Bigger, badder, rougher, tougher

We were going to drop points at some point, the 1-1 draw with Weymouth had to be the best way of doing it. At the start of the season wins, like losses, have a dramatic effect on the table. A purple patch can send you to the top, a rusty start can put you on the bottom. Similar sequences mid-season just don’t have the same effect.

Early season form places a psychological gap between the reality and perceptions of success (or failure). Four wins on the bounce in the first four games is 100% perfection, even though in reality it only means that 10% of the whole seasons games have been won.

The more wins, the more pressure there is on maintaining perfection. When the bubble does burst, its a massive blow. This is exactly the problem Arsenal had when they lost to Manchester United having completed 49 games unbeaten. The defeat, though it was only one, was all the more devastating because it was so stark, they simply couldn’t recover.

So how do you lose points without losing momentum? Well, a decent, if not perfect start would help – where the number of wins outweigh draws and loses. York, Dagenham and Aldershot have made decent starts; they can be satisfied that the foundations for a good season are being put into place.

This wouldn’t really have helped the Us whose perception of superiority is inflated by the size of their ground, history, set-up and so on. To drop a couple of points away to early season pacesetters, depriving them of their perfect start, is about as good as it gets. Added to this is the bonus of having luck on our side with a last minute goal and an early opportunity to put things right on Friday against St Albans.

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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