Going Down??

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Dr Bob
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Going Down??

Post by Dr Bob » Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:19 pm

0-0 at home to a team below us in the table, who had one and a half (IMHO) shouts for penalties, notwithstanding their inability to take the chances they created. Their No 29 ran rings around our identikit midfielders. Obika showed yet again his lack of footballing brain and inability to make pre-emptive runs for through balls. We wasted a substitution on someone we hopefully will never see again in an Oxford shirt. People around me kept talking about Eastwood not having a save to make, rather than focusing on how we failed to make their keeper work. That was a desperately poor effort.

I appreciate Robinson needing to keep positive, but if we really do have an embarrassingly big squad http://www.banburycake.co.uk/sport/1614 ... -recovery/ and yet have a first 18 that offers so little, then we are going to need the mother, father and Uncle Tom Cobley of all summer clearouts.

I am not panicking (see that thread), but I am starting to get very worried. To come, we have two away games at the top two teams, in both the full-season and (6-game) current-form tables, who have already scored 11 against us. Tuesday night we are at home against the third-placed team in the current form guide, followed by a home game against a side we always struggle against. A final home game against a team on the rise as they catch up their games in hand, and an away game against another team top-10 in the current-form league table, whose manager may feel he has a score to settle after the reverse fixture (we are 18th in the form table, BTW).

I cannot be bothered to look at the run-ins of the other teams, so maybe there is hope to be found there, but on yesterday's evidence I feel we are now relying on the teams below us to do us a favour. The only good thing to come out of yesterday's matches was that the other teams down there blew one more chance to take 3 points.

Jimski
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Re: Going Down??

Post by Jimski » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:28 pm

I've been watching the prices - in the last week we've moved from 12-1 against going down to 5-1. I actually suspect it's more likely than that latter price suggests. I'm worried.

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Going Down??

Post by Kernow Yellow » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:28 pm

We just need to win a match somehow. Preferably two. And at least one this week. I don't think a couple more draws is going to be enough.

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Going Down??

Post by Kernow Yellow » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:09 pm

I've just remembered our record against Fleetwood Town - one of only three teams (along with Liverpool and Spurs) that we've played in the league and never beaten. Indeed we've taken one point from our seven previous meetings. Gulp.

Ancient Colin
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Re: Going Down??

Post by Ancient Colin » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:27 pm

I've seen hardly any games this season, but the signs seem very familiar to past disasters: I suspect many of us would be better to accept now that we are going down (and then to be pleasantly surprised when we don't) than to cling doggedly to the "we're nearly safe" illusion and be cruelly disappointed! The form table doesn't make for comfortable reading. Hopefully this will be redundant after tonight, but ...

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Going Down??

Post by Kernow Yellow » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:03 pm

What a sickener. Saturday is not far from 'must-win' now.

Boogie
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Re: Going Down??

Post by Boogie » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:24 am

Poor game management in final 5 minutes IMO. Left ourselves too open for their goal.

I said to Hog when the board went up, I would be happy to go home 0-0.

Tempting I know to carry on pushing for the win but we need every point.

OUFC4eva
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Re: Going Down??

Post by OUFC4eva » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:51 am

A devastating , self inflicted defeat against very ordinary opponents and
you have to wonder from where a U’s goal will come. Lots of positive
approach play in the first two thirds of the pitch but a distinct lack of a
Cutting edge. For much of the time the final pass or decision is woeful.

Thought Dickie, Ricardinho, Mowatt and
Rothwell were the pick but that is not enough.
Brannagan tidy, Ledson erratic and got
worse as the game wore on.
Oh for a calm head on young shoulders!

Southend next - need everyone there for
the boys.

SWA
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Re: Going Down??

Post by SWA » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:10 am

Kane was very good.

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Going Down??

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:38 am

God that was a punch to the guts, especially after creating so many chances (20-odd shots over the course of 90 minutes?) -although even that is a damning indictment of our anaemic front line.

When we got relegated in 2006, I didn't really feel anything. It was a horrible, numbing sensation. I was sad and angry - but that was tempered by the reality that we had a dreadful side, ineptly managed, and for much of the season a negligent owner. In those circumstances, it was hard to mount a defence and say we deserved to stay up. We didn't.

But today I feel incredibly sad and incredibly angry, with justification.

I'm sad for the small bunch of able and talented players we have. Eastwood, Ledson, Rothwell, Nelson, Henry et al deserve to be in a side fighting for promotion at this level - none of them will deserve to have a relegation on their CV if things carry on as they are.

But I'm also massively, profoundly angry at the errors which have landed us here:
- Most damagingly, leaving it so long to replace Pep;
- Not signing a competent striker during the transfer window;
- Letting Raglan go out on loan when he's demonstrably better than Mousinho;
- Letting Hemmings go (and stay) out on loan when he's demonstrably better than Mehmeti and Obika;
- Continuing to play Mousinho when a bucket with a face drawn on it would show more composure on the ball;
- Continuing to play Obika (in his old lady support knickers) and Mehmeti when neither look remotely capable of scoring;
- Bringing in and playing the Man City double-barrelleds at the expense of giving our own players an extended run.

I could go on. You get the idea. 2006 was as much down to external factors as it was to our own ineptness and complacency. If we get relegated in 2018, we will have been complicit in our own downfall, and will have managed it despite having the nucleus of a promotion-challenging squad.

In my heart, I still think we can stay up. But would I stake my mortgage on beating Rochdale? Good lord no.

ty cobb
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Re: Going Down??

Post by ty cobb » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:10 pm

I would add to that list getting rid of Pep in the first place. He managed to get more out of this team than Faz or Robinson with less resources as well.

If you take a look at Rochdale's run in (4 games out of 6 at home and a away game at ours), Oldhams and AFC Wombles I would argue we are favourites to go down at this point (and this is assuming MK Dons and Northampton don't put a run together).

I was pleased with Robinson and hoped he would be a good fit but he needs to play a good game not just talk one. At the moment he has started worse than Waddock.

One point from two home games against poor teams and no goals scored is simply not good enough.

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Going Down??

Post by Kernow Yellow » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:53 pm

ty cobb wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:10 pm
I would add to that list getting rid of Pep in the first place. He managed to get more out of this team than Faz or Robinson with less resources as well.
2 wins in 12 since Pep's sacking (16% win rate, 0.75ppg - rock bottom of table form)
10 wins in 29 under Pep (34%, 1.3ppg - upper-mid table form)

Pep was about twice as good as 'anyone-but-Pep'. His slightly gung-ho approach to matches meant that despite looking dodgy defensively we were able to click and sweep poorer opponents aside often enough to maintain a healthy league position.

But he pronounced the word focus oddly, and some of the senior players and coaching staff (allegedly) didn't like him and complained to Eales, so we are where we are.

I would also disagree that we have the nucleus of a promotion-winning squad. It is a common trait of football fans to think that their team is better than it is, if only they had a decent manager/star striker. IMO we have a fairly average L1 team in most positions. The only clearly superior player is Nelson, who has been injured since November. Maybe this is Pep's fault, as he put the finishing touches to the squad, but he also had his two star players sold from under his nose before deadline day.

Regardless of this, the delay in replacing Pep was unforgivable - just as the delay in replacing Wilder was. It does feel like, after the relative euphoria of the last few seasons, we're back to business as usual at OUFC.

Radley Rambler
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Re: Going Down??

Post by Radley Rambler » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:14 pm

ty cobb wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:10 pm
I would add to that list getting rid of Pep in the first place. He managed to get more out of this team than Faz or Robinson with less resources as well.

If you take a look at Rochdale's run in (4 games out of 6 at home and a away game at ours), Oldhams and AFC Wombles I would argue we are favourites to go down at this point (and this is assuming MK Dons and Northampton don't put a run together).

I was pleased with Robinson and hoped he would be a good fit but he needs to play a good game not just talk one. At the moment he has started worse than Waddock.

One point from two home games against poor teams and no goals scored is simply not good enough.
Re who's favourite to go down, the bookies don't agree with you Ty:

https://www.oddschecker.com/football/en ... relegation

Mind you it is very possible (yes YF Dan I have now changed my tune albeit I still think we'll survive due to others' ineptitude rather than our ability). I actually left yesterday's match in better spirits than after Saturday because the performance was so much better.

Re Robinson playing a good game - For the first time in his interview yesterday, he had a go at the players for not being able to finish. I have sympathy with this, we had 21 shots (21!) but only 4 on target. He's right that he can only tell them what to do and put out a formation that assists those instructions, we have looked more organised under his tenure but he has to work with what he inherited and if no-one can score then his improved organisation may not be enough.......

Oh for a Ty Cobb/Radley Rambler-esque front line from the Raging Fever golden years - those boys knew where the net was!

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Going Down??

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:17 pm

Kernow Yellow wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:53 pm
Pep was about twice as good as 'anyone-but-Pep'. His slightly gung-ho approach to matches meant that despite looking dodgy defensively we were able to click and sweep poorer opponents aside often enough to maintain a healthy league position.

But he pronounced the word focus oddly, and some of the senior players and coaching staff (allegedly) didn't like him and complained to Eales, so we are where we are.
I suspect there was more to it than met the eye and we'll never quite know the full reasons behind his sacking. At the time, I was surprised we binned him but could see the arguments for doing so. From where we are now, I'd still say the sin was in not having a replacement lined up or shortlisting quickly rather than sacking a manager overseeing a side on a downward trajectory.
Kernow Yellow wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:53 pm
I would also disagree that we have the nucleus of a promotion-winning squad... The only clearly superior player is Nelson, who has been injured since November.
I would argue that Eastwood, Nelson and Ledson are first-rate players in their positions at this level. I take your point that there are big gaps elsewhere (notably up front), but my point was that you could build a good side around that base - and our failure to do so is a great great pity.

Werthers Original
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Re: Going Down??

Post by Werthers Original » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:06 pm

Kernow Yellow wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:53 pm
ty cobb wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:10 pm
I would add to that list getting rid of Pep in the first place. He managed to get more out of this team than Faz or Robinson with less resources as well.
2 wins in 12 since Pep's sacking (16% win rate, 0.75ppg - rock bottom of table form)
10 wins in 29 under Pep (34%, 1.3ppg - upper-mid table form)

Pep was about twice as good as 'anyone-but-Pep'. His slightly gung-ho approach to matches meant that despite looking dodgy defensively we were able to click and sweep poorer opponents aside often enough to maintain a healthy league position.

But he pronounced the word focus oddly, and some of the senior players and coaching staff (allegedly) didn't like him and complained to Eales, so we are where we are.

I would also disagree that we have the nucleus of a promotion-winning squad. It is a common trait of football fans to think that their team is better than it is, if only they had a decent manager/star striker. IMO we have a fairly average L1 team in most positions. The only clearly superior player is Nelson, who has been injured since November. Maybe this is Pep's fault, as he put the finishing touches to the squad, but he also had his two star players sold from under his nose before deadline day.

Regardless of this, the delay in replacing Pep was unforgivable - just as the delay in replacing Wilder was. It does feel like, after the relative euphoria of the last few seasons, we're back to business as usual at OUFC.
OR you could say that we had been found out, and had lost our best players to injury and recall, and would have plummeted anyway. Probably some truth in both views.

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