COMMENT: A summer that needs to reunite Oxford United

Ian Lenagan and Gary Waddock deep in conversation on the touchline at Northampton on Saturday. The duo have a huge rebuilding job at Oxford United this summer after a dismal end to the season  Picture: Jon Lewis

Ian Lenagan and Gary Waddock deep in conversation on the touchline at Northampton on Saturday. The duo have a huge rebuilding job at Oxford United this summer after a dismal end to the season Picture: Jon Lewis

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Witney Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor. Call me on 01865 425451

THERE’S no doubt that this summer is going to be crucial to Oxford United’s future.

A season that promised so much, yet delivered so little seems to have left great divides throughout the club.

Head coach Gary Waddock has promised a massive overhaul of the playing squad – something that clearly needs to happen after what can only be described as a pathetic end to the campaign.

But the problem at the club appears more deep-rooted.

Players, managers and chairmen come and go, but the supporters are the lifeblood of any club.

The connection between Oxford United and its fans has always been the backbone to its success.

But the link has come apart and chairman Ian Lenagan has got a huge job as the U’s embark on a summer of change in order to connect that chain once again.

Many people blame Lenagan for United’s slump, others point at Chris Wilder and the manner of his departure.

Mickey Lewis did his best in caretake charge, but although the rot had appeared to have already set in to the squad by the time Waddock came in, he could only record one win from eight matches in charge.

And the players? How can the same group show title form in the early part of the season and relegation form in the second half?

In truth, everyone has played a part in the slump.

The Kassam Stadium does not help – a soulless ground with no atmosphere, but that’s not an excuse for on-field performances.

What matters now is how United go about rebuilding the club, from top to bottom.

It’s a perfect time for Lenagan and Waddock to stamp their mark on United – but they need to deliver.

If Wilder had stayed in charge of Oxford United for the whole season, I have no doubt that the U’s would have secured at least a play-off berth.

Longer-term, whether this would have benefitted the club is open to question.

Lenagan wanted Wilder to do things his way, which meant the U’s boss was always going to be swimming against the tide. It was never going to end well.

Witney Gazette:

  • Two United fans sum up the feeling during the second half of the season

When Wilder was given a new contract at the end of the 2012/13 season, many supporters questioned the decision after United had again failed to reach the play-offs.

But the manager rebuilt his squad and was delivering. The U’s were in the automatic promotion places until Christmas.

However, as soon as Lenagan stated publicly that no further talks over a longer deal for Wilder would happen until the latter stages of the season, things started to go wrong.

Unsure of his future, the U’s boss started to be linked to various other jobs, something that started to provoke vociferous debate amongst fans about how much he wanted to stay here.

Wilder was never going to get the type of deal he ended up with at Northampton – three-and-a-half years – but surely deserved contract offers put on the table.

By offering him, for example, a new one-year deal if United reached the play-offs, a two-year contract if he achieved promotion and a three-year deal if Oxford were champions, everyone would have known where they stood.

If the U’s didn’t make the top seven, he would go.

As soon as Wilder spoke to Portsmouth over their vacant job, the writing was on the wall.

Maybe, what ultimately happened was what both parties wanted.

The manner of his departure, however, was a complete shambles and nobody came out of it well.

It was, in truth, the start of a shambolic final four months of the season.

Mickey Lewis was everyone’s choice to fill in and all United fans were desperate for him to succeed.

Early results were promising, but when late goals went in at Bristol Rovers and Morecambe to leave United with two points instead of six, the signs were there that things might be starting to go wrong.

This was the time that Lenagan should have made progress behind the scenes to line up a replacement.

If United had won their next few games, Mickey should have continued in the job.

They didn’t, but nobody was ready to come in.

By the time Waddock was appointed, the slump had started.

With a tough fixture list combined with injuries and a lack of confidence, United’s season was spiralling out of control.

A tremendous win at Plymouth gave renewed hope that United would scrape into the top seven, but the next match – a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of York City on Good Friday – undid all their good work.

It was to prove a dismal end to thecampaign and it leaves United with a mammoth job to rebuild and pick everyone up again.

The emergence of several young players – and the form of goalkeeper Ryan Clarke – provide the shining light for U’s supporters.

But those rays of sunshine struggled to break through the dark cloud that hung over United in 2014.

While fellow promotion rivals splashed the cash in January to improve their squads, Oxford added only 36-year-old striker David Connolly on loan and brought in Nicky Wroe to replace Asa Hall.

Lenagan’s policy of no short-term deals is admirable, but at the end of the loan window in March, with the team devoid of confidence and sliding down the table, a new face might have been what was needed to lift spirits and reignite their season.

Too many players waited for others to lead the way on the pitch, and there was a sense of inevitability when United fell behind in games.

There was just not the character or desire to fight back.

Incidents involving players and supporters did little to improve the feeling about the club and the task facing Lenagan and Waddock should not be underestimated.

The club pride themselves on their motto of ‘United We Stand’.

Never has a saying been more appropriate, because Oxford United now need the feelgood factor back more than ever.

Comments (19)

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9:43am Tue 6 May 14

camden says...

The club should offer Kitson a Player/Coach role in conjunction with supporting him in obtaining his management qualifications . Bring in one or two new experienced coaches with fresh ideas, thank Wafdorf and Staddler for their service and dispense with them. The club needs fresh ideas and a emphasis on playing football, Not just oofing the ball and hoping for the best !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The club should offer Kitson a Player/Coach role in conjunction with supporting him in obtaining his management qualifications . Bring in one or two new experienced coaches with fresh ideas, thank Wafdorf and Staddler for their service and dispense with them. The club needs fresh ideas and a emphasis on playing football, Not just oofing the ball and hoping for the best !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! camden
  • Score: 14

10:10am Tue 6 May 14

Ian Faulkner says...

An excellent article, which admirably analyses the part that Ian Lenagan has played in our failure this season. Well done, Mark Edwards.
An excellent article, which admirably analyses the part that Ian Lenagan has played in our failure this season. Well done, Mark Edwards. Ian Faulkner
  • Score: 28

10:30am Tue 6 May 14

Oxokuba says...

Article started of quite brightly but descended into a ludicrous defence of Wilder couple with an even sillier prediction that we had have secured a play off spot if Wilder had stayed. If the author is that good at knowing the future he wouldn't be writing an article for a provincial paper because he'd be too busy celebrating his remarkable run of Euro/National lottery wins. Wilder left the club because he didn't get what he wanted - Wilder also managed to drag his team out of a secure play off spot for last two seasons, something the author and several wilder fans seem to forget.

Lenagans indecision post wilder caused severe damage to our promotion hopes and whilst I reluctantly agree that Waddock needs his own coaching/playing staff and some time his abysmal record in first 8 games is a concern.

The club can't fool its supporters by making empty promises simply to secure season ticket funds. Fans have been remarkable and loyal it's time for Lenagan to decide if he wants to move this club forwards or sit back and watch the decline which will cost him financially as well as the club losing a considerable amount of supporters.

The club needs at least 7 new players not loanees, we need players who are committed to driving the club forward encourage by a contract that offers them more security than a temporary stage. That means investment and if Lenagan doesn't want to put any more money into the club, which is understandable, then he needs to help the club find a new investor. I think the marketing of the club in general is very poor but that''s another matter. Fans are out there but they're not stupid. 4 years in the bottom tier isn't good enough for a club that gets brilliant support. A smart businessman would recognise the potential.
Article started of quite brightly but descended into a ludicrous defence of Wilder couple with an even sillier prediction that we had have secured a play off spot if Wilder had stayed. If the author is that good at knowing the future he wouldn't be writing an article for a provincial paper because he'd be too busy celebrating his remarkable run of Euro/National lottery wins. Wilder left the club because he didn't get what he wanted - Wilder also managed to drag his team out of a secure play off spot for last two seasons, something the author and several wilder fans seem to forget. Lenagans indecision post wilder caused severe damage to our promotion hopes and whilst I reluctantly agree that Waddock needs his own coaching/playing staff and some time his abysmal record in first 8 games is a concern. The club can't fool its supporters by making empty promises simply to secure season ticket funds. Fans have been remarkable and loyal it's time for Lenagan to decide if he wants to move this club forwards or sit back and watch the decline which will cost him financially as well as the club losing a considerable amount of supporters. The club needs at least 7 new players not loanees, we need players who are committed to driving the club forward encourage by a contract that offers them more security than a temporary stage. That means investment and if Lenagan doesn't want to put any more money into the club, which is understandable, then he needs to help the club find a new investor. I think the marketing of the club in general is very poor but that''s another matter. Fans are out there but they're not stupid. 4 years in the bottom tier isn't good enough for a club that gets brilliant support. A smart businessman would recognise the potential. Oxokuba
  • Score: 5

10:40am Tue 6 May 14

BigCrompy says...

Ian Faulkner wrote:
An excellent article, which admirably analyses the part that Ian Lenagan has played in our failure this season. Well done, Mark Edwards.
Maybe excellent on some counts...but to state that "Mickey Lewis was everyone's choice to fill-in...he should have stayed in the job (had he won 4 games)" and that "no-one was ready to come in" smells more than faintly of effluent.

Scrimping, cutting corners, doing it cheap cost us the season. That by February the club had given up, and most people associated with it would have settled for seventh place and a playoffs capitulation, speaks volumes.

A shambolic, D- season, Oxford. Fill your boots Mr Waddock, as I for one am very fearful for the future...
[quote][p][bold]Ian Faulkner[/bold] wrote: An excellent article, which admirably analyses the part that Ian Lenagan has played in our failure this season. Well done, Mark Edwards.[/p][/quote]Maybe excellent on some counts...but to state that "Mickey Lewis was everyone's choice to fill-in...he should have stayed in the job (had he won 4 games)" and that "no-one was ready to come in" smells more than faintly of effluent. Scrimping, cutting corners, doing it cheap cost us the season. That by February the club had given up, and most people associated with it would have settled for seventh place and a playoffs capitulation, speaks volumes. A shambolic, D- season, Oxford. Fill your boots Mr Waddock, as I for one am very fearful for the future... BigCrompy
  • Score: 19

12:03pm Tue 6 May 14

London_Ox says...

Oxokuba wrote:
Article started of quite brightly but descended into a ludicrous defence of Wilder couple with an even sillier prediction that we had have secured a play off spot if Wilder had stayed. If the author is that good at knowing the future he wouldn't be writing an article for a provincial paper because he'd be too busy celebrating his remarkable run of Euro/National lottery wins. Wilder left the club because he didn't get what he wanted - Wilder also managed to drag his team out of a secure play off spot for last two seasons, something the author and several wilder fans seem to forget.

Lenagans indecision post wilder caused severe damage to our promotion hopes and whilst I reluctantly agree that Waddock needs his own coaching/playing staff and some time his abysmal record in first 8 games is a concern.

The club can't fool its supporters by making empty promises simply to secure season ticket funds. Fans have been remarkable and loyal it's time for Lenagan to decide if he wants to move this club forwards or sit back and watch the decline which will cost him financially as well as the club losing a considerable amount of supporters.

The club needs at least 7 new players not loanees, we need players who are committed to driving the club forward encourage by a contract that offers them more security than a temporary stage. That means investment and if Lenagan doesn't want to put any more money into the club, which is understandable, then he needs to help the club find a new investor. I think the marketing of the club in general is very poor but that''s another matter. Fans are out there but they're not stupid. 4 years in the bottom tier isn't good enough for a club that gets brilliant support. A smart businessman would recognise the potential.
Hear Hear..

Oxokuba, I think you should replace Mark Edwards as Oxford Mail's Deputy-In-Chief Sportswriter as you talk more sense and echo more about whats really going on at Oxford United and Mark Edwards should reconsider his career as an Alan Carr Lookaliky.
[quote][p][bold]Oxokuba[/bold] wrote: Article started of quite brightly but descended into a ludicrous defence of Wilder couple with an even sillier prediction that we had have secured a play off spot if Wilder had stayed. If the author is that good at knowing the future he wouldn't be writing an article for a provincial paper because he'd be too busy celebrating his remarkable run of Euro/National lottery wins. Wilder left the club because he didn't get what he wanted - Wilder also managed to drag his team out of a secure play off spot for last two seasons, something the author and several wilder fans seem to forget. Lenagans indecision post wilder caused severe damage to our promotion hopes and whilst I reluctantly agree that Waddock needs his own coaching/playing staff and some time his abysmal record in first 8 games is a concern. The club can't fool its supporters by making empty promises simply to secure season ticket funds. Fans have been remarkable and loyal it's time for Lenagan to decide if he wants to move this club forwards or sit back and watch the decline which will cost him financially as well as the club losing a considerable amount of supporters. The club needs at least 7 new players not loanees, we need players who are committed to driving the club forward encourage by a contract that offers them more security than a temporary stage. That means investment and if Lenagan doesn't want to put any more money into the club, which is understandable, then he needs to help the club find a new investor. I think the marketing of the club in general is very poor but that''s another matter. Fans are out there but they're not stupid. 4 years in the bottom tier isn't good enough for a club that gets brilliant support. A smart businessman would recognise the potential.[/p][/quote]Hear Hear.. Oxokuba, I think you should replace Mark Edwards as Oxford Mail's Deputy-In-Chief Sportswriter as you talk more sense and echo more about whats really going on at Oxford United and Mark Edwards should reconsider his career as an Alan Carr Lookaliky. London_Ox
  • Score: 1

12:11pm Tue 6 May 14

oldun says...

Apart from the better youngsters , the only current players I am happy to see play next season for United are Ryan C , J Mullins and Andy W . The rest will never take us up!
Apart from the better youngsters , the only current players I am happy to see play next season for United are Ryan C , J Mullins and Andy W . The rest will never take us up! oldun
  • Score: 8

2:03pm Tue 6 May 14

LeGod says...

Great article and just about sums you lot up losers. Waddock will take you down no doubting that with one win in eight and that will follow on into the new season. Just watched your highlights on sky from the weekend crikey you look bad and most conference teams would stuff you looking at the rubbish I saw.
You are a far cry from getting into L1 unless you change manager again which I doubt or have a clear out of players. It is clear to me your manager has lost the players by openly criticising the team and calling them losers but great to see you have missed out on the play offs and one thing is certain for all you idiots who criticised Wilder he would have got you in the play offs. The problem is you think you are a big side in L2 and your not.
The sides that will be three next season will be Portsmouth and Luton and Tranmere so be prepared for a worst season next season with Waddock in charge.
He was appointed because he was the cheapest option and no other reason because if your chairman is not talking porky pies and said he had 50 applicants I dread to think who the other applicants were if you ended up with Waddock.
Great for us down the road as we love it.
Great article and just about sums you lot up losers. Waddock will take you down no doubting that with one win in eight and that will follow on into the new season. Just watched your highlights on sky from the weekend crikey you look bad and most conference teams would stuff you looking at the rubbish I saw. You are a far cry from getting into L1 unless you change manager again which I doubt or have a clear out of players. It is clear to me your manager has lost the players by openly criticising the team and calling them losers but great to see you have missed out on the play offs and one thing is certain for all you idiots who criticised Wilder he would have got you in the play offs. The problem is you think you are a big side in L2 and your not. The sides that will be three next season will be Portsmouth and Luton and Tranmere so be prepared for a worst season next season with Waddock in charge. He was appointed because he was the cheapest option and no other reason because if your chairman is not talking porky pies and said he had 50 applicants I dread to think who the other applicants were if you ended up with Waddock. Great for us down the road as we love it. LeGod
  • Score: -21

2:38pm Tue 6 May 14

oldun says...

LeGod wrote:
Great article and just about sums you lot up losers. Waddock will take you down no doubting that with one win in eight and that will follow on into the new season. Just watched your highlights on sky from the weekend crikey you look bad and most conference teams would stuff you looking at the rubbish I saw.
You are a far cry from getting into L1 unless you change manager again which I doubt or have a clear out of players. It is clear to me your manager has lost the players by openly criticising the team and calling them losers but great to see you have missed out on the play offs and one thing is certain for all you idiots who criticised Wilder he would have got you in the play offs. The problem is you think you are a big side in L2 and your not.
The sides that will be three next season will be Portsmouth and Luton and Tranmere so be prepared for a worst season next season with Waddock in charge.
He was appointed because he was the cheapest option and no other reason because if your chairman is not talking porky pies and said he had 50 applicants I dread to think who the other applicants were if you ended up with Waddock.
Great for us down the road as we love it.
(like me) You must enjoy wasting your time. I (like other United fans) no longer read your 'offerings' - I have learned my lesson. I suspect that you must like wasting your time as you comment on a team you rarely/never watch. I can recommend a decent book or three - not about United - Bert Trautmann's biography is one of them. Better read that then talk here about a team you rarely watch. Have a good un.
[quote][p][bold]LeGod[/bold] wrote: Great article and just about sums you lot up losers. Waddock will take you down no doubting that with one win in eight and that will follow on into the new season. Just watched your highlights on sky from the weekend crikey you look bad and most conference teams would stuff you looking at the rubbish I saw. You are a far cry from getting into L1 unless you change manager again which I doubt or have a clear out of players. It is clear to me your manager has lost the players by openly criticising the team and calling them losers but great to see you have missed out on the play offs and one thing is certain for all you idiots who criticised Wilder he would have got you in the play offs. The problem is you think you are a big side in L2 and your not. The sides that will be three next season will be Portsmouth and Luton and Tranmere so be prepared for a worst season next season with Waddock in charge. He was appointed because he was the cheapest option and no other reason because if your chairman is not talking porky pies and said he had 50 applicants I dread to think who the other applicants were if you ended up with Waddock. Great for us down the road as we love it.[/p][/quote](like me) You must enjoy wasting your time. I (like other United fans) no longer read your 'offerings' - I have learned my lesson. I suspect that you must like wasting your time as you comment on a team you rarely/never watch. I can recommend a decent book or three - not about United - Bert Trautmann's biography is one of them. Better read that then talk here about a team you rarely watch. Have a good un. oldun
  • Score: 9

3:02pm Tue 6 May 14

OUFC 4 EVA says...

LeGod wrote:
Great article and just about sums you lot up losers. Waddock will take you down no doubting that with one win in eight and that will follow on into the new season. Just watched your highlights on sky from the weekend crikey you look bad and most conference teams would stuff you looking at the rubbish I saw. You are a far cry from getting into L1 unless you change manager again which I doubt or have a clear out of players. It is clear to me your manager has lost the players by openly criticising the team and calling them losers but great to see you have missed out on the play offs and one thing is certain for all you idiots who criticised Wilder he would have got you in the play offs. The problem is you think you are a big side in L2 and your not. The sides that will be three next season will be Portsmouth and Luton and Tranmere so be prepared for a worst season next season with Waddock in charge. He was appointed because he was the cheapest option and no other reason because if your chairman is not talking porky pies and said he had 50 applicants I dread to think who the other applicants were if you ended up with Waddock. Great for us down the road as we love it.
"The problem is you think you are a big side in L2 and your not."
*you're
"The sides that will be three next season will be Portsmouth and Luton and Tranmere so be prepared for a worst season next season with Waddock in charge"
*worse

Try getting your spelling and grammar right you inbred scummer.
[quote][p][bold]LeGod[/bold] wrote: Great article and just about sums you lot up losers. Waddock will take you down no doubting that with one win in eight and that will follow on into the new season. Just watched your highlights on sky from the weekend crikey you look bad and most conference teams would stuff you looking at the rubbish I saw. You are a far cry from getting into L1 unless you change manager again which I doubt or have a clear out of players. It is clear to me your manager has lost the players by openly criticising the team and calling them losers but great to see you have missed out on the play offs and one thing is certain for all you idiots who criticised Wilder he would have got you in the play offs. The problem is you think you are a big side in L2 and your not. The sides that will be three next season will be Portsmouth and Luton and Tranmere so be prepared for a worst season next season with Waddock in charge. He was appointed because he was the cheapest option and no other reason because if your chairman is not talking porky pies and said he had 50 applicants I dread to think who the other applicants were if you ended up with Waddock. Great for us down the road as we love it.[/p][/quote]"The problem is you think you are a big side in L2 and your not." *you're "The sides that will be three next season will be Portsmouth and Luton and Tranmere so be prepared for a worst season next season with Waddock in charge" *worse Try getting your spelling and grammar right you inbred scummer. OUFC 4 EVA
  • Score: 6

3:51pm Tue 6 May 14

Oxokuba says...

LeGod wrote:
Great article and just about sums you lot up losers. Waddock will take you down no doubting that with one win in eight and that will follow on into the new season. Just watched your highlights on sky from the weekend crikey you look bad and most conference teams would stuff you looking at the rubbish I saw.
You are a far cry from getting into L1 unless you change manager again which I doubt or have a clear out of players. It is clear to me your manager has lost the players by openly criticising the team and calling them losers but great to see you have missed out on the play offs and one thing is certain for all you idiots who criticised Wilder he would have got you in the play offs. The problem is you think you are a big side in L2 and your not.
The sides that will be three next season will be Portsmouth and Luton and Tranmere so be prepared for a worst season next season with Waddock in charge.
He was appointed because he was the cheapest option and no other reason because if your chairman is not talking porky pies and said he had 50 applicants I dread to think who the other applicants were if you ended up with Waddock.
Great for us down the road as we love it.
still celebrating Swindon's race to the championship I see - or are you still in league one having just missed a play off spot - Your tedious rants imply you don't get out much - I'd keep an eye on your own shambles as it appears there's a storm brewing over money. I guess we should all be flattered you prefer our company but it's best you stay within the confines of your own gene pool and mix with your equals, all of whom breath through their gills.
[quote][p][bold]LeGod[/bold] wrote: Great article and just about sums you lot up losers. Waddock will take you down no doubting that with one win in eight and that will follow on into the new season. Just watched your highlights on sky from the weekend crikey you look bad and most conference teams would stuff you looking at the rubbish I saw. You are a far cry from getting into L1 unless you change manager again which I doubt or have a clear out of players. It is clear to me your manager has lost the players by openly criticising the team and calling them losers but great to see you have missed out on the play offs and one thing is certain for all you idiots who criticised Wilder he would have got you in the play offs. The problem is you think you are a big side in L2 and your not. The sides that will be three next season will be Portsmouth and Luton and Tranmere so be prepared for a worst season next season with Waddock in charge. He was appointed because he was the cheapest option and no other reason because if your chairman is not talking porky pies and said he had 50 applicants I dread to think who the other applicants were if you ended up with Waddock. Great for us down the road as we love it.[/p][/quote]still celebrating Swindon's race to the championship I see - or are you still in league one having just missed a play off spot - Your tedious rants imply you don't get out much - I'd keep an eye on your own shambles as it appears there's a storm brewing over money. I guess we should all be flattered you prefer our company but it's best you stay within the confines of your own gene pool and mix with your equals, all of whom breath through their gills. Oxokuba
  • Score: 6

5:22pm Tue 6 May 14

bigchet says...

i see that lutons latest fan in the form of le god is singing their praises already probably because he has little positive comment to make about the outfit down the a420 that he claims to support. ever since his hero de canio left he has been an embittered man .
i see that lutons latest fan in the form of le god is singing their praises already probably because he has little positive comment to make about the outfit down the a420 that he claims to support. ever since his hero de canio left he has been an embittered man . bigchet
  • Score: 0

5:56pm Tue 6 May 14

Richard Wickson says...

Why bother even replying to Le God. Oxokuba, what a first class article and I totally agree with London_ox that you should write for the OM on OU. Lenagan did over assert his wishes and I firmly believe that's why Wilder left us the way he did. If Lenagan now doesn't sort things out properly we will continue to fail miserably. He (in my opinion) should reach a deal with Waddock to pay him to go, I think he should have bought in his own back room team but whatever he has plainly shown he isn't the man to do the job here. We need a big clear out and a younger but experienced manager that could bring in enthusiastic players that can pass the ball to one another. We also need the Chairman whoever he might be, to allow the manager to back his own judgements and add in the window if injuries dictate. At present we don't have any of those things! The future is worrying.
Why bother even replying to Le God. Oxokuba, what a first class article and I totally agree with London_ox that you should write for the OM on OU. Lenagan did over assert his wishes and I firmly believe that's why Wilder left us the way he did. If Lenagan now doesn't sort things out properly we will continue to fail miserably. He (in my opinion) should reach a deal with Waddock to pay him to go, I think he should have bought in his own back room team but whatever he has plainly shown he isn't the man to do the job here. We need a big clear out and a younger but experienced manager that could bring in enthusiastic players that can pass the ball to one another. We also need the Chairman whoever he might be, to allow the manager to back his own judgements and add in the window if injuries dictate. At present we don't have any of those things! The future is worrying. Richard Wickson
  • Score: 0

9:09pm Tue 6 May 14

Taff Ewe says...

A comment aimed at those who have painted a target on Wilders back for a long time.

Yes, Chris Wilder has failed in previous seasons, however he was still learning from those mistakes and this season felt stronger and he had got us into a much better position than in previous seasons.

Under CW I never felt that we would be in any danger of being relegated (how many managers in the past 15 year can you apply that comment to?)

He went to a club in a bigger crisis than OUFC have ended the season in and turned it around by amassing 31 points. Their squad must have been much worse than ours, however he managed to get so much from it.

31 points would have put us very close to automatic. Who's to say that he would not have got us directly promoted?

As I have always said, Wilder never set the world on fire but he was a steady, safe pair of hands and some fickle fans have VERY short memories. Wanting instant glory and change. Well this scenario most certainly has an Ian Atkins feel about it.

Granted, Lenegan is no Kassam, but do you remember how that all ended?

Personally I would have preferred to keep a 'safe pair of hands' than gamble with the club again and make no mistake, the club have taken a BIG gamble.
A comment aimed at those who have painted a target on Wilders back for a long time. Yes, Chris Wilder has failed in previous seasons, however he was still learning from those mistakes and this season felt stronger and he had got us into a much better position than in previous seasons. Under CW I never felt that we would be in any danger of being relegated (how many managers in the past 15 year can you apply that comment to?) He went to a club in a bigger crisis than OUFC have ended the season in and turned it around by amassing 31 points. Their squad must have been much worse than ours, however he managed to get so much from it. 31 points would have put us very close to automatic. Who's to say that he would not have got us directly promoted? As I have always said, Wilder never set the world on fire but he was a steady, safe pair of hands and some fickle fans have VERY short memories. Wanting instant glory and change. Well this scenario most certainly has an Ian Atkins feel about it. Granted, Lenegan is no Kassam, but do you remember how that all ended? Personally I would have preferred to keep a 'safe pair of hands' than gamble with the club again and make no mistake, the club have taken a BIG gamble. Taff Ewe
  • Score: 10

10:23pm Tue 6 May 14

GAVLA says...

It's a simple solution. Put together a winning entertaining, committed team and the fans will come back. Keep asking for the fans to dig deep whilst serving up the drivel we have been enduring over the past few seasons ( including a dire spell in the conference) and fans are going to continue to get disenchanted and leave. ( I dread to think of the generations of potential yellows fans we have missed out on ) The fans message is clear . No more excuses please gents. Put an entertaining , winning team on the pitch and we'll back them.
It's a simple solution. Put together a winning entertaining, committed team and the fans will come back. Keep asking for the fans to dig deep whilst serving up the drivel we have been enduring over the past few seasons ( including a dire spell in the conference) and fans are going to continue to get disenchanted and leave. ( I dread to think of the generations of potential yellows fans we have missed out on ) The fans message is clear . No more excuses please gents. Put an entertaining , winning team on the pitch and we'll back them. GAVLA
  • Score: 5

9:07am Wed 7 May 14

Brenda Jackson says...

A welcome change from an Ox mail employee who 'dares' to be critical of Mr L.

I'd just like to register a vote of no confidence in either Chairman or manager.
Whilst hoping they prove me wrong.
A welcome change from an Ox mail employee who 'dares' to be critical of Mr L. I'd just like to register a vote of no confidence in either Chairman or manager. Whilst hoping they prove me wrong. Brenda Jackson
  • Score: 0

9:37am Wed 7 May 14

AylesburyOx says...

Oxokuba wrote:
Article started of quite brightly but descended into a ludicrous defence of Wilder couple with an even sillier prediction that we had have secured a play off spot if Wilder had stayed. If the author is that good at knowing the future he wouldn't be writing an article for a provincial paper because he'd be too busy celebrating his remarkable run of Euro/National lottery wins. Wilder left the club because he didn't get what he wanted - Wilder also managed to drag his team out of a secure play off spot for last two seasons, something the author and several wilder fans seem to forget. Lenagans indecision post wilder caused severe damage to our promotion hopes and whilst I reluctantly agree that Waddock needs his own coaching/playing staff and some time his abysmal record in first 8 games is a concern. The club can't fool its supporters by making empty promises simply to secure season ticket funds. Fans have been remarkable and loyal it's time for Lenagan to decide if he wants to move this club forwards or sit back and watch the decline which will cost him financially as well as the club losing a considerable amount of supporters. The club needs at least 7 new players not loanees, we need players who are committed to driving the club forward encourage by a contract that offers them more security than a temporary stage. That means investment and if Lenagan doesn't want to put any more money into the club, which is understandable, then he needs to help the club find a new investor. I think the marketing of the club in general is very poor but that''s another matter. Fans are out there but they're not stupid. 4 years in the bottom tier isn't good enough for a club that gets brilliant support. A smart businessman would recognise the potential.
Best comment I've read on here in a long time - very well said
[quote][p][bold]Oxokuba[/bold] wrote: Article started of quite brightly but descended into a ludicrous defence of Wilder couple with an even sillier prediction that we had have secured a play off spot if Wilder had stayed. If the author is that good at knowing the future he wouldn't be writing an article for a provincial paper because he'd be too busy celebrating his remarkable run of Euro/National lottery wins. Wilder left the club because he didn't get what he wanted - Wilder also managed to drag his team out of a secure play off spot for last two seasons, something the author and several wilder fans seem to forget. Lenagans indecision post wilder caused severe damage to our promotion hopes and whilst I reluctantly agree that Waddock needs his own coaching/playing staff and some time his abysmal record in first 8 games is a concern. The club can't fool its supporters by making empty promises simply to secure season ticket funds. Fans have been remarkable and loyal it's time for Lenagan to decide if he wants to move this club forwards or sit back and watch the decline which will cost him financially as well as the club losing a considerable amount of supporters. The club needs at least 7 new players not loanees, we need players who are committed to driving the club forward encourage by a contract that offers them more security than a temporary stage. That means investment and if Lenagan doesn't want to put any more money into the club, which is understandable, then he needs to help the club find a new investor. I think the marketing of the club in general is very poor but that''s another matter. Fans are out there but they're not stupid. 4 years in the bottom tier isn't good enough for a club that gets brilliant support. A smart businessman would recognise the potential.[/p][/quote]Best comment I've read on here in a long time - very well said AylesburyOx
  • Score: -3

12:18pm Wed 7 May 14

hilliatman says...

Two United fans sum up the feeling during the second half of the season
When Wilder was given a new contract at the end of the 2012/13 season, many supporters questioned the decision after United had again failed to reach the play-offs.

But the manager rebuilt his squad and was delivering. The U’s were in the automatic promotion places until Christmas.

However, as soon as Lenagan stated publicly that no further talks over a longer deal for Wilder would happen until the latter stages of the season, things started to go wrong.

Unsure of his future, the U’s boss started to be linked to various other jobs, something that started to provoke vociferous debate amongst fans about how much he wanted to stay here.

Wilder was never going to get the type of deal he ended up with at Northampton – three-and-a-half years – but surely deserved contract offers put on the table.

By offering him, for example, a new one-year deal if United reached the play-offs, a two-year contract if he achieved promotion and a three-year deal if Oxford were champions, everyone would have known where they stood. This is why we never won anything this season and not at all because is this professional and we only got one player in the January window and did not use the load window either were as they team around got better used out of theses two important windows
Two United fans sum up the feeling during the second half of the season When Wilder was given a new contract at the end of the 2012/13 season, many supporters questioned the decision after United had again failed to reach the play-offs. But the manager rebuilt his squad and was delivering. The U’s were in the automatic promotion places until Christmas. However, as soon as Lenagan stated publicly that no further talks over a longer deal for Wilder would happen until the latter stages of the season, things started to go wrong. Unsure of his future, the U’s boss started to be linked to various other jobs, something that started to provoke vociferous debate amongst fans about how much he wanted to stay here. Wilder was never going to get the type of deal he ended up with at Northampton – three-and-a-half years – but surely deserved contract offers put on the table. By offering him, for example, a new one-year deal if United reached the play-offs, a two-year contract if he achieved promotion and a three-year deal if Oxford were champions, everyone would have known where they stood. This is why we never won anything this season and not at all because is this professional and we only got one player in the January window and did not use the load window either were as they team around got better used out of theses two important windows hilliatman
  • Score: -4

8:12pm Wed 7 May 14

Malcy69 says...

GET RID OF WADDOCK
GET RID OF WADDOCK Malcy69
  • Score: -1

9:54pm Fri 9 May 14

BenkiuGuasu says...

London_Ox wrote:
Oxokuba wrote:
Article started of quite brightly but descended into a ludicrous defence of Wilder couple with an even sillier prediction that we had have secured a play off spot if Wilder had stayed. If the author is that good at knowing the future he wouldn't be writing an article for a provincial paper because he'd be too busy celebrating his remarkable run of Euro/National lottery wins. Wilder left the club because he didn't get what he wanted - Wilder also managed to drag his team out of a secure play off spot for last two seasons, something the author and several wilder fans seem to forget.

Lenagans indecision post wilder caused severe damage to our promotion hopes and whilst I reluctantly agree that Waddock needs his own coaching/playing staff and some time his abysmal record in first 8 games is a concern.

The club can't fool its supporters by making empty promises simply to secure season ticket funds. Fans have been remarkable and loyal it's time for Lenagan to decide if he wants to move this club forwards or sit back and watch the decline which will cost him financially as well as the club losing a considerable amount of supporters.

The club needs at least 7 new players not loanees, we need players who are committed to driving the club forward encourage by a contract that offers them more security than a temporary stage. That means investment and if Lenagan doesn't want to put any more money into the club, which is understandable, then he needs to help the club find a new investor. I think the marketing of the club in general is very poor but that''s another matter. Fans are out there but they're not stupid. 4 years in the bottom tier isn't good enough for a club that gets brilliant support. A smart businessman would recognise the potential.
Hear Hear..

Oxokuba, I think you should replace Mark Edwards as Oxford Mail's Deputy-In-Chief Sportswriter as you talk more sense and echo more about whats really going on at Oxford United and Mark Edwards should reconsider his career as an Alan Carr Lookaliky.
OMG....Do you REALLY think that Oxford might not have even made the PLAY-OFFS if Wilder had stayed??

The question is would we have got automatic promotion, or the play-offs... We were UNBEATEN away from home, and were miles and miles above 8th place....

You don't have to like WIlder to realise this. Blindingly obvious.
[quote][p][bold]London_Ox[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Oxokuba[/bold] wrote: Article started of quite brightly but descended into a ludicrous defence of Wilder couple with an even sillier prediction that we had have secured a play off spot if Wilder had stayed. If the author is that good at knowing the future he wouldn't be writing an article for a provincial paper because he'd be too busy celebrating his remarkable run of Euro/National lottery wins. Wilder left the club because he didn't get what he wanted - Wilder also managed to drag his team out of a secure play off spot for last two seasons, something the author and several wilder fans seem to forget. Lenagans indecision post wilder caused severe damage to our promotion hopes and whilst I reluctantly agree that Waddock needs his own coaching/playing staff and some time his abysmal record in first 8 games is a concern. The club can't fool its supporters by making empty promises simply to secure season ticket funds. Fans have been remarkable and loyal it's time for Lenagan to decide if he wants to move this club forwards or sit back and watch the decline which will cost him financially as well as the club losing a considerable amount of supporters. The club needs at least 7 new players not loanees, we need players who are committed to driving the club forward encourage by a contract that offers them more security than a temporary stage. That means investment and if Lenagan doesn't want to put any more money into the club, which is understandable, then he needs to help the club find a new investor. I think the marketing of the club in general is very poor but that''s another matter. Fans are out there but they're not stupid. 4 years in the bottom tier isn't good enough for a club that gets brilliant support. A smart businessman would recognise the potential.[/p][/quote]Hear Hear.. Oxokuba, I think you should replace Mark Edwards as Oxford Mail's Deputy-In-Chief Sportswriter as you talk more sense and echo more about whats really going on at Oxford United and Mark Edwards should reconsider his career as an Alan Carr Lookaliky.[/p][/quote]OMG....Do you REALLY think that Oxford might not have even made the PLAY-OFFS if Wilder had stayed?? The question is would we have got automatic promotion, or the play-offs... We were UNBEATEN away from home, and were miles and miles above 8th place.... You don't have to like WIlder to realise this. Blindingly obvious. BenkiuGuasu
  • Score: 2

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