George Lawrence’s Shorts – Winter is coming


Saturday 29 July
Last week PClot was quietly introducing what he described as ‘new tactical concepts’ confirming we’re not in Danny Hylton country anymore. He also went shopping up north, because everything is much cheaper, signing teeny tiny Jack Payne on loan from Huddersfield. Teeny Tiny is just 5 ft 5 inches tall, and has long been an admirer of Oxford; he still looks up to Sam Deering to this day. Expect similar signings in the next few days; as we know Micro Machines come in collections of five.

While up north, we faced local non-league side Leeds in our final friendly. Played at a pace a sloth eating his bodyweight in Mogadon described as a bit slow, a second 2-0 reverse confirmed we need a 45-goal a season striker. Leeds’ first goal was scored by Kemar Roofe, who respectfully didn’t celebrate in front of his former fans. Or his current fans. Or any fans as the stadium was hauntingly empty.

Monday 31 July
Eternal optimists Portsmouth have sold their allocation for our first home game a week on Saturday. The Premier League giants currently ‘resting’ in League 1 will bring a numerically precise 1,749 fans to the Kassam on the 12th August in an ongoing campaign to win promotion by ringing a cowbell and pretending their FA Cup win wasn’t nearly a decade ago.

Tuesday 1 August
It’s Piers Pennington Day! For When Saturday Comes, the Jeremy Corbyn of football magazines, Piers is the go-to man for all things Oxford United. His Twitter profile reveals his obsession with the club – retired, lives in London, hates Tories, Man City diehard. Wait, what? Every year WSC goes to Piers to give sandal wearing Marxists everywhere the lowdown on our season. Capturing the true spirit of last year, Piers eschews the Cup win over Newcastle, Toni Martinez’s equaliser at Middlesborough, the two wins over Swindon and Chris Maguire Chris Maguiring, to claim the penalty shoot-out against Chelsea Under-23s in the Chicken-Trade Trophy as last season’s highlight. Thanks Piers. A collective vote of all the Piers’ around League 1 has us finishing 10th.

Wednesday 2 August
In a move that apparently constitutes news, the squad numbers have been announced. The club have adopted a conventional approach, starting with one and ascending in a sequential order thereafter. This year Teeny Tiny Jack Payne is Chris Maguire at ten, PClot’s special football friend Dwight Tiendelli will be Joe Skarz at 3 and Aaron Martin who is rumoured to play for Oxford United will wear the number 6 shirt.

Thursday 3 August
With the new season days away Oxford United’s squad is increasingly looking like a computer game that can’t get an official licence for players’ names. Following Fake-Xavi, Xemi, we have just signed generic Brazilian ‘idiniho’ Ricardinho. Meanwhile Fiacre Kelleher who accidentally signed for the club when delivering an Amazon package for Faz, has been loaned out to Solihull Moors. Rumours that it was at the request of Nick Harris who was having panic attacks at the thought of pronouncing his name remain unconfirmed.

Friday 4 August
The new season is on us, Ryan Ledson is so excited he might wet himself. Christian Riberio feels he’s ahead of where he was a year ago insomuch that with hours until kick-off he appears to be walking. First opponents Oldham have only just signed a goalkeeper which seems like a tactical oversight. Meanwhile the club have moved to assure everyone that signing older players is not a change of policy, it’s just to stop Faz scaring the youngsters with talk of his prostate. And that’s that; coats on everyone, winter is here.

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