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Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment

 

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oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Nov 8, 2018, 8:46 PM

Posts: 4167
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Just as I was thinking that I could maybe knock this thread on the head following...

Wycombe Wanderers 0-3 Oxford United

...Oxford United Football Club have now been issued with a winding up petition by HMRC for the second time in less than eight months. The paperwork was filed yesterday, and the court hearing is due to take place on Wednesday 19th December...

https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/...winding-up-petition/

As if that wasn't enough off-field excitement already of the supporters, they also got the news this morning that ex-Internazionale chairman Erick Thohir has today joined the OUFC board. You'd think that the fans would be quite excited about this new ownership team of Thai businessman and Indonesian billionaire, but although some seem genuinely optimistic, others are being more refreshingly suspicious - after all, there's a thirty-six year history of wealthy owners promising the earth and delivering an awful lot less in the OX postcode region. For all the confident words spoken at football clubs of all levels across the world, there is nothing to let in the cold light of day quite like the hard knock on the door. Still, if these owners are as flush with money as they seem to suggest, then surely this winding-up petition could be screwed up and disposed of really rather quickly...


(This post was edited by oxpete on Nov 8, 2018, 8:48 PM)


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Dec 19, 2018, 9:56 PM

Posts: 4167
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

A quite exceptional turn-around on the pitch for Oxford United of late. Last night's result of...

Oxford United 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur U-21

...in the Checkatrade Trophy gives Karl Robinson a record of just one defeat in the past fifteen competitive matches, a run that includes nine clean-sheets since the return of goalkeeper Simon Eastwood. Admittedly, many of those matches have been against opposition going through their own shaky periods, though the last two league results do stand out as definite improvements - a 2-2 draw away at Peterborough and a 2-0 win at home to Blackpool. OUFC are now in 18th position on twenty-five points.

Despite this good run of form, however, the OUFC fans are still finding things to moan about, including the winding up order against the club that was formally dismissed in the High Court today. Chairman Tiger paid HMRC the outstanding £150k owed a few weeks ago, but has been very quiet concerning the matter when it has come to explaining things to OxVox (the Oxford United Supporters' Trust), the local media and the fans in general as to why the payment was made so late, and why the payment was missed in the first place. In a change from his usual recommendations for restaurants in downtown-Bangkok, his programme notes for the Blackpool match finally took on a much-needed note of seriousness when he wrote:

"There will always be rumours and speculation. I would love to explain why the situation got to that point, and I received a well-worded letter from OxVox asking for exactly that explanation. It is right for fans to ask those questions. I have agonised over what I can say in reply. In time I will be able to answer then all, and I promise I will do, but at the moment there are simply things that cannot be divulged."

OxVox have accepted this line from Tiger, but plenty of United supporters on the fans' forum have definitely not, feeling that there is an ever-growing blanket of secrecy surrounding the club that is blocking the fans out of any discussion or information. On top of this is Tiger's programme notes describing OUFC as being run "in a sustainable manner." A particularly articulate poster writing under the name of Myles goes on to question this by saying:

"Tiger states in his programme notes that the club is being run in a sustainable manner. We know that, barring good cup runs and/or player sales, the club makes a significant loss each year, so we are left to wonder what has changed to make the club sustainable now. We are sure some transparency around the ownership and funding of the club may help in explaining this."

The other point being discussed at length involves further rumours concerning the future of the Kassam Stadium. Earlier this season, information that can be described as nothing more substantial than leaked rumour came to light saying that OUFC were looking at five proposed sites in the Oxford area as potential for a new stadium. One of those sites has been named as Bicester (the other four are either not named or are particularly vague - the ice rink on a flood-prone patch next to the Thames in the city centre being the only other one that can be even remotely pinned down).

Whether it be rumour or not, the mention of Bicester has sparked much debate on the fans' forum. For a start, Bicester is some ten miles north of Oxford and is in a different council borough - it's not exactly comparable to Wimbledon's move to Milton Keynes, but it's twice as far as Bolton Wanderers' move to Horwich. Looking at the the EFL's guidance on the permanent relocating of a football club...

https://www.efl.com/...s/section-4---clubs/

...points tend to be deliberately vague. There is no mention of political/council boundaries, and I'm led to believe that more emphasis is placed upon points like conurbations and catchment areas. There is no denying that, once the Government gets its arse into gear and completes the Oxford/Cambridge rail line and then starts tarmac-ing over the Oxbridge Corridor, then Bicester will certainly be part of Oxford's urban conurbation (Oh, where is Acmold when you need him??!!) Tiger's whole point of buying into Oxford United was to grab a piece of that 'Oxford brand marketability' (a bit like Thomas Guerriero tried to at Oxford City a few years back), so you might question why there'd even be talk of moving so far from the city - but the fact is that Bicester is one of the fastest growing towns in Europe, with excellent transport links and a local authority who seem incredibly eager to let people build on the surrounding land. The famous Bicester Village Shopping Experience continues to grow and grow, and although a struggling L1 football club might not tie in entirely with their Versace/Gucci/Armani image, a sports stadium located nearby would certainly open the way for a large amount of hotel capacity to be built, which is probably the one thing missing in their plans for world domination. A recent Radio 4 programme followed a large group of Chinese tourists around the UK on their trip, where they made visits to Edinburgh, Old Trafford football ground, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Bicester Village - the last of these was deemed by far the most popular, with quite astonishing figures being quoted that an amazing 80% of all Chinese visitors to the UK visit Bicester Village (with it being second only to Buckingham Palace in those stakes). If they want to make money out of this huge Chinese influx (and remember that just about every other business in Oxfordshire - from BMW Mini to the University to every bleedin' corner shop in town - is presently cashing in like there is no tomorrow), then maybe OUFC taking a look at Bicester is not such a crazy idea after all. The other point in the favour of Bicester (or any other site, however far away it might be from the OX4 postcode) is the sheer unpopularity of the status quo among fans - the EFL would probably look more favourably on any ideas of moving ten miles away that were actually popular with the fans. Which brings us on to...

Another thing that has cropped up concerning the Kassam is actually taking place at this very moment - South Oxfordshire District Council are discussing over several evenings this week their plans to start building 1700 houses on fields on the south side of Grenoble Road, close to the Kassam Stadium. These fields are within the jurisdiction of SODC but lie right next to the boundary of Oxford City Council, so would obviously go some way to helping the city's chronic housing shortage. The final decision has yet to be made, but hey, do you really think SODC are going to build this estate in the picturesque surrounds of Wallingford or Henley instead??!! Once given the go-ahead, the value of the land that the Kassam Stadium sits on is going to spiral upwards, and owner Firoz will no doubt be given the green light to start building houses there too. OUFC owns no land in the area so will gain nothing financially from any of these deals. And as their lease on the Kassam Stadium comes to an end/up for renewal in 2026 (seven years time), they really need to start thinking about what they are going to do/where they are going to play.

A minority of OUFC fans are actually calling for a fans group to take over the Kassam Stadium (much like Pompey fans did when they bought Fratton Park) by buying Firoz out. However, this seems an unpopular idea with most - the ground has always been unpopular with the bulk of fans, in places it is deteriorating badly, transports links ain't good, and it would need someone willing to cough up for the fourth stand if that was ever to be a worthwhile consideration. On top of that, Firoz would still be in ownership of the land surrounding the stadium, and would you really want that bloke as your next-door neighbour? This is no doubt a story that will continue to run...

Back on the pitch, Oxford United's next match is away at Doncaster Rovers.

Karl Robinson's win ratio at Oxford United now stands at 38.1%, with sixteen wins in forty-two competitive matches.


(This post was edited by oxpete on Dec 19, 2018, 9:57 PM)


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Dec 21, 2018, 5:11 AM

Posts: 4167
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

As predicted: Reported in the Oxford Mail...

https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/...-accepts-local-plan/

...South Oxfordshire District Council have voted in favour of the proposal to build 1700 houses on the fields to the immediate south of Grenoble Road and the Kassam Stadium. Consultation will begin on 7th January.

I imagine that this will make Firoz Kassam a very happy man this Christmas. The one and only glimmer of good news I can see for Oxford United FC is that Firoz's greed might just make him agree to the early ending of their crippling lease as he rushes to demolish the worst football ground in the league in order to join in the building frenzy about to be unleashed upon the Oxford Green Belt. (Though if Tiger doesn't get the planning for a new ground underway soon, it might also mean a period of OUFC ground-sharing at MK Dons or Wycombe Wanderers). Watch this space...


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Dec 28, 2018, 10:36 PM

Posts: 4167
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Boxing Day threw up plenty to discuss both on and off the pitch in the light of...

Oxford United 0-1 Southend United

...a match in which I thought OUFC didn't exactly play badly, but found themselves out-thought (rather than out-fought) by an intelligent-looking Southend side. News that Karl Robinson had actually given all the Oxford players the day off on Christmas Day, instead of getting them in for at least some light training like most managers would, certainly puts a light on their at times sluggish display a day later - apparently the players were fitted with GPS-type tracking devises and were told to twitter any training they did on Christmas Day for Karl's benefit (an image of Jamie Mackie in a mankini being the most memorable 'evidence' - Mackie's laboured efforts during the match might suggest otherwise). Another bright idea of Karl's! Southend United, meanwhile, went on to record their seventh consecutive Boxing Day victory, evidence that suggests that 25th December has long been regarded as a normal workday for constructive graft by those at Roots Hall.

Probably more important in the long term is the news that broke on Boxing Day morning of the resignation of OxVox chairman Colin Barson. OxVox is the Oxford United Supporters Trust, a not-for-profit independent body which attempts to act as a voice for Oxford United supporters in dealings with OUFC, the local community, Oxford City Council, landlord Firoz Kassam, the police, the media and other football supporters and groups - last year, they sat down with Firoz Kassam to discuss the future of the stadium after Firoz had stated that he was willing to sell (this at a time when the OUFC board could do no more than throw insults Firoz's way). Among OUFC fans, Colin Barson has been regarded as a hard working, conscientious, no-nonsense, loyal and respected Chairman and committee member - basically, exactly the sort of person you want out front when your club is so regularly inclined to shoot itself in the foot. Therefore, it has come as a shock to many that he has chosen to step down at such a time, mid-season, when there are so many questions posed by OxVox that the present OUFC board have failed to answer properly. In his statement on the fans' forum, he insists that:

"It was a fundamental disagreement about the role of Chairman ... Unfortunately with OxVox I found myself with a committee that wanted to be involved in pretty much every decision. This led to a constant compromise on pretty much everything ... (I)f I put my head above the parapet, it needs to be for something I believe in, not a watered down version of it."

Obviously I've paraphrased, and there is no doubt more still to come out. But the fact that his resignation comes so soon after OxVox's rather powder-puff response to the club's sloppy payment of its outstanding HMRC debt makes you suspect that Colin Barson would have preferred the statement to have been differently worded. With Tiger and the rest of the OUFC board being loath to communicate with fans in a clear manner, I suspect that it won't be long before Colin is sorely missed by supporters who are already struggling to get answers to their questions.

Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth may well have his heart in the right place, but whether his wallet is is another matter. And Christmas Day threw up even more question marks when Tiger made the statement that the club would be unveiling a special Christmas gift for the fans at halftime during the Southend match. So with the fans growing eagerness/frustration at the upcoming January transfer window, just imagine their surprise when that gift turns out to be a four-month loanee recently rejected by Ipswich Town! Admittedly, that is a little unfair on the player himself - 23yo Jordan Graham is on the books at Premiership Wolves, and his rejection by Ipswich is more to do with their new manager Paul Lambert (who also previously jettisoned Jordan at both Wolves and again at Aston Villa). Also, Jordan is well-remembered for his previous loan spell at OUFC - a short stint of just five appearances in 2015, but which included a blistering performance in a 2-0 win over Swindon Town (in such high regard is an event like that held in the A420 catchment area - the fact that it was in the Checkatrade Trophy probably takes the shine off it for the rest of us!) However, saying all that, you could sense the slight embarrassment in the stands when he was paraded on the pitch. The fact that the only other notable transfer talk at the moment is of the possible outwards move of Curtis Nelson (one of OUFC's few decent players) makes the whole recruitment drive seem even more worrying for those who wear yellow scarfs. Recent form has won Karl a few brownie points, but his rather derisible returns in last August's transfer window still grate with many.

Small fry but still more bad news came out this morning that some toe-rags broke into the OUFC shop on Thursday night and caused damage. The shop is in one of the units of the bulking large box on the far side of the carpark, along with the delights of Frankie & Benny's and other such out-of-town nonsense. Rent payable to Firoz Kassam, but what sort of security he or the club are expected to provide (in what, it has to be said, is one of the city's less salubrious areas) I do not know. Again reading the fans' forum, it's surprising how many OUFC fans admitted to feeling underwhelmed even before the Southend match kicked off (remember this was on the back of a five match winning home run), and the Ultras seemed very quite. Plenty of Boxing-Day-once-a-season visitors demanding better entertainment for their money than was eventually dished out on a cold grey day probably didn't help the mood of those who attend more regularly, but there's no getting away from how dispiriting the Kassam complex is in which to spend any time. The large and ample carpark is free to use (MK Dons charge £7!), but with just two meagre entrances it means that getting in (and especially getting out) can create huge delays and snarl-ups in the entire area. Week after week of this has led to many fans getting into the unhealthy habit of leaving the ground early, regardless of the score at the time, which hardly helps the atmosphere when the players are pushing for a late equaliser. Hopefully, more news concerning the future home of OUFC will come out in 2019. There again, maybe it won't...

Oxford United next match is tomorrow, a 1pm kick-off at home to Bristol Rovers, best described as a six-pointer.


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Dec 29, 2018, 11:53 PM

Posts: 4167
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Like an unwanted Christmas puppy, Oxford United's fans have experienced another day of being offered a juicy bone only to instead receive a mighty kick in the knackers (they've also long been fed unhealthy scraps from the table, been kicked out in the cold at night and had their noses rubbed in the mess, but that's beside the point). In this morning's Oxford Mail, an interview with Chairman Tiger talked glowingly of the opportunities of the upcoming January transfer window and the money there'll be to spend, with Tiger saying:

"If he [Karl Robinson] needs to spend some money to strengthen the team, then we'll do it."

Unfortunately, he then goes on to blow any illusion that he might remotely know what he's talking about by saying:

"I still think we should get to [the] top ten. But you never give up and if we get another 48 points we can still go to the play-offs. You have to aim high."

Anyone who thinks Oxford United are heading for the play-offs is in cloud-cuckoo land! Following a further disaster on the pitch this afternoon at...

Oxford United 0-2 Bristol Rovers

...OUFC find themselves back in the relegation scrap that they ignorantly though they'd left behind, sat in 20th place just two points outside the danger zone, and with plenty of the chasing pack picking up points and improving their own form. Truth is that Oxford's much vaunted semi-decent run was heavily based on draws and cup matches against light-weight sides, while now they face a January and February packed with fixtures against sides much further up the table. As one fan wrote earlier on their forum:

"Pompey 5-2 up at Fleetwood. God help us on the 19th January!"

Even if Robbo is given the cash (and some still doubt whether Tiger actually has any), he has already shown a distinct lack of nous in his previous dabble in the market. Last summer, after failing in his chase for some WOW names, he ended up blowing the budget like a flapping addict on a fixed-odds terminal by dragging in some out-of-condition/injury-prone crocks before topping up on loan-signings who have since slowly lost the will to live. The same Oxford Mail article then talks of Karl's recent excursion to foreign football fields in the search for talent, before admitting that "his trip to Belgium last weekend did not go exactly as planned."!! The one thing some fans seem grateful for is that Tiger has actually turned up for the two home losses against Southend and Rovers, and so should certainly now know what a piss-poor state his club are actually in.

The fans are also getting increasingly frustrated with the tactics Karl seems to persist in playing, with just one striker up-front. Worse still, that one up-front is one of the aforementioned knackered summer signings - 33yo Jamie Mackie, with a tally of two goals in seventeen appearances. His legs were shot to pieces when he played at Reading, and that was three years ago! Despite all of Karl's words about improvement, I think it no coincidence that the good run started with the return of goalie Simon Eastwood, probably OUFC's one and only really good player. Most of the rest look tired, injured, out-of-shape or disinterested.

The other danger is the seeming refusal of both Karl and Tiger to notice the blinding obvious. Even after today's defeat to Bristol Rovers, Karl was on the radio coming out with deluded words like:

"We were the best team in the first half by a long way."

...before going on (yet again) to blame the refereeS (because one ref got injured early on, so Karl could actually blame two of them today!).

Positive results for just about everyone else down the bottom (including Bradford, who won 4-0 at Rochdale) leaves Oxford United in 20th place on twenty-six points, with just six league wins from twenty-five matches and no away league wins all season. Only one side in League One have won fewer matches - Plymouth Argyle, where Oxford head on New Year's Day.

Karl Robinson's win ratio at Oxford United now stands at 35.6%, with sixteen wins in forty-five matches in all competitions.


greenwood
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Dec 31, 2018, 12:22 AM

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In Reply To
an unwanted Christmas puppy experienced another day of being offered a juicy bone only to instead receive a mighty kick in the knackers also long been fed unhealthy scraps from the table, been kicked out in the cold at night and had their noses rubbed in the mess


Best to be careful there - buncranaboy will think you are talking about an actual case of cruelty to animals!


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Jan 2, 2019, 11:22 PM

Posts: 4167
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Good news for Karl for a change, as he starts the exciting month of the January transfer window with the signing of highly-regarded 21yo prospect Mark Sykes from Northern Ireland side Glenavon, bought for an undisclosed sum and snatched from under the noses of Port Vale, who Mark had already promised to sign for. That’s the spirit - just the sort of loyalty Oxford United are screaming out for!

And that, unfortunately, is where the good news ends, as another of Karl’s previous signings looks to be going the other way. Ivo Pekalski was bought back in August from Swedish side Halmsteds but promptly crocked himself with a cruciate ligament injury before he’d even kicked a ball, so Karl sent him back to Halmsteds on loan. What with everyone else being crocked too, Karl put out the call recently for Ivo to come back as cover, only for Ivo to respond that he’d absolutely no intention of doing something as ridiculous as playing football over the festive period, and that he’d rather spend Christmas with his family. You could hear the sentiment in Karl’s voice when he said that Ivo was “gone 100%”.

However, worse may well be to come. Oxford’s best outfield player is easily central defender Curtis Nelson, who was very publicly stripped of the captaincy earlier this season after talks with Karl over a new contract broke down. Since then, Nelson (along with keeper Eastwood) has been one of the few shining lights on the pitch but has still not signed a new contract, and January is the last opportunity for Oxford to recoup some of the near-£300k they paid Plymouth for him before he becomes a free agent at the end of the season. Most fans seem to think that, if Curtis Nelson goes, it’ll spell relegation for Oxford, though that could well happen even if he stays following New Year’s Day’s properly disasterous scoreline of...

Plymouth Argyle 3-0 Oxford United

As if to rub salt into some obviously very bitter emotions, Karl then sent Curtis out to talk to BBC Radio Oxford afterwards. When interviewer Nathan Cooper asked Curtis about his future at the club, the player refused to answer and said he’d cut the interview if the question was asked again. So all’s well in the dressing room then!

Despite the Oxford Mail’s pre-match headline resolution that...

”Mental Toughness So Key To Oxford United Reaction At Plymouth Argyle, Says Boss Karl Robinson”

...some supporters report seeing the players indulging in Devon cream teas at a cafe on Plymouth Hoe on New Year’s Eve. On top of that, the Plymouth Herald newspaper reports that Argyle manager Derek Adams knew his side would win after seeing news footage on SKY Sports of the Oxford players swimming in the pool at their Crowne Plaza Hotel. Swimming may well be a low-impact exercise, but as Adams obviously knows it can also be tiring and dehydrating, leading him to instruct his own players to start the match at a high and furious pace. The tactic paid off with a goal on 9mins, and it went downhill from there for Oxford. Worse still for Karl, there were wins also for Bradford and Scunthorpe, and a draw for Bristol Rovers.

Following their dramatic late draw with a tireless performance at high-flying Doncaster Rovers just ten days ago (just TEN DAYS ago!), the talk was of seven or more comfortable points from three easy matches and the start of a run towards the play-offs. Now, the supporters’ forum and the radio airwaves are again alight with calls for Karl’s head on a pike on the ramparts of Magdalen Bridge. The ‘easy’ matches are now all gone, and Oxford’s next eight in the league (after a couple of irritating cup fixtures) are all against sides in the top half: Fleetwood(a), Portsmouth(h), Accrington(a), Barnsley(h), Burton(a), Sunderland(h), Peterborough(h) and Blackpool(a). Not until early March and the visit of Scunthorpe do they have a match with any appearance of possibility to it.

Oxford United are now third-from-bottom in 22nd place in League One, with just six league wins from twenty-six matches this season. They have still yet to win away in the league this season.

Karl Robinson’s win ratio at Oxford United now stands at 34.8%, with sixteen wins from forty-six matches.


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Jan 5, 2019, 1:43 AM

Posts: 4167
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Much soul-searching going on among OUFC fans following a disasterous Christmas of three defeats and no goals. Here are some of the more articulate comments written on the Yellows Forum https://yellowsforum.co.uk/ following Oxford United's defeat on New Year's Day at Plymouth Argyle. I've paraphrased them, but they sum up the present problems well...


First by Paul B:

"The stats are against us. We have gone back to not scoring and not looking that likely to. Plus we're now leaking goals again and that's with Curtis Nelson still amongst us. Put those two things together and we're screwed unless the opposition are hopeless too or we start performing effectively once more. Given such a short turnaround time between fixtures I can't see how we're going to suddenly turn a jaded knackered outfit without a striker into a slick competitive fighting force that won't make silly mistakes, will be difficult to score against and will pose a genuine goal threat.

And with no league wins on our travels, how scary do the next four home league fixtures look? Pompey, Barnsley, Sunderland and Peterborough. Where are the points going to come from?

I don't understand why Jon Mousinho was left out. Aren't there others more knackered/injured than him? Aren't there others who have made more mistakes in recent games than him? Aren't there some who are much less influential than him yet they started?

Luke Garbutt? Loan signing. How many of these have we got right? Samir Carruthers got injured, then got injured again, so perhaps we've been unlucky there. Or not. He didn't play that much football last season. Another crock? Ricky Holmes, a crock. We knew this. And then there's the now departed Sam Smith, whoever the **** thought he was the answer to our striker conundrum now appears to be barking mad. We waited so long and so patiently to get him and got so little in return. Or could it be that he is indeed a talented guy but our management and coaching staff have no idea how to utilise those talents?

Which means we're left with Jamie Mackie up front. He now looks as ineffectual as when he first came in and clearly wasn't match fit. It is beyond laughable that we now whack so many balls forward when the chances of him winning them are as remote as someone scooping the lottery when they've forgotten to buy a ticket.

I despair, utterly despair. I've seen some rank displays since Michael Appleton departed but this was right up there with the very worst and I can see no light at the end of the tunnel. Actually, I've no idea where the end of the tunnel is.

Up to the start of October I couldn't see us improving and then the only reason I wasn't shouting for Karl Robinson's head was because I couldn't see who else we would be able to get who would be better. Also it was still relatively early days, although I had not forgotten his record at the back end of 17/18 was poor even though we stayed up

These last three matches have put a very different perspective on things once more. So much so that I don't really know what to say."



By Shropshire U:

I wish that there was even a slim chance that 2019 might offer some opportunities for hopeful posts, but we have to be truthful and realistic: we're in the middle of a perfect storm. Owned by absentee bullshitters. Tenants of a soulless three-sided stadium. A manager I actually feel sad for (he's clueless but he cares... a bad combination for him and for us). A squad weighed down by awful summer signings and containing only a sprinkling of L1 quality players.

I left the Bristol Rovers game feeling exactly as I did after the 0-7 Wigan debacle last Xmas. On both occasions I'd taken newcomers along in the hope that they'd be enthused and become regulars, but what is there in the current situation to draw in new fans and young people, the future lifeblood of the fan base? Old stagers like us will hunker down and hope against hope for an upturn, but I can't remember it feeling this dark even when we went down to the Conference."



And from Yellowbow:

"I think it's time that real pressure was applied to Tiger and his cohorts. Enough is enough, the way Tiger is running this club, on and off the pitch, I really fear what will happen to the club if we drop back into League 2, which is a very real proposition the way things are going. Despite the questions that were asked by OxVox a month ago, we still have no answers. On top of that, we have a manager who is clearly now out of his depth with no answers. Anyone can see that from his interview after the game yesterday. He looks a totally broken man, it's quite shocking to see. We're in a complete shitstorm and it's time the supporters knew what the short and long term plans are for the club. No more bullshit "we can't tell you now but the future's gonna be awesome!!" claptrap. I feel we're at a moment in time when, in the future, we'll look back and say THAT'S the time when we should have stood up and said enough's enough, what the hell's going on? Let's not make that mistake, let's draw the line here and now."


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Jan 5, 2019, 5:54 AM

Posts: 4167
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Yesterday's 'Oxford Mail'...

'Time For Oxford United To Stick Together', Urges Chairman Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth

...which is being taken by some fans as Tiger standing by his man!

However, the same newspaper then informs the fans with a headline that...

Curtis Nelson: I'm 100 per cent committed to Oxford United

...though leaves the information that it's "for as long as he is at the club" hidden in the small-print! To be honest, most OUFC fans seem resigned that he'll be gone during the window, and few will blame him if he does.

Next up - news that defender Tony McMahon has been sent out on loan... to relegation rivals Scunthorpe United!! You couldn't make it up!

And finally, two of Oxford's bright and up-coming youth players - Harvey Bradbury and Armani Little - have been sent on loan (again) to Woking. Subject to the paperwork being completed in time, they'll both be in the Woking squad for their FA Cup match v. premier Watford. Surely Karl would be better off blooding them in with Oxford's own upcoming cup matches against Brentford and Cheltenham? Someone needs to be given a brave chance. The three players that Karl lined up for central goalscoring duties at the start of the season - Jamie Mackie, Jon Obika and Sam Smith - have scored a total of just THREE league goals between them all season! One is now out with a long-term injury, another has been sent packing back to Reading, and the other is a crocked 33yo and a good half foot shorter than the majority of central defenders he has to cope with.

Today's match is away at Brentford in the FA Cup 3rd round.


leohoenig
Administrator

Jan 5, 2019, 8:57 AM

Posts: 12746
Location: Outer Cheltenhamshire
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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I often wonder why the travails of Oxford get their own thread, while others (Yeovil, for example) do not.

[Moderator's note - this thread is welcome, keep posting, this a Leo rant, not a moderator rant]

Oxford are, in my opinion, a club who are liable to move between the third and fourth levels and a spell in League-2 is not a disaster

In the distant past, they had a few years at a higher level and many of their fans still believe that is where they belong, despite a string of owners and managers that cannot deliver this. Even the owner when they had their successes was a fraud.

I myself never forgave them for the 2006 chant when playing Cheltenham, "You'll always be non-League". We did not play them the following season, as Oxford had dropped to non-League. Cheltenham were promoted.

Oxford appear to be one of those clubs who always believe they need an owner/fairy godmother who will finance their move to the higher realms

At least they cannot say "anything is better than the current owner". Kassam and Maxwell have made sure they understand that.



Fat AND Pompous.
The proof that you can have too much of a good thing
Now blogging at http://www.leohoenig.com


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Jan 7, 2019, 11:19 PM

Posts: 4167
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #86 of 91 (4319 views)
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Re: [leohoenig] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
I often wonder why the travails of Oxford get their own thread, while others (Yeovil, for example) do not.


Funny you should mention Yeovil Town - I started a thread about three years ago called 'Whats Going Wrong At Yeovil?'. They are a side I have an affection for and occasionally go and watch (I've seen them twice this season - their amazing 6-0 win at joint-top Newport, and their disastrous 0-1 defeat at bottom-placed Macclesfield). I also regularly read the excellent independent fans' site http://www.ciderspace.co.uk. Much like Oxford United, YTFC are having a troubled season, with an unapproachable chairman, unpopular manager, tired and clueless players, disgruntled fans and a general lack of optimism for the future. The difference is that most at Yeovil knew all along that this season would be a struggle, and that they'll always need to be punching above their weight.


In Reply To
Oxford are, in my opinion, a club who are liable to move between the third and fourth levels and a spell in League-2 is not a disaster


The thing with Oxford United is the ridiculous blind denial throughout the club, from top to bottom, through chairman, board, manager, players, local media and fans - it makes watching their continual slow-motion car-crash such a hypnotic thing to regard. Right up until the defeat (nay, thrashing!) at bottom-placed Plymouth on New Year's Day (just six days ago! Just SIX DAYS ago!), Chairman Tigger was actually talking about expectations of the play-offs. As recently as Christmas Eve (just fourteen days ago!), one of their fans started a thread on their forum (with absolutely no irony) about how many points OUFC need to reach the play-offs. The fact that Accrington are above Oxford (and doing very well, thank you, on a fraction of the gates and budget) is seen as some kind of fluke. Referees are seen as always favouring the opposition. Not even Man.Utd fans have that level of self-expectation. I personally feel the need to write about it because, when you throw in the presence of Firoz Kassam, the Oxford property market and the politics surrounding the Green Belt, I don't think that there is another club in the country tearing itself apart from the inside in quite the way that OUFC continue to do. If it is possible for Chesterfield to be staring down the barrel of three successive relegations and step2 football, then believe me, it can definitely happen to Oxford United too.


In Reply To
In the distant past, they had a few years at a higher level and many of their fans still believe that is where they belong, despite a string of owners and managers that cannot deliver this. Even the owner when they had their successes was a fraud ... Oxford appear to be one of those clubs who always believe they need an owner/fairy godmother who will finance their move to the higher realms.


Going all the way back to 1983 and the fiasco surrounding Robert Maxwell's Thames Valley Royals, there is no denying that it all kick-started a golden five-year period for Oxford United. However, the irony is that since then, it is Reading FC (who at the time were by far the smaller club) who have gone on to be successful - building a proper high-quality new stadium, contributing to the infrastructure of the town, taking the club up in a sustainable manner, seasons in the Premiership, established in the Championship, growing the attendances. Fairy godmothers do exist, and John Madejski is the perfect example - a rich and successful businessman, an intelligent man, a property developer, but also a Reading fan, and what he did in his time there will last for a long time yet. Maxwell, Kassam and now Tigger and his cohorts Nuseibeh, Geicke and Thohir were/are certainly NOT Oxford fans.


In Reply To
At least they cannot say "anything is better than the current owner". Kassam and Maxwell have made sure they understand that.


The only reason Maxwell got involved with Oxford United (apart from his ego) was because he saw the killing to be made in his push to build a new stadium and selling the old ground for development (this was before even Scunthorpe had done it, let alone the aftermath of the Taylor report). Come the late 90s, it was Firoz who benefited - buying the club for £1, paying off the debts, then selling the Manor for £5ml and pocketing the proceeds before building the breeze-block slum that now bears his name and collecting an extortionate rent.

At this moment, there is much pressure from both national and local government to build upon Green Belts throughout the country, but nowhere more so than around Oxford, where housing supply is short and both the demand and price of building land is sky-high. I can't help but feel that the primary reasons (the only reason?) why Oxford United have seen this continual influx of wealthy businessmen is all tied up in how those businessmen feel they can make further fortunes out of the idiotic value of the local property market.

The problem with Tigger is that you get the distinct feeling that he is another South-East Asian businessman dazzled by the glamour of English football, without any of the (how shall we say) 'streetwise nous' of either Maxwell or Kassam. Tigger's programme notes read like one of these filler-articles in an estate agent's magazine. He's playing the part from 5000 miles away, whereas Maxwell and Kassam both (unfortunately) knew exactly what they were doing. The lease on the stadium comes up in about six years or so time, and if Tigger ain't got a new home sorted out by then, Oxford could end up groundsharing longterm at Wycombe/MK/Cobblers. It really, really could get worse for the club over the coming seasons.

Good luck to your lot in the Checkatrade, Leo. However, I'll have to confess to wanting Oxford to beat Cheltenham tomorrow - anything to keep Karl Robinson in his job until Pompey arrive on the 19th! This'd all make a brilliant subject to write a book about, but I don't fancy being sued for libel by Firoz!


stugg93
Reserve Team Regular

Jan 8, 2019, 7:52 PM

Posts: 665
Location: Southampton
Team(s): Southampton, Shef Weds, Shef Utd, Ipswich, Blackfield & L, Hythe & Dibden

Post #87 of 91 (3271 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Oxford is the only club I've been to where a fan booed and heckled a player for being too good for the club. Unsure


leohoenig
Administrator

Jan 8, 2019, 10:03 PM

Posts: 12746
Location: Outer Cheltenhamshire
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Post #88 of 91 (3191 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
Good luck to your lot in the Checkatrade, Leo. However, I'll have to confess to wanting Oxford to beat Cheltenham tomorrow - anything to keep Karl Robinson in his job until Pompey arrive on the 19th! This'd all make a brilliant subject to write a book about, but I don't fancy being sued for libel by Firoz!


Thanks for the good wishes, but the penalty shoot out did not favour us this time. I do not think a Checkatrade match would lead to the manager being sacked anyway - don't know about the response to a defeat at Fleetwood.

If Oxford lose that, then it is four successive league defeats, even if there are two cup matches in between. This brings up the thread title, except I don't think their fans are still happy - still over 300 made it to Cheltenham today, (I stayed in France)



Fat AND Pompous.
The proof that you can have too much of a good thing
Now blogging at http://www.leohoenig.com


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Jan 9, 2019, 1:42 PM

Posts: 4167
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #89 of 91 (2139 views)
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Re: [stugg93] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
Oxford is the only club I've been to where a fan booed and heckled a player for being too good for the club. Unsure


It’s also the only club that I’ve been to where the fans have booed their own ground-staff forking the pitch at half-time! Laugh


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Jan 13, 2019, 11:32 PM

Posts: 4167
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #90 of 91 (1275 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

A brave point won yesterday, helping to (partly) stop the rot of three successive league defeats and a lack of goals scored, with...

Fleetwood Town 2-2 Oxford United

...made all the more pleasing for their fans, no doubt, for coming from two-down at halftime against a proper bogey team. This moves Oxford United up one place to 21st (though still in the relegation places), level on twenty-seven points with Bradford and Plymouth. The bad news came with most of the others down the bottom picking up points, too - Plymouth, Gillingham and a resurgent Scunthorpe all won, while AFC Wimbledon and Bristol Rovers both got draws. (Saying that, it’s noticeable that Rochdale are suddenly dropping like a stone).

Worse news came last week, during the FA Cup defeat at Brentford, when one of OUFC’s bright young prospects picked up yet another serious injury. Shandon Baptiste, who’d only just recovered from a shoulder injury, came on as a substitute only to then get stretchered off six minutes later with a anterior cruciate ligament injury. He left Griffin Park on crutches and will be out for at least eight months - bad news for the club, but properly terrible for the young player. Karl’s post-match interview actually made for painful listening, as you could hear how upset he was. This in turn led to some fans to actually question Karl Robinson’s mental well-being, with quite a few thankfully promising to ease down on the criticism that they’ve been throwing his way recently. Still, the Brentford defeat managed to offer up at least one piece of lighter news, when defender Rob Dickie was spotted inside one of Griffin Park’s corner pubs just fifteen minutes after the final whistle, leading to some fans to contemplate why he seems unable to move that fast during play!

Better news for Karl comes in the shape of new Wolves loanee Jordan Graham, who by all accounts was the player-of-the-match at Fleetwood. Not only that, at the tender age of 23 he also appears to have been the most vocal in pointing out the failings of his teammates to them at halftime, a pep-talk that even encouraged Jamie Mackie to score only the fourth league goal by an Oxford striker all season. Karl had best make the most of this lad, as the transfer-window search is going mighty slowly.

Next week’s match is at home to top-placed Portsmouth, a prospect that seems to be filling Oxford’s fans with dread, particularly as it is quickly followed by further home matches against Sunderland, Barnsley and Peterborough. Already the away sections for the Pompey and Sunderland matches have sold out, rather controversially in both cases. Pompey fans have directed their ire at the Fratton Park ticket office staff who started selling to the lengthening queue of season-ticket holders outside the ground and to online customers at exactly the same time on Monday morning, meaning that only the first couple of dozen in the queue actually got tickets before cyberspace had gobbled up the rest of the 1,800 allocation. Sunderland fans, meanwhile, seem particularly grumpy about their apparent poxy share, probably having not quite grasped that they’re no longer playing at Championship/Premiership grounds these days. To their credit, Oxford’s allocation of 1,800 seats for visiting supporters is actually a very generous 15% of the ground’s capacity, when the EFL stresses that only 10% need be given. And although both visitors could quite easily fill the entire North Stand, Oxford fans have particularly bad memories of the past couple of times the club has cashed in in such a way - first there was the time Northampton’s fans cheered the Cobblers to promotion, and then a certainly last day of the season when Orient’s fans roared them up and Oxford were relegated to the Conference.

As all the Pompey tickets were snapped up so quickly, I’m having to gear myself up for watching from the South Stand - it’ll be only the second time in forty-two years that I’ll have watch Pompey from within the opposition fans, the other time being New Year’s Day 2001 when I couldn’t be arsed with the snail-paced queues and so nipped in with the Gillingham fans for one of the most turgid nil-nils I’ve ever witnessed. I doubt next Saturday will be goalless! However, (looking at it with my Pompey hat on) I can’t help but be just a little bit worried that the nature of the Fleetwood come-back and the optimism of Jordan Graham might just be the turning point that Oxford have been waiting for. And Pompey’s home defeat to Blackpool shows just how vulnerable (ie. rubbish!) they can be at times.

Karl Robinson’s win ratio at Oxford United is now 32.7%, with sixteen wins in forty-nine matches in all competitions.


(This post was edited by oxpete on Jan 13, 2019, 11:42 PM)


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Jan 15, 2019, 11:25 PM

Posts: 4167
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #91 of 91 (793 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Oxford United 4 straight defeats but most fans are happy- at the moment [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The OUFC circus performance continues at pace, even when they're not playing a match. This time it's news that forward Gavin Whyte was filmed at the weekend in the street in Belfast performing an act of 'indecent exposure'. Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill and OUFC's Karl Robinson (neither of whom get on with the other) are now falling over eachother to get their disciplinary in first!

However, Whyte's offering to the ladies of Belfast pales into even further minuscule insignificance compared to the news that broke last night, that Oxford United are to be presented with their third winding-up petition from HMRC in just ten months. And of course, this being Oxford United, they didn't even release the bad news themselves - the news was broken on the Oxford fans' own forum by a respected poster called MarkG, who is accountancy-literate and had spotted the information stated under CR-2019-000281 in HMRC's official public record The Gazette. Had MarkG not seen and posted, how long do you think the OUFC board would have tried to keep that info under wraps?

Understandably, Oxford's fans have quickly taken to their forum over the past 24hrs to express their anger at the situation, and especially at the fact that it is only three weeks since Tigger promised fans that this 'probably' wouldn't happen again after December's winding-up petition. Further, the fact that this has blown up during the transfer window also makes it highly likely that Tigger will now find it very difficult to keep his other promise that there'd be cash available to Karl to buy a striker or two in the fight to fend off relegation. You can almost begin to feel sorry for Karl Robinson! A limited club statement released to the Oxford Mail says that a payment might be made "slightly late", but I'm not sure whether the increasingly intolerant taxman will really be that atuned to the subtle difference - it's like saying fourth from bottom of L1 is "slightly" better than third from bottom. Whatever the ins and outs of what is and isn't (still) owed to HMRC, it is quickly becoming apparent that the public standing of the bowtie-wearing chairman has now hit an all-time low in the OX4 postal area. And he's only owned the club for less than eleven months.

As if all this is not bad enough, over on the Portsmouth fans' forum, reports are now coming in from their supporters that tickets purchased for the away section at this Saturday's fixture at the Kassam Stadium have still not been delivered to the homes of those fans who bought on the internet. How the ticket company that OUFC uses to distribute the tickets tallies in with OUFC's obviously chaotic money-handling, I do not know (do PFC collect the money from internet sales then pass it on to OUFC, or is it increasingly done through a third party group like Ticketmaster?), but there is no disputing that it is all an unmitigated public-relations disaster all round. OxVox have been refreshingly quick to state their displeasure in the whole situation, and some Oxford fans are now calling for Blackpool/Charlton-type fan protests, but seeing as Tigger rarely turns up at the ground it is unlikely to mean much to him.

Is there even more decay behind the scenes? The trouble with the kind of situation that OUFC now find themselves in is that clear communication is the one thing (other than a big bag of money) that can go some way to smoothing the emotions of the fans. However, communication is something that Tigger and his cohorts have proved even worse at than handling cash-flow, not helped by the fact that the only OUFC representative most fans ever hear is Karl's yelping shouts. Billionaire Thohir, despite all his supposed offerings of cash and experience from his time at Internazionale, has committed himself to helping in the Indonesian general election campaign, by which time the L1 relegation campaign could be over. Rumours are now leaking out of every orifice. While on their way to Fratton Park last week, Blackpool FC had asked OUFC kindly if they could use the club's training ground (Oxford were reciprocating by using Blackpool's facilities before their match at Fleetwood), but when Blackpool turned up they found no hot water. Wrexham FC players found the same when they turned up there recently. Turns out there are still outstanding bills owed to contractors and utilities providers, as well as HMRC. At a time when the playing-staff are ravaged by injury, why has the pretty decent player Charlie Raglan been sent on loan to Cheltenham, other than as a cost-cutting exercise? How much else is there that Tigger can't afford?

Fans are now beginning to fall out with eachother, and not all quite as humorously as poster Junior_1, who snaps at former OxVox chairman Mark Sennett:

"You also couldn't even be bothered to get up off your a**e when I knocked on your door to drop off monies I collected for OxVox for a 6-a-side tournament. Your wife said you were having your dinner! Unfortunately for you, I could see you sitting in your front room in Marston watching TV!!!!"

In particular there are those who (now rather embarrassingly) supported the Tigger takeover last February, and those who were more enthusiastic for the rival bid from Oxford-fan Stewart Donald (who at the time was owner of Eastleigh FC) and his business partner Juan Sartori. OUFC's owner at the time was Darryl Eales, who had overseen promotion from L2, two Wembley finals in the EFL Trophy, Michael Appleton's positive rebuilding of the squad, the giant-killings of Swansea City and Newcastle United, and an 8th-placed finish in L1 just four points behind that season's play-off winners Millwall. Eales apparently promised to sell to whichever bid would be ultimately better for the football club, but as the Donald/Sartori bid dragged slowly on, Tigger came in with a better offer (with whose money we still don't really know). Donald/Sartori, meanwhile, are now enjoying life at the helm of promotion-chasing Sunderland FC instead. Hence the falling-outs.

I have looked back at the reports of Tigger's first press conference last February, when he first bought OUFC, and in the light of a third HMRC winding-up petition they make for terrible reading. Remembering that he'd already embarrassed himself by turning up late that day (being so disorganised that he missed his train from London and was reportedly later seen by a local journalist looking lost and confused at Oxford Parkway railway station, over six miles from the ground), he went on to say:

"When I first met Darryl (Eales), he showed me the city, he showed me Oxford. I felt first thing, Oxford is one of the world famous cities by name and when I came here I liked the city. That is the first thing that attracted me."

...sounding like a lost tourist asking for directions to the Harry Potter museum! More worryingly, when asked the much more serious question of how he would deal with local slum-landlord and stadium-owner Firoz Kassam, he replied:

"I haven't gone deep into details yet. I'm more than happy to meet him to talk, but I don't think it's really critical, I don't think so."

As the young people say these days, WTF??!! Crazy

Personally, I can't help but think that Tigger has come into all this with no plan whatsoever. With the help of some moneyed friends who have better things to do (but who like the idea of associating with the word 'Oxford'), he's hoped that by throwing what small change he has at the club, they'll hopefully get them into the play-offs with the help of a gift-of-the-gab manager (like he did with Reading FC) and have a stab at the Championship, before selling it all on to some other mug dazzled by the bright lights of English football. Meeting Firoz or anyone from the City Council is of no interest to him because he's unlikely to still be around when the lease of the Kassam stadium comes up in six years time. For the same reasons, finding a new ground ain't gonna be his problem either.

From top to bottom, Oxford United are a football club in one hell of a mess.


(This post was edited by oxpete on Jan 15, 2019, 11:59 PM)

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