After having possibly the worst possible goalkeeper at Boundary Park in Dean Brill it was a massive relief when Paul Dickov announced the signing of young Manchester United starlet Ben Amos. It had been a hectic transfer window with many coming in and many going out but the signing of Amos I believe was the best signing the club has pulled off for a long time other than Paul Dickov of course!
He and the Oldham defence got off to a solid start as we kept a clean sheet for the first time in a long time at home to Swindon which resulted in a 2-0 win after Dickov gave the very impressive Amos a home debut after conceding 10 goals in the previous 4 matches. Amos was demanding and even after being at the club for a few days and only having one training session he had very good communication with his back four which also included a debutant Neal Trotman. In this game Amos had very little to do as the Oldham defence surprisingly kept top goal scorer Charlie Austin quiet and only had to really pull off one save from Matt Richie and what a save it was. However, although he was demanding there was one instance where he came for a free kick and was beaten to it by the centre half but luckily headed it over.
Next for Amos and Oldham was the home game against Southampton which didn’t go according to plan as we went down 6-0 to a very good Saints team which had the likes of Schneiderlin, Lambert, Oxlade Chamberlain, Lallana Guly and many more in front of Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, his assistant Mike Phelan and the goalkeeping coach, Eric Steele. It was more of a case of them being good than Oldham being bad as it was the best performance I had seen at Boundary park for my life (16 years). In this match it was Amos’ fault for the second as a Lallana shot squirmed through his hands and trickled over the line and the other 5 you had to hold your hands up, nothing could be done.
After losing 6-0 at home for a long time in the club’s history next up was a tricky trip on the road to Plymouth who had caught a bit of form. However, they were without top scorer Bradley Wright Phillips and we bounced back very well running out comfortable winners winning by 2-0 and even more important another clean sheet which meant 2 in 3 games for Amos and the defence. As you can imagine I didn’t go to this game but judging by the report Amos did everything he had to do well and never came under severe pressure.
Next up for the Latics was a home game against a Brentford side that are one game away from Wembley which we won 2-1 after holding out for the last 10 minutes. Again Amos couldn’t do anything to stop the goal after a swift turn and volley from the Brenford striker in the bottom corner resulted in the bottom corner of the net nestling. This was followed up by an away trip to the Midlands to face Wallsalll which we drew 1-1 after taking the league and again Amos was helpless for their goal. Finally in the month of January was the away trip to Carlisle which we were coasting along at half time winning 2-0 and could have easily been 4 but after a goal in the 70th minute and there was more drama in the 94th minute when Amos pulled off a stunning save the ball was parried and Carlisle were awarded a very harsh penalty in the 94th minute and what looked like all 3 points turned into just the one.
So on the whole, Ben Amos as you know after seeing him against Valencia and other games in the Carling Cup, I believe has a very good future ahead of him and if there was one criticism I’d have to make it would be his decision making from free kicks as a couple of times he has been caught out but, his shot stopping and catching is phenomenal and I believe not only is he a future Man United number one he could also be England’s future number one.
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