We’re all a bit on the last minute this week and haven’t had time to logically source an Oldham fan to interview. That was the excuse we got from NRP when we asked him, but we think he might he might have been scared of the reaction he’d get from asking the big “Who’s the real Latics?” question. So we’ve sent out a roving reporter to find an Oldham fan wandering the streets of Wigan so let’s hand you over to the steps at Wigan Wallgate…
How do? Tell us a bit about yourself…
My name is Thomas O’Dea 32 years of age (I’ll be 33 tomorrow. This my 25th year of watching Oldham, been lucky to see us in the top flight playing and see us beat the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool Manchester United and see Oldham play at Wembley. I have the same love, passion and enjoyment of going to games now as I did back in 1990. I also go watching England play.
It’s a while since you’ve been in town, how’ve you been keeping? How’s Joe Royle these days?
We are still Oldham still in League one as when you last played us but in that time we have knocked a stand and it is more or less completed. Last time I spoke to Joe he was fine, he’s big on doing Q/As, but can still be seen at Latics games.
Is it nice to have us back in the lower divisions? What do Oldham fans really think about 2016’s Wigan “big club now” Athletic?
To me I’d be lying with the big club tag, for a team like Burton or Fleetwood who have come up through the Non Leagues you may be seen as bigger fish, but for myself your relegation is no different to Blackpool’s, not like Manchester City’s or Leeds’ who were top flight clubs when I first got into football. So their fall to this level was a surprise.
Whereas you guys were in what is now League 2 & then League 1. Saying that you showed with a bit of money & an owner with ambition anyone can reach the promised land of the Premier League.
It also used to make me laugh how some of the bigger clubs responded when you beat them, unfashionable as the media made you out to be. I’d also be lying if I didn’t say I was pleased when you beat City in the FA cup, it’s always good to see an underdog win, especially in the modern era of big money.
To be fair, I suppose you’ve got as much of an insight into the journey we’ve been on recently as any club out there. How did the fall from grace work for you men? Is anyone really over your time in the top flight?
Well it’s 13 years since we were last in the same division. In that time we haven’t gone up or down. After you went up, we ended up in administration the following season.
Shortly after Brian Talbot took over we knocked Kevin Keegan’s Manchester City out the FA cup in 2005 and also reached the Northern Final OF THE LDV VANS TROPHY before losing to Wrexham. However we were having a bad season in the league. He was sacked and Ronnie Moore was brought in and kept us up. However a lot of fans didn’t take to his style of football and at the end of 2006 he was sacked although we did finish 10th.
John Sheridan then got the job under him we reached the play offs in 2006/07. The following season we finished 8th in the league and knocked Everton out of the FA cup in the 3rd round and finished 8th.
The following season we started in high hopes and a good start and honestly believed we could go up. But a bad run of results, a few off pitch issues and soon after John Sheridan was gone, Joe Royle came back but was only able to win his last game in charge.
Sadly a string of cheap managerial appointments and lower budgets means that we may have started a lot of seasons well but then hit a bad run of form and ended the season in the wrong part of the table. The Dave Penney season in 2009/10 was the only one we looked in any serious trouble but still stayed up with games left to play. Paul Dickov had ago and gave us a great result in the FA cup in 2013 beating Liverpool away. He also took us to the Northern Final of the JPT in 2012.
We then had Lee Johnson come in and be brought ideas of wanting us to play good football. The trend seemed to changed he was signing players on bigger contracts rather than short term ones. Last season we were going to places attempting to win games and when he left we were chasing a playoff spot. However the board promoted from within, performances dropped and we slowly fell down the table and finished 15th.
Most fans accept where we are now the days of the top flight are long gone but a lot of younger fans have never seen us out of this league which is why the various cup results have been seen of great importance. Sometimes I feel sorry as a lot of older fans will go on about it and to my annoyance try comparing the teams back to them days.
But they forget football has changed a great deal since then.
Right, I’ll give you a word or a phrase, you give me the first sentence that comes into your mind. At a push you can have two. Ready? Ched Evens… (retreats to a safe distance) How about let’s not go there lol, a week in Latics history we all like to forget
And the match tomorrow? Sorry to say, I’ve gone for a 5-0 Latics (the real ones) win in our prediction league, how do you reckon it will go? Who are you worried about in our team, who should we be worried about?
The last game we played we won. You be surprised to know as someone who has only missed 6 League games and 2 cup ties this season, that every time we have won I have not been there.
Excluding friendlies last time I saw us win a competitive again was Rochdale away, so I’m starting to think I am a jinx lol.
We won our last game away at Shrewsbury 1-0 since then our next two matches have been called off. I would gladly take a point but being realistic we need a win and one thing about Sheridan in his first spell we would go attack in games regardless the opposition so I’m gonna stick my head out and say 1-0 or 2-1 Oldham. (Ever the optimist)
Wigan are performing as I expected, they are up there and seem to have hit a good run of form.
Obvious you have goals in Will Grigg, I like Max Power also and would have liked to have seen him at Oldham. Craig Davies is a former player and if fans boo him you can guarantee he will score same with Reece Wabara. I like the look of Michael Jacobs also.
Our strength lies in our midfield Liam Kelly, Mike Jones, Lee Croft along with both Dominic Poleon and Carl Winchester also. Our main weakness has been we simply don’t score enough goals, or to build on that create enough chances or look to afraid to shoot.
We have a good young keeper in Joel Coleman, it’s only his second season and the return of Anthony Gerrard brings experience and leadership to the back four. I also felt with him the team Coleman played better under him. Sadly at times we have given away to many sloppy goals. Last season’s top scorer Jonathan Forte is now back and since returning from a loan spell at Crawley Rhys Murphy looks a better player. So here’s hoping…
And now, the important stuff, what’s your favourite half time pie? How do you go about eating it and is a pie with a creamy filling really a pie, or is it just a wet quiche?
At this point, Tom dashed off towards the pier, mumbling something about us being effing idiots wasting his time with stupid questions about pies and didn’t we know that it was nearly kick off, or it could have been, “meat and potato, I like eating the lid first, then the filling, then the case. Sometime I have brown sauce, but never red, and yes, cheese pies are the work of the devil” we just couldn’t tell.
Thanks for your time Tom, as always, good luck for the season, starting at 5 o’clock tonight.
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