Friendly fire

After last week’s hive of activity; signings, fundays and new kits, everyone has gone back to work. The squad went to Bisham Abbey for a few days, played Brighton in three half hour games – winning two and drawing one, then the club announced that Didcot will be the first friendly of the pre-season this coming Wednesday – possibly feeling that others are stealing a march in their preparations.

Oxblogger’s not the kind of fan who goes to friendlies. He went to Billy Hamilton‘s testimonial years ago and it was such a meaningless stroll he was put off forever. This probably means he’s not a proper fan, but he cares not. He will not indulge in micro-analysis of Billy Beechers‘ second half substitute appearance against Milton.

Like all things deemed to be clever; like the key to fitness is rest or that world peace is reliant on having a strong nuclear arsenal; friendlies are counter-intuitive. The game is no indicator of form (take the 1-1 draw against Chelsea a couple of years ago) and at the final whistle, the result is not so much meaningless as forgotten. Anathema to supporting a football club.

We’re lead to believe that some of these friendlies have a degree of ‘prestige’; although you may notice that the glamour friendly against Manchester United is not even mentioned on their website.

In the end the purpose of friendlies is to break up the players’ tedious pre-season training sessions and generate a little cashflow. Mind you, like many websites without access to any inside stories, if we don’t crack on with a couple more signings and ignore the friendlies, it could be a long wait until the 12th August.

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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