Professional support is, by definition, absurd. In what other service industry do those delivering the product enjoy it more it than those buying it?

This week’s news that David Beckham has signed a £125 million contract to play in a league which is about the standard of the Championship with crowds to match, illustrates the point perfectly. Its all very NASL 1979 isn’t it? Big stars fading in front of bemused crowds. Good luck to him, I say, it would have been painful to watch him withering on the bench at somewhere like Middlesborough.

There’s a common theme around this time of year; especially on the This is United Forum. Another team signs a player and the boards are hysterical with people screaming about how we (the mighty footballing institution Oxford United) have missed out. This usually leads to even louder calls for the board to own up to what is going on, because we need to know. The obvious answer in most cases is that the player in question isn’t very good, or they think the offer they’ve got from Manchester United might just be more appealing. The search for a striker has finished with, pound-for-pound an even more bizarre story than the Beckham one. We’ve signed a Latvian international, with a bagful of domestic silverware and Champions League experience who has goal average which is better than 1 in 3. Which begs the question; what’s wrong with him?

If he does come up trumps, this could well be the key to the whole season. Certainly the new spine of Santos, Rose and Grebis illustrates that in the world we currently occupy, we are serious big hitters and that, despite everything, the championship is still ours to lose.

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