There’s something about Oxford United and the year ending in six. 30 years ago we won the Milk Cup, 20 years ago we were promoted to the Championship, 10 years ago we were relegated from the Football League and this year we were promoted, in case you’ve forgotten.
10 years ago this coming weekend I started this blog. I had views about the club, who had just been relegated and taken over, I couldn’t get a word in edgeways on the Yellows Forum and I couldn’t face the idea of going on the phone-in. So this seemed like a good outlet.
And so, Oxblogger was born. Little did I know that it would incorporate two Wembley finals, four Swindon victories, two promotions and a takeover. Or that it would feature on the Guardian website (and attract over 3,000 visitors in a day) or draw the abuse of Luton and Portsmouth fans (see you next year…? Oh no you won’t). Or that it would feature both our absolute worst season and almost certainly our best. Or that lots of people would read the blog and say really nice things about it. I am genuinely touched by all the comments and support and followers I have on Twitter.
For the fifth anniversary of the blog, I spent the summer compiling the Kassam Stadium’sgreatest XI, which would be pretty much swept away by this year’s promotion squad, I suspect.
So, for the 10th anniversary, I’m going to try something else (I might try a few things, but I’m definitely going to do this one). Our favourite player of the last 10 years. I say ‘our’ because I’m going to do one of those votey things on Twitter to decide. And I say ‘favourite’ rather than ‘best’ because being a favourite is much more interesting, subjective and debatable than just being the best. It also means that, say, Chris Wilmott could conceivably beat Kemar Roofe just because you perversely enjoyed him being sent-off against Leyton Orient when we were relegated from the Football League.
To whet the appetite for Euro 2016, I’m going to decide it with a tournament format:
- Thursday: Round 1: eight groups of four players with two to qualify from each group
- Friday: Round 2: 8 head-to-head knock-out polls between the final 16 players
- Saturday: Quarter Finals: more knock out for the remaining 8
- Sunday: Semi-Finals: you get the picture
- Monday: Final: And so on.
Exciting isn’t it?
Over the last 10 years we’ve had about 225 players registered as first-teamers, so, obviously, I’ve whittled it down to just 32 from across the last decade and drawn the groups at random.
Let battle commence.