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Piethagoram

Has Ardley got a blind spot re keeper & defensive midfield

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I expressed concern before that with all the resources of Football Radar, the best keeper we could come up with was a Wimbledon reserve. I sincerely hope that I am wrong about him and he goes on to prove me wrong but the goals conceded against Hartlepool does not fill me with confidence.

Also, are opposition teams targeting Rose as a weak point. Whether it be standards of EFL League 2 and the Vanarama, are getting closer but rarely this season has our midfield seen to dominate.  Very rarely do we seem to really "click" and when we do, it is normally with Ozzy being in the team, who offers a goal scoring threat. Enzio drifts out of games and therefore lessens the potency of the midfield. Discuss....

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Hmm, I'm not really in much of a position to comment on either to be honest. But here I am anyway :D

NA tried to sign McDonnell before, he knows him well from Wimbledon and clearly rates him. Time will tell whether that faith is justified. The fact is that Wimbledon are two divisions higher than us, and persuading a keeper to join is a hard sell at the best of times when we've already got an established first choice. Would you drop down divisions to join Notts without a good chance of being in the first team?

As for the midfield, it bothered me that we reunited Doyle and Rose as neither seems to offer much going forwards. O'Brien is more likely to try a forward pass or a shot, but doesn't offer as much protection as the two aforementioned.

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I need to see the highlights before I can comment about Joe McDonnell.

I do feel Mitch Rose is more out of form than Enzio right now, I don't feel Tom Crawford is suitable to replace him - I'd rather see Regan Booty return but his back injury sounds like one of those phantom things which will never go away. I really hope I'm wrong, the club needs someone like Ryan Yates, no thrills but incredibly good at the basics.

Jim O'Brien and Michael Doyle don't have it in them to do all the work, Jim's a great asset but we need pace in the centre too.

Doyle isn't the answer, I wouldn't even have him as the captain let alone always start. His value is in his experience, think it's a shame that we don't really have anyone else who stands out in this area. We could do with another Regan Booty or Callum Roberts to fill the gap.

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The midfield could do with a bit more hunger there, it's not something I can see easily being resolved until next season. I just hope that we have enough cover to drive forward because I think most fans who would select their starting lineup wouldn't select Mitch Rose.

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I think that we are lucky to have such a solid number 1 keeper at this level, and I am hoping that this new keeper will improve once he also gets more game time but I'm yet to be convinced by him, especially after seeing his flapping effort for their first goal. That was a terrible error of judgement and a really basic goalkeeping mistake.

You would have also thought that the football radar stats would have come to the conclusion that the Doyle/Rose partnership doesn't really work. The midfield is the one area we have to really shake up ready for next year as that is the major part of the pitch that wins you most games.

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The issue is Football Radar isn't the manager, I can't see Neal Ardley bowing to anyone else's opinion let alone statistics.

What he thinks works in his mind.

Look how well we did when Sam Osborne started, it's almost like because we as fans notice his good work - he's gone out of his way to reinforce his beliefs by signing another winger, just so that it limits Ozzy's game time. All whilst constantly backing Enzio Boldewijn and Mitch Rose who at times are nothing more than passengers. If he chooses players based on their training, it's a pretty big flaw in his philosophy because you need to be projective and look at the bigger picture.

This is one of the main issues with Ardley, he comes across as more stubborn than Kevin Nolan and Harry Kewell combined.

Some fans won't like this naturally, I have to admit I have some big dislikes about his management style but I am prepared to look at the bigger picture. Back him, as I can see that he's offering stability and with each good signing you can see the improvements they bring.

Issue is, when he signs a player - it almost instantly resets things and the good progress made before has to start from the beginning.

He needs to be a bit more supportive in his management style, quit sending out mixed messages and back the squad - not just selective players like how he did with Joe McDonnell.

Pierce Bird will feel deflated hearing what was said, some players lift themselves and others will think that they'll never do right in his eyes, so why bother?

Considering how he closes the door on some and, you can take this as factual based on the many examples - Fitzsimons, Tootle, Bird, Osborne, Crawford etc - I just feel sometimes he needs to take a different approach as it seems unfair.

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i think we all want notts to improve, at the same time i do think ardley needs to approach some of the players differently.

you can just be one way with some, as people react differently.

i wished he would use the press conferences to challenge some to lift their game, but in one sense hes defensive of those hes brought in and dismissive about those who dont play. this is football and we will never know the ins and outs but if we are to push on as one. i think ardley needs to look at his approach and get all the players on side, if we lose the next three games i wont care if everyone gives 100%.

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I really do worry for McDonnell as we know football is about confidence and he’s not had the best start, so I’m sure his confidence will be really low right now, plus the crowd getting nervy will not help, but understandable. His kicking doesn’t sound too great either. I appreciate he may need time to settle in, but it’s time we cannot afford. Hopefully he can have a good game soon to ease ours and his nerves 😬

our midfield is a major concern for me, as you rightly wrote, we do not dominate the midfield and this combined with the fact we don’t play outside wingers is actually terrible, we generally have more bodies in the centre to try and dominate and it’s just not happening. This may sound crazy but I’d play the wingers out on the touch line especially when we have the ball, I don’t mind them tucking in when we’re out of possession, but as soon as we get it back we have to get wide and offer some options to the full backs and get some ammunition for our staved of service strikers. I feel we’ve  given this setup far too much time to work and frankly it doesn’t often enough, we always seem to be on the back foot when we should be forcing teams back by playing offensively.

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Just when Notts looks to have a good squad, cracks appear. I think the biggest issue is the lack of motivation from the management team, they should have the players fired up and if things aren't working, why sit back until its too late?

I can't help but say it, I think Ardley needs to be braver and more determined himself.

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I think it's just his style, he probably knows what is working and what isn't.

He does need to start choosing players more wisely, you can't have favourites or hide behind excuses that people don't train as well when they perform badly in games.

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6 hours ago, Chris said:

Issue is, when he signs a player - it almost instantly resets things and the good progress made before has to start from the beginning.

Because he changes one thing, to accommodate another.

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My view is that he inherited a poor keeper, did what he could to bring in the kid on loan from Huddersfield last season but it didn’t work. No one can complain about Slocombe, he is above National league standard for sure and it isn’t  Ardley’s fault he got injured at the time of the season that no one of similar quality is available.

McDonnell could and should have had a better game on Saturday but that’s football.

You could say it’s Notts that have a blind spot in respect of keepers, it’s a possition that has let us down for years .... until Ardley brought in Slocombe.

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We see the game in such a different way, he has his favourites and he only picks from.a certain set players which to me isnt fair

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NA sees only what he wants to see, defends who he likes and criticise those he doesn't. It's something we as fans need to accept.

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He has a blind and soft spot when it comes to what he sees and thinks, I feel this is one of the main reasons why people are harsh against him. Yes he's not that great tactically during games, he sides and favours players but when it works, you can see what he's thinking.

Edited by thommo

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I couldn't possibly say.

I don't get the obsession with Notts fans with not being able to give a manager a few seasons to do something right, even if it doesn't start off well. The foundations of success can take years to built, and I think Neal Ardley has done well to say there have been some major limitations thrown his way. If he hadn't of built a squad due to the sale or lack of it, where would Notts be?

Improving is something that will take time.

I think some managers like Ardley try to avoid complicating things, he probably demands respect and effort, those that give it might have earned his loyalty.

Midfield does look like an area which could use some improvements.

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Think with Ardley is he does himself no favours, he could make better decisions at times but I do feel it balances itself out over the season.

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Last night when Jim O'Brien came on, there was a lot of mumbling about NA going defensive but I think it worked out.

I think every manager has a side where they miss the obvious, but I am pleased with how the squad and he have responded to the poor performances. Right now the club needs to go for every point, so it's vital but I do often wonder why certain players are easily dropped.

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