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Joe Jones

Joe Jones: Adam Collin should be wary of getting too cocky

Notts County's 2-0 win over Stevenage was a very welcome three points to end a poor month on a bright note, and crucially for the Magpies it brought a second clean sheet in three games.

Now, Adam Collin has been the subject of some flak, to put it mildly, in recent months, and his displacement of Ross Fitzsimons hasn't been exactly welcomed with open arms.

There have been questions over Collin's distribution and his tendency to hang on to the ball for long periods of time - not to mention the occasional fumbled shot and hesitation in reclaiming to stop a potential rebound.

This happened in the Stevenage game, with one effort from the edge of the box being spooned upwards by the keeper and the ensuing miscommunication with Richard Duffy - himself not exactly Mr Reliable at centre-back - almost led to the visitors scoring what would have been a farcical goal.

However, fair play to Collin and the Notts defence for eventually getting to full time with a second clean sheet in three games - credit must go to Ben Hall for tightening the back line, and as such he was voted the PON Man of the Match by our fans.

The clean sheet didn't exactly come about through a solid performance from Collin though, and him pointing his finger to the Notts camera and saying "shock... another clean sheet", though he may feel it was justified given the flak he's been receiving, smacks of arrogance and cockiness, as well as risking antagonising some of the fans.

Goalkeepers need to be confident as part of their trade - lose confidence and it's a massive setback in a job where you're the lone, last line of defence between shipping a goal and keeping the ball out.

So in that respect Collin does well to dismiss the criticism aimed his way, but he needs to be mindful of voicing his opinions publicly and making remarks that could be construed as petty or arrogant.

Kevin Nolan made a point about not suffering "one big bite on the bum" when Notts were preparing to face Oxford City in the FA Cup and, on a similar note, Collin has now left himself open to such a scenario if, between now and the end of the season, he was to make a crucial mistake (touch wood he does not, hopefully he will be Mr Safe Hands from now until the end of the season as Notts rise up into League One).

I think players are entitled to their opinion, especially in the wake of criticism, and I don't necessarily begrudge Collin for his little post-match comment, but he needs to be mindful of potentially opening himself up to criticism should the comment come back to bite him on the backside.

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I think the delay in releasing the ball must be an instruction from the management team or surely they would tell him to get rid ASAP. It must be really difficult to hear all the criticism especially when the team win with a clean sheet but I believe he’s best served keeping stum, you’ve got to have a thick skin sometimes if you are a footballer.

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I actually watched KN 'clap' him many times last Saturday for hanging on to the ball, so I believe you're correct that he's 'following management directions'. When the Pavis crowd got annoyed at his delay, KN turned and held his arms aloft as if to say 'what's wrong with that', before turning his back on them, so one can assume AC is merely doing his bidding to slow things down.

On the 'cocky' side: a fan on Twitter (Neil?) criticized him on his 'clean sheet' stuff this week, and AC effed and jeffed at him (lots of times) in a truly vile way! Unfortunately, I don't think he's yet 'mature' enough to have learned that a little humility goes a very very long way, particularly when you've let in so many, fumbled a lot, appear to have a huge problem holding on to the ball and your kick looks like youre sporting a broken ankle!

On Fitzsimons... He's 23 years old, worked as a Builder a year ago and has gained confidence taking over and (imho) making a difference, when it mattered. He made a (23 year old's) mistake. (One I might have made too, had opposition players grabbed my nuts/elbowed me, at every single opportunity!) And, I for one, believe he's learned from his mistake and it'll never happen again.

However, I'm concerned that there seems to be a 'churlish' management attitude towards anyone seen as a 'wrongdoer', i.e. JF not "knocking on his door wanting to play" so teaching a 31 year old professional footballer 'a lesson', by continually benching him when he's often the fastest player we have against opposition and RF, sitting on the bench, watching AC make mistake after mistake, but still not being given another chance, etc., etc.,

I also don't know how, as a Manager, you show your 'displeasure' at mistakes some make, but blatently ignore the stupidness of others, i.e. Stead having to travel half-way up the pitch to remove Duffy from the face of the Referee a few weeks ago, but still didn't get benched...or the constant dives that most opposition and officials have come to expect whenever he's on the pitch?!*

Suppose it's a bit like a parent who has lots of kids? Not wanting to favour one, when there's twenty-odd others in the family. I know I try to be fair with my foslings, and I think I'm doing alright. But I DO think that sometimes, just sometimes, there's a definite and palpable 'favouritism' in team selection and if I can sense it, I doubt it's being missed in the Dressing Room...and therein might lay all the talk of late, of 'back chat' and dissatisfaction, there?

Who knows, eh?

I just hope it's not too late to get us where we all thought we might be at Christmas. Let's hope so, eh?

COYP!

 

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