Match Of The Midweek I: Oxford United 2-0 Luton Town

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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9 Responses

  1. Halifaxian says:

    The difference for Oxford this season and avioding a repeat of the 06/07 season is the fact they have Chris Wilder as manager. The best manager outside the Football League. He worked miracles on the smallest of budgets and horrendous conditions at Halifax and with the proper support a club like Oxford can offer him he will take them up no doubt about it. In my opinion he is one of the best managers Halifax have ever had.

  2. Boris says:

    “Matthew Green earns a little space on the right hand side and is manhandled to the ground by Luton’s captain Kevin Nicholls.”

    One person’s manhandling is another person’s cynical scything. Otherwise, nice report. Although your assessment of Luton’s chances of promotion based on last night’s performance is, I would suggest, rather optimistic. I was astonished how little they had to offer up front, and how often they overhit their passes or seemed bewildered in the last third. As for Oxford, I’ve seen them play better this season and, as Halifaxian says, this United under Wilder is a different proposition to the bottlers of three seasons ago. Wilder has built a squad that can cope with pressure, and as a manager he won’t allow complacency. For the first time in over a decade I am actually optimistic that we have the makings of a promotion-winning squad at Oxford, and this is reflected by a strange feeling of unity between fans, team, management, and, bizarrely, the chairman, Kelvin Thomas. For the first time ever we have a chairman who the fans respect, believe, and even like. In my experience that’s not what football chairmen are like, and it’s a breath of fresh air!

  3. recordmeister says:

    As an Oxford fan, I can see the mistakes Luton are making as they were the mistakes we made in our first and second seasons in the BSP. We thought we could play our way out of a lower league using league standard players. But this division isn’t like that. It’s a boxing match. A pub league. And you need the steel to get out of it. Hence the biggest changes for us have been a solid midflied and a an awesome back line / goalkeeper. Let’s also give credit to the goalscorers, but this is a leage won in the middle of the park, and luton are just not “nasty” enough in there.

  4. Tel Boy (OUFC supporter) says:

    In 2006/07 Oxford made the mistake of employing league players with no non-league experience.

    This time round we have Chris Wilder who has bags of knowledge at this level and has been shrewd bringing in players renowned at this level as very good players. Chris has got an impressive record at this level with Oxford as he has managed the team for 77 games seeing his side lose on just 4 occasions.

    We know from our own peril that the tag of the big team means nothing in this division and teams will be prepared to sit behind the ball to content with getting draws against the biggest and supposed better teams. Its those kind of matches that matter over the season and to date Luton are finding it hard to break down those teams with lots of draws.

  5. Yellow Sno says:

    “However, they were doing this for the first half of the 2006/07 season, and ended up missing out that time. Complacency can be the undoing of the best of teams.”

    Complacency wasn’t our undoing; it was that the fear of loosing took precedence over the desire to win (and a lack of fire power to go with that). In contrast Daggenham lost a few games along the way but still relentlessly went after the win in every game. Luton feels a bit like we did in that 2006/07 season, it’s possibly a good thing for them that they have lost the ‘invincible’ burden this early in the season.

  6. Mark Sennett says:

    Tel Boy get your facts straight how the hell has Wilder managed OUFC for 77 games when he took over last Dec?

    Great result last night and Harford showed how tactically he hasn’t got a clue compared to Wilder. Let’s hope Big Mick helps OUFC’s promotion push by staying at Luton for as long as possible.

  7. Tel Boy (OUFC supporter) says:

    Mark your right 33 games 23 wins 6 draws and 4 lost. Where did I get 77 from!!!

  8. GodalmingYellow says:

    Very decent match report.

    Luton are a strong side. Certainly the best opposition we’ve seen in our 4 years of hell.

    Getting out of this league is not achieved by hiring overpaid league players. League players don’t have the bottle for the fight generally and paying extra doesn’t get you extra fight. Getting out of this league is achieved by putting together a balanced side with a strong spine, who can win the battle and then play the ball.

    Luton will learn a hard lesson this season, as many others like Exeter and Cambridge United have done before them.

    There is little in standard between the Conference Premier and League 2, but there is a very different way to win games.

  9. Martin says:

    Sadly Oxford do not own their own ground and pay a handsome rent to Kassam, the man who saved them from liquidation.

    The more successful they become, the less this will be an issue but it is yet another example of why ticket prices are so high (£18 for Division 5 football!) and why direct ownership of stadia is so important for the long-term success and sustainability of clubs like Oxford.

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