|A Year To Look Forward To|
|Written by Mark W|
|Wednesday, 28 December 2011 13:24|
It’s been some time since there has been so much anticipation of a new year from Latics fans. A trip to Anfield beckons and we are just 180 minutes from Wembley. The Boxing Day performance has put a bit of a dampener on it but it’s all about the cups at the moment.
2011 has been a strange old year. Looking at it overall, it’s difficult to justify a claim that it has been anything other than disappointing in the league. The pre-Christmas postponements in 2010 meant that we have ended up playing 50 league games in this calendar year (before we take on Notts County on NYE) yet we have only tasted victory on 13 occasions. If I had to pick out a highlight it would probably be the win at Scunthorpe in August. I never thought I would see the day we managed to bring back three points from Glanford Park. Unfortunately I missed the game at Meadow Lane when our long run without a win finally came to an end. From everything I’ve heard, that was right up there too.
When picking out a low point from the year it’s difficult to look too far past the 6-0 and 5-0 home defeats by Southampton and Peterborough. Southampton were awesome on the day we met them which was a slight comfort but against Posh we completely surrendered. I’d probably include the 3-2 defeat to Wednesday too, simply because we showed such spirit to fight back after going two down only to fail to turn up for the second half once they’d got Boundary Park believing again.
When looking back at 2011, I think it is only fair to give a special mention to Alan Hardy who has finally been forced to call time on his 31 years working for the club. Alan has not always been Mr Popular but has always acted in the best interests of Oldham Athletic and will be sorely missed. I just hope he has been able to pass on much of the knowledge of running a football that he has built up over the last three decades. I’m sure I speak for most in wishing him all the best for the future and that he is able to return to good health as speedily as possible. I’m also convinced that while he might not be working, we’ll still see plenty of him at Boundary Park.
The cup has given us the light relief we’ve needed this campaign, with some good league performances also mixed in with the poorer ones.
January is going to be a massive month. The Liverpool game is a wonderful opportunity for a day out but it’ll take something special for us to get a result. Recent draws at Anfield for Wigan and Blackburn have to give us some hope that if we can put in a performance, anything is possible. In many respects, the Chesterfield cup game is even more important. If Anfield’s a good day out, Wembley would be even more special and the revenue generated for the club would be a real lifeline. The cup games are only half the story though, two league games are at new grounds for Latics, Chesterfield and Stevenage, which should lead to a great away following. If that’s not enough, the other trip is to our Yorkshire friends in Huddersfield. It’s not going to be a cheap start to the year.
Looking a bit further into the future, we need to ensure that we don’t let our league form dip as we put our all into the cups. The players that we have got at the moment are good enough to mount a serious push for the play-offs on their day. At the moment, however, inconsistency is our biggest problem. If we can keep afloat in January, February and March give us a wonderful opportunity to press on. Personally I can’t see us getting the 6th spot but it is far from impossible, especially if Paul can use the transfer window to our advantage.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 13:25|