Boundary Blue predicts the Swindon game

Last updated : 16 January 2002 By Boundary Blue
Wow, it's not often that you get to dissect your own prediction, but I do
feel compelled to do so after the "Sinking at Saltergate". And in doing so,
it will double up in some ways as a SIN for tomorrow night's game vs
Swindon. That's if anyone dares to put money on us again. And apologies to
those who took my prediction on Saturday.
So what happened at Saltergate? Well, there are several mitigating
circumstances to this defeat. Most noticeable was the deal struck by Oldham
(being the bullies we are!) which allowed Innes and Allott to play against
us in exchange for Reeves playing for us. We instigated this and it
backfired - big time!!!
Reeves has looked an excellent addition so far. Worryingly though,
throughout the whole run up to the Chesterfield game the man endlessly
stated how he "loves the club." He added "It'll be weird to go back as I
don't know what reception I'll get. I'd never have left but they couldn't
afford my wages. Maybe in different circumstances I'd still be there." To
rub in the salt, he finished on Friday with the comment "I won't know what
to do if I score - I love the place."
What fcuking sense did it make then to a) play him and b) strike up a deal
so that Allott and Innes, who would clearly be up for it, could play against
Still, we were 2-0 up as it has been pointed out. So all that should count
for nothing? Wrong. Reeves missed 2 absolute sitters (obviously he was still
playing for the Spireites) to firstly kill off the game and then to equalise
and make it 3-3. Also, after going 2-0 up, Allott turned into a man
possessed, scoring 1 and setting up 2 others. Add to that, Innes, who got
man of the match and you tell me who benefited from this air-brain scheme of
the Latics.
That doesn't end the story though! The Latics have been leaking like the
Titanic lately. After a Christmas of 3 clean sheets, the side has rocked and
sank without trace in 2 cup games and now in this latest disaster. Why,
because of individual performances that are losing games.
Against Cheltenham (L2-1) John Sheridan was appalling and continuously put
us under unnecessary and costly pressure. Against Blackpool (L5-2) we played
65 minutes with 10 men when Darren Sheridan saw red for a professional foul
(Baudet left Shez exposed with a dodgy ball) and then against Chesterfield
(L4-2), Dean Holden was shown up for the talentless piece of garbage he is.
When will Mick and Ian learn?
Holden may have once graced the Premiership for Bolton and been a fine
player, but since his injury he hasn't featured in the Premiership and never
will again. He isn't even fit enough (not healthwise, but abilitywise) to
grace the 2nd division, let alone the top flight.
In the 2nd half on Saturday, his flank was bombarded and bombarded with
endless pressure. According to many witnesses, Holden might as well have
been on a beach in Barbados than dying on his @rse in Derbyshire. Tiger Jim
will no doubt back me up when I say that our cup tie at Hull saw Beresford
laughing all the way, as Holden was made to look like the "man chasing the
chicken." He doesn't put tackles in, he let's players waltz past him, he
doesn't get forward when he has the ball, he can't pass and he has a serious
attitude problem (best displayed when trudging off defiantly smug, after our
abysmal 3-0 thrashing in Brighton.) What does he offer? FCUK ALL!!!
So hopefully that all sums up why Saturday happened and my "Omelette de la
red face". Whether it'll happen again, who knows? But I have a theory (no -
seriously...wait for it!)
The right side has looked unhinged for maybe 3 or more seasons, but what we
used to have was an attacking force which protected the RB position. Neil
Adams, on his return to Oldham in 1998/9, was a RW but under Ritchie he was
made to play RWB. Fair enough, the attacking skills he had sheltered the RB
area, but on his retirement in the summer that was all lost. Now, with
Wadsworth in charge, his strange but offensively effective 4-3-2-1 formation
sees the RB area completely and solely the responsibility of Dean Holden -
and he isn't good enough.
Analysing our last few games, we are seeing many goals come from the RW. We
are seeing a lot of attacking pressure come down the right wing too and it
is basically becoming a question of two things... can the opposition work
out that this is our weak spot and do they have the ammunition to do
anything about it?
Blackpool (Boxing Day lge game) hit us endlessly down that channel but
couldn't do it, and at Northampton we somehow kept a clean sheet. Cheltenham
put a lot of pressure on that side although admittedly a) Holden was
suspended and McNiven instead played rubbish at RB and b) our LB was
suspended too! Against Blackpool in the LDV we had 10 men but even so, John
Hill had a fabulous game on that wing and 2 of the 4 goals that I saw, came
from a RW cross. Finally, Chesterfield crucified our RB weakness.
Therefore, it makes predicting our defence impossible. We've shown we will
score (5 goals in 3 games) but we are allowing ourselves to be out-scored
(11 goals in 3 games) - and not by the big guns either!
Tomorrow night sees another "small" team turning up to Boundary Park.
Swindon can't be classed as a big team in Division 2 because a) they've been
very hit and miss all season and b) we turned them over at the County Ground
with ease. I'm hoping for more of that tomorrow, but it's impossible to say
what will happen.
The mood is very low at the club after an amazing 6-game run. Since our 9
glorious points over Christmas without a goal leaked, 2002 has heralded a
stark contrast in fortunes with 3 bad defeats, 11 goals conceded and 2 red
cards - you could say this Swindon game is one to dread.
My gut feeling is we will win. But I can't put much weight behind that other
than it is time for someone to get a backlashing. With Swindon being so poor
against us earlier this season and our home record being relatively good (W7
D3 L2 - F23 A9 - 24pts) despite this 2nd mini-crisis in the season, we
should hopefully (can't believe I'm saying this again!) alter the course
we've taken. A tentative and much needed 3pts for the Latics I feel - with
David Reeves playing for Oldham and not against us this time!
Scoreline: 2-1
Odds: H - 8/11
D - 23/10
A - 10/3

PS As a religion I never bet on the Latics because I always feel that I'm
tempting bad fate on us. And for the first time since maybe April last year,
I had us to win at Chesterfield (a perm of 3 or 4 from 4.) Don't worry - I
won't ever (ever!) be betting on us again!