Everyone seems to be taking a well earned break this week. Its been a rare luxury having five days between the Crawley game and Stafford. So here’s a chance to update my very occasional look at past managers. This time, Ramon Diaz.
Although he was to appoint again, Diaz’s appointment was the last roll of the dice for Firoz Kassam. It’s difficult to dispute his previous appointments on the base of simple ‘outsider’ logic – Shotton was the peoples’ choice, Denis Smith had done it before, Joe Kinnear had pedigree, to be fair Kassam was lumbered with David Kemp when Kinnear left, Mark Wright was one of the up coming managers in the country, Ian Atkins knew the division, Graham Rix seems to be held in high regard within the game (god knows why).
So he’d tried the new guys and the old guys, but nothing seemed to stick. Diaz was in a different paradigm altogether the Alex Ferguson of South America and claimed by a spurious website to be the best manager in the world. There was no doubting his pedigree and would have been a stellar appointment had Oxford been a South American giant.
The mismatch was obvious and it was the oddest of reigns. He flooded the place with Argentineans both on and off the pitch. Nippy little shits on the wing who looked good in warm-ups but would be seem cowering on the wing with the sleeves over their hands. Results improved, for a bit, but not for long and the season petered out.
Diaz didn’t make the final game of the season, at home to Chester, by that time Talbot had been appointed. It didn’t stop a farcical aborted storming of the Kassam by Diaz’s entourage. Whilst the Oxford Mail Stand pleaded to let ’em in, the game petered out… then seconds from the end Chester scored. Which summed up the whole season really, what was going on off the pitch was more interesting than on it.