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Trumpet Hornpipe

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 10:27 am
by Isaac
A real live game for me, which was welcome and pretty enjoyable (although had the result been different I probably wouldn't say that). I think that was possibly the luckiest win I've ever seen for Oxford. I have a memory of us beating Crystal Palace 1-0 at the Manor where we were battered and David Bardsley scored accidentally direct from a corner (highlights here - and this felt similar, 35 years on.

At half time I was having bleak thoughts about relegation and from the general chatter I wasn't alone. Even with our two star signings on the pitch we had created nothing and worse there didn't seem to be even a plan of how we were going to create anything. Brannagan was playing furthest forward of the midfield 3 but he was never in the game at all. It was like the Arsenal game, tidy up until the final 3rd and then clueless. O'Donkor looked out of his depth, predictably more difficult starting a game compared to coming on with 20 mins to go. Conditions were bad-ish, but Fleetwood looked significantly better everywhere and could/should have been 3-0 up at the least.

2nd half was going the same way until Joseph scored his individual goal - there were possible signs that he and Anderson had an understanding. Other than that the best thing I can say for the team is they didn't settle on trying to just take a very lucky point, they still kept trying to get an extraordinarily lucky win. With Goodrham/Taylor/Bodin/Joseph we had some energy and movement for the first time. It looked an obvious handball by Bodin before the corner and the highlights confirm it. Brown with the poetic winner and even though he's probably our best player this season I think having him at left back is part of the problem. As a centre half he's obviously good defensively but our formation relies on our full backs getting forward and being able to cross or beat a man. Which is not his strength.

Listened to Radio Oxford on the way back and there was some suggestion this could be a turning point, but I don't see it unfortunately, there's too many problems/weaknesses with the team as it stands - primarily up front but elsewhere too. It's difficult to justify spending significant money in the transfer window for a number of probable short term fixes given our seemingly solid mid-table position (although I still wouldn't rule out a relegation battle)