This is a reckless adventure, surely doomed to failure, but yet so seductive and compelling it’s impossible to not to be drawn into it. There was an ethereal quality about Thursday’s win over Kettering. Everything seemed to go right in the first half, as though the hand of some greater force was protecting us.
We’re Oxford, this doesn’t happen to us, we capitulate under pressure, twice in recent times we’ve been top of the table by a mile at Christmas only to be doomed by May. We don’t come back from a points deduction, financial problems, abject early season form and a run-in of away games to have a successful season. We’re too spineless aren’t we? That’s what Oxford’s all about – jumped up ‘big club’ too arrogant to fight.
We’re demonstrating serious non-Oxford qualities. What is so hideous about all this is that no matter what formulae and calculation you apply to forecast our end position, nothing comes out in our favour. And if that happens, what does that say about our club? Be typically Oxford and fail… fight like a bastard, but still fail. For example, here’s a crude formula.
Assume the 10 teams down to Kettering still have a chance of the play-offs (Rushden in 11th are a further 6 points behind, so it’s a reasonable line to draw). Then assume that every game against one of those 10 ends in a draw and every other game in a win. Granted, it’s not going to give you an accurate points total, but gives some indication of likely end positions.
On this basis, Cambridge will win the title. Burton, Histon, Torquay and Kidderminster make the play-offs. We finish ninth. Five points behind. How much was our points deduction?
Of course, if we buck the formulae and win the games we’re be down to draw – Stevenage and Burton away, Wrexham at home, then we’ll make it. Which isn’t likely… is it?