Rosenthal says Oxford United must keep Wilder

Jim Rosenthal has praised Chris Wilder for the work he has done at Oxford United over five years in charge, and feels the boss deserves a new contract

Jim Rosenthal has praised Chris Wilder for the work he has done at Oxford United over five years in charge, and feels the boss deserves a new contract

First published in Headlines Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor. Call me on 01865 425451

Jim Rosenthal believes Oxford United must do all they can to keep Chris Wilder as manager for the foreseeable future.

It is five years to the day since the U’s boss took up his post at the Kassam Stadium with the team languishing in the lower echelons of the Conference.

The former Halifax boss got United back into the Football League in his first full season, and they go into today’s away game at York second in Sky Bet League Two.

Rosenthal was on the club’s board when Wilder was appointed, and still feels that he is not given enough credit for what he has achieved at Oxford.

“To be the manager of one club for five years is rare and a fantastic achievement,” Rosenthal said. “Just look at where we were and where we are now.

“I don’t mean that only in terms of league positions, but Chris has turned Oxford into a winning club, and it was a losing club.”

Wilder’s contract expires in the summer and U’s chairman Ian Lenagan told the Oxford Mail this week that talks over a fresh deal would start in the new year.

Rosenthal is under no illusions as to what the outcome of those discussions should be.

“The longer anyone stays in one job, the more they get taken for granted,” he said.

“But the proper Oxford fans realise how much they owe to Chris for the job he has done.

“You have to go a long way to find a harder working or more committed football manager.

“I know opinion is a bit divided on him, but my deep belief is that if he were to go, it would be a huge loss for Oxford United.”

He added: “One of the things about Chris that I find it strange is that he seems to be under continual examination.

“It has been agreed that he is a very good manager and if you are a very good employee, no matter what job you do, the people in charge should show a bit of faith and say ‘you have proved yourself and we want you to stay’.

“It has surprised me that hasn’t happened.”

The television presenter, who is extremely well-respected throughout football, says Wilder’s achievement in leading the U’s to top spot despite an horrific injury list has not gone unnoticed.

“Winning promotion this season would be a fantastic feather in both his cap and Oxford United’s cap,” he said.

“The time to strengthen is when you are top of the league and I would love to think that we could strengthen a little bit in January to make sure we stay on top.

“Having to work with all those injuries has made his job very difficult, but here we are, on top of the league and in the third round of the FA Cup – what a place to be at Christmas.”

Comments (9)

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1:12pm Sat 21 Dec 13

jack smart says...

J.r is right C. W. is our best manager since jim smith he has taken us from the pits , playing yeading and histon to a side which should be in div 1 then the championship , the fans must start to support him much more
J.r is right C. W. is our best manager since jim smith he has taken us from the pits , playing yeading and histon to a side which should be in div 1 then the championship , the fans must start to support him much more jack smart
  • Score: 12

5:28pm Sat 21 Dec 13

Richard Wickson says...

Jim ANSI rarely see things the same but we agree despite being 2nd in League 2 we do need to strengthen in January if promotion is to be realised. Now is now the time to rest on our laurels and today's game at York again underlined we lack game changers, not that I am saying we are a poor side, not at all, but we don't have that player who can really change things. Why is Tyrone Marsh given only cameos? Does he not stand out in training? I thought both the club and CW thought he was a good one!
Jim ANSI rarely see things the same but we agree despite being 2nd in League 2 we do need to strengthen in January if promotion is to be realised. Now is now the time to rest on our laurels and today's game at York again underlined we lack game changers, not that I am saying we are a poor side, not at all, but we don't have that player who can really change things. Why is Tyrone Marsh given only cameos? Does he not stand out in training? I thought both the club and CW thought he was a good one! Richard Wickson
  • Score: 4

5:46pm Sat 21 Dec 13

MOTO6.5 says...

I think this year is disappointing, the worst level of football from opponents that i have seen for years yet even now we have not been able to take advantage - even chesterfield have slipped up and still we cant get clear, Nothing against CW and he has been fortunate to come to a club that was going the right direction - but he is not the motivator we need at Oxford if we go up it will it will be at least two years late and it will be dull. At this level I expect to see exciting football from a club of our size - not just the odd game but EVERY game.


couldnt get the last years team up then he will never take us where we need to be. I think he has a 50 50 chance this year of hitting the top three but the numbers at the home game shows that it is rarely good to watch and we have had the best of luck this year, and we have a side that digs in ! Last year we had a side that could outperform teams they just needed a management team that could motivate them
I think this year is disappointing, the worst level of football from opponents that i have seen for years yet even now we have not been able to take advantage - even chesterfield have slipped up and still we cant get clear, Nothing against CW and he has been fortunate to come to a club that was going the right direction - but he is not the motivator we need at Oxford if we go up it will it will be at least two years late and it will be dull. At this level I expect to see exciting football from a club of our size - not just the odd game but EVERY game. couldnt get the last years team up then he will never take us where we need to be. I think he has a 50 50 chance this year of hitting the top three but the numbers at the home game shows that it is rarely good to watch and we have had the best of luck this year, and we have a side that digs in ! Last year we had a side that could outperform teams they just needed a management team that could motivate them MOTO6.5
  • Score: -10

7:23pm Sat 21 Dec 13

dorsetbob says...

appaling attendances going down match on match , whilst the team rides at or around the top of the division which is mediocrity in the extreme. Sorry but over the last 5 years he has upset thousands of united fans who have voted with their feet
appaling attendances going down match on match , whilst the team rides at or around the top of the division which is mediocrity in the extreme. Sorry but over the last 5 years he has upset thousands of united fans who have voted with their feet dorsetbob
  • Score: -2

2:02pm Sun 22 Dec 13

Davos P says...

The longer you keep a Manager in place, the better he can fine tune until he hits that sweet spot! If CW had stopped progress then fair enough it would be wise to look for someone else. The fact is though in 5 yrs we have slowly progressed as a team and as a club. Long may that continue.
The longer you keep a Manager in place, the better he can fine tune until he hits that sweet spot! If CW had stopped progress then fair enough it would be wise to look for someone else. The fact is though in 5 yrs we have slowly progressed as a team and as a club. Long may that continue. Davos P
  • Score: 9

10:35pm Sun 22 Dec 13

adlibber says...

Rosenthal is a plank - 'the proper Oxford fans'?? WTF does he mean? Does he mean the fans that stood by the club through the dark days of Kassam, the long list of dreadful managers the loss of our league status? If you're totally behind Wilder you're a proper fan? What an imbecile. Wilder got us back in the league which was great but we've faltered these last two seasons but if Wilder gets us into league one maybe I'll accept my criticisms of Wilder were not so accurate. I'd prefer to be the long suffering fan who was here before Rosenthal joined in.
Rosenthal is a plank - 'the proper Oxford fans'?? WTF does he mean? Does he mean the fans that stood by the club through the dark days of Kassam, the long list of dreadful managers the loss of our league status? If you're totally behind Wilder you're a proper fan? What an imbecile. Wilder got us back in the league which was great but we've faltered these last two seasons but if Wilder gets us into league one maybe I'll accept my criticisms of Wilder were not so accurate. I'd prefer to be the long suffering fan who was here before Rosenthal joined in. adlibber
  • Score: -8

12:07pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Sid Snakey says...

I'm somewhat perplexed by some of the above comments.

"Why is Tyrone Marsh given only cameos?" - um, Dave Kitson, James Constable and Dean Smalley?

"CW....was fortunate to come to a club headed in the right direction" WTF? The only direction we were heading was towards Sunday football!

"At this level I expect to see exciting football from a club of our size - not just the odd game but EVERY game." - and that sums up the expectation problem at Oxford United nicely - too many fans who are stuck in an 80s time warp. We don't own our own ground FFS! We recruited Wilder because of his ability to manage well on a limited budget, not because we're a big club! I think your problem is not with Wilder but with Firoz Kassam, and the inept club management we had before him.

"we have had the best of luck this year" - you can't have it both ways, you can't say we're top because we're lucky, and then say although we missed out on promotion only by 6, 4 and 5 points over the last 3 years that we weren't unlucky then! By the way, how many first team players have we lost through injury this term? Yeah, really lucky. Tell Andy Whing and Alfie Potter just how lucky they are.

"he has upset thousands of united fans" - aw diddums. It amazes me how thin-skinned some of our fans are. They dole it out to Wilder week after week, shouting about how crap he is and how they want him sacked, and he occasionally points out their stupidity in his post-match interviews and so they throw their toys out and stop attending matches. Grow up.

"the fans that stood by the club through the dark days of Kassam, the long list of dreadful managers the loss of our league status?" - this is what I don't understand. We did stick by the club through all these terrible times, and by the way the football was ten times worse than it is now if you think back to some of the drivel we had to watch in some far-flung English villages on waterlogged meadows. I think some fans need a serious reality check and a sniff of strong coffee.

Sadly the cult of "Wilder Out!" forbids such critical thinking.
I'm somewhat perplexed by some of the above comments. "Why is Tyrone Marsh given only cameos?" - um, Dave Kitson, James Constable and Dean Smalley? "CW....was fortunate to come to a club headed in the right direction" WTF? The only direction we were heading was towards Sunday football! "At this level I expect to see exciting football from a club of our size - not just the odd game but EVERY game." - and that sums up the expectation problem at Oxford United nicely - too many fans who are stuck in an 80s time warp. We don't own our own ground FFS! We recruited Wilder because of his ability to manage well on a limited budget, not because we're a big club! I think your problem is not with Wilder but with Firoz Kassam, and the inept club management we had before him. "we have had the best of luck this year" - you can't have it both ways, you can't say we're top because we're lucky, and then say although we missed out on promotion only by 6, 4 and 5 points over the last 3 years that we weren't unlucky then! By the way, how many first team players have we lost through injury this term? Yeah, really lucky. Tell Andy Whing and Alfie Potter just how lucky they are. "he has upset thousands of united fans" - aw diddums. It amazes me how thin-skinned some of our fans are. They dole it out to Wilder week after week, shouting about how crap he is and how they want him sacked, and he occasionally points out their stupidity in his post-match interviews and so they throw their toys out and stop attending matches. Grow up. "the fans that stood by the club through the dark days of Kassam, the long list of dreadful managers the loss of our league status?" - this is what I don't understand. We did stick by the club through all these terrible times, and by the way the football was ten times worse than it is now if you think back to some of the drivel we had to watch in some far-flung English villages on waterlogged meadows. I think some fans need a serious reality check and a sniff of strong coffee. Sadly the cult of "Wilder Out!" forbids such critical thinking. Sid Snakey
  • Score: 5

5:27pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Happy09 says...

Totaly agree with Sid Snakey.
Totaly agree with Sid Snakey. Happy09
  • Score: 1

2:04pm Fri 27 Dec 13

adlibber says...

Sid Snakey wrote:
I'm somewhat perplexed by some of the above comments.

"Why is Tyrone Marsh given only cameos?" - um, Dave Kitson, James Constable and Dean Smalley?

"CW....was fortunate to come to a club headed in the right direction" WTF? The only direction we were heading was towards Sunday football!

"At this level I expect to see exciting football from a club of our size - not just the odd game but EVERY game." - and that sums up the expectation problem at Oxford United nicely - too many fans who are stuck in an 80s time warp. We don't own our own ground FFS! We recruited Wilder because of his ability to manage well on a limited budget, not because we're a big club! I think your problem is not with Wilder but with Firoz Kassam, and the inept club management we had before him.

"we have had the best of luck this year" - you can't have it both ways, you can't say we're top because we're lucky, and then say although we missed out on promotion only by 6, 4 and 5 points over the last 3 years that we weren't unlucky then! By the way, how many first team players have we lost through injury this term? Yeah, really lucky. Tell Andy Whing and Alfie Potter just how lucky they are.

"he has upset thousands of united fans" - aw diddums. It amazes me how thin-skinned some of our fans are. They dole it out to Wilder week after week, shouting about how crap he is and how they want him sacked, and he occasionally points out their stupidity in his post-match interviews and so they throw their toys out and stop attending matches. Grow up.

"the fans that stood by the club through the dark days of Kassam, the long list of dreadful managers the loss of our league status?" - this is what I don't understand. We did stick by the club through all these terrible times, and by the way the football was ten times worse than it is now if you think back to some of the drivel we had to watch in some far-flung English villages on waterlogged meadows. I think some fans need a serious reality check and a sniff of strong coffee.

Sadly the cult of "Wilder Out!" forbids such critical thinking.
Amusing post - narrowly missing out on play off spots?? Rose coloured specs methinks - it was two consecutive years of long sequence of games where we couldn't win that cost us play off spots- the margin of points is completely irrelevant if we don't qualify for a play off spot. Wilder didn't save the club Lenagan did and I suspect Lenagan is delaying further contract talks with Wilder because the Chairman, unlike you, remembers the failures of last two seasons and wants to wait to see if win promotion.
[quote][p][bold]Sid Snakey[/bold] wrote: I'm somewhat perplexed by some of the above comments. "Why is Tyrone Marsh given only cameos?" - um, Dave Kitson, James Constable and Dean Smalley? "CW....was fortunate to come to a club headed in the right direction" WTF? The only direction we were heading was towards Sunday football! "At this level I expect to see exciting football from a club of our size - not just the odd game but EVERY game." - and that sums up the expectation problem at Oxford United nicely - too many fans who are stuck in an 80s time warp. We don't own our own ground FFS! We recruited Wilder because of his ability to manage well on a limited budget, not because we're a big club! I think your problem is not with Wilder but with Firoz Kassam, and the inept club management we had before him. "we have had the best of luck this year" - you can't have it both ways, you can't say we're top because we're lucky, and then say although we missed out on promotion only by 6, 4 and 5 points over the last 3 years that we weren't unlucky then! By the way, how many first team players have we lost through injury this term? Yeah, really lucky. Tell Andy Whing and Alfie Potter just how lucky they are. "he has upset thousands of united fans" - aw diddums. It amazes me how thin-skinned some of our fans are. They dole it out to Wilder week after week, shouting about how crap he is and how they want him sacked, and he occasionally points out their stupidity in his post-match interviews and so they throw their toys out and stop attending matches. Grow up. "the fans that stood by the club through the dark days of Kassam, the long list of dreadful managers the loss of our league status?" - this is what I don't understand. We did stick by the club through all these terrible times, and by the way the football was ten times worse than it is now if you think back to some of the drivel we had to watch in some far-flung English villages on waterlogged meadows. I think some fans need a serious reality check and a sniff of strong coffee. Sadly the cult of "Wilder Out!" forbids such critical thinking.[/p][/quote]Amusing post - narrowly missing out on play off spots?? Rose coloured specs methinks - it was two consecutive years of long sequence of games where we couldn't win that cost us play off spots- the margin of points is completely irrelevant if we don't qualify for a play off spot. Wilder didn't save the club Lenagan did and I suspect Lenagan is delaying further contract talks with Wilder because the Chairman, unlike you, remembers the failures of last two seasons and wants to wait to see if win promotion. adlibber
  • Score: 0

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