George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts – KRob holds the Purse strings

Sunday 20 June 2021

Celtic’s interest in Rob Atkinson may push Bristol City to part with £1.6million to land the defender. Atkinson appears to be central to manager Nigel Pearson’s plans to build from the back “I’d like two centre-backs, I’d like two centre midfield players and I’d like somebody to stick the ball in the back of the net.” he said “If you look at it like that, that’s five players”. And if you do look a it like that, then you’ve got to say Nigel Pearson’s really good at counting.  

Monday 21 June 2021

The annual Oxford shin kicking competition returns this year as Oxford United have announced they will face Oxford City in a friendly on the 16th July. Like May Day celebrations, this is an ancient Oxford tradition where Oxford United youth team rejects put on blue and white hooped shirts and try to rupture the ligaments of their old club’s newest signings.

Tuesday 22 June 2021

Middlesborough, fresh from appointing Oxford’s former head of star jumps Chris Short, have announced a link up with Martin Gray’s Football Academy. This is like the board game Billy Hamilton’s Football Academy, except whatever number you roll on the dice, you move your piece sideways. Since leaving Oxford, Gray has built a reputation for developing a generation of crab-like kids able to withstanding howling wails of frustration from up to 7,000 fans at a time. 

Wednesday 23 June 2021

There’s a bit of a stand-off in Bristol City’s pursuit of Rob Atkinson. City have submitted a substantial bid for the defender, but KRob is holding out for more. £1.6m is such a lot of money it’s a difficult to imagine, to make it easier for us all; that’s nearly £400,000 plus add ons when he eventually signs.

Thursday 24 June 2021

It was Fixtures Release Day on Thursday, which, like Freedom Day, is a lazy media confection designed to have dimwits frothing at the mouth. In the Type 2 Diabetes Cup we were been away at Flimsy Droid Bastilletank’s, Burton Albion. There was all the excitement of a thin crust margarita in the Papa John’s when we drawn in a group with Tottenham’s Muppet Babies, Stevenage and Cambridge and in the league there was the startling news that we were drawn against everyone twice starting punting off at Cambridge United on the 7th August.

Friday 25 June 2021

We can barely bring ourselves to look, but there’s been a bit of an interesting shuffling in the back room. And we’re not just talking about Matt Hancock’s hand on Gina Coladangelo’s backside. Leon Blackmore-Such has been promoted to head of pointing and manly pre-match handshakes, becoming KRob’s new first team coach. Meanwhile, Darren Purse takes over the Under 19s to give them the benefit of all his experience of getting on the lash at DTMs and Park End.

Saturday 26 June 2021

The Daily Record is counting the days until John Lundstram’s contract at Sheffield United ends at the end of the month. They think Stevie G won’t let it slip now and will win the race for Lunny’s signature. If he does sign, Lundstram will join Kemar Roofe at Ibrox, as Gerrard meticulously recreates Oxford’s 2016 promotion winning team. Joe Skarz is readying himself for a call; Gerrard’s heard that he’s the best defender in the land.

Midweek fixture – Yellows in the Euros

It may have taken 28 years for Oxford United to make any impression on the European Championships, but when it came, it was explosive; pivoting around a single game, and a single goal, on the 12th June 1988 in Stuttgart.

Before we get to that, some context; Charles Hughes was the FA’s technical director during the 1980s and an acolyte of Wing Commander turned accountant turned football theoretician Charles Reep. Reep observed that most goals resulted from moves of less than four passes and therefore argued that teams should focus on creating what he called POMOs – Positions Of Maximum Opportunity – via what we now know as the long ball or route one.

Hughes was such a robust advocate of direct football he enshrined it in the FA official coaching manual in 1980 and it became a template for a generation of managers including Dave Basset at Wimbledon, Graham Taylor at Watford and Jack Charlton for the Republic of Ireland.

The idea of POMO is flawed; there’s no advantage of playing the long ball; all possession in those days tended to consist of less than four passes, it’s just how football was played. Teams were more potent when they retained possession just they didn’t do it very often. The idea stuck and even today, you’ll hear English football fans channelling Charles Reep by yelling at teams to get the ball in the mixer and stop mucking about.

When Jack Charlton became Republic of Ireland’s manager in 1985 he set about transforming the nation’s hopes based on two principles; a full-hearted commitment to Hughes’ philosophy and the leveraging of the opportunities provided by the Irish diaspora.

The Irish are among the most dispersed in the world, forced by poverty and persecution to find a better life elsewhere. To retain its identity, the Irish government had a liberal interpretation of nationhood. By law, if you had Irish relatives going back three generations, you could apply for citizenship. This helped circumnavigate FIFA’s ‘grandparent’ rule, where players were eligible to play for only their parents or grandparents’ home country. If Charlton could persuade eligible players to apply for Irish nationality, his catchment for talent would grow exponentially.

While some headed to the Americas, and others to Gaelic speaking Scotland, many Irish migrants simply crossed the Irish Sea to settle in Liverpool. One of those was John Aldridge’s great grandmother, Mary Mills, from Athlone.

Two things prevented Aldridge from being the greatest domestic goalscorer of his generation; Gary Lineker and Ian Rush. Lineker was immovable for England, while Rush was the leading striker in club football. Aldridge scored an avalanche of goals for Oxford, but opportunities to go further, particularly internationally, were limited.

Jack Charlton seized his chance, giving Aldridge his international debut in March 1986 against Wales. Prolific wherever he played, Aldridge didn’t quite fit into the long-ball system; his reputation built on poaching goals from six yards out. It took two and a half years and 20 games to score the first of his 19 international goals.

He hadn’t found the net by the time Ireland qualified for Euro 88 in Germany. By this point, Aldridge had moved from Oxford to Liverpool, replacing Rush who had been sold to Juventus. Ireland’s presence was assumed to add some colour to the tournament with their fearsome reputation for drink and an endless appetite for the craic. Ireland were what England could have been if they weren’t so angry and uptight about everything, it’s not surprising Charles Hughes’ ideas gained traction, the English dreary and pragmatic, lacking in romance.

Ireland qualified having scored just ten goals in eight games and thanks to a late Scotland goal against Bulgaria. Nobody considered them to be a threat. England, off the back of a good World Cup in 1986, fancied their chances to go all the way. The two countries were drawn together in Group B and faced each other in their opening game on the third day of the tournament.

Charlton was up against the country he’d won the World Cup with twenty-two years earlier, but somehow seemed more Irish than English. England seemed uncomfortable and on edge, partly because of the constant threat of hooliganism, but also because of the expectation that hung over them. Charlton had an air of chaotic bonhomie and the Irish loved him for it. In a frenzied atmosphere, the Irish entered the fray, backed by thousands of fans, with Aldridge leading the line.

The early moments were a testament to Charles Hughes’ vision; the flow of the game punctuated by petty fouls and aerial duels. After six minutes, a long Kevin Moran free-kick was launched down the left, deep into England territory.

Another former Oxford player, Southampton’s Mark Wright was partnering Tony Adams after Terry Butcher had been ruled out with a broken leg. Wright had played 10 games for Oxford before being transferred to The Dell in a deal which brought Trevor Hebberd and George Lawrence to The Manor. Within two years he’d made his England debut.

Wright was drawn out to firefight down the flank. Apparently spooked by the Irish threat, he clattered his right-back Gary Stevens allowing the ball to run loose to Tony Galvin. Galvin weakly hooked the ball across the penalty area but Wright’s ill-discipline caused panic in the English defence, pulling it out of position, forcing left-back Kenny Sansom into the middle to fill the hole he’d left behind but leaving the back post wide open.

The ball was awkward, bouncing waist high, Sansom lashed at it, sending it high into the air; Aldridge, playing target man, beat Tony Adams in the air nodding it onto the back post where Ray Houghton was arriving at speed.

Houghton may never have been an Irish legend he was if it wasn’t for John Aldridge. Charlton’s focus had been on the striker when he watched him score twice in Oxford’s Milk Cup semi-final first leg draw against Aston Villa. Afterwards, Aldridge introduced Charlton to Houghton joking that his teammate was more Irish than he was.

Houghton, a Glaswegian who’d signed for Oxford the previous summer, had a fractious relationship with the Scottish national team when it became clear that, despite a breakthrough season at The Manor and a goal in the Milk Cup Final, he was unlikely to be considered for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. Much to Charlton’s delight, Houghton’s father was from Donegal and therefore eligible for the Republic. Moving quickly, Charlton gave him his debut against Wales alongside Aldridge three weeks later.

Back in 1988, as the ball from Aldridge dropped, Houghton – now also a Liverpool player – burst into the box with his characteristic scuttle. He’d spotted Peter Shilton just off his line and off-centre to the goal, he realised if he could get some elevation on his header, he’d be able to get it over the keeper and into the net. Shilton, playing his 99th game for England, watched helplessly as it sailed over his head for 1-0. The celebrations were wild, it was the defining moment in a defining Irish win. The two ex-Oxford players, with a little help from a third, had ignited a golden age for the Republic on a world stage, one Irish fan said it defined the country for the first time since Irish partition nearly 70 years earlier.

Nestled away on the Irish bench in Stuttgart was Le Havre striker Johnny Byrne. If Aldridge and Houghton were in the right place at the right time, the reverse could be said for Byrne. He’d made his Republic of Ireland debut a few months before Jack Charlton became manager. A mercurial ball playing forward, he didn’t really fit Charlton’s model. Aldridge, Frank Stapleton, Tony Cascarino and Niall Quinn were all ahead of him in the pecking order, Byrne was very much plan B, or perhaps C or D, watching all three games from the sidelines. Things would pick up for him five years later as he spent a memorable couple of years partnering Paul Moody at The Manor.

The defeat was the start of a dismal tournament for England; after losing to the Republic they were humiliated 3-0 by the Netherlands. Wright was rested for the dead rubber against the Soviet Union, which ended in a 3-1 defeat. For Ireland, with Aldridge and Houghton ever-present, a draw with the Soviet Union put them on the verge of qualification, but a late 1-0 defeat, and freak goal, to the Netherlands ended the adventure, if not the wanderlust for more.

The Euros became a recurring nightmare for Mark Wright. In 1992, days before the tournament in Sweden, he aggravated his Achilles and dropped out of the squad. It came so late England weren’t allowed to replace him and he remained an official, if unavailable, squad member. Four years later, in Euro 96, Wright was set to be a surprise pick having worked his way back into contention after two years out of the squad. Two months before the tournament, he strained knee ligaments ruling him out again.

With Mark Wright missing Euro 92, it took until Euro 96 in England for an Oxford presence to re-emerge on the Euro stage. Ian Walker – who’d played three games on loan at The Manor six years earlier – was the perfect nineties footballer with his ‘curtains’ haircut, mock Tudor mansion and page 3 girlfriend. He also had an extraordinary International career that lasted eight years, two European Championships – he was picked again in 2004 – and just four games. In 1996 he played third fiddle to David Seaman and Tim Flowers, eight years later he’d been overtaken by David James and Paul Robinson. It goes without saying, Walker didn’t get a sniff of even the substitutes bench for either tournament.

Memories of Euro 96 are heavily skewed by England’s glorious failure. Elsewhere, the tournament was a bit ho hum; stadiums were half-full and there were few genuine stand out games. Scotland’s tournament was very typical – an encouraging draw with the Netherlands preceded a defeat to England. A win over Switzerland put them on the brink of qualification, but England conceded in a win over the dutch meaning Scotland were edged out on goals scored. On the bench throughout was Scot Gemmil, a disappointment no doubt that was extinguished when he moved to Oxford in 2006 as Jim Smith’s player-coach. He made one substitute appearance at Mansfield, an experience he found so overwhelmingly fantastic he immediately emigrated to New Zealand.

And that was it until this year’s tournament. Leeds United’s Tyler Roberts, who was on loan briefly at Oxford in 2016, is in the Wales squad. After the group games, Roberts – wearing the number nine – remains rooted to the bench. If he does make an appearance in the knock-out stages, he’ll be the first Oxford-related player to have stepped onto the pitch since the 1988 tournament 33 years ago. Given the wait, Charles Hughes may have blighted a generation of English football, but maybe we should be grateful for his flawed theories.

George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts – Stand by your Mans

Sunday 13 June 2021

It’s the Euros! As the country gets behind their favourite millionaire Marxists, kneeling to promote the interplay between controlling the means of production and the inequalities in a conceptual societal superstructure (are we absolutely sure about this?), Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe has revealed that League 1 is turning into a global brand with a prestige friendly against Oxford in Spain this summer; it’s ‘El Clasico Soporifico’. 

Monday 14 June 2021

West Brom’s interminable search for a former Oxford United manager continues. Having turned down Chris Wilder, they’ve overlooked Brian Talbot to focus on MApp. But, Mr Big Guns apparently isn’t interested, he wants to focus on the project he’s started at Lincoln – an Airfix Lancaster Bomber.

Tuesday 15 June 2021

There’s nothing GLS loves more than an ex-Oxford hot take. Last year Danny Rose dismissed 200 years of vaccine research because he personally doesn’t understand it (but buy Herbalife, btw). This week it was Lewis Haldane who doesn’t think it’s right that women commentate on Mans [sic] football. We much prefer Haldane’s analysis, which has previously included ‘Banggggg klichhyyyyyy babbyyyy’ and ‘Stuuuueeeyyyyyy bang bang bang. Here we gooooo’ and ‘Bammmmmmmyyyyy wham bammmmm’.

Wednesday 16 June 2021

In a move that screams ‘CLOSE SEASON CONTENT VACUUM’ the forensically analytical Blackpool Gazette have worked out what would happen to the League 1 table if, and let us check our notes here, only goals from non-English players were allowed to stand last season. So, with a strike force of Anthony Forde, Alex Gorrin, Derrick Osei Yaw, Mide Shodipo and Mark Sykes, guess what? We wouldn’t have done so good, finishing 18th.

Thursday 17 June 2021

8.57am Breaking News: Lewis Haldane is announced as playing in a charity game this summer.

In what is turning into what we call in GLS world, an ‘I wonder what Samir Carruthers is doing’ week, Birmingham Live have been wondering what Samir Carruthers is doing. The self-styled ‘idiot who urinated in a pint glass’ is now at Hemel Hempstead.

10.17am Breaking News: Lewis Haldane is no longer playing in a charity game this summer.

Friday 18 June 2021

James Constable has been talking about the difficult switch from football to being a regular Joe. Constable left Banbury last year to focus on his new job. ‘My boss has to keep reminding me I can take days off.’ he said. He’s also been told that he doesn’t need to track back to cover Carl from finance when he gets a coffee and that Janet in HR doesn’t like it when he shouts ‘OUR BALL, LINO’ when she picks up his photocopying.

George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts – Golly Josh

Sunday 8 June 2021

In the same way that you’re never more than six feet from a rat, KRob is never more than three months from signing a winger.  The first of four (only four?) he plans to bring into the club over the summer is on the verge of signing. And it could be the return of one of the great man-buns; Ryan Williams who has turned down a new contract at Portsmouth. 

Monday 9 June 2021

Lincoln City have confirmed they’ve received no communication from West Brom about MApp taking over at the Hawthorns. Odds-on favourite to take over the vacant role, MApp’s staying poker faced, or possibly orgasmically happy, or maybe incandescent with rage, frankly how can you possibly tell? 

Tuesday 10 June 2021

The people of Huddersfield haven’t been this excited since their industrial revolution in 1987. Yorkshire Live have gathered quotes from all Josh Ruffels’ previous Oxford managers. KRob called him a diamond, MApp said he has a fantastic attitude and Gary Waddock’s said he once passed him some tea bags in the staff canteen.

Wednesday 11 June 2021

He runs, scores for fun and persists with a man bun; Ryan Williams has become Oxford’s first signing of the summer after turning down a new contract at Portsmouth. It’s Williams’ second stint having played on loan in 2013. When he arrived for his medical he asked where Tom Newey, Sean Rigg and David Hunt were, when he was told they’d left, he signed immediately.

Thursday 12 June 2021

After over 300 games and 8 years at the club, Josh Ruffels has finally signed for Huddersfield Town fulfilling his lifelong dream to play in the Championship relegation zone. Ruffles leaves behind many great memories; Wembley, derby wins, promotion and giant killings, we will never forget his name, even if half of us can’t spell it.

Friday 13 June 2021

Podcasts, they’re everywhere aren’t they? Nearly everywhere, it seems. In the immediate aftermath of Josh Ruffels’ move to Huddersfield Town, the ever progressive Yorkshire Live have helped Terriers Fans, who are not scheduled to get podcasts until 2031, by copying out a transcript of T’Manor’s brief chat about Ruffels’ move.  

Saturday 14 June 2021

Former Oxford United head PE teacher Chris Short has joined Middlesborough, which is much closer to his home in York. KRob has been glowing in his tribute to short “Amazing man, brilliant at his job and someone who people warm to straight away.” Not an accusation that you can level at Short’s new boss Neil Warnock.

Why not take part in the Absolute State of Oxford United Survey 2021 – rate the club, management and players, and predict what’ll happen next season.

Midweek fixture: Season review 2020/21

It’ll soon be time for Oxblogger’s Absolute State of Oxford United Survey for 2021, but with the season complete and the spoils of war dished out, let’s look back at what you were predicting for us last year and how it turned out.

When asked where we’d finish 56% of you thought we’d end up higher than 6th, so even though we sneaked into the play-offs, most expected more. It’s a different picture when predicting the final table compared to others; in that you thought we’d finish 8th, showing how fierce the competition was. But this meant we were ahead of expectation in that respect.

Hull City were champions, but you had them down as 4th. You predicted that Wigan Athletic would be top, even though they finished 19th. To rectify that terrible prediction; you also said Swindon Town would be anchored to the bottom, but they over-performed to finish 23rd. In a hard fought battle of ineptitude, the wooden spoon went to Bristol Rovers, who you thought would finish 11th.

Charlton Athletic, in seventh, was the only team whose place you predicted accurately. Surprisingly, perhaps, Crewe Alexandra were the team that over-performed nine places ahead of their predicted 21st. Lincoln City’s 5th place was the next biggest, eight places higher than you’d predicted, with a similar performance from Accrington Stanley.

Biggest failures were Wigan, 19 places below where you said they’d finish, next was Bristol Rovers 13 places below their predicted finish.

Finishing positionPredictedDifference
Hull City14+3
Peterborough23+1
Blackpool310+7
Sunderland46+2
Lincoln City513+8
Oxford United68+2
Charlton Athletic770
Portsmouth82-6
Ipswich Town95-4
Gillingham1016+6
Accrington Stanley1119+8
Crewe Alexandra1221+9
MK Dons1317+4
Doncaster Rovers1412-2
Fleetwood Town159-6
Burton Albion16160
Shrewsbury Town1715-2
Plymouth Argyle1814-4
AFC Wimbledon1922+3
Wigan Athletic201-19
Rochdale2123+2
Northampton Town2220-2
Swindon Town2324+1
Bristol Rovers2411-13

Cup predictions were pretty grim; in 2019/20 we’d had good runs in both competitions and hopes were high for this season. 66% of you thought we’d go beyond the 2nd round of the League Cup and a whopping 97% thought we’d go beyond the 1st Round in the FA Cup. So, under-performances all round.

Hopes for the season

In terms of more general hopes for the season, the themes produced a mix bag.

Promotion

The biggest single hope was us achieving promotion, even though, as illustrated above, we were expected to finish outside the play-offs when considering the opposition. So, a failed objective, but perhaps it was an expectation bar that was too high. 

Stadium

The great perennial hope was around the resolution of the now 20 year old stadium situation – new stadium or buying the Kassam – you weren’t fussy. In reality, and understandably, this may have been the quietest year on record in that particular issue. It remains our eternal and elusive hope, could it be resolved next year? Probably not.

General progress

More generally, people wanted to see progress; this is a nebulous concept – fans back at the stadium? Promotion? A general feeling of goodwill? More investment? While there isn’t the fervour of last season’s successes, there still seems to be a good vibe around the place and a general enthusiasm for the club. So, we’re probably in a similar place to where we were this time last year and in the circumstances, that’s no bad thing.

A return to normality

What everyone was looking for back in September was a return to normal and we’re still a way from that. There does seem to be some indication that we’re moving in the right direction with fans back at games, albeit in a limited way. The return to normality didn’t just focus on our own situation, there was also a real hope that the financial damage to other clubs wasn’t too deep either. So far, although full recovery is still a long way away, the fact that no clubs have gone bust is, perhaps, a big bonus. 

Nine in a row

This season offered the opportunity to turn seven in a row against Swindon into nine. Naturally, that all went up in a puff of smoke. Despite the hope, lots of you were predicting this, just by the law of averages.

Predictions

Your predictions were wild, varied and mostly misguided, but there were a few gems in there:

Fans

The most optimistic prediction was the return of fans by October, so the brief return in December wasn’t miles off even if it was short lived. One prediction was that we wouldn’t see a live game and we were pretty close to that. Someone predicted that crowds wouldn’t top 4000 all year, which was bang on. Many of you were right to predict that away games would be out of the question, but at least the season wasn’t interrupted as some thought it might.

Players

Matty Taylor was predicted to notch 20-30 goals, but fell short by a single goal, Dan Agyei was also predicted to score 15-20 goals, so six was some way off that. Rob Atkinson did emerge as a key talent as some thought he would. 

Cameron Brannagan is still with us, when many thought he wouldn’t be, but Marcus Browne’s return in January failed to materialise.

One person predicted that Simon Eastwood would be ousted as our first choice keeper, which was inconceivable at the time, although it has surprised many that he hasn’t moved back north and has, in fact, signed a new contract.

Off the field

You predicted financial chaos across the divisions, which, miraculously, hasn’t yet shown itself. Some thought we’d have a winding up order, which we didn’t, others thought there’d be a cash injection, which, if rumours of a boardroom shake up are anything to go by, could actually be right. You also thought Karl Robinson would leave for the Championship, but he’s still here.

Matches

On the field, someone predicted there would be a 1-1 draw with Sunderland, which, for the first time ever, there wasn’t, nor was there another cup game against Manchester City. 

Elsewhere, the season didn’t end with 10 teams with a chance of the play-offs but Lincoln City did turn out to be the dark horses of the division. At the other end, the expectation that relegation would be determined by points deductions didn’t happen.

Other

And finally; there was no red away kit and Jerome Sale didn’t win commentator of the year nor, thankfully, did he swear live on air.

The verdict

Purely objectively, based on your predictions and hopes, it’s been a disappointing season with general under-achievement all round. Why doesn’t it feel like that? Probably because there was a realisation that after narrowly missing out on promotion in 2019/20, expectations were very high, perhaps too high, as was the competition within the division. In such a volatile environment, standing still could easily be seen as progress in itself.

George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts – Going, going, gone?

Saturday 15 May 2021

Cameron Brannagain has been asked, again about a possible move to Preston North End in the summer. With three days until he plays in the play-off against Blackpool, Brannagain seemed reluctant to annoy literally everyone by speculating on his future. We’re shocked.

Monday 17 May 2021

We’re getting to that point in the season where football clubs release their ‘retained list’. As in, we retain the right not to pay you and we retain a preference to change the code on the front door to the training ground. Dan Crowley has been not retained by Birmingham while Donegal’s finest Jon O’Bika is unretained by St Mirren.

Tuesday 18 May 2021

Tuesday was all about the fans, and reminding them what they’ve missed. As a result, the fans are now missing being pinned to their settees for months after fans returned to the Kassam on Tuesday to see Oxford be swept away 3-0 to Blackpool in the first leg of the play-off semi-final.

Wednesday 19 May 2021

The end of season’s best hackers table has been released and it turns out that Oxford are the third dirtiest team in the division. So proud. The club have kicked their way to seventy yellow and three red cards this season, which has only been bettered by Northampton Town and Charlton Athletic. Bookie monster, Alex Gorrin was seventh.

Thursday 20 May 2021

Courtney ‘shit shit shit’ Pitt has been talking about his “football career”. Now coaching players to loiter disinterestedly on the wing at Burton Albion, Pitt claims he was once pursued by both Barcelona and Monaco. Having seen him at the Kassam on loan in 2002, we assume he’d dropped something on a stadium tour and they wanted to give it back to him.

Friday 21 May 2021

They said it wasn’t possible, but he did it. KRob hatched a fiendish plan to score three goals against Blackpool in Friday’s second leg. Unfortunately he left it on the photocopier at Bloomfield Road, so Blackpool used it as well. The 3-3 draw saw Blackpool ease through to the play-off final 6-3.

Saturday 22 May 2021

They could be hearing the pitter patter of tiny feet in Yorkshire soon; scuttling Joe Rothwell is wanted by Sheffield United. Meanwhile there’s a full-on Oxford-off going on at West Brom; speculation is that both Chris Wilder and MApp, and maybe even KRob, are on the short list to fill the vacant manager’s slot. Gary Waddock is said to be disappointed, but available to talk.

Sunday 23 May 2021

KRob has given a proper ‘Who? Little old me?’ to the speculation linking him to the vacant job at West Brom. “It’s probably because me and Sam [Allardyce] worked together for two years.” he said possibly referring to Big Sam’s grandson who briefly signed for the club a few years ago “I don’t really have the energy to talk about any other job.” he said, talking about another job. Could we be in Denis Smith’s ‘They were talking about me being the England manager’ territory?

Monday 24 May 2021

Forgotten Jedward triplet Joel Cooper will be packing his knapsack and heading back over the Irish Sea to seek his fortune back at Oxford this summer. On loan at Linfield while sorting out some family issues, Cooper scored in the Irish Cup Final as Linfield lifted the trophy, which has whetted his appetite for more silverware. He’s now eyeing an EFL Trophy, Oxfordshire Senior Cup double next year. And they said it couldn’t be done.

Tuesday 25 May 2021

Oxford have released their retained list; which includes players they can’t release because they’re under contract, alongside players they plan to not retain. Up and coming centre-back, Jose’s son John Mousinho, has been offered a new contract, alongside Anthony Forde.

Meanwhile Jedward orphan Mark Sykes’ season is far from over, he’s nearly made the Republic of Ireland squad for their upcoming friendlies. He’s fully prepared for the match with a four pack of Fanta in the fridge, some Doritos and a Tex Mex dip combo ready to go.

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Sulky sixth former Rob Dickie may be stepping up a level with Steve Bruce keen to snap him up for Newcastle United from QPR after a successful first season in West London. It’ll be a meteoric rise for Dickie although his mum was hoping he’d take an aeronautical engineering apprenticeship at BAE Systems after he’s finished his degree. 

Thursday 27 May 2021

Sunderland fans are eyeing up former Oxford loanee Todd Kane, who has been told he can leave QPR. Can he play? They ask. Will he fit in? They wonder. Will he crumble as we boo him for 90 minutes because we think we’re entitled to win the division? They queried.

Friday 28 May 2021

KRob has paid tribute to Instagram influencer, Nico Jones, as he leaves the club. ”It’s not the end of the road for him in his career. I think he feels going out playing men’s football and being released is better for him and we felt it was as well.” There’s nothing like a bit of redundancy to make you a man. No doubt, he’ll soon be gracing the greatest theatres of football that the Conference South has to offer.

Saturday 29 May 2021

Recently gelded Premier League sophisticat Chris Wilder is now favourite to take over at West Brom. The club have undergone extensive interviews to find the right man, and, having failed to do that, are lining up Wilder ahead of Frank Lampard, whose managerial credentials include looking handsome in a winter coat.

Sunday 30 May 2021

It’s like a closing down sale at Mountain Warehouse around here; now Jedward orphan, and not quite Irish international, Mark Sykes is being lined up with a move to Ipswich Town. At this rate we’ll open the season with Amy Cranston in the back-four and Martin Brodetsky as a holding midfielder.

Monday 31 May 2021

“Una paloma blancaaaaa” KRob is thinking of his summer holibobs with the lads. Pre-season is up in the air because of the pandemic, but he’s hoping to line up a ‘foreign giant’ to play during the summer, which we can only assume is Gérard Depardieu. “We want to be creative with the pre-season, we want to be better than ever before.” he said, better even than our previous best start of two wins in eight.

Tuesday 1 June 2021

The Sunderland Echo have been trying to come up with ways to show that Permier League Sunderland probably won the division after all. They’ve compared how the League 1 table finished to how it was predicted to finish, Oxford were predicted to finish 5th, but finished 6th

Wednesday 2 June 2021

With the Euros just around the corner, TV companies are lining up their expert pundits to give seeing insights into the play of some of the world’s greatest players. South African broadcaster Supersports have announced that former Oxford goalkeeper Andre Arendse will provide key insights into dropping crosses and slicing goal kicks into the stands. Arendse is such a household name around the world, the Illnois News call him Andrew Allense.

Thursday 3 June 2021

Rob Atkinson has been named in the PFA League 1 Team of the Year. The team is a veritable who’s that? of players you’ve only vaguely heard about. Atkinson is understandably chuffed; “It’s nice to win awards, quite humbling, and I am very proud to accept it but the goal for all of us was promotion and we will come back looking to go one better and hopefully achieve that next time around.” said the club’s communications team playing with their new Quote-o-matic app.

Friday 4 June 2021

More Rob Atkinson news as there might be a stumbling block in Bristol City’s bid to sign the defender. KRob has slapped an, entirely realistic and not in any way to be scoffed at, £2m price tag on his head. Atkinson has two-years left on his contract, so expect the club to play hardball in these negotiations. We say £2m, they say £200,000, we say £1.5m, they say £400,000, we say; OK, if we can have additional bonuses for when Atkinson captains the Republic of Congo to the World Cup.

Saturday 5 June 2021

Ambitious Josh Ruffels is heading all the way to the top… of the bottom of the Championship. KRob seems resigned to losing Ruffels and now glamorous second-tier survivors Huddersfield Town are said to be tracking the left-back.

Elsewhere, MApp is now odds-on to become the new West Brom manager, thwarting Chris Wilder. Wilder’s Premier League experience plays to his advantage, but West Brom are really looking for best footballing manager in the league.