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Lifeless Latics sell fans short

Date online: 17 December 2012

Athletic 0, Swindon 2

Players lack effort and ideas

ATHLETIC again fell short here. Short in terms of points gained; short in terms of character shown, short in significant attempts on goal, short on expectation and short on toughness.

It won’t do. Not for chairman Simon Corney and not for the remainder of a loyal fan base which will only dwindle further as a result of watching rubbish like this.

Manager Paul Dickov banged the drum in the build-up that his men had to be switched-on for the Swindon game.

It is some stage to reach when well-paid professional athletes have to be reminded continually that their jobs need to be completed to a high standard, in front of an audience which has paid £20 each for the privilege of watching them perform.

But this is where we are: with a talented but infuriating Athletic team – seemingly stuck forever in the purgatory of 16th place – which picks and chooses where and when its efforts are channeled.

Perhaps nobody should have been surprised at this defeat, courtesy of two Raffaele De Vita goals in a first half that was owned by Swindon.

Athletic are calamitous at Boundary Park, having lost five of their 11 league games, because the threat posed is entirely down to how wingers Lee Croft and Cristian Montano decide to play.

If they carry the team forward, as they did to great effect at Colchester, then Baxter is able to find pockets of room in the middle of the pitch to create.

If they are stifled by a canny manager – here Paolo Di Canio – then Athletic fall apart as an attacking force.

Mvoto wasn’t alone in having his worst game in weeks. Swindon comprehensively bullied Athletic out of the game.

The right flank was the source of both of inverted left-winger De Vita’s goals. First, he hammered a right-foot shot low past Alex Cisak. Then as the visitors continued to pour forward, three

minutes later the Italian’s scuffed shot from a Nathan Thompson cross trickled past Cisak.

With just over half an hour gone, the game was over. It could have been worse for Athletic.

Athletic’s first shot of the game came after 48 minutes, the blameless Derbyshire not able to get hold of his 20-yard strike properly. At least it was on target.

With 14 minutes left and Robbie Simpson on the field as Athletic’s last change, there was drama when Cisak had to retire hurt following a nasty collision with Williams.

Simpson pulled on a spare goalkeeper jersey and as Athletic ended the contest with only 10 men, the home crowd were at least able to cheer one very effective punch clear of a Ritchie cross from a


There wasn’t much else to be happy about on a gravely dispiriting afternoon.


Maybe the grass at B.P. is either "too green".."too wet" or "too long" or even "too short".

Who knows what excuses will come out next, the Manager's job is to Manage his team, yes in this case HIS team, Paul Dickov's,they quite clearly either ignore him totally or as in so many cases now, play to tactics which are down to the Manager and blatantly obvious so sadly wrong.

We may as well give up the fight to keep professional football at Oldham and have to say a sincere thanks to S.C.

Whats the point of going to BP now even the players dont care, might as well go shopping , or perhaps not.

Q; What do you do if you are a Stockport season ticket holder and they want to charge you £18 to watch an FA Trophy match v Southport?

a) Pay up and watch sub-standard football
b) Get dragged round the shops by the missus OR
C) Go with a mate to watch in form Latics against Swindon for only £20

Well my mate who wishes to remain anonymous chose c). Neither he nor I are in a hurry to return....GARBAGE!

Unfortunately the shortcomings being displayed in the present team were the same as those exhibited by last season's, and the second half of Dickov's first season! So different players, same result. It may seem harsh but maybe a stronger manager that the players fear is required!

Poor poor performance first half, not much better second half and once again prior to saturday things were looking better, but this is Latics we are talking about and no matter how much shouting PD does we are not consistent,I don't mind spending £20 plus to watch them lose, its how they lost on saturday with no effort or commitment that makes me sick,but yet I will return as I have one for nearly 50 years, in the belief that there will be improvement

we need a experience manager in soon

Enough is said.

I travelled 260 miles to watch that rubbish I don't know why players who on paper are good just don't seem to know what they are doing. In any other job they would be fired. Croft looked very unfit and seemed to be carrying weight, the midfield looked lightweight and what's the point having a central defender on the subs bench if you won't use him. Give the kids a chance. Hughes and, Taylor should be given a go.
I feel sorry for Dickov but somewhere in his back room team the message isn't there

Whilst not attemting in anyway to defend what was an abject performance... to all of you, particularly those who paid the entrance fee, who have every right to voice your contempt at Saturday's efforts... we were excellent at Colchester the week before! However, there were much less congratulatory comments posted as there are complaints this week. A running theme amongst the Chron's regular posting community. By all means have a moan... but don't forget to praise when it's due! Keep the faith!

I think we all get fed up of repeating ourselves, Dickov and Taggart should go. It is obvious the players do not respect any aspect of the management at BP. As for not being good enough for Mr Corney, he employed him and still backs him "the cheap option", the club has very little respect for the fans who have to endure this rubbish week in week out. Summary come the last few home matches attendances may be into triple figures never mind four!.

lsandy - I agree with you about crazy mood swings from result to result by some fans but look at the longer-term picture from results over two years and it's not good. Also, there's always a problem when good performances are away, which not many fans see, and bad ones at home, which they do (if you can call 3,000 "many").

How do you come by the supposition that the players don't respect the management OS? I'm not one for believing what players say verbatim, as all footballers offer platitudes to simply appease the fans... however there is no evidence to support your spurious claim. We were rubbish at the weekend, I concede that... however, we were not rubbish the week before. We lack consistency, sure... but so do a lot of other teams in and around us. We have no right to expect to be at the top!

I agree with lookers, where were you all when the team needed praising last week ?, seems like most are always too quick to complain when things are wrong

I know Ammy. My heart sinks every time we play badly at home. 2 games [Preston and Doncaster] is not good enough to entice bac stayaway fans. Bring back the plastic pitch I say. ;)

I agree with lookerstandby, we have no right to expect to be at the top - consistency is something all managers and fans are looking for, however effort is something we expect. And it is this that causes so many fans to complain! Is it really too much to demand from your team that they scrap and fight for 90 minutes?

LSA I can only comment on games I`ve seen, which I have done. I am one of those unlucky supporters who seems to miss the very rare good home performances. Remind me again how many there have been in the last 2 1/2 years of the current management regime.

Not enough theomen for sure... but I am hopeful that by sticking with our present manager, this will increase over time.

I have pointed out on numerous occasions that it took Joe Royle 4 years to get us ticking.... and 9 years to get us promoted. Patience is required.

Dario Gradi took unfashionable Crewe up from the 4th tier to the 2nd and back to the 4th again. We need to be realistic given our size.

Keep the faith!


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