The wrap – Rochdale 0 Oxford United 0

Sometimes in football literally nothing happens. Saturday was like that; a game of no goals, excitement and, judging by Twitter; no interest. People appeared to be going to or preparing for some pre-Christmas related tomfoolery, the game passed by without incident, even if the players had to grind their way through an arctic freeze to achieve nothing.

I like nothingness, it’s highly under-rated. There’s a strange joy to be had from a tension building gap in a song or play. The latest Star Wars film uses silence and nothingness brilliantly.

There’s a perverse pleasure in a 0-0 draw because it ejects lightweights and part-timers; when I get home from a 0-0, particularly on a miserable wet, cold day, those who don’t understand football don’t understand me. For a short while I don’t feel like part of a mob-like mass, but a fan of some unlistenable advant-garde jazz quartet that you can only truly ‘get’ by ‘getting it’.

But, it does kind of leave you in a quandary when trying to think of something to write about.

So, how are we all doing?

Well, us as a club are going just fine, December, it seems will define whether this season is going to be ‘a thing’ or a transition. I’m sure that a transitional season wasn’t the plan in the summer, but with Michael Appleton’s departure, there was always going to be a bit of a reshuffle, a checking of progress.

2016 seems a long time ago now, that’s when we felt like a progressive club, a step ahead of those around us. It’s less like that now, but that’s not to say that we’re going backwards or heading into a long period of nothingness. Change happens; managers, players, owners, and with it comes a tweak of direction and a re-consideration of who we are. We all live in fear that the change of direction will be down, but there’s still little to suggest that this is likely.

Like many teams who have been through a surge often then experience something of a minor crisis of confidence. Think of someone like Stoke City, who didn’t look like a Premier League team a few years ago. You achieve a certain level of success and then you wonder whether it was worth all the effort because what you achieve is a degree of stability. This stability, or nothingness, is something we have to get used to.

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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