Date: 30th January 2018 at 7:54am
Written by:

Boundaries are being parked at the moment.

I’ve been so used to in recent seasons seeing City pushing boundaries, making a name for ourselves in the global eye and defying all odds. But something isn’t right at the moment, and it is all too clear there is a discontent that has affected the entire squad. The dressing room hasn’t just been lost, it’s been jettisoned into the centre of the galaxy, right into the black hole we all spin around. Are some players on strike rather than being injured as reported and not interested in playing for the club? Will we see some outgoing players, players we once deemed our best? Are players happy being at the club? Whatever is going on behind closed doors, it is a far far cry from Lawn, Rhodes and Parkinson.

Stephen Warnock is back.
It seems a different life time ago when I saw Stephen Warnock make his senior debut back in 2002, and that was in the amber and claret, a time when we had recent memories of playing against some of the best and biggest teams in the world. Now at 36 we will see a totally different Warnock in amber and claret, a much more experienced one, a player that has been involved in big games at Liverpool, Blackburn, Villa, and Leeds. This could be a bit of an astute signing and give both the team and fans a bit of morale. I won’t say anything negative about his age as we all know how old Gary Jones was during his City spell, and he ended up as one of our best players of the past couple of decades. Could we eventually see Warnock play his last league game at the club he played his first? Warnock has seen a lot in football with a good few teams, he’s been about, he should give us a bit of leadership and hopefully he can add something that is clearly missing in the dressing room. Here is a fact about Warnock, this Saturday could mean that Warnock has played for Nicky Law snr and with Nicky Law Jr whilst at City. Possibly.

How can we push Boundaries if the core is rotten.
City are a club in turmoil that can’t even match some of the worst in the 3rd and 4th divisions. 5 straight losses and 7 in our last 9 has to be one of the worst if not THE worst form in the top 10 division. City is getting gutted from the inside out and every opponent knows it. I can’t see at all how we will beat Oldham who themselves are on a dismal run, but their losses are against teams such as Shrewsbury, Charlton and Peterborough, so against the better teams. The Latics’ leading 2 scorers have scored 27 goals between them in Eoin Doyle and Craig Davies, the former was a reported 2nd choice behind Charlie Wyke last year. Oldham have already gained a draw and a win against us this season, both at Valley Parade, this time the Latics are at home. The Latics may have a poor record of late, but they will fancy to take on a team that have just lost 0-4 at home, a team that lost 2-0 against Yeovil, a team that have lost to most of the teams around them.

Head to head and form
42 Latics wins
33 draws
33 City wins

In recent fixtures City have quite an impressive record against the Latics, ok, Oldham have the better record since day 1 against the Bantams and this season have already notched a win in the Trophy and a draw in the league, both at Valley Parade. Last season City took 4 points, the away fixture at Boundary Park was a 1-2 victory by way of goals from Romain Vincelot and Rory McArdle sandwiching a Brian Wilson response. City claimed the double the season before last, this fixture 1-2 again. You have to go back 3 fixtures of this meeting where Oldham won, surprisingly 2-1 with all goals coming in the first half through Jonathan Forte, Mike Jones and a consolation from Andrew Halliday. The last Latics double was way back in the 2005/06 season.

Latics last 6 LLLWDL
Lastics last 6 home LWDDLW
City last 6 LLLLLW
City last 6 away LLLWLW

Both teams are on a bit of a dismal run at the moment, it is well known by most that City are losing to the worst teams in the bottoms 2 tiers of late whereas Oldham have been losing to better quality opposition. It was only until recently the Bantams were the best team in the division on the road beating the likes of Wigan and Shrewsbury, and it was these results that had City keeping the pressure on the top 2 teams. The upcoming game has to be the least interesting fixture this weekend for any neutral as the home team have only won once in their last 11 games and the away team twice in our last 9. We both have 7 losses in our runs, the Latics have lost 7 in their last 10 whilst we have lost 7 in our last 9.

Latics’ last 6 results
Plymouth Argyle (H) 1-2 loss
Shrewsbury Town (A) 2-1 loss
Peterborough United (A) 3-0 loss
Leicester City (H) 4-2 win
Rotherham United (H) 1-1 draw
Charlton Athletic (A) 1-0 loss

City’s last 6 results
AFC Wimbledon (H) 0-4 loss
Rotherham United (A) 2-0 loss
Bristol Rovers (A) 3-1 loss
Northampton Town (H) 1-2 loss
Yeovil Town (A) 2-0 loss
Fleetwood Town (A) 1-2 win

Last 6 league encounters between City and Oldham Athletic
Oct 2017 – City 1-1 Latics
Jan 2017 – Latics 1-2 City
Aug 2016 – City 1-1 Latics
Jan 2016 – City 1-0 Latics
Sep 2015 – Latics 1-2 City
Mar 2014 – City 2-0 Latics

Goals in numbers, last 6 games
For – Latics 7, City 4
Conceded – Latics 11, City 14
Blanks – Latics 2, City 3
Clean sheets – Latics 0, City 0

Goals in numbers Latics home/City away (last 6)
For – Latics 13, City 6
Conceded – Latics 9, City 11
Blanks – Latics 0, City 2
Clean sheets – City 0 Latics 0

Leading scorers
14 Eoin Doyle (Latics)
13 Charlie Wyke (City), Craig Davies (Latics)

League placings difference
City – 17 places – Dons

Boz’s match verdict: Home win

5 Fun Tackles

1. Atomic Kitten were number 1 in the UK charts with The Tide is High (Get the Feeling) when Stephen Warnock made his senior debut in City colours in 2002. Las Ketchup was no.1 with The Ketchup Song (Asereje) when Warnock registered his first goal a month later. Other hit singles from the year when Warnock had his first City spell include Shakira’s Wherever Whenever, Gareth Gates’ Unchained Melody, Eminem’s Without Me, Sophie Ellis Bexter’s Murder on the Dancefloor and Pink’s Get the Party Started.

2. Film wise, Signs starring Mel Gibson was the best seen film at the UK Box office the week Warnock joined City on loan from Liverpool 15 years ago grossing over £3.5m whilst Van Diesel’s xXx was the most watched film grossing almost £3.5m the week Stephen scored his first career goal. Summer blockbusters that year included Spiderman, The Bourne Identity, Star Wars Episode 2 Attack of the Clones, Austin Powers Goldmember and Men in Black 2.

3. The year Warnock had his first spell as City, it was the year of the 2002 World Cup co-staged in South Korea and Japan. Brazil were crowned champions and leading scorer was Ronaldo. Sven-Göran Eriksson was England manager whilst Clive Woodward managed the England Union team. Brian Noble was the Bradford Bulls manager whilst Nicky law was the manager of Bradford City. World leaders included George W Bush, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Saddam Hussein and Pope John Paul II.

4. On the day Warnock made his City debut, No Doubt’s lead vocalist Gwen Stefani married rock band Bush’s lead guitarist Gavin Rossdale. The pair divorced as recently as 2 years ago.

5. Actress Maddie Ziegler was born during Warnock’s first City loan spell. Ziegler has gone on to star in films such as Drop Dead Diva, Leap and the Book of Henry.