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Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment

 

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oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Jan 29, 2019, 8:39 PM

Posts: 4419
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Blimey! Oxford United are 1-0 up at half-time! And listening on the radio, it sounds like they're playing well - could/should have been two-up.

However, their closest rivals are winning too: Bristol Rovers are 2-1 up at home to Peterborough, and Bradford City are 2-1 up at home to Shrewsbury.


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Jan 29, 2019, 11:11 PM

Posts: 4419
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Could have been worse, but could also have been better, finishing...

Oxford United 2-2 Barnsley

That's a very good point against a high-flying Barnsley side who are very much on form at the moment. In fact, to take four points against Pompey and Barnsley in the past two league matches ought to have the fans praising Karl for maybe beginning to turn things around - after all, these are the two opponents who each put four past Oxford back in August. Most importantly, this point won moves Oxford back out of the relegation places on goal-difference.

However, some of the fans are still grumbling about a two-goal lead being chucked away in the final twenty minutes. Going on the chances they had in the first half, Oxford could have had an even stronger lead. On top of that, there were strong results from other sides down the bottom, too: Bristol Rovers drew 2-2 with Peterborough and Gillingham got a goalless draw at home to Accrington. The stand-out scoreline, though, has to be Bradford City's 4-3 win at home to Shrewsbury, their winner coming in the 90+6th minute. If nothing else for Oxford, it at least drags Shrewsbury back into the mix.

The lower reaches of L1 are now looking very tight. Wimbledon are beginning to drift away, but there are now seven sides sat between 29 and 33 points, stretching from Bristol Rovers in 23rd up to Plymouth in 17th. And the half-dozen or so above there don't exactly look comfortable.

Karl is fairly certain that a decent striker will be named tomorrow, probably on loan, though he says that it's someone he previously thought was outside his budget. With the fans wearing their Colombo hats, James Vaughan of Wigan or Peter Crouch of Stoke seem to be the two favourites among st the speculation.

I have a ticket for Saturday's trip to Burton Albion. It should be interesting.

Karl Robinson's win ratio at Oxford United is now 32.7%, with seventeen wins in fifty-two matches in all competitions.


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Jan 31, 2019, 11:30 PM

Posts: 4419
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #103 of 174 (9236 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Good news for all those Oxford United fans glued to the SKY Sports Transfer Deadline Day Extravaganza: Karl has finally got a striker!

It's 22yo Jerome Sinclair - a Premiership footballer from Watford, who bought him from none other than Liverpool for a rollicking £4million! And he's scored four times in ten U16 and U17 England appearances! Well how's about that!


And now the bad news...

*It is only a loan signing.

*Despite being described as a striker, in his previous loan spell at Sunderland he netted just twice in nineteen appearances.

*He never scored a league goal for Liverpool.

*He never scored for Watford.

*He never scored while on loan at Wigan Athletic.

*He never scored while on loan at Birmingham City.

*In a total of 30 league appearances for five different clubs, he has only ever scored one league goal.

*And on top of that, he has been described as "injury prone".


He'll obviously fit in brilliantly at the Kassam Stadium then!


(This post was edited by oxpete on Jan 31, 2019, 11:52 PM)


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Feb 16, 2019, 2:45 AM

Posts: 4419
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #104 of 174 (7747 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Two more points for Oxford United, taking their unbeaten run to five matches. I was at...

Burton Albion 0-0 Oxford United

...and they were pretty mediocre, failing against a side reduced to ten men after just twelve minutes. A week later they got...

Oxford United 1-1 Sunderland

...and apparently played a lot better. Now they face Peterborough United at home tomorrow with it remaining very tight at the bottom. Despite a midweek win, AFCW seem to be drifting - however, the five above including OUFC are all on thirty-two or thirty-three points, while Walsall on thirty-five points seem to be fall fast. Nobody at the foot of League One has a particularly tough match tomorrow, so you'd expect someone at least to get a win (though at least one of either Bradford or Plymouth will drop points, as they're playing each other). Saturday's fixtures are:

Oxford United v. Peterborough United
Bradford City v. Plymouth Argyle
Coventry City v. Walsall
Gillingham v. Scunthorpe United
Shrewsbury Town v. Burton Albion

Karl Robinson's win ratio at Oxford United is now 31.5%, with seventeen wins in fifty-four matches in all competitions.


=====================


One piece of news that has come out this past week is the announcement by the Oxford United Ultras fans group that they will cease their colourful banner displays at the end of this current season (though I'm sure that many of the individuals will remain supporters). This is a great shame - since their formation in 2009, this independent group of young fans have been responsible for some of the rare colour seen at the Kassam Stadium, with their huge Italian-ultra style flags and banners displayed in the East Stand like this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_a4QugPMBps

They made a huge and very memorable flag the size of the stand for a match v. Swindon Town a few years back. All this has been done at their own expense, and they have kept their independence by always refusing financial assistance from the club. In a dismal ground like the Kassam, they really can make a difference with their displays.

However, a few things have come to light recently. For a start these mainly young lads, as they move off to Uni, get married or get tied down to other commitments, have found it very difficult to get fresh blood, help, assistance or support from the vast bulk of other OUFC fans who tend to fit all-too-comfortably the grumbling codger mode.

Secondly, it has become obvious on several occasions that they do not appear to be terribly popular with those high up in the football club itself. A few years back, there was an occasion when this group of fans found themselves belittled at a meeting by the previous club owner. More recently, they have received disparaging attention from present-owner Tigger, after the Ultras decided to express this displeasure at the running of the club by hanging their banners up-side-down - a small symbol of their feelings that in no way affected their full support for the efforts of the players on the pitch. Tigger comes from a culture where even the quietest of raised voices are taken as acts of disrespect, and apparently he did not take kindly to having his faults pointed out to him by this group of paying fans. Then, before the Sunderland match, there was reportedly much unhelpfulness towards the Ultras from the stadium management staff. The club MD Niall McWilliams then went on local radio this week to express his opinion that the club themselves should be working to improve the match-day atmosphere. Things that make you go hmmm...

No doubt there is at least another side to this story. However, it seems to be another sign of the decay in the club's structure and off-field management that they are willing to allow the alienation of this particular group of fans to take place.


(This post was edited by oxpete on Feb 16, 2019, 2:46 AM)


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Feb 17, 2019, 1:53 AM

Posts: 4419
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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In Reply To
One piece of news that has come out this past week is the announcement by the Oxford United Ultras fans group that they will cease their colourful banner displays at the end of this current season (though I'm sure that many of the individuals will remain supporters). This is a great shame - since their formation in 2009, this independent group of young fans have been responsible for some of the rare colour seen at the Kassam Stadium, with their huge Italian-ultra style flags and banners displayed in the East Stand.

All this has been done at their own expense, and they have kept their independence by always refusing financial assistance from the club. In a dismal ground like the Kassam, they really can make a difference with their displays.

...it has become obvious on several occasions that they do not appear to be terribly popular with those high up in the football club itself. A few years back, there was an occasion when this group of fans found themselves belittled at a meeting by the previous club owner. More recently, they have received disparaging attention from present-owner Tigger, after the Ultras decided to express this displeasure at the running of the club by hanging their banners up-side-down - a small symbol of their feelings that in no way affected their full support for the efforts of the players on the pitch. Tigger comes from a culture where even the quietest of raised voices are taken as acts of disrespect, and apparently he did not take kindly to having his faults pointed out to him by this group of paying fans. Then, before the Sunderland match, there was reportedly much unhelpfulness towards the Ultras from the stadium management staff. The club MD Niall McWilliams then went on local radio this week to express his opinion that the club themselves should be working to improve the match-day atmosphere. Things that make you go hmmm...

No doubt there is at least another side to this story. However, it seems to be another sign of the decay in the club's structure and off-field management that they are willing to allow the alienation of this particular group of fans to take place.


Even since I posted the above on Friday night, this story of the Oxford Ultras has gained much pace in just a few short hours, with a Twitter post from them before today's Peterborough match stating...

"Unfortunately there will be no flags on the back wall today. Stadium manager and Head Of Security informed us that they are not allowed up when we arrived at 10:30am."

It seems that these youngster have been allowed in the East Stand between 10:30am and noon each home Saturday for some significant length of time to hang their banners. However, today they say they were told quite bluntly that they weren't allowed in. As a result, during the match the back wall of the East Stand was bare grey concrete, with just one small yellow and blue 'Ultras' banner symbolically hung upside down. There is no denying that this hit the atmosphere during the match.

Obviously this is a complex story, and no doubt more will come out during the coming days. For a start, 'stadium manager' and 'head of security' are two different people at the Kassam Stadium (though apparently closely entwined) - the first is employed by Firoz and the stadium company, the second is a freelance position employed by OUFC. So which party - stadium or club - is responsible for this fiasco is not immediately obvious. There is certainly a particularly unpopular person called Ian Mixter, who is the Kassam 'Safety Officer' and has taken a dislike of the Ultras in the past. Whatever, it has made the greater swathe of Oxford fans on the forum and the radio phone-in so angry that the insipid performance on the pitch has almost slipped attention.

It is true that OUFC's lease on the Kassam Stadium has a large number of clauses that could best be described as 'unhelpful'. For example, there is a four-figure fee should OUFC wish to use the ground for training on a day that is not a matchday (hence the desperate fuss over the new training ground lately). Another clause is that OUFC are not allowed access to the Kassam Stadium until noon on the day of a 3pm kick-off - a clause that actually hindered Peterborough United today when their team bus turned up early! However, somewhere along the way (until today), someone gave the Ultras permission to hang their banners between 10:30am and noon.

In the two weeks running up to last weeks fixture v. Sunderland, the club put in probably their most intense marketing effort for a home match in many years, calling for the people of Oxford to help make a 10,000 attendance. And this they did, with the help of a large following of Mackems: 10,383. Apparently, the atmosphere was fantastic, helped in no small part by the efforts of the Ultras, with Oxford being roared to a late equaliser and a valuable point. So to turn around to these same fans less than a week later and imply that their style of support is not wanted is unbelievable. I'm not Inspector Morse, but others are beginning to question whether this directive came from Tigger bruised ego. Wherever it did come from, it's an absolute public relations disaster.

To anyone with no interest in the messy life of OUFC, this might all look like just another pointless argument. However, I reckon it goes a lot deeper than that. For a start, the hypocrisy coming from those at the top of the club is beginning to properly stink. As if the comments on the radio on Thursday by OUFC's MD Niall McWilliams don't now look bad enough, Tigger then goes on to write in the matchday programme for the Peterborough match...

"A crowd of over 10,000 last week shows what we can achieve, but I imagine we will lose 3,000 fans from that today. Those missing fans must surely have enjoyed the drama and the performance last weekend? Can we do more to get them along to games more regularly? Can we make coming to games something they do week after week? We will do our best to encourage it, but everyone here today can help. As we saw last week, support and encouragement can be crucial, so spread the word, bring people along, and everyone play their part in helping Oxford United stay in League 1 and then learn from this season and really grow."

You couldn't make this bollocks up!!

Much more sense was spoken on BBC Radio Oxford after the match, particularly by a caller called Nedge, who spoke about something not adding up at the club, and of the heart of the club having been ripped out. Head presenter Jerome Sale, who can often be a little guilty of towing the party line, then followed this up with his own personal soliloquy of obvious heartfelt feeling about the chaos of the stadium situation, saying...

"I think where we possibly need to examine this is actually where you talk about the club ... at this site where OUFC are at. Niall McWilliams saying that they're down to two of three sites going forward. I think we've seen today from half past ten this morning until now exactly why this situation that OUFC have found themselves in with the stadium company in particular, and how that impacts the players, the fans, people working behind the scenes, the commercial department, etc. etc. It cannot go on.

Because from ten thirty this morning when the Ultras weren't able to get in, when Peterborough United weren't able to get into the ground to get their stuff ready, never mind OUFC, that shows what a poisonous relationship there is currently between tenant and landlord. And whoever's fault it is, it has to change.

This relationship between club and stadium company has to be sorted out, and I mean like by the next time they play here, because it's absolutely crackers at the moment."


What with all this, it was easy to forget events on the pitch. It was a dreadful match, finishing...

Oxford United 0-1 Peterborough United

...though Karl still found time to tell the airwaves that he thought Oxford were the better team. Well that's alright, then! Despite the illusion of some decent recent form, the truth is that Oxford have now won just two of their last thirteen matches, they still have not won away in the league, they have only won seven league matches all season, and their much vaunted promises to buy a new goalscorer has resulted in just one goal in the three matches since the end of the transfer window. Oh, and a win for Gillingham dumps Oxford back in the relegation spaces, too.

And yet even if it does get worse, Karl isn't really the problem. He can improve or he can be sacked. The players can improve or they can be replaced. But the chairman is a different matter. Karl's gob does him few favours, but I'm beginning to feel sorry for him because the more I think about this, the more the present troubles at club seem to stem back to OUFC's past and present chairmen.

Next up: a winter Tuesday night away at Accrington Stanley...

Karl's win ratio at Oxford United now stands at 30.9%, with seventeen wins in fifty-five matches in all competitions.


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Feb 19, 2019, 1:40 PM

Posts: 4419
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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On Monday 18th, Oxford United FC were issued with their fourth winding-up petition in less than twelve months.

This most recent one comes from Firoka, the stadium company owned by ex-chairman Firoz Kassam.

It was reported on the fans’ forum over the weekend by reliable sources that bailiffs had arrived at the OUFC training ground and seized several large lawn-mowers needed for the upkeep of the pitches. I’m going to have a guess that these issues might be linked.

The club have agreed to pay their outstanding bills as soon as possible.

The fans’ forum is now alight with demands for a protest against the present club owner.


BDA_85
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Feb 19, 2019, 2:10 PM

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Post #107 of 174 (4329 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The club safety officer has resigned:
https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/...an-mixter-resigning/


(This post was edited by BDA_85 on Feb 19, 2019, 2:10 PM)


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Feb 19, 2019, 2:42 PM

Posts: 4419
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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The club safety officer has resigned:
https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/...an-mixter-resigning/


You beat me to it!

Ian Mixter, the OUFC Safety Officer, has resigned following “vile abuse” surrounding the decisions made that prevented the Oxford Ultras from hanging their banners as usual along the back of the stadium East Stand for the Peterborough United Match last Saturday.

Obviously, if any abuse and threats have been made towards Mixter and his family, these should be condemned by all proper people. However, reading between the lines, it seems that Mixter has done very little to endear himself to either the Ultras or the regular bulk of fans over the past months, and feeling on both sides have reached breaking point in what is obviously a toxic atmosphere around the Kassam Stadium at the moment. The Oxford Ultras, who previously stated that they’d bring their flag and banner displays to a close at the end of the season, have now said that they will end them with immediate affect.

Tonight, Oxford United play away at Accrington Stanley. For a side yet to win away in the league this season, is this a possibility? If they don’t win tonight, I’d expect the calls for Charlton/Blackpool type protests to gain some real momentum....


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Feb 19, 2019, 11:40 PM

Posts: 4419
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Team(s): Pompey

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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

More bad news for Oxford United...

Accrington Stanley 4-2 Oxford United

...a defeat that drops Oxford to third from bottom.

This was Accrington’s first win since Boxing Day, so they were hardly a big challenge, though are obviously a club run a lot better than OUFC.

Two goals for Oxford is at least one glimmer of good, though both goals actually came from defenders, and not the much lauded new introductions up front.

Next up, Blackpool away.

AFC Wimbledon’s win tonight means that Oxford United and Shrewsbury Town now have the fewest number of league wins in L1, with seven wins each.

Karl Robinson’s win ratio at Oxford United now stands at 30.3%, with seventeen wins from fifty-six matches in all competitions.


(This post was edited by oxpete on Feb 19, 2019, 11:43 PM)


oxpete
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Feb 22, 2019, 12:02 AM

Posts: 4419
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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

It was one whole year ago today that Sumrith 'Tigger' Thanakarnjanasuth turned up at his press conference late, confused, unprepared and wearing that stupid bow-tie to announce that he was the new chairman of Oxford United FC. Happy days!

No mention of this historic first anniversary on the OUFC website today, just a story about how well Oxford United Virtual XI are doing - that's a computer game, I think. Compared to playing Space Invaders at the local arcade circa 1981 and typing in the letters N O B on the top-ten table, it sounds rubbish.

What did happen today was another 'Five Minute Fans' Forum' on the Howard Bentham Show on BBC Radio Oxford, this time quizzing Karl Robinson himself in the aftermath of the defeat at Accrington and the four winding-up petition. Here are the highlights (paraphrased to an extent) of the fans' questions and Karl's answers...

===============================

Q. The level of trust between the club and supporters is at an all-time low. Given what's happened on and off the field, why should fans have any confidence in the people at all levels running the club?

KR. I get that, I really do... There's great people within the football club and there are so many issues that still need to be made an awful lot better to make the football club more successful over the forthcoming years, maybe. But I know how much people within the building really care and I've seen that first hand. I feel sorry for some of the things that have gone on and the things we have to take responsibility for. There's been a number of things taken out of people's control. But fundamentally, it's about learning as well when mistakes are made and are these people willing to learn, and that's me included. And I think everyone is in a better place in relation to the mistakes that have been made. I don't think the club is in a better place, but we're all working our socks off to make this a better place to be.

Q. If the team is relegated, would you expect to lose your job?

KR. No, no. That might frustrate a lot of people. The chairman may see it differently. I have tremendous belief in myself, but there's things that've been taken out of my control as a manager, but from my point of view, no.

Q. Do you think it's time to walk away and let someone else try and save the club from relegation?

Q. If the club were relegated, would you consider walking away voluntarily?

KR. I would never walk away, no, no. I was the person to turn things around last year. Fundamentally we shouldn't be in that situation again as last year either. I don't use excuses - I've never done that. No, that's not in my character. I've got tremendous belief in myself. It's not arrogance, it's far from arrogance. It's self-belief, and something I call on in all my players.

Q. Does having midfielders playing at full backs show we were wrong at the start of the season, or wrong now?

KR. No, it doesn't show we were wrong at the start of the season. I can't go into detail about some of the things that happened in the summer because they are quite personal. Jamie Hanson is a right-back, he's not a midfield player. I think in the summer we got it wrong thinking he was a midfield player. Josh Ruffels - he'll hopefully tell you he prefers to play left-back. These are decisions we've made with the players.

Q. Are there specialist coaches for defenders and strikers?

KR. [Coach] Derek Fazackerley is the leading appearance holder at Blackburn Rovers at centre-back. [Coach] Shaun Derry's played centre midfield for a number of big big clubs. We've had Ian Wright come in to speak to our strikers, so we have an awful lot of specialist people in the football club.

Q. Is this the job you thought you were taking a year ago?

KR. Ha-ha! No, no, far from it. I'm not the type of person to say I'm gonna walk away from that. It's another learning opportunity for you. Another opportunity to be a better person. One I'm still looking forward to.

==============================

Brave to admit (in a roundabout way) that he did actually make errors during the summer transfer window, particularly when it comes to what position his targets actually play in! And for all the brave words about belief, the fact is that Karl has won only ten of the forty-three league fixtures he has managed for OUFC - that's a league win ratio of just 23.3%. But say what you like about him, he certainly knows how to stand up for himself and his players, he doesn't hide and he has OUFC in his heart - the interviewer got ten times more feeling and information out of him that he did out of the silly little chairman. I'm certainly warming to Karl a little more than I was earlier in the season/

One thing that Karl couldn't cast much light on, however, was the mess in the boardroom. It turns out that the winding-up petition put forward by Firoka on Monday is for an unpaid bill of £240,000 for the first installment owed on an outstanding total amount of £800,000 owed in stadium service charges (so this is just the start of it!). The dispute over this was the reason why the club went into arbitration with Firoka under previous owner Darryl Eales, who saw the service charge as unfair. The arbitration was still underway when Tigger was catching the wrong train to his press meeting - if he can't read a timetable properly, I'm going to suggest that perhaps he just ticked the box at the bottom of the page instead of reading the contract properly. It was Tigger's idea to prematurely end the arbitration, claiming that it would help improve the club's relationship with Firoz. At that, if you really needed it, is an illustration of how naive and out-of-touch Tigger is with the world of L1 football. I'm sorry, but this ain't going to end well...


oxpete
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Feb 22, 2019, 8:04 PM

Posts: 4419
Location: Oxford
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Sorry to overload the world wide web with yet more bone-grindingly sour news about the failing football club up the road, but the Oxford Mail newspaper has today broken the habit of a lifetime and actually printed several pages of stuff worth reading. Under the title:

Year Of The Tiger: Chaotic 12 months leaves Oxford United needing to repair damage

https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/...ng-to-repair-damage/
https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/...-says-karl-robinson/
https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/...hs-at-oxford-united/

...a series of well-written articles by David Pritchard documenting the boardroom failures of the past year under Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth.

There are some huge issues covered, though none bigger than the three winding-up petitions from HMRC for unpaid bills and a fourth still-outstanding winding-up petition issued this past week by stadium-owners Firoka.

But it's the vast number of little issues that also illustrate how messy the whole situation is. For example, Tigger was understandably proud when the club signed a shirt sponsorship deal with Singha Beer, described as the biggest in the club's history, which included an intention to sell the beer at the stadium. What he failed to do, however, was communicate this with Firoka, the stadium owners, beforehand about this - the stadium already has an exclusive beer deal, and it ain't with Singha! So despite all the adverts on shirts and boards around the ground on matchday, the product of the club's main sponsor is not available at the ground. I suspect there are some very annoyed/embarrassed sales-reps at the Singha HQ in Thailand, grinding their teeth. Maybe sponsorship was tied in some way to sales? And Tigger calls himself a businessman! As that Pogues song 'House Of The Gods' goes...

"Singha beer don't ask no questions; Singha beer don't tell no lies" !!

You begin to notice other small things, too. Last Saturday before the kick-off against Peterborough, the referee called the players to the centre-circle. There was absolutely no announcement on the tannoy about what this was for, and my immediate thought was that it would be a minute-silence following the discovery of the body of Emiliano Sala after the tragic plane crash. However, once it turned into a minute-applause, I realised it was actually in memory of Gordon Banks. Only at the very end of the half-time break, as the players came out for the second-half, did Peter Rhoades-Brown finally announce the reason. Like I say, it's a small issue, but it makes you think that the thoughts of everyone at the club - staff, fans, players, chairman, accountants - are somewhere else entirely, and not on the tasks in hand.


oxpete
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Feb 24, 2019, 4:52 AM

Posts: 4419
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Good news on the road at last for OUFC...

Blackpool 0-1 Oxford United

...and Oxford's first league victory away from home since winning at Doncaster Rovers last April, over ten months ago. A very good performance too, apparently, against an in-form Blackpool, won with an outstanding goal from Jordan Graham. The three wise monkeys on the radio got very excited by it all and reckon that this could be the turning point. However, be aware that the Blackpool Gazette headlines it as "No Creativity Against A Limited Team." Ho-hum. The only clubs now left in the ninety-two without an away win this season are Fulham and Rotherham United.

There was mixed news for the others at the foot of L1 today. As well as Oxford United, there were also wins for Shrewsbury, Gillingham, Walsall (their first in six matches) and Plymouth - indeed, Plymouth are now as high as fourteenth. Meanwhile, all four now in the relegation spaces lost - that's AFC Wimbledon, Bradford City, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers. Oxford are now in the golden twentieth place, with a gap of two points over Rovers in twenty-first.

Next week - at home to Scunthorpe United.

Karl Robinson's win ratio at Oxford United now stands at 31.6%, with eighteen wins in fifty-seven matches in all competitions.


oxpete
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Mar 10, 2019, 2:24 AM

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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Last week's win at home to Scunthorpe United was the first time this season that Oxford United have managed back-to-back league wins, an achievement that got their fans so excited that one of them started a thread on their fans' forum predicting that OUFC will be finishing the season at the dizzying heights of 12th place! The last time enthusiasm was this rampant was immediately before Christmas, when someone else predicted the play-offs. Meaning that today's result of...

Gillingham 1-0 Oxford United

...will be seen as a mighty kick in the balls, especially as it dumps Oxford back into the relegation zone. A badly-defended corner in the 89th minute was what finished them off against relegation rivals.

Listening on the radio, it seemed Karl Robinson was livid with so many things, with most of his post-match summary revolving around his beliefs that yet again a) Oxford were the better team, and b) it was all the referee's fault. However, even those in his own camp couldn't back him up this time around - OUFC goalie Simon Eastwood was brave enough to point out that, no, in his opinion the ref was correct not to award a penalty to Oxford. And the BBC Oxford radio team pointed out that despite Karl's shouting about a "disgraceful" foul by Gillingham's Barry Fuller on Gavin Whyte, it actually was punished, it's just that the ref played advantage to Oxford before going back to book Fuller later on. You sometimes wonder if Karl is watching the same match! Whatever, conceding to a set-piece in the last two minutes is more likely to do with lack of concentration.

You also have to wonder if the managers of Doncaster, Peterborough, Shrewsbury, Scunthorpe and Fleetwood all moaned about their particular referees quite as much as Karl did this afternoon. Because they're the teams who all lost to Oxford's immediate relegation rivals, meaning victories for AFC Wimbledon, Bradford City, Rochdale, Walsall and Bristol Rovers. Of Saturday morning's bottom seven in L1, Oxford were the only ones to lose - the other six all won. The one sliver of good news is that it is still incredibly tight at the bottom of L1 - Oxford are still only five points behind Wycombe in twelfth place, and there is still a long way to go.

Losing this six-pointer to Gillingham and slumping to 21st place is a bad start to an important week for Oxford. On Tuesday they're away at 22nd placed Rochdale, then next Saturday they're at home to 23rd placed Bradford City. Both those sides have new managers who have today got off to winning starts.

Karl Robinson's win ratio at Oxford United now stands at 32.2%, with nineteen wins in fifty-nine matches in all competitions.


oxpete
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Mar 10, 2019, 4:50 AM

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Oxford United's ten remaining league matches...

12/3 - Rochdale (a)
16/3 - Bradford City (H)
23/3 - Coventry City (a)
30/3 - Wycombe W. (H)
06/4 - Walsall (a)
13/4 - AFC Wimbledon (H)
19/4 - Charlton Athletic (H)
22/4 - Shrewsbury Town (a)
27/4 - Doncaster Rovers (H)
04/5 - Luton Town (a)

At least five six-pointers among that lot, against Rochdale, Bradford, Walsall, Wimbledon and Shrewsbury. On top of that, three of the final four fixtures are against promotion chasers, finishing with a trip to Luton on the last day of the season.


oxpete
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Mar 12, 2019, 6:56 PM

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There's a full fixture list tonight in League One, which'll no doubt have a big influence on the relegation battle. Here are the matches involving the bottom eight clubs (though you could argue that it's actually so tight at the bottom at the moment, that the relegation battle presently goes all the way up to Wycombe in 12th place in the top half of the table)...

AFC Wimbledon v. Peterborough United
Bradford City v. Luton Town
Gillingham v. Bristol Rovers
Plymouth Argyle v. Shrewsbury Town
Rochdale v. Oxford United
Wycombe Wanderers v. Accrington Stanley
Scunthorpe United v. Southend United

Bradford City have a particularly difficult ask against Luton, but you could argue that every other one of those bottom eight could/should be expecting a win if they seriously want to claw their way out of the fight and drag some of those in midtable back in. And seeing as six of the bottom seven on Saturday got wins, there is the possibility of some big changes come the end of this evening.

The biggest match at the bottom is the six-pointer between Rochdale in 22nd place and Oxford United in 21st place.


oxpete
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Mar 12, 2019, 10:02 PM

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Tuesday's final scores...

AFC Wimbledon 1-0 Peterborough United
Bradford City 0-1 Luton Town
Gillingham 0-1 Bristol Rovers
Plymouth Argyle 2-1 Shrewsbury Town
Rochdale 0-0 Oxford United
Wycombe Wanderers 1-2 Accrington Stanley
Scunthorpe United 4-1 Southend United

Wins for AFCW, Bristol Rovers,Accrington and Scunthorpe, with the Rochdale v Oxford match finishing goalless, and narrow defeats for Bradford and Shrewsbury (with Shrews conceding very late on).

AFCW have now won four and drawn one of their last six league matches, and have narrowed the gap from bottom to 20th place to just four points. Seven of their final nine matches are against fellow strugglers.

Oxford United remain in 21st place, now on 40 points, behind Shrewsbury by just a gap of two goals.

And there's a new name in the relegation bundle: Southend United's stuffing tonight at Scunthorpe means they have now won just one of their last eleven league matches, and seem to be dropping like a stone.


leohoenig
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Mar 13, 2019, 12:27 AM

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Truth of the matter is that it is still a jungle in the lower half of League-1, and no one from Plymouth (12th place) downwards is assured of safety
AFC Wimbledon may be bottom, but a couple more wins could send them to safety.


For us in League-2, it seems more straight forward - Cheltenham's home form in recent weeks has taken them up towards the safety margin. Most of the others above 22nd place have also been picking up points.

In fact, it is difficult to think beyond the two incumbents in the bottom places and the Wayward (pun intended) Yeovil for the drop
Am I right in thinking that if Maccs go down, they are the first promoted side to last only one season?



Fat AND Pompous.
The proof that you can have too much of a good thing
Now blogging at http://www.leohoenig.com



oxpete
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Mar 13, 2019, 3:10 AM

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In Reply To
Truth of the matter is that it is still a jungle in the lower half of League-1, and no one from Plymouth (12th place) downwards is assured of safety
AFC Wimbledon may be bottom, but a couple more wins could send them to safety.


With just nine matches left, you begin to spot the teams who have some momentum behind themselves of late, and those who are beginning to look very fragile. AFC Wimbledon have looked dead and buried for most of the season but have suddenly picked up a bit of pace, and like I say, seven of their nine remaining matches are against those in and around the relegation places. Bristol Rovers have also picked up a bit of bounce, winning their last three on the trot and climbing up to 16th place.

In contrast, Southend United are dropping like a stone - just one win in their last eleven league matches. Walsall have fallen sharply, too - their next three matches are against Sunderland, Barnsley and Doncaster, and they could easily be very deep in it by the start of April.

I feel Oxford United fall between these two stools. For all their admitted quality in most parts of the team and some excellent players, along with possibly the best goalkeeper in L1, they consistently fail to rise to the occasion - despite starting the season with the eighth largest budget in the division, the squad has been left wafer-thin whenever injuries have kicked in, and players seem to be consistently played out of position. Particularly troublesome, Karl Robinson has overworked/over-relied upon his best players and failed to rest them adequately (resulting in at least some of those injuries), has continued to pick a one-up-front formation long after it was obviously not working, and most of all has fouled up in the transfer market. Last summer's promised "WOW!" signings were woeful in the extreme, with way too much in the way of uncommitted on-loan fodder. Then, despite the promise that scouting was being done for a goalscorer and more money was being made available, he has managed to mess up in the January window, too. Since the end of the January window, Oxford have scored just six goals in eight matches, and tonight they failed to score against a Rochdale side who seem to hemorrhage goals for fun.

At no point this season have Oxford managed to climb above 18th position. They have been in the relegation places for twenty-four of the thirty-seven matches played this season. They have won only nine league matches this season, the worst rate in the division and matched only by Shrewsbury (who still manage to be above them).

Following this evening's...

Rochdale 0-0 Oxford United

...Karl came out with even more of his regular madness, after first stating that a) Oxford were the better side and b) the officials cocked it up again, with gems such as:

"Away from home, a point's a good point."

"We are getting better as a football club."

"I know how to win games, I know how to defend games."

"I know there's goals in this team, I see it every day, I just don't see it carrying onto the football pitch."

...and the unbelievable...

"We're in the top six for what we should have scored." Crazy

Despite Karl's erratic post-match statements and eight months of struggle, the Oxford fans on the whole have begrudgingly stuck by him throughout the season so far, partly because the absent Tigger and pantomime villan Firoz have instead absorbed most of the fans' ire for their roles in the HMRC and Ultra debacles. However, since last Saturday's defeat at Gillingham, there has been a swelling feeling of anger on the OUFC fans' forum and among Oxford fans I know that is very much aimed at Karl. New-manager bounces at Bradford and Rochdale have shone a light on the fact that this has been a horrific season for Oxford that simply doesn't show a sign of getting better.

Next Saturday's match is at home to Bradford City, and can best be described as a six-pointer of the highest degree.

Karl Robinson's win ratio at Oxford United now stands at 31.7%, with nineteen wins in sixty matches in all competitions.


oxpete
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Mar 13, 2019, 3:50 AM

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Truth of the matter is that it is still a jungle in the lower half of League-1.


It's pretty lousy up the top, too - Pompey are bloody useless at the moment! Mad


Bantam Cymraeg
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Mar 13, 2019, 7:11 PM

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Am I right in thinking that if Maccs go down, they are the first promoted side to last only one season?

That's correct


oxpete
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Mar 16, 2019, 9:41 AM

Posts: 4419
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Today’s fixtures of the bottom nine (on 43pts or fewer) in League One...

Bristol Rovers v. Charlton Athletic
Luton Town v. Gillingham
Oxford United v. Bradford City
Shrewsbury Town v. Wycombe Wanderers
Southend United v. AFC Wimbledon
Sunderland v. Walsall

Rochdale’s visit to Accrington Stanley has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

A huge match at Oxford today, with a draw being no good for either side. And it will make things very interesting if AFCW were to get a win at Southend...


oxpete
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Mar 18, 2019, 3:13 AM

Posts: 4419
Location: Oxford
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A final score of...

Oxford United 1-0 Bradford City

...doesn't even begin to tell the full story of this match, with the final minute of stoppage time in this match being described as one of the most astonishing in Oxford United's recent history. Here is a bit of ropy footage to give you an idea (though Bantam Cymraeg might want to look away)...

https://twitter.com/.../1106970211960410114

In the 90+4th minute, Bradford broke away on the left, a cross was put in by Doyle and Bradford midfielder Lewis O'Brien missed a sitter from seven yards out, shooting wide. Oxford keeper Simon Eastwood quickly took a short goal-kick out to Ruffles, who ran forward and hoofed the ball out to Gavin Whyte, whose run and shot was blocked, with the free ball falling for Mackie who blasted it into the roof of the Bradford net. Bedlam erupted all round, with Oxford players running into the crowd.

However, then came the confusion and controversy. Apparently, referee Andy Davies first disallowed the Oxford goal, then awarded Bradford a penalty, to the extent that during the chaos a Bradford player placed the ball on the penalty spot, with suspicion that O'Brien had been fouled by Brannagan. Some shouts were that maybe it should have been a corner. Then shouts that the Oxford penalty area hadn't been cleared of players before Eastwood's quick goal-kick. Then that Ruffles might have touched the ball before it had reached the edge of the Oxford penalty area. This led to four minutes of hold-up, with players from both sides protesting and arguing. Some close by are reporting that the ref at one point asked for VAR, which obviously doesn't exist at L1 level. Several Bradford players could have found themselves booked due to the aggression of their protests, and Mackie (who had already been booked earlier) should have been sent off for jumping into the crowd. On top of that, Curtis Nelson could have been booked for a foul in the lead-up to the Bradford effort. However, no cards were shown. Eventually, the referee reinstated the Oxford goal. The Oxford-bias news media are saying that this was the right decision, but that it was an amazing example of a ref losing all control of what was going on around him.

This win puts Oxford up to nineteenth place, while Bradford drop to bottom. Elsewhere, there were wins for Shrewsbury Town (who scored twice in the final three minutes to snatch a last-gasp victory of their own) and for AFC Wimbledon, meaning that there is now an amazing ten sides separated by just four points between Plymouth in twelfth and Walsall in twenty-first. Five different sides are on forty-four points alone.

There's still a long way to go for Oxford United, but this win and the atmosphere that has surrounded it might just be the turning point for their season.

Unfortunately (and I say this as someone with several Bantam-supporting friends, and as someone who has long had an affection for them), this might end up being the point of no return for Bradford City's season.

Next Saturday, Oxford United are away at play-off chasing Coventry City.

Karl Robinson's win ratio at Oxford United now stands at 32.8%, with twenty wins in sixty-one matches in all competitions.


BDA_85
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Mar 18, 2019, 11:12 AM

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And it will make things very interesting if AFCW were to get a win at Southend...


My Southend supporting boss has failed to acknowledge any football took place at the weekend...


Part-Timer
Chelsea Transfer Target

Mar 18, 2019, 4:33 PM

Posts: 4384
Location: Huntingdonshire
Team(s): Brentford, Bradford City, Peterborough United, Yaxley

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Then shouts that the Oxford penalty area hadn't been cleared of players before Eastwood's quick goal-kick. Then that Ruffles might have touched the ball before it had reached the edge of the Oxford penalty area.

I have seen this bit reported in several places. It is a complete red herring. There is no requirement for the other players to be outside the penalty area when a goal kick is taken. The relevant Law says,

If an opponent who is in the penalty area when the goal kick is taken, or enters the penalty area before the ball is in play, touches or challenges for the ball before it has touched another player, the goal kick is retaken.

That's it. So no problem. As for the rest of the shambles...... Unsure


Bantam Cymraeg
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Mar 18, 2019, 8:05 PM

Posts: 4285
Location: Flintshire
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Post #125 of 174 (301 views)
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Here is a bit of ropy footage to give you an idea (though Bantam Cymraeg might want to look away)...


Like a motorway car crash, I couldn't help but look. Arse Unsure


In Reply To
Unfortunately (and I say this as someone with several Bantam-supporting friends, and as someone who has long had an affection for them), this might end up being the point of no return for Bradford City's season.

Yeah, we're down. We keep getting occasional false dawns, but there's far too much for this desperately poor squad to do now to turn the situation around. Last time we were in the bottom division it took us 6 years to get out. I'd settle for an improvement on that (providing we exit the division upwards, which is by no means guaranteed).

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