Who will pay the price for Oxford United's failure?

United’s Scott Davies (left) and Jake Wright applaud the fans after Saturday’s defeat at home to Accrington, but will they be at the Kassam Stadium next season?

United’s Scott Davies (left) and Jake Wright applaud the fans after Saturday’s defeat at home to Accrington, but will they be at the Kassam Stadium next season?

First published in Sport

At the end of a football season, teams are judged on one thing – success or failure.

Success can mean a number of things, such as team improvement, player progression, achieving or beating targets.

Failure can be a team declining, players failing to improve or not reaching the goals set at the start of a campaign.

As for a player, there are always usually rewards for success and a price to pay for failure. Success can bring trophies, promotion and new contracts, while failure usually means relegation, being moved on or failing to gain a new contract.

A good season for a player can mean an enjoyable summer with friends and family, whereas a poor one can spell doom, gloom and uncertainty.

There is no doubt Oxford United have under-achieved this season and after the targets they set themselves at the start of the year, it is fair to call this season a failure.

That’s a strong statement and I don’t like saying it, as I still have many friends in that dressing room at the club. But it is my honest and fair assessment and I think most in the dressing room would agree.

So what is the price of failure for United this term and who is going to pay?

If the last two seasons are anything to go by, it will mean a big turnover of players in the summer.

At the end last season, 12 players paid the price of under-achieving by being released, myself included.

New additions came before the start of the following campaign, including two loanees and six permanent signings.

There will be more players going out than coming in this summer, but finances might dictate that rather than anything else. I’m not saying a huge clear-out is needed, as that can bring disruption and affect continuity, but for sure, change is required.

There would have been personnel changes anyway, with players out of contract and a new manager at the helm. Gary Waddock will want to bring in some of his own players that fit his style of football.

I haven’t seen enough of United this season to suggest who might be going or who I think needs to be moved on.

Their poor season means that possibly nobody is a certainty to be at the club next season, apart from those players under contract like goalkeeper Ryan Clarke and young Josh Ruffels.

Is anyone safe in the home dressing room at the Kassam?

Football isn’t always fair, but you hope that those players who deserve to be kept on, will be.

It’s never nice to end a season full of disappointment, so I will end on a positive note with this quote: “Never be afraid to see things fall apart because it is an opportunity to rebuild things the way you wish you had them all along.”

Comments (12)

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3:23pm Wed 30 Apr 14

BigAlBiker says...

Dubes, you could have walked into the team this year, dire is not the word.

There needs to be a cull of epic proportions, goodness knows how many but from my point at least 8.

Next season will be on us soon, time to get the scouts out GW.
Dubes, you could have walked into the team this year, dire is not the word. There needs to be a cull of epic proportions, goodness knows how many but from my point at least 8. Next season will be on us soon, time to get the scouts out GW. BigAlBiker
  • Score: 5

3:35pm Wed 30 Apr 14

sdyerUsa says...

I only saw you play once Dube and that was in New Hampshire USA. You were clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the Team (In Stature and Skill). Really enjoy your football writing ...... RESPECT
Oxford till i die.
I only saw you play once Dube and that was in New Hampshire USA. You were clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the Team (In Stature and Skill). Really enjoy your football writing ...... RESPECT Oxford till i die. sdyerUsa
  • Score: 5

3:38pm Wed 30 Apr 14

DuberryandBeanofan says...

BigAlBiker wrote:
Dubes, you could have walked into the team this year, dire is not the word.

There needs to be a cull of epic proportions, goodness knows how many but from my point at least 8.

Next season will be on us soon, time to get the scouts out GW.
I am sure that Waddock has already got the knives out regardless of the result on Saturday he will know who he wants to keep and who is going. It's probably over for the fans' favourites.
[quote][p][bold]BigAlBiker[/bold] wrote: Dubes, you could have walked into the team this year, dire is not the word. There needs to be a cull of epic proportions, goodness knows how many but from my point at least 8. Next season will be on us soon, time to get the scouts out GW.[/p][/quote]I am sure that Waddock has already got the knives out regardless of the result on Saturday he will know who he wants to keep and who is going. It's probably over for the fans' favourites. DuberryandBeanofan
  • Score: 8

5:45pm Wed 30 Apr 14

Dolly76 says...

I'm not 100% clear on who the out of contract players are, but I think it's 12 or 13?. GW will have a pre-season and the chance to build his own team. He will not be able to keep saying the same things if we don't start off well next season.
I'm not 100% clear on who the out of contract players are, but I think it's 12 or 13?. GW will have a pre-season and the chance to build his own team. He will not be able to keep saying the same things if we don't start off well next season. Dolly76
  • Score: -3

1:16am Thu 1 May 14

OxonExile50 says...

ALL out-of-contract players must go. My main point is this:I hope that the team can win at Northampton on Saturday. This is because last time the team played at Sixfields I paid by card over the phone for some programmes from the game and they never arrived. In other words I was ripped off by Northampton Town FC. For this reason I will never go to Sixfields again, even though its not too far from me. If Northampton lose & Wycombe win at Torquay then the Cobblers will go down. Which would serve them right.
ALL out-of-contract players must go. My main point is this:I hope that the team can win at Northampton on Saturday. This is because last time the team played at Sixfields I paid by card over the phone for some programmes from the game and they never arrived. In other words I was ripped off by Northampton Town FC. For this reason I will never go to Sixfields again, even though its not too far from me. If Northampton lose & Wycombe win at Torquay then the Cobblers will go down. Which would serve them right. OxonExile50
  • Score: -1

9:34am Thu 1 May 14

Sid Snakey says...

When choosing which players must leave, it is perhaps tempting to look at their worst performances. However, worst performances generally come when the team is not playing well together, when confidence is low, or when the formation or other players around them don't suit their playing style.

But what about considering their best performances? When were those? Why were those? We did have some great performances from the players this season, although it's so easy now to forget about those and focus on the last few matches.

For example...Alfie Potter and Jake Wright. These are players who a lot of fans seem to be casting off now, but if we can get the best out of them in a winning team surely we would want to keep them? Friends of mine who support other L2 teams often mention Potter as someone they don't want to play against.
When choosing which players must leave, it is perhaps tempting to look at their worst performances. However, worst performances generally come when the team is not playing well together, when confidence is low, or when the formation or other players around them don't suit their playing style. But what about considering their best performances? When were those? Why were those? We did have some great performances from the players this season, although it's so easy now to forget about those and focus on the last few matches. For example...Alfie Potter and Jake Wright. These are players who a lot of fans seem to be casting off now, but if we can get the best out of them in a winning team surely we would want to keep them? Friends of mine who support other L2 teams often mention Potter as someone they don't want to play against. Sid Snakey
  • Score: 1

9:53am Thu 1 May 14

kangaroo_joey says...

Im not an oxford supporter but my father in law is so follow them closely, the problem with letting 12/13 players leave is obvuiously you are going to have to get a whole new team and that usually means months of waiting for the team to gel, look at Tottenham brought 7/8 new players and its taken time for them to gel, So i worry for Oxford if they do this.
Im not an oxford supporter but my father in law is so follow them closely, the problem with letting 12/13 players leave is obvuiously you are going to have to get a whole new team and that usually means months of waiting for the team to gel, look at Tottenham brought 7/8 new players and its taken time for them to gel, So i worry for Oxford if they do this. kangaroo_joey
  • Score: 3

9:59am Thu 1 May 14

Quentin Walker says...

As a recent U's fan - I go to keep my brother-in-law company - by far the best player is Ryan Williams, although I know he was a loanee.

I'm looking forward to the U's hosting FC Halifax Town next season.
As a recent U's fan - I go to keep my brother-in-law company - by far the best player is Ryan Williams, although I know he was a loanee. I'm looking forward to the U's hosting FC Halifax Town next season. Quentin Walker
  • Score: 2

10:04am Thu 1 May 14

Quentin Walker says...

OxonExile50 wrote:
ALL out-of-contract players must go. My main point is this:I hope that the team can win at Northampton on Saturday. This is because last time the team played at Sixfields I paid by card over the phone for some programmes from the game and they never arrived. In other words I was ripped off by Northampton Town FC. For this reason I will never go to Sixfields again, even though its not too far from me. If Northampton lose & Wycombe win at Torquay then the Cobblers will go down. Which would serve them right.
Don't cut your nose off to spite your face. You do sound bitter.

There is a myriad of reasons your programmes didn't arrive, you can't automatically blame Northampton.

Did you contact them about non-delivery? If you had, I'm sure they would have re-sent some.

I'm not saying Northampton didn't send your order, just inviting you to look at all possibilities for your disappointment.
[quote][p][bold]OxonExile50[/bold] wrote: ALL out-of-contract players must go. My main point is this:I hope that the team can win at Northampton on Saturday. This is because last time the team played at Sixfields I paid by card over the phone for some programmes from the game and they never arrived. In other words I was ripped off by Northampton Town FC. For this reason I will never go to Sixfields again, even though its not too far from me. If Northampton lose & Wycombe win at Torquay then the Cobblers will go down. Which would serve them right.[/p][/quote]Don't cut your nose off to spite your face. You do sound bitter. There is a myriad of reasons your programmes didn't arrive, you can't automatically blame Northampton. Did you contact them about non-delivery? If you had, I'm sure they would have re-sent some. I'm not saying Northampton didn't send your order, just inviting you to look at all possibilities for your disappointment. Quentin Walker
  • Score: 0

11:26am Thu 1 May 14

Happy09 says...

Why get rid of players? they was in the top of the leage until CW left, get rid of the management.
Why get rid of players? they was in the top of the leage until CW left, get rid of the management. Happy09
  • Score: -4

12:04pm Thu 1 May 14

A Scroat says...

We do not have a striker, so let them all go. Beano is not a striker, could make an attacking midfielder. If we don't get new strikers we will go back to the boring Wilder defensive tactics. Fine for away matches but not for home games. Just look at the stats.
We do not have a striker, so let them all go. Beano is not a striker, could make an attacking midfielder. If we don't get new strikers we will go back to the boring Wilder defensive tactics. Fine for away matches but not for home games. Just look at the stats. A Scroat
  • Score: -2

2:15am Fri 2 May 14

BenkiuGuasu says...

On the BBC website there is a story where Waddock talks about Oxford having a "losing culture". I can't really work that one out. Unbeaten all season away from home with Wilder. Any "losing culture" came subsequently.

I am afraid I do not have high expectations for next season.
On the BBC website there is a story where Waddock talks about Oxford having a "losing culture". I can't really work that one out. Unbeaten all season away from home with Wilder. Any "losing culture" came subsequently. I am afraid I do not have high expectations for next season. BenkiuGuasu
  • Score: 0

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