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Sacking Neal Ardley at this point will be a mistake


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I have seen fans on social media claim that those who want Ardley to stay as the manager, are accepting that Notts are second best. Are they forgetting what caused Notts County to demise through the leagues over the years or even what helped the club rise to the old First Division?

The reason Notts ended up out of the Football League is because we sack managers far too easily.

Aside from the odd game so far, the other performances have been quite good. Taking any excuses away from those for and against, have faith in the owners to make the correct decision, I hope the rumours are wrong and I do feel it will be proven to be made up. Notts doesn't have the luxury to get the best manager in, or have a squad of 50 odd players because the next manager decides that half of the current lot aren't good enough.

Neal Ardley has shown he can deliver, it's far too early to close the door.

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i think we have some proper sore losers as supporters, i wonder what the marriage stats are like from them because if you give up so easily i dont think they deserve any success. probably all single and dont know what hard times are like.

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Fans are always inclined to have their opinion, those that can give a detailed response as to why a manager should go and, not just a short arsed comment - then I am more inclined to listen to them. If we all had the same opinion it would be boring.

As I have mentioned I missed out on listening to the game, woke up knowing Aldershot had scored but from the sounds of some we lost by 10 goals (not 1).

Neal Ardley has proven that he can build a squad, sometimes you need a bit of luck and other times it's more a form thing. Good managers can lift the players and, get the best out of them. I don't think Ardley is a million miles away from having a squad that will fight for him. At this level, I would say he's also a decent manager to have. Biggest issue is and, always will be his failure to turn games around especially those that Notts doesn't have any sort of edge in from the start.

Should a manager be sacked for not having a plan B? No, because we're actually doing better than last season.

At home we are playing some good football, that Maidenhead match still hurts and, that defeat falls into the hands of the players not Neal Ardley.

If Notts had won that 3-0, some of these short minded fans would be calling for his head.

I know some who I wouldn't class as short minded, they just have no faith but they don't bang on every time Notts loses. Jesus, it's 1-0. Wake up and be thankful for what we have, that we have it and that the Danish Brothers are trying to bring back stability.

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Tough one to call as is Ardley now just a football radar puppet or does he have any say, because you wouldn’t think so with some of the acquisitions. Lack of strikers is a genuine issue we have and someone is responsible for that, but was Sam an Ardley signing, or a football Radar one? The Mansfield lad was a poor move all round by us as you need to get a good mix up front and ours isn’t.

 

 

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Are some fans for real? They want him gone after 6 games and 10th in the league? Surely just the usual clowns who want him out after every defeat.

Majority must understand that we are not in a position to keep sacking managers like they grow from the ground?

All managers at this level are frustrating, I dare anyone to tell me otherwise.

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I'd be genuinely surprised if Ardley has been sacked, I just don't get the feeling the owners are the knee-jerk type.

I'm not defending the bad performance but it's hardly ideal to have a 3 week break 5 games into the season... 

Interestingly no-one is criticising the players today as much as they are Ardley, we've all seen how capable they are and on games like today it is as much their fault as it is the managers. 

Like you all say, lots of people on social media are desperate for a sacking and for Graham Alexander to be bought in. He got sacked (albeit from the outside very unfairly) for his defensive style of football and unadventurous tactics! He had a even bigger budget than us at Salford and they still had to go up via the play-offs... The idea that a new manager will come in and we will suddenly just walk the league is one that I just can't see happening.

6 games into the season is too soon to get rid of a manager in my opinion, especially when we've seen how well we can play when we click.

 

Edited by menzinho
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Beyond the knee-jerk accusations by some above and some of the terrible mentalities expressed, there are clear reasons to worry:

-  Going back to last season (even before the play-off final) we haven't been able to cope with a side pressing us. It was clearly identified as a weakness when a good Harrogate side destroyed us at Wembley. We then spent pre-season trying to solve it with a diamond that produced terrible performances and terrible results. It seems to have been abandoned and we still seem to have no solution. What is more alarming is that it doesn't take a good side to press us and beat us; Maidenhead and Aldershot are two of the poorest teams in this league.

- We can't cope with teams that will want to win ugly. Dover.  Maidenhead. Aldershot. 100% loss rate against this type of opposition.

- The worries about the signings seem to be coming true. We have no backup for any of Roberts, Rodrigues, Wootton or Thomas. I've given up on Enzio being able to perform consistently, Sam is a dud, Knowles is crap. 

Personally I wouldn't be sacking Ardley yet, but I would be expecting some of the points above to be rectified very quickly.

 

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I don’t feel like we have a massive problem, all the issues we face can be addressed. We just need to see it be addressed! You can beat a press by passing it quicker or going more direct, the latter being easier but doesn’t guarantee you’ll keep the ball like passing should. I seriously think sometimes Doyle dropping deep all the time causes more problems than it solves as it just means there’s one less midfielder for the defenders to play a forward ball too!

It’s just annoying mistakes are costing us in quite a big way at the moment – it’s not like in any of the losses we were totally outplayed, just induvial error after individual error. We could quite easily have played 6, won 3, drawn 3. But yeah the main worry is how in yesterday’s game and stages in previous games that our performance has been so lack-lustre, does this just come down to effort and desire, I really don’t know…

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He is still the right man for the job in my opinion, but things do need changing. 

It's not like we are being taken apart in games. It's just individual errors. Sort these out 

A big talking point away from home is, we're not positive enough with possession. We spend too much time in our own half rather than being brave with it (basically how we played in the first half of last season) and not making runs or being brave and taking risks in the final third. Too much time minimizing the chance of defeat rather than maximizing the chance of victory. This is where we need to step up the tempo away from home (especially against teams in the bottom half). Let them worry about us and let us insert our quality on the game.

The mentality in these sort of games (away to bottom half teams) needs to change as well. We can't turn up with the mentality of "We're going to win easily." We've got to be ready to stand up to a fight physically and battle our way through these type of games. Solihull (A), Bromley (H), Chesterfield (H), and Halifax (H and A) last season are examples that show we can do it. 

 

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There is no massive issue @menzinho.

Analysing a lot of the mistakes made in games so far this season, a lot of the results needs to go down to individual errors and the players failing to take grasp of the game.

Ardley is not innocent by any stretch of the imagination but some fans react after every defeat like he's the worst manager, as a manager there are things that he can do and perhaps his squad selections at times hinder things. This season is about balancing the squad at his disposal with thick and fast fixtures coming, but I believe results will iron themselves out over more time. The break caused by the COVID outbreak within the squad doesn't make things easy, it's just another problem added to what will be a challenging season.

Notts does need to start winning games ugly, but at the same time will Abbott take the blame for change in direction from the attacking minded football Ardley is trying to get the players to express?

Should fans be worried? I find that the most baffling expression by those trying to say that things are far worse than what they are.

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@liampie This season is by far a tough season, but I do understand your point because some are acting like by not being 5th or higher that this season is going downhill only 6 games in.

15 hours ago, Fozzy said:

but was Sam an Ardley signing, or a football Radar one? The Mansfield lad was a poor move all round by us as you need to get a good mix up front and ours isn’t.

I don't believe for a second that Football Radar are signing players without Neal Ardley's approval, I await to see what he does once fully match fit.

14 hours ago, menzinho said:

Interestingly no-one is criticising the players today as much as they are Ardley, we've all seen how capable they are and on games like today it is as much their fault as it is the managers. 

That's because some fans only blame the manager, but lets face it, it's clearly both.

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Good post @BromPie, I largely agree. Ever more fans call for the manager's head out of habit and even seem to be happy when we lost. It's like a blood sport. It was predictable that Ardley and co would come under a lot of pressure if this season didn't go to plan, but that kind of behaviour really gets my goat.

We all know where constant sackings get you. You end up with a disjointed, divided and unhappy dressing room that is hard to mould together into a team. But that doesn't mean the manager should avoid scrutiny.

I'll probably sound like an apologist here, but it's unclear how many of our problems are really down to NA. Did we lose yesterday because the tactics were wrong, or the players were overcoached and/or complacent? How much did the three-week break have to do with it? How many of the players had been ill and haven't fully recovered? Throughout his reign, Neal Ardley has had to deal with problems not of his making.

All the same, there are questions to be answered and points to be proven. We still don't seem to have an answer when the opposition press us. We seem to have fewer quality players beyond the first 11, and this makes us more predictable - we have nothing in reserve out wide, and don't seem to have quality replacements when Wootton and Thomas are struggling. We're over-reliant on Roberts to unlock opposition defences. There is a question mark over squad planning - I would have preferred a couple of grizzled NL veterans who know what it takes to succeed in this league, and the owners appear to have had a hand in a number of signings. Judging by his interviews, though, NA was fully on board with it. The trouble is, when you only have 18 or 19 outfield players, you can't afford even a handful of duds.

Obviously I hope we get some wins on the board and Sam starts firing hat tricks. Even champions lose the occasional match, but in Dover, Maidenhead and Aldershot we've already been beaten by three sides that are widely expected to struggle. One of those can be bad luck, but three defeats is a pattern. I hope we learn the lessons from it without having to join the sack race again.

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Fans are forgetting that there is two games in hand of some, maybe one over others but its very early days. I don't think Notts has that winning mentality and I feel that the squad lacks workhorses.

7 hours ago, Super_Danny_Allsopp said:

- The worries about the signings seem to be coming true. We have no backup for any of Roberts, Rodrigues, Wootton or Thomas. I've given up on Enzio being able to perform consistently, Sam is a dud, Knowles is crap. 

Do you expect the backup options to be quality?

Have you seen Sam enough to say if he's a dud or not? He's made two starts so far. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Enzio I agree with, he's just too much for Notts to pamper to get the best out of him. Knowles is 18 though, I don't know what people expect.

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The start hasn't been ideal, but if anyone thought that this season would be clear cut and easier to sack a manager to improve things than I feel its a mistaken belief. Can we not wait until 10-13 games in before turning on the squad and players?

Both are to blame for the results on the pitch, its not just one or the other.

I have found every recent Notts manager frustrating, people said much of the same about Neal Ardley as they did about Kevin Nolan.

I would still prefer to have Neal Ardley has the manager.

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6 minutes ago, Joshua said:

 

Do you expect the backup options to be quality?

Have you seen Sam enough to say if he's a dud or not? He's made two starts so far. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Enzio I agree with, he's just too much for Notts to pamper to get the best out of him. Knowles is 18 though, I don't know what people expect.

Yes, yes I do.

The very least is that they challenge and push the starting players. Last season, Dennis and Thomas pushed each other pretty much all season, which brought the best out in both of them. Can you see Knowles pushing Thomas? Or Sam pushing Wootton? I can't.

Would you start either Knowles or Sam on  Tuesday? Wootton and Thomas could be terrible 3 games in a row and I would still start them in the game after.

You're correct we haven't seen a lot of Sam, but everything I have seen has been bad. I expect that we sign players that can contribute, regardless of age, otherwise it's a complete failure in transfer policy. 

 

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its not taken long before someone claims the recruitment has failed, its better. one or two poor signings in football is quite good. not every signing imo needs to be class. just capable of putting in a solid performance.

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4 hours ago, DangerousSausage said:

Dover, Maidenhead and Aldershot we've already been beaten by three sides that are widely expected to struggle.

Isn't this typical of Notts?

It's the top teams that Notts usually beats, look at Barrow away last season.

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2 minutes ago, liampie said:

its not taken long before someone claims the recruitment has failed, its better. one or two poor signings in football is quite good. not every signing imo needs to be class. just capable of putting in a solid performance.


I don't think it has failed. It certainly looks a mixed bag at this stage. 

Reeves and Rodrigues are class signings.

Enough research wasn't done regarding Sloth's attitude. It shouldn't have been too hard to dig, Motherwell's fans gave us fair warning as soon as he was announced. 

Sam was a punt that doesn't look likely to pay off. That is common for foreign  players being recruited to play in the 5th tier of English football. Knowles looks to be an 18 year old who will run around but isn't going to push for the starting 11. This equates to us having no backup strikers that are going to push our starting players or have any major influence on our season. 

Do you think we are an improvement on last season? 



 

5 minutes ago, BromPie said:

Isn't this typical of Notts?

It's the top teams that Notts usually beats, look at Barrow away last season.

Yep and it's why we didn't go up!

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24 minutes ago, Super_Danny_Allsopp said:

Yes, yes I do.

Do you not think Notts needs a robust squad of different qualities?

25 minutes ago, Super_Danny_Allsopp said:

The very least is that they challenge and push the starting players. Last season, Dennis and Thomas pushed each other pretty much all season, which brought the best out in both of them.

Fair point, do you not think Neal Ardley deserves credit for this too? He re-introduced Kristian Dennis back into the squad after it looked like he would be dispelled from the club after his loan to Grimsby.

26 minutes ago, Super_Danny_Allsopp said:

Would you start either Knowles or Sam on  Tuesday? Wootton and Thomas could be terrible 3 games in a row and I would still start them in the game after.

Kyle Wootton and Wes Thomas are our best strikers currently, at the start of the season some fans said Thomas was passed it.

He's a good player that keeps showing he's deserving of a start.

I would prefer to start with the strongest squad possible but at times you must play someone else, I am not sure how Elisha Sam would improve if he doesn't get match fit. There's a difference between being fit and match sharp.

There's been no failure in the transfer policy, some players are pure gambles.

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I can say what the answer is for anyone else, as far as I am concerned it's worth the healthy debate over.

I am not at the stage whereby I feel it's in the club best interest to sack Neal Ardley, he has shown that he's capable but as always there is room for improvement. I see his tenure so far as work in progress, but I understand why the honeymoon period has past for some because football is a cut throat business.

There are improvements I think every fan would make given the chance.

Just like a referees position on the pitch, being a manager isn't easy but 6 games in and 2 games in hand I am inclined to give the squad my full support.

This means Ardley too.

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1 minute ago, Joshua said:

Do you not think Notts needs a robust squad of different qualities?

Yes. I would put emphasis on qualities, though. 

 

2 minutes ago, Joshua said:

Fair point, do you not think Neal Ardley deserves credit for this too? He re-introduced Kristian Dennis back into the squad after it looked like he would be dispelled from the club after his loan to Grimsby.

I don't know is the short answer. I don't know the ins and outs as to why Dennis was loaned out anyway. Dennis, like the whole squad, was dire that season, but to put that into perspective: we signed Virgil Gomis to replace Dennis. Virgil Gomis makes Elisha Sam look like Messi. 

Perhaps there was nobody coming in for Dennis, or Notts didn't want to release him from his contract? Who knows. However, credit where it's due, Thomas and Dennis both had good seasons last season under Ardley.

 

 

7 minutes ago, Joshua said:

I am not sure how Elisha Sam would improve if he doesn't get match fit. There's a difference between being fit and match sharp.

And here is the point. Either we give him the match time he needs, trusting he will improve and putting up with bad performances in the first few games....

OR

We don't and he doesn't improve because he's not match fit. We don't have a reserve team, so where is he gonna get game time?


 

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16 minutes ago, Super_Danny_Allsopp said:

And here is the point. Either we give him the match time he needs, trusting he will improve and putting up with bad performances in the first few games.

You're taking it for granted that he won't come good, bud.

If we start relying on him, he might be average or even poor but the occasional game he could surprise. Knowles doesn't impress me but I think he has a chance of being a part player, I'd prefer Sam over him though.

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34 minutes ago, Super_Danny_Allsopp said:

Yes. I would put emphasis on qualities, though. 

So would I, but realistically with a budget the better players will take it so players able to put in a good performance does come across as a good idea.

I think this is where gambling on younger players released by Premier League/Championship clubs come into it.

Regan Booty looked like a player that could be average or class, but he always put in a good performance I feel.

36 minutes ago, Super_Danny_Allsopp said:

Virgil Gomis makes Elisha Sam look like Messi. 

That's a bit of an exaggeration, Gomis never looked like someone who could assist Notts and arrived with a lot of hype. 

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49 minutes ago, thommo said:

I can say what the answer is for anyone else, as far as I am concerned it's worth the healthy debate over.

I can't say I want Neal Ardley gone either, I think he has done a good job so far and it has the potential to go either way.

One note I would like to add, the football has been a lot better under him.

We look like a team and are able to play it on the ground.

I do feel Notts would benefit from a bit of hoof ball from time to time but I see the importance with insisting that it comes back down to the floor.

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