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Matty Jackson
Matty Jackson

Matty Jackson: The Notts County captaincy

Every team, sport-related or not, needs a captain to lead and guide teammates, to help achieve the best possible outcome at the task in hand. A good captain is experienced, talented and level-headed (amongst other attributes).

Before the 2019/20 season began most of us looked to Michael Doyle (aged 37) to lead his fellow teammates through this campaign. Since he is a mature player with experience and talent, he was the perfect candidate for the role. However, following his red card incident in the first game against Eastleigh, this questions his suitability to the captaincy role.

I looked over the highlights of the Eastleigh game and it is clear Doyle jabs Reda Johnson in the side of the face when Notts were defending a corner. I didn’t attend the game so possibly a challenge from Johnson on Doyle earlier on in the game irked him (so he reacted later on) but regardless he should have kept his cool and rightly deserves his ban.

Now two games into the season (as when written) it is vital to find a solid leader to keep players calm, organised and perform to the best of their potential. We have seen how dressing rooms can become split and toxic. To excel in the National League, we will need an organised, supportive group of players, with a captain to keep this in check.

Personally, I think we should consider other candidates for the captaincy role following Doyle’s bizarre, hot-headed decision making. Ruling out all players below the age of 25 (and those who aren’t first team players) we have O’Brien, Rose, Turner, Rowlinson, Slocombe, and Tyson.

Obviously, since O’Brien and Rose have been around the club longer than any of the others and as they are (arguably) the best players they are great for the role. In my opinion, O’Brien would be the best choice because he is more experienced, most of the play goes through him and has a very high work ethic).

On the other hand, when Doyle returns if O’Brien is captain could it upset the dressing room and its dynamics? In addition, could it lead to a power conflict and so another dressing room split?

The best outcome, however, would be Doyle comes back into the team and picks up where he left off and not to have any repeats of this incident (which is what I assume we all want).

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Edited by PON_News

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It's not what you're looking for in a captain, to put it politely. My other problem with Doyle being captain is that it cements his place in the first team. While he still definitely has his uses (he would have help calm things down in the second half against Harrogate), I'm not sure he should still be a regular starter, especially as we have competition in that area of the team now. O'Brien would be the obvious choice from the names you mentioned.

I do think the talk of captains is exaggerated though - you don't necessarily need the captain's armband to be a leader...

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Michael Doyle isn't at his peak, he's overrated and past it now.

I can't stand the guys ego, I think he's nothing more than a part player at this stage. I would give the armband to Mitch Rose myself, I think he would lead by example and try to mentor the players around him positively.

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