Tag Archives: Sports

Oldham fans react to another managerial appointment’Good Luck Dino. Don’t bother buying a house up here I’d just rent if I were you’

Frenchman Laurent Banide was sacked as manager of Oldham Athletic yesterday, then replaced by Dino Maamria, less than 20 minutes later. Does that have to be some sort of record?

The Latics sit 21st in League Two and are winless in five games. Maamria will take charge of tomorrow’s fixture against Morecambe, played at Boundary Park. The Shrimps have lost five of their last six league matches, therefore Maamria has a perfect opportunity to start his reign with three points tomorrow.

Let’s have a look at how Latics’ fans reacted to the dramatic half-hour yesterday…

How can Dino Maamria get Oldham Athletic motoring again in League 2

Oldham Athletic appointed Dino Maamria as their new manager yesterday, just 20 minutes after sacking Laurent Banide. The Latics sit perilously close to the foot of the table and need a couple of results to kick-start their season.

The Latics have drawn their last three league games 2-2 against Plymouth Argyle, Grimsby Town and Scunthorpe United, so you could argue Banide has been a little unlucky in recent weeks. If Oldham had held on in a couple of those games, they’d be halfway up the league and the Frenchman would probably have kept his job. That’s football for you.

However, without sounding harsh, I don’t think Banide was ever going to work. To come to your first English club, with no money and an average squad, was always going to prevent its difficulties. One thing that Maamria recognised in his press conference, was that Oldham is a historic club that he is honoured to work for, that’s important.

Oldham have a strong, loyal fanbase. New managers need to connect with fans on a personal level and make them proud to be Oldham supporters. The fans will turn up in decent numbers on Saturday vs Morecambe, hoping for a result to kick off the fresh start. One big win and good performance will get the fans on side, so it’s imperative they start well.

Oldham have a squad that is capable of finishing mid-table in League Two. They’ve been scoring goals this season, just conceding them too, which is a problem Maamria will address immediately. He’ll be looking to make Boundary Park a fortress, get his side well organised to stop conceding goals, and building a side that Oldham fans will enjoy watching.

Will Wigan Athletic regret letting this versatile midfielder go?

Wigan Athletic sold Leandro Da Silva Lopez to Hull City in the summer, for a minimal fee. Is it a transfer that Wigan will regret in years to come?

Lopez arrived with a big reputation from Peterborough, who are known for selling on quality, young players to Championship clubs. The Portuguese youngster rarely featured, however when he did play, I was impressed, considering his age and lack of Championship football experience.

I liked his versatility and attitude. He can play across the midfield, at right-back or as a wing-back. Although he’s not the most physical, his pace is a great attribute and he’s exciting on the ball. When playing against Burnley in pre-season, I thought he done very well defending against Dwight McNeil, then he was sold a couple of weeks later.

Whether Lopez requested it, in order to find first-team football I don’t know, but I think we’ve let a decent player slip for a nominal fee.

Obviously it’s too early to say we’ve let a good player go, but from what we’ve seen at Wigan so far this season, I doubt he’d of done any worse. A young player that had a great attitude on the pitch, and deserved a run of games in the first-team, in my opinion.

I would’ve preferred to see Lopez leave on loan for a year, learn his craft and gain experience, then come back next season and try to break into the team. I just don’t understand signing a highly-rated youngster, never giving him a go, then selling him for half the price a year later. Oh well, let’s hope he doesn’t go onto be the next big thing, I’ll come back to this article if so.

Two things Shrewsbury fans can expect from Wigan Athletic’s youngster

Shrewsbury Town fans got their first viewing of Callum Lang last weekend, as they drew 1-1 away at AFC Wimbledon.

Many Wigan Athletic fans wanted and expected this to be the breakthrough season for Lang, he featured a lot during pre-season under Paul Cook and done well.

I’m pleased he went out on loan. He’s got the potential to be a very good striker, but he’s not ready for Championship football just yet. He needs experience and to add physicality to his game, at present Lang would get bullied by some championship defenders due to his slightness.

However, Shrewsbury fans can look forward to a striker that will score goals if given chances. Lang scored 13 on loan at Oldham Athletic last season. He was arguably their best player while hitting double figures the season before at Morecambe. A natural goal scorer that is lethal in the box.

Another great attribute that Lang possesses is pace. Especially around the box, he’s brilliant at finding space and making runs in front of defenders, just a very clever striker that knows how to score goals.

Shrewsbury is a good fit for Lang. A club that will be pushing for top six, hopefully, create him plenty of chances, he can score double figures and come back ready to give it another crack at Wigan.

We have to be careful, how long will he stay happy going out on loan every season. At some point, he’s going to ask for a first-team chance or a move away, it’s not like we’re banging the goals in ourselves at the moment. Lang will be a good striker in a few years, he’s got the natural ability and just knows where the net is, that’ll take you far in today’s game.

Two key games for Wigan Athletic to claim their first away win of the season

Wigan Athletic have won one of their last 25 away games, in the league. An incredible stat that not many managers would survive. I’d like to know how many of them we’ve led 1-0 in, a lot, but we can’t hold water let alone hang onto three points.

On Saturday against Hull City was a huge opportunity missed. The Tigers were winless in five and gifted us an early lead. However, a poor piece of defending and a screamer from Kamil Grosicki saw us go into the break trailing 1-2. Joe Gelhard rescued us a late point with a stunning goal, perhaps saving Paul Cook his job too.

So, a look ahead to our upcoming away games…

I wouldn’t be surprised at Wigan beating anyone in this league, home or away. Everyone beats each other, and yes some teams are better than others, but there’s not a lot of difference in quality from the top to bottom. It’s not like we’re playing Manchester City or Liverpool away from home.

Our next away game is Fulham – write off. In all seriousness, I fancy them to win the league so that’ll be very difficult. Followed by Sheffield Wednesday, another very tough place to go that we’ve got a terrible record at.

Then a trip to Pride Park to face Derby County – tin hat on, that’s winnable. The Rams have started the season poorly, and Phillip Cocu could be under pressure going into that game, if their form doesn’t improve between now and then.

A trip to Ashton Gate in late October will be a stern test for us, another very good footballing side that’ll fancy their chances of beating us. Then Stoke City rooted to the foot of the table and we actually beat them 3-0 at The Bet365 Stadium last season, god they must be bad.

Man United should get rid of these 2 flops in January

Man United are still a lot of signings away from challenging for the Premier League title again, they’ll do well to reach the top four this season. However, it’s important they sell the right players, as well as sign them.

United still have a lot of deadwood, that simply isn’t good enough. Without squad depth, you won’t challenge for Premier League titles. I understand their main priority is to significantly improve their starting 11. However, at some point, they’ll have to sign quality squad players too, if they want to challenge in Europe and for the league title.

Check out the first episode of our Builders Bucket Challenge

So, there’s a number of players I could’ve gone with, here’s the two I think should leave United in the next transfer window…

Fred

Their must be a player in their somewhere, Man City tried to sign him and he cost a fee of £50 million. I’ve seen glimpses to suggest why they signed him, but not a consistent basis.

Now Scott McTominay has nailed down the holding role, Fred is the third choice behind Nemanja Matic. Cut your losses, sell him for a few million and strengthen elsewhere. It’s pointless having a £50 million player sitting on the bench for year upon year, his value will keep decreasing.

Phil Jones

He’s had chances and time at United to prove himself, and he’s not at that top standard. Albeit I think people exaggerate how poor he is, Jones would fit in a mid-table side very well, he’s never going to be Man United task.

Times change, but I associate United have defenders like Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, even Harry Maguire is leagues above Jones. Chris Smalling has left on loan and I’d be surprised if he ever played for United again. Jones should be sold and he can resurrect his career elsewhere.

Jamal Lowe’s opening stint at Wigan Athletic could have been better, agreed?

Jamal Lowe signed for Wigan Athletic this summer, a transfer that dragged on for a while due to his former club, Portsmouth, standing firm on their valuation. So, has he been worth the time and money?

It’s difficult to fully judge him yet, as he’s only started a handful of games, but I like what I see.

Lowe is a player that possesses raw pace, an eye for goal, confidence to pick the ball up and run at defenders. I like his endeavour and that he’s willing to be that X player that every team needs, constantly on the move and wanting the ball. A slight negative would be his final ball could do with some improvement, however his 17 goals last season suggests it’s a matter of time before he starts scoring.

In my opinion, it’s a criticism of Paul Cook as to why we’ve not seen the best of Lowe so far this season. We need to play football on the floor. Our biggest assets are our wingers, we’re not using them to full effect. In the past few games, we’ve reverted to lumping the ball forward to an isolated Kieffer Moore, hoping for a miracle. That won’t work in the Championship.

A change of formation for Wigan?

Our two full-backs are quick, positive players that are probably better at attacking than defending. Joe Williams and Sam Morsy can both pass a ball, Michael Jacobs and Jamal Lowe are creative wingers and we have a 6ft5 striker that wins a majority of headers. Play through the lines, double up out wide, get quality into the box, it’s not rocket science.

The way we’ve been playing, we’ve bypassed midfield and starved players like Jacobs and Lowe of the ball, which is why they aren’t having a big impact on games. That needs to change, or we’ll struggle this season.

Making these 2 changes will see Salford City ease past Grimsby Town

Salford City fell to a disappointing home defeat to Cheltenham on Saturday, to leave The Ammies winless in seven league games.

It’s a worrying time for manager Graham Alexander, who will be hoping his side can bounce back to form against Grimsby Town tonight.

Salford had drawn their five previous league matches before Saturday’s defeat, which will frustrate fans, players and staff. However, the result and performance on Saturday will send the alarm bells ringing. Cheltenham brushed aside Salford, winning 2-0 at Moor Lane.

Alexander’s side were the bookies pre-season favourites to win the League Two title, with just eight points from eight games, Salford is already losing ground on the early pacesetters.

Let’s take a look at a couple of potential changes that may change their fortunes tonight…

Emmanuel Dieseruvwe

Emmanuel Dieseruvwe was their star man on the opening day, as they beat Stevenage United 2-0. The forward looked quick, strong and had an eye for goal, as he bagged two. Since then, he’s scored just the one goal, and started Saturday’s game on the bench.

Perhaps it’s time for him to be reintroduced into the starting line-up, and he can rekindle the form shown in the early part of the season.

Ibou Touray

Ibou Touray is another player I expect to return to the starting line-up tonight when Grimsby visit Moor Lane. The defender has been away on international duty, which is perhaps the reason for his absence on Saturday.

Touray is a big, strong physical presence that certainly offers Salford that stability they lacked on Saturday. At present, they are conceding too many goals. A clean sheet tonight would do the world of good, and maybe kickstart their slow start to the campaign.

Oldham Athletic need to bring in this defender to stop conceding, agree?

Oldham Athletic conceded another two goals on Saturday, as they drew 2-2 with Grimsby Town. The Latics led 2-0 before Grimsby hit back with two late goals to snatch a point.

In their past two games, Oldham has scored four goals against Grimsby and Plymouth Argyle. Scoring goals clearly isn’t their problem, leading 2-0 at home with 10 minutes to go, you should be winning the game, simple. Plymouth was one of the pre-season favourites to win League Two, again scoring two away at Plymouth is good, but they’re conceding too many goals.

The Latics sit near the foot of the table, so it’s important they fix up the defence quickly, otherwise, they’ll have a relegation battle on their hands come May.

So, what can Laurent Banide do tonight, to try and strengthen their defence…

Zachary Mills

Zachary Mills was signed from Morecambe at the end of last season. He performed well for them last season but has rarely featured so far for The Latics. The fact they were leading 2-0 on Saturday with 10 minutes to go, and not winning the game, suggests it’s a lack of experience which is hurting Oldham, and they’re struggling to manage games.

Mills has played in the EFL for a number of years, for Grimsby and Morecambe. Perhaps he can provide some stability and experience, to shore up the defence.

Also, youngster Jamie Stott is awaiting for his first league start of the season. Although Oldham will be looking for a proven defender, they aren’t blessed with an array of options or a big transfer budget. Give Stott his chance, he might surprise a few and thrive on the opportunity.

Rochdale will look to bounce back with these 2 changes against Lincoln City

Rochdale will be looking to bounce back, after being handed a 6-0 thrashing by a ruthless Peterborough side. The Posh scored three goals in either half, with striker Ivan Toney bagging a hat-trick.

The Dale had made a good start to the season, prior to this crushing defeat. Brian Barry-Murphy will be happy that his side has a game mid-week, to right the wrongs from Saturday’s demolition.

Rochdale have Lincoln and Fleetwood in the league, before travelling to Old Trafford to face Man United in the EFL Cup. It’s important they enter that game on the back of good performances, with confidence high.

Let’s have a look at a couple of changes the manager might make to face Lincoln tonight…

Luke Matheson

16-year-old Luke Matheson impressed in his first league start against Sunderland, as he coped well defending against Aiden McGeady, who is arguably the best player in League One. Jimmy Keohane struggled to contain Marcus Maddison on Saturday, although his versatility is key, perhaps sides are targeting that wing due to his defensive frailties. Matheson deserves an opportunity at right-back.

Matt Done

I expect Matt Done to return to the starting line-up tonight, in place of Rekeil Pyke, who has contributed just one goal so far this season. Although Done isn’t a regular goalscorer, he’s creative and creates opportunities for others around him.

Rochdale have one of the best strikers in the division, Ian Henderson. The majority of their goals are scored by him, it’s about creating his chances. Done links up well with Henderson, by attacking down the wings and delivering quality into the box.

Back at home, Rochdale will be looking for goals and a win. Provide for Henderson and he will score goals.

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