A 3-0 away win with a missed penalty against a team with an increasingly strong reputation is pretty good in my book. However, nobody seems that happy about yesterday’s result, the biggest away win in nearly three years. I didn’t see the game. In fact only listened briefly on the radio and avoided compulsively texting or checking Ceefax for news. Perhaps I’m beginning to trust the team to get on with it without me having to check up on them all the time.
Each manager has his formulae for a successful season, Ian Atkins takes his games in groups of 5, Sam Allardyce apparently batches the league into likely wins, draws and defeats, Jim Smith keeps it simple with the adage that you win your home games and draw away.
This means averaging two points a game, which would have beaten every second place team in the Conference for 9 out of the last 10 years, though the average for winning a title in recent years have been a bit higher than 2 a game.
It’s early days, but Oxford are miles ahead in terms of average points than any previous title winner. Against Jim Smith’s criteria, we’ve ‘banked’ 6 bonus away points, history would tell us that, the title is currently dependent on a maintenance of form, obviously, and there not being another team who can keep up, like in 2003/4 when both Chester and Hereford exceeded 90 points. Only Grays, next weeks opponents, are showing signs of doing this.
Above all, great teams don’t check on others’ form. The objective is prosaic; using another of Atkins’ old favourites; earn the right to win a game and then take the result. It may not have been the perfect performance against Morecambe, but it was the perfect result.
Site news: Looks like YouTube have caught up with the highlights pirates. Not a great shock there then.