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Notts County 2014: a newcomer's viewpoint


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I've always followed Notts, but I'd never been to a game till this season, when I bought a half season ticket. (My family is traditionally Forest.)


And... it's all a bit of a mess, isn't it. But it's not quite that simple.


First and foremost, Derry and Abbot, for me, have to stay. Notts practically wrote the book on the unfortunate culture of modern day football whereby the manager is replaced after an absurdly short period of time. Sure, he's (Derry) finding his feet as a manager, and there's been one or two curious selection/substitution choices. But for once we have someone who has not only professional but also personal investment in the club, given his background as a player and, before that, supporter.


He needs time to build his own team, and this brings me to the second observation: we don't really have a team. We have a loose band of loan players and a handful of our own players. Notts is very much an organisation treading water; it's just trying to get to the next season, but without a team with its own identity.


Loan players brings two obvious risks: young stars that know they'll return to their parent club and who, therefore, no matter what their professionalism, lack the sort of responsibility that a predicament like ours requires. McGregor and Greillish, for all their talent (the latter particularly), do not look overly concerned at how matches are unfolding, but perhaps they just have a laid-back manner. The other risk is it's someone trying to rescue their career. Tyson is a great addition, and has pace in spades, but I'd struggle to believe he relished the thought of coming to Notts, given his background. That said, I thought he played well and with passion last night. Roberts, too, has pace in spades for a man of his age.


How about on the pitch? Well, last night was awful, and yet I find myself recalling some positive displays. Shocking defensive lapses, for sure, but interspersed with some quality, healthy challenges that broke up a fair few MK attacks. Going forward, they seem to have the same problem the Panthers used to: passing it about a lot and waiting - hoping - for the perfect opening. Geez, guys, just shoot it once in a while.


The loan player situation means the team next season will look totally different from this one. You can't build team identity with such a situation. Look at Leicester; running away with the championship with a team most of whom have been playing together for three seasons now. But then they have money, of course. Of our players, I would count only three as being high quality: Liddle, Campbell-Ryce and Bialkowski. CR is surely destined for better levels (if Neil Bishop can make it to Blackpool...)


Then there's the fans. We do tend to be a quiet bunch, don't we, except for a few in the Spion Kop. I sit in the family stand surrounded by rather sullen-faced gents, who almost appear to come for the disappointment. Others nearby, more vocal, are of the "everything the ref does, even though he's 100 times closer to the incidents, is wrong" ilk, and again just seem to come for the opportunity to shout. Perhaps we need more singing, more drums etc.


So there you have it. I'm no expert, and I could well be proven wrong on some or all of the above points by fans more knowledgable than I.


Whether we go down or not, I just hope Derry and Abbot stick around and get some funds to build their own team next season, one we can watch grow and gel into a decent outfit that actually has a sense of identity, pride and responsibility.


Keep the faith!

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Quality here @Mitya

I agree with the foundations of your message and I enjoyed reading your view points. We certainly need back our identity, we need players who can connect and get the players going. For all of Mark Fotheringham's short comings, I loved his reaction to the penalty. Pure passion, he kept trying to encourage the support and I really miss our players doing that. We had 11 when we won L2 and many more on the bench, now we have few.

The pitch is getting worse, however still better than last year and a lot better than quite a few I have seen.

We need our fans singing more, we need songs for all the players and when we go a goal down silence must not be met. We need to transpire hope, so I personally start singing afterwards.

After MK's first goal, the Wheelbarrow song was quickly sung but faded very easily. :(

See you around and welcome.

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Fair points. I'd ignore most comments or references in respect of referees. The most vociferous are usually those who have no idea about the laws of the game or how to apply them. Strangely, every challenge on a Notts player is not a foul & we do not get "bad refs" as many describe them. We get the odd one who make a few iffy decisions but, by & large, we've had some good officials this season.

Listen to the crowd and scan message boards, you'd think we are singled out for every inept referee that exists - that is nonsense. We are at the foot of the table because we are the poorest team in the League, it is as simple as that.

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Fair points. I'd ignore most comments or references in respect of referees. The most vociferous are usually those who have no idea about the laws of the game or how to apply them. Strangely, every challenge on a Notts player is not a foul & we do not get "bad refs" as many describe them. We get the odd one who make a few iffy decisions but, by & large, we've had some good officials this season.

This is somewhat datable itself, we've had several bad match officials (including assistance) but I agree not all have been. 'Some' have been pretty good, you know when they're because you don't notice 'em.

The referee in our last game against MK Don's wasn't 'bad' but he was 'iffy'.

Several points during the game he lost control of the game, yet this is to be expected with the standard of football we play and I don't expect League Two to be any different.

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a lot of our current situation comes from how we was setup prior to derry coming in, some of which are still to be seen (such as tactics). its one of them season which we should focus on rebuilding from, nothing will take a way the poor form and we cant blame referees once the whistles blown but in truth the standard at this level is not very good.

players should be able to play on mud, i dont like excuses regarding the pitch because it just highlights how pampered they are these days.

interesting post! :)

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I agree with most of your comments @Mitya. Derry and Abbot need time.A long term plan needs implementing.Patience will be the keyword.We know there's not a lot of money available so it looks like you'll be stuck with a few loan signings. Loanees should be kept to a minimum though ,injuries and suspensions permitting.


As for the pitch,it's the same for both teams and considering the weather we've had this winter and the usage it gets I think it's. stood up quite well.


The fans will respond when they have a team they can cheer. When I attended the Bury match last season the crowd was very quiet until Notts turned it on in the 2nd half when there was suddenly a completely different atmosphere.


Regarding referees-it's the same at all grounds.Offside decisions,which player the ball went out of play off and fouls given or not given. The officials get their decisions right most of the time. I sat amongst the home crowd a couple of seasons ago when they hosted the Rams and I wondered if I was watching a different game judging by their comments. I've felt the same watching Rams home matches too. I must say I thought the Bristol match ref was very 'iffy' at best.


One thing is certain,whether Notts stay up or go down, the current squad isn't good enough. I bet SD already has a plan in his head and players he'd like to bring in and the ones he'll let go. The next 5 months will be very interesting.

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