Midweek Fixture: Book review – Legacy, James Kerr

The lockdown offered an opportunity for the club to delve into its little black book and launch its own podcast. Prominent among the guests were the alumni of the 2015/16 season with Joe Skarz, Alex MacDonald, Chey Dunkley and Johnny Mullins all featuring. 

One of the recurring themes that came from those interviews was Michael Appleton’s obsession with the book Legacy; an analysis of The All Blacks dominance of international rugby, a book he himself referenced on the For the Love of the Game podcast. So what’s it all about?

Spend any time around executive training and you’ll eventually hear a management consultant quoting Tom Peters as though they’ve discovered the lost sea scrolls and not someone whose book sales rank alongside JK Rowling. Management advice is everywhere, and in reality, most centres on sugaring the pill of recurring lessons to make them palatable for their intended audience. Legacy is mostly a compendium of standard management tropes shone through the lens of the compelling story of the All Blacks, one of the most famous and successful teams in the world. 

The book doesn’t quite dive to the heart of the All Blacks’ success – direct quotes are limited, it’s more an observers view, which makes for a more clinical read. That said,  perhaps the heart of their success is less mystical than people would like to perceive. Sport is full of talk of ‘talent’ and ‘genius’ whereas success is often drawn from structure and process; that’s a key message here. 

The All Blacks do have a bit of a head start, they’re massively well funded and revered, finding more money and resources to do more things is, perhaps not easy, but not that hard. 

The story starts with the relative failure of the All Blacks quarter-final defeat to France in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. By this point the squad was consumed in its own self-importance; poor discipline and unprofessional behaviour could be explained away because they were the mystical and untouchable All Blacks. But it was rotten and underperforming. There was disillusionment within as well, the whole concept of being an All Black was becoming a reality TV show; even doing the iconic haka was a meaningless chore.

If there’s a parallel, and Michael Appleton has spoken about this, the Oxford team he inherited in 2014 was a ragtag of grafters. Chris Wilder’s ambition had been stymied by a lack of investment and slowly the team was decaying, what he was achieving was remarkable, but still moderate. There’s an entertaining edition of the official podcast with Michael Raynes and Tom Newey, where they discuss the life of a workaday lower league pro; the game is about looking for another contract, creating the illusion of being in demand when in reality they’ll go anywhere that pays. By 2014 any significant ambition at the club had gone.

Appleton talks about inheriting a squad full of players who had experienced relegation, and the general acceptance of that being part and parcel of being a lower league pro. As a result he set about transforming the culture with Legacy offering a template.

A lot of what you’ll have heard on the podcasts is lifted directly from the book. The most compelling was the All Blacks’ idea of ‘leaving the jersey in a better place’, which was particularly evident in the recruitment strategy employed under Appleton. The club was no longer for the Neweys and Raynes’, pragmatically picking up another contract before moving on. The players Appleton wanted saw beyond that; he wanted players who would improve themselves by investing everything in the shirt and the club. The likes of John Lundstram, Kemar Roofe and Ryan Ledson invested heavily in the club, making a personal step forward before passing their shirt onto the next recipient. Quite literally, the number 4 shirt was held by Michael Raynes in 2013/14, who passed it onto Kemar Roofe, then to John Lundstram. The shirt – the purpose of a player being at the club – being left in a better place, creating a legacy.

Lundstram passed it onto Mike Williamson.

There are other ideas – a devolved management structure where a group of leaders were created from the squad to keep the group in check and resolve its own problems. It meant that the culture wasn’t reliant on a single person and that the team owned their issues and more importantly, the solutions. Jake Wright was at the heart of it, and you’ll hear his name come up regularly as a driving force in the club. But also, there were players like Sam Long – younger and on the margin of the squad, but local and perhaps closer to the fans with a better sense of what the club was about. There is clearly a lot of support for Long at the club even now, despite injuries, the club have stuck with him, which clearly paid dividends last season. 

Another driving principle was a ‘no dickheads’ policy; a rehashing of the adage that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’, FIFO is another articulation – ‘fit in or fuck off’. ‘No dickheads’ is simply not allowing disruptive influences to infiltrate the squad. No matter how good a player might be, if they behave at odds with the culture of the whole, they move on. Alex MacDonald let slip that ‘Armand’ (Gnanduillet, presumably) was a player who fell foul of the policy. It might be reasonable to assume Dan Crowley was also in that camp and perhaps even Liam Sercombe in 2017 when he rapidly fell out of favour after the JPT Final. Even MacDonald himself was moved on when, by his own admission, he let his standards slip. It’s not a reflection of the individual, but their compatibility with the driving culture. It’s an unforgiving environment, but you can’t deny its success.

There’s little doubt that Legacy provides an insight into the culture instilled by Appleton at Oxford. He was well supported financially, but there was a depth to his work, which is often overlooked. We’re still benefitting from it now. 

It did make me wonder whether the fans have a similar culture. The All Blacks have is an evolving rule book which every player gets, it describes what being an All Black is, and how to behave. It’s part of ‘improving the jersey’. Imagine a club where the fans are committed to improving the club for the next generation, imagine what it could achieve. There’s another concept explored early on: ‘cleaning the sheds’, never being too big to do the small things. After every game the All Blacks clean their own dressing room before leaving. It plays to the idea that your value is in what you leave behind – a tidy dressing room, as well as an outstanding performance, being the legacy of an All Blacks visit – far more impressive than a mess and a loss. Can you imagine not only walking away from the County Ground with three points, but with absolutely no reason for Swindon fans to complain about you because of how you behaved? That would drive them mad. The atmosphere created by the fans during 2015-2017 was phenomenal, as good as any in the country, particularly when you consider our size, but sadly it hasn’t been sustained which is a shame; perhaps the fans could think a bit more about their own legacy. 

George Lawrence’s Shorts: Take me dancing naked in McGuane

Sunday 9 August 2020

It’s like the opening sequence to Dad’s Army; a well trodden path from Merseyside via The Kassam to the Bundesliga in Germany. Following in the footsteps of Jonjoe Kenny’s loan to Schalke last year, Wunderkind Ben Woodburn is reportedly interested in a loan move to Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Monday 10 August 2020

When the club suggested to Derek Fazackerley that he might want to consider moving upstairs, he was half expecting to be handed a pile of Dignitas brochures. Thankfully, Faz is quitting his coaching role and taking his Stannah Stairlift to an advisory position within the club.

Meanwhile, leading Oxford academic Mickey Lewis is heading up a new sports course called Velocity at Oxford City. “Velocity is a fantastic new provision of football and education programmes” said the suspiciously erudite Mad Dog “There are so many ways to develop a fulfilling career in sport and the Velocity courses will provide an excellent grounding in a professional sports environment.”

Which leads us to ask; will the person who has stolen Mickey Lewis please bring him back.

Tuesday 11 August 2020

KRob is rumoured to be interested in Ipswich Town winger Gwion Edwards. Gwion? GWION? Will the nightmare for people who can’t spell Ruffels never end?

In more chilling news, it’s been reported that David Moyes has been casting ‘admiring glances’ at John Lundstram who is also on Sean Dyche’s watch list at Burnley. It reminds GLS of the time he couldn’t pay for his rent or his papers and ended up in a ménage à trois of convenience with Doreen his landlady and Brenda from the newsagents.

Wednesday 12 August 2020

George Thorne, or as GLS calls him, ‘Anthony Forde’ has left the club. Thorne was said he was sad to leave the club after a period peppered with injuries. He then tripped on the curb and sprained his ankle.

Elsewhere, Craig Short has been recruited as Head of Cone Distribution and Looking Pensive With Your Arms Crossed. Short is the brother of the club’s Head of Star Jumps, Chris. Ominous news for Oxford’s full-back Sam Long. We don’t know the long and the short of it, but we hope they’ll find a happy medium.  

It looks like Burton Albion are going to give the EFL Trophy a serious go this season after they announced Kane Hemmings as their new signing.

Thursday 13 August 2020

It’s the summer of 2016 alumni musical chairs as Sheffield Wednesday have decided there ain’t nobody, like Chey Dunkley who signed on a two-year contract. Elsewhere, Marvin Johnson has signed a year’s contract at Middlesborough; because someone has to keep the drinks bottles in order on the subs bench.

Friday 14 August 2020

Big boned Gillingham boss Steve Evans wants a beach-ready body this summer and has been casting admiring glances at Mr Big Guns MApp. Rather than enter into a regime of healthy eating and exercise, he’s looking for a short cut. Like chowing down on over-priced Herbalife products promoted by a Conference footballer, he thinks he’s found a quick solution is to sign all MApp’s previous players. Following the recruitment of Jordan Graham, on Friday he announced the signing of Alex MacDonald. The sleeve tattoo is booked in for Tuesday.

Elsewhere, GLS’ dutch cousin Brian Wilsterman’s Shorts has been translating a Feyenoord Dutch language website after a story about Liam Kelly appeared on it. Apparently Feyenoord have already agreed to ‘rent’ Kelly to the club next season. So it sounds like Kelly is our rent boy.

Saturday 15 August 2020

While on their pre-season holibobs Oxford announced the loan signing of Nottingham Forest midfielder Marcus McGuane. McGuane arrived at Forest from Barcelona where he became the first Englishman to play for the Catalans since Gary Lineker. McGuane will become only the second former-Barcelona player to play for Oxford since Xemi Fernández. Both Linekar and Xemi then followed successful TV careers – Linekar presenting the Champions League on TV, Xemi being caught on camera watching Liverpool v Barcelona without permission in 2019.

Midweek fixture: The 2019/2020 season in numbers

This weekend should have been the first weekend of the season, but we’re still recovering from last season and the big kick-off still a month away. Who knows whether we’re back in pre-season training or likely to play any friendlies? With the echoes of last season still with us, just about, here’s a quick statistical wrap up.

Our last regular game of the season at Shrewsbury in March saw us hit maximum short term (five game) form for the first time since Karl Robinson joined us. 

Though this only shows short term form, it’s no freak, looking at more long term – a rolling 46 game points total – the Shrewsbury game saw us peak at 81 points. It’s worth noting that although we were on the way up, 81 points would typically be good enough for a play-off place so the idea that we were genuinely deserving of an automatic place is not a strong one.

At a match-by-match level, the season’s success was built on possession. Our average possession was 57%, going as high as 80%, ironically against Wycombe, in December. We also moved the ball around; completing, on average, 144 more passes per game than our opponents. Against Rochdale we completed 627 passes, the highest of the season, against Wycombe we completed 425 passes more, which is particularly remarkable given that they were league leaders. Passing accuracy was also high – 77% on average versus our opponents who averaged 64%. Against Rochdale and Wycombe our passing was 90% accurate.  

Of course all that passing doesn’t mean anything if you’re not ready to shoot. If you don’t shoot you don’t score, as they say. The giddy period around September and October was the obvious peak of our powers; not only were we creating chances, we were getting them on target. On average 36% of shots were on target, peaking at 67% against Tranmere. Against MK Dons in December, we managed 13 shots, with only one on target; accuracy of 8%.

The dirtiest team in the division were Southend at home who committed 20 fouls, though with only 1 yellow card. Against MK Dons we committed 26 fouls twice our season average of 13. Those with a good memory will recall the man in black was one Trevor Kettle. We were generally good boys with no red cards, maxing out at four bookings on five separate occasions. MK Dons and Accrington both had five bookings. There were five red cards for our opponents all season. 

For trends, we tend to look at the league because the cups throw up lots of anomalies. We only had 36% of possession and 226 fewer passes against West Ham in the League Cup, and, even our passing accuracy was lower. But, we created more chances – 17 – with nine on target, and four goals. Against Hayes and Yeading we completed 609 passes – which was more than two passes for each of theirs. We also created 31 shooting chances.

Against Manchester City we completed 334 passes to their 672, they maintained an accuracy of 88%, but we matched them in both shots (18) and shots on target (4). The dynamics of cup games are completely different so it’s difficult to draw any proper conclusions. 

For completeness, the play-offs threw up some curious stats. Against Portsmouth in the first leg we had 45% of the possession – low for us – completing 336 passes – nearly 100 passes fewer than average and lower than our league game in November. Things improved in the second leg with 502 passes and 66% accuracy.

In the final, we had 77% possession and 531 passes with 82% accuracy, statistically, this was the fourth best performance of the season. We were a bit below par in terms of shots, and shots on target, but critically Wycombe had five chances, four on target and scored two goals. They play like a relegation team with results like a promotion team; a true freak of nature.

Josh Ruffels was our only ever present in the league with Rob Dickie one behind. Fifteen players scored in the league. Simon Eastwood kept 12 clean sheets, three more than the previous season. 

What does it all mean? Hard to tell, there’s no obvious correlation between statistics and results, but it’s only one data set. Perhaps comparing one season to another will give some clues about form.

George Lawrence’s Shorts: The Clare switch project

Sunday 2nd August 2020

KRob is adopting a transfer policy that can be described as a ‘reverse Jack Charlton’ – no YOU’VE got a filthy mind. Having signed Gavin Whyte, Mark Sykes, Joel Cooper the O’Xford manager now appears to be showing an interest in Glentoran striker Paul O’Neill, described as being nearly as good as Pat Hoban. 

Monday 3rd August 2020

Nathan Holland has been named this year’s Young Hammer. It turns out that Young Hammer is not the name of a recently deceased minor league rapper, but an award for the West Ham player who has spent nearly half the season not at West Ham and made a name for himself in a team which is resolutely not West Ham. 

KRob’s been talking, again, about Cameron Brannagain, again, and about how he hopes he’ll sign a new contract, again. KRob’s a big Cam Bran fan and thinks Cam’s the man, he doesn’t know if he can land Cam, but if he can keep Cam, there’s a deal Cam can sign. 

Tuesday 4th August 2020

Cheltenham have been looking for a man with broad shoulders to carry them to promotion next season, and there are no shoulders broader than those of Liam Sercombe who has signed for them after leaving Bristol Rovers.

In other 2016 alum news; Kemar Roofe has left Anderlecht to sign for Rangers. Roofe, who has had an injury ravaged season in Belgium, is hoping to fire the ‘Gers to within forty points of Celtic in the battle to pretend Scottish football is not in need of urgent reform.

Wednesday 5 August 2020

GLS spent a lovely fortnight in Corfu with Sean and Clare, a honeymooning couple who were an absolute hoot. Wherever Sean and Clare went, GLS made sure he went – the all you can eat buffet, the day trip to the Achilleion Palace, karaoke night with Sarg from TOWIE; they couldn’t separate us, even when GLS was threatened with souvlaki skewers. We’re all going to meet up again soon, they said, three years ago. Anyway, it turns out the Sean and Clare are signing for Oxford from Hearts. GLS hearts Sean and Clare.  

It appears Kane Hemmings is seeking out a new career as a coronavirus vector. Holidaying in the travel restricted Balearic Islands, he’s decided to quit Dundee to head south to seek pastures new. We hope these are pastures that are sparsely populated for the next 10-14 days. 

Thursday 6 August 2020

Big Ron Atkinson managed Manchester United, Steve McLaren managed England and Alex Dyer manages Kilmarnock. The roster of former Yellows who have fostered an above average managerial career is almost limitless, almost, but also largely limited to those three. Another has joined their number with the news Simon Marsh has been appointed Thame United Under 15 Boys manager.

The club have announced that Singha will no longer sponsor Oxford’s shirts. There had been hope that to extend the deal beyond two years, but hopes were scuppered when Singha couldn’t sell their sewing machines in the stadium concourses.

Sean and Clare still haven’t replied to GLS’ 14 texts, which is such a Sean and Clare thing to do, but in other news, the club have signed Sean Clare from Hearts.

Friday 7th August 2020

In a twist more surprising than finding out Andy Whing wants to be known by the pronouns Her/Them – what? You hadn’t heard? – Cameron Brannagain has signed a contract extension to 2023. Cam Bran loves the fans and the fans love Cam Bran. KRob’s loves his nan and Cam Bran’s in his plan

Elsewhere, the British Tsun Dai; Robbie Cundy has gone on loan to Cambridge from Bristol City.

Midweek fixture: 27 Favourite home shirts – ranked!

Back before lockdown, I thought it was time to settle the ultimate argument; just what has been Oxford United’s best ever kit? Yellow shorts? Blue stripes? Navy or royal blue? Adidas or Manor Leisure? The options are endless. So which was your favourite; from hundreds of votes, here are the 27 best.

27. 1973-1975

We start with one of the great Oxford United controversies; yellow shorts. This seventies take was very much of it’s time with the likes of Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester City all adopting a mono-colour approach. There’s not much to this, but I like the Umbro styling and the circular badge.

26. 2012-2013

It’s 2012 reboot comes in at 26, although adopting a standard Nike template, it’s a pretty faithful update, the collar and buttons split opinions.

25. 2014-2015

A pleasant surprise when it was revealed in the car park of Oxford Prison hotel. The single hoop is a unique take on the shirt though the hurried adoption of Black N Rounds as a sponsor was pretty grim. It was an awful season, which undoubtedly impacts the overall perception.

24. 2017-2018

Quite a nice, inoffensive design but one synonymous with the post-Appleton struggles of Pep Clotet. Aesthetically, it deserved more than just a storming comeback win at Charlton, but that was probably its most notable outing.

23. 1921

Not a bad showing for a 100 year old shirt nobody got to see. Perhaps it’s due a modern re-run?

22. 2001-2003

The first Kassam Stadium era shirt, which is associated with the struggles of Mark Wright and the brutish pragmatism of Ian Atkins. A shirt which comes with a particularly high shine.

21. 1949-1950

Periodically the club will turn to blue sleeves to give us a bit of variety in the club’s kit design. This intra-war years shirt with the old Headington United badge is a nice take.

20. 1975-1977

The blue and yellow stripe is a design which has threatened to tear the club apart in the past. This mid-seventies version, with its navy stripe, may not have brought any notable success, but I’d like to see a re-run of it at some point.

19. 2011-2012

A shirt I thought would do better than it did. The season in general didn’t amount to much, but it did break the Swindon hoodoo.

18. 1989-1991

After the dizzy heights of Division 1, we returned to the second tier and took on this design. The season wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t what we wanted. This shirt pretty much reflected that.

17. 1977-1980

The 70s was all about Admiral and their audacious designs, shirts were heavily branded and broke every rule. Sadly, we didn’t get one of their classics, but it’s still nice to see a bit of Admiral in our history.

16. 1996-1998

If you’re like me, you only have to take one look at the grandad collar on this one and you’re transported back to Nigel Jemson trying to make the universe revolve around him.

15. 1968-1970

The Big Ron shirt; Brylcream, dubbin’ on your boots, The Blackburn Game, The Preston game. This old gold number will give your dad a funny feeling in his trousers.

14. 2010-2011

A strong showing for a shirt which was controversial when it was released for our first season back in the Football League. It’s too blue they screamed, now it’s a bit of an cult classic.

13. 1991-1993

For some people it’s difficult to look at this shirt without seeing Mike Ford’s Madchester ‘cutains’ hairdo.

12. 2018-2019

The start of the Puma/Singha years, and a solid opener. It looked better with blue shorts, because, well, just because.

11. 1998-2000

For me, this is the all-time default Oxford United kit – plain yellow with a simple trim and a good solid V neck. An absolute beauty, but not one that makes the top 10.

10. 2009-2010

An effortlessly stylish Nike template and the last to feature Buildbase. It’ll always be synonymous with Alfie Potter and all that but 10th is a surprisingly weak showing for the shirt that took us back to the Football League in 2010.

9. 2016-2017

A nod to the pinstripes of the early 80s, this post-promotion shirt saw some action – beating Birmingham and Newcastle in the cup as well as a derby double of Swindon, including THAT Rob Hall howitzer.

8. 1982-1985

Kit-wise, the glory years of the mid-eighties will always be synonymous with what came later, but this pinstriped beauty made by Spall Sports was the kit that carried us through the peak from beating Manchester United and Arsenal to promotion to the top flight.

7. 1993-1994

When a club celebrates a major milestone, it usually seeks out an old classic and updates it. For our centenary, we ignored that old trope and introduced this challenging design. The train tracks on the sleeves are magnificent, though were never repeated.

6. 2019-2020

Teetered on the edge of legend, the promotion shirt that never was? The first, and perhaps last, Oxford United shirt to feature a sublimated flux.

5. 1980-1982

A real beauty; the classic Adidas trefoil, the simple badge, the royal blue shorts. OK, so it was a generic template used by everyone from Sweden to Mansfield, but just look at it.

4. 1987-1989

Fourth is not bad for a yellow and white striped shirt which was worn in a relegation season.

3. 2015-2016

Re-booting an all-time classic from the mid-80s was a bold move. In the end it was a masterstroke; 2015-16 had everything, promotion, giant killings, derby wins and a Wembley visit, in the end, the re-boot decision just re-confirmed the design’s legend.

2. 1994-1996

The ghosted badge in the design splits opinions from a purely aesthetic perspective, but the late-season charge to promotion in 1996 makes this one an all time classic.

1. 1985-1987

Not the most attractive shirt – the yellow is too pale, the shadow stripes are dated, but the adoption of Umbro as manufacturer felt very grown up after the Spall Sports years. It’s also a shirt that didn’t see a lot of league wins, narrowly avoiding relegation in 1986. But there was that game, and that’s why it’ll always be a classic.

George Lawrence’s Shorts: The Taylor swift show

Sunday 26 July 2020

KRob may be ready to sign former target Garath McClearly from Donaldson’s Dairy. The 33-year-old attacker has been released by Reading and may be the man to fill the gap left by Jamie Mackie’s retirement last week. We understand this to mean someone whose legs have gone but will spend 20 minutes complaining to the referee about a fictitious cut on his head from a phantom elbow he didn’t receive from a centre-back he was nowhere near catching.

Monday 27 July 2020

The funeral of lifelong fan John Pattison was held in Abingdon on Monday. The whole thing had an Oxford United theme with the casket wrapped in yellow and blue. The service was held in a local Ben Abbey where John grew his Andy Whings to be with the Mark Angels. Keeping with the theme, the family said their goodbyes before departing for home to get beaten 1-0 by Bristol Rovers. 

Tuesday 28 July 2020

KRob is like a Dolly Parton Vegas show, no danger of rolling out a Somali nose flute orchestra, he’s just going to play the old hits. Stephen O’Donnell, a target in January, is back on the radar following the full-back’s release by Kilmarnock. O’Donnell’s selected quotes include: “I’m pretty relaxed just now…”, “…no point in getting carried away…”, “I’ll just keep calm” and “There’s no rush”. 

GLS senses we’re about three weeks away from him standing outside KRob’s house, stripped to the waste in the dead of night with a four pack of Tennents shouting “TAKE ME BACK KARLY, I’VE CHANGED”. Any final thoughts?

“I’m still pretty relaxed…” 

That’s fine Stephen, that’s fine.

Elsewhere, The Mirror are speculating that Wunderkind Ben Woodburn could be for the chop at Liverpool. Apparently games against Accrington, Lincoln and Tranmere are no longer considered adequate preparation for a Champions League campaign against Juventus and Barcelona.

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Oxford are reportedly in a ‘battle’ with Portsmouth for the signature midfielder Ethan Robson. Robson was recently released by doe eyed cash puppy Stewart Donald’s Sunderland. You probably won’t remember Robson from the lavish Netflix documentary about how one of Britain’s biggest clubs triumphantly finished 51st in the League. Robson played eleven games for the Mackems to fire them out of the Championship into League 1 and spent last season on loan at Grimsby Town, taking them to within a point of 14th in League 2. Fans are asking whether this might be the second coming of Gary Twigg.

Thursday 30 July 2020

He’s got a deep freeze, TVs and David Bowie LPs… KRob’s been hawking sulky sixth-former, Rob Dickie saying that his price ‘gone up’. There hasn’t been a bid yet but the price is definitely higher than that and maybe as high as ‘undisclosed’. 

Meanwhile, Tiger excitedly took to Twitter to not announce a major new signing. It feels like the time GLS boasted to his friends that he was getting Action Man for Christmas, before getting a ‘Special Reservist Colin’ doll from the local market.

Elsewhere, Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez has been telling his remarkable story from poverty in Buenos Aires to the Arsenal first team. Martinez’s big break was ‘doing a Mike Salmon’ on loan at Oxford in 2012 when he conceded three goals in his only game on loan against Port Vale. After this, his career hurtled downwards towards Saturday’s FA Cup Final.

Friday 31 July 2020

Turns out that Tiger’s tantalizing Twitter tattle was trailering the terrific transfer target Taylor. The former Woodstock Town strike and one-time Bullet Baxter to Josh Ruffels’ Zammo Maguire, who is famously averse to vaporous non-renewable energy sources, has signed a three-year contract.

We live in strange times, Trump, Brexit, coronavirus, so it seems somehow apposite that the one-man parallel universe Danny Hylton is still a Championship player having signed a new two-year contract with  Luton Town

Elsewhere, Watford don’t think there’s nobody, like Chey Dunkley.

Saturday 1 August 2020

Emiliano Martinez became the first ex-Oxford goalkeeper to win an FA Cup Final since Milija Aleksic after Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Chelsea. Martinez said that winning the world’s most prestigious trophy was OK, but nothing compared to the thrill of playing with the one and only Tony Capaldi at Vale Park in 2012.

Elsewhere, Tyrone Marsh has signed for Stevenage while two hundred and seventy three year old Dannie Bulman has signed a new contract at Crawley. Bulman says he’s already putting dubbin on his boots and smoking 30 woodbines a day ready for the new season.