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  1. Oxford United supporter back for another season. Didn't get round to updating last season's thread as the end of our season just sort of petered out, but given we spent most of the season in and around the relegation spots I guess 12th would be considered a good result in the end. I'm hoping for a more relaxed season than last year and hopefully we've learned lessons from the disastrous recruitment last summer which meant we didn't start looking like a coherent team until mid October. Recruitment has been pretty quiet so far, we've picked up a Spanish midfielder from Motherwell and a couple of youth prospects. Nelson looks like he's leaving for Cardiff and good on him, a great player who behaved like a true professional until the end - unlike a few of our other players in recent memory who started playing silly games to force a move. He will be very difficult to replace, but it's been on the cards all season so hopefully we started looking early. If we can carry on playing as we were at the end of the season I think we'll be comfortably mid table with a possible sniff of the play offs, but as we found last season things can turn sour very quickly! Good luck to everyone, thoroughly enjoyed reading people's insights into their clubs last year.
  2. Scunny aren't looking great at the moment though, hopefully you'll get a bounce from a change at the helm. Such a weird season this year. We drew with Doncaster, had 2 goals disallowed which I don't think should have been (well one definitely should have stood as it wasn't offside), out of the teams around the playoffs they were comfortably the worst. Offered little threat tbh beyond Marquis' constant falling over and looked defensively suspect. We were all over them after we went ahead and if some of our players hadn't been so greedy we would have been out of sight just after half time. Their equaliser came from an own goal, one of our under 18s centre backs making his first full start which was unfortunate. Hope it doesn't dent his confidence too much, the manager spent a lot of time speaking to him at the end of the match which was good to see. Luton away next, there's a slim chance we could upset their party..
  3. We never win at Shrews but given out current run of form I thought it there was ever a time we'd have a good chance it was now. Went one nil up quickly, great. Then Nelson gave away another penalty (no super volley to make up for it this time) which they scored. To make matters worse Kashi was sent off around 30 minutes in - that's 2 red cards and a missed game though suspension since I credited him with turning our season round! They scored before the break and I thought, oh well try again next season maybe. Looked at the score at the end of the game and we'd scored 2 goals in the second half to win! The young winger we picked up from the Northern Irish league in the summer, Gavin Whyte, had scored a hat trick. Mental. Doesn't mean anything now, but the fact we came from behind a man down and don't really have anything left to fight for, and they're still needing a win for safety so should be fighting hard, shows me how far we've come. Earlier this season if we went behind I just couldn't see how we would turn it around, and most of the time we didn't. What's happened @neoELITE? I thought you were flying a couple of months ago. Injuries? I noticed Ladopo wasn't in the team this week and remember him scoring quite a few for you, has his form dipped or injured? Your last 2 games against Accrington and Scunny are going to be huge - fingers crossed for you.
  4. Absolutely crazy game against Charlton - I went in with fairly low expectations as they were on a good run of form, so anything was a bonus as far as I was concerned. The first 10 minutes they were on top, we couldn't get hold of the ball and were pinned back, Nelson put in a silly challenge and gave away a penalty which they scored. At this stage I was just wondering if we could keep the score respectable and not lose by too many. Their fans were chanting "what's the score Robbo?" as our manager managed them last season and there's seemingly some ill feelings towards him still. But he redeemed himself shortly afterwards with a great volley from a corner straight into the top left corner. It was an outstanding stike for a forward let alone a center back! About 5 minutes later we had a free kick 25 yards out which Garbutt smashed into the top corner for his first goal of the season. Insane, scoring from 2 set pieces that quickly is unheard of for us. For once we actually took our chances and were now leading 2-1. The rest of the first half was an end to end affair with a lot of action in the midfield but not much end product. About 10 mins into the second half our keeper got a straight red for handling outside the area .. I don't know why he didn't just boot it away and instead waited for the ball to come to him whilst it was being charged down by their forward. Regardless, it meant we had to bring on our reserve keeper - no pressue, we're only holding onto a single goal lead and are down to 10 against one of the best footballing teams in the division. It was his first senior start and he became the 100th player to graduate from our youth system into the first team. Then to top it all off, about 15 minutes after that one of their players gets a straight red for a two footed challenge on Mackie! We're back on level terms and at this point I think we looked more likely to get another. They had a lot of possession and forced a superb save off the line from our young keeper who looked like he'd been playing for us all season not making his senior debut, but apart from that there was little on target to speak of. At one stage we broke quickly and our forward was clean through but the last defender wiped him out (in fairness looked like clumsiness more than anything deliberate) but the ref only produced a yellow .. I wonder if three reds during a game was one too many for him? A nervous 20 minutes at the end of the game to see it out with both teams still throwing everything at it (including 6 minutes of additional time) but it ended 2-1. Everyone ran themselves into the ground and I can't fault the effort of any player. Our fans were now the ones chanting "what's the score Robbo?" It's sort of a shame as it doesn't really mean anything in terms of the table, but it was one of the best matches I've seen this season there and great entertainment. It gives me some hope that if they can carry that team spirit into next season it should be a much better one...
  5. I'd assumed that AFC Wimbledon's turnaround in form was due to them suddenly playing better, but based on what I saw at the weekend they are probably the worst team I have seen this season. Absolute masterclass in hoofball, they might as well not bothered with midfielders as they usually just skipped that section and lumped it over the top to their unit of a forward. We dominated the whole game but couldn't find a way through, in fairness their keeper made some excellent saves and was comfortably their best player. Ended up 0-0 but one of those games where you can't understand how we didn't manage to score. What confused me was they were starting to time waste in the first half, and they weren't winning .. surely they need wins? Charlton on Friday, should be a good game - I think we'll lose, but it should at least be easier on the eye. In other news I noticed young Joseph was in trouble again for a fracas in the tunnel after their game with Barnsley, how many chances has he had?!
  6. Yes pretty crazy given where we were in January. It's not been entirely comfortable and fine margins have meant we picked up 3 points where it looked like we'd get one (two injury time winners in the last two home games). I'm happy we haven't gone down to the last game at Luton to have to get something as that would have probably been beyond us. That said, we look like a much stronger proposition now than I think at any point during the season and I feel like we can still win a game if we go behind which I wouldn't have said earlier in the year. Our January signings really have made the difference and kept us up. Kashi especially has added a different dimension to our midfield, when we signed him and I read he'd played for Robinson at Charlton it immediately had me suspicious that it was a "job for a mate" type signing, but he's been great. Can read a game well, always seems to pop up in the right place, and can distribute the ball quickly and accurately. I think Mousinho is a great personality but since replacing him with KAshi we've looked far more dynamic and fluid. Another striker, and another option on the wing mean we now have players on the bench who can actually change a game - quite a luxury given the rest of the season. Off the pitch things are still a bit of a mess, we've been issued with our 5th winding up petition in just over a year and the staff didn't get paid on time in March. Our landlord (who has always been an arsehole to be fair) has fallen out big time with the chairman and we're no closer to finding a solution to our current ground situation (without going into too much boring detail, we don't own our ground, some genius signed a contract to seperate the club from the ground a while back so we're tenants in a crap unfinished stadium, but we can't change it and don't get any matchday revenue beyond ticket sales from it). Assuming we're still financially solvent, I'll likely be back in this thread next season by the looks of it - @neoELITE I think you're playing too well at the moment to get dragged into the relegation scrap given some of the teams I've watched recently near the bottom. Reckon you'll be fine. I'm guessing @Coltrane will be graduating into the Championship thread next season Will be nice to watch the remaining games without so much pressure, it's been a season to forget for the most part. Who would have thought I'd be praying for mid table obscurity!
  7. It's refreshing that your club is so upfront about things, part of the reason there's some bad feeling around the club at the moment is they haven't been transparent (although have made some small steps to try to address this) and when you're served with multiple winding up petitions from HMRC obviously questions are going to be asked about the state the club is in. I think they did attempt a fan's forum type thing earlier in the season, but it the past that has often brought out the tin hat brigade which means it's not always a useful exercise. Plus as mentioned above the club were giving sort of nebulous non-answers to most questions.
  8. Well we just about beat a poor Bradford at the weekend. We actually played pretty well in fairness, especially given the gusty conditions, but as usual just couldn't score. They looked poor, well actually they obviously have ability but they looked like they couldn't be bothered. I think until the 90th minute they hadn't really had a clear attempt against us. In the 90th they broke and I we were matched for numbers at the back, I could foresee the classic break at the end of the game that's undone us so many times this season, but as the ball went across the box their player (who has obviously been taking finishing lessons from us) somehow manages to miss from about 5 yards out. Our goalie then quickly takes the goal kick, a couple of passes later it's in their box, Whyte shoots but it's blocked and spoons into the air, but Mackie takes a couple of touches then smashes a volley from an angle past the keeper - cue everyone going absolutely beserk. That wasn't the end of it though, the ref runs over to his lino (in our half) and they have a little chat, it looks like he's cancelled the goal and is pointing to our area! Bradford think they've got a pen (it was actually that he was signalling to retake the goalkick), but then he saunters over to his lino on the other side and the fourth official and after about 5 minutes changes his mind. Of course in this time it's absolute mayhem and all players are crowding round the ref, pushing each other, managers trying to break it up, I've never seen anything like it. Finally he signals to kick off again but Bradford aren't happy and won't return the ball, Nelson is signalling for VAR (not sure why he thinks we have that haha!) .. absolute scenes. In the end it stood but it was a dramatic end to things. Turns out afterwards that the lino thought the goalkick was illegal because their players were still in our box. The rule states effectively though, they need to clear to the box to protect the team taking the goalkick so they don't gain an unfair advantage. SO I guess it comes down to the interpretation of the rule versus it's absolute wording - yes they were in the box, but as the rule is to stop them gaining an advantage what advantage is their to us by having our goal cancelled out? Anyway, it could have all easily been avoided if the lino just flagged immediately rather than waiting for us to break and score, then bringing it up. Ridiculously tight at the bottom in League 1 still .. I genuinely have no idea if we'll survive, another stressful end to the season. Edit: The whole season has been stressful thinking about it!
  9. Haven't posted in a while because things had gotten a bit toxic around the club so was just a bit fed up with it all. After being served our fourth winding up petition (this time by our landlord) some fans started to lose their confidence in what the chairman was saying and some minor protests ensued. Rather than accept that things were less than rosy at the club and their communication had been poor (or non existent), they instead seemingly (although this hasn't been confirmed) tried to punish those who had taken part in the protest! I think I'm just about still on board with the chairman, as he has invested a lot in our youth setup which seems to be bearing some fruit, and has made money available to spend on players, but there is definitely a lot of room for improvement. Anyway back to happening on the pitch, a 2-1 win over Scunny. In truth the first half was one of the worst halves of football I've seen this season, both teams were generally awful. They sat back to try and hit us on the break, and despite a few new attacking options we still don't look like breaking down an organised defence, but they weren't good enough going forward to really cause any problems. Second half we had a 20 minute spell where we did play really well (coinciding with us bringing on our usual right winger and switching the existing one to the left side) . We scored 2 in the 20 minutes, and despite an unnecessarily nervy 5 minutes of injury time where everyone seemed to forget how to play football, it was enough. 2 wins on the trot now, the first time that's happened this season, which pretty much sums it up. Can't believe how tight the table is we're only 2 points behind 13th and we're down in 19th!
  10. Drew 2-2 with Barnsley on a freezing Tuesday night. If games lasted 65 minutes we would have won this comfortably and deservedly so, unfortunately they don't and their bench (bringing on Keiffer Moore and a couple of pacy mids) vs what we had on ours meant they could change the game and we just tried to hold on even though we'd clearly run out of steam. If you had offered me a draw before the game I would have taken it, but going 2 nil up to draw doesn't feel good. For all their talk of flowing football, in the second half particularly, Barnsley behaved like thugs and one of their players probably should have been sent off. Can't really fault the players, they tried their hardest and we just came up short. Gives me some optimism that they haven't thrown in the towel though and are still fighting. We still desperately need to sign a striker before Thursday night though.
  11. Given how tight it is in League 1 I suspect survival might not even need 50 points this year. We got knocked out of the tinpot in style by Bury last night - embarrassingly it was pretty much a full strength team and we got spanked 5-2! Glad to be out of it anyway to be honest, an unwelcome distraction from our league games. Off the pitch there's continued speculation about what the state of the club's finances are, i.e. we're skint. The current owners of Sunderland are actually lifelong Oxford supporters who tried unsuccessfully to buy the club from the previous chairman before they bought Sunderland. He turned them down and accepted our current owner's offer saying he was doing what was best for the club, but it's looking less and less like that was the case. Better for him sure, and I have no issue with that as it's his money his put into the club but at least be honest about it.
  12. Looked pretty ordinary to be fair. The tactic seemed to be to hoof it up to your number 10 and hope he did something. Seemed to change in towards the end of the game when you started passing it about but by then it was too late. Normally in these circumstances I'd probably be feeling like we'd picked someone's pocket, but we legitimately deserved to win today and if our finishing was better should have been 3 nil up just after halftime. If we can sign a striker, and it's a big if, then we might just survive this season. That said, next two games are Barnsley and Sunderland so I'll curb my enthusiasm for now. Nice to have a few jars after a game and it not be doom and gloom for a change!
  13. Came back from 2 nil down to salvage a draw at Fleetwood. After going two down in the first 25 minutes I turned the radio off as I could see where it was heading, but pleasantly surprised to see we'd pulled it back. That said, we still haven't won on the road, we still haven't signed a striker, and we've just been issued with the third winding up petition from HMRC in the space of 12 months. Worrying times, forget surviving in League 1, it's looking like we might have bigger issues
  14. Yeah sounds about right, I didn't go but roughly describes what I've heard. Mackie, if you can believe it, is the only fit striker we have... And from what I can tell he isn't a lone striker, he's more of a support act to create space for others. But playing one up front, he's pretty ineffective. We let one striker go last summer, one has a season long injury and I doubt we'll see him play again, and the youngster we had on loan from Reading just couldn't cut League one football so was sent back. So Mackie is literally the only choice we have, unless we play without a defined striker and just have attacking mids - which might be a better idea but there is no way on this earth that Robinson would try that, it took him 20 odd games to realise his 4-2-3-1 didn't work. Usually Mousinho plays in front of the back four to give them some protection, which at least means we have some resilience even if we aren't scoring. But for some unfathomable reason Robinson put him on the bench and played Brannigan, who is usually our midfield creator there. Consequently I'm guessing we had little creativity through the middle, relying on either Whyte or Browne to provide the threat down the flanks. Given the number of games they've played recently, they must be absolutely shot. Issue is, our squad is so paper thin at the moment that the starting line up almost chooses itself by default. I have some sympathy as you can't predict injuries, but Robinson assembled a squad of players some of which were known to be injury prone, some of whom had never been proven at this level, and knew going into the season that our striker options were not good enough. So a disastrous summer recruitment is coming back to haunt us. Funnily enough I'm not convinced sacking the manager now will help. We did that around this time last year and look where we are now!
  15. If we played like we did on Saturday you'll beat us. Looked like we did at the start of the season, lethargic, plodding, no threat, and with a guaranteed defensive calamity at some point. Our recovery always looked fragile and with a couple of injuries we've crumbled again to back to back home defeats. We've sent the Reading striker we had on loan back as he just wasn't cut out for League 1, our RB wants to leave as the commute from his family is too far so he's not available either, and the winger we've got on loan from West Ham looks like he's got one foot out of the door already too. This January window is looking even more critical than it already was.
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