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  1. 6 points
    The National League, cha cha cha…….. 10 games in, and what do we think? I guess to keep thing in perspective, we need to look at the starting position, let’s say the end of July. A week before the season started and you should be organised, settled and ready. At that time, Notts still had an owner who was more famous for accidentally putting a picture of his genitals on social media than anything he’d done in football, hadn’t paid the wages for 2 months, we under a transfer embargo and were in ready danger of being liquidated. Now, when a team is relegated they are very rarely in a good position. When a team is relegated from the EFL, it is usually worse due to the nature of dropping out of the league. When that club has been in the Football League since day 1 and was pre-season favourites for promotion, you can only imagine the disarray behind the scenes. For some inexplicable reason (maybe punters having a real gamble?), the bookies had Notts as pre-season favourites to win the league – equal with Chesterfield and more of them later. As we know, Notts were rescued by new owners who seem content to stay behind the scenes, and I’m happy with that. I’m sure they’re watching, taking it all in, and will impose their own personalities on the club, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a little time. A lot of new faces came in. Not quite as drastic as it sounds because somehow, the management were able to get some of these to train and play over the summer while the club was on a knife edge. But still a massive overhaul as the season was starting. I’ve watched an awful lot of non-league football over the years, having covered Grantham Town home and away for local media for around 15 years and I was one of those people who really thought there was very little difference between League 2 and National League. Having seen 7 of our first 10 games, I think I was way off the mark. We expected officials to be worse, that’s natural, but it almost seems as if they have different rule sometimes. The game is a lot more physical and they let more go unpunished. We need to get to grips with that and do the same. The quality is not good at all. We’ve played 6 of last season’s top 10 and, Wrexham apart, they have been functional and effective teams and I’ve not seen anyone better than Notts. (I didn’t see the Harrogate game) Let me be clear, I’m enjoying Non-league. I didn’t want it, I don’t want it, and I want to get back into League Two as soon as possible, but I’m enjoying the experience. It’s seems more relaxed, less confrontational. It also really makes you appreciate the stadium and facilities we have at Notts! 6 weeks ago, most fans were saying they’d just be happy to survive, to have a club to watch and success this season would be finishing one place above relegation. That seems to have changed very quickly for some, and we’ve had fans getting on players’ backs inside the first 15 minutes of a game. The team has been booed off at half time and the end of games. There’s been plenty of patronising comments about other clubs. My own view? I’m willing to give Neal Ardley time, but the start has been frustrating. For a manager and assistant with around 1,000 appearances in League football between them, the defending seems to have stood still. We give away far too many goals from unchallenged headers in the area, especially from set prices when we’ve had time to organise. The set up seems more concerned around keeping things tight rather than putting the other team under pressure. For example, watch Dion Kelly-Evans. He’s a player I really like, he doesn’t stop working and is hard to beat. However, he seems terrified of crossing the halfway line while in possession. With the ball at his feet, he looks for a square pass inside rather than running into space ahead of him, time and time again, and it’s so predictable. I appreciate that the club has been through a torrid few months and I have patience, but I’d love Ardley to set up as if he has belief in his players. If we went for the opposition from the first whistle, I’m sure there are some games which would see us take early control of the game and then we can grow into the league. Yes, there are games it may not work, but at the moment I feel there are plenty of chances to win going begging. We could (should) have beaten Ebbsfleet comfortably, and with a bit more positivity could have taken wins from Solihull, Sutton and maybe even Eastleigh. How do we sit compared to other favourites? Fellow title favourites with the bookies, Chesterfield, have failed to live up to expectations and sit bottom of the table without a win. Wrexham, 4th last season and also a pre-season favourite, have made a slow start and are sitting in 18th, a point behind Notts with a game in hand as are big spending Fylde (5th last season) in 20th place. All in all, I think we’re taking time to adjust to the league but there are signs that it’s not a million miles away. 1 defeat in 7 games is certainly a move in the right direction and a win or two extra would have made everyone feel that bit better. But to the complainers, just remember how close you were to a season without a club then watching Notts AFC in Step 7 against the likes of Linby Colliery and Mansfield Hosiery Mills. Share your thoughts about this vlog on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  2. 3 points
    Has the despair and disappointment settled yet? I was just re-reading the brilliant article by @Simon Clark and his thoughts about the National League. I would encourage you to give it a read if you haven't already done so. Nobody wanted to see Notts relegated, or for the club to lose its title. I do have to say I am surprised by the standard of football, it seems better than expected but the officials are somewhat weaker I feel. To say I am enjoying the trips I've made, wouldn't be entirely honest. I have enjoyed the change, I think the clubs in a good transitional period and if this continues I do feel it will go a long way to resolving the years of mess that Notts County has found itself in. I also believe that the season for us hasn't quite started and that in a few more games things should become a little more livelier. Don't get me wrong, relegation still hurts but we have a club that is adjusting well.
  3. 3 points
    Lets be constructive a little here okay, I want members to name 3 players who have stood out for all the right reasons and 3 who haven't. Leave a short sentence about why and how they can improve. Standout players for me. Kristian Dennis: When started he's looked lively, always looking like a goal threat and despite not starting he has stood out for me. Jim O'Brien: A few under par performances but generally a driving force within the Notts squad this season. Dion Kelly-Evans: A good performer, probably more of a winger than a defender but he gives a lot of width to the squad. Standout players who need to improve. Enzio Boldewijn: I accept he's weak at defending and may not like it, however when he under performs which is often, he doesn't carry the team it carries him. Michael Doyle: Not as good as promoted by the club or some of its fans, he could use his experience in a wiser way but is often wasteful with his decision making. Ben Turner: He doesn't look fit in my eyes, generally struggles but does okay. He could be on the other end of the spectrum with a little more application I feel.
  4. 2 points
    It's football, the club exists and lets face it relegation from the football league has been coming for years. it is, what it is.
  5. 2 points
    This week's results in the real world: Bristol Rovers 1-1 Gillingham Doncaster 0-1 Blackpool Portsmouth 2-2 Burton Albion Rochdale 1-1 Lincoln Morecambe 0-1 Walsall Scunthorpe 2-2 Oldham Leyton Orient 1-2 Crewe Barnet 2-0 Aldershot This week @ARLukomski got 14 points, the best yet, which is probably a result of a pact with the devil or something. So he'll probably burn in eternal damnation, but he wins this week's prediction league, which is the main thing. Congratulations also to @super_ram and @Dan, who hit double figures. And he's top overall too! Not a bad day's work. But it's a marathon, not a sprint Thanks for taking part! For the next round we're back in the Saturday 3pm routine, so I'll try to get the fixtures online at some point tomorrow.
  6. 2 points
    Congratulations to @super_ram, who wins this week's round! Apologies for the lack of a reminder this week, I will try to continue sending them out. On Saturdays you can assume there'll be a prediction league; on Tuesdays I'll keep you posted. In the overall standings we have a tie, with @super_ram and @ARLukomski joining @weymouthPIE in the top spot. The next round is coming up on Tuesday - Notts aren't in action, but League One and League Two are. The thread can be found here. See you there!
  7. 2 points
    Slocombe 6 - Not much wrong with his performance. Not much to do Kelly-Evans 8 - Got down the right very well and despite Sutton targeting him for his lack of heights, it didn't phase him and put in a fighting performance Rawlinson 6 - Solid. Dealt with Sutton's forward threats well. Turner 7 - Commanding as normal from the human fridge freezer. Good confidence on the ball when he brings it out of defence. McCrory 6 - Shaky first half but settled down afterwards. Supported the left wing in the second half as Notts grew into the game more Doyle 6 - Recycles possession as he does and put in a good shift. Controls the play Rose 6 - Poor first half in which he couldn't pass a science test never mind a football. Better in the second half like most of Notts' players Booty 6 - Shouldve scored in the first half with the goal at his mercy. Always looks for the forward ball which is good to see Boldewijn 5 - Drifts in and out of games despite showing what he's capable of on occasions Wootton 7 - Dominated their centre half and held the ball well. Won most flick ons and scored a beauty. A good days for work Kyle Dennis 6 - His usual bag of hard work but how he hasn't scored from close range is beyond me Subs Thomas 6 - Came on and worked hard. Linked the play alright and was lively Shields 5 - Had a short few moments on the ball when he came on and looked lively. Don't remember him receiving the ball afterwards Graham N/A - Came on and covered for Rawlinson late on in the game
  8. 2 points
    I'm always in favour of giving the manager a chance to implement changes. This can sometimes take years and modern football isn't that type of business anymore to give someone the proper length of time that is required. The Danish brothers and staff have a lot to pick up, the clubs a family and having the right support can help the manager. I had hoped that Neal Ardley would be more attacking minded with his own players, however, he still seems settled on drawing and makes changes which doesn't do anything positive. Against Solihull Moors, I would have thrown on two attacking minded players. Rather than taking Enzio off, who I admit looked tired, but I firmly think the game could have turned out differently. It got to that 70th minute mark and Ardley looked very content, I wouldn't have been if I was him - I would have been asking for that extra 10% of all of the players. I just find him to be frustrating, some of the rumours I have heard and some accounts that have been passed on to me from one or two players doesn't really sound positive. I think he's the type of manager who controls the dressing room by having strong players in favour of him, however, failing to see past the requirement or benefit from someone who naturally disagrees with something he's doing. No manager is perfect, I just fail to see how Ardley's learning. I have to say, I'm nervous about him signing further players, especially due to the transfer window always being open. I am concerned if he can't balance or give time to those here, without progressive signs that things are improving - that he will end up losing more than the majority of fans but the dressing room included.
  9. 2 points
    hard today with the news of Stu's passing Slocombe 3 Just not good enough, his opposite number excelled Kelly Evans 6.5 energetic and creative, though his short stature is a defensive weakness. Neat passing Graham 5 Messed up for Yeovil's first. Turner 4.5 Dreadful mistake for Yeovil's second McCrory 5 Neat but doesnt have the pace or stature to capitalise on overlapping.Always checks..it means opportunities are lost Doyle 5 Mopped up as normal, nothing in an offensive mode JO'B 6 Showed some nicely disguised forward passes Booty 3.5 Anonymous after a promising start Boldewijn 5 Frustrating as he goes missing for long periods Dennis 6.5 Showed real glimpses of what he is capable of Thomas 6 some touches of class, an unlucky day at the office in front of goal Subs Wootton 4 Not match sharp Rawlinson N/R https://www.nottinghampost.com/sport/football/football-news/notts-county-player-ratings-ben-3270250
  10. 2 points
    Personally, I think squad sizes over 30 is quite excessive and something which most cash strapped smaller teams should avoid - regardless if some of the players are earning far less than others. You have to have depth and quality in any team, though, it's not so much about the numbers. It's important to have players who can cover other positions whilst giving a good consistent performance. At the same time, I don't like seeing players become unsettled by moving around too much - as I feel they need to settle. You can tell someone is quality, though, especially if they give the same level of performance regardless where they play. 26/27 is where I think the right balance lies.
  11. 2 points
    A few more points this time (well, for some of us anyway, but it's a marathon not a sprint etc.) - the scores for round 5 are: Congratulations to @weymouthPIE and @magpiejue who won this week's round - and to @barnet11uk who again moves to the top overall: Only the National League is in action tomorrow, so the next round of matches for the prediction league will be on Saturday. That means I'll be posting the fixtures on Thursday at the latest. See you then!
  12. 1 point
    My names Luke, I have supported Notts since the late 80's. The 90's gave me and our club some fond memories, such as the playoff trips to Wembley. My favourite all time player is Tommy Johnson where my nickname originates from. I thought I would say hello since this is my first time on the site.
  13. 1 point
    I just noticed PON has a new member and thought I would welcome @Katie Sudlow to the site.
  14. 1 point
    Last 5 seasons? Jorge Grant gave me some good memories. That type of goal scoring threat needs to be found again by Notts.
  15. 1 point
    Shola Ameobi is my fav. He was class and a friendly person, always clapped off the fans after games regardless.
  16. 1 point
    Permanent: Jon Stead (Only player to give a flying **** at times during his stay) Loan: Louis Laing (First stint in League 1)
  17. 1 point
    I don't think any of the players have been "weak" or massively disappointing, I do feel all the signings have been very good not just on paper. Standouts: Regan Booty: He was looking like he would be on fire after scoring, I think being relegated to the bench impacted this form a bit but overall he does look sharp when coming on. I think with Michael Doyle's suspension, he will shine more and hopefully find it out to be dismissed again so easily. Kyle Wootton: Started off slow but he's giving Notts a lot of height and movement up top. I think he could be a player who could score 15 goals this season if we play to his strengths. Jim O'Brien: Just a brute and generally good player on the clubs books. Room for Improvement: Michael Doyle: I think he's past his best but offers the team that important experience, he needs to avoid these stupid sendings off because it could have a negative impact. Enzio Boldewijn: I think Ardley needs to find a way to allow Enzio to focus on attacking, I don't think he should be the focal point or main outlet but I do think he's best being given some freedom. I'm not saying he shouldn't defend, I'm saying it should be balanced a bit more. Allow him to stay out wide, so he can cut in and take players on when countering teams. Sam Graham: We can see he can be a fantastic player but he's probably the most inconsistent for me, he's a tall player but panics against quicker players. If he does, he generally looks weak.
  18. 1 point
    I think the consistency levels of performances have been quite high, a few bad performances and sometimes this effects the team overall but nothing alarming. Players who need to improve. Mitch Rose: A great player who can spread the ball well, I feel in the last month he hasn't played to the level that we are used to seeing and he needs to find that form again. Wes Thomas: I don't question his effort or application, more his ability to take perfect goal scoring chances which fall to his feet. He's been quite underwhelming with his finishing, missing sitters you would expect a striker to score and scoring ones you would suspect him to miss. Can I say Neal Ardley? He has a large squad now, with players who have done well when they've started but for some reason he decides to favour changes which does reflect on performance levels. His tactics seems to be improving but during games there is more that could influence the game in a positive way. Allowing attacking minded players to help finish games off for starters. Players who have done well. Dion Kelly-Evans: His pace and overlapping on the right hand side is a joy to watch, he looked a little small against Eastleigh who seemed to target this but overall I think he's been outstanding. Sam Slocombe: Steady hands, yes mistakes have been made but overall his presence helps the club. Nathan Tyson: Before he picked up his knock, I felt he was one of the standout player for his attitude and way he has committed to games.
  19. 1 point
    @DangerousSausageFirst time for a very long time, a balanced team
  20. 1 point
    This is music to my ears (well, eyes). Sounds like we have a functioning team again. Hope we can kick on from here.
  21. 1 point
    10 points for me happy with that
  22. 1 point
    @heraldmagpie Thanks! It will be going up on the Football Daily YouTube channel
  23. 1 point
    Unsigned? Good luck with the bidding. It might be worth asking one of the admins to feature this on the social media pages.
  24. 1 point
    I wonder just how many of the signings are down to Football Radar. I think the recruitment this season has been excellent, you can see the players settling in and what they bring to the team. Last season things looked good only on paper, most massively let us down as they failed to play well as a team.
  25. 1 point
    It's tiring to see just how unrealistic and negative some fans are. If you asked one of the Ardley haters to explain why they don't like him, you'd get a half arsed reply which packed more abuse than understanding. I think this season is all about settling down and just giving our support, someone else said it on PON that Ardley isn't perfect but replacing him now could undo all the promising signs for a quick fix. I would prefer to hope that winning can lift the squad, I mean things aren't that bad. Those who expect us to be winning the league are deluded.
  26. 1 point
    I'll be fetching the prints Thursday, so if anyone does want one please let me know. I can adjust the quantity and reflect this on the pre-sale price. A3 prints are £10 (£12 if you want it delivered) A4 prints are £8 (£2 if you want it delivered) After the sale they will return to the regular prices advertised on the Pride of Nottingham store.
  27. 1 point
    Notts County picked up a 1-1 draw at Sutton United at the weekend courtesy of Kyle Wootton's impressive second-half strike. The on-loan Scunthorpe forward rifled a shot into the top corner from distance - his first goal for the club - seven minutes after the break to get Neal Ardley's side back on level terms. Sutton had taken the lead in the 11th minute when Harry Beautyman slotted home David Ajiboye's cross at the back post for his fourth goal of the season. The Magpies came close to equalising in the 32nd minute when Regan Booty's effort was cleared off the line after Sutton keeper Jamie Butler parried Kristian Dennis' initial shot. After Wootton had levelled, Butler kept out efforts from Booty and Dennis to thwart Notts and ensure a share of the spoils. Pride of Nottingham vlogger ARLukomski was at Gander Green Lane - here's his pre, mid and post-match thoughts. Share your thoughts about this vlog on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  28. 1 point
    A winger was needed because we only had Enzio and Osborne and we need strength in depth and competition for places. We also have to be able to cope with the tough schedule He has usually played a centre-mid on the wing in the last few matches. Booty and O'Brien have alternated there. Brindley I'm not sure we needed because we already have Kelly-Evans and Tootle, unless Toots is on a high wage. Why Oxlade-Chamberlain is still here, I don't know. That guy isn't a footballer Osborne, Bird and Crawford have a chance of getting in the squad. Bird needs to be developing and he should be a part of Notts in the next few years. Crawford and Osborne as well. Maybe Ardley feels now is the right time for experience as we're rebuilding in a tough league and he feels that experienced players are needed in certain areas
  29. 1 point
    Oh dear god, why I have I just gone and clicked the link? I suppose I will give into it and have a butchers. Did Alan Hardy save Notts County? No, he like previous owners led the club in the wrong direction. He relegated us with his ego and attraction to former Premier League players, he should have given Kevin Nolan a bit longer and then sacked him for the right manager - no Harry bloody Kewell... Even if he realised he didn't have the money, he should have tried harder to sell up whilst in the Football League. Perhaps the Danish owners would have it easier? They've got a battle on their hands to get us out of it. The transfer panel was tried and tested under the previous regime, only the manager should decide who comes after proper research. For me the major issue is the fact every manager seems to bring players that they know or have played with, it becomes a pal like a club and sometimes this is okay and other times it creates the issues which hinders success. I feel Alan Hardy loved the attention, he liked spending time with higher profile players and attracting them to his golf club. If anything, I feel in my opinion he wanted to be known for every single thing possible. Rather like becoming Alan Hardy FC than Notts County FC.
  30. 1 point
    Notts County played out a 0-0 draw with Solihull Moors at Meadow Lane to sit 15th in the National League table with 10 points from nine games. Enzio Boldewijn came close to opening the scoring for Neal Ardley's side when his curling effort was saved by Solihull keeper Ryan Boot. Jamey Osborne almost gave the Moors the perfect start to the second half but his free kick crashed off the crossbar. Damien McCrory thought he had won it in added time for the hosts, however he headed over the bar with the goal at his mercy. Here is what Pride of Nottingham vlogger ARLukomski made of the encounter. Share your thoughts about this vlog on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  31. 1 point
    I'm 50/50 with this. I think a winger is needed in some aspects, but then I wonder if we would be creating a larger squad than what we need. Sam Osbourne hasn't been given the chance or time that he deserves, the formation Neal Ardley tends to go with now doesn't favour natural wide players but I do think a traditional 4-4-2 would reap more rewards. If we aim to mix the formation up, perhaps go for another winger. If stubborn and refuses to make use of what we have then I guess we will see. Dion Kelly-Evans and Matt Tootle could switch to winger roles if they was given the chance, even the new left back who's Enzio's double.
  32. 1 point
    Notts have mutually terminated the contract of midfielder Andy Kellett. A bit of a wasted signing for Notts, last season he looked good when given short spells and his creativity/direct approach could have been made useful. This is a lot more disappointing than the departure of Will Patching but it does make a lot of sense.
  33. 1 point
    It's good, I praise Forest to agreeing terms and for working with us. Why can't two local teams use the same facilities? As a short term answer until we can afford our own, I think this is the best outcome. I don't actually see Forest as rivals now, yes, we can share banter, but I respect their genuine fans and the club for their support. Next time I'm in Beeston, I won't take a picture of the "Red Dog Travel" shop.
  34. 1 point
    It will be really interesting to see if Kyle Wootton comes in tomorrow.
  35. 1 point
    Really got no clue with this one. A team that we've played against for awhile which will also be fighting to go back up, will be a bigger test.
  36. 1 point
    Those sceptical types of fans would say "Yes, but that's only because Notts have started better." However, on paper the signings looked good and offered something different to the playing squad. This is usually a good sign for me, yet they have all settled in quite well and I do believe the recruitment has been much better. I'll judge the players probably after 10 games that I've seen to access, yet they all looked good enough for this level.
  37. 1 point
    Confidence and morale will be riding high with not only fans but the squad after the 5-1 win on Monday. For me another performance like the second half from Monday will make me happy. play a first half a bit more tighter at the back Sam needs to be dispensing the ball faster so we don’t conceive the first goal. Start Tyson ,Dennis ,enzio Booty have the pace and speed up front. Booty shooting is improving massively and that’s the key cause we need players to be more active in the loose balls. Right now we are gelling and gelling well
  38. 1 point
    Yeovil tend to be a thorn in Notts side if I recall right, think we've won them a couple of times but I seem to remember them battering us. I hope Saturday, Notts lift themselves to get another 3 points.
  39. 1 point
    I would take a 1-1 draw, or a goalless one provided we had good chances. I think winning two games in a row might tempt some of the less rational fans to start expecting promotion and then revert to whining when we lose next.
  40. 1 point
    Teams losing three in a row for me doesn't indicate much, they're sooner than later going to pick up a win or a draw. I think this game has a draw all over it. After a 5-1 hammering and a disappointing 2-2 draw, I think we are bound to hit the middle.
  41. 1 point
    If I remember right that was Mark Stallard's last goal for Notts and Yeovil won promotion that season. Feels like a long time ago now.
  42. 1 point
    It's all about striking the right balance - if the squad is too big, you inevitably have players who are left out in the cold and team spirit suffers. If it's too small you can easily find yourself in a situation where you have to play players out of position or change the team due to injuries and suspensions. You should really have two players for each position with at least a year's experience of senior football. The youth team graduates would then come on top of that, so they'd have the chance to make the breakthrough, but we'd not be dependent on them (many don't make the grade after all).
  43. 1 point
    Wasted money on his wages, but at least he tried to be notice and performed well enough when given a chance.
  44. 1 point
    I feel he should have been given more of a chance to stamp his ability into the team, but it looks like Neal Ardley is clearing the cutter and sorting out the dressing room. It's best for both club and player.
  45. 1 point
    @DangerousSausage sorry i missed this, keep up the good work.
  46. 1 point
    Quality player and he will only get better, he reminds me of a better Jorge Grant. Others might see it if he manages to start scoring.
  47. 1 point
    I was a bit nervous that he would prove to be a panic signing, so it's great to read all the positive comments! Let's hope he keeps up his good start and is successful at Notts. Another positive aspect is that we've got some competition for places in midfield now. That's something we were sorely missing last season despite our bloated squad.
  48. 1 point
    If he continues just to enjoy his football, he could play a big part in our season. He seems to have all the right tools, nobody can blame him for the odd mistake because they play as a team. I hope he establishes himself as a starting regular and not one of these good players Ardley chooses to forget.
  49. 1 point
    Notts fans will have to accept less attractive away days throughout the season (a friend of mine currently living in Birmingham has already suggested Solihull Moors). The grounds and facilities will generally be incomparable to that of Meadow Lane’s and Notts fans could bring a home atmosphere to some grounds with a good away following as clubs such as Boreham Wood failed to even average a thousand fans in attendance last season. The only other clubs which debatably have fanbases appropriate for league football are Stockport County, Chesterfield and Wrexham. In addition to this, we can expect to see a notable drop in the quality of football being played with physicality being of more importance. With the HMRC court case looming on the 5th of June and the South African Consortium still in the process of attempting to take over Notts County Football Club (at the time of writing) it is difficult to predict Notts’ near future. However, we can look at what can be done to help insure success. It would seem pointless for us to look ahead to the future without acknowledging the causes of Notts’ demise. Looking at the squad which disappointed last season there are areas where improvement is evidently necessary. The defence was where Notts seemed to struggle most of all throughout the duration of last season with fullbacks being a continuous problem in the squad. A lack of squad depth was evident with Matt Tootle being unavailable for many games and there being a lack of options to replace him, especially before the versatile Mitch Rose arrived in January who was able to cover the RB spot (although he is better utilised in midfield). Although Declan Dunn remains an option Notts are currently lacking any sort of experienced LB going into next season with Milsom, Jones and Evina all leaving. As Sir Alex Ferguson believes though, it is important to have a strong centre in any team. This for Notts starts with the promising Pierce Bird who impressed with his performances towards the end of last season. It would seem appropriate to have an experienced CB alongside Bird to form an effective partnership. I remember that performances from CBs like Haydn Hollis in recent years gone by were always significantly better when Mike Edwards played alongside them. With the loss of Duffy, Notts should search for a veteran CB over the summer. Losing Jim O’Brien is another big blow although the Scotsman did hint at possibly signing a new contract next season if Neal Ardley does remain as manager. His leadership and tenacity in the middle of the park was unrivalled following his arrival to Meadow Lane in January. It is vital to secure the signing of another hardened midfield ball winner if O’Brien does not return, especially considering the more physical style of football often played in the conference. The departure of Jon Stead will also leave a hole in Notts County’s attack as Kane Hemmings was provided with numerous chances throughout last season by his experienced strike partner. I am confident Hemmings will continue to score in the conference next season given his impressive tally of fourteen goals by the end of the 2018/19 League campaign with Notts despite the club finishing 23rd in the league. His work-ethic is one of his less desirable qualities though and he would benefit from a fellow forward to take the brunt of the physical battles and create opportunities for him. Overall, the squad needs an addition of physical and experienced players to adapt to life in the Conference. Share your thoughts about this feature article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  50. 1 point
    Notts have stumbled from season to season with no real plan and no real direction. The club has no identity. There has never been any real stability. Notts have had 28 permanent managers since 1992. With Alan Hardy soon to be selling the club, here’s a list of things that needs to change at Notts if we are to make our way back up the leagues. Board level decisions This step is a crucial part of football and is key to the club’s future and whether it progresses or not. Decisions made by the board can make or break a club and can alter which direction the club goes in. Decisions on managers, recruitment, structure, policy and youth are all important. The decisions made on these areas shape a football club. Notts’ chairman has to be open and has to have a clear ambition for the club and what direction he wants to take the club in. The chairman must do his due diligence on managerial appointments and whether that is right for what state the club is in, whether we are midway through the season battling relegation or we are looking longer term and appoint a manager who will build a philosophy for seasons to come. They need to have full assurance over what they want the club to be run like. Do we need a director of football to forge a relationship between the owner and manager and to take over the football related matters that might be out of the owner or chairman’s reach? Do we need fellow board members and directors to help with the decision making at the club? All these decisions on how the club is run is crucial. Alan Hardy made a mess of how he wanted the club run. He sacked Kevin Nolan and suddenly decided afterwards he wanted a director of football and appointed Paul Hart to help Harry Kewell, only for it to fall apart after 11 games. Ray Trew also changed his ambition a dozen times. He never stuck with a manager long enough to implement a philosophy or ambition. When Notts went down the route of bringing in foreign players and bringing a passing style of play to Notts, it lasted only a few months. Along with the running of the club, the next Notts chairman or owner must have full assurances over finances and must make critical decisions on where to spend that money. The first priority for Notts would be a training ground and eventually getting a scouting network in place to help with recruitment. A big turning point in Notts’ fortunes was when Alan Hardy decided to spend the money gained on an FA Cup run, on the playing squad. Lincoln, on the other hand, spent their money on a training ground. Lincoln are now promoted to League One whilst Notts are staring non-league football in the face. That is key decision making for you. Living within your means is another problem Notts have endured during previous owners’ stints. Ray Trew and Alan Hardy both spent in the chase of success, both failed to attain this, and both times, the club ended up with financial issues. The message being for the next owner of Notts: Spend your money wisely and carefully. Decisions on managers For a long time now Notts haven’t really picked anyone that is forward thinking. Some managers that have been appointed have either been impact managers or shouldn’t have been given the job in the first place. Martin Allen, Keith Curle, Shaun Derry and to an extent Kevin Nolan are impact managers. They make an impact when they first come in, but they won’t take you forward. Managers like Jamie Fullarton and Chris Kiwomya shouldn’t have been given the job in the first place. Fullarton was an unpopular choice and it ended up being the last straw for Ray Trew. Kiwomya was appointed when fans were crying out for someone with at least a bit of managerial experience. Trew went with the cheap option and within two and a half months, Kiwomya left. The board must consider the job the last manager had as well. Neal Ardley’s Notts are currently struggling to score goals, a problem he carried over from his time at Wimbledon. The decisions on managerial appointments come from board level and for most of the last 15 years we haven’t really made a good appointment. Other clubs have taken chances on young coaches who have showed promise and it has worked because they are forward thinking and the board see the good job or jobs they have done before. Take Lincoln for example. They appointed Danny Cowley after he had steered Braintree to 3rd and a play-off semi-final with a small budget. A masterstroke of a decision from the Lincoln board. The decision making at board level is vital. Managerial appointments are only one of the things they have to get right. However, Notts have made too many bad decisions on managers over the past decade and a half and that has to stop. A manager with good tactical ability is key as well. We’ll get onto that soon. Others include Nathan Jones at Luton, Chris Wilder at Oxford, Northampton and now Sheffield United and Paul Hurst at Shrewsbury. Decision making is a massive part of football and something that has let Notts down consistently. Decisions need to be made and they need to be carefully thought out rather than rushed. Part 2 - Managerial tactics and Players, Recruitment and Scouting coming Tuesday Share your thoughts about this feature article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
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