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Making a Manager - The Story

Ryan Ferguson returns for another English LLM journey
Started on 23 October 2018 by Justice
Latest Reply on 15 May 2019 by Griffo
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Oxford City Downed By Majestic Liverpool

Oxford City Suffered A 1-5 Defeat To Liverpool In The FA Cup Fifth Round


Oxford City's thrilling FA Cup run came to an end at the hands of Liverpool. Liverpool coasted to a comfortable 5-1 scoreline at the Kassam Stadium. The home side created some chances but the quality of Liverpool shone in a one-sided game, as Liverpool will now progress to the Sixth Round of the competition.

Oxford City captain Josh Ashby returned to the bench for his first involvement in a match day squad since picking up a lower back stress fracture in December as Oxford City played a strong squad. New boy Kgosi Ntlhe started at left full back.

Liverpool lined up in a much-changed squad. Simon Mignolet was the man in between the nets with a full-international defence of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Nacho Fernández and Ben Davies in front of him. Jordan Henderson partnered Liverpool debutant Allan in midfield, with Adam Lewis also making his debut in an attacking midfield position. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sheyi Ojo started out wide while Spanish striker Rodrigo started up front.

From the very start the game appeared to be contest of how many Liverpool could score as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Rodrigo saw shots rasping the palms of a busy Ryan Dickerson in Oxford City's goal.

Sheyi Ojo found the opener on the quarter-hour mark, scoring his debut goal for the club. Joe Gomez shut down an Oxford City counter attack superbly before squaring the ball to Ben Davies on the left wing. The Welsh defender found Sheyi Ojo forty yards away from goal who then slalomed his way through the entire Oxford City defence before picking out the bottom right corner with an outside-the-boot effort.

Sheyi Ojo Produced Moments Of Magic Throughout The Game

Captain Jordan Henderson doubled Liverpool's lead just minutes later. Sheyi Ojo made a phenomenal break down the left wing before cutting back for Rodrigo who saw his shot parried into the path of the onrushing Henderson. The midfield veteran made no mistake as he slotted his shot well away from Dickerson's desperate reach.

Ojo doubled his tally for the day shortly after. Ojo started the move himself, picking out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right wing. The Ox danced his way passed the challenge of Ntlhe before picking out Ojo in the box, who calmly headed the ball back the way it came from and into the far corner. It was cruise control for Liverpool.

Ben Davies turned goal scorer on the half-hour mark, scoring Liverpool's fourth goal of the game. The Welsh defender turned Allan's free-kick in with his head to give Liverpool an unstoppable lead with sixty minutes remaining.

Any other team would have completely capitulated. But not Oxford City. Oxford City fought back, with Nosa Iyamu scoring late in the first half. Ryan Longman was at the heart of the move, picking out Ntlhe on the left wing. The South African international fired a cross towards the back post where Iyamu connected with a strong header. Mignolet was equal to the header, but could not deny Iyamu a second time as the Oxford City attacker scored his side's first (and only) goal of the game.

Oxford City came out in the second half with purpose and had a spell of fifteen minutes where they absolutely dominated the game. Rob Sinclair struck the post from range while Kabongo Tshimanga tested Simon Mignolet's reflexes with a snap shot from a tight angle.

The home side had a goal controversially ruled out for offside by the linesman. Luke Ruddick picked out Ryan Longman with the most perfect of deep crosses, with the latter firing a stunning volley into the top corner. However, the linesman adjudged Longman to be offside, which was a very contentious decision.

Liverpool wrapped up the game through debutant Adam Lewis. The young Englishman picked up the top corner with a curled free-kick from twenty yards to seal the victory for Liverpool. A strong win but it could have been so different had Longman's goal been allowed.

Player Ratings:
Oxford City: Dickerson (6); Ruddick (6), Clough (6), Bamford (5), Ntlhe (6); Moss (6), Sinclair (6), Ferguson (6); Iyamu (7), Longman (6); Tshimanga (6)
Subs Used: Owens (6), Ashby (6), Coombes (6)

Liverpool: Mignolet (7); Trent (7), Gomez (7), Nacho (7), Davies (9); Henderson (8), Allan (8); Oxlade-Chamberlain (8), Lewis (8), Ojo (9); Rodrigo (6)
Subs Used: Clyne (6), Grujic (N/A), Matip (N/A)

Man of the Match: Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool)

Oxford City Did Create Goal Scoring Chances Despite Being Outclassed

Ryan Ferguson (Oxford City Manager):
"I think it is difficult to find any complaints about my players in a game like this. Liverpool deserved to win today but my players put in a very good performance. We are disappointed with the result but we showed, at times, that we can compete with the very best on the football pitch.

For tonight we will celebrate what we have achieved in the FA Cup this season. We came a long way to get to here and I am very proud of my players and for the fans who showed up in crowds to support us. It is all a learning curve for us and today was a major point in the club's history, despite losing."

Liverpool's Thirty Shots Displayed Their Dominance In The Game

Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool Manager):
"Today was good. The boys had to work hard today and there were moments where we should have controlled the situation better. Overall it is quite cool. We got the win against a team who didn't need extra motivation. We didn't know a lot about them (Oxford City) before the tie was made but it was nice in the end.

They play a lot in the half-spaces and like to be dangerous in moments in the counter attack. We needed to react to these moments and win the first balls and the second balls. We did not do this so well at the beginning of the second half but we won today in the end. All good."

What Happens Next

Oxford City return to National League action this weekend with a trip to Macclesfield Town before hosting Dulwich Hamlet this time next week.

Liverpool will play their next two games at home in the Premier League. The first visit will be of Newcastle United this Sunday, live on Sky Sports, before Huddersfield Town come to town next Wednesday.

Comment Section

Jack, not yet. This is only the beginning.
ScottT, it was up until we got our asses handed back to us :P
mgriffin2012, unfortunately it wasn't to be, at least we scored though!

Previous Update: #67 - Fergie: Dream To Play Against Liverpool
Next Update: #69 - Klopp: Oxford City Were Incredible
Hopefully the team won't have a post-big-match letdown. I've found this to be the case with some of my smaller clubs which do well in Cup competitions. Difficult loss, even if expected.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Klopp: Oxford City Were Incredible

Jürgen Klopp Praised Oxford City's Character Following Their FA Cup Fixture


Jürgen, a strong win for Liverpool against Oxford City yesterday. Was it the result you were expecting?

JK: "I think it is really difficult to say we expect this result against this team or that result against that team. We trained (on Monday) knowing they (Oxford City) play a very intense style of football and they can dominate teams in the right moment but we were confident that we had the ability to overcome moments in the game which might be difficult. We talked and we knew that if we played a good game then we would win."

Your team scored five goals but conceded one and conceded a number of other good chances. Did that come from complacency? Oxford City aren't exactly a Premier League team.

JK: "No, I don't think so. Everybody is talking about Oxford City - what a wonderful story they are making, right? They are a team that can create chances from nothing through their quality and their hard work. They did that today and created some chances. Okay, maybe we should show more control in the goal situation but we cannot go to a team who play like Oxford City play and say 'oh we will not concede any chances today'. They will always create chances because of the way they play."

Was there any Oxford City player who impressed you?

JK: "I liked all of them. They played football in the right way and battled very hard to win every situation. They did not play a defensive kind of football but were very organised at the back and their attacking players worked very hard also to fight for the ball. Together as a team they are very strong."

Adam Lewis scored on his debut. Allan Rodrigues also made his debut in midfield, while Sheyi Ojo stole the show with two goals. Has the performance from these three young players yesterday perhaps given them an opportunity to present themselves in your senior plans more often this season?

JK: "For Adam, it was a good game. He is a proper Liverpool lad and it was nice for him to have this moment where he could score a very good goal and play with the senior boys in the team. He is still young and has a lot to work on but we can see that he is making these little steps towards where he wants to be as a footballer. When the moment is right, he will get his chance.

For Allan, the situation is a little different. He has been with five different clubs on loan since coming here to Liverpool and he has a bit of experience now. Today he did well with Hendo in midfield. He is not match fit which is quite clear in this moment so it is difficult for him to make the step up to playing regular football for us but we will see.

Sheyi Ojo Scored Twice Against Oxford City In The FA Cup Clash

We always knew of the quality of Sheyi. Before I came here to Liverpool he played some games as a winger before already and he showed his speed and his dribbling. He had a difficult moment last season in France with Reims but he is back now and it is not that he is not good enough. He is good enough to play but we have a lot of good players in his position. He had a great game yesterday and he will play some more this season."

It was a record attendance for Oxford City yesterday, with 12,205 at the game. Was the atmosphere a special one?

JK: "Yes I think so. It was a fantastic moment for the football club to be playing in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup. They had to come from the qualifying rounds, yes? That is a nice moment for the fans to enjoy and they were very loud yesterday. Even when we scored our fifth goal we could only hear the Oxford City fans showing their team support. It was nice."

You came up against a former colleague of yours in the form of Ryan Ferguson. He has gone from working alongside Steven Gerrard at the Liverpool U18s to guiding Oxford City to a potential second league title in two years, with promotion to the Football League seemingly on the way. Is he the real deal?

JK: "Certainly he is yes! He was always very positive with us and was very important for the development of our young lads. It was a nice moment for us to be able to play against him and for Trent (Alexander-Arnold), Sheyi (Ojo) and Adam (Lewis) in particular who used to work with him every day. He was very important for their development and he is showing his ability as a manager and as a coach with his new team.

Oxford City really is the big story in English football right now. Okay, not yet in the Premier League, but they are going in the right direction and it is cool to see them having success against teams in the leagues above them."

Comment Section

tenthreeleader, I can assure you that I will have the players on their toes, with the use of both a carrot and a stick :P

Previous Update: #68 - Oxford City Downed By Majestic Liverpool
Next Update: Youth Intake 2020
To receive praise from a manager like Klopp is incredible. The result may have been a bit heavier than you may have liked, but that single goal will never be forgotten!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Youth Intake 2020

An Analysis Of Oxford City's Top Youth Graduates Of 2020


Youth intakes potentially make or break a club's future. The next big thing has to come from somewhere and if it can come from your club, you're doing something right.

For Oxford City, they had their second youth intake of Ryan Ferguson's reign. There were a couple of real gems in this intake. We look at the three top players from this bunch (in no particular order).

Josh Blakesley

Josh Blakesley Was A Highly-Skilled Attacker

(Name | Age | Position | CA/PA)
Josh Blakesley | 16 (28/09/2003) | ST | /

Not a bad attacker for his age, in truth. He was a decent finisher, reasonable at set-piece, had a decent amount of acceleration and was a determined, hard-working team player.

Kevin Edwards

Kevin Edwards Was A Quick Attacker

(Name | Age | Position | CA/PA)
Kevin Edwards | 16 (08/11/2003) | AM(C) | /

Quite an unusual player. High pace, good heading and dribbling, fairly fit, but not much else to offer. With a bit of work, he would have a good future in semi-professional football.

Richard Tipple

Richard Tipple Was An Outstanding Young Defender

(Name | Age | Position | CA/PA)
Richard Tipple | 15 (30/09//2004) | D(LC) | /

The best of the lot. Tipple was already of a quality to perform well in the National League South/North divisions. He had a lot to work on in the tactical side of things but he had a bright future, if he worked hard.

Comment Section

ScottT, he's a lovely man

Previous Update: #69 - Klopp: Oxford City Were Incredible
Next Update: #71 - Season 2019/2020: February
A little bit to work with, is youth a focus for you Justice?
Edwards looks a nice little player there, be interesting to see if you work with them or loan out, but more importantly if they reach your required standard at any point in their careers!
Interesting intake with some decent prospects, potentially!
Something to work with there in the youth prospects, the Liverpool result is nothing to be ashamed of either!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Season 2019-2020: February

An Overview Of Oxford City In February 2020

Ryan Ferguson:
"February was to be a month to remember for Oxford City. While the mighty Blue & Whites were marching towards a second consecutive league title and promotion, it was an FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Liverpool which had the supporters on the edge of their seats."


Oxford City Had A Very Busy Month Of Februrary

First things first, we kicked off the month with a hard-fought draw away to Macclesfield before domesticating Darlington with a 4-1 spanking. Woking proved to be troublesome in the FA Trophy, holding us to an incredibly frustrating 3-3 draw in the Third Round. We regrouped to record a narrow victory over them in the replay.

Then it became quite difficult. I don't need to tell you of the quality of Salford City. With Adam Rooney up front, they gave us a set back in the league. We then suffered at the hands of Leyton Orient before being blown out of the water by an amazing Liverpool side. We ended the month with victory over Macclesfield to progress in the FA Trophy.

Player of the Month

Nosa Iyamu Was Oxford City's Star Player During February 2020

Nosa Iyamu was in strong form for Oxford City in what was a difficult month. He scored twice but was a constant threat as he used his pace and skill to craft out opportunities for himself and for others. His goal against Liverpool was a particular highlight.

Nosa Iyamu's Season Stats
Appearances: 41
Goals: 8
Assists: 4
PotM Awards: 4
Disciplinary Record
Fouls Committed: 46 (1.12 per game)
Fouls Against: 53 (1.29 per game)
Yellow Cards: 2
Red Cards: 0
Attacking Play
Shots On Target Ratio: 60.66% (37/61)
Dribbles Completed: 25 (0.61 per game)
Key Passes: 31 (0.76 per game)
Crosses Completed: 20 (0.49 per game)
General Play
Pass Completion Ratio: 71.24% (607/852)
Headers Won: 85 (2.07 per game)
Minutes Played: 2,840
Average Rating: 6.84
Defensive Play
Key Tackles: 0 (0 per game)
Tackles Won Ratio: 83.78% (31/37)
Interceptions: 26 (0.63 per game)
Distance Covered: 370.0km (9.02km per game)
Assistant Manager's Report
Value: £14,000
Wage: £250 p/w
Current Ability:
Potential Ability:

National League

Oxford City Continued Their Reign At The Top

No longer unbeaten in the league but we cannot be too upset at this time of the season. We were five points clear with a game in hand. We were in a strong position but we could not afford too many more dropped points. The others were right behind us.


Oxford City's Finances Were In Good Condition

The game against Liverpool put the club into a seven-figure balance for the first time ever. We were in an incredible position and we had also got a new affiliate. Banbury United became an affiliate of ours, with the aim of sending players on loan to them.

Upcoming Fixtures

Oxford City Will Play Seven League Fixtures In A Busy March

A tough month ahead. We were under no illusion of how difficult the games would be. The big game was the trip to Bromley. If we could come out of this run of games with fifteen points or more, we were doing well.

Comment Section

Griffo, it is when the potential is there. If I can't get young players in who deserve the chance, I'll look for older players.
Jack, as I am several years ahead of this point, I can safely say they have no future :P
ScottT, they look good on paper for a club at our level!
mgriffin2012, the future is bright and I hope to have increasingly-better youth intakes in the future!

Previous Update: #70 - Youth Intake 2020
Next Update: #72 - Court Place Farm Expansion Complete
Honestly, when has there been a time during your reign when the finances haven't been in good condition :P Great work in the league and it's really starting to open up out there!
There we go. The Oxford City team are human after all - I was starting to have my doubts. ;) I'm sure you'll bounce back stronger after a few losses and continue to push towards the title.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Court Place Farm Expansion Works Complete

Oxford City's Court Place Farm Has Successfully Been Expanded


National League leaders Oxford City's Court Place Farm has finally had its expansion works completed. The Oxford-based stadium required works to meet the requirements for the National League. The newly-upgraded stadium can now hold a total of 4,500 spectators, 950 of which are seated.

Works began at the end of last season, when it was confirmed that Oxford City would be playing in the National League. National League regulations require stadia to have a minimum capacity of 4,000, with 500 seats available. Court Place Farm did not meet these requirements, meaning expansion was required.

Oxford City had been playing in Kassam Stadium, Oxford United's stadium, while the expansion works had been underway. Oxford City enjoyed a successful spell at their rivals' stadium, where fans witnessed an incredible 5-5 draw between Oxford City and Oxford United, before Oxford City were then victorious in a penalty shootout over United. Oxford City also hosted Premier League giants Liverpool at Kassam Stadium last month.

If Oxford City gain promotion to EFL League Two, they will require another stadium expansion. EFL rules for the EFL Championship, EFL League One and EFL League Two dictate that all teams play in a stadium with a minimum capacity of 5,000, with 2,000 seated.

Oxford City chairman Brian Cox spoke of his delight with the completion of works, and is excited for Oxford City's first game back at their home. Oxford City will host Chesterfield in the league in two days time on their Court Place Farm return.

Brian Cox (Oxford City Chairman):
"It is fantastic news to have our home back. It has been a great experience to be temporary tenants of the wonderful Kassam Stadium but it is time for us to go back to where we belong. Court Place Farm is a place we hold dear to our hearts and it feels right to be back there.

We will host Chesterfield on Sunday in our first game back and I hope the team can produce a winning performance to get us off our new seats. The fans should enjoy a wonderful game and we will reduce ticket prices for our first game back at our home."

Comment Section

Jack, I'll admit that line is a copy and paste job :P
ScottT, are we human? Or are we dancer?

Previous Update: #71 - Season 2019/2020: February
Next Update: #73 - Season 2019/2020: March
I don't see why they didn't just upgrade it to a 5,000 capacity ground, to be honest!
Gonna be plenty more stadium news the way you're leading this club..

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