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.

George Lawrence’s Shorts – Pepperdews and seaside rendez-vous

Monday 11 September 2017
Monday morning brought a mixed bag after the weekend’s triumphs. Jose’s son, John Mousinho described the win over Gillingham as ‘pleasing but not ruthless enough’, which from ‘The Warrior’ sounds pretty sinister. Teeny Tiny Jack Payne is buzzing like a sex toy at his ever growing influence over the team. Injury magnet Christian ‘I’m Ribiero’ Ribiero has an irritating knee, which keeps asking him if he’s alright and talks over films saying ‘this is a really funny bit, listen, shhh, LISTEN’. Donegal’s finest, Jonathan O’Bika hasn’t had the luck of the Irish; he’ll be out for a week with a tight hamstring.

Tuesday 12 September 2017
Life at the top is all in the margins; there was nothing to split Oxford and Bradford on Tuesday beyond the fact no-one from Bradford has ever eaten a pepperdew stuffed with feta cheese. Goals from Tap-in Thomas and Scuttlin’ Joe Rothwell saw us take a point in a 2-2 draw.

Wednesday 13 September 2017
Scuttlin’ Joe wasn’t happy about last night’s last minute equaliser, punching the dugout in frustration. Sorry Joe, in terms of inappropriate acts of aggression you’re going to have to do better than that; have you tried Weartherstoning an Asian taxi driver or Alsopping a child’s bottom with a banana? 

Thursday 14 September 2017
The club, along with fans’ gobshites Oxvox, have issued a strongly worded statement about smoke bombs to a group people with a patchy reputation of listening to committees of middle-aged men. The consequences of said bombs are dire including immediate death, crippling fines and, worst of all, points deductions. Stern stuff; which should have all the resonance of Conservative Councillor condemning teenagers for leaving nitrous oxide canisters in a local beauty spot. In fact, the best way to stop it would be to let a few off in the South Stand Upper and get Peter Rhodes-Brown to raise a chorus of ‘let’s go fucking mental’ before each game. That should have the same impact as the time your mum told you she listens to Skepta because he ‘spits nang bars’. Sadly none of the main culprits have been able to read the statement due to a heady combination of temporary blindness and illiteracy.

Friday 15 September 2017
Gino van Kessel’s run in less than 12 parsecs which saw him score against resting Premier League giants Portsmouth was voted goal of the month for August. Oxford travel north to Blackpool tomorrow without I’m Ribiero, whose knee continues to irritate by posting oblique references to something bad on Facebook in a desperate attempt to attract sympathy while constantly texting ‘where r u?’ when he’s on a night out. PClot is quoted in the Oxford Mail saying that Dwight Tiendelli and, after a rub of the blarney stone, Jon O’Bika could be in the team next Tuesday, which must be heartening to hear, apart from the fact we don’t have a game next Tuesday. PClot’s excited, though, hoping that the 1500 Oxford fans making the trip have “one of those nice British weekends”; ‘one of those’ where you get chlamydia and your mate ends up in prison.

Saturday 16 September 2017
What echoes and smells of seagulls? An intimate part of Jordan’s anatomy? Bloomfield Road? The haunting resonance of lost hope? Probably all those things as Oxford fell apart against abandoned seaside club Blackpool. The Seasiders kissed-us-quick with two early goals before Henry James’ James Henry got the consolation goal in what ended up a 3-1 mullering.