General Best and Worst XIs

Jonny G

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I'm sure this has been done before but on what seems a very dull and pointless Saturday with nothing to do, of which I'm missing football the most, here is my take and Best and Worst XIs.

I've been watching OUFC since 1984, so these cover that period. I'm not covering old style "short term" loans, but will include those who were on 6 month / season long loans. I'm trying to keep it relevant to how they performed within the teams they represented, otherwise it's likely that the 84 - 87 teams would fill all the best slots and the 07 -09 teams all the worst slots based on solely the level they were playing at. Those eras are well represented as it is, as are first half of the -90s, early-00s, mid 00s, mid-10s and current season.

Best XIs is playing 4-3-3, whilst worst would struggle to cope tactically with 4-4-2 let alone any more advanced formations so 4-4-2 it is!

Feel free to pull mine apart and add your own to cover whatever period of time you've been watching the yellows and whatever criteria you choose:

BEST XI
Phil Whitehead (1993 - 1998)
Dave Langan (1984 - 1987)
Rob Dickie (2018 - )
Matty Elliott (1993 - 1997)
Jimmy Phillips (1988 - 1990)
Ray Houghton (1985 - 1987)
Cameron Branagan (2018 - )
Trevor Hebberd (1982 - 1988)
Kemar Roofe (2015 - 2016)
John Aldridge (1984 - 1987)
Joey Beauchamp (1989 - 1994 & 1995 - 2002)

SUBS
Steve Hardwick (1983 - 1988)
David Bardsley (1987 - 1989)
Neil Slatter (1985 - 1989)
John Lundstram (2015 - 2017)
Jim Magilton (1990 - 1994)
Billy Hamilton (1984 - 1986)
Dean Saunders (1987 - 1988)

Worst XI
Peter Hucker (1987-1989)
Tom Newey (2013 - 2014)
Ian McGuckin (2000 - 2001)
Lee Jarman (2000 - 2001)
Dwight Tiendalli (2017 - 2018)
Jon Narbutt (1992 - 1993)
Peter Fear (1999- 2001)
Danny Hill (1998)
Gino van Kessel (2017 - 2018)
Steve Anthrobus (1999 - 2001)
Jamie Guy (2008 - 2009)

SUBS
Paul Kee (1989 - 1993)
Colin Greenall (1988 - 1989)
Dave Collins (1992 - 1995)
Ivo Pekalski ( _ - _ !!!!)
Xemi Fernandez (2017)
Kristaps Grebis (2007)
Deane Smalley (2011 - 2014)
 
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SteMerritt

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Wow! You haven't even got Ray Houghton on the bench!!!

#ToughManagementSelections
 

Jonny G

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Wow! You haven't even got Ray Houghton on the bench!!!

#ToughManagementSelections
Sorry, that was actually a mistake!!! That'll teach me to re-work and re-format it!!! :O That would have been harsh!!

Especially as I was just writing about Ray on another thread... I was actually weighing up if Magilton or Brock should have been on the bench and managed to totally confuse myself!! :O
 

werthersoriginal

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Pretty good selections! Simpson warrants a bench place? Bit harsh on Pekalaski as we never saw him but justified reward for Tiendalli
 

Jonny G

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Pretty good selections! Simpson warrants a bench place? Bit harsh on Pekalaski as we never saw him but justified reward for Tiendalli
Can't claim that as a mistake unlike Ray Houghton, but agree very harsh on Simmo.... I might have too many strikers there, but Houghton and Magilton can both play centre mid or out wide on the right if needed and Joey / Roofe can play left, or right and Roofey obviously through the middle as well..
 

holdsteady

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Pretty good selections! Simpson warrants a bench place? Bit harsh on Pekalaski as we never saw him but justified reward for Tiendalli

Pekalski is a strange one, perhaps the worst signing we have ever made in terms of value, but who knows what he was like as a player because as you say we never saw him (think he played briefly in a friendly or two but you can’t judge anyone on that nor does it provide any value to his signing).

He probably can’t be in any worst ever teams but he is certainly in the front runners for worst ever signing.
 

ZeroTheHero

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Pekalski is a strange one, perhaps the worst signing we have ever made in terms of value, but who knows what he was like as a player because as you say we never saw him (think he played briefly in a friendly or two but you can’t judge anyone on that nor does it provide any value to his signing).
Tsun Dai (spelling?) was also a very odd signing, but again difficult to know how good or bad he was! According to Wiki, he is now playing for Wolves U23s - so it's probably not worked out too bad for him and he is till only 20 years old.
 

Marked Ox

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For your worst XI:

We've had far worse keepers than Peter Hucker and Paul Kee such as Andre Arendse, Chris Tardiff, Richard Knight and Ian McCaldon.

Alex Jeannin was far worse for us than Tom Newey at the respective level. Tom Newey was a very average L2 player, whilst Alex Jeannin was barely a Conference player.

In the midfield for me, Eddie Hutchinson has to be included, at the very least on the bench. For the amount he played, he really was awful and his playing caused us the points deduction.

As an aside, had a look at the squads in the conference and I really can't remember Joe Burnell even though he played 21 league games.

For the best XI:

I'd replace Lunny with Les Phillips as I think he really was important in that combative midfield role allowing others to play. Also, Gary Briggs (could also put Shotts ahead as well) to replace Rob Dickie. I'd replace Neil Slatter in the subs with either Shotts or Briggsy instead as you don't have a centre half but already have a full back with David Bardsley.

It really is difficult to pick some positions for this as there many candidates and seems harsh leaving out certain players like Kevin Brock, Bobby McDonald, Dean Whitehead (who was outstanding in his final season with us).
 

Marked Ox

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Tsun Dai (spelling?) was also a very odd signing, but again difficult to know how good or bad he was! According to Wiki, he is now playing for Wolves U23s - so it's probably not worked out too bad for him and he is till only 20 years old.

Wasn't there a rumour we got a decent fee for him from Wolves?
 

Paul Cannell

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Alex Jeannin was far worse for us than Tom Newey at the respective level. Tom Newey was a very average L2 player, whilst Alex Jeannin was barely a Conference player.

At a time when we had loads of rubbish players Jeannin was truly outstanding. Each time a ball came near you could see him wondering what it was for. Mind you, he was before his time in social distancing.

Andy Burgess was probably the player most worse than his opinion of himself. He was crap.
 

Marked Ox

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At a time when we had loads of rubbish players Jeannin was truly outstanding. Each time a ball came near you could see him wondering what it was for. Mind you, he was before his time in social distancing.

Andy Burgess was probably the player most worse than his opinion of himself. He was crap.

Yes on Andy Burgess, style over any substance whatsoever.
 

Northernyellow

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Can we also choose the Managers?

Best- Jim Smith (first spell)
Worst- David Kemp
Most bad tempered radio interviewee- David Kemp
Most inarticulate- David Kemp
Least able to get any of his players fit and/or organised- David Kemp

And I am very pleased to see someone at last nominate Richard Knight as candidate for worst ever keeper.
I have had many arguments about him- he was a shot stopper, not a keeper.
And he only looked half decent because he played behind the slowest pair of central defenders I have ever seen- McGuckin & Jarman.
Which brings us back to David Kemp.
 

werthersoriginal

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Can we also choose the Managers?

Best- Jim Smith (first spell)
Worst- David Kemp
Most bad tempered radio interviewee- David Kemp
Most inarticulate- David Kemp
Least able to get any of his players fit and/or organised- David Kemp

And I am very pleased to see someone at last nominate Richard Knight as candidate for worst ever keeper.
I have had many arguments about him- he was a shot stopper, not a keeper.
And he only looked half decent because he played behind the slowest pair of central defenders I have ever seen- McGuckin & Jarman.
Which brings us back to David Kemp.
Knight was player of the year but like Burgess didn’t go on to have a career, generally a pretty clear indication
 

Berliner

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And he only looked half decent because he played behind the slowest pair of central defenders I have ever seen- McGuckin & Jarman.
Which brings us back to David Kemp.

Both McGuckin and Jarman were signed by Denis Smith, not Kemp.
 

Jonny G

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For your worst XI:

We've had far worse keepers than Peter Hucker and Paul Kee such as Andre Arendse, Chris Tardiff, Richard Knight and Ian McCaldon.

Alex Jeannin was far worse for us than Tom Newey at the respective level. Tom Newey was a very average L2 player, whilst Alex Jeannin was barely a Conference player.

In the midfield for me, Eddie Hutchinson has to be included, at the very least on the bench. For the amount he played, he really was awful and his playing caused us the points deduction.

As an aside, had a look at the squads in the conference and I really can't remember Joe Burnell even though he played 21 league games.

For the best XI:

I'd replace Lunny with Les Phillips as I think he really was important in that combative midfield role allowing others to play. Also, Gary Briggs (could also put Shotts ahead as well) to replace Rob Dickie. I'd replace Neil Slatter in the subs with either Shotts or Briggsy instead as you don't have a centre half but already have a full back with David Bardsley.

It really is difficult to pick some positions for this as there many candidates and seems harsh leaving out certain players like Kevin Brock, Bobby McDonald, Dean Whitehead (who was outstanding in his final season with us).
All very fair points... Kee had some blinding games - Tranmere is the shinning example - and Hucker got MoM in 1982 FA Cup final before joining us, however, I can't ever remember being confident in him playing in either First or Second Division - probably mitigated by us losing Briggs, Shotton, Langan and Slatter to long spells of injury and/or being sold during his spell with us. In terms of Jeannin I didn't see much of 2007/2008 so had lost Jannin from my memory.... !! :O

Les Phillips is a good point to raise too, no argument from me there.... I may be guilty of not trying to fill the best team with players of my childhood, which may be why Simmo, Les and Ray Houghton - by error originally - suffered here.

I think Joe Burnell was purchased the same summer - 2008 - as Beano, Jamie Guy, Nelthorpe and Haldane. My memory is that Burnell played ok in a very average first half of the season but didn't get a look in after Wilder took over and bought in Simon Clist and Adam Chapman.

God, there are some brilliant and nightmarish memories from the players mentioned here alone!
 

Jonny G

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Both McGuckin and Jarman were signed by Denis Smith, not Kemp.
I think Richard Knight looked pretty decent when he first came in during early part of 2000, just after Denis took over from Mickey Lew. From memory he played a decent part in some key wins against Wycombe and Chesterfield during this period, with players like Mark Watson and Steve Davis and occasionally Phil Whelan (!!) in front of him. He really suffered when those three were released as part of Kassam's cost cutting in 2000 and we ended up with Richardson, Robertson, Jarman and McGuckin.... one of things that a lot of us hated about Kemp was binning Knight for the on loan goalie from Villa (Cutler). We also had Hubert Busby, Jimmy Glass and Phil Wilson.... god help any of them in front of that back four!!
 

Sarge

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best and worst oufc sides do the rounds every so often on here (YF).... as an aside, and to pass some more lockdown time, what would be the 'best' OUFC side made up of internationals, who were capped while playing for the U's ?
 

Northernyellow

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Both McGuckin and Jarman were signed by Denis Smith, not Kemp.
I am sure you're right, but I would like to think that 'Kempo' would have signed them both had he been given the chance.
They were his type of players. Slow. Overweight. Totally disinterested.
They were the beating heart of the back four that let in (I think) 100+ goals in L1.
Even now, that is some achievement.
I remember some of Kemp's radio interviews were outstanding- he was both clueless and permanently angry.
I am fairly certain that when he was fired, he gave an interview pointing out that he had- in fact- done a great job, but that he was sacked because he was a Londoner.
And we were 'all snobs from Oxford'. Not because he was useless or anything like that.
Does anyone else remember that, or am I mis-remembering?
I definitely recall an interview towards the end of his six month 'reign' where he said that he wished Richard Knight (who had gone down injured) had 'been shot in the leg'.
That team was - by a country mile- the very worst I have ever seen in my 45+ years.
And, yes, I do include the thrilling team put together by the masterful Patto.
 

Jonny G

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best and worst oufc sides do the rounds every so often on here (YF).... as an aside, and to pass some more lockdown time, what would be the 'best' OUFC side made up of internationals, who were capped while playing for the U's ?
I'll have a think of that Sarge... although I think that Paul Kee might have to go in goal even though he's sub in my worst XI... unless Buchel got Liechtenstein caps in 2015/2016

What's yours Sarge and I'll try and do one too.
 

Sarge

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I'll have a think of that Sarge... although I think that Paul Kee might have to go in goal even though he's sub in my worst XI... unless Buchel got Liechtenstein caps in 2015/2016

What's yours Sarge and I'll try and do one too.
will have a think and post up later ... got a bit of work to finish atm
 

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