Resumé

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OtmoorYellow
Puberty
Posts: 305
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:35 pm

Resumé

Post by OtmoorYellow » Sun May 05, 2019 7:35 pm

I went to Loo Town Town yesterday. I love the old school atmosphere of Kenilworth Road, but oh how I hate the squalid conditions forced upon us for top dollar.

There'll be complaints in the Championship about the state of that ground, which really is 30+ years past the point it should have been condemmed as a public sporting venue. The toilets alone are mediaeval. The leg room is fine provided your inside leg measurement is less than 20", and most, if not all, of the away seats have some form of restricted view.

As for the match, well, it wasn't particularly important for us. Of course we want to win every game, and should try everything sporting to do so. But, as a contest is was a bit weird, with only one side truly busting their balls because the result meant something.

The Us played well in patches, but Luton probably deserve the title and were undoubtedly the better side on the day.

Possibly we might have made the result closer, had we brought on Whyte much earlier, or better still from the start, as his influence on the balance of play was immediate and noticeable.

The fans begged Curtis Nelson to stay. I really hope something can be sorted, but I suspect the best centre back the club has seen for many years, will be departing for higher things. We'll be very lucky to hang on to Gavin Whyte over the summer too, but I hope the ambition of Erick Thohir will enable us to hang on to him for at least one more season.

It was great that despite the ignorant Luton fans noxious behaviour at the end, the OUFC players came over to greet the Us supporters and give away their shirts.

So what conclusions do we draw from this season?

Firstly I think we have to realise the importance of giving time to managers to build a side. With both MApp and Robbo (I'm removing the Gobbo title as his touchline antics have improved of late), the time they have been given has resulted in significant upturns in performance. I suspect it would have done so with Pep as well. Respect to Robbo for getting it right in the end and long may this continue. Sometimes in the last few months the football has been as good as that under MApp. Time to embrace Robbo as manager now.

Had anyone guaranteed 12th place as a Christmas present, I doubt there would have been a single Oxford fan who would not have snatched the gift and with a different result yesterday, we could have had an undeserved top 10 finish.

I imagine this next week will be about who stays and who goes.

Kernow Yellow
Grumpy old git
Posts: 2899
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 5:16 pm

Re: Resumé

Post by Kernow Yellow » Mon May 06, 2019 2:12 pm

OtmoorYellow wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 7:35 pm
I imagine this next week will be about who stays and who goes.
It would be nice to think that squad matters can start to become clear sooner rather than later, but recent history tells us that we'll probably be scrabbling around for strikers, waiting on out of contract players to make up their minds and fielding bids for our better players well into pre-season.

Agree that Robinson has certainly now earned the right to be accepted as our rightful manager for a while. He was the first manager whose head I'd called for for many years - when we saw three increasingly inept capitulations in a row to relegation-fodder teams after Christmas - but the end of the season has been a reminder that giving a manager time is generally a good idea.

The real question mark at this club hangs over the board, and what on earth their plan is to move Us forward. If they have genuine ambition for the football side of things (rather than just a land deal), as they claim, it seems odd that the talk is of a reduced playing budget next season when our directors are so ridiculously minted.

Not that I'm in favour of clubs being run unsustainably, and I don't want to see OUFC loaded with yet more debt, but we're in a parlous enough state already without serious financial backing, and you've got to speculate to accumulate. Continuing to lose £2m a year in L1 can't be an attractive prospect for anyone...

Kairdiff Exile
Dashing young thing
Posts: 569
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:59 pm

Re: Resumé

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Tue May 07, 2019 11:12 am

Let's start by revisiting what we as fans predicted before the start of the season. Much has been made about our "Top 7 budget", but amongst those of us who post on here, expectations were much more muted:
- Me: 14th
- Neil W: 9th
- Dr Bob: 8th
- Jimski: Bottom half
- Werther's Original: 10th or 11th
- Hog: top 15

Plenty of others wimped out of making a prediction refused to be drawn, but the consensus seemed to be "not good enough to be promoted but well and truly out of danger". Which was bang-on in the final analysis, even if it didn't really feel like that until springtime. We shouldn't forget how abject we were until about November, just as we shouldn't ignore the excellent run with which we finished the season. As I've said elsewhere, there are plenty of good lessons to be learnt from this season for those who want to learn them.

So on that basis, I'm happy to call a truce with Karl Robinson. I make no apologies for calling for his head, but having turned things round and finished the season strongly, he deserves to build over the summer and have another go next year. He needs to have a better-planned approach to signings and also learn to switch off his motormouth when someone points a microphone at him, but hopefully the penny has dropped with him on both counts. A decent, proven striker plus a replacement for Nelson (assuming he goes) as well as a more permanent arrangement for both full-backs (Ruffels and Long can't do it all themselves) are probably all we need to improve on this season.

The other point we all discussed going into 2018/19 was the need to sort out the mess off the pitch - the stadium ownership issues, the arbitration, and (more recently) the non-payment of bills. As yet, there is no sign of those things being addressed, but I sincerely hope that we get some good news before the season kicks off again in August.

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