Oxford boss Karl Robinson has been without THIRTEEN players during a crisis time for the club.
Therefore, it might have crossed his mind to call up Beth Lumsden from the club’s women’s team as the goalscoring midfielder has been training with the men for the past few weeks.
Robinson is one of the great characters in the EFL and is always willing to try different things so invited her to train with the first team and has insisted she “has fitted in really well.”
Lumsden said: “It’s been such a good experience. I’ve done it for about three or four weeks now, once a week, there’s a session in the morning, followed by a gym session and an evening training session with the women as well.
“We were talking and Karl was there and he was really encouraging, he’s been brilliant. The men are a lot quicker, it’s not so much physically but it pushes you mentally to make decisions quicker and then I take that into games.
Naomi Baker – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
“I’ve heard stories of women playing with the under-18s but I’ve never been offered this chance before. It’s been brilliant for me personally because we’re having a good season, chasing promotion and it can only help me improve.”
Lumsden also works in an estate agent business run by legendary former Arsenal boss Vic Akers who once set up a seven-a-side game between his women’s team and some male journalists… who were given the runaround and were lucky the score did not reach double figures.
Oxford have been without seven players through positive Covid tests, three more have been isolating and three injured. They signed rookie Birmingham keeper Connal Trueman on an emergency loan and beat Fleetwood 3-1.
Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
Robinson has rarely celebrated so much after the game as to get a result with so many players missing and up against the odds was quite something.
West Ham lead the way with dressing room clean ups
West Ham captain Mark Noble does not play every game – but his influence on the dressing room is just as strong as ever.
The Premier League club have won compliments from rival clubs for the spotless condition they leave dressing rooms in after away games.
While some clubs leave the place with stuff strewn everywhere, West Ham always tidy and sweep up after themselves to such perfection you would not know they have been there. That comes from Noble setting the standard, laying down the rules and there are few better pros.
AFP via Getty Images)
The Hammers have been enjoying a brilliant season and it is no wonder that David Moyes has been happy to have 34-year-old Noble around the place because he has instilled such great values within the club.
Gareth Southgate’s new contract explained to FA staff
Gareth Southgate’s new two year contract extension is an incentive based deal and he will get more cash based on success rather than a big fat pay rise.
Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham has overseen a difficult year of losses, cuts and redundancies so a lucrative new deal for the England manager would not necessarily have gone down well with those who have lost their jobs.
But they also invited staff to watch the unveiling press conference as details of the new incentive based deal were discussed to put them in the picture. The FA, who have already postponed plans for a Christmas party, have got this one right in difficult circumstances.
Colourised remaster of 1966 World Cup final out now
The remastered – and in full colour – DVD of the 1966 World Cup final is out now and, fittingly, all proceeds are going to the Alzheimer’s Society.
After so many of the Wembley heroes were affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia, that is a clever idea and pre-Christmas sales are going well.
Standard DVDs cost £19 and copies signed personally by Sir Geoff Hurst are going for £66. Details here: www.finalreplay.tv/shop
Premier League starts to re-open to in-person journalists and reporters
Premier League clubs are slowly letting more and more journalists to attend press conferences after 18 months of doing them on Zoom.
West Ham will do their pre-match Man City presser in-person as is Pep Guardiola and others have either done so already or are following suit. A few will struggle because of the size of the rooms.
Arsenal allowed a few broadcasters in on Thursday and will let selected newspaper reporters back in next Tuesday.
Sky’s colourful reporter Gary Cotterill was so happy to be back that he took along a party popper which he released at the end of the TV press conference… even though Mikel Arteta looked somewhat bemused!