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Life President
Oct 2, 2004
I went along to Bournemouth v Oldham on Saturday to take a closer look at next week’s FA Cup opponents. The game finished 0-0 and was absolutely dire – if we are to go up this season, and if this match is indicative of the quality of the bottom half of L1, we should be fine in that league with the side we’ve got. It was also interesting to see Flahavan, Barrett, Francis and Malone in action for Bournemouth too.

Anyway, I’ll start off with my assessment of the individual players (442):

1. Alex Cisak – I didn’t get to see an awful lot of the keeper as Bournemouth barely threatened and so he was mainly untested. He showed sound handling for the one save he had to make, and was very able and comfortable with his kicking. He was decisive in sweeping up outside the area, but did not come for a single cross.

19. Kieran Lee – at right back, he was one of Oldham’s best performers. He was extremely comfortable in possession and very keen to support the attack, overlapping the right winger regularly and making direct runs into space ahead of him. He created Oldham’s best chance of the match with an overlap deep into the penalty box resulting in a precise low ball across the six yard box for the striker (see 10 – Robbie Simpson). Targeted by Bournemouth at goal-kicks but dealt with aerial threat comfortably.

2. Jean-Yves M’voto – Not much different to as he was here. Big, strong and dominant aerially but still very shaky with the ball at his feet. He always looked to play it back to the keeper. Prone to being sucked under a long ball and on occasion looked indecisive and slow to react. As expected, the majority of attacking set-pieces were aimed at him.

5. Zander Diamond – Another big, solid centre-back. Diamond was decent in the air and had a strong header, and was excellent in dealing with Bournemouth’s crosses into the box. However he did get caught in possession dallying outside his own area which led to a clear-cut chance for the opposition.

3. Paul Black – The Oldham left-side was their biggest weakness in this match. Black was caught out of position at least 7 or 8 times, often caught too high up the pitch. He was quick in recovery and often made up for lack of positioning with strong, well-timed challenges but this looks an area for us to exploit next week. He seemed very one-footed (left) and was also regularly beaten in the air. He’d be my choice to target from goal-kicks, as opposed to the right back.

18. Chris Taylor – Didn’t get to see a lot of Taylor as he went off injured after 20 minutes. In the time he played, he looked to run in beyond the strikers and looked a threat. Worked well with the right back too.

4. James Wesolowski – A busy, combative midfielder, he did an awful lot of running and was a strong tackler. He tended to be the further advanced of the two central midfield players but contributed little in terms of creativity.

8. Dean Furman – The classiest midfielder on show from both sides. He sat deeper of the two, and was always moving and looking to receive the ball and to dictate the tempo of attack. He was very good in possession in a game where neither side could keep hold of the ball for long. Much of Oldham’s better play was through him. He had one shot late on from distance which flew harmlessly over the bar, where he had run late from deep to receive the ball for the shot.

20. Luca Scapuzzi – A seemingly skilful player who drifted in and out of the game before being substituted after 66 minutes. Playing left wing, he was often the most advanced of the midfield four. He had a tendency not to track back and help defensive duties. He had a very quiet game.

10. Robbie Simpson – Plenty of movement off the ball, and scored a clear goal which was not given (the ball was couple of feet over the line, how this was not spotted I’ll never know) as he tapped in at the far post. He had a tendency to go down easily and faded badly in the second half. He was constantly looking to feed off Kuqi but service was sorely lacking. Substituted on 83 minutes.

32. Shefki Kuqi – Kuqi was the clear focal point of Oldham’s attacking play. He dropped deep to receive the ball in short to feet, looking to drag the opposing centre-back out of position and bring advancing midfielders into the attack, and had a very good first touch when doing so. He was also the target of long, aerial balls and looked to flick on to Simpson and Scapuzzi when possible. What surprised me most was the amount of running he did – whilst being slow, he was still chasing down defenders and the goalkeeper in the latter stages. He’s a clever striker but also appeared to get frustrated too. If we can prevent supply to him we should nullify his threat.

11. Tom Adeyemi – Came on for Taylor after 20 minutes. Plenty of running and endeavour, willing to support the right back defensively, but not involved much at all. He tended to stay out wide and the game passed him by.

7. Filipe Morais – Replaced Scapuzzi on 66 minutes. He was lively, straight away demanding possession and looking to have an impact on the game. He played on the left flank but appeared very right-footed, and he mainly cut inside. He looked to run directly at Francis and provided a different threat to what we had seen all game. He was weak, though, and tended to withdraw from challenges.

14. Matt Smith – Only played for 7 minutes, he is a tall striker and won the first couple of headers he went up for. Looked particularly useful for winning flick-ons from throw-ins. Not on long enough to form any real judgement, however.

The game itself was devoid of creativity and technical skill. Oldham looked to hit balls long, playing many balls into channels and struggled to maintain possession in the Bournemouth half, into which in the first 45 minutes they barely ventured. They regularly resorted to the long ball. In the second half, they looked a threat on the break as Bournemouth pushed on more. They broke with speed and fluidity, making the transition from defence to attack quickly but too often failed to create a goal-scoring opportunity.

Oldham came to the game with a defensive approach. They were well-organised and pressed the opposition all over the pitch. The strikers constantly harried the opposition defenders and they defended well in numbers, doubling up on the man in possession to good effect and comfortably soaked up any Bournemouth pressure. Simpson tended to drop deeper when not in possession. The strikers and wingers interchanged fluidly in attack.

I’ve included images of the Oldham standard setup for defending corners, and the routines used for the 2 corners they won in this match.

I've got more details into finer, more specific parts of the game and Oldham's style but I'll spare you all from that.