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Workhorses instead of "quality"


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I think Notts are missing the players who graft like workhorses in order to jump ahead of others and earn their selection, Neal Ardley on paper has built a decent squad with areas that do require some thought.

Most teams have areas where they focus and require further work.

What I would like to see is Notts identify players like Richard Butcher/Neal Bishop, workhorse style players who do the simple things like pressing and winning the ball. There's too much desire from media and certain fans to expect a squad full of players like Callum Roberts. We don't have any of those dirty workers who will grind out a good result by just working hard, why do we need to build a squad that on paper gets tipped for winning the league.

It would be a better usage of the budget if we had capable players who worked hard.

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There's an unhealthy desire with football in general that every player should be a world beater.

Signing the likes of Kyle Wootton and Cal Roberts is a new one for Notts, unearthing talent that have the potential to grow with the clubs stature but I do agree that there is a need for players who just put in a reliable shift.

I always thought Terry Hawkridge put in a satisfactory performance, he might not be the best but he worked hard.

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biggest issue is that people always want better, when a player makes a mistake they get ridiculed for days.

i do think we need players who are consistent enough to just work hard, there are players who would fill the gap of those who are not very consistent but are good every other game like enzio. i think i would prefer hawkridge to play than enzio.

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If a player is good but just a steady performer than that should be good, Mike Edwards could be described as this and I think there's areas where this could be welcomed such as on the wing.

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You just need a balance of both. Players that compliment each other. It's alright having all work horses but if you had a team full of them, would you get the extracted quality. On the flip side, if you had a team full of quality, would you have the required grit to get out of tougher games. You have to mix the substance with the style and for every Neal Bishop you need an Alan Judge and for every Jorge Grant you need a Ryan Yates. 

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1 hour ago, ARLukomski said:

You just need a balance of both. Players that compliment each other. It's alright having all work horses but if you had a team full of them, would you get the extracted quality. On the flip side, if you had a team full of quality, would you have the required grit to get out of tougher games. You have to mix the substance with the style and for every Neal Bishop you need an Alan Judge and for every Jorge Grant you need a Ryan Yates. 

This. The mix needs to be right. A couple of people have brought up Terry Hawkridge, which is an interesting one. I liked him, he was a player who also worked hard off the ball and I felt we looked a better side when he was on the pitch. However, he wasn't the most dangerous winger we've ever had. If you have two Hawkridges, you run the risk of looking pedestrian.

My hope is that Reeves grows into the Bishop role.

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i think there is key areas you require a lot more quality than others.

strikers should always be a focus.

on the wing you only need two exceptional players, with others just being good. we are fairly bare in this department and i dont think job is the answer. would rather see him in the middle but as doyle is the captain this will not happen.

full/wing backs need to be quality.

we could see a workhorse in the centre, turley is another player to throw out there. as a cb he was absolutely fine.

just feel if we aim to have a small squad, that some players who just work hard would benefit others around them. we dont have enough that can just do the basics right without falling to pieces if others are playing crap.

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I would welcome signings of the standard of the National League, I believe this is a key area that Notts are missing and the focus seems to be adding quality that would be good enough to improve in the Football League, weather this be League Two or One.

Winning ugly isn't always in the mindset of good quality players.

I feel they're more perfectionists.

This doesn't mean we can't learn to win ugly but it goes against what Neal Ardley is trying to achieve by playing exciting football.

Perhaps 3 good, National League standard players would help to give the squad a bit more fight. I do agree, we lack the basic instincts of players who will just dig deep and do whatever is possible. I am not suggesting we should go out and sign 3 players right now, perhaps something to consider over time.

There is room for non flash players within the squad, that can follow orders, do the basics and just give a good performance on a regular basis.

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I think this is what Sean Shields offered Notts last season, I know some fans considered him to be useless but he's was quite effective at just doing the basics.

There's room for one or two players that can just do the basics.

I would still hope that we could learn to insert some of the academy pros into these areas, as they will give energy. Issue is, I don't see most fans being understanding or not judgement of them needing game time for experience.

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To be honest since Ardley has come in, slowly but surely the whole the team has reverted back to the hard work ethos that was lost on the season we went down.

I think just hard-work and hard running is pointless if you don’t affect the game. Off the ball you need to be tracking runners, closing down, making runs into space etc. But you do need that quality, take the example of a wide-player, what’s the point in continuously making good runs if you can’t deliver a good ball into the box? Quality is definitely important and I do think sometimes the running stats can miscue how effective a player has been.

Other factors like strength and pace are just as important. If you’ve got a team that’s physically more dominant and also quicker it immediately puts you at an advantage.

With that in mind, here’s one for you… I think Reeves has the work-horse and 'quality' qualities about him making him the almost ideal midfielder. I’m not doubting O’Brien’s and Doyle’s work-rate, but would you rather see a quicker more mobile and physical player to partner him, like erm, hmm… Mitch Rose!?

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Mitch Rose, no but I can see what you're thinking @menzinho.

I describe him as a player who performed better in a pool of ****, but couldn't float when it had been cleaned. He was awful last season, his mobility is missed but he was never a busy worker. Gary Liddle on the other hand back in his younger days, he would fill that gap rather nicely.

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Notts does lack the quality of someone who can just keep their head done, put in a steady shift and avoid trying to do something flashy. Craig Westcarr for me is a player that the clubs misses, out wide or as a striker he would score and perform quite well.

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On 08/11/2020 at 18:15, Joshua said:

What I would like to see is Notts identify players like Richard Butcher/Neal Bishop, workhorse style players who do the simple things like pressing and winning the ball.

Wow!  I'm amazed to see Richard Butcher being described as a 'workhorse style' player, because he was the exact opposite.  His main quality was arriving in the box late and applying the finish, he had the ability to time his run and pick his spot.  Tackling was something he wasn't good at, in fact one of McParland's regular quotes back then was "Butch couldn't tackle a square meal"!  Neal Bishop along with Ryan Yates were the best in that role, while Ricky Ravenhill  deserves a mention.  I do agree it's an area where we are currently found wanting, it makes us too easy to play against.

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19 hours ago, Elite_pie said:

Wow!  I'm amazed to see Richard Butcher being described as a 'workhorse style' player

I believe Joshua is referring to his work rate and effort of putting himself about the place, not his defensive ability.

Butch played a big part in keeping Notts up.

Not just because he scored the vital goal that gave the club safety, but because he never stopped running, never stopped trying.

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21 hours ago, Elite_pie said:

Wow!  I'm amazed to see Richard Butcher being described as a 'workhorse style' player, because he was the exact opposite.  His main quality was arriving in the box late and applying the finish, he had the ability to time his run and pick his spot.  Tackling was something he wasn't good at, in fact one of McParland's regular quotes back then was "Butch couldn't tackle a square meal"!  Neal Bishop along with Ryan Yates were the best in that role, while Ricky Ravenhill  deserves a mention.  I do agree it's an area where we are currently found wanting, it makes us too easy to play against.

Yep, Butcher would be missing all game then pop up in the last minute with a great strike. 

Ravenhill was definitely the 'bruiser' when we had him and Bish in the middle. Bish could tackle and put a shift in, but always had a bit more technical ability than Ricky, which is why he went on to play at a higher level I suppose. 

If you look at our midfield, who is that ball winning midfielder? I can't see one. You can tell that O'Brien played as a winger because he can't defend and jumps in constantly, Doyle is often too slow to play that role now (if he could ever), which leaves Reeves, who doesn't fit exactly that type, but seems to be the best we have at doing it. 

There was a very good reason why Doyle and O'Brien were constantly overran playing together - no legs, can't defend. 

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1 hour ago, Super_Danny_Allsopp said:

Yep, Butcher would be missing all game then pop up in the last minute with a great strike.

That's the Richard Butcher I remember, skillful and offered a goal threat, but lightweight and often anonymous.

Strange how we can see players so differently!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/11/2020 at 16:35, Elite_pie said:

That's the Richard Butcher I remember, skillful and offered a goal threat, but lightweight and often anonymous.

Strange how we can see players so differently!

I don't think he ever played that bad but I was young back then, not sure how he would go anonymous because I believe he was one of our best players in those days. Not the most brilliant player but workhorse nonetheless.

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Sorry @JoshuaI am with @Elite_pieon this. Richard Butcher had a talent to time his run into the box and score but in terms of midfield duties, he did little else. No way could he be described as a "workhorse".

The game has moved on. Witness the Harrogate games, younger players with pace closing down our players. "Experienced" + "old legs" did not serve us well. One only has to look at Ruben's contribution at Chesterfield... an ability to deliver a quality ball  and to hit the target ranks far higher than a run of the mill workhorse

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