George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts – Hall and notes

Monday 27 May 2019

Sunderland Till I Die was a Netflix smash chronicling The Mackems’ glorious march to Premier League promotion that built, like a classic Hollywood fairytale, to a humiliating relegation. They are now led by former Oxford United saviour Charlie Methven and his doe-eyed cash-puppy Stewart Donald featuring a side-order of Wondertroll Chris Maguire. Filming for series two wrapped at Wembley yesterday with defeat to Charlton in the League 1 play-off final. The producers now face the enviable task of committing to film a redemptive story of how this once great club fell to League 1 and heroically stayed there.

Jonté Angle Smith brushed aside his Oxford United woes with a goal for Bermuda in their Gold Cup warm up game against a team of part-time cleaners from San Miguel Azores. As it happens GLS once scored when playing with a spritely part-time cleaner from Ormskirk after drinking San Miguel in the Azores, but that just resulted in a rather nasty itch.

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Strong and silent type Niall, ‘don’t call me Niall, it’s Neal, just spelt Niall’ McWilliams insists that negotiating for a better stadium deal with Uncle Firoz is not futile. Donning a colander as a helmet and a rusty bin lid as a shield, the veteran of four winding up campaigns will appeal to Uncle F’s special kind of kindness to take a bit of the toxicity out of the relationship.

Wednesday 29 May 2019

The Aylesbury Ashley Young Rob Hall has signed a new one-year contract. Hall has had a wretched couple of years with his football brain writing cheques his knee ligaments won’t cash. KRob is hoping that the witch doctors at the club will have put those woes behind him.

Swansea City are rolling out the big guns in their quest to return to the Premier League. Mr Big Guns himself, in fact. MApp is apparently glaring menacingly at an offer to take over as their manager; look, it’s just his normal face, right?

Thursday 30 May 2019

The original man-bun, Ryan Williams has been called up to the Australian national team. Williams was the break out star of the 2013/14 season on loan from Fulham. If that doesn’t ring any bells then perhaps the words ‘Waddock’ and ‘Animaletes’ will jog your memory. Williams, who was like Ricky Holmes with a more serviceable back, has just left Rotherham, whose relegation has resulted in a call-up for The Digerisoccerdoos’ game against South Korea.

Friday 31 May 2019

The Oxford United Jedward Mark Sykes and Gavin Whyte will be finishing each other’s sentences and doing attention seeking peace signs in Estonia and Belarus after being called up to Northern Ireland’s squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers. Expect KRob to make a statement about wanting to play them in a kickabout in the park he’s organising for his kids at the same time.

Saturday 1 June 2019

He may have the continental swag of a Shirley Valentine knee trembler, but Premier League sophisticate Chrïstophé Wïldê could be about to return to his alter-ego Chris Wilder. West Brom are considering an audacious move to drag Wilder back to Championship. Apparently he is unhappy with some off-the-field shenanigans at Sheffield United and may be tempted to leave.

George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts: Magnetic feels

Monday 13 May 2019

We open the week with an apology; GLS maintains high standards of professionalism and we forgot to mention the escapades of our benchmark professional Daniel Crowley. If you don’t recall, Crowley was a diminutive attacking midfielder who joined us on loan from Arsenal in 2016 – think Jack Payne in Cuban heels. Crowley’s time was cut short due to Michael Appleton’s dark mutterings about his conduct (following a spell at Barnsley, who made dark mutterings about his conduct). His career has been revitalised Jadon Sancho style by moving to Europe – taking his brand of ill discipline to Willem II in the Eredivisie. A couple of weeks ago, Willem II, which is Dutch for Will.I.Am, lost 4-0 to Ajax in the Dutch Cup Final with Crowley coming off the bench for the last half hour.

In other news, lovable Le Petite Boule de Bowling, Alex MacDonald had play-off heartbreak when Mansfield were knocked out by Newport County on penalties. Armani Little – which also describes the only clothes GLS ever finds at Bicester Village – scored in Woking’s play-off final Conference South win; The Millennial Julian Allsopp, Harvey Bradbury, was a late substitute.

Tuesday 14 May 2019

As they say in Game of Thrones; The North Remembers, unfortunately the south forgets. In the hullabaloo about new contracts and released players last week, the name T’ony McMahon was completely overlooked. The whippet worrying full-back remains on our books despite spending a good chunk of the year on loan at Scunthorpe who he helped steer to a comfortable relegation spot last season. KRob doesn’t expect him to return south next year; he doesn’t want to take a “bad signing and make it into a good signing.”; applying his trademark bewildering logic. Some would argue he spent a decent part of last season achieving the exact opposite. Not us, though, not us.

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Exotic foreign coach Chrïstophé Wïldé has beaten Pep Guardiola and other Johnny Foreigners to become the LMA Manager of the Year. The Brexiteers’ choice is responsible for the Oxford careers of legends Tom Newey and Ben Futcher; the award is recognition for Wïldé’s journey from non-league to the Premier League via the second best footballing team in League 2. He says his success won’t change him, although we understand that he’s already started buying Carte Noir coffee and is shopping for some of the more premium brands in Home Bargains.

There was an assistant manager glare-fest at The Hawthorns on Tuesday as John Terry and Michael Appleton faced each other down in their play-off semi-final. Villa sneaked through on penalties, although everyone agreed West Brom took the better footballing spot kicks.

Thursday 16 May 2019

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger; so we can say with a degree of confidence that nobody killed Robbie Cundy during his time at the Kassam. With his career solidly rooted in a single Oxford United appearance against Dagenham and Redbridge in the JPT in 2015, Cundy dropped out of the Football League in 2017 eventually joining Bath City. As a result of his performances as The Romans’ Jake Wright to their Ryan Clarke, who also happens to be the actual Ryan Clarke, Bristol City have signed him up on a two-year contract.

The curse of the play-off semi-finals continue. After Alex MacDonald on Sunday, MApp on Tuesday, The Roofe was not on fire on Wednesday as Kemar sat in the stands watching Leeds get mauled by Derby in their play-off semi-final second leg. Chris Maguire is up tonight in Sunderland v Portsmouth. Uh oh.

Friday 17 May 2019

Johnny Mullins has retired. Mullins was part of the promotion winning team of 2016 before leaving for Luton Town. He was at Cheltenham Town last season, but has chosen to jack it all in. Mullins was known as as The Magnet because he twice scored from a corner in 127 games. At approximately 5 corners a game, that’s a magnetism of 0.2%. Coincidentally, he also has an excellent, if slightly pricey range of kitchens.

Trolly is on his way to Wembley – Charlie Methven’s Sunderland featuring Chris Maguire drew 0-0 with Portsmouth last night sending the Mackems through to face Charlton.

KRob has spoken. Let’s face it this is not an unusual thing, he seems to have spoken continuously since the end of the season. So much so that it’s possible he’s still standing pitchside at Kenilworth Road speaking to an increasingly weary Nathan Cooper. That’s probably not true, although it’s exactly the kind of thing he’d do, isn’t it? His latest ejaculation focuses on his wish list for next season. Nothing remarkable about the list, although he did mention that he was hoping to bring back Wonderfoot Luke Garbutt and ban-magnet Ahmed Kashi and the sloth in the box, Jerome Sinclair.

Saturday 18 May 2019

It’s the day that the whole nation stops, gathers together around the TV set and watches a great annual institution play out in front of them. As well as Eurovision, it’s also the FA Cup final. It’s Watford’s first appearance since 1984 when they were captained by former Oxford United player and now Youth Team Officer Les Taylor. You can read him banging on about it like your drunk uncle here.

Back in the future, Leeds’ capitulation against Derby as raised question about Kemar Roofe. With a year on his contract, speculation is that he’ll be snapped up by a Premier League club this summer. Wait, who’s the cat in the beret with Yvette Carte-Blanche from Allo Allo on his arm? It’s only remodelled bon vivant Chrïstophé Wïldé. He wouldn’t would he?

Sunday 19 May 2019

Our week closes with the news that conscientious objector Callum O’Dowda has joined us the the Republic of Ireland squad. Nothing unusual about that except he hasn’t played for Bristol City since March due to a mystery injury. Always a highly principled young man, O’Dowda and his medical team have searched for a diagnosis. It appears that it could be suffering from a broken contract resulting from an inflated ego with a number of Championship and Premier League teams interested in his signature. All very treatable if you apply a great pile of money to it.

George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts: Xemi-final heartache

Monday 6 May

KRob will need a bit of a sit down after his trip to Luton at the epic conclusion of this season’s blockbuster saga we call: Shambles: Endgame. Shod of his patent black puffa jacket, a fashion statement not seen since Kevin and Perry Go Large, he was quick to condemn Luton fans who celebrated their promotion on Saturday by slinging a smoke bomb into the Oxford end. KRob, ever one to set a good example, would have preferred them to follow his lead on how to conduct oneself during a promotion party by simply smacking someone in the chops.

Tuesday 7 May

Luton Town striker George Moncur apologised for taunting Oxford fans after scoring his team’s first goal on Saturday. Moncur magnanimously acknowledged that the Oxford fans doing nothing wrong, had done nothing wrong. His apology rang somewhat hollow when admitting he just can’t help himself in that ‘Oops! I did it again’ way Britney Spears did when coquettishly describing how she accidentally keeps dressing as a dirty old man’s wet dream.

Meanwhile, if we ever needed a reminder that we’re no longer in the era of John Durnin and Billy Whitehurst, in ‘I beg your pardon?’ news, the club tweeted its collective allegiance to King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand. The newly coronated king recently announced that his security detail would become his new queen; we look forward to Tiger persuading the consort to take the Kassam Stadium into her portfolio and allow The Yellow Ultras banners back into the East Stand.

Wednesday 8 May

Like Cheers or The Simpsons, Oxford United have launched a spin-off show which threatens to be funnier than the original. The latest episode of the new show – The Oxford United Board – aired yesterday following the successful pilot episode; Whose Tax Bill Is It Anyway? and yesterday’s season opener The King and I.

This episode, entitled Filthy Rich and Cat Flap, focussed on the new board, and went something along the lines of something something great fans, something something great city, hey, why not watch this video about how eye wateringly rich Anindya Bakrie is. Classic.

Thursday 9 May

It’s happened! Transfer Christmas! Yes, it’s the day clubs announce, in the most public way possible, which players they’re making redundant. Alan Shearer’s brother Scott, spellcheck’s Fiarce Kelleher, Donegal’s finest Jon O’Bika, Cheltenham Charlie Raglan, Jonte ‘angle’ Smith have all been given the old heave-ho by KRob. They all leave with our best wishes for the… yeah whatever.

Curtis Nelson and The Aylesbury Ashley Young, Rob Hall, have been offered new contracts, Jose’s son, John Mousinho and Son of God, Jack Stephens have had their sentences, sorry, contracts, extended.

Friday 10 May

Like the time GLS ate that four day old paella, Oxford United endured an unfortunate Spanish incident a couple of years ago when it hired Pep Clotet as manager. It all passed in a blur of Dwight Tiendellis, but one little Spanish aberration has been largely forgotten.

For a short while, Xemi Hernandez was going to be our Lionel Messi, but after becoming hacked off by those uniquely British affectations like running and tackling, he ended up back home at Lleida in the Spanish 3rd division. On Tuesday, he decided to bunk off work to see the aforementioned Messi spend 90 minutes looking bewildered in Anfield during Liverpool’s epic comeback in the Champions League. His indiscretion was rumbled when he was seen on TV, resulting in a fine from his promotion seeking club.

Back home, there is no more evocative fixture in our history than Oxford United versus QPR. Yes, the game that’s best known as being the Peter Hucker derby will be re-run as a friendly in July.

Saturday 11 May

KRob is in Scotland looking for players, while others are in France and Spain, apparently there’s a ball playing midfielder in the Spanish third division who may be looking for a new club. Faz has made up a double portion cheese sandwiches for his trip to Ireland, because he won’t touch that funny foreign food they eat.

Back home, when GLS’ creepy uncle comes for Christmas, he shuts his eyes, goes to his happy place and prays the door handle doesn’t click in the dead of the night. That happy place is 2016 when everything was rosey and there was no such thing as Agon Mehmeti. So, on Saturday, GLS got that funny feeling in his trousers watching 2016 alumnus Kemar Roofe smashing in the winner for Leeds in the Championship play-off semi-final against Derby.

Later on, Wondertroll Chris Maguire larruped in the winner for Sunderland against Portsmouth while Max Crocombe was on the bench for plucky underdogs Salford City, as they won promotion to the Football League. It just goes to show that all you need is a dream and a billion pounds to make it in life.

George Lawrence’s Shorts – Oxford’s zombie apocalypse


Tuesday 7 November 2017
Is there a more intoxicating fixture in English football than MK Dons in the Checkatrade Trophy? Certainly the 13 people who attended Tuesday’s game don’t think so. PClot felt there were more positive points than negative ones in a game where there were emphatically three positive points and four negative ones. Oxford’s goals came from Teeny Tiny Jack Payne twice, and El Bambino Rob Hall. PClot played a strong team (and Dwight Tiendelli) to face the 1988 FA Cup winners. The defeat, as is the norm in the Checkatrade parallel universe, meant we progress to the knock-out stages. Only 4 more defeats until Wembley!

Wednesday 8 November 2017
Evil Oxford United owner Darryl Eveals, is plumbing new depths by buying up all Saturday’s commemorative poppy shirts. This is, depending on your prejudiced viewpoint, a farewell before selling the club, a great selfless gesture to recognise people who died on our behalf or a cynical PR move to cover up for the club’s evident failings in getting promoted, derby wins, giant killings, sustained success in League 1 (and so on, and so forth). GLS thinks lazy cynicism is an admirable quality we should all aspire to because it makes us feel big and clever, we’re pretty certain Eveals is just doing it to help Mrs Brown’s Boys actors avoid tax.


Thursday 9 November 2017
Teeny Tiny Assist Machine Jack Payne is enjoying the novelty of having a growing stature, he’s planning on seeing out the season with Oxford. Currently on loan from Huddersfield Town the micro machine is joint top scorer with Wes Tap-In Thomas this season. “I haven’t been told anything and I won’t get told anything, but as far as I know I expect to be here for the whole season.” said Teeny Tiny demonstrating he was probably the wrong person to ask. Afterwards, Jack was shown committing to our cause by surreptitiously WhatsApp’ing “Hast du gesehen, wie viele assists ich hatte? Und ich bin etwa drei Zentimeter gewachsen.” to Huddersfield’s German coach David Wagner.

Friday 10 November 2017
2016s second best League 2 footballing team Northampton Town visit the Kassam tomorrow. PClot is relishing a lively atmosphere as the paranoid shoemakers get all uppity at any suggestion they didn’t win the title in 2016 even though they evidently did (or did they?).

Saturday 11 November 2017   
Yowsers! Oxford did their level best to extend our enviable winless run in a 1-2 defeat. Wes Tap-in Thomas got us back into the game after conceding a scruffy opener. Then, a minute later, Brexit Tory Adryan Ledson was caught in a possession allowing the Cobblers’ second goal. In an attempt to create a metaphor for the club’s current predicaments, Are Leader Curtis Nelson then snapped his achilles and we all went home to cry into a biriyani in front of Strictly.

Monday 13 November 2017
Are leader Curtis Nelson’s injury is a bad one. “It’s a bad one” said PClot, and he was right, he’s out for the season. Radio Oxford tried to see the bright side, suggesting that at least he wouldn’t be going anywhere in January. Even PClot’s impeccable English couldn’t fashion a response to that idea.

Thursday 16 November 2017
Ain’t no party like a physio’s party at Oxford United. It’s standing room only for those who can barely stand now El Bambino Rob Hall has knocked it off for the next four months with a bad knee.


Friday 17 November 2017
We’re all off to the seaside tomorrow as we face Plymouth at Home Park looking for a first win in six. Aaron ‘The Rumour’ Martin will take the place of Are Leader Curtis Nelson. Jose Mousinho will wear the captain’s armband. He said he feels gutted for El Bambino and Are Leader, while fining Malachi Napa for not wearing flip flops in the shower.

Saturday 18 November 2017
Kerplow! Goals from Brexit Tory Andryan Ledson, Tap-in Thomas, Henry James’ James Henry and Dongeal’s Finest Jonathan O’Bika destroyed the Pilgrims in a way they haven’t experienced since dysentery swept through the Mayflower in the 17th century.

George Lawrence’s Shorts – virgins, appreciating, potatoes

Sunday 29 October 2017
The Daily Mail reported that Oxford United fan Seb Keenan has just picked up a world record for playing the most consecutive seasons on Football Manager. Seb, who is pictured in the story pulling a series of lame cool-guy poses impresses us all with stories of losing his girlfriend and missing great chunks of his university years playing the game. Seb also holds the world records for the deadest eyes and biggest virgin.

Monday 30 October 2017
PClot feels a bit hard done by after our defeat to Fleetwood. In what the Oxford Mail described as ‘truly a game of two halves’, as opposed to a game of three halves, his firm belief is that that the progress is clear for everyone to see. Having lost to Fleetwood last year, we’ve gone one better and lost to them this year as well.

Tuesday 31 October 2017
Nobody appreciates Are Leader Curtis Nelson like Are Leader Curtis Nelson appreciates. As a result of clocking up 60 appearances, the club now has to cough up an additional £80k to Plymouth for his services, which for those who can’t envisage how much that is, this is 11% of a Jon Lundstram.  

Thursday 2 November 2017
PClot won’t be making any major changes to the team that faces Port Vale on Friday night. Having just completed his FA Cup for Foreign Managers’ Awareness Training, he has dutifully vowed to ‘respect the competition’ because of its ‘great history’.

Friday 3 November 2017 
The magic of the cup was in full effect as we disappeared in a puff of smoke with a lacklustre performance against Port Vale. Still, PClot can be proud of his record-breaking run which smashed the 17 year sequence of not being beaten by a team in a lower division and the record of never having gone out of the cup before Oxford City. Norris McWhirter could not be more proud if he weren’t dead.

Saturday 4 November 2017
All is not lost! Oxford City, a team made up of journeymen pros, part-timers and former Oxford United youth team players that you still follow on Twitter but can’t remember why, created one of the shocks of the round with a 1-0 win away at Colchester. Mark Jones, part-man-part-potato, is manager at Oxford City. “We’ll take it one game at a time, but if we can get into the third round and draw one of the Premier League clubs it can actually sustain the club for many, many years.” Said Jones resolutely not taking it one game at a time. 

George Lawrence’s Shorts – crushed dreams, injured bottles, mechanised killing

Monday 16 October 2017
Like a droplet hanging on the end of a leaf or the light chill of morning air, it’s the simple things that give us greatest pleasure. Just like the distant clacking of porcelain balls with two disemboweled voices announcing ties for the FA Cup 1st Round.


So, it is essential these delicate joys are crushed into dust, drowned in cliches and sold to the highest bidder. The magic of the Cup was rammed down our gullet with a cudgel on Monday, it brought heavily branded Magic aplenty as we were drawn away to the only team named after a faux-rustic supermarket in-house brand of spam; Port Vale.

Tuesday 17 October 2017
Oopsy, poor old Michael Appleton’s career revival may be on hold, his old mucker at Leicester City, Craig Shakespeare has been given the old heave-ho by his Thai paymasters. Mr Big Guns has been put in charge on a temporary basis while the owners figure out which glamorous foreign big name has-been they’ll bring in on far too much money to fire him.

Meanwhile, back in the present, I’m Ribiero popped up on the back stick to drive home the equaliser against Wor Jackie Charlton Athletic

Wednesday 18 October 2017
Gino van Kessel is currently undergoing ‘preventative’ treatment for injuries he’s yet to sustain. GLS isn’t sure exactly what that is, but we’re sure the cast he’s wearing to fix the broken leg he’ll acquire in reckless tackle against Oldham in 2021 is certain to work.
 
Thursday 19 October 2017
Faz had to raid the change jar to pay his fine to the FA for slinging a bottle up in the air in celebration of a goal by Scuttling Joe Rothwell against Peterborough. His defence was presented in a letter to the aged misogynists at Lancaster Gate. In it, Faz offered to racially abuse a black female international footballer if they promised to let him off. The dusty scrotes were very tempted, but felt they couldn’t ignore his heinous crime. The family of the plastic bottle damaged in the incident have released a statement commending the action taken.

Friday 20 October 2017
Hipsters’ choice Josh Ruffels has sent shockwaves through wearers of neck tattoos everywhere by signing a mainstream deal with the club through to 2020. Ruffels said it was a ‘dream’ to play for the club he grew up watching at the Manor which was demolished several years before he reached puberty.

Saturday 21 October 2017
It was Mechanised Mass Killing Machine Day at the Kassam on Saturday where we celebrate people systematically de-humanised through rigorous marching. This was the only sign of anything resembling an organised defence as we played out a ding dong 3-3 draw with goals from the newly minted Hipsters’ Choice Josh Ruffels, Teeny Tiny Jack Payne and Are Leader Curtis Nelson.

Monday 23 October 2017
The man Twitter extended its character limit for – Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth – was in the stand for the game of It’s A Knockout on Saturday. The man they call Tiger has been prowling the directors’ box at the Kassam for a few weeks now, which has given teen soothsayer Oxbible a funny feeling in his trousers.

Tuesday 24 October 2017
Future Banbury Town top scorer Shandon Baptiste is celebrating being called up by Grenada for their friendly with hat, canal and cigar enthusiasts Panama. Shandon joined every other Oxford player interviewed by the Oxford Mail over the last 3 months in describing his experience as ‘a dream’.

Thursday 26 October 2017
Les Robinson’s Lestimonial launched with a golf day for a couple of ex-pros and some fans who should really be at work, while challenging situational art pranksters the Yellow Army have announced that they will be having an away day at home next month against Northampton. No, we don’t know what that means either.

Friday 27 October 2017
It’s all AA memberships and prostate adverts in the urinals on Saturday as Oxford travel to Fleetwood Services. Dwight Tiendelli is set for a start, which is timely because he’s due another spell on the sidelines starting next Tuesday.

Saturday 28 October 2017
Nothing doing at the Services as we fell to two late goals. Still, a packet of overpriced pork scratchings and a bottle of strawberry Yazoo made for a long journey home.

George Lawrence’s Shorts – Light fingered Ricardinho


Monday 9 October 2017
Oxford’s Idinho; Ricardinho claims he came over all giddy and didn’t know what to do when he scored on Saturday. The cheeky monkey took the match ball and put it up his shirt to mark his wife’s pregnancy, but then ‘forgot’ to give it back. A bit like that time he forgot he was marking his wife’s pregnancy with Ryandrea Ledson’s iPhone and Curtis Nelson’s wallet in a pawn shop.

Having collected all his badges and lit enough many camp fires, Head Scout Craig Dean has dib dib dib and dob dob dobbed his last for the club. Dean has left god’s own for Leeds United. He’s been instrumental in going to Everton Youth Team games over the last few years picking up a number of gems with appalling diction.

Tuesday 10 October 2017
Henry James’ James Henry has hailed PClot’s positivity in getting through our three game losing streak last month. Focus, it seems, was on looking at the things that went right during those games by showing the players clips of the good stuff. Clips, gifs, whatever.

Wednesday 11 October 2017
Things have moved on at Shoot magazine since GLS was a boy. PClot didn’t mention his White Ford Capri, his preference for pre-match lager and chips or his love of Simply Red in an interview with the long running mag. In it PClot reveals that he was inspired to join Oxford by Garry Monk’s long running Oxford career of five games seventeen years ago. The interview is a must read for anyone wanting to see a Spaniard being mercilessly harangued about whether his team will finish 7th, 8th or 9th this year.

Thursday 12 October 2017
It’s not all pass, move, flick, trick, entertain this football lark. Calientabanquillos Xemi is taking his time adjusting to life in England. “He’s made a huge effort to realise how the game is played here.” says PClot about the ex-Barcelona Reserve. This week he’s been focussing on early-doors reducers and meaningless sideways passing while watching YouTube clips of Martin Grey in his pomp. Stick with us kid, we’ll batter the talent and creativity out of you yet.

16 year-old starlet Owen James has been handed a professional contract a day before his 17th birthday. The striker is looking forward to making his debut in the 78th minute of a Checkatrade game, collapsing under the pressure of being the answer to everything during brief first team goal famine and being loaned out to Didcot Town before he’s 20.

Friday 13 October 2017
We travel to Bristol Rovers tomorrow to face some of the greatest Combes of our promotion season. Liam Sercombe may be subject some barracking by the away fans, but he should be able to cope with it because he’s got pretty broad shoulders. Meanwhile, Sir Dropsalot, Sam Slocombe, will be dithering at crosses in the Gas goal.

Saturday 14 October 2017
We ruthlessly Sercombe-cised the Pirates with a 1-0 win at the Memorial Ground. The goal was Slocombe-ing, but eventually arrived in the 82nd minute with Alex Mowatt-et-Chandon finishing off some champagne football.

George Lawrence’s Shorts – Calientabancas, Thanakarnjanasuth and Vinnie the Ninny

Monday 2 October 2017
PClot has invented a new parlour game; How Long Can I Make An Answer When A Simple Yes Will Do? (working title). On Saturday he won by answering the question ‘is that the best you’ve played this season?’ with: “When we analyse it from the point of view of the attitude, the mentality, the resilience of facing a tough situation and keep believing in your principles, yes.”

Assist machine Teeny Tiny Jack Payne was never concerned about our dip in form; “It’s not like we’ve been getting destroyed by teams” he said, after three games in which we’ve been getting destroyed by teams.

Meanwhile, with a level of conviction not seen since Matt Day claimed eating four doughnuts a day was due to a religious awakening, Calientabancas extraordinaire Xemi revealed that he flew home at the weekend to watch his granny getting beaten by armed police in the Catalonia independence election.

Tuesday 3 October 2017
GLS hates the Checkatrade Trophy, mostly because erstwhile podcasters the Fence End Pod have already come up with the best joke about the games being ‘behind closed doors friendlies’. Tuesday saw the arrival of Brighton Juniors to get some real life experience of the intimidating banks of empty seats at the Kassam. We say ‘saw’; nobody actually saw it.

The most notable thing about the game was that even teamsheet-hogger Simon Eastwood couldn’t be bothered to hang out between the sticks, thereby breaking a sequence of 75 consecutive first team games. The final result? Apparently we lost a 1-1 draw.

Before the game, el Bambino, Rob Hall was awarded player of the round which wasn’t, actually, a round, but merely an initial set of games of a league format. But, when did the Checkatrade ever pretend to make sense?

Wednesday 4 October 2017
Faz isn’t happy; he hasn’t been this angry since his wife burnt his favourite steak and kidney pie. He’s been fined for throwing a bottle into the crowd at Peterborough. The daft sod didn’t mean to do it, flinging it over his head when we scored. A bit like the time he thought it’d be funny to give his granddaughter a scare by dangling her over the stairwell and she broke three ribs. He’ll be contesting the action with the same vigour that he contested that charge for the ‘intimate couples kit’ he got when searching the mini-bar for a packet of Hob Nobs at the Holiday Inn that time.

To make matters worse, Agon Mehmeti has joined the Oxford United Strikers’ Club in a secret initiation ceremony where you roll your trouser leg up and have a cast put on it.

In whimsical happy place in dark times news, Candice Carrol muffins didn’t rise against Azerbaijan in the U19 Euro qualifier, as he was sent-off in a dank 0-0 draw 

Thursday 6 October 2017
Now Oxford Mail is reporting that Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth has been linked with the club. Of course, ‘linked’ could also mean ‘mentioned by teen soothsayer Oxbible last week’. These are exciting times, Mr Thanakarnjanasuth’s interest in Oxford  comes after he walked away from Reading because he couldn’t fund them in the Championship. We don’t know much about corporate finance, but he sounds just the man we need to fund us in the Championship.

Friday 5 October 2017
AFC Wimbledon travel to the Kassam from Milton Keynes on Saturday. The Ugly Gang will be channeling Fash the Bash and Vinnie the Ninny now they’re a fully fledged modern day phoenix club run by fans for fans on Corinthian principles. The Wombles have redefined how football clubs should be run; buying their ground from impoverished non-league tenants to flog for a big profit to a club fattened by satellite TV money and run by a Russian oligarch. What a story, it’s like that time MK Dons threw that club from London under a bus to secure their long term future; a true return to the innocent days of yore. 

Saturday 6 October 2017
If being a modern football club means you have to stand aside and watch your opponents outplay you, it’s all a bit recherché for us. We concluded the week with a 3-0 with a not so tap-in from Tap-In Thomas, a goalinhio from Ricardinho while Xemi declared independence from the bench to smash home the third. What a Crazy Gang.

This week’s further reading

The wrap – we need to talk about Josh Ruffels
Maths of the Day – September – short term tumble 

George Lawrence’s Shorts – the ghost of Chris Maguire


Monday 25 September 2017
“Sometimes you take two steps back and three steps forward”, said PClot post-Walsall, who clearly hasn’t seen Charlotte Hawkins dance on Strictly. He’s identified that our current difficulties could be due to a lack of experience in midfield saying “I think our average age in the middle is 22”; we may have 99 problems, but an impressive grasp of our two times table ain’t one.

Gino van Kessel’s run in the first team has grabbed the attention of Curaçao who have called him up for to fall over a lot against those upstanding human rights fellows, Qatar. If the name rings a bell, it’s either because Curaçao is the home of the Jedi Council in Star Wars or you’ve been encouraged by their Wikipedia page which has a section under ‘Economy’ dedicated to prostitution. He’ll miss our relegation six-pointer against Wimbledon, although you might argue he’d miss it even if he was playing. 

Tuesday 26 September 2017
The team ventured north to face Chris Maguire featuring Bury and were downed by goals from Chris Maguire, Chris Maguire’s team mate Darren Beckford and Chris Maguire’s other team mate Michael Smith in a 3-0 win for Chris Maguire featuring Bury. Afterwards Chris Maguire said he was shocked that a Chris Maguire-less Oxford United capitulated in a way that no Oxford United that featured Chris Maguire ever would.

As Radio Oxford tried to pull their microphone away, Bury winger, Chris Maguire, crocodile tears pouring down his face, opened up about the painful break-up with the love of his life; attention seeking Oxford United. During the summer he walked until his feet were stumps just to get to the Kassam and would have signed if only they’d shown just a little bit of interest and more money once in a while. 

Thursday 28 September 2017
Jose Mousinho doesn’t know why we keep losing shaking his head theatrically while surreptitiously pointing at Scuttlin’ Joe Rothwell and Brexit Tory Ryandrea Ledson who were building Lego spaceships in the corner of the dressing room.

Remember teenage oracle OxBible? He’s broken the news that we could be taken over by health drink specialists Carabao. Using little more than the power of his own imagination, apparently Sumrith Thanaknjnansuth, which also happens to be what was spelt out when GLS dropped his box of Scrabble down the stairs last week, is in the market for the club. It’s true that some foreign types were seen in the executive box on Saturday, described by the bloke in front of GLS as ‘a couple o’chinks’. We’re certain that casual racism and our performance against Walsall convinced Mr Thanaknjnansuth to part with billions from his sugary gotten gains.

Friday 29 September 2017
Westeros international Agon Mehmeti is in contention for a start against Peterborough on Saturday if he can be bothered to play. Mehmeti says he’s surprised at the intensity of training at the club and the fact that you have to be at the training ground ‘all the time’. We can all accept the job title ‘full-time professional footballer’ is somewhat ambiguous in that respect.

The hipsters’ choice Josh Ruffles Ruffels is confident that we’ll turn around our current form. He’s hopeful for a good result on Saturday. He just didn’t say which Saturday that might be.

Star baker Candice Carrol will be unwrapped from his cotton wool when he joins up with the Irish U19s again for a European Championship Qualifying mini tournament. Candice will miss cake week against Brighton Juniors in the Checkatrade and the technical challenge of Wimbledon. He’s not that bothered, because he likes the showstopper that is international football.

Saturday 30 September 2017  
If the hipsters’ choice Josh Ruffles Ruffels keeps going like this; fixed wheel, chai latte drinking bearded millenials everywhere will be disowning him as a bit mainstream. Ruffles Ruffels got the equaliser in a scorching second-half performance against Peterborough. Scuttling’ Joe, Tap-in Thomas and even lazy sod Agon Mehmeti weighed with goals for a 4-1 win.

George Lawrence’s Shorts – Gunned down


Monday 18 September 2017
Most people come back from a weekend in Blackpool with hazy memories, a worrying discolouring and an overwhelming sense of regret. That certainly seems to be the case with PClot who feels that we should have been riding seaside donkeys rather than them riding us on Saturday. 102-year-old Mike Williamson thinks we’re naive, but then everyone’s naive when you’ve experienced everything from the Bore War to the moon landings. Henry James’ James Henry thinks his goal is meaningless, dramatically throwing it in the bin then secretly removing the sanitary towels and mouldy banana skins to fish it back out again when everyone’s backs are turned.

Mass departures at the club as a whole team of Andy Whing’s (featuring 1 x Andy Whing) has left to coach Junior Bake-Off pie specialists, Kidderminster Harriers’ U23 team. Like Michael Appleton before him, Whing has been looking for ways to regress his coaching career and looks forward to his new charges being invited to join whatever the Checkatrade Trophy version of the FA Vase is.  

Tuesday 19 September 2017
Having previously taken the team karting, PClot has now taken them to an army camp for a bit of team bonding. The Oxford Mail were at pains to stress this was booked far in advance of the gubbing we received at the hands of Blackpool on Saturday. It seems only Malcolm Shotton thought waterboarding was a legitimate way to punish defensive lapses.

Wednesday 20 September 2017
Andy Whing (remember him?) announced that two days after leaving Oxford United his dream job is to work for Oxford United. One day he wants to manage the team, apparently, and we’re sure that coaching Kidderminster Harriers U23s puts him in the perfect position to do just that.

Thursday 21 September 2017
It’s been a quiet week in this business we call news, so the opportunity for media hacks to come up with all manner of war-related puns from the squad’s field trip to Gibraltar Barracks has been something of a relief. Among them was a picture of Ryan Ledson standing next to a tank, which was actually a tractor and Oxford’s own Idiniho – Ricardiniho smiling maniacally with a semi-automatic weapon. Nobody has looked this happy with a killing machine since Kim Jong Un got his latest copy of Readers’ Wives’ Nuclear Weapons.

Agon Mehmeti has cast off his bear skin cape and traveled south from The Night’s Watch. He’s in contention for a place for the visit of Walsall on Saturday. Apparently he’s impressed because according to the Oxford Mail he was ‘shooting down an army side’ this week. Expect to see his face featuring on some Britain First propaganda soon.

Friday 22 September 2017
Fearsome midlanders Walsall arrive at the Kassam tomorrow looking for their first away win since Mike Williamson was a boy. Manager John Whitney is ready for the game, he’s been watching us for years and has a tailored plan to nullify the threat of Jon Narbett. Whitney, who wants to dance with somebody and will always love us, may have been back on the Class A’s with Bobby Brown judging by his assessment of our squad. He’s identified defensive midfielder Joe ‘two goals in two home games’ Rothwell and the vast experience of ageing 20 year old Ryan ’57 league appearrnces’ Ledson  as key threats. Despite losing left, right and centre, he feels his team really showed their quality in beating West Brom Kindergarten XI in the Checkatrade. See. Straws. Clutch. Straws. Straws. Everywhere.

Saturday 23 September 2017
No YOU eat some humble pie. PClot said he learnt a lot from taking the squad away to an army barracks to pose for PR shots with semi-automatic weaponry. Hopefully one of those lessons is that it may have been more useful to spend some time with a football, or at least introducing the players to each other, or maybe even teaching van Kessel-Run to stand up for more than 2 minutes at a time. Whitney’s Walsall had One Moment in Time as his side surged to a 2-0 lead. Brexit Tory Ryan ‘Andrea’ Ledson pulled one back setting us up for a grandstand finish. Didn’t We Almost Have It All in the last few minutes? No. No we didn’t.