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Chris

Five things Notts can learn from the Barrow defeat

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While the Barrow fans seem to be largely windup merchants on Twitter, I don't think any Notts fan would deny the better team won the game.

It's just; I rarely see poor winners in such a pathetic demonstration of childish celebrations. I would have happily gone home, accepted that Barrow deserved the win, but the way they acted is just unfortunate.

I can get over the way they attempted to incense our fans, does that demonstrate how much winning meant? No, Leigh, it doesn't. It highlights them as poor winners.

Running over to their travelling fans, for me would have highlighted how much it meant to them.

But, besides this - again they deserved the win. They did homework on us, shut Notts down and knew exactly how to contain us. Plus, at times Barrow was quite enjoyable to watch (when they weren't time-wasting, diving, playing dirty). All part of their tactics mind, I get that!

This all put to one side; I feel there are things we can learn from this.

Notts won't win every game, just like Barrow won't remain top of the National League table for long if they continue to be vein.

1] - Once our keeper has the ball, the players need to be quicker to make space and move without clustering themselves into areas which only benefit an organised opposition. Sam Slocombe can be very quick to release the ball, however, despite this we don't counter that well, and against Barrow, this would have been highly effective I feel.

Don't get me wrong; it's improved from the days whereby nobody seemed to want the ball, but even I could make more movement after dislocating both my knees than some of our players.

2] - Retaining focus on the game rather than antics! Several players mentioned to me after the match that Barrow players repeatedly rubbed the result in their faces. While this is again poor showmanship, whatever happened to wanting to prove people wrong? This type of s**t is precisely the type of thing which fuelled me when I used to play. Good players, they use this to their advantage - just like Lee Hughes did back in his playing days at Meadow Lane.

Michael Doyle, at times, almost lost his head, this isn't what you want to see from the clubs captain.

3] - Stop rushing passes! There's no point rushing, it leads to poor play, and often it just makes people panic. Damien McCrory was a visible offender of this, likewise Mitch Rose, who hasn't been the same since Michael Doyle returned from his suspension. Enzio Boldewijn rushed that shocking back pass, although if people wanted to be a bit fairer on that - why did we play so high?

Especially knowing how eager and quick, the barrow players were to break.

It makes no sense at all.

4] - Sometimes, changes are required at half time! If you want to try to get a result, sometimes you need to force a change. Enzio Boldewijn should have been subbed early, his free playing role just created space, and it made it more difficult for Richard Brindley to defend. I accept, most of the players performed quite badly, and it wasn't a good team performance at all.

Yet choosing to stick, when it's isn't working. Just reminds most people that Ardley tends to leave things late, he doesn't have a plan B and individual players no matter what their form are always going to perform inconsistently when they don't fear being dropped.

5] - Better homework is required! Barrow did theirs on us; it just sometimes seems like we have no idea how to counter when good teams come to Meadow Lane or even play us. There's no point trying to chase a 2-0 lead, without acknowledging that the opposition is playing a different game. Or, only that our tactics aren't working.

Before Barrow's goal, Notts looked okay, and chances did fall. When it went wrong, well it never seemed likely that we could salvage a point from the game. After last season, I can't be the only Notts fan who wishes to see more fight from our players.

This season is far from terrible, we are doing better than Chesterfield, and I would like to maintain this.

Would I be annoyed that Notts failed to make the playoffs? No, it's more about working together and losing games where we put in an excellent performance ourselves. Kyle Wootton and Wes Thomas are the only two players that can walk away from the Barrow game, feeling like they had put in any shift. I know, Thomas doesn't feel he played well as he told me himself.

I don't want to see the squad suffering the same old problems that we tend to see.

Edited by super_ram
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1 hour ago, Chris said:

1] - Once our keeper has the ball, the players need to be quicker to make space and move without clustering themselves into areas which only benefit an organised opposition. Sam Slocombe can be very quick to release the ball, however, despite this we don't counter that well, and against Barrow, this would have been highly effective I feel.

Don't get me wrong; it's improved from the days whereby nobody seemed to want the ball, but even I could make more movement after dislocating both my knees than some of our players.

it surprises me now that we have a lot more pace in the squad this season compared to last year, why we dont try to exploit attacking minded teams by trying to start fast breaks.

you make a fair point about the concentration, i think its been poor when games go against us.

nobody seems responsible enough to take this on.

1 hour ago, Chris said:

4] - Sometimes, changes are required at half time! If you want to try to get a result, sometimes you need to force a change. Enzio Boldewijn should have been subbed early, his free playing role just created space, and it made it more difficult for Richard Brindley to defend. I accept, most of the players performed quite badly, and it wasn't a good team performance at all.

Yet choosing to stick, when it's isn't working. Just reminds most people that Ardley tends to leave things late, he doesn't have a plan B and individual players no matter what their form are always going to perform inconsistently when they don't fear being dropped.

enzio being one of few wingers the club has, does need to sit a few games out but he wont for this reason. it must leave osborne feeling like what can he do? he performed well coming in but people excuse enzio for being very poor.

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Mitch Rose is a good player, Neal Ardley needs to help him re-find his form but Michael Doyle doesn't have the legs to defend.

Putting it all onto one players shoulders is harsh.

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We lost the game on Saturday, it happens! Yes Barrow were pathetic and so was their manager (I sat directly in front of him) he was winding fans up, then when he got a reaction went and had a word in the stewards ear presumably with a view to getting someone ejected. Unfortunately we live in a “win at all costs” football society and with clubs like Barrow football is the worst for it. 
We aren’t Liverpool or City and we will have bad games, I really don’t think slating players who may be having a bad time helps, or for that matter assuming we know better than the manager who watches the players day in day out. 
I am as desperate as the next supporter for Notts to be successful and the best way for us assist that is to support the manager and players wholeheartedly. Yes, we will all have opinions but let’s try and be positive and contribute to an atmosphere of for the good of the club.

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I think @Chris is spot on in most things. The behaviour of the Barrow players was appalling and unprofessional - I never want to see a Notts team carrying on like that.

To be frank, I think we were made to look poor - they were in our faces from the start and stopped us playing. If you stay level for long enough you can gradually wrest control of the match, but once you're 2-0 down you've got a mountain to climb.

I've made this point before - you need someone to do the dirty work, but playing Doyle and Rose together makes us over-reliant on the flanks for our attacking play. There's not a lot of point playing two holding midfielders when you're trailing - I'd have given Booty a go in the middle. To be honest though, I doubt it'd have made a difference, it was just a bad day at the office.

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@Truefootballfan whenever someone comes out with a discussion, they speak about being positive etc. chris never said we should have won them, it happens even he said that. i think some just want to see the club learn from this and this is one perfect example. nobody is bashing anyone here, just a frank discussion.

barrow deserved to win, credit for that and how they closed down the game is deserved.

not how they acted or a small group of players who almost ran some of our fans over after the game. its not acceptable, they won but they just acted very unprofessional. i agree with the points chris raised, these are things we could be doing better. i dont see it as negative, the most passionate fan on this site is the person who started it in the first place.

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Losing happens, yet you do need to buckle down and see what can be improved.

I largely agree with what Chris has written, if Notts wants to be better then they need to address some of these key concerns. Things are fine but no doubt it could be better. The squads made huge strides but last Saturday things went backwards.

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Does anyone think that Neal Ardley can accept criticism and use it to build on? I see little signs that he understands what goes wrong when it does. If he does, why does he continue to make the same mistakes?

I'm not against him, I just find the man frustrating.

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