Friday, October 09, 2009

Oldham preview

A short preview only of the Oldham game, as it’s my 36th birthday today and I’ve a busy celebratory schedule ahead.

It’s reassuring to have reached the age where I can now legally marry a woman half my age in every European country, and every US state except Nebraska. So far the offers are not exactly flooding in.

Games against Oldham always resonate with me. I believe my first ever game may well have been a home game with the Latics in May 1977, and indeed for almost the entire period from 1977-1986 (my formative and impressionable football supporting years) we competed head-to-head in the old Second Division.

There can be few teams whose recent history is best described in terms of a single goal, in this case a stunning Mark Hughes volley that denied them an FA Cup Final berth in 1994.

Their deflation was compounded by relegation from the Premier League that very season, and just a few weeks later they hosted Charlton on the opening day of 1994/95, beating a poor Addicks side 5-2 in a game I made the mistake of driving to watch.

However the achievements of Joe Royle from 1982-1994 were exceptional, enabling a small club in the shadow of the Manchester heavyweights to firmly punch above their weight.

As is often the case (Charlton being another notable example), soon after the longstanding manager who had become synonymous with the club departed, it hastened a steady decline from which they have shown few signs of recovering. They even experimented with Iain Dowie as manager too.

Relegation to the third tier occurred as soon as 1996/97, a division they have remained in ever since achieving midtable finishes of unerring consistency, punctuated only by play-off defeats in 2002/3 and 2006/7.

Joe Royle even returned as manager for a brief period last season, but they may finally have found a suitable replacement after over a decade of mediocrity in the shape of Dave Penney, appointed in May.

Penney was instrumental in the amazing run through the divisions that Doncaster Rovers have enjoyed, guiding them from non-League football to League One, before handing over to Sean O’Driscoll who continued his good work.

They have begun the season promisingly albeit somewhat inconsistently (witness a 3-0 home defeat by struggling Hartlepool for example), but they arrive at The Valley with a four-match unbeaten run generating ten points. Despite being six positions below the Addicks in the table, they are firmly the form side of the two.

Their potential threat is enhanced by our own injury problems which continue to mount. As was inevitably the case, the consistency of the Phil Parkinson’s team selections would eventually become challenged.

Sensibly he used Tuesday night’s game of paintball to give some youngsters a run out, and both the experience and the result should hold them in good stead if required again tomorrow.

We are in the midst of one of those ‘half full/half empty’ scenarios, only one League win in five but still holding 2nd place, and hosting Oldham on the back of a fighting point at Elland Road (one that I managed to see thanks to the wonders of Internet streaming.

Reading between the lines, I expect us to line up as follows: Elliot, Solly, Youga, Dailly, Llera, Bailey, Racon, Shelvey, Spring, Wagstaff, Burton. Subs: Randolph, Basey, Semedo, McKenzie, McLeod, Tuna, Mambo.

NY Addick predicts: Charlton 2 (Burton, Wagstaff), Oldham 1 (Marrow). Att: 16,291.


At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Richard said...

Many happy returns NYA! Let's hope the team can give you the present of three points tomorrow etc.

At 5:03 PM, Blogger Wyn Grant said...

Happy birthday

At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you!
Enjoy your celebrations, whatever they may be.


At 7:09 PM, Blogger ChicagoAddick said...

I am assuming they only need to be 14 in Nebraska?

Happy returns NYA - enjoy your evening.

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Ketts said...

Have a great day NYA. Fingers crossed for 3 points tomorrow.

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday and hope you have a good time. Lets hope PP gets the team balance right and there's an additional 3 points to celebrate for us all. VFF

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Kings Hill Addick said...

Indeed you can marry a woman half your age, but it would cost you half your wealth.

I hope you had a good birthday.


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