George Lawrence’s Shorts: Karlma chameleon

Monday 29 July 2019

Like a religious leader in an inner-city riot, KRob has appealed for calm as the season opener against Sunderland approaches. “It’s a little bit dark right now.” said the man appealing for calm. “We know we need a striker, I don’t need people telling me that. We know we need a centre back and two wingers.” he added rubbing a soothing balm into our collective temples, “People will be shouting when they read this, saying ‘the season starts on Saturday’. We know, we’re not stupid.”

Just like a scented candle flickering by a bubble bath.

Tuesday 30 July 2019

*ching*

We live in an oasis of calm. Ah man, the news that Gavin Whyte has signed for Cardiff is, like, whatever man. The fee described as ‘north of £2m’ is, we assume, one of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s old-fangled imperial measures. Some say Whyte will be out of his depth, but we have video evidence that he can hold his own. 

Just as the sweat dried on Whyte’s number ten shirt, Ben Woodburn signed on a season long loan from Liverpool. The Welsh wunderkind has lost his way a bit at Anfield and so a year at Oxford will act as a form of immersion therapy to propel him out of his stupor. 

Elsewhere, there could be a new opportunity for the Us to go steaming into the Kassam on a matchday if plans to build a station near the stadium go ahead. It’ll be situated on the Science Park, who will no doubt lobby for it to close on a Saturday.

Wednesday 31 July 2019

KRob donned his headphones and hopped in a helicopter as he turned all Anneka Rice attempting to solve a world of riddles and problems in the space of an hour. The boilersuited beauty managed to end the day signing Anthony Forde, formerly of Rotherham, Rob Dickie on a longer term contract before picking up a new contract for himself

Across town The Britannia Inn in Oxford will soon have a blue plaque on the wall recognising it as the site of Oxford United’s founding 125 years ago. The plaque will act as a timely reminder that nothing good ever comes from a pub dream.

Thursday 1 August 2019

Good god, is there nothing KRob won’t ruin? The sludge pit of naysaying has dried up leaving the doomgoblins picking crust from between their toes. Following yesterday’s sickening cavalcade of good news, he’s now signed the millennial Jon Ashton; Elliot Moore from Leicester City. We are rapidly approaching that point where there is literally nothing to complain about.

But what news of Oxford United’s greatest ever Leichensteiner? We hear you ask. Benji Buchel kept a clean sheet as FC Vaduz turned around a 1-0 deficit to beat Hungarian’s Vidi 2-1 in the second leg of their Europa League tie. We have no idea what that means, but we’re pretty sure it’s good. They play Eintracht Frankfurt in the next round.

Friday 2 August 2019

KRob is strutting about like a management accountant whose wife has allowed him a rare foray into the martial bed for a fumble under her nightie. Having scored a couple of times this week, he wants more, two more strikers, in fact. We think we’ve got one of our headaches coming on.

Kemar Roofe has had his chips at Leeds, it seems, and plans to dip them in mayonnaise by signing for those unelected Brussels bureaucrats Anderlecht.

And with that, the summer is done; this is it; the Mark Angel derby awaits, football is back to ruin everything.

Midweek Fixture: 2019/20 season preview

Maybe I’m getting older, but the summers seem to be shorter and shorter. Perhaps the season is getting longer and longer. Either way, the window in which club’s are supposed to refresh and renew seems to get smaller as time passes.

Last year, the World Cup truncated the summer into a few short hysterical weeks; signings seemed rushed, preparations lacking in preparation. We toured Ireland where friendlies were adjusted to accommodate England games, everything seemed to crash on top of each other.

There have been no such distractions this year, but the summer has been short and quiet. Signings have come slowly, but they seem solid, unlike the follies of Ricky Holmes or Sam Smith. There hasn’t been the panic, nor the hysteria, though the disquiet has ratcheted up with the news that Gavin Whyte is off to Cardiff (and then appeased by the signing of Ben Woodburn). Perhaps fans are settling to our status; too small to go up, too big to go down.

We can search for someone to blame, but we’re suffering the consequences of something out of our control – hyper-inflation in the Premier League. We’re a club with the turnover of a reasonably sized supermarket trying to retain players who interest clubs with huge cash resources. Whyte, Curtis Nelson, Marcus Browne and even Tsun Dai are all heading for clubs benefitting from Premier League cash.  

Promotion seasons like 2010 and 2016 were characterised by a relentless pursuit of signings throughout the summer. That hasn’t been the case this year, and if that’s an indication of intent; a promotion tilt is unlikely. 

Those spending sprees were partly about organisation – good scouting – but also money. A club that can release cash at a time when it’s scarcely available, is a club that is more likely to have a successful season – or so it seems.

It seems fairly obvious that the cash isn’t available, at least not enough to make signings quick and easy. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – the quickest way to do a deal is to overpay and the likes of Smith and Holmes should remind us of the impact of that mistake. 

Maybe the money doesn’t exist or is earmarked for other things. It’s possible that we have owners that are striking a balance between short term performance and long-term stability. Kassam starved the team of resource to fund his new stadium, Lenagan and Eales did the opposite (although admittedly there wasn’t a stadium to invest in). 

The Whyte situation has skewed the argument; we thought we’d keep him, and so losing has had a disproportionate impact on morale. But, looking at the squad, seven players that played more than 10 games last season have left including Smith and Holmes. Five (so far) have signed, with another couple coming back from injury. In terms of numbers, it’s not that different to the end of last year.

There are gaps, of course, it’s easy to pick a figure out of the sky as to the number of players we need and panic, but most obviously we lack a true striker (20 goals, 15 goals, whatever) and we still look thin at the back. We’re not robust enough to withstand the loss of senior players to long-term injury, but there remains a solid core, so we’re not quite as vulnerable as it might seem. Good seasons rely on luck, at the moment we would need more than our fair share. A couple more signings before the end of the month will help a lot.

The shape of the division has changed. Last year, there were one or two serious contenders and a raft of ‘others’. That was evident in our own performance, where we were able to sit at the bottom of the table throughout the year, and then, with a couple of wins suddenly find ourselves in mid-table.

This year, that top cabal has grown – Sunderland, Portsmouth and Ipswich look obvious contenders for promotion, Doncaster, Rotherham, Peterborough are well resourced and organised and should have enough to fight for the play-offs. The result will squeeze a team like us. At the bottom also, some of the positions appear to have been established – Bury are already 12 points in the hole and facing relegation or extinction, Bolton may follow. Who knows what will happen with Coventry? In addition, there’s a batch of teams – Wycombe, Rochdale, Wimbledon, perhaps Accrington who will eventually succumb to relegation due to a lack of resources and are probably on borrowed time. For football in general, this is not good, but for us and our prospects, it should act as the cushion we need.

What is left are teams like us – struggling to go up, with too much to go down. It’s probably a reflection of who were are, maybe who we’ve always been – a reasonable third-level club. 

Getting out of that trajectory is going to require effort and money, and perhaps that’s where the season’s focus lies. What Michael Appleton started to build was largely destroyed by Pep Clotet, Karl Robinson has wrestled to establish a platform – let’s not forget, this is only his third transfer window. Success next season might be about creating foundations.

But, while foundations are sensible, where are we going to get our kicks? In the league, perhaps we’ll be a disruptor, derailing a couple of promotion bids, sending a team down, that kind of thing. The odd last minute win, a couple of big away days. We should probably hope for a bit of a cup adventure to lighten the mood. Perhaps even a decent shot at the Checkatrade Trophy.

The immediate challenge will be establishing a decent start. Last year’s was a disaster and it took months to recover. The season is long, so a tricky start doesn’t mean catastrophe, but with Sunderland and Peterborough (twice) in the opening week, a poor start might tip the sense of acceptance into one of frustration. Karl Robinson doesn’t need that pressure again. 

Looking at the Absolute State of Oxford United Survey and what fans are looking for from the season; we want financial stability; no more winding up orders, greater ownership from the board and a reduction of influence from Firoz Kassam. There were a number of comments about removing Karl Robinson, some want Michael Appleton back although not many saw Robinson’s sacking as a goal. A squad with a decent striker is a must with the aim of achieving somewhere between consistency and promotion, last year’s rollercoaster is not needed. However, above all this were two aims for the season – to sort the stadium out and have a clear achievable plan for the future, and, reignite lost passion for the club amongst fans. Both of these things are the hardest to achieve, but, if anything can be done on those fronts, then the club will have had a successful season.

George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts: Ah, Whyte’s lemon trade

Monday 22 July 2019

What’s that noise wafting from the hazy embers of the weekend? Why, it’s a lute, which can only mean GLS The Bard is back. What stories do you have of the kingdom, The Bard…?

With a hey nonny, nonny…
KRob is excited, he might just get his man
Chris Cadden’s coming, that’s the master plan
Not a simple signing, a normal thing to do
He’s probably going to join us, via Columbus Crew
If he does come to us, we’d have to pay a fee
But if he goes to them, they’ll get their guy for free
In FIFA’s eyes at least, The Crew are rated poor
Where we are rated richer, so we’d be paying more
They’d loan the boy to us, avoiding paying fees
And Motherwell miss out, so they’re not very pleased
So, KRob is excited, he might just get his man
This is modern football, not a shyster scam
With a hey nonny nonny…

Tuesday 23 July 2019

Always trust a man with a lute and a pair of vacuum packed multi-coloured tights – unless they arrive unannounced at a primary school. GLS the Bard was right, Chris Cadden has signed on loan from Columbus Crew

Cadden went straight into the starting line up for a play-date with Fulham, with whom we drew 1-1. Despite Cameron Brannagan being The Boris Johnson – playing the number 10 role he’s not equipped for – his assist led to Jose’s son, John Mousinho, equalising on the hour. It was the most fun KRob has had with Cottagers since that night in those secluded woods in 1998.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Like a mallet made of jelly, the city’s council are threatening to take Uncle Firoz’s lease for The Priory pub away from him. The Priory was rehab for fans wanting to drown their sorrows during Uncle Fizgog’s golden era of misery. As a metaphor for those times, the once loved pub has fallen into disrepair due to his neglect. Now fans are forced to use the authentic local coaching inn Ye Olde Bowlplex and the medieval Templar retreat Francis and Benedict’s for their pre and post-match wallow. 

Over in Europe, The Donkey of Dundalk – Pat Hoban scored a late equaliser for the Irishmen against Qarabag, from Azerbaijan. Interestingly Qarabag is old English for ‘carrier bag’. 

Thursday 25 July 2019

Once more into the fiery furnace of Lichensteiner football. Literally the greatest ever Lichensteiner to play for Oxford, Benji Buchel, was in goal for FC Vaduz’s Europa Cup tie against Hungarian’s Vidi. Sadly, Benji’s boys were defeated by a single goal in the 5th minute. All is not lost though, and the boys have an opportunity to claw back the deficit at Rheinpark Stadion next week.

Friday 26 July 2019

We all know that cosmopolitan sophisticat Çhrïštöphé Ŵíłdê can smoke Gaullist cigarettes, wear roll-neck jumpers and play pétanque until the sun sets, but underneath he is simply Neil Warncok rebooted. Well, the tables have turned, now professional curmudgeon Warnock is doing a Ŵíłdê and packing his squad with Oxford players. Following Curtis Nelson, rumours are abound that Warnock is keen on Gavin Whyte, he likes the cut of his jib, and the swing of his tackle.

Saturday 27 July 2019

It’s always a good idea to line up a friendly against a vastly inferior opponent a week before the season starts to administer a confidence boosting pasting before the serious stuff kicks off. That didn’t go to plan for Solihull Moors who were held to a draw by Oxford United on Saturday. KRob played his strongest, and only, eleven players.

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.

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.

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?