2017–18 Oxford United F.C. season

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Oxford United
2017–18 season
Chairman Darryl Eales
(until February 2018)
Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth
(from February 2018)
Head Coach Pep Clotet
(until 22 January 2018)
Derek Fazackerley (caretaker)
(from 23 January 2018 till 22 March 2018)
Karl Robinson
(from 22 March 2018)
Stadium Kassam Stadium
League One 16th
FA Cup First round (eliminated by Port Vale)
EFL Cup First round (eliminated by Cheltenham Town)
EFL Trophy Fourth round (eliminated by Chelsea U21s)
Top goalscorer League: Wes Thomas, James Henry (10)
All: Wes Thomas, James Henry (11)
Highest home attendance 9,510 (v Portsmouth, 12 August)
Lowest home attendance 1,074 (v Brighton & Hove Albion U21s, 3 October)

The 2017–18 season was Oxford United's second consecutive season in League One and their 124th year in existence.[1] As well as competing in League One, the club participated in the FA Cup, EFL Cup and EFL Trophy.

Before the start of the season, manager Michael Appleton resigned to become assistant manager at Leicester City.[2] His replacement Pep Clotet, formerly assistant manager at Leeds United,[3] in contrast to Appleton's policy of signing promising young British players, signed a mix of foreign players,[4] among them Dwight Tiendalli, Xemi Fernández, Ivo Pękalski, Agon Mehmeti and Ricardinho (the first Brazilian to play for Oxford), and seasoned British pros including Jonathan Obika from rivals Swindon Town, James Henry, Mike Williamson and John Mousinho. A number of influential players, among them Chey Dunkley, Liam Sercombe, top scorer Chris Maguire, captain John Lundstram and record signing Marvin Johnson, left the club. Incoming loanees included Jack Payne from Huddersfield Town and Gino van Kessel from Slavia Prague. Striker Kane Hemmings and defender Charlie Raglan were given season-long loans at Mansfield Town and Port Vale respectively. Curtis Nelson was appointed club captain following the departure of Lundstram.

Results started reasonably with an away win over Oldham Athletic (who were to be relegated at the end of the season) and a home win over Portsmouth in front of what turned out to be the club's largest home crowd of the season. After 15 games the club were in the play-off places, but form declined through the late autumn. Curtis Nelson ruptured his Achilles tendon during a home defeat to Northampton Town in November, and John Mousinho was appointed captain in his place (until Nelson's eventual return in April). Oxford suffered a record 7–0 home defeat at the hands of eventual champions Wigan Athletic on 23 December. During the January transfer window, Payne was recalled by his parent club, Xemi was released from his contract and Robert Dickie and Cameron Brannagan were signed from Reading and Liverpool respectively. Three young loanees were recruited from Premiership clubs: Isaac Buckley-Ricketts and Ashley Smith-Brown from Manchester City and Todd Kane from Chelsea.

After a home defeat to bottom club Bury, Clotet was sacked with the club in 10th place. Caretaker-manager Derek Fazackerley presided over the team for two months, in which time they won only twice in eight games and dropped to 15th place.

Midway through Fazackerley's tenure, the club announced that Thai businessman Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth, formerly a member of the owning consortium at rivals Reading, had become the new owner of the club. Thanakarnjanasuth appointed Karl Robinson as the club's permanent manager on 22 March 2018. Robinson had to wait five games for his first win, but his aim of retaining the club's League One status was achieved with three wins from the last five games of the season. The club finished in 16th place on 56 points, six points above the relegation zone.

United were eliminated by lower-league opposition in the opening rounds of the League Cup and FA Cup, by Cheltenham Town and Port Vale respectively. Having been losing finalists for the previous two seasons, they reached the last 8 of the EFL Trophy but were eliminated by Chelsea U21s.

Midfielder James Henry and striker Wes Thomas were the club's leading scorers, each with 11 goals (10 in the League). For the second season running, goalkeeper Simon Eastwood played every minute of every league game, though he was rested for a couple of EFL Trophy matches. Midfielder Ryan Ledson, the subject of persistent transfer rumours, was voted the Supporters' Player of the Season.

Transfers[edit]

Transfers in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
1 July 2017 CB Republic of Ireland Fiacre Kelleher Celtic Free [5]
1 July 2017 CB England Charlie Raglan Chesterfield Free [6]
1 July 2017 GK Scotland Scott Shearer Mansfield Town Free [7]
6 July 2017 CF England Jonathan Obika Swindon Town Free [8]
12 July 2017 RW England James Henry Wolverhampton Wanderers Free [9]
13 July 2017 RB Netherlands Dwight Tiendalli Free agent Free [10]
18 July 2017 CM Spain Xemi Fernández Spain Barcelona B Free [11]
26 July 2017 CB England Mike Williamson Wolverhampton Wanderers Free [12]
3 August 2017 LB Brazil Ricardinho Azerbaijan Gabala Free [13]
8 August 2017 CM Sweden Ivo Pękalski Sweden Halmstad Undisclosed [14]
31 August 2017 CB England John Mousinho Burton Albion Free [15]
7 September 2017 CF Albania Agon Mehmeti Free agent Free [16]
1 December 2017 GK England Max Harris Hereford Undisclosed [17]
4 January 2018 CB England Robert Dickie Reading Undisclosed [18]
11 January 2018 CM England Cameron Brannagan Liverpool Undisclosed [19]

Transfers out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
1 July 2017 GK Liechtenstein Benjamin Büchel Free agent Released [20]
1 July 2017 CB England Robbie Cundy Gloucester City Released [20]
1 July 2017 CB England Chey Dunkley Wigan Athletic Free [21]
1 July 2017 RM England Jonny Giles Free agent Released [20]
1 July 2017 CF England Jordan Graham Free agent Released [20]
1 July 2017 CM England Liam Sercombe Bristol Rovers Undisclosed [22]
1 July 2017 LB England Joe Skarz Bury Mutual consent [23][a]
1 July 2017 CB England Miles Welch-Hayes Bath City Released [20][b]
20 July 2017 CF Scotland Chris Maguire Bury Free [26]
25 July 2017 CM England John Lundstram Sheffield United Undisclosed [27]
31 August 2017 LM England Marvin Johnson Middlesbrough Undisclosed [28]
22 November 2017 RB Wales Christian Ribeiro Retired N/A [29]
30 January 2018 CM Spain Xemi Fernández Free agent Mutual consent [30]
  1. ^ Skarz joined Bury following his departure.[24]
  2. ^ Welch-Hayes joined Bath City following his departure.[25]

Loans in[edit]

Start date Position Nationality Name From End date Ref.
28 July 2017 AM England Jack Payne Huddersfield Town 15 January 2018 [31][32]
10 August 2017 FW Curaçao Gino van Kessel Slavia Prague 30 June 2018 [33]
31 August 2017 CM England Alex Mowatt Barnsley 30 June 2018 [34]
12 January 2018 FW England Isaac Buckley-Ricketts Manchester City 30 June 2018 [35]
29 January 2018 DF England Ashley Smith-Brown Manchester City 30 June 2018 [36]
31 January 2018 DF England Todd Kane Chelsea 30 June 2018 [37]

Loans out[edit]

Start date Position Nationality Name To End date Ref.
3 August 2017 CB Republic of Ireland Fiacre Kelleher Solihull Moors 30 June 2018 [38][39]
22 August 2017 FW England Kane Hemmings Mansfield Town 30 June 2018 [40]
24 August 2017 GK England Jack Stevens Oxford City January 2018 [41]
24 August 2017 MF England Malachi Napa Hampton & Richmond Borough January 2018 [41][42]
29 August 2017 GK England Manny Agboola North Leigh January 2018 [43]
15 December 2017 FW England James Roberts Guiseley 30 June 2018 [44][45]
22 December 2017 MF Grenada Shandon Baptiste Hampton & Richmond Borough February 2018 [46][47]
5 January 2018 GK England Manny Agboola Hampton & Richmond Borough February 2018 [39]
19 January 2018 GK England Jack Stevens Tamworth February 2018 [48]
19 January 2018 DF England Sam Long Hampton & Richmond Borough February 2018 [48]
30 January 2018 DF England Charlie Raglan Port Vale 30 June 2018 [49]
16 February 2018 GK England Manny Agboola Leatherhead 30 June 2018 [50]

Competitions[edit]

Friendlies[edit]

Oxford United played six pre-season friendlies, against Oxford City, Middlesbrough and Hull City[51] (in Portugal),[52] Brentford, Birmingham City[53] and Leeds United.[54] A proposed friendly against Lincoln City[55] was cancelled.[56]

League One[edit]

League table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
14 Fleetwood Town 46 16 9 21 59 68 −9 57
15 Doncaster Rovers 46 13 17 16 52 52 0 56
16 Oxford United 46 15 11 20 61 66 −5 56
17 Gillingham 46 13 17 16 50 55 −5 56
18 AFC Wimbledon 46 13 14 19 47 58 −11 53
Source: BBC Sport
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Number of goals scored

Result summary[edit]

Overall Home Away
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts W D L GF GA GD W D L GF GA GD
46 15 11 20 61 66  −5 56 9 6 8 34 32  +2 6 5 12 27 34  −7

Last updated: 5 May 2018.
Source: BBC Sport

Results by matchday[edit]

Matchday 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46
Ground A H A H A H H A H A A H A H H A H A H A H A H A A H H A H A H A H A A H A H A H H H A A H A
Result W W L D D W D L L L W W W D D L L W L D W D L D L W W L L W L L L D L W L D L D L W L W W L
Position 2 1 5 7 9 6 8 10 12 15 13 10 6 6 7 10 10 7 8 9 8 8 10 10 12 10 10 10 10 10 12 13 15 15 16 15 16 17 17 17 17 17 17 16 14 16
Last updated: 5 May 2018.
Source: BBC Sport

Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: D = Draw; L = Loss; W = Win; P = Postponed.

Matches[edit]

On 21 June 2017, the league fixtures were announced.[57][58]

FA Cup[edit]

On 16 October 2017, Oxford United were drawn away to Port Vale in the first round.[59]

EFL Cup[edit]

On 16 June 2017, Oxford United were drawn at home to Cheltenham Town in the first round.[60]

EFL Trophy[edit]

Pos Lge Team Pld W PW PL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 L1 Milton Keynes Dons (Q) 3 2 1 0 0 6 3 +3 8 Round 2
2 L1 Oxford United (Q) 3 1 0 1 1 11 8 +3 4
3 L2 Stevenage (E) 3 1 0 1 1 5 7 −2 4
4 ACA Brighton & Hove Albion U21s (E) 3 0 1 0 2 3 7 −4 2
Updated to match(es) played on 7 November 2017. Source: EFL.com
(E) Eliminated; (Q) Qualified to the phase indicated.

Squad statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals[edit]

As of 5 May 2018
No. Pos Nat Player Total League One FA Cup League Cup FL Trophy
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1 GK England Simon Eastwood 52 0 46 0 1 0 1 0 4 0
2 DF Wales Christian Ribeiro 14 1 10 1 1 0 1 0 2 0
3 DF Netherlands Dwight Tiendalli 18 0 12+1 0 1 0 0 0 3+1 0
4 DF England Mike Williamson 17 0 13+1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
5 DF England Curtis Nelson 22 1 17+2 1 0 0 1 0 2 0
6 DF England Aaron Martin 19 0 10+2 0 0+1 0 1 0 5 0
7 FW England Robert Hall 17 5 10+3 2 0+1 0 1 0 2 3
8 MF England Ryan Ledson 49 3 36+7 3 1 0 1 0 4 0
9 FW England Wes Thomas 39 11 31+5 10 1 0 0+1 0 1 1
10 MF England Jack Payne 34 7 25+3 3 1 0 0+1 0 4 4
11 FW England Marvin Johnson 3 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
11 MF England Cameron Brannagan 12 0 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
13 GK Scotland Scott Shearer 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
14 MF England Josh Ruffels 44 5 32+5 5 1 0 1 0 4+1 0
15 FW England Kane Hemmings 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 DF England Robert Dickie 15 1 15 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
17 MF England James Henry 46 11 32+8 10 1 0 0+1 0 3+1 1
18 MF England Joe Rothwell 40 6 25+10 5 0+1 0 1 0 2+1 1
19 MF Spain Xemi Fernández 13 2 4+5 1 0 0 1 1 3 0
19 DF England Todd Kane 17 3 17 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
20 FW England Jon Obika 40 7 20+14 5 0 0 1 1 5 1
21 DF Brazil Ricardinho 38 3 28+7 3 0 0 0 0 3 0
22 DF England Sam Long 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
24 MF England Josh Ashby 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+1 0
25 DF England Charlie Raglan 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
27 DF England Alex Mowatt 32 3 19+9 2 1 0 0 0 3 1
28 FW Albania Agon Mehmeti 16 1 3+10 1 0 0 0 0 1+2 0
29 DF England Ashley Smith-Brown 9 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
30 DF England John Mousinho 43 1 39 1 1 0 0 0 3 0
31 FW England James Roberts 3 0 0+1 0 0 0 0 0 0+2 0
32 FW England Isaac Buckley-Ricketts 12 0 8+3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
34 GK England Jack Stevens 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
35 DF Republic of Ireland Canice Carroll 17 1 10+2 1 0 0 0+1 0 3+1 0
36 MF England Malachi Napa 17 0 3+11 0 0 0 0 0 0+3 0
37 MF Grenada Shandon Baptiste 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+2 0
39 FW Curaçao Gino van Kessel 26 5 8+15 3 0 0 0 0 3 2
40 GK England Manny Agboola 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
42 FW England Owen James 1 0 0+1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Top scorers[edit]

As of 5 May 2018
Place Position Nation Number Name League One FA Cup League Cup FL Trophy Total
1= FW England 9 Wes Thomas 10 0 0 1 11
MF England 17 James Henry 10 0 0 1 11
3= MF England 10 Jack Payne 3 0 0 4 7
FW England 20 Jon Obika 5 0 1 1 7
5 MF England 18 Joe Rothwell 5 0 0 1 6
6= FW England 7 Robert Hall 2 0 0 3 5
MF England 14 Josh Ruffels 5 0 0 0 5
FW Curaçao 39 Gino van Kessel 3 0 0 2 5
9= MF England 27 Alex Mowatt 2 0 0 1 3
MF England 8 Ryan Ledson 3 0 0 0 3
DF England 19 Todd Kane 3 0 0 0 3
DF Brazil 21 Ricardinho 3 0 0 0 3
13 MF Spain 19 Xemi Fernández 1 0 1 0 2
14= DF England 2 Christian Ribeiro 1 0 0 0 1
DF England 5 Curtis Nelson 1 0 0 0 1
MF England 11 Marvin Johnson 0 0 1 0 1
DF England 15 Robert Dickie 1 0 0 0 1
FW Albania 28 Agon Mehmeti 1 0 0 0 1
DF England 30 John Mousinho 1 0 0 0 1
DF Republic of Ireland 35 Canice Carroll 1 0 0 0 1
TOTALS 60 0 3 14 77

Disciplinary record[edit]

As of 5 May 2018
Number Nation Position Name League One FA Cup League Cup FL Trophy Total
Yellow card Red card Yellow card Red card Yellow card Red card Yellow card Red card Yellow card Red card
1 England GK Simon Eastwood 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2 England DF Christian Ribeiro 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
3 Netherlands DF Dwight Tiendalli 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
4 England DF Mike Williamson 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
5 England DF Curtis Nelson 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
6 England DF Aaron Martin 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
7 England DF Robert Hall 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
8 England MF Ryan Ledson 11 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 13 0
9 England FW Wes Thomas 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
10 England MF Jack Payne 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
11 England MF Cameron Brannagan 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
14 England MF Josh Ruffels 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
16 England DF Robert Dickie 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
17 England MF James Henry 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
18 England MF Joe Rothwell 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
19 Spain MF Xemi Fernández 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 4 0
19 England DF Todd Kane 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
20 England FW Jon Obika 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
21 Brazil DF Ricardinho 5 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 6 1
25 England DF Charlie Raglan 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
27 England MF Alex Mowatt 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
30 England DF John Mousinho 6 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 7 0
35 Republic of Ireland DF Canice Carroll 5 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 7 0
TOTALS 66 2 2 0 3 0 8 0 79 2

References[edit]

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  3. ^ "Pep Clotet: Oxford United name ex-Leeds United and Swansea City coach as manager". BBC Sport. 1 July 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2018. 
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  39. ^ a b "Agboola joins Hampton and Richmond on Loan". Oxford United F.C. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
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  53. ^ "U's to take on Brentford and Birmingham". Oxford United Official Site. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
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  55. ^ "U's to take on Lincoln City". Oxford United Official Site. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
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  60. ^ "United to Face Cheltenham Town in Carabao Cup". Oxford United Official Site. 16 June 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2017.