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Talking the gaffer [Neal Ardley]

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I get and fully understand that some fans are not impressed with Neal Ardley.

At this stage in the season I think more time needs to be given, those who call for his head seem more impatient and unrealistic in their expectations. A modern sign of football supporters, I think on a rational basis we have to hope he improves because there is a lot that needs to be done.

So, I ask you what is your view on the gaffer?

What about his managerial traits do you not like? More importantly how do you think he can improve?

Notts County Football Club can't keep sacking the managers, stability is needed and I think Neal Ardley is struggling to make use of the players at his disposal. He has the CV to suggest he can do well, is it more his in-game tactics that fall short or does it all stem from his approach leading into games?

I might sound out of my head, I think given the time and chance he will do a steady job.

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I don't think he's as open as he was when he joined, I don't know what has changed but I do believe the rumours about him being unwilling to communicate with certain players.

He's very stubborn, I don't think he learns either.

I think the biggest issues is this league, I am not sure he understands how to play certain teams and he can't get Notts to give stuff back to the rougher sides in the division. I like him, I don't think he should be sacked but there's more vocal supporters in favour of this than are not IMO.

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Notts are 4 points off the playoffs, they have put together some very good displays and better than in a long time.

When will fans learn you can't just sack the manager and expect the replacement to run away with things? It changes from the top, it takes a lot of work. I am not the biggest fan of Neal Ardley's tactics but I do see what changes he has implemented. I am prepared to give him longer until I change my mind, it would take a lot to make this happen before the half way point of the season.

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I like him, but find his interviews to be pointless or defensive.

Positives

  • He has changed the squad and injected pace, making good signings on paper.
  • Has given Kristian Dennis a chance to prove himself when most had written him off.
  • Given Notts a chance when he didn't get paid [which deserves some form of respect].

Negatives

  • Seems to be unwilling to work with youth players or others that could give Notts something different.
  • His tactics can be extremely negative and far too defensive.
  • Insisting on Jim O'Brien and Michael Doyle being the midfield pairing.
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I'm always in favour of giving the manager a chance to implement changes.

This can sometimes take years and modern football isn't that type of business anymore to give someone the proper length of time that is required. The Danish brothers and staff have a lot to pick up, the clubs a family and having the right support can help the manager.

I had hoped that Neal Ardley would be more attacking minded with his own players, however, he still seems settled on drawing and makes changes which doesn't do anything positive. Against Solihull Moors, I would have thrown on two attacking minded players.

Rather than taking Enzio off, who I admit looked tired, but I firmly think the game could have turned out differently.

It got to that 70th minute mark and Ardley looked very content, I wouldn't have been if I was him - I would have been asking for that extra 10% of all of the players. I just find him to be frustrating, some of the rumours I have heard and some accounts that have been passed on to me from one or two players doesn't really sound positive. I think he's the type of manager who controls the dressing room by having strong players in favour of him, however, failing to see past the requirement or benefit from someone who naturally disagrees with something he's doing.

No manager is perfect, I just fail to see how Ardley's learning.

I have to say, I'm nervous about him signing further players, especially due to the transfer window always being open. I am concerned if he can't balance or give time to those here, without progressive signs that things are improving - that he will end up losing more than the majority of fans but the dressing room included.

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Without a real concern for relegation I would be in favour of giving Neal Ardley more time, he has the players performing and it could improve a lot more than what we have seen. The risk is to sack him, then have someone who comes in that can't work with all these new signings.

Kevin Nolan and Harry Kewell had what seemed to be a torn squad, give Ardley the chance to fix this.

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Think if his record doesn't improve, after a certain point you would have to wonder how it can.

Notts needs to be winning games, this is why I am prepared to give him this season but if his win rate doesn't increase. I will be wanting to see someone else take over. I think its a very valid point about him being too defensive, he had enough chances last season to stop the club from being relegated and I don't blame him for that either.

I'm just saying he had enough games, but he settled for draws. He's starting to sound as he did then now, finding excuses rather than solutions to our problems.

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I think some fans are quick to forget and find it only to easy to point the blame on Neal Ardley.

The best managers would find dealing with Alan Hardy hard, the aftermath he's left behind will take time. Do I think Ardley is by any means perfect? No, but in the real world we should be supporting him without trying to tear down the house every time the club loses a game.

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I think his main issues come from the lack of tactics he's prepared to change or adapt, he found something that worked well and switched to something that didn't. He's always chopping and changing the lineup, I wished he would just settle it down and only make changes if forced.

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To be honest I think his down fall is he makes risky substitutes that don’t make sense and takes off the wrong players. He needs to have a plan B because for he don’t seem to have a plan B. He don’t drop players who have had a awful game won’t miss the next one ...he needs to play with 4 at the back not 3 and play with 2 up front not one and maybe play with a CAM player. 

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Honestly, I don't think the players last season tried enough and I wouldn't blame him from distancing himself from some of them.

I think this whole Matt Tootle thing could be resolved, it's my biggest gripe with Neal Ardley. The fact he can't draw bridges or do what is best by the club, I think Tootle just needs a bit of help from time to time.

Something Ardley doesn't seem keen to do.

He only celebrates with some of the players, as he shakes hands at the end of the game. It's a bad look.

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Biggest issue for me is that Neal Ardley keeps making changes which doesn't seem forced, how on earth are they supposed to get match fit for 90 minutes if he doesn't play them back to back.

I do feel he also relies too much on Michael Doyle.

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i think its somewhat pathetic that fans cant accept opinions, i am all for this. it drives me crazy when i see idiots playing others off each other due to them having an unpopular opinion or being more patient. i think the culture in football is the worst though, fans are actively encouraging their clubs to waste resources,

neal is far from perfect but he has my support, even if i question things.

i will back him as hes the manager and we cant just keep sacking people expecting the club to be successful.

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He's frustrating like every other manager, at this stage who could come in and get the best out of this squad? I am not sure there is a manager that can do this.

Allow for more time and then see.

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I might be in a small minority with actually being able to see what Neal Ardley is trying to do. His tactics are standard for the lower tiers, most managers know you have to fight for points and wins will come from that attitude.

Ardley seems to be trying to get the fighting spirit up, along with expectations from the players like Enzio who has that difference in quality.

It's a pressure which can send overall performances backwards, but look it's not been that bad. I think if Ardley came out and addressed Toots, it would create some slack and instead of asking for patience  or expressing discontent with the pressure he has got. I would just rather see him get on with it, and focus 100% of the club. Focus on the games as they come and just expect more from the players until they give it as their standard rather than any sort of expectation.

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I believe he should be given time as he's just bought in a whole new squad and we need time to settle and steady, then move forward. We are showing signs of a decent team and there is the basis of a good team there. It's about extracting that full potential from the side and get them playing fluidly. 

However his tactics must improve. In games we are too negative sometimes. Another thing as well is when we don't leave anyone up from corners. When the opposition have a corner, every player is back. Leave one player up so we can counter.

I know I've said this in a previous topic and I said it in my Sutton vlog. 3 things needed

1) Play for 90 minutes instead of 45

2) Start taking our chances

3) Being braver with the ball in the opposition's half. 

The last point is a big one in us turning draws into wins. We need to use the ball with more purpose and shift it quicker. On occasions it feels like we shift it slowly from one side of the pitch to the other without knowing where or when to play a crucial pass. Need to play more forward passes and be clinical rather than us playing sideways passes that don't get us anywhere. 

More forward passes into the feet instead of panicking with a hoof ball. There's a time to play it on the floor and a time to launch it and we play it better on the ground. 

Regan Booty could play a big part in our season. He always looks for that forward pass but, the only problem with playing him in a 442 with Doyle, is that they are both left footed. 

Like I say there is the basis of a good team it's about getting it out of the squad.

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Neal Ardley must start demanding more and dropping those who don't meet the level, otherwise how do you get the best out of players?

At the same time I absolutely agree with dropping players who might be tired, get them able to play for 90 minutes. This is a professional sport and should be a minimal expectations from people, obviously some might need subbing from time to time but it almost seems like if you put a solid shift in that they end up dropped. I do agree it seems to be down to Ardley not knowing the opposition and not knowing whom are his best 11.

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This is a good thread - it's good to read constructive criticism of the manager that doesn't descend into calls for his sacking. One post that has been repeated ad nauseum on Facebook is the list of win percentages, comparing Neal Ardley with the likes of Paul Ince, who inherited a newly promoted squad with Hughes, Bishop et al. It beggars belief.

As I don't see the matches live I will bow to your opinions, but a couple of things concern me. One is his habit of chopping and changing the team even after wins. It may be that NA places greater stock in training performances, but it makes it harder for a team to get into its stride. Another is something he shares with many managers, the self-defeating tactic of bringing everyone back for defensive corners. There is also the over-reliance on Doyle - if certain players seem to have a guaranteed spot while others are dropped frequently, this can quickly lead to resentment. Competition for places only works when everyone has a chance.

He does appear to work in a logical way though. He understands that every match is a physical battle that has to be won ("you have to earn the right to play football," as an Irishman once said).

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i dont think there is a point to just call for the managers head, its best to discuss and give time.

i personally enjoy reading other peoples views, especially if they are different to mine. i do get annoyed with the poor replies on social media, where people just attack or become really petty. its good to see how people feel.

if the danish brothers sacked ardley i would be surprised, people bang on about them being into stats but surely this includes the long term not just how hes doing now.

they must understand if they give him support, it should pay off.

so far they seem to have given ardley all the support he needs, if they was thinking of sacking him i dont think new recruits would be signed.

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Well, I have to say it's frustrating to see NA avoiding subs for the sake of it.

Only time he seems keen to throw players on is when Notts are under pressure, you will see one or two defensive players come on but only once have I seen him do the reserve. I find his interviews to be generic now, when he first arrived he was a breath of fresh air but over time it's become dull and boring.

Tactically, I think he has it set out in his mind and if the players don't perform to this. He becomes insistent that it must.

I think he would find it easier if he gave some players a level of freedom and dropped the mindset of players to a set way, just attack and defend as a team. There's no need to win pretty but performing well is important.

I for one do not see NA being sacked.

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His win rate was ruined because last seasons squad was such a shambles, I understand why he's cleared the deck and re-started with new signings. I also, to a point agree that it takes time. I am more than willing to give him chance to sort all the issues out, quite rightly there is no quick fixes and any genuine fan expecting Notts to run away with the National League are part of the issue with what happens.

Some fans just love complaining for the sake of it.

Most fans I have spoken with or heard, just vent frustration and disappointment. Neal Ardley would do better to focus on sorting the mess than worrying about any pressure.

If by Christmas things haven't improved, things might change but I am of the mindset mid-table would be perfectly fine.

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I am not in favour of sacking managers for the sake of it, in the short term Neal Ardley hasn't gotten the results the club has needed and if not in this transition I think the club may have parted company with him.

At this stage of the season he should have an idea what his best squad is and how to get the best out of them.

I actually feel he makes the Notts squad unsettled by forcing changes, whilst leaving good players perfectly out of the team. Sam Osborne played a blinder when he started and I think he's only made one brief starter since. This is frustrating because the lad is itching to get onto the field, he performed and contributes. However, he's overlooked by a player who can strike lucky but doesn't put a complete shift in.

His standards of all the players needs to be equal, if a player struggles to defend then there are others things they can do.

I can't help but feel Ardley chooses players based on how they respond to him.

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I think he struggles to get the players motivated to play as he sees it but eventually it does get through to them, usually too late though.

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I find it incredible that the manager is being put under pressure by those who know least about the professional game, thank goodness they aren’t in charge or we would be continuing steering the same path as previous owners led us down ...... 

there have been at least 3 games out of those played thus far that with a little composure in the 6 yard box and indeed luck on our side (which EVERY team needs) we could, and probably should be at least 9 points better off which would have quietened 90% of the doubters, the other 10% will always be negative even if we had Pep in charge ! 

Yes, of course all opinion has to be accepted, team selection and tactics discussed, but let’s let those that know infinitely better than us run the club on a sound basis for once in about 20 years do their jobs without constant calls for change which really have no foundation at this stage of the club’s redevelopment. Yes Ardley failed to keep us up last term but there aren’t many that would, or could have with the turmoil that the club was in at that time. 

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I haven't read anyone call for the messages head on the PON forum, it seems a sensible discussion to me.

I would hope more would just try to get behind the club, I feel the media team at Notts should do more to encourage fans to be on side. There's plenty of creative ways to do this, it might not stop the idiots but everything is worth discussing if you can do it maturely.

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