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The hot seat

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This has been a burning issue for a while now, not least on social media and in the match threads, so I thought it was time to open a thread for it. But whatever you think, stay respectful - we don't want any falling out ;)

The question is the management of the first team, Neal Ardley and Greg Abbott. Are they still the men to take us back up? Looking at the table, anything is still possible. With our games in hand we can still catch everyone except Sutton, and it remains to be seen whether they'll go the distance. We have a bit of stability, the players know where they are with NA and seem to buy into his ideas. And, of course, he came within 90 minutes of taking us straight back up last season (although the less said about those 90 minutes, the better).

On the other hand, we haven't been performing for quite a while now, barely even create scoring chances any more. Despite a full summer's preparation and an extended pre-season, we seem to have gone backwards and NA doesn't seem to be getting the best out of the players any more. It's so frustrating. I like Neal Ardley. When you listen to some managers speak, you wonder what match they were watching. NA has never been like that - he doesn't publicly stick it to the players, but he does play a straight bat. He also has a clear idea of how he wants to play - to feet, playing it out from the back, with two experienced midfield generals pulling the strings. But that's his major blind spot, and could well cost us promotion and him his job - the Doyle-Reeves partnership is stifling us, yet he doesn't want to see it.

Personally I don't think the owners will pull the trigger during the season (unless we lose touch with the play-offs anyway), but they might well reconsider who they want in the hot seat if we fail again. What do you think?

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people want him out, notts wins and then people talk about how what he says has made them ardley in. notts lose then its the opposite and those people turn as quickly as milk can go sour when left out in the sun.

i do not think notts are in a position yet to sack the manager.

it makes sense to wait until this season is officially over, if we make the playoffs then review. if we fail to make them, maybe that would signal ardleys exit?

personally i think hes built notts a much better squad but his short falls come when the squad lacks confidence and regular playing time. it wont help when the games dont get cancelled and we play every 3 days or whatever, that means rotation and fitness needs to be managed. for the first time in years, we have a squad which has players wanting to play and nobody wants to lose their space in the team. ardley just needs to ensure players are able to give everything on the pitch, drop those who plays poorly and rotate a bit better.

this plan b thing is a myth, he just fails to turn games around in live games but some of this falls onto the players.

i would quite happily give him another season because i think a few more key signings and the club will be a title challenger for all the right reasons.

stability at the end of the day is crucial.

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I’d be surprised if you could find anyone who dislikes Ardley as a bloke. Seems a nice guy etc...

But we’re not worried about popularity contests. Our only short term goal is to get out of this tin pot league and that isn’t as easy as it sounds.

The way we play football is worrying imo.

We can’t keep playing so badly then keeping everything crossed we might edge a point or better.

The biggest issue for me is the shackles he and Doyle obviously place on the rest.

The stream the other night laid this bare for all to see.

I’d bet a blind man could see Rodders and Eli Sam are pure confidence players so to hear in glorious stereo the comments made to them throughout the match from Ardley and his enforcer, was, well... embarrassing.

Yep Sam has a crap first touch. He’s hours to train though Neil! You signed him!

The inability to see the obvious issues in the middle is terrible.

As I’ve said before, I’m pretty sure Doyle must have dodgy pictures of Ardleys wife and he threatens to release them every week to keep his place!


Most teams would give their left and right legs to have the squad we have, plus the ability to sign players at the drop of a hat.

Reality check...clubs are folding.

Promotion from this horrible league means scoring goals and lots of them. You canna win if you canna score...

or something along those lines!


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Last season there was really no expectation, and not a lot of pressure – almost a case of if we get the play-offs great, if we don’t oh well, try again next season. So to finish the season how we did (play-off final aside) and it result in Barrow and Harrogate going up, it left us in the position of being the best team in the division. So the expectation this season is to be up there and with that comes more pressure.

However, right now, I think this season’s squad is weaker than last seasons. The current injury scenario hasn’t helped, we desperately need Roberts back. Brindley and McCrory out at the same time is just as bad. We desperately need some energy and oomph in midfield at the moment. And upfront we’ve lost Thomas and Dennis, two different but good options to partner Wootton.

I still think we’ve got a decent squad and we are under performing but I also think other clubs in this league have just as good midfielder options and strikers as us.

I’m not calling for him to go yet, I think as fans we’ve just been so used to a manager getting the sack anytime we hit a bad spell of form. But we are still picking up points, and a win against Yeovil would be 7 points from 9 - so hardly a crisis moment yet. Hopefully Cal, Brindley, McCrory and Knight could all feature soon – 3 really good players there and one unknown, but maybe Knight will be the partner Wootton’s desperately needed all season.

But if it turns out we miss-out on the play-offs (or really lose touch with the play-offs – I don’t think this will happen) and the performances haven't improved then yeah I'd say a change is needed.

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