers to follow the club around the country and will be 100% behind the side if they show a willingness to get us into the playoffs.

These TWO Players Need To Step Up & Help Oldham In Front of Goal Today Against Sol Campbell’s Macclesfield

Approaching a game which arguably the club needs to win without a recognised strike force is always going to make everyone a little nervous. When the team you are facing are currently fighting for their Football League lives and have enjoyed a small revival in fortune, a shortage of options up front increases the chance of panic stations.

Without Chris O Grady who will be unfit for the fixture and the sporadic form of Jose Baxter, Oldham’s options for the game were possible to move one of the younger players into the first team squad to play alongside Callum Lang.

However, at almost the 11th hour, a rumour that had been circulating about Latics interest in a former La Liga player became reality when he signed for the club till the end of the season. It might seem a little hasty to suggest that he should make an immediate impact but that is often the best way to get yourself on the right side of the fans. The first player therefore who needs to make an impact is:

Urko Vera

I’m not sure how many Spanish forwards who used to play for Athletic Bilbao we’ve had in the past but I’m betting it’s not many. Joking apart, Urko looks just the ticket for this division being a 6′ 2″ centre forward who should revel in the sort of crosses that Gevaro Nepomuceno is capable of whipping into the box.

A true penalty box player who should get plenty of goals if he’s in the right place and definitely the sort of player we have been looking for. He has had a number of clubs with his best spell appearing to be with CD Mirandes in the Spanish third tier. Moss Rose, Macclesfield might not be any sort of equivalent to the San Mames stadium but it will hopefully be where Urko makes his UK debut and it only remains to say Hello Vera!

Johan Branger-Engone

Johan has had limited chances to make his mark on the first team having made only 16 starts this season. One of his two goals was against Macclesfield back in August and he caught the eye with an excellent performance in the FA Cup at Fulham.

Having spent much of the early season games in the first 11 he was not included in the squad or was on the bench in October and November and has since struggled to make the team. It often happens that when a club signs a new player, those who have not made an impact get pushed further down the pecking order and if Johan finds himself included for any part of the game today he must surely put in a performance that catches the eye of Pete Wild or whoever is due to be the next Oldham boss.

In-Depth Look; What’s Oldham’s Main Priority – A Manager, A Defender or a Striker?

There doesn’t appear to be a great deal of activity down at Boundary Park lately and yet common sense would tell you that there is a pressing need to sort out at least two areas requiring attention.

The obvious starting point is the current vacant manager’s position, which has been ably looked after since Boxing Day by stand-in Pete Wild. Some have suggested that the reason there has been little news of a permanent appointment, is that there are very few people interested in it but current betting would suggest that Wild is favourite for the job.

However, owner Abdallah Lemsagam may well be seeing how long Wild’s honeymoon period lasts. It looks increasingly likely that Wild will still be in charge for the 4th round FA Cup tie at Doncaster, but his long term future at the club has either been already decided or Lemsagam has taken the kindest option and allowed Wild another crack at FA Cup glory.

As I’ve said elsewhere, Wild is, without doubt, the cheap option at present and given that Oldham are in need of a decent run of form to keep in sight of the play off places, the introduction of a new manager might interrupt the current decent run of form and incur unnecessary expense.

Many Oldham supporters would be happy for Wild to continue in charge as long as he had a decent sized squad to chose from. The departures of Sam Surridge and Ishmael Miller and the injury to Chris O’Grady have left Wild with very few forward line options for this weekend, and a new striker must now be the club’s main priority.

It is glaringly obvious that having lost top scorer Surridge, Athletic cannot get by with propping up the team using inexperienced youngsters. If we were in mid-table with 10 games remaining and in no danger of relegation I could understand blooding a few youngsters but we have 19 games left in which we could easily get into the playoffs and that has to be worth aiming for.

At the very least, there has to be a couple of players who fancy a crack at glory in the FA Cup 4th round on January 26th. If the carrot and stick approach works why not use it?

Signing a defender might not be seen as a priority by the supporters given that we are enjoying a positive goal difference for the first time in ten years. The form of players like Daniel Iverson in goal and defenders Edmundson, Hunt, Hamer and captain Peter Clarke have been excellent and the only thoughts on signing a defender should be to cover for injuries.

The next few weeks are critical in how this season pans out for the club with games against sides at both the top and bottom of League Two. It is not always wise to leave signings to the last minute in the January window but it looks like that is what might be happening.

Will The Fulham Win End Up Being Oldham’s Highlight of The Season?

Football fans are a fickle lot prone to short term memory, inconsistency and desertion and Oldham supporters certainly don’t buck the trend. Less than 7 days after beating Premier league Fulham, social media was awash with negativity about team selection, inertia in the transfer market and dismay that we were unable to beat Forest Green Rovers. Despite the fact that we kept a clean sheet against the club with the best away record in the league, and had managed to score at least one goal in all their previous away games.

Faced with this level of ‘support’ there is little wonder that previous Oldham teams have struggled with consistency. However, Oldham are currently enjoying a run of four unbeaten games and Saturday’s draw was achieved without top scorer Sam Surridge who has returned to Bournemouth and midfielder Jordan Lyden who has returned to Aston Villa.

New signing Mohamed Sylla had a decent debut in midfield but, one game is hardly enough for the player to slot into the pace of League Two football or the fans to have an opinion of him.

With less than half the season remaining, it is clear that there is a need to replace the players who have left and perhaps add a couple to bolster the squad. A striker has to be top of the shopping list and if there is another Premier League player unable to catch his first-team squad as Surridge was, he would be more than welcome at Boundary Park.

Oldham seems to be stretched in all departments and while I am not suggesting that we should increase the squad at any cost, if we are serious about finishing in the playoff places we cannot do so with such a threadbare first team.

I think we have to accept that Latics are not going to catch any of the top three but sixth or seventh place is definitely achievable. To get there though we need to pick up maximum points against Stevenage and Tranmere on March 2nd and 16th respectively. Given that they currently occupy the two places immediately above us and make sure that we don’t slip up against Cambridge, Yeovil, Morecambe and a resurgent Macclesfield along the way, each of whom have the very real threat of dropping out of league football at the end of the season.

Beating Fulham in the FA Cup was a fantastic achievement but we don’t want that to be our only memory of this season. 75 points were good enough for Lincoln City to get into the playoffs last season but presently that would require an average of two points per game for Latics, and currently, we are just short of that. A late surge usually puts a side in a confident position when entering the playoffs, and if Latics can continue in their current vein which has seen them unbeaten under stand-in manager Pete Wild, maybe the doubters will take a long overdue day off.

Is Pete Wild The Right Man For Oldham On a Permanent Basis?

It is very easy on paper to look back at the win against Fulham and the preceding two league games and automatically hand the managerial job over to Pete Wild.

It would certainly be the cheap option which is one we have chosen in the past. According to some fans, he has more than ticked all the boxes and shown that he can step up from Academy to the first-team level. It is true that Wild’s tactics on Sunday worked extremely well against a club 60 places above us in the league but with the prospect of the nitty gritty that is League Two football to concentrate on, can Wild continue his dream debut in management or is it time to wake up to reality?

Pete Wild is a thoroughly nice chap, according to all the people stepping up to congratulate him and wish him well. A lot of those people, however, have expressed reservations about Wild continuing as manager simply because of the downfalls that have befallen previous incumbents of the job.

He has found himself thrust into the limelight because of the absence of anybody else at the club able to take over first-team affairs, and while it is true that he has had a tremendous start, it is perhaps time for him to quit while he is ahead.

Two of Oldham’s next three games are against sides currently enjoying an excellent run of form. Forest Green Rovers and MK Dons need to be faced with Latics needing points to get themselves in the play-off places. Whoever is in charge will have to pick a side which will be without top scorer Sam Surridge who has returned to Bournemouth. They will have to make do with what was an extremely small squad which at present doesn’t look like being increased.

Despite the hero worship that surrounds Wild at present, failing to pick up points in the next few games are going to erase the Fulham game from people’s memories very quickly, for that is sadly how modern football tends to work. It would be far better for all concerned to acknowledge the job Wild has done, return him to his duties with the Academy and strongly hint that his role with the club will include working with a new manager, in a view to him stepping up the ladder at a future date.

Of course, Wild might well be in the process of negotiating his move into the Boundary Park hot seat despite what people might think. He will have no doubt spent many hours encouraging our younger players to grasp any opportunities that come along just in case they don’t present themselves again.

If he believes that he is up for the job then I wish him the very best of luck because according to some sources he may have competition from Paul Scholes who watched Latics from the same terraces that Wild did. Whoever gets the job, let’s hope it is the start of a bright future for the club.

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