George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts: Durnin time

Monday 15 July 2019

What. A. Week.

Of sport.

We’re all recovering from a mind blowing few days of sporting endeavour; there was Lewis Hamilton winning the British Grand Prix, England winning the cricket World Cup, Benji Buchel keeping a clean sheet in FC Vaduz’s Europa League qualifier, Federer and Djokovic duking it out at Wimbledon over five hours, England trouncing everyone in the Netball World Cup and Thomas De Gendt’s epic breakaway win in the Tour de France.

Wait, what? Yes, the master of the scrambled corner clearance Benji Buchel is now with FC Vaduz who drew 0-0 in the Europa League against Icelandic giants Breidablik. As we said: What. A. Week.

Tuesday 16 July 2019

The two most feared letters in any pre-season are X and I, when put together it transforms a prestige friendly against a progressive, glamorous league club into a meaningless husk of a kick around featuring four trialists, six teenagers and a competition winner from a local school. Sure enough, tonight’s Charlie Methven ‘check out these loafers’ derby with Eastleigh was cursed with an XI as an Oxford United XI went down 0-3.

Wednesday 17 July 2019 

If you’ve endured more than a week of GLS, then you’ll know of Jill Sharp, the loon-eyed Rangers fan spotted at Ibrox a couple of weeks ago for our friendly gubbing from Steven Gerard’s Tax Avoiding army. Well, that game was her last taste of freedom, as she’s been sentenced to a year in prison for stalking some poor sap. Now her cougar-like tendencies have been pegged back, expect Jamie Mackie’s injury to clear up rapidly.

Thursday 18 July 2019

The immovable object meets the irresistible force after PClot signed Dan Crowley from Dutch side Will.I.Am. Quite how PClot’s tactical rigamortis will align to Dan Crowley’s more fluid professionalism and his Trump-esque appreciation of his own abilities (I am great, which has been proved because I say I am, and if you say I’m not you’re lying) remains to be seen.

Friday 19 July 2019

Is it Friday already? KRob described this week as a big one for transfers, and sure enough, the two big additions to next season’s effort have been revealed – Shandon Baptiste is ahead of schedule with recovery from injury (it’s like having a new signing, while not having a new signing) and we have a brand new, er, pitch which is apparently going to give us an advantage. A 20-goals a season advantage? OK, then.

So, we have to look to Europe for our good news (suck on that BoJo). Benji Buchel’s Europa League adventure continues after FC Vaduz beat Breidablik 2-1 in the second leg of their tie. They go to Hungarians Vidi in the next round.

Saturday 20 July 2019

There is no more evocative fixture in Oxford lore than a game against Queens Park Rangers. The Peter Hucker derby was held on Saturday with QPR strolling to a 2-1 win.

Earlier, the club revealed their new away kit, a white number with a blue and yellow sash. The launch was only available to personal callers to the club shop who put photos of it on Twitter. The club promised lots of ‘content’ would be given to internet people later, which turned out to be slightly better photos of the previously revealed new shirt.

Sunday 21 July 2019

We end the week with a wholesome story of all round fun guy Johnny ‘lager’ Durnin. Durnin has been convicted of racially aggravated assault after he grabbed a 74 year-old pensioner by the throat and punched him in the face calling him a ‘Paki bastard’ at a drive-through McDonalds. Durnin denies the charge, claiming it was mere aggravated assault. So that’s OK then. However, afterwards it was revealed that Durnin had thrown a coffee cup at a cyclist a week earlier, perhaps it wasn’t even aggravated, but the charge of ‘habitual assault’ doesn’t currently exist.

Midweek Fixture: The Absolute State of Oxford United Survey Results (part 1) – Ratings

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the survey, and set myself a target of 100 responses or 1 month, whichever came sooner. That turned out to be quite conservative, there were 150 responses in the first 24 hours, and the survey ended with 297 over the three weeks it was available.

Is this a representative sample? Difficult to say, but many of the patterns were established early on and it’s reasonable to assume that there wouldn’t have been a significant shift had it been available longer, or had more responses. That said, we all operate within our own echo chamber so there may be unrepresented groups with wildly different views out there.

93.2% of those responding were men, which is predictable, although it seems a little high. If you look around the stadium on a match day, there are more than just a few hundred women. If the survey does represent our fan base, then you’d think attracting more women to the stadium would be an obvious focus. It would be interesting to know how that could be achieved – I suspect it’s not about making things pink or having somewhere to store your handbag.

Respondents were evenly split by age – nearly half were between 26-45 (24.7% in both the 26-35 and 36-45 age brackets), a quarter were 16-35 (19.3% 16-25, 16.2% 26-35) and by stand – East and South Stand being largely equal (43.6% and 36% respectively) with the North Stand (11.8%) much smaller. It probably goes without saying that the South Stand is, on average, older than the East Stand. The North Stand appears to be where the middle-aged prefer to sit.

What may be a little surprising is that if you sit in the South Stand, you are much more likely to go regularly home and away. 18% of East Stand supporters will go to 11-20 away games a season where for those in the South Stand it’s 23%. I suspect that this is principally down to practical issues like money and transport – if you’re younger, you probably have less access to both. Still, when you hear that the East Stand is where the most loyal and dedicated supporters are, you might want to think again. 

The first question aimed to establish an overall mark of satisfaction; on average people judged their mood to be 6.7 out of ten, with 7 being the most common response. With no benchmark, it’s tricky to draw conclusions although given the season we’d had, plus an apparent lack of signings, I thought that was quite positive.

Satisfaction by age showed a curious result – if you are young or old, then you tend to be happier than average, but there is a dip if you’re 36-45. Why? The differences aren’t huge, so it might just be an anomaly. Notionally, you’d expect happiness to be dictated by a benchmark, for example, if you experienced the glory years of the 80s or the Division 2 years of the 90s. My theory is that satisfaction is less influenced by the football, more by life in general as it’s well known that those in the age bracket are less likely to be happy.

The length of time you’ve been a fan doesn’t show any particular trend; the smallest group, and also the happiest are those who became fans in the last 10 years; the least happy are those who became fans in the 2000s (17.4% of respondents); which is strange given it was the lowest point for the club in living memory, so you would think, comparatively, that we’re on an upward curve. Most fans started supporting us in the 1980s (28%) and 1990s (23.5%), showing how important the Jim Smith years were to our ongoing support.

A really surprising result was that the largest proportion of respondents (34.6%) live over 50 miles from the stadium. Putting all this together; the bulk of older supporters and the distance people are travelling, it seems we rely heavily on a core of long standing supporters with enough money and desire to travel distances to games. It would appear young, local fans are not joining quickly enough to replace them. Potentially, that’s a bit of a timebomb for the club.

What was perhaps more interesting was what is driving the satisfaction. Karl Robinson and the squad polled almost identical results (6.1 and 6.2 respectively – although that doesn’t show just how close it was). Satisfaction with the board is clocking a decidedly middling 4.9.

Admittedly, the squad is in transition and it’s difficult to know how much that influenced the results, but Robinson – often maligned and criticised – seemed to come out of the assessment positively. Although the averages are identical, more people rated Robinson at 7 than any other score – the squad’s most common score was six.

What does it mean? Well, ‘moderates’ – discounting the most extreme views – rate Robinson more highly than the squad, but opinions on Robinson’s performance are much more varied. This perhaps illustrates how Robinson has his admirers, but at the same time maintains the ability to infuriate.

Given the Board’s performance over the last year, it’s perhaps no surprise to see the results of their relationship with the fans come out inconclusively. Overall, they rated on average 4.9, with most people rating it 5, although the curve seems to demonstrate a degree of uncertainty.

The relationship between the fans and board is similarly sceptical. The average rating was a solid 5 with most people rating the relationship six. There’s not enough data to prove this, but perhaps any judgement on the performances of the board is dictated wholly by the relationship it has with the fans, perhaps hotdogs are important after all.

What was remarkable was that there was virtually no difference of opinion between those who sit in the East Stand and those in the South Stand, so even though we might have a perception that the East Stand is full of the most fervent fans, with the South more sedate, we pretty much speak as one voice. 

I was a little surprised to see that nearly half of respondents thought we had progressed only a little (31%) or not at all (18%) in five years. In 2014 we were in League 2 and at the end of the Wilder/ Lenagan era with the wheels gently falling off; according to the results, there’s a feeling that our progress has been very limited despite being in a division higher with two trips to Wembley under our belt. Short memories? Maybe.

It looks like the fans are expecting no more than incremental improvements in the next five years. 39.8% didn’t expect any change, 34% only a small improvement. If the board are taking us on a great journey, the message hasn’t landed with the fans yet.

It seems a more trivial matter, but the new shirt seemed to get approval from fans rating it an average 7.0 although it’s considered only a little better than last season; perhaps a consequence of sticking with Puma and generally maintaining the same aesthetic.

Overall, the results came out more positively than I was expecting. The summer has been fairly quiet and last season was hardly great.

George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts: A Chinese takeaway

Monday 8 July 2019

I will drive three-fifty miles 
And I will drive three-fifty more
Just to see my team get mullered by the Rangers 

5-0, that’s for sure.

Purple faces, a belly full of bargain lager and too many Embassy ciggies, and that was just the players after the pounding we got in the Steve Kinniburgh Invitational Shield on Sunday at Ibrox. ‘We’re not where we want to be’ explained KRob, presumably not referring specifically to Glasgow.

Tuesday 9 July 2019

The Scottish Sun, which meteorologists agree is a contradiction in terms, are reporting that a ‘fantasist stalker who loved the champagne lifestyle’ was seen at Ibrox on Saturday. In addition to KRob, loon-eyed Gers fan Jill Sharp, straight out of Loon-Eyed Central Casting, was pictured just behind the dugout with a flag referencing her so-called luxurious lifestyle. Sharp was given a restraining order after a three-year campaign terrorising another fan in 2019, but she was back looking for another victim for her affections. This probably explains why Jamie Mackie was absent having injured his back ‘doing a back heal’.

Wednesday 10 July 2019

And that sweet city with her dreaming spires
She needs not June for beauty’s heightening

It’s a shame that Matthew Arnold didn’t stick around for July, when one of the great ancient Oxford traditions happens. The amateur fellows of the City try to end the careers of the dandies of United. Like May Day in Oxford, where quadriplegia from jumping off Magdalen Bridge was once considered a right of passage, the modern tradition is a more sedate affair.

Nowadays it’s less about snapping your opponent’s ankle ligaments and more about ritual humiliation. The City fellows gave it a decent shot this year going 2-0 up before the dandies regained an ounce of respect dragging it back to win 5-3.

Thursday 11 July 2019

Pre-season friendlies are where Gammon Pride happens; there was another gathering of pasty overweight men in ill advised shorts at Thame United last night for another pre-season thrill-fest. The game ended with a 2-0 win after goals from Gavin Whyte and the Aylesbury Ashley Young Rob Hall.

Chinese brand expansion pack and bottomless pun bucket Tsun Dai has signed for actual Wolves for real money. Wolves fans greeted the news with the same Sunday puns we did last year. The consensus is that Wolves’ Chinese owners are stockpiling players of Chinese origin hoping to stumble across an Oriental Beckham to propel them into the Chinese market. KRob is currently in the Dragon’s Pearl in Witney, where he’s hoping to sign a couple of £30 million rated “full-backs” from their kitchens. 

Friday 12 July 2019

‘I wish it could be football every day’, sang Roy Wood in the little known follow-up to his Christmas classic. KRob is faithfully trying to make his wish come true having arranged their fourth friendly of the week, last night’s 2-1 win over Brackley Town. The world is so sick of Oxford United friendlies, even Twitter decided to shut down for a good proportion of the game. 

Saturday 13 July 2019

In what felt like the four hundred and thirty seventh game of the week, Oxford drew 1-1 with Woking in the Harvey Bradbury derby. KRob blamed a lack of cutting edge up front, ignoring the seven and a half hours of football and 1000+ miles of travelling he’s insisted the squad do this week.

Midweek fixture: Should we sign Ched Evans?

It feels like a recurring theme, what do you do when your team want to sign someone who is a wrong’un? Last season it was Nile Ranger, previously it was Luke McCormick and before that Adam Chapman, now it’s Ched Evans. Four players in ten years, and we still haven’t resolved the issue.

Let’s not pretend that Oxford fans are consistent and morally principled on the issue. Chapman, whose crime was dangerous driving resulting in the death of a pensioner, was supported almost without question. Reponse to McCormick’s signing – after killing two children while drunk driving – was generally hostile until he put in a series of solid performances covering for Ryan Clarke, he left at the end of the season with generally good will.

Ranger didn’t sign, of course, but given the state we were at the time there was the attitude of, well, if he can do a job…

Karl Robinson admitted this week that Ched Evans was a player that interested him. Rightly so, Evans is a decent player whose been seriously devalued due to his conviction for rape in 2012. That devaluation has brought the player into our price range when in normal circumstances we wouldn’t be able to afford him. In terms of a playing ‘asset’ Evans makes a lot of sense and Robinson is right to consider him an option.

The conviction was quashed in 2016, but the stench of the trial remains. Evans is free to work in whichever field he can find it. There’s a line of argument that says being a footballer is a privileged position and that players who do wrong shouldn’t be admitted back into the fold. That’s nonsense.

There’s also the argument that Evans is innocent (unlike the others), a victim of a malicious claim by his accuser. More than one professional footballer has openly empathised with the predatory dangers of women.

But Evans being found not guilty doesn’t prove his innocence. What his legal team achieved – with the aid of a substantial reward – was to convince a jury that the accusers previous behaviour – having sex with men while drunk – demonstrated a pattern which, while not proving Evans’ innocence, at least made the guilty verdict unsafe.

Evans’ innocence could only be proved if he could show he wasn’t there (he was), he didn’t have sex with the woman (he did, with a teammate present) or that she actively consented (difficult to prove, and not part of his defence). In essence Evans’ legal team didn’t prove his innocence, they undermined his accuser’s story.

That’s their right, it’s how the legal process works. But, most players don’t get themselves in a position where they risk being accused of rape. Plus, rape happens with frightening regularity and conviction rates are appallingly low. Rape is hard to prove, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen and I’m generally of the opinion that failed cases are more likely to be the result from a lack of evidence than the maliciousness of the accuser. What is there to gain from having the intimate details of your sex life commited to public record? Unless you believe that women are genetically predisposed to this kind of thing, in which case, you are an ignoramous.

Despite the verdict, Evans’ story remains a grubby one, and one that he has been an active participant in. While he should be free to continue his career wherever he can find work, this is a story that I’d rather we weren’t a part of.

George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts – Fosu’ll Fuel

Monday 1 July 2019

We open the week looking into a gaping chasm from here to the first friendly of the season – WHICH IS NEXT FRICKIN’ SUNDAY OR THIS SUNDAY IF YOU’RE READING THIS NEXT SUNDAY. We regret to inform you that there is no more go-to no-news news-carreon to feed off as Gino van Kessel’s Gold Cup quest is over. The USA finally put plucky Curacao to the sword with a 1-0 win in the second round of the tournament. We are bereft.

Elsewhere, in science, we’ve learned the largest unit of time is called a supereon. Previously determined by geological formations, scientists now describe this as the unit of time between everyone knowing that Tariqe Fosu was signing for us and the official announcement that he had. That day finally came on Monday.

Tuesday 2 July 2019

Deep fried pastiness ahoy, Sunday is the Steve Kinniburgh derby at Ibrox. Those thinking Rangers have been seduced by the glamour of a friendly against Oxfordshire’s finest need to think again. According their Head PT Instructor, Stevie G’s Tax Avoiding Army are wargaming the rigours of playing second rate European football followed by fifth rate domestic football every week until they’re knocked out by Maltese part-timers in mid-July. We don’t know if we’re Lazio or Cowdenbeath in their fetishised role play.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Back home, things have gone a bit Thames Valley Royals as Oxford United director Horst Geicke has been announced as a Director of RFC Prop, a holding company of Royal Elm Park Development who are developing the land around the Madjeski Stadium in Reading. We’re sure this is absolutely fine.

Thursday 4 July 2019

Jamie Mackie has been giving a little insight into how preseason has changed “it’s all scientific now” said Mackie like a baffled pensioner trying to play Fortnite with his grandson “the balls are out straight away.” he added, looking knowingly at Gavin Whyte.

Our favourite Ghanaian football website, where everything is true, claims Tariq Fosu’s signing on fee was £500k which also claims “he made 27 appearances last season where he made 27 appearances” – that’s an encouraging ratio of 1 game per appearance.

Friday 5 July 2019

Hark! The gentle lilt of the lute, for it is GLS The Bard with songs of bafflement and bemusement, Bard, sing us a tale from the kingdom…

Hey nonny nonny…
KRob is frustrated, he doesn’t know what to do
He wants to sign Chris Cadden, The Mackems want him too
Sunderland can’t sign him, they’ve problems of their own
Red Bull want to buy their club, Stewy’s waiting by the phone
Until their deal is done, then Cadden’s is on hold
But Columbus want him also, or so we have been told
But, Crew can’t sign him either, too many from overseas
Cadden can’t be added, until another leaves
And yet they may still sign him, then loan him back to us
Or perhaps it’ll just collapse, because of all the fuss
So KRob is frustrated, he doesn’t know what to do
He thinks he might get Cadden, but he thinks he might not too.
With a hey nonny nonny…

Ah, thanks the bard, there he goes, on his merry way – those tights are a bit unforgiving, don’t you think? 

Elsewhere, wandering down the aisle of where they stock all the predictables at our local Co-Op, we find that MApp is being lined up by Doncaster Rovers to just miss out on their manager’s job.

Saturday 6 July 2019

KRob’s excited, but then what other mode does he have? The whiff of Tunnock Teacakes and Tenants Super is in the air as we head north for our first friendly of the summer. “They have some world class players” said KRob using a pretty liberal definition of the term – that is, players who can unequivocally be classed as living in this world. To illustrate the fact, among their number is Wes Fotheringham, who lest we forget, lost two derbies playing for Swindon against Oxford in 2012 before being released because it was deemed, and we’ll say this very slowly, he was not as good as The Red Card Ronaldo; Lawrence Vigouroux. 

Sunday 7 July 2019

To those who have made the trip up to Glasgow staring into a grey slate sky, squinting to make out the features of people sitting opposite you. Yes, this is what they call daylight. The day has come, let football reign and for the 700 mile round-trip to be rewarded with something more competitive than Peter Rhodes-Brown’s hurdling over advertising boards half-time relay race. Now, we don’t want to ruin anyone’s holiday to what the World Health Organisation once dubbed ‘Europe’s Murder Capital’ but while you’ve been away travellers have moved into the Kassam Stadium car park.

‘Giein it laldy, ya great bawbag!’ as they might say in the streets of Auchenshuggle.

Transfer window: Liveblog – July 2019

We’re in month three of the creeping death of the transfer window. If you can bear it; you can read all about May and June here. In short, Rob Hall renewed his contract, Curtis Nelson didn’t, Alex Gorrin signed plus a slew of under-23s. We’re still waiting on Chris Cadden from Motherwell.

Elsewhere, Kemar Roofe and Callum O’Dowda have been subject to speculation, although news on those fronts has reduced to a dribble. Strap in, July’s here…

Monday 1 July 2019

Seems a bit fanciful, but then this is the club who signed Ricky Holmes, Teeny Tiny Jack Payne is wanted by Gillingham after his release from Huddersfield.

Probably the least surprising news of modern times is that Tariq Fosu has signed for us taking another one off our ‘possible’ list. Talking of which, Chris Cadden’s move from Motherwell might be on the skids as Sunderland are now interested.

Tuesday 2 July 2019

Oxford City goal machine Kabongo Tshimanga, frequently linked with us – making him a modern day Norman Sylla – has signed with the decidedly less glamorous Boreham Wood in the Conference.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

We knew Teeny Tiny Jack Payne wasn’t going anywhere as inauspicious as Gillingham. He’s signed for Lincoln City instead.

Thursday 4 July 2019

Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once… Chris Cadden has now gained the interest of Columbus Crew in the USA who can’t actually play him due to overseas player restrictions. So, if they did buy him, they might loan him to us. However, they’re quibbling over the fee. The impasse could leave a gap for Sunderland to exploit, except they’re restricted due to ongoing discussions about a takeover. Got that?

Friday 5 July 2019

Tyrone Marsh and Robbie Cundy; both ‘future’s of the club’ during their time in the juniors have signed for Boreham Wood and Exeter (on loan from Bristol City) respectively.

Sunday 7 July 2019

On the day that Oxford play Rangers in a friendly, the universe continues to contract. It seems the Glaswegians want Leeds (because it’s always Leeds) striker Kemar Roofe. The price being quoted is £5million, which seems a paltry sum given that’s not that far north of what Leeds paid us.

Monday 8 July 2019

Spelling’s worst nightmare Fiacre Kelleher, has re-joined Macclesfield Town where, apparently, he spent last season on loan.

Tuesday 9 July 2019

A decent legit rumour; Oxford have tabled a £500,000 bid for Kilmarnock centre-back Stuart Findlay.

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Cosmopolitan sophistocat Çhrïstøphę Wîldë has resisted the lure of the gutter; after being linked to a number of Championship clubs following some unrest at Sheffield United.

As baffling transfers of the summer go, Tsun Dai’s move to Wolves for genuine money will take some beating.

Ched Evans is in KRob’s sights after he scored a bucketload of goals for Fleetwood last season.

And, as predictable as the sun rising in the morning, MApp didn’t get the Donny Rovers job, Darren Moore did.

Thursday 11 July 2019

KRob’s hopes of bringing Luke ‘Garbs’ Garbutt back to Oxford have been dashed now signed for Ipswich Town.

Sunday 14 July 2019

HITC, a site of questionable credibility, claims Neil Lennon has been watching Sheffield United’s Gorgeous George Baldock. He’s been keeping an eye on him for over a year, but only admits in the final paragraph that luring him north is a completely different kettle of fish.

Monday 15 July 2019

Donegal’s finest, John O’Bika has is on trial at Stevenage with the view to a long term injury.

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Itchy footed midfielder Callum O’Dowda is on the verge of a move to Fulham having got bored at Bristol City. We should be set to benefit from a decent sell-on fee, although the clubs are quibbling over the fee.

Elsewhere, Marcus Browne could be set to leave West Ham with Manuel Pellegrini preferring some ready made wing work rather than making his own.

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Oxford have given up in their pursuit of Stuart Findlay after a number of other clubs got involved jacking the price up. Perhaps KRob should keep his cards slightly closer to his chest?

Thursday 18 July 2019

Goalkeeper Max Crocombe has joined Brisbane Roar where he’ll flatter to deceive and Dan Crowley will be joining PClot at Birmingham City for an argument after he signed for £700,000.

George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts: Rob(in)son and Jerome

Monday 24 June 2019

Someone needs to turn KRob off and back on again; we downloaded the new KRob 2.0 app in May which promised less talk about transfer targets, but we’ve woken up this morning to find that’s all he’s talking about. Not only that, he’s talking about last year’s transfer targets albeit in some kind of encrypted code. He’s interested in bringing back Jerome ‘Jerome’ Sinclair and Luke ‘Garbs’ Garbutt who he wants to play alongside Sykes-ey, Hally and Henry-ey. 

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Nico Jones has given up his paper round and signed his first professional contract having broken into the first team at the end of last season. It’s a major first step for the seventeen-year-old whose ambitions to play in the Champions League final, appear in a World Cup and above all, be old enough to wear a football shirt with a beer logo on it. 

Meanwhile in the early hours of the morning, Jonte Angle Smith didn’t feature as Bermuda bowed out of Gold Cup despite winning against Nicaragua.

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Let’s face it, the CONCACAF Gold Cup is the last strand of knicker elastic holding up George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts at the moment. The gift keeps giving after Gino van Kessel’s Curacao snatched a last minute draw against Jamaica to progress to the next round where they’ll play the USA. Van Kessel enjoyed a short run out, coming on as a substitute.

Thursday 27 June 2019

KRob’s been talking. And talking. And talking. 80s pop sensation Danny Wilson who was linked with us is so enamoured by KRob he’s decided to stay in the US to continue what one website described as his MLS nightmare, the Sloth in the Box Jerome Sinclair is off to play in Holland while Chris Cadden has done a bit of a Matt Green (first time) and gone all quiet on a potential deal.

The good news is that former Charlton manager Lee Bowyer has admitted that Tariq Fosu is set to join. “He knows Karl Robinson…” said the reformed nasty piece of work “…and it still hasn’t put him off.” He didn’t add.

Meanwhile, creepy Uncle Warnock has got his man as Curtis Nelson turned into a Bluebird.

Friday 28 June 2019

Eric Thohir may look like a teenager featured on local news because of his thriving antiques business, but there are few moves he can’t shake. Having recently managed the election of Indonesian president Joko Widodo, he’s turned his attention to their Olympic bid by becoming a member of the IOC committee. This is all setting himself up for the biggest challenge of them all; having a cup of tea with Firoz Kassam which doesn’t result in a court order, but don’t run until you can walk.

Saturday 29 June 2019

Those of you concerned we haven’t signed an under-23 player for about 25 minutes will be reassured to hear that we’ve signed Yoav Sade. The club, who seem to collect under-23s like GLS collects tea lights from Ikea, is hoping he’ll play with Salvi Spasov. ‘Yoav sade slavi spasov’ is what GLS says when confronted by his wife at 3am when he gets home after 14 pints of Strongbow.

Sunday 30 June 2019

We close the week pretty much where we started. The Sloth in the Box Jerome Sinclair has signed for Dutch stutterers VVV-Venlo. It’s a brave move, and who knows he may regret it. But, he should never look back – as we had to look back into midfield to find out where he was every time a tantalising cross dropped harmlessly into the hands of the opposition keeper. Sick burn.

George Lawrence’s summer shorts: fixtures and flittings

Monday 17 June 2019

So, that’s settled; Curtis Nelson is heading for Cardiff City. Nelson hasn’t signed a new contract with Oxford due to his ambition to play for a Championship club. This alerted Sunderland, who admitted defeat in the race after remembering that they weren’t one. Gammon fanzine The Daily Mail are now reporting that Nelson’s off to South Wales.

Meanwhile in Costa Rica, Jonte ‘Angle’ Smith drew on the ineffectual cameo experience he gained during his time at Oxford by coming on for Bermuda in their 2-1 defeat to Haiti in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

On the internet, Oxford United blogging sensation Oxblogger has launched The Absolute State of Oxford United Survey, which you can take part in here.

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Negotiations are hotting up to keep Gavin Whyte at Oxford United following interest from Nottingham Forest. The too and fro is like watching the mating ritual of a pair of particularly amourous flamingos. KRob did the ultimate mic-drop by giving Whyte the number 10 shirt next season. Whyte’s considered response was a high-fives emoji on Twitter. That’s some high stakes negotiating right there.

In a, *squints*, Morrisons near Wembley, the baked beans are being tidied in preparation for the Carabao Cup draw which will be held there on Thursday.

In foreign climes, Curacao didn’t make Gino van Kessel run in their defeat to El Salvador.

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Birmingham City have sent former loanee Garry Monk back to his monastery due to the fact they’re making too much progress or something. In his wake comes PClot as caretaker head coach.

The meticulously crafted Spanish marketing construct, and Oxford United record breaker, brings a wealth of experience focussing on football fundamentals; the obsessive recreation of early 2010’s Malmo, soporific tactics and posting vaingloriously thoughtful photos on Twitter.

Thursday 20 June 2019

Fixtures Christmas! A day when randomly assorted list of obscure northern towns starts to address the issues you have with your father’s lack of love and attention when the teenage you was addressing conflicting feelings surrounding your sexuality. Or is that just us?

Football League copyright restrictions prevent us from letting you know who we’re playing, in fact we’re not sure we should even be telling you that football exists. We open the season with the Marco Gabbiadini derby, Boxing Day sees us play in the Wayne Biggins Trophy. The last game of the season will be the Sam Ricketts Invitational.

The Type 2 Diabetes Cup first round was drawn at the home of football (Morrisons, Colindale). The removal of unexpected items in the velvet bagging area resulted in us drawing, a two-for-one offer on Branston Pickle.

Or, Peterborough United.

And then, if there wasn’t enough football for the day, we only went and signed a real life player; Alex Rodriguez Gorrin, whose has a record as a tough tackling midfield ball-winner. He should provide lots of protection for the shrinking wallflower Cameron Brannagan.

Friday 21 June 2019

Back in the real world of losing games, the ever-consistent Jonte ‘Angle’ Smith made a brief and ineffectual appearance for Bermuda in their defeat to Costa Rica in the Gold Cup.

Saturday 22 June 2019

The technical sports bras were back out on Saturday as the players returned for what was nebulously called ‘testing’. We assume this was to see whether they’ve gone up a cup size or two during their down time. Judging by pictures on Twitter, none of the players have gone full Matt Day who appeared to use his summers during the Conference years supplementing his income as a doughnut eating competition professional.

No, you’re regretting finding out it was on… in The Gold Cup, Gino van Kessel featured as a substitute in Curacao’s 1-0 win over Honduras. What’s worse, it means they can still qualify for the knock-out rounds.

Still, you could console yourself by filling out an Oxford United survey, couldn’t you?

George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts: Admirable Nelson

Monday 10 June 2019

Last month, the club publicly pledged its eternal allegiance to the King of Thailand, and everyone thought that was a Very Normal Thing To Do. GLS take these things seriously, so today’s news is dedicated to our new leader.

Remember, workshy barrel chested wingman Gino van Kessel who we had an option to buy for £800,000 last year? An option that became as attractive as eating a nest of wasps? Well, nobody saw van Kessel run in 12 parsecs on Saturday as he was an unused substitute in Curaçao’s King’s Cup win over Vietnam in Thailand. Meanwhile, Tiger was photographed having a grrrrreat meeting with Ahmed Kashi. Kashi’s hotel is a home from home; it’s got a big bed, TV and an early bath.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

It takes a billion grains of sand to make a beach; and today is a veritable sandpit of news. The arms race in the Championship is hotting up – Chrìstôphé Wïldé is still being courted by West Brom and Middlesborough, while Hull City are being linked with Steve McClaren – or as Athletico Mince prefer ‘15th and out’ – and the man who will always win an arms race, perpetual managerial bridesmaid, MApp.

Meanwhile, if you’re worried about the value of your investments in the wake of Brexit, put your money into Gavin Whyte whose stock value grows exponentially. Having lodged a £2m interest, Nottingham Forest have found their target’s value arbitrarily doubled by a Sky commentator on Sunday. Cagey-in-chief, KRob, who has a poker-face like concrete, has piled in saying he wants more than that, while boasting about how good he is at selling players.    

Wednesday 12 June 2019

It’s all going off in non-playing substitute news this week. Tyler Roberts was keeping his snood game strong on the bench for Wales as they got mullered by Hungary. Half of the Oxford United Jedward, Mark Sykes has experienced the joy of wearing a fluorescent tabard after making the bench for Northern Ireland’s Euro qualifier win over Belarus. Gavin Whyte; Sykes’ partner in disposable pop-crime didn’t make the bench and was left in the stands Googling ‘obscenity laws, nottingham’.

An archeological dig has discovered the missing link between Matt Elliot and Curtis Nelson – via Steve Davis, Brian Wilsterman and Andy Lineghan. Neolithic former centre-back Mike Williamson has been excavated to become manager of Gateshead.

Thursday 13 June 2019

KRob’s search for players continues having taken his wife on a hot date to the Toulon Tournament. She tweeted a shot of them looking out across a spartan stadium readying themselves for the semi-final tie between Brazil and the Republic of Ireland.

Giddy fans implored KRob to pull one out of the bag and sign one of the samba stars of the future. But, KRob’s recruitment strategy is taken directly from Henry Ford’s principle of having any colour of car as long as it’s black. Or, in KRob’s case, we can have any player as long as they’re Irish, so we’re only going to get a starlet with a famous Brazilian name if The Republic have Diarmuid O’Pele or Eamonn O’Zico in their ranks.

Friday 14 June 2019

KRob’s admitted defeat in Curtis Nelson signing a new contract. It seems humiliatingly stripping him of the captaincy, giving it to a player with less than 5 games experience, and then preventing him from wearing the armband even for a few minutes at the end of any game has not motivated Nelson to sign. Go figure. He’s looking for a move to the Championship, or at least teams look like they should be in the Championship but are a bit too shambolic to actually be there. Like Sunderland.

Saturday 15 June 2019

The weekend has been a barron wasteland of news, so we end the week pretty much where we started. All eyes will be on the benches of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in USA, Jamaica and Costa Rica (basically, anywhere that’s happy to host a game). This is the international tournament for countries with the best holiday destinations. Jonte Angle Smith is lining up (for the national anthems, before sitting on the bench) for Bermuda in their game against Haiti on Sunday while Gino van Kessel’s Curaçao start their bid to avoid humiliation against El Salvador on Tuesday.

Liveblog: Transfer window – June 2019

Welcome to June’s Transfer Window, consider this a shelter from the storm of Oxford United tweets complaining about ‘y we dont no about nu singings’. Come and drench yourself in the cleansing waters every spurious rumour in the Oxford United universe.

May was a thrill-ride of former loanees and youth players signing for Conference South teams, you can read about it all here, but let’s carry over three stories of interest.

Having been offered a new contract which he’s expected to turn down, there’s little news of Curtis Nelson’s plans for next season. Leeds’ failure in the play-offs have sparked mutterings of Kemar Roofe going to the Premier League and Callum O’Dowda has done what he does and pulled a sicky to push for a move, possibly to Elland Road.

Saturday 1 June 2019

Jonjoe Kenny could be about to get his umlauts out by joining Schalke on loan from Everton after being squeezed out at Goodison.

Sunday 2 June 2019

One half of the Oxford United Jedward – we know the name is a portmanteau, we’re just not sure which is Je and which is Dward – Gavin Whyte is attracting interest from Nottingham Forest. We’re not one to cast aspersions, well, we are, but let’s pretend we’re not; but the story was broken by newspapers in Northern Ireland, where Whyte is away on international duty. Unless a Nottinghamshire hack has speculatively gone to Ireland sniffing for a story, we’d speculate this might be coming from the Camp of Whyte. Is he about to O’Dowda us?

Wednesday 5 June 2019

INCOMING? We’ve been linked with Charlton winger Tariqe Fosu <strikethrough>who might be a good replacement for Gavin Whyte</strikethrough>. Apparently the race for his signature is a three-way battle between us, Lincoln and Rotherham. KRob worked with Fosu when was at Charlton, because KRob seems to have worked with every professional footballer in the country at some point. Presumably Fosu wouldn’t have to uproot to come to Oxford, so maybe that’s a go-er.

Friday 7 June 2019

Leeds are ready to offer Kemar Roofe a big pay rise to keep him at Elland Road. Roofe was keen to start negotiations a year ago when he wasn’t top scorer, Leeds are ready now he is. Thems the breaks, I guess.

Meanwhile poor old Callum O’Dowda may have to find a new club to agitate a move to, the same report says Leeds aren’t interested. The big O’D (Original Defector) will have to focus on engineering a move elsewhere.

Sunday 9 June 2019

KRob’s attempt at signing every Charlton player took another step with rumours that we’d like to sign Defender Jason Pearce. Sunderland and Portsmouth are also in for him, so KRob will have his work cut out.

Monday 10 June 2019

Derby manager Frank Lampard is interested in signing loan specialist Todd Kane. Lardy Lamps will vaguely remember Kane from his days flushing the young full-back’s head down the toilet and stealing his dinner money at Chelsea.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Matt Green is becoming a modern day Jefferson Louis after signing for his eleventh club; Grimsby Town. Dejohn Noel-Williams, briefly of this parish, has made the big time with a move to Wealdstone.

Our short lived pursuit of Jason Pearce may already be over as Portsmouth are apparently his preferred destination.

Meanwhile, Jonjoe Kenny’s loan has been confirmed by Schalke, who totally went there.

Wednesday 11 June 2019

Former loan striker, Jordan Bowery has joined evil ne’er do wells, MK Dons after turning down a new contract at Crewe. Celtic and Rangers are fighting again, this time over Marcus Browne, who they want on loan. Get a room, guys.

Thursday 12 June 2019

This one makes a lot of sense; apparently newly promoted Aston Villa want to bring Kemar Roofe back to the West Midlands.

Friday 14 June 2019

Fact-vacuum The Sun (actually, the Scottish version The McSun) are reporting that we might be in for Motherwell’s midfielder Chris Cadden, the basis of the story being that KRob scouts in Scotland regularly (signings = 0).

Saturday 16 June 2019

Former youth team player Marvel, yes Marvel, Ekpiteta has signed for Newport County. His brother Marvin, yes Marvin and Marvel, plays for Leyton Orient.

Monday 17 June 2019

Looks like Curtis Nelson is off to Cardiff City to join creepy Uncle Warnock in the Championship. Apparently Stewart Donald at Sunderland wanted to continue Project: Oxford (North), by signing Nelson, but the defender wants to play in the Championship.

Tuesday 19 June 2019

That Chris Cadden rumour appears to be gathering pace with The Herald reporting that a fee of around £300,000 has been established. But, more than that, KRob’s going for a double also targetting Cadden’s teammate Alex Gorrin.

Elsewhere, we’re also in the market for Jorge Grant from Nottingham Forest. I mean, how many central midfielders does one team need?

Thursday 20 June 2019

We’ve got a live one! Alex Gorrin has signed a two-year contract after leaving Motherwell. Described as tough tackling ball winner, his signing must raise doubts over Ahmed Kashi.

MeanwhioeSheffield Wednesday have shown an interest in signing one Cheyenne Armani Keanu Roma Dunkley from Wigan despite being under some kind of Transfer embargo. So goodness knows how that’s supposed to work.

Oh, and while you’re here…

Sunday 23 June 2019

The Scottish Sun, who are rapidly becoming the voice of Oxford United transfer news are reporting that we’re about to sign Danny Wilson who is neither the former Barnsley manager nor the 80s pop band. He’s currently at Colorado Rapids.

Wednesday 26 June 2019

The general radio silence surrounding the club may be telling as Tariqe Fosu (see 5 June) is apparently on the verge of signing after announcing he was leaving Charlton.

Thursday 27 June 2019

It’s all go; brother of Love Island star Wes, Curtis Nelson has finally signed his deal with Cardiff. The original man-bun Ryan Williams has signed for Portsmouth. Former junior yellow Robbie Cundy, who joined Bristol City earlier in the summer is being lined up for a loan move to Exeter City. Oxford City striker, and sometime Oxford United target Kabongo Tshimanga is set for ‘a Conference team’. Teeny tiny Jack Payne, recently released by Huddersfield and occasionally mentioned as a possible target could be on his way to join managerial cuckoo, PClot at Birmingham City.

Talking of which, former loanee Garry Monk could be on his way to replace Frank Lampy Lamps at Derby.

Sunday 30 June 2019

Legit legend James Constable will be tearing it up at Hungerford Town next season while the less-legendary Jerome Sinclair has snubbed us for VVV-Venlo in Holland.