George Lawrence’s Shorts: The Clare switch project

Sunday 2nd August 2020

KRob is adopting a transfer policy that can be described as a ‘reverse Jack Charlton’ – no YOU’VE got a filthy mind. Having signed Gavin Whyte, Mark Sykes, Joel Cooper the O’Xford manager now appears to be showing an interest in Glentoran striker Paul O’Neill, described as being nearly as good as Pat Hoban. 

Monday 3rd August 2020

Nathan Holland has been named this year’s Young Hammer. It turns out that Young Hammer is not the name of a recently deceased minor league rapper, but an award for the West Ham player who has spent nearly half the season not at West Ham and made a name for himself in a team which is resolutely not West Ham. 

KRob’s been talking, again, about Cameron Brannagain, again, and about how he hopes he’ll sign a new contract, again. KRob’s a big Cam Bran fan and thinks Cam’s the man, he doesn’t know if he can land Cam, but if he can keep Cam, there’s a deal Cam can sign. 

Tuesday 4th August 2020

Cheltenham have been looking for a man with broad shoulders to carry them to promotion next season, and there are no shoulders broader than those of Liam Sercombe who has signed for them after leaving Bristol Rovers.

In other 2016 alum news; Kemar Roofe has left Anderlecht to sign for Rangers. Roofe, who has had an injury ravaged season in Belgium, is hoping to fire the ‘Gers to within forty points of Celtic in the battle to pretend Scottish football is not in need of urgent reform.

Wednesday 5 August 2020

GLS spent a lovely fortnight in Corfu with Sean and Clare, a honeymooning couple who were an absolute hoot. Wherever Sean and Clare went, GLS made sure he went – the all you can eat buffet, the day trip to the Achilleion Palace, karaoke night with Sarg from TOWIE; they couldn’t separate us, even when GLS was threatened with souvlaki skewers. We’re all going to meet up again soon, they said, three years ago. Anyway, it turns out the Sean and Clare are signing for Oxford from Hearts. GLS hearts Sean and Clare.  

It appears Kane Hemmings is seeking out a new career as a coronavirus vector. Holidaying in the travel restricted Balearic Islands, he’s decided to quit Dundee to head south to seek pastures new. We hope these are pastures that are sparsely populated for the next 10-14 days. 

Thursday 6 August 2020

Big Ron Atkinson managed Manchester United, Steve McLaren managed England and Alex Dyer manages Kilmarnock. The roster of former Yellows who have fostered an above average managerial career is almost limitless, almost, but also largely limited to those three. Another has joined their number with the news Simon Marsh has been appointed Thame United Under 15 Boys manager.

The club have announced that Singha will no longer sponsor Oxford’s shirts. There had been hope that to extend the deal beyond two years, but hopes were scuppered when Singha couldn’t sell their sewing machines in the stadium concourses.

Sean and Clare still haven’t replied to GLS’ 14 texts, which is such a Sean and Clare thing to do, but in other news, the club have signed Sean Clare from Hearts.

Friday 7th August 2020

In a twist more surprising than finding out Andy Whing wants to be known by the pronouns Her/Them – what? You hadn’t heard? – Cameron Brannagain has signed a contract extension to 2023. Cam Bran loves the fans and the fans love Cam Bran. KRob’s loves his nan and Cam Bran’s in his plan

Elsewhere, the British Tsun Dai; Robbie Cundy has gone on loan to Cambridge from Bristol City.

Midweek fixture: 27 Favourite home shirts – ranked!

Back before lockdown, I thought it was time to settle the ultimate argument; just what has been Oxford United’s best ever kit? Yellow shorts? Blue stripes? Navy or royal blue? Adidas or Manor Leisure? The options are endless. So which was your favourite; from hundreds of votes, here are the 27 best.

27. 1973-1975

We start with one of the great Oxford United controversies; yellow shorts. This seventies take was very much of it’s time with the likes of Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester City all adopting a mono-colour approach. There’s not much to this, but I like the Umbro styling and the circular badge.

26. 2012-2013

It’s 2012 reboot comes in at 26, although adopting a standard Nike template, it’s a pretty faithful update, the collar and buttons split opinions.

25. 2014-2015

A pleasant surprise when it was revealed in the car park of Oxford Prison hotel. The single hoop is a unique take on the shirt though the hurried adoption of Black N Rounds as a sponsor was pretty grim. It was an awful season, which undoubtedly impacts the overall perception.

24. 2017-2018

Quite a nice, inoffensive design but one synonymous with the post-Appleton struggles of Pep Clotet. Aesthetically, it deserved more than just a storming comeback win at Charlton, but that was probably its most notable outing.

23. 1921

Not a bad showing for a 100 year old shirt nobody got to see. Perhaps it’s due a modern re-run?

22. 2001-2003

The first Kassam Stadium era shirt, which is associated with the struggles of Mark Wright and the brutish pragmatism of Ian Atkins. A shirt which comes with a particularly high shine.

21. 1949-1950

Periodically the club will turn to blue sleeves to give us a bit of variety in the club’s kit design. This intra-war years shirt with the old Headington United badge is a nice take.

20. 1975-1977

The blue and yellow stripe is a design which has threatened to tear the club apart in the past. This mid-seventies version, with its navy stripe, may not have brought any notable success, but I’d like to see a re-run of it at some point.

19. 2011-2012

A shirt I thought would do better than it did. The season in general didn’t amount to much, but it did break the Swindon hoodoo.

18. 1989-1991

After the dizzy heights of Division 1, we returned to the second tier and took on this design. The season wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t what we wanted. This shirt pretty much reflected that.

17. 1977-1980

The 70s was all about Admiral and their audacious designs, shirts were heavily branded and broke every rule. Sadly, we didn’t get one of their classics, but it’s still nice to see a bit of Admiral in our history.

16. 1996-1998

If you’re like me, you only have to take one look at the grandad collar on this one and you’re transported back to Nigel Jemson trying to make the universe revolve around him.

15. 1968-1970

The Big Ron shirt; Brylcream, dubbin’ on your boots, The Blackburn Game, The Preston game. This old gold number will give your dad a funny feeling in his trousers.

14. 2010-2011

A strong showing for a shirt which was controversial when it was released for our first season back in the Football League. It’s too blue they screamed, now it’s a bit of an cult classic.

13. 1991-1993

For some people it’s difficult to look at this shirt without seeing Mike Ford’s Madchester ‘cutains’ hairdo.

12. 2018-2019

The start of the Puma/Singha years, and a solid opener. It looked better with blue shorts, because, well, just because.

11. 1998-2000

For me, this is the all-time default Oxford United kit – plain yellow with a simple trim and a good solid V neck. An absolute beauty, but not one that makes the top 10.

10. 2009-2010

An effortlessly stylish Nike template and the last to feature Buildbase. It’ll always be synonymous with Alfie Potter and all that but 10th is a surprisingly weak showing for the shirt that took us back to the Football League in 2010.

9. 2016-2017

A nod to the pinstripes of the early 80s, this post-promotion shirt saw some action – beating Birmingham and Newcastle in the cup as well as a derby double of Swindon, including THAT Rob Hall howitzer.

8. 1982-1985

Kit-wise, the glory years of the mid-eighties will always be synonymous with what came later, but this pinstriped beauty made by Spall Sports was the kit that carried us through the peak from beating Manchester United and Arsenal to promotion to the top flight.

7. 1993-1994

When a club celebrates a major milestone, it usually seeks out an old classic and updates it. For our centenary, we ignored that old trope and introduced this challenging design. The train tracks on the sleeves are magnificent, though were never repeated.

6. 2019-2020

Teetered on the edge of legend, the promotion shirt that never was? The first, and perhaps last, Oxford United shirt to feature a sublimated flux.

5. 1980-1982

A real beauty; the classic Adidas trefoil, the simple badge, the royal blue shorts. OK, so it was a generic template used by everyone from Sweden to Mansfield, but just look at it.

4. 1987-1989

Fourth is not bad for a yellow and white striped shirt which was worn in a relegation season.

3. 2015-2016

Re-booting an all-time classic from the mid-80s was a bold move. In the end it was a masterstroke; 2015-16 had everything, promotion, giant killings, derby wins and a Wembley visit, in the end, the re-boot decision just re-confirmed the design’s legend.

2. 1994-1996

The ghosted badge in the design splits opinions from a purely aesthetic perspective, but the late-season charge to promotion in 1996 makes this one an all time classic.

1. 1985-1987

Not the most attractive shirt – the yellow is too pale, the shadow stripes are dated, but the adoption of Umbro as manufacturer felt very grown up after the Spall Sports years. It’s also a shirt that didn’t see a lot of league wins, narrowly avoiding relegation in 1986. But there was that game, and that’s why it’ll always be a classic.

George Lawrence’s Shorts: The Taylor swift show

Sunday 26 July 2020

KRob may be ready to sign former target Garath McClearly from Donaldson’s Dairy. The 33-year-old attacker has been released by Reading and may be the man to fill the gap left by Jamie Mackie’s retirement last week. We understand this to mean someone whose legs have gone but will spend 20 minutes complaining to the referee about a fictitious cut on his head from a phantom elbow he didn’t receive from a centre-back he was nowhere near catching.

Monday 27 July 2020

The funeral of lifelong fan John Pattison was held in Abingdon on Monday. The whole thing had an Oxford United theme with the casket wrapped in yellow and blue. The service was held in a local Ben Abbey where John grew his Andy Whings to be with the Mark Angels. Keeping with the theme, the family said their goodbyes before departing for home to get beaten 1-0 by Bristol Rovers. 

Tuesday 28 July 2020

KRob is like a Dolly Parton Vegas show, no danger of rolling out a Somali nose flute orchestra, he’s just going to play the old hits. Stephen O’Donnell, a target in January, is back on the radar following the full-back’s release by Kilmarnock. O’Donnell’s selected quotes include: “I’m pretty relaxed just now…”, “…no point in getting carried away…”, “I’ll just keep calm” and “There’s no rush”. 

GLS senses we’re about three weeks away from him standing outside KRob’s house, stripped to the waste in the dead of night with a four pack of Tennents shouting “TAKE ME BACK KARLY, I’VE CHANGED”. Any final thoughts?

“I’m still pretty relaxed…” 

That’s fine Stephen, that’s fine.

Elsewhere, The Mirror are speculating that Wunderkind Ben Woodburn could be for the chop at Liverpool. Apparently games against Accrington, Lincoln and Tranmere are no longer considered adequate preparation for a Champions League campaign against Juventus and Barcelona.

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Oxford are reportedly in a ‘battle’ with Portsmouth for the signature midfielder Ethan Robson. Robson was recently released by doe eyed cash puppy Stewart Donald’s Sunderland. You probably won’t remember Robson from the lavish Netflix documentary about how one of Britain’s biggest clubs triumphantly finished 51st in the League. Robson played eleven games for the Mackems to fire them out of the Championship into League 1 and spent last season on loan at Grimsby Town, taking them to within a point of 14th in League 2. Fans are asking whether this might be the second coming of Gary Twigg.

Thursday 30 July 2020

He’s got a deep freeze, TVs and David Bowie LPs… KRob’s been hawking sulky sixth-former, Rob Dickie saying that his price ‘gone up’. There hasn’t been a bid yet but the price is definitely higher than that and maybe as high as ‘undisclosed’. 

Meanwhile, Tiger excitedly took to Twitter to not announce a major new signing. It feels like the time GLS boasted to his friends that he was getting Action Man for Christmas, before getting a ‘Special Reservist Colin’ doll from the local market.

Elsewhere, Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez has been telling his remarkable story from poverty in Buenos Aires to the Arsenal first team. Martinez’s big break was ‘doing a Mike Salmon’ on loan at Oxford in 2012 when he conceded three goals in his only game on loan against Port Vale. After this, his career hurtled downwards towards Saturday’s FA Cup Final.

Friday 31 July 2020

Turns out that Tiger’s tantalizing Twitter tattle was trailering the terrific transfer target Taylor. The former Woodstock Town strike and one-time Bullet Baxter to Josh Ruffels’ Zammo Maguire, who is famously averse to vaporous non-renewable energy sources, has signed a three-year contract.

We live in strange times, Trump, Brexit, coronavirus, so it seems somehow apposite that the one-man parallel universe Danny Hylton is still a Championship player having signed a new two-year contract with  Luton Town

Elsewhere, Watford don’t think there’s nobody, like Chey Dunkley.

Saturday 1 August 2020

Emiliano Martinez became the first ex-Oxford goalkeeper to win an FA Cup Final since Milija Aleksic after Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Chelsea. Martinez said that winning the world’s most prestigious trophy was OK, but nothing compared to the thrill of playing with the one and only Tony Capaldi at Vale Park in 2012.

Elsewhere, Tyrone Marsh has signed for Stevenage while two hundred and seventy three year old Dannie Bulman has signed a new contract at Crawley. Bulman says he’s already putting dubbin on his boots and smoking 30 woodbines a day ready for the new season.

Midweek fixture: League 1 Kitwatch 2020/2021

There’s nothing better than a new kit; so the summer is new kit Christmas. So far thirteen League 1 teams have revealed their kit for the new season. I’ll keep updating this post with new designs as they’re revealed. Here’s what we have so far…

Accrington Stanley

Accrington are punching above their weight adopting Adidas as their kit manufacturer. Thankfully they’ve managed to bring the tone down a notch or two with an experimental dotty sleeve. It’s let Accrington down, it’s let Adidas down, but most of all, it’s let the lovely white shirt down.

Blackpool

We’re all shocked to our core with Blackpool’s new shirt; tangerine with white trim, like every Blackpool shirt in history. That said, it’s a nice enough design. Eagled eyed among you will see this template replicated elsewhere.

Bristol Rovers

The key to any artistic process is to know when to stop. Bristol Rovers have an iconic kit and it shouldn’t be difficult to pull a decent shirt out of the bag. This version has funny cuffs, collar, stripe down the arm, what appears to be some kind of camo shadowing. The second kit goes some way to redeeming things, but not much.

Crewe Alexandra

Crewe’s return to League 1 is marked by a retro red and black number, but it’s the away kit which is of most note, appearing to take inspiration from their shirt sponsor Mornflake Mighty Oats.

Doncaster Rovers

Thankfully Doncaster Rovers’ new shirt is identical to every Doncaster Rovers home shirt of the last decade. The red and white hoops are a classic not to be messed with.

Fleetwood Town

To some people, the fact that Fleetwood Town exist and are managed by Joey Barton is confusing enough. This kit, which seems to adopt about nine different styles in one, is a proper head scrambler. The away kit, however, works really nicely – silver and mint, who knew?

Ipswich Town

A tale of two shirts for Ipswich Town. An absolute beauty for the home shirt reminiscent of their heyday in the 1980s under Bobby Robson. The away shirt looks like someone has washed it with a tissue in the pocket.

Lincoln City

Lincoln City play a classic card with their new shirt. There are few teams that wear red and white stripes who haven’t gone for the disruptive inverted colourway at some point. There will be Lincoln fans everywhere tearing up their season tickets at the abomination, but I like it. The away number is solid but unremarkable.

MK Dons

You can’t say that MK Dons don’t work hard to be the most despicable team in the league, black with gold trim? What are they a Bond villain? Yes, yes they are.

Northampton Town

I’ve always felt that Hummel offer a hipster’s choice when it comes to shirt manufacturing; typically because of their excellent work on the Danish national shirts in the mid-80s. I’ve also always liked Northampton’s colours. So, put together should be a sure fire winner. the away kit is OK until you look more closely, the strange central dribble, the fading pin stripes. They get away with it, but only just.

Peterborough United

Last season Puma made a big deal of their sublimated flux shirt designs, this year seems to have some kind of geometric update. There are randomised white flecks in there as well. A real nearly, but not quite design, a bit like Peterborough.

Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth return to League 1 with a couple of scorchers. The home shirt is spoilt a bit with what appears to be a button collar, the away kit is absolutely magnificent. It’s difficult to imagine under what circumstances they would need a third kit, but it ticks some boxes.

Portsmouth

One of the big favourites for the League 1 title next season have opted for a pretty conservative upgrade. What the heck is with that collar though?

Shrewsbury Town

Aficionados of League 1 kit launches will know that Shrewsbury specialise in producing terrible promotional photography. For evidence try this, this or even this.This year is no different. Still, they get bonus points for adopting Admiral as their kit manufacturer.

Swindon Town

Our friends up the A420 have selected yet another Puma kit variation. How many templates does one manufacturer need? It’s a nice and simple design, ruined by the addition of a Swindon Town badge.

Sunderland

Let’s not kid ourselves; all teams use standard templates, but Sunderland’s new Nike shirt absolutely screams ‘park football’.

George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts: Mackie races

Sunday 19 July 2020

Battling through the tuck queue getting your ears flicked by Pogo Patterson and Roland Browning has set sulky sixth former Rob Dickie up for the big time. That’s the view of KRob, who has issued a ‘come and get him’ plea to anyone prepared to listen. Dickie has been linked with Every Team Joey Beauchamp Failed To Sign For including Nottingham Forest, Fulham and Southampton. 

Monday 20 July 2020

GLS once enjoyed an expansive physical relationship with a woman of considerable experience. We say experience, she was 58 and when we say woman we mean ‘predatory geography teacher’. We were 14 when it ended. After three years. It wasn’t the age gap that did for the relationship, or the court case, it was the life of monotonous domesticity. How many scatter cushions does one settee need?

Like that unrelenting procession of decorative soft furnishings, it looks like KRob has collected yet another winger from the League of Ireland with the signing of Joel Cooper from Linfield.  

Tuesday 21 July 2020

He might have been one banana short of a Julian Allsop, but Jamie Mackie will always have a place in Oxford United’s heart. Social media’s leading public health campaigner announced his retirement after two years at the club.

There was a special Eight Minute Thirty Second Fans Forum on Radio Oxford with Tiger. One fan, probably named @Bulldog239402783, contacted the biased MSM BBC who he ‘never uses’ to urge our Thai owner to focus on signing ‘English talent’ rather than ‘Scottish or Irish’. Last season proved how sick we all are of being funded by Thais, and the sale of an Irishman for Thai money, and benefiting from the sales of players with Ghanian and Grenadian heritage. There’s a reason we’re called GREAT Britain, you know? And that’s because it’s the largest landmass in the British Isles. Tiger also announced that sponsors Singha were pulling out; Black N Rounds and Animalates have been alerted.

Wednesday 22 July 2020

It was all tie dye dresses and daisies in our hair for GLS in the mid-2010s. We lived free in a commune taking mind-expanding drugs, paying our way offering free love to Guru Wilder. We drank from the soup of underwhelming grafters The Great Guru brought in. Apparently one of them was Josh Payne who has moved from Crawley to Ebbsfleet.

The Oxford United diaspora spread its seed far and wide in the Championship – Tyler Roberts scored for Leeds as they ended the season champions, Shandon The Baptise, Tariq Fosu, Jedward Orphan Gavin Whyte and Curtis Nelson will feature in the play-offs. Chey Dunkley’s Wigan are going down. But if you really want to feel the effects of mind expanding drugs read the next sentence. Danny Hylton’s Luton managed to stay up. Woooh trippy, man. 

Thursday 23 July 2020

Like GLS’ lavatorial motions, Oxford United likes to get its business done early. And just like GLS’ lavatorial motions, despite lots of huffing and puffing, something usually gets stuck and everything comes out in a rush when you least expect it. The announcement of Joel Cooper from Linfield has come so early in the summer, nobody was at the training ground to announce his signing. We call this ‘Doing a Kelleher’.

Friday 24 July 2020

One of the things GLS loved about lockdown were those homely chats with old Oxford United players and managers on the official podcast. We’re at a loss as to why the club didn’t bring together former manager ‘four wins in twenty five games’ Mark Lawrenson and former director Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently awaiting trial for enticing minors, sex trafficking and perjury. You have to say that it sounds like there are loads of great stories to tell from those two. Anyway, Lawro has been telling a story about the time he lunched with Ghislaine while he was manager. Great banter. 

Saturday 25 July 2020

Moving to any new football club is daunting, but anyone ready to step into the shoes left by a player of no lesser stature than Jonte Smith will need big cojones and broad shoulders. Now, we can’t vouch for the cojones, but there are no broader shoulders in the Football League than Liam Sercombe, who has been linked with a move to Cheltenham Town.

Meanwhile, The Sporting Ferret; the one Mustelidae we trust to make a judgement on such things, has rated our season a B+.

Midweek fixture: The Absolute State of Oxford United survey – 2019/20 season review

The palpable disappointment of losing our play-off final against Wycombe shows that expectations grow until you can no longer fulfil them. It’s the reason why I did a survey last summer; to see what people thought about the state of Oxford United and benchmark our performance 12 months later. You can see the initial results here and here and the mid-season results here. We’ll finally know all the teams in League 1 next year, so the 2020 survey will launch shortly. But, back in July, how did we feel things would go? And, how did the reality compare?

Overall

Where did we finish? Officially 4th, 3rd when the season concluded. That’s an advance on the pre-season predictions of between 8th and 10th. Just 1.1% thought we’d finish where we did, 1.9% higher. So, despite its disappointing end, we far outstripped our expectations.

In January there was a shift in expectations – we were 5th at the time having reached 2nd at one point. 30.5% expect us to finish second at the end of the season with 13.5% seeing us winning the title. Just 8.5% of the vote didn’t expect us to make the play-offs so expectations were growing and ultimately met, of course. 

We comfortably out-performed in both cup competitions. Over half expected us to make only the 2nd Round of the League Cup, so our quarter-final defeat to Manchester City was way in advance of that. Just 5% of people thought we’d get that far or further.

In the FA Cup,  49% expected us to make the third round, so our fourth round defeat to Newcastle United exceeded expectations. Just 17% thought we would make the 4th Round with 3% further.

So, to put it another way, we met or exceeded the expectations of 96% of respondents, which is pretty good going, you’d think.

Pre-season favourites were Portsmouth who finished 5th, Ipswich were predicted to be 2nd but drifted to 11th – the biggest losers of the lot. Sunderland, who were predicted to finish third, ended 8th. At the start of the season Coventry were predicted to finish mid-table and Rotherham 5th. Wycombe were the biggest surprise, of course, finishing third, despite pre-season predictions of them finishing 23rd.

By mid-season, Coventry City had become favourites with Rotherham 3rd favourites. Ipswich were still expected to be in the mix. Even at Christmas, Wycombe only picked up 3.2% of the vote to go up, though they were on a stinking run at the time.

Bury and Bolton’s problems were well known in July and were expected to go down. Rochdale were predicted to join them, but finished 18th. Sol Campbell’s Southend were predicted 17th but were woeful in 22nd. Tranmere, who join them in League 2 next year, were expected to finish 19th.

By January, Bury had gone, 74.2% expected Southend to finish bottom with Bolton picking up 24.4%. MK Dons were expected to be the third team relegated, but survived.

Board

In July, predictions about the Board focussed on winding up orders. We’d survived four and some thought they’d keep coming. In reality, the only problems seemed to come when we sold Tariq Fosu and Shandon Baptiste late in the transfer window, and didn’t replace Chris Cadden in January.  Some predicted a change of chairman, but Tiger remains at the wheel. Stewart Donald, who is under major fire at Sunderland, didn’t come to Oxford as some predicted.

Inevitably, Firoz Kassam featured in a number of board related predictions, but he was quiet all year. On the other hand, the prediction that Eric Thohir would leave after being a damp squib turned out to be true. Overall, predictions of instability didn’t materialise.

Stadium

All sorts of things were predicted of the stadium, but despite some positive noises from the board, we appear to be largely where we were a year ago. The training ground, which nobody talked about, is probably the most important development in that area.

Manager

Predictions that Karl Robinson wouldn’t make it to October or would be sacked by Christmas were clearly a long way from the truth. Some pleaded that he’d get some credit, which undoubtedly did happen. He did sign a player he’s worked with before – Tariqe Fosu – but didn’t punch a fourth official. Robinson did blame the referee on a number of occasions, though he’s generally magnanimous in defeat, and Derek Fazackerly didn’t announced his retirement.

Players

Neither Cameron Brannagan, Rob Dickie nor Mark Sykes went in January. Recruitment definitely improved and our top scorer was a loan player; Matty Taylor with 17 goals. It’s not unreasonable to assume he would have score 20 goals as was predicted. As second highest goalscorers in the division, the prediction that we won’t have enough firepower at the start of the season were unfounded and all the strikers we signed made a contribution. We had the sixth best defence, so didn’t seem to suffer from the loss of Curtis Nelson.

It was predicted that we’d sign loan players who would return in January, Chris Cadden fits the bill there, and we did have an injury crisis, or two, for no obvious reason.

Gavin Whyte didn’t go in January for £5m, he went for £2m in August so he didn’t end as top scorer. Someone predicted that Rob Hall wouldn’t start more than 10 games, he started 12, although only three in the league.

Results

There was no consensus about how things would do on the pitch, so we’ve been everything and nothing that anyone was predicted. It has been exciting rather than disappointing. We didn’t get a points deduction and Christmas wasn’t, in any way, poor. We also won during an international break (against Doncaster) but we didn’t beat Sunderland away.

And other things…

Moaning has been largely absent this season, we didn’t draw Swindon in a cup competition and Jim Smith, Womble and John Shuker are all Oxford legends that have passed away – a sadly accurate prediction from someone. I haven’t seen any dogs on the pitch and, as far as I know Ollie and Olivia Ox haven’t had a baby called Oswald.

In conclusion

Overall it was a season that exceeded all expectations, with the club appearing to stabilise and grow. It’s been quite a transformation. The 2020 survey will go live very soon, who knows where we’ll be in a year’s time.