Monday 26th & Tuesday 27th December 2022

leedsvaliant

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Yeah strange one, with teams at the bottom for example corners and set pieces are key yet they barely beat the first man. It’s a miracle they’ve managed to get to this level compared to some clubs who get 10-15 times the fans so always difficult for them and with Stockton seemingly unsettled it was always going to be tough for them.

I’m frustrated by the pitch… we haven’t played on it for nearly 5 weeks so you’d have hoped that would have helped it. Critical we get a new pitch in the summer or at the very least do some serious work on it. Obviously this summer was difficult with the play offs and then Robbie Williams concert leaving little time but it’s a mess at the moment.
The pitch should be better but I suppose we did have the very cold spell where not much work could be done on it. It is really hindering us at the moment.
 

valefan16

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I feel quite positive about the second half of the season. Our fixtures look kinder on paper bar a trip to Ipswich but we've had a few of the difficult away trips.

A couple of decent additions and who knows? We don't have quite the quality as it stands but have managed to scrap together a decent amount of points. Our pitch doesn't help us play football but hopefully the better weather will allow us to knock it about a bit more.
Probably need 4 or 5 wins assuming we draw a few here and there so get those first and foremost but may as well be positive and try and enjoy it a bit more now. We get Sheffield Wednesday, Peterborough and Derby out the way early doors and have a lot of home games to come so may as well enjoy the ride!
 

TractorBoys

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I've never seen a team time waste at 2-0 down until yesterday.

Good win, and a good weekend in general for the top 3.

I was confused by the comments they were making about your keeper though. Thought he had a good game, if you ignore the first goal. He made some cracking saves that kept the score down to 3-0

He had a shocking first half, rarely managed to take the ball in without spilling it.
 

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I think that’s a fair reflection tbh. From our side it was a shame not to grab another goal whilst we dominated, we looked really really good. I don’t think it was a game we deserved to lose tbh and I don’t think you were at your best - but then I also get the feeling you hear that every week, and it’s probably your style of play/game plan?

I was surprised Hanlan didn’t start to be honest, as he’s been favoured over Vokes recently. If Hanlan had started we wouldn’t have gone long ball quite so much - as he’s crap in the air for a big man…

Apparently though Ainsworth felt that your CBs could be vulnerable to a bit of physicality, which was why Vokes got the nod. Maybe it’s an experience thing as well, your CBs looked decent to me but I think they’re all pretty young?

Style of play - well we *can* play football but the ball-to-feet stuff will only ever happen in the opposition final third. Mehmeti and McCleary in particular can ping it about nicely.

The shutting up shop will pretty much always happen once we go in front by a one-goal margin though, especially these days when we seem to be less prolific in front of goal. And it’s nailed on to happen against the better sides, the ones who can pass it about and hit us on the break with pace - and can finish.

The timewasting goes over the top to my mind, the ref rightly booked both one of yours (when you were ahead) and one of ours (when we were ahead) for excessive dawdling, but there’s nothing he’ll ever be able to do about the fake goalie injuries other than add time back on.

It wasn’t all us though, Marquis had a couple of tryouts for the Olympic diving squad which went unpunished.

Nice to see that Barton went full-on with the backhanded compliments after the game… “Ainsworth has done a great job, but I hate their style of play and wouldn’t take any of their players…” yadda yadda, you just did the team talk for the reverse fixture. But a gobshite is a gobshite, so…
 

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I've never seen a team time waste at 2-0 down until yesterday.

Good win, and a good weekend in general for the top 3.



He had a shocking first half, rarely managed to take the ball in without spilling it.
Oh for fucks sake, have a day off!
 

Tom_ITFC

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I've never seen a team time waste at 2-0 down until yesterday.

Good win, and a good weekend in general for the top 3.



He had a shocking first half, rarely managed to take the ball in without spilling it.

I have to disagree. There were multiple times he had shots/powerful headers close to him which he held onto. I think it’s harsh for the Oxford lot to criticise him on his first match.

Christ, look at Walton’s first match for us. Lost 5-2 at home to Bolton. Arguably one of the best in the league now
 

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I agree with all of your points there.

I just wish our fans would shut up about the boring stuff, it’s embarrassing.

On the Oxford fans forum, your fans have so many compliments about our team, despite everything our fans have been.

I was confused by the comments they were making about your keeper though. Thought he had a good game, if you ignore the first goal. He made some cracking saves that kept the score down to 3-0
First off, the best team on the day won, fair and square. Ipswich were the best side I've seen this season, and that was our heaviest defeat for about three seasons, so we can have no argument that it was a fair outcome.

The keeper is a young Irish signing that we made in August, and this was his league debut. He didn't know he was playing until Eastwood failed a fitness test on the morning of the match, so there is some mitigation for his performance, which I didn't think was that bad, but it's not how we'd have chosen to blood him in front of 28,000 people chanting that he's crap and boring! I think the wider issue was that those in front of him were over compensating for him by just knocking the ball away (often to an Ipswich player) rather than playing it out in our usual style.

We also lost Lewis Bate (centre mid) to illness on the day of the game, and he was probably man of the match against Sheffield Wednesday last week. OK, shit happens, but I felt Karl Robinson's re-shuffle because of this was our biggest problem on the day. He could have made just one change, but instead made two changes to the back line and moved one of last week's back line into midfield. It just wasn't necessary and with a debut keeper too made us far too disjointed.

Having said that, we did OK for 40 minutes until the first goal went in, then the 2nd right on half time killed us. KR then completely lost the plot with his substitutions and we could, and maybe should, have lost by more.

We're not the Oxford United of the last three seasons, that's for sure, but yesterday wasn't even the best version of this season's Oxford United. Personally I would have removed KR after the transfer window debacle, and I feel he should go now. Not because of yesterday (although it could be the straw that breaks the camel's back) but because we've become stale and fans have lost enthusiasm. We have a top 5 budget and are underperforming badly, time for change.
 

masi51

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Back in the big time today...........3pm live on sky. Big shout out to Derby away following which will give us our first 25k gate in 10 years
Santos and still out but McGoldrick is a big miss for them i fancy us to go one down early and hit back just before half time and Bodvarrson to grab the winner somewhere north of the 95min to send a bumber crowd home happy
 

kieran_vale

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Been quite watchable so far.

Don’t agree with Hendrie re that penalty shout for Barkhuizen. He mis-controlled it and was never getting to that ball.
 

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We’ve had a few moments but nothing clear cut. Derby look dangerous on the break and from set pieces. If that own goal attempt that hit the bar towards the end of the half had gone in it would have pretty much summed up our season. Fairly even so far overall.

Kieran Lee looks off the pace today… I know we’ve had some illness in the squad. Think he needs swapping for Dempsey or bring on bodvarsson for him and sit Dapo a bit deeper.
 

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Been quite watchable so far.

Don’t agree with Hendrie re that penalty shout for Barkhuizen. He mis-controlled it and was never getting to that ball.
Not been bad but have to have it on mute cos Lee Hendrie makes my ears bleed.
 

kieran_vale

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Not been bad but have to have it on mute cos Lee Hendrie makes my ears bleed.

True, classic case of loving the sound of his own voice which is just as well as I don’t see how any other fucker could.

Afolayan for Bolton needs to get more involved in the game. Does some nice looking stuff but none of it has been in any key areas. Nice little move for Charles effort a few minutes back for Bolton.
 

kieran_vale

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Bodvarsson looks like a proper forward to me, Bolton should start with him. Seem to have much more of a focal point up top now.
 

stevowanderer

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Bodvarsson looks like a proper forward to me, Bolton should start with him. Seem to have much more of a focal point up top now.
We want to start with him but he’s been injured all season on and off. Can’t get him fit.

Probably a fair result in the end but we had some good chances. Can’t believe the Dion Charles one didn’t go in. We are crying out for a goalscorer in January.
 

kieran_vale

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We want to start with him but he’s been injured all season on and off. Can’t get him fit.

Probably a fair result in the end but we had some good chances. Can’t believe the Dion Charles one didn’t go in. We are crying out for a goalscorer in January.

Fair enough, seemed to make you look a lot more threatening when he came on.

Overall though think you looked decent enough. Just talking fine margins really between a draw and a win. Bradley is a cheat code in this league as well, similar to Elliot Anderson in L2 last season in the sense you can see he is just way above the level already.
 

stevowanderer

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Fair enough, seemed to make you look a lot more threatening when he came on.

Overall though think you looked decent enough. Just talking fine margins really between a draw and a win. Bradley is a cheat code in this league as well, similar to Elliot Anderson in L2 last season in the sense you can see he is just way above the level already.
Yeah Bradley is ridiculous. We just need to keep hold of him until the end of the season as he has a recall clause. We are usually better in the second half of the season but the gap has grown to the autos. You’d expect at least 1 of the top 2/3 to have a dodgy spell at some point so it should be an interesting second half of the season… I think we’ll bring in at least 2/3 in Jan
 

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Yeah Bradley is ridiculous. We just need to keep hold of him until the end of the season as he has a recall clause. We are usually better in the second half of the season but the gap has grown to the autos. You’d expect at least 1 of the top 2/3 to have a dodgy spell at some point so it should be an interesting second half of the season… I think we’ll bring in at least 2/3 in Jan
Define dodgy spell, we're playing shit but somehow the rest of the league aren't good enough to beat us, that's not trying to sound cocky just how it is going at the minute
 

stevowanderer

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Define dodgy spell, we're playing shit but somehow the rest of the league aren't good enough to beat us, that's not trying to sound cocky just how it is going at the minute
I mean there is usually a team that has a good start and fades in the second half of the season. I’d expect at least 1 of the top 3 to come back towards the chasing pack at some point. Weve been punished for not taking our chances too many times this season already and left quite a few points on the table. Still a long way ahead of where we were in the last 2 seasons mind and if we can put a season half of the season run together like we have in the past 2 seasons we could get back into contention,
 

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BarrieOwl

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I mean there is usually a team that has a good start and fades in the second half of the season. I’d expect at least 1 of the top 3 to come back towards the chasing pack at some point. Weve been punished for not taking our chances too many times this season already and left quite a few points on the table. Still a long way ahead of where we were in the last 2 seasons mind and if we can put a season half of the season run together like we have in the past 2 seasons we could get back into contention,
If we play the 2nd half of the season like we did last season we should go up but football is rarely that straight forward.
 

stevowanderer

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If we play the 2nd half of the season like we did last season we should go up but football is rarely that straight forward.
Agreed. Not saying we will do it but it seems to be a theme with us and a theme with Evatt before us at Barrow. Slow starts and after January window strengthening we kick on. We were 16th after first 23 games last season with 26 points and got 47 points in the last 23 games. Season before we were 20th in the January and got promoted doing something very similar.
 

masi51

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Agreed. Not saying we will do it but it seems to be a theme with us and a theme with Evatt before us at Barrow. Slow starts and after January window strengthening we kick on. We were 16th after first 23 games last season with 26 points and got 47 points in the last 23 games. Season before we were 20th in the January and got promoted doing something very similar.
No Stevie we are just a tad short of quality to get up this season and with our best two players not belonging to us it may be a while before we are ,unless we once again invest heavy in January.

We have a large squad who are simply not going to grow to be Championship players. Yes that excludes 4/5 but i dont see many more than Thomason, Morley, Dapo, Toal and Johnston improving . The rest simply are not getting better.......Excluded loan players for obvious reasons. Time we started moving players on if the club is to move forward..........I expect Evatt and the board also know this

Big month ahead and even bigger Summer
 

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No Stevie we are just a tad short of quality to get up this season and with our best two players not belonging to us it may be a while before we are ,unless we once again invest heavy in January.

We have a large squad who are simply not going to grow to be Championship players. Yes that excludes 4/5 but i dont see many more than Thomason, Morley, Dapo, Toal and Johnston improving . The rest simply are not getting better.......Excluded loan players for obvious reasons. Time we started moving players on if the club is to move forward..........I expect Evatt and the board also know this

Big month ahead and even bigger Summer
Can you afford to invest heavily in January?
 

UppaTowen_ITFC

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No Stevie we are just a tad short of quality to get up this season and with our best two players not belonging to us it may be a while before we are ,unless we once again invest heavy in January.

We have a large squad who are simply not going to grow to be Championship players. Yes that excludes 4/5 but i dont see many more than Thomason, Morley, Dapo, Toal and Johnston improving . The rest simply are not getting better.......Excluded loan players for obvious reasons. Time we started moving players on if the club is to move forward..........I expect Evatt and the board also know this

Big month ahead and even bigger Summer
Didn’t you say earlier this season you had the best squad in the league for actual depth. I absolutely remember you trying to convince me Boltons bench would be stronger than ours. Which was ludicrous talk.
 

stevowanderer

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Can you afford to invest heavily in January?
I don’t think we have the levels of investment available to yourselves and Ipswich but I think we will bring in at least 2/3. Probably loans or a few hundred k level fees for someone out of contract in the summer.
 

stevowanderer

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No Stevie we are just a tad short of quality to get up this season and with our best two players not belonging to us it may be a while before we are ,unless we once again invest heavy in January.

We have a large squad who are simply not going to grow to be Championship players. Yes that excludes 4/5 but i dont see many more than Thomason, Morley, Dapo, Toal and Johnston improving . The rest simply are not getting better.......Excluded loan players for obvious reasons. Time we started moving players on if the club is to move forward..........I expect Evatt and the board also know this

Big month ahead and even bigger Summer
And we will probably lose Dapo and maybe Santos in the summer with no promotion… plus no Bradley or Trafford next season. I think we are very capable of still being in the playoffs at the end of the season but I agree the autos are probably too far away. Whilst I said not to count us out because of previous history I don’t actually believe we can catch any of those 3. Losses like Cheltenham and Forest Green really hurt us.
 

Si Robin

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Enjoyed the day yesterday. I thought Robins Nest was very welcoming to us argo fans yesterday. Pretty good game. We struggled with a narrow pitch, you struggled with quality up front. Seems to me keep May quiet and I am not sure where your threat comes from. But the really big question is WTF has Broom done with his barnet!?! Is he doing some part time porn work or something.

oops realised put this on the wrong day

Thought I'd put my response in the right one BE, haha.

You're right, without May we are completely toothless. Nlundulu has moments of class (his shot just over the bar on the turn at the end for example), but he's not a team player and a club like ours can't carry players at this level. Defensively, we're completely sound (Bristol Rovers aside), and we nearly kept you out, but going forward we just don't look dangerous.

We need a battering ram, some big bastard to just hold the ball and bring the midfield and May into the game. I don't know if there's one out there, but if there is, we need to break the bank for him.

Glad you liked the Nest - it's not a bad bar, it's just gets so cramped in there for my liking.
 

leedsvaliant

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And we will probably lose Dapo and maybe Santos in the summer with no promotion… plus no Bradley or Trafford next season. I think we are very capable of still being in the playoffs at the end of the season but I agree the autos are probably too far away. Whilst I said not to count us out because of previous history I don’t actually believe we can catch any of those 3. Losses like Cheltenham and Forest Green really hurt us.
I don't think losing Santos would be a bad thing. He's been a bit of a liability this season hasn't he?
 

masi51

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Didn’t you say earlier this season you had the best squad in the league for actual depth. I absolutely remember you trying to convince me Boltons bench would be stronger than ours. Which was ludicrous talk.
yes and that has been our downfall.....We have players like Sadlier,John and Dempsey all good lge1 pros not getting a look in week after week

Its taken two injuries/illness for Evatt to stumble on a decent back three......We simply dont know our best 11
 
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