Oldham – Meeting The Opposition.
Tranmere’s Carabao Cup journey begins this Tuesday night, with an away trip to Boundary Park where they will come up against Keith Curle’s Latics.
Oldham were defeated in their opening game of the League Two campaign. However, they have players in their squad that are capable of causing any standard of opponents problems as @Tommy_Oldham1 talks about their qualities in our pre-match conversation together. He also spoke about a range of other interesting and relevant subjects, including his experiences as an Oldham supporter.
How long have you been a Latics supporter? How and when did you first come across the club?
I’ve been an Oldham supporter all my life really. It was my older Brother who was going to games who first told me about Latics. What also made my mind up was the epic cup runs I saw on TV. The first game I went to was when I was aged 7 as I went with my dad in 1990.
Having a look back at last season in terms of expected success, how would you say it went and how will this upcoming campaign be any different? What are your expectations/predictions/ambitions for the next ten months?
Last season was a funny one; we scored plenty of goals but also conceded far too many. The off pitch issues such as the David Wheater situation and the interference in team affairs from our owners didn’t help. We should have finished a lot higher than we actually did, it didn’t help that we failed to strengthen in the Transfer Window in January.
I think Curle has good managerial experience, with him being allowed to bring his own players in and not being told who can play we can easily finish top half. Ideally aiming for promotion as it’s been thirty years since we had any success.
What are your thoughts on Oldham manager Keith Curle? The former Northampton boss was appointed earlier this calendar year, following the dismissal of Harry Kewell. Considering the club has had nine managers in the last three years, interims included, did you think it was time to part ways with Kewell?
I was surprised Kewell lasted as long as he did. When he first got the job I thought he would be gone by November but when the news of his dismissal filtered through I was annoyed as he had a spell when we were playing well and the football was entertaining. Curle has experience in getting sides into the play offs in League 2. However, he needs to be more attacking minded in his tactics.
What are your thoughts on the way the club is run? In particular, what are the owners like and who are they? What current off field project may surprise/excite opposition fans that may improve their matchday experience or the way they view Oldham in general?
The way the club has been run over the last two years is shocking. Our previous owner was no angel and takes some blame but the two current owners have caused all sorts of problems. Late wages, Bills, banishing players to the Youth team. If you speak against them you are shown the door. The Chairman’s Brother is Sporting director but a lot of the players from overseas he has brought in have been shockingly bad with one or two exceptions. It has left the fanbase very divided. One positive: the New North Stand is open again for fans after an ongoing dispute between the chairman and one of the former directors who owns the stand. Hopefully it will help improve the matchday experience when we are playing well Oldham fans can be loud as shown away from home. We have a young group called the Atléticos who try to generate and create an atmosphere. They have moved to a more central spot and sounded ok against Newport.
I still like the old fashioned spur of the moment chanting myself but anything that helps bring an atmosphere to a ground is a positive.
What players will pose the greatest threat to Rovers in the opening Carabao Cup game of the campaign?
Dylan Bahamboula and Hallam Hope if both are fit. Nicky Adams is a very experienced and established player.
Are you worried about any of the hosts’ men? If you do have any, from an outsider’s perspective what boost do you think the return of fans will have alongside the return of Micky Mellon and were you slightly surprised to see Keith Hill dismissed?
Keith Hill being dismissed was a big surprise due to his Rochdale days he has always been hot headed and a Pantomime Villain.
They say managers should never go back. However, Micky Mellon did a great job last time and probably sees this role as unfinished business. Especially considering the circumstances that lead to your relegation from League One. Tranmere are one of the few teams who often bring a few to Boundary Park. I think having fans back will boost clubs as the players know and like hearing their names and some grounds can also be intimidating for away teams.
Callum McManaman is a cracking signing at this level. I also like the look of both Sam Foley and Josh Cogley. Obviously Jay Spearing is a very experienced player who can cause problems for opponents too.
What is your score prediction and how do you think that Latics will address this game? Is the carabao cup a competition that you’d like to have success in?
Anything can happen in the cup. We didn’t look good on Saturday and need to improve. We were missing a few players due to Covid. So I’m going to say 1-1, Oldham to win on pens (Gotta be optimistic aint I 🙂 )
Random fact about Oldham?
We have a long standing friendship with German side Eintracht Frankfurt
What are your best and worst experiences throughout your time as a supporter? Best experience? Seeing us play at Wembley, beating Chelsea, Man United, Man City’s and Liverpool in the league. Knocking the latter two out of the FA cup as well as Fulham, Everton and West Ham also in The League cup.
Worst experiences? Mark Hughes scoring that late equaliser and Man United then hammering us in the replay. Being stuck in League 2. Losing 7-1 at home to Cardiff when I arrived at 3 0 down. Play off semi final heartbreak at Loftus Road, all close calls.
This summer the club brought in six new recruits, including the former Everton youth star Hallam Hope. However, what are your overriding thoughts and feelings about the way that Oldham have operated in this transfer window and with some time left on the clock would you like to see anyone else brought in/let go?
The problem in football now is the entire team is not allowed to develop. Too many players come and are gone so we are effectively starting from scratch each season. In recent years any player who does well gets signed by a bigger club or clubs can only afford one year deals or has been on loan.
Our Sporting Director has also brought in a lot of his own players from abroad who have either been awful or have been brought in behind the manager’s back and told him who he can and cannot pick.
I still think we need another striker.
Hallam Hope looks a good signing and the young lad Jamie Bowden on loan from Spurs does too.
Nicky Adams signed a permanent Oldham Athletic contract in January and is capable of causing the visitors a range of problems. ‘He’s an experienced and established forward’.