Losing an away game against a side who are top of the league isn’t the end of the world, although you would think so given some of the comments on social media yesterday. What slim chance Latics had of sneaking into the playoffs, has now disappeared and the remainder of the season will be played out with the only goal being to achieve a top half league position.It has been Oldham’s lack of consistency which has led them here of course. The fighting spirit we saw which defeated Fulham in the FA Cup has been replaced by vapid indifference. That is surely down to a lack of motivation, and Scholes may well have already targeted certain players to ship out at the end of the season who haven’t really shown any interest in getting us out of this division.
When two forward players in Chris O Grady and Urko Vera are introduced to audible groans from the visiting supporters, the question has to be asked as to whether the squad we have has been strong enough to compete at this level. There are a lot of supporters who don’t think so. All the players who have competed at a higher level need to take a long hard look at themselves and decide whether they want to be remembered for being part of the solution, or part of the problem.
Scholes will have already seen enough of League Two to have realised that the teams who are at the top of the division aren’t there because they play a pretty, free flowing attacking game. Quite the opposite in fact, with Lincoln’s bullish, direct approach coupled with an uncanny ability to fall over at every opportunity seemingly being the key to success. The same can be said of MK Dons, Mansfield and Tranmere.
Nobody at Boundary Park would wish to see Athletic adopt a similar approach, but the one thing I have noticed is the sheer size of some of the players in this division. To counteract the height of Lincoln’s players, the introduction of Alex Iacovitti, on loan from Notts Forest and 6′ 10″ might have been interesting. Instead, Latics back line were battered and subjected to an aerial bombardment that they couldn’t handle. Any summer signings should meet a minimum height requirement or, we are going to face similar problems next season.
One thing Scholes can’t do a lot about is change the mass charge towards the referee whenever there is a foul on an opposing player. It seems to have got worse this season and the mobbing of the referee by the Lincoln players after Jose Baxters foul, contributed to the decision to send him off.
Maybe a mass clear out is needed at the end of the season and, a squad assembled specifically to match those who are going to be heading out of this division in May. That would probably require a certain amount of expenditure and whether that is made available is another story.