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  1. On match days, I like meeting people who speak to me and who are my friends. I like the MLSB, especially with the table top football that was introduced. Before that, I didn’t really enjoy going in but I have made friends from it. I think Notts need to get younger fans involved because the ones I have met and gotten to know are passionate but there is not a lot for us to do. Notts is known for being a family club, which I know my father is proud of because he attended games as a child himself with family but I do think if there was more for fans of my age to do, more families would go matches. Meeting the players, helping and getting involved is fun but I do not think this is for every one of my age. It gets a little boring, especially when Notts are not doing well and it’s not about winning but school on the following Monday can be hard for a young fan. We are not an attractive club to follow, which I get but what we are is local and that is special. None of my friends admits to supporting Notts, well one does but he doesn’t attend many games. People you meet can make a difference, but what I would like to see is activities during half time, which would engage with fans of my age. I do not think Notts will attract new supporters unless they are not from a family which supports or follows the club. Which I think is a bigger shame because I do enjoy match days, yet if I am honest I do think much more could be done. - I am a 9 year old fan and the son of @notts-joe. Views are my own, I would like to know your thoughts.
    8 points
  2. I like when notts give tickets a way at my school, though theres not many who support notts at my school. Louie (a friend) says his dad supports notts but he doesn't he supports a totally different team. I really like going to watch see notts with my dad, we have quite a few friends and I look forward to seeing them, I think this is one of the things which is special. The thing I find sad is that all my friends support teams which are not from nottingham or one's my dad does not like. My uncle used to take me to games when I was very little, I dont really remember them but I can remember going around the ground and meeting the players. That makes a difference and dad once told me notts visited him at school, along with the cricket team and them. I really think notts should send some of their players to do p.e or something, it would be nice. Our players are pretty friendly, I have pictures taken with quite a few and them taking time to do this also helps. On the 18th of this month, dad took me to go see stevenage. We go by mini bus and with a group of fans. I wished paul (friend) would be going but he didnt. I like the group who go, though I go pretty shy around them but its nice to travel. I sat on the last row, eating smarties one of the people dad knows gave me. I think our fans are really friendly! They are another thing which I like about supporting notts. I first became a notts fan when i started going to notts games in 2008 when i was 2 years old. I like to go to notts home games with my dad too because we get to have fun day out and i like the pie i can have at half time. Home and away days are different but we always see our friends at the games and its nice to see them all. I wish my birthday was in the football season because i would get to see my friends then. I like asking questions, so dad said i could message a member of the community. I asked JurgenPie 1: What was the first football match you attended, could you tell me about it? - first game was on 19 October 74, we beat Oxford 4-1, came back from 1-0 down and got goals from Ian Scanlon 2, Les Bradd and Steve Carter, still got the programme as well. 2: How long have you supported Notts and why did you choose them? Will be 40 years in October, had never been to a football game so just went down on a Saturday I was 18 at the time to see which Nottingham team was at home and got bitten by the bug. 3: Do you prefer Home or Away games and why? Home games in the Kop just for the atmosphere 4: Do you think young fans are important for Notts? My school sometimes gets free tickets but not many at my school support us, how could Notts encourage them? Young fans are important and are the fans of the future, sending players to schools might help to encourage them to watch Notts and things like Junior Magpie. 5: What are your match days like? - Match days I drive or ride my motorbike depending on the weather and park up before going to the Trent Navigation for my dinners and then to the MLSB via the club shop, normally go into the ground for about 2.20 to watch the players warm up. Thanks to my mum and Jurgen and to those who read my blog.
    8 points
  3. I’ve been trying to draft my thoughts for some time now, it’s not been coming so freely and, I have found that my depression/anxiety had taken a deep hold of me. I share these, not because I want sympathy but because I can reflect on things. I can also appreciate the support it sometimes gets too; this isn’t about attention but because it’s helpful to feel understood. The past 3 to 4 years, it’s been me trying to keep things a bit more locked up. With the lockdown effecting many mentally, I realised that my behaviour despite my best efforts was never going to be beaten. 2019, I spent trying to reduce my weight as I wanted to ease my mobility and, attempt to enjoy it better – without tipping my health in the wrong way. It’s odd, as strangers would refer to me as “big man” etc, I never felt big, but accepting that I had put on weight has helped. It’s weird, as I walk a lot despite the struggle at certain times but I haven’t felt the benefits of it. Roll on 2020, my Wife pushed towards buying a new bike and, since I found my previous one extremely difficult to peddle – I thought it was more me, rather than the bike itself. It’s helped me in more ways than one, getting out of the house and, enjoying rides with my children has been a nice bonding experience. Even if Jake [my son] takes a lot of convincing, he usually ends up enjoying it and, during lockdown it helped just to give us something to do. With winter, it’s going to be a bit more difficult to have regular bike rides but I aim to have one when possible. We’ve just managed to beat the 2nd lockdown caused by the worldwide pandemic COVID-19, I can honestly say, I spent two weeks embracing a real grasp of what has been clouding my mind. Many of the worries I felt, since have been pushed out of sight and, I feel genuinely a lot happier. Looking at the family snaps, I notice the difference within myself and, I feel my friends will too. Depression is never easy but, I’ve been talking about it a little more since returning home and, it’s nice to feel that corner now becoming a straight road. I’m more determined than ever to keep the inner peace I have found at the top, whilst being kinder to myself. I don’t expect everyone to understand, yet I do hope that those few people I have effectively pushed away can realise that it wasn’t done due to malice – more a lack of coping. I also know, I might not have been that easy to be around from time to time but, this is all on me – I don’t find talking face to face to be easy. Those that have taken something I’ve said or written the wrong way, effectively ignoring me – life moves on. I’m not going to dwell on what I can’t change, as I feel these issues tend to border manic depression and, I know I have a good grip – I fail to deal with everything that life throws my way. Some people can cope, others have a supportive network, but I bury my head in projects. It’s perhaps not the healthiest thing, but to say I’m not grateful would be a massive understatement. First time in a while, I’m not dreading the 2nd lockdown – I will keep to myself, but I do want to start pushing myself to be more talkative slowly. It’s not an ignorance at all, and I stick to what I feel comfortable with and, I realise now it’s just effectively limiting the circle in which my life has been heading. One of my favourite’s songs growing up was about being able to see clearly – it’s perhaps a bit corny, maybe a cliché to say it but I do feel like it’s true. I only realised as a teen that it was about depression in the first place, it always seemed quite a peaceful song.
    7 points
  4. Piethagoram in conversation with Ricardo Moniz… (Copyright of Piethagoram) Martin Johnson, a former cricket correspondent at The Independent once wrote about Ray Illingworth ..”from the non bull-**** school of plain speaking” which in many ways reflects on how Ricardo Moniz talks about the beautiful game….that is football and not cricket! Continually, the phrase “Remember, I’m from the streets” resonates still from his press conferences at Notts. Ricardo looks fondly back to his time at Notts as “Special, very special, undeniably proud to work for a club associated with the great Jimmy Sirrel”..but then referencing that his time at Notts was “all too short”. Good words also exchanged about Alan Smith (“a player that shared and understood his passion”), Aileen Trew, Ian Roberts, Matt Alexander, Kate and Tony (Cuthbert). What is really evident from our discussions is the importance of the “Buy In” of the Dutch footballing philosophy… Not only for the manager / head coach but for all the key personnel at the Club, be it the players through to the technical staff and the Boardroom. Success needs everyone to be aligned and pulling together! Ricardo’s Coaching / Managerial CV reads like an A-Z of European football, in terms of countries covered: 1994–1997 VV Nuenen 1997–1998 UAE (assistant) 1998–1999 Feyenoord Rotterdam (assistant) 1999–2004 Grasshoppers Zürich (technical coach) 2004–2005 Jong PSV 2005–2008 Tottenham Hotspur (skills coach) 2008–2010 Hamburger SV (Technical coach) 2010 Hamburger SV (Caretaker) 2010–2011 Red Bull Salzburg (Head of all Academies: Red Bull Salzburg: Leipzig, New York, Brasil and Ghana) 2011–2012 Red Bull Salzburg Austria 2012–2013 Ferencváros Hungary 2014 Lechia Gdańsk Poland 2014 1860 Munich Germany 2015 Notts County 2016–2017 FC Eindhoven 2017–2018 Randers Denmark 2018 AS Trenčín 2019–2020 Excelsior, Netherlands Sourced: Wikipedia, as amended re Red Bull Salzburg Prior to Notts: Ricardo relayed “I had a difficult time after a really successful time at Salzburg” “I went to Ferencvaros Hungary, (whose fans are renowned as being difficult to please), 20,000 or so of them, but I won them over, becoming very popular” Unfortunately at his time there, a player had a heart attack with a leg amputation too. He questioned the medical staff “It was the beginning of the end” A good spell in Poland followed, then personal circumstances took him to 1860 Munich. A clash with the Technical Director, is how Ricardo sees it. The Technical Director signing players from his own contacts “It was a difficult time, stress, a lot of stress”. A preseason match against Kaiserslautern , again led to a clash with the Technical Director. By the 7th game of the season Ricardo was gone. As an anecdote, Sky were filming a documentary series of behind the scenes of the football club. Ricardo followed up to say after the documentary was aired “people said, <Ricardo> was the right guy …to run this club” I asked Ricardo about comparing Notts to standards of football elsewhere where he has coached. It may have been too subjective a question but he reiterated the standard of football in Hungary Poland even Denmark and Slovakia can be perceived at a high level Beginnings at Notts: Ricardo attended a match alongside his agent and was sat in an Executive Box. Matt Alexander introduced Ricardo to the Trews and Ian Roberts, and then went on the explain his philosophy and also with reference to the Cruyff philosophy too. Ray, a man of few words, said “Just keep us up”. Ricardo, admits because of some issues needing resolving, he was maybe just too late to save the club from relegation. Jamal Campbell Rice was injured in his first game and Ricardo had already identified him as a key player. His parent club (Sheffield Utd?) had indicated that he could not play again that season though Ricardo believed that his injury could be overcome to play the final two games. There were other issues too, with some loanees seemingly being not motivated. Ricardo remembers fondly the positive atmosphere generated at home games, the 2-1 home win against Doncaster (Tyson with a penalty winner) and even the loss to a good Preston side but inevitably, it was the Gillingham game that proved to be pivotal for the wrong reasons. The game is still very fresh in Ricardo’s memory, on course for a victory until 3 minutes from time. Ricardo still agreed with my assessment of what went wrong from Noble not tracking and blocking the space for that crucial chipped ball into the box, the memory rolls out as a slow-motion replay. Dumbuya not gaining any height with his jump and perhaps Roy Carroll could have had time to come to the edge of the area to claim the ball. In the end, it was a “Sliding Door” movie moment but with the trap door dropping us into League 2 Summer of 2015 Ricardo returned to The Netherlands leaving particular indications to offer Gary Jones and Garry Thompson contract extensions as their experience would be needed. He was apparently overruled and both players departed Notts. Specific instructions were left in terms of a central defender to be sourced who would be quick, strong, good on the ball to fit into the style Ricardo wanted to play. Ricardo also pursued Dutch and ex Bournemouth striker Frank Demouge, but without success to get a deal done. Ricardo was brutally honest about his own (few…emphasis here on the word <few>)signings… Sprockel “My mistake”, Aborah “Was good for me” Jenner “Not a player for the English game” Amevor “solid” but then one realised that Ray had delegated to others authority to sign players for the rest of the squad. He had asked Ray to be patient and wait for his return from The Netherlands before signing players because Ricardo wanted to ensure “ we signed the <right> players” As a footnote, I had always assumed Genaro Snijders was a Moniz signing but apparently he was not. League Cup: Fond memories by Ricardo of the unexpected win at Huddersfield. It was a “positive performance” The next round at Aston Villa, …referee and that penalty “ a terrible decision”… Burke’s goal, then Jon Stead having a fantastic shot. “it should have been game over”… but special mentions for the likes of Jack Grealish (“a class above”) that evening and receiving personal praise from the Villa boss Tim Sherwood. The match also the emergence of the talent of Adama Traore, signed by Aston Villa from Barcelona (now at Wolverhampton). League Campaign A promising start away at Stevenage, particularly referencing the strength of the away following in the stands. Thompson and Amevor with the goals Third game of the League season, was a Tuesday night at Oxford United and reality of defensive frailties dawned. A particular defender he had wanted was perhaps not up to the role Ricardo had in mind. Kemar Roofe demonstrated his undoubted quality that evening and left Notts with a 4-1 away defeat. The next match was Accrington at home, Ricardo said “We created so many chances…” but an eventual Glasgow Rangers bound Crooks netted an equaliser in the 90th minute The following match was Morecombe away. A relatively comfortable first half performance turned into a nightmarish 2nd half into an unexpected 4-1 away defeat. Luton at home followed with Noble getting the winner deep into injury time. Wimbledon away saw “Akinfenwa” engraved in Ricardo’s memory, “The big guy just walked through Swerts and Amevor to score” Sunday 11th October Sky TV home to Plymouth … Ricardo still has a DVD of this game and rewatched it very recently. “Notts had about 83% possession, yes 83%!!!!, …a Gil Swerts individual error had let Reuben Reid in for one of his two goals”. “Ian Holloway had waxed lyrical after the match about Notts’ performance”. Barnet 4-2 and Newport 4-3 victories remembered well by Ricardo for the football played. “we played good football, but away from home we were inconsistent” FA Cup and where it started to go wrong Salford “The whole country seemed to be backing them”.. Campbell missed a good chance….game was a turning point”…hinting pressure was being felt from “upstairs”. Ricardo had his own thoughts on the summer recruitment that had put him into this position. It would also appear the working relationship with Messrs Winter and "Brano" had become very strained. His exit after drawing 1-1 at home with Morecombe still rankles with him “It wasn’t even a defeat, it was a draw!” Stanley Aborah, an enigma? Discuss “You see players like Gerrard, Lampard, no matter what they will always succeed” “Stanley is very sensitive to the coach and the footballing philosophy” “I offered him a 2 year contract at FC Eindhoven but he chose to go to Portsmouth” Ricardo indicated that his best position was taking the ball off the defence but if he played too higher up the pitch, he would “look lost” The last time Ricardo spoke to Stanley was a year ago on the phone. Post Notts AS Trencin Highlights the victory over Feyenoord in the UEFA cup Euro 2 million budget v Feyenoord's Eur 70m “I try and create a team that no one expects to achieve” The club then subsequently sold the best players Referees tended to ensure he spent more time in the stands than beside the pitch. Footballing lessons / philosophy / Future Ricardo” You need people to support the philosophy and to be brave…you need to create up front and be tight in defence” “I always try to <create value>”… Players to on sell at a higher price Game Preparation 80% on your plan, your philosophy but adjusting to the abilities of the players you have available 10% Focusing on your opponent’s game 10% on rectifying the mistakes of the previous game Final thoughts Ricardo still comes across as deeply passionate about football and about Notts too. How does one measure success… like any business is about enhancing value, making players better, be it for the likes of training say Curtis at Notts through to player sales at Trencin. You do not get a “political” manoeuverer with Ricardo, you get it straight, which like in life is a good thing. Whatever club is his next port of call, you will get 100% effort. Wishing him well PS If anyone feels wronged in this article, I offer them the right to respond
    7 points
  5. There was a time when I was encouraged to write personal blogs, yet new faces on the website never seemed to appreciate them – however with the minor change to my username I aim to mix things up. It’s a common recurrence that I get the urge to drop my ‘Notts-Joe’ persona, yet for one reason or another I just never did until now. I thought that it might confuse some members who don’t know me in person, yet it’s an never ending escape unless you apply the change and really, why would I want to continue calling myself by it? The little things seemed to mostly discourage me - I wasn’t keen on saying good bye to my old Twitter account, since some dearly lost friends are on it. Yet I have grown very tired of the username, along with the questions I frequently get about why I call myself it. It’s no mystery, it’s a nickname and it’s one which had been given to me at school (mostly due to a wrestler I liked). With the change having been made elsewhere for a number of months now, I felt it was time. Funnily enough my parents, who are a great support to the site(s) I run and the things I aim to do – have never been bothered by the fact I never used my birth name. So from here on, I am simply Chris.
    7 points
  6. I was recently asked what we eat at the football in Germany. The answer is: mainly sausages! If you go to a German football ground expecting a pre-match pie and peas, you'll be disappointed. Pies and sausage rolls are completely alien to Germany. Instead, the staple meal is the humble sausage. This can be a standard Bratwurst or a Feuerwurst ("fire sausage" - a spicy beef sausage) served in a bread roll - as demonstrated by Bayern Munich's Uli Hoeness below! This will set you back around €3, but I'm sure Uli can afford it. Something else found at virtually every football ground is the Currywurst - a chopped-up sausage served in a "curry" sauce, which is in reality a kind of warm, spicy ketchup, with curry powder on top. This is served on a little tray with either a bread roll next to it (for mopping up the sauce) or, if you're really flash, a portion of fries. The type of sausage used depends on the whim of the seller, and you probably won't notice the difference anyway. This is quality junk food - you'll get a hit from the sugar in the sauce, followed by stomach ache and a vague sense of regret. Then you'll be hungry again, so you'll go and buy another one. Other trash / quality meals found everywhere include giant pretzels and Frikadelle meatballs, which are like burgers but with pork served in the obligatory bread roll. If you strike it lucky these can be really nice, with herbs, spices and plenty of meat from the local butcher's. More commonly, these mainly consist of bread crumbs and fat. At most German grounds, that's yer lot. There are regional variations though. If you go to a ground in Hesse (Frankfurt, Offenbach, Darmstadt among others) they'll also serve Frankfurter sausages (below), which are boiled sausages served on a little tray next to (but not in!) some bread and a blob of mustard. You then dip the sausage in the mustard and take a bite out of the bread. This is a bit of a pain if you're drinking a beer as you'll need both hands for it. In the north (Hamburg, Bremen), the football staple is a fried fish filet served in a bread roll. Of course, we like to drink too. You'll find the usual array of soft drinks, plus apple juice with sparkling water, which is ubiquitous in Germany. Apple wine is highly popular in Hesse and is on offer at football grounds - it even tends to be a bit cheaper than beer. It's an acquired taste though and isn't really like cider. As for beer, experiences vary - you will find pilsner and shandy everywhere, although some clubs only offer pils with reduced alcohol (about 2.5%). Us football fans can't be trusted, after all. If you're lucky, you might find a Weizenbier (wheat beer), which is more full-bodied but gives you a headache if you drink too much. Trust me, I've researched this. Your beer will cost you in the region of €3.50, plus an extra deposit charge for your plastic beaker - 50 cents for a disposable one or around €2 for a resuseable one. You'll get your money back when you return it, but watch out: football grounds are plagued by little urchins who run about collecting as many beakers as they can carry so they can pocket the deposit cash! If that sounds like too much hassle, every matchday an army of helpful gentlemen can be found in the vicinity of every professional football ground, selling tins of beer from their cool boxes for about €2 a pop. Until the police turn up, anyway. But the big advantage with buying in the ground is that you can actually take your beer in with you and sup while you're watching the match - no downing your pint outside one minute before kick-off here. Prost!
    6 points
  7. So, it’s the dawn of another new season for Notts and as the feeling has started to settle – I find myself really excited about the prospect of another good season for the club but also to pick up from last season. All the optimism I have right now is making me all the more eager to get the 2018-19 campaign underway. Last season, in reflection was a true rollercoaster, however despite what some may have considered negative then in comparison to previous seasons wasn’t all that bad and although the club lost to Coventry in the playoff semi-final it restored pride to the community. It was refreshing to see fans eagerly optimistic and yes some performances did seem like the old ‘Notts County’ – yet last season did lay the foundations for further improvements. I also promised myself that after the Newport County game on the final day of the 2016-17 season, that I would try to be more sociable and for the most part I had succeeded. Before doing my usual media work for the site, I would try to get out of my shell and I have to admit I found it hard – yet I also enjoyed it. Towards the latter stages of last season, Magic magpie and my sons friend Callum started attending games and this has made a huge difference. I love attending games with my family and Jake had started to slowly drift away but he’s back now. I’m very thankful for this and I have enjoyed both home pre-season games simply because of the fact my father attended both games. I know how much family means to my son and he sees match days in a different way because of it – I often wish that for the younger fans things could be vastly different but I do believe those days will return eventually. 2018-19 will be a massive season, I am eagerly awaiting tomorrow and not just because of the chicken I have before the game! I have a very good friend who is now a season ticket holder, he’s been bitten by the ‘community feel’ surrounding Notts and I have the people I want around me. I may lose track of where I am at times, due to depression and previously because of health issues I have suffered from but I have a new way of thinking. Hopefully, my health won’t prevent me from attending home games. Yet I look forward to making more away trips, this won’t be an easy thing due to the cost but it’s something I want to make more effort with. I look forward to seeing all my friends and all the people who speak to me on a match day. COYP!!
    6 points
  8. The 2016-17 season has been a funny one for me, personal circumstances meant I missed a portion of the Notts County games which took place over late October to mid-January – despite all the on-goings at Meadow Lane and the dire performances I really missed this period. Yet the break was exactly what I needed at the time, but the lengthy spell did leave me feeling drained and worried about my mother. I had been saying throughout the majority of the 2015-16 season that I would get back on the road, whilst I seem to always remember Barnsley as being my last away day – in fact, it wasn’t. My last game prior to Newport was the opening game against Stevenage last term. As the season quickly unwounded, I find myself thinking that I wouldn’t be able to make an away trip this season. For that reason I really wanted to go to Newport despite being told by many opposition fans that it wasn’t ‘a very friendly place to visit’ I decided I would go. After asking JJ to pick me up the ticket, I was quite excited about the prospect of an away day. Sadly, I read some upsetting news on my Facebook feed late Tuesday night which totally flipped my mood but I still decided to go. It was only upon arriving at Monmouth where I actually felt a buzz, it’s a very peaceful location and I took to taking some pictures of the scenery – I will attach some below. Arriving at Newport I quickly got the match day buzz which I missed! After emptying my bag but luckily managing to sneak through security with a thermal bottle with water in (at the time I had forgotten about it), I took to taking some fan pictures. The match started very poorly, I could tell then that the game wouldn’t be one I’d remember for the right reasons. Between snapping further pictures and watching the other stand filled with travelling Notts fans sing amusing songs – I thankfully didn’t fall asleep but I found the first half very boring. Half time was more eventful than I thought it would be, after being asked to take a photo. A Notts fan slipped and his pint was flung straight onto me. After helping the fan up onto his feet, I was quickly asked by another group if I would take their picture but I found the whole event to be funny even if it was at my own expense. I expected the second half to be more lively but I couldn’t be more wrong, it was very similar to the first half in terms of performance. A Notts goal saw us play well for what 10-15 minutes? About the same time Jimmy had on screen in the last episode of ‘Better Call Saul’. I do have to admit, I felt when the chances came that we might actually be able to go ahead. Yet the banter between both sets of fans was funny, it added some much needed entertainment – as I really didn’t see much fight being shown on the pitch. I should also add that I wanted Hartlepool to survive, I enjoyed my two visits to see us play them despite the final results. Neither Newport nor us deserved to win; yet their final goal was class. The away day was enjoyable, yet mostly for the fact we Notts fans know how to have a good time and will make any occasion into something exciting. I’m already looking forward to the new season, I do believe it will be much better than the last three – yet stability will be the key. I would like to take a moment to thank everyone for their amazing friendship and support, since dropping my Notts-Joe username things have been much more positive and I enjoy discussing things with people on both Facebook and Twitter. You Pies!
    6 points
  9. Well just when we thought we couldn’t possibly play any worse than what we did last Saturday at Bloomfied Road, bottom of the league Newport come to the San Sirrel and teach us a footballing lesson. I wasn’t at the Lane on Saturday thanks to some inadequate public transport down this neck of the woods, but I was at Blackpool last weekend, and it was right up there with the worst performances we witnessed time and again last season. In John Sheridan we have a no nonsense, old school manager, and I really had hoped that we had at least seen the last of these spineless surrenders. We can all take losing. In fact as Notts fans we’re almost immune to it, but its the manner in which you lose that matters, and these last two games have been nothing short of a disgrace and an embarrassment to this proud club, that would have had the two legends immortalised on Meadow Lane turning in their graves. Frankly, there should be a tear in the eye of both men as they look on at what their club has become. This is why you can never get too excited as a Notts fan. No matter how well things seem to be going, disaster is always lurking just around the corner. Tell me, is it really just a mere coincidence that things have begun going **** up on the field just as speculation about the sale of the club rears its ugly head yet again? I’ll be honest, I spent quite a few years defending Ray Trew, but to be honest the whole Jamie Fullarton saga was the final straw. The way he’s treating the supporters with utter contempt and refusing to give us any real information at all is sickening. It’s our club, and we have a right to know what’s going on. I really think a fans forum is needed. Ray Trew needs to look the paying punters in the eye and tell us honestly what the position of the club is; i.e. are we still for sale or not. If he tells us he’s had enough and wants out as soon as possible – fine. Quite frankly the feeling will be mutual among the majority of supporters. If he’s staying, then he needs to outline his plan for the future. Right now, we’re on a slippery slope out of the very league we helped establish, and as much as it really doesn’t bear thinking about, it’s a genuine concern. If we went out, I really doubt we’d ever come back. I think most fans can agree that a change of ownership and direction is badly needed. Call me boring, but personally I don’t want another overseas consortium of millionaires coming in promising us the world and making totally unrealistic promises. We’ve been there, and we’ve seen countless other clubs go there, and it never ends happily ever after. All’s I want is someone who understands the club, who values the supporters, and who can give us that badly needed new lease of life. We don’t expect the world, we just want a competitive team on the pitch that we can be proud of, that will put bums on seats, and most of all – make supporting Notts fun again. Right now we have a fan base which seems to dwindle further by the week, and those that remain grow more and more disillusioned by the week. The attendances at Meadow Lane have dropped even lower than what they were in the Trust years pre Munto when we were struggling just to survive in league 2. We all know how this place can be absolutely bouncing when we have something to get behind. You don’t even have to be winning titles for that. Just think back to the Great escape of 2014. The whole club was galvanised, and the supporters virtually pulled the team over the line themselves. Right now, going to Meadow Lane is a depressing experience. The stands are sparsely populated, and there’s a feeling of doom and gloom even before kick off. This isn’t helped by our frankly unacceptable home form, which has seen us win just 15 out of our last 53 home league games. That’s downright pathetic, and totally unacceptable at any level. Where we go from here, I really don’t know. On the pitch this season, I still think that if we can find some consistency we can do well this season. The players have proved that they are capable of digging in and grinding out results this season, which makes the last two games all the more difficult to stomach, and harder to understand. But whatever happens, this club is suffering a very slow and painful death. We’re crying out for a new lease of life, which doesn’t appear to be forthcoming. So I guess we’ll just carry on struggling to compete in this league, merely going through the motions. It’s a sad and difficult time to be a Notts fan, and many lifelong fans have lost patience. Me? Well I’m stupid, so despite calling the team every name under the sun on Saturday evening, come 3pm next Saturday I’ll still be at Barnet trying to convince myself that today is the day everything finally comes good. Few of us have chosen our teams, we have merely been presented with them. And so as they slip from second division to the third, and from third division to fourth; as they sell their best players and replace them with journeymen looking for one last pay cheque before retirement; as they lump the ball for the seven hundredth time towards a 6 foot centre forward who somehow never wins a header; we simply curse, go home, worry for a week, then come back and do it all again. But that’s the life of a football fan isn’t it? You can change jobs, homes, partners, cars, virtually anything. But you’re football team – you’re stuck with them.
    6 points
  10. I'm going to use this blog to share some random thoughts with you all ... in and outside the world of football! In doing so I will add to my array of half-hearted and long-forgotten blog attempts already littering the WWW. As most of you know I'm an exiled 'pie living in Germany, who can only get to two or three games a season. Funnily, I don't often watch football on the telly – I'd much rather stand in a dilapidated stadium watching a lower-league defender scuff a clearance than watch Cristiano Ronaldo and his Real Madrid teammates on the box. That probably makes me odd. This particular immigrant, having recently escaped the horrors of watching Gary Silk and Gavin Gordon in League Two, decided to become a groundhopper. Instead of football making me grumpy and stressed, it would be a cultural voyage of discovery. I would discover the glamour of the Bundesliga, the charm of lower league grounds, the fascination of fallen giants in cavernous, crumbling old grounds. And if the weather was awful, I would simply stay at home and watch Sportschau without feeling the need to check the score every five minutes. Football would be entertainment, football would be fun. Except that's not how it works. I find it hard to watch any match without rooting for a team – if I don't care who wins, I usually don't bother watching it. So when I watched SV Waldhof Mannheim (now my most local club) I found exciting football, a city and fans practically begging for success and an atmopshere that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, I got in the habit of watching regular home games again. The prices didn't hurt either. They don't have the same ability to ruin my weekend as Notts do, but they're getting there. I've been to other grounds too – Kaiserslautern, Cologne, VfR Mannheim, Sandhausen, Karlsruhe – but that's my home from home. The derbies are the real highlights. Sadly, Waldhof have a high proportion of troublemakers, meaning that large away followings are often frogmarched by the police the couple of miles from the railway station, accompanied by police horses, riot police and helicopters. Once in the ground, the experience is a more relaxed one. You can buy a beer and take it into the stands with you, and large swathes of the ground are terraced. It's a lot preferable to having a steward tell me to down my drink before taking my too-small seat and trying to keep warm despite not being able to move ... I do miss the UK and Notts though. I miss Meadow Lane and being able to actually eat pies at a match, yes even the funny white snot they use to fill chicken and mushroom pies (a sausage on a bun or a currywurst just isn't the same). I miss the spontaneity of the crowd too – the ultras can create a banging atmopshere and are LOUD, but many weeks they just go through their repertoire regardless of what's going on on the pitch. It changes the way I see Notts matches too, as I'm often so happy just to be there I don't get as frustrated when the performance is a poor one. For some weird reason I don't feel as angry at them for wasting my time (even though my short time in England is precious) as I used to do when I had a season ticket. So, that's a few thoughts to start with. I could write more about living in Germany in general, but that's a very, very big topic and definitely a subject for future blogs! Love Sausage x
    6 points
  11. It’s a bit of a depressing time right now with the Coronavirus pandemic restricting day-to-day in so many ways, yet it’s essential that we protect each other and, stay connected in the digital world. The National League season seems to have gone by quite fast, for Notts there were some dips and natural moments where it seemed like stability would be the main thing to take from it; however, the club managed to persist moving forward. Before the suspension, I felt like the magpies’ form at home had become unstoppable. I have mentioned at various times on social media; just how much I have enjoyed the season – with all due respect, we are a Non-League club for a reason. But, Neal Ardley has created something that on paper seems to be unique, and from the evidence, I have seen it’s more promising long term – as we have a youngish squad that has experience within those core areas that make a huge difference. I thought the National League would be somewhat dull, yet in hindsight, it’s been anything but that. Notts County fans have been incredible on the road, others like Barrow, Stockport County and Wrexham might mock us on social media – however, I suspect that they wished their teams could have adapted better to this challenge within their first season of Non-League football. After such a disappointing relegation from League Two, I admire the togetherness and way in which we have bounced back. Under the new ownership of the Reedtz brothers, Christoffer and Alexander the club has been very forward-thinking, and Notts County doesn’t feel like the biggest joke within football. Some fans who are reading my blog may take offence to that, and it’s not my point. The circus around Notts County has always been tinted due to issues presented with previous owners; I won’t mention names because we all know the story – if you’re an outside fan reading this (save yourself time and don’t bother looking up the turmoil). It’s been very well documented and, for any new football owners looking to buy a club researching the events might show you how not to run a football club. Unity! That’s a difference for starters. The sensible approach from our current custodians has brought fans together with the hope that they can and will move the club forward. I don’t miss the headlines or stories coming out. The uncertainty of if staff are going to be paid or, even if we will have a club. It’s been a massive underlining issue for Notts County, with debts piling and owners either pointing the finger or burying their heads in the sand. With Christoffer and Alexander Reedtz it’s not like that, they must have the patience of a saint or quite possible more understanding that a club has to look at the long term gains – rather than the shorter-term growth. I didn’t feel like this season would reset the club, fighting for promotion has been enjoyable, and whatever happens now with how things are, I would be confident of this squad and manager to move us forward further. I think every fan of football can appreciate how important that feeling can be, so I do hope whatever outcome occurs – as a much as we care about our clubs, deep down we can understand that life moves on. Until football resumes, I will try to enjoy the break and avoid the social distancing online as this tends to be what usually happens (with the best of interest). If you know me, please be sure to say hello and let me know your thoughts. Lastly, thank you for the wonderful supporting during the 2019/2020 season. All the banter laughs, jokes and conversations – it’s been incredible. If you're able, would you please consider contributing to the PON donation drive?
    5 points
  12. What a season the 2018/19 League Two campaign has been, never would have dreamt that Notts County would be on the verge of relegation from the Football League. It’s something I find very sad, certainly it’s not good to see the faces of worry in the crowd but you know what? This is football after all, once you brush off the hurt and come round. I think the majority will accept that having the club still in existence is the main thing. The community around the club is one I would consider to be very solid, it’s been a huge privilege and its seasons like this when you miss the old days. I often think back to when I was bitten by the away day bug, how seeing the fans anticipate the game for me was one of the most exciting aspects – feeling that match day atmosphere floating around, not knowing what to expect. The club’s actual history could never be erased by being relegated to the Vanarama National League, yet it’s important that a smooth takeover happens – especially to avoid the worry of falling into administration. This is where the risk of the club’s heritage falls into concern, yet for me this isn’t something I feel is likely to happen. As fans, we just need to ensure that our support is there. After all the moans and groans, would a Saturday afternoon be right without seeing Notts County take to the field? That’s where the community comes into, we’ve all made a connection to other fans on match days, it’s almost like a ritual for some and the flocking of magpies’ is one that has great meaning behind it. Feeling like you’re a part of that community, knowing that you’re right behind the football irrespective of what happens on the pitch. I have seen fans come and go, quite a few who are no longer with us, but I will personally do my best just in the hope of making a small difference. Notts County has three massive games remaining in League Two season, games which need to see the players fight – not just for the badge but for the club itself. Survival is important, going down without a real fight isn’t what we want to see. Too little, too late? I have the feeling this might be the case, but I do restore the hope that the very last game of the season against Swindon Town will be one to remember for all the right reasons.
    5 points
  13. Last saturday I went to see notts play with my dad, I woke up before him and mum got me my breakfast. I like having cereals before I go out, but my sister Ava wanted to come. She kept passing me her shoes all excited, I thought it was funny but I told her I didnt think she was coming. We walked down to the bottom of the road, dad was messing about and he kept telling me we was going to win. He asked me how I thought we would do, I dont like guessing so I tell him we will either win, lose or draw. One of our friends was celebrating her birthday, dad said we needed to get a balloon but we couldn't find one. On the way walking to the ground, this man with a funny accent started talking to dad. It turned out he was a walsall fan, he walked with us until dad directed him and his partner to a pub. Dad sent them in the wrong direction by mistake, I hope he found somewhere to drink before the game. Dad wrote on a card, it was now I realised I had lost the card I had made. I was a little upset but dad said I could write on the card and that it's the thought which counts, I just like making cards for people I like. Once near the ground dad went in to speak with some people, I went quite shy. We then went into the bar but dad did not get a drink. He started talking to our friends, I was happy to see them standing near the doors. Drew (a friend) came in and dad was already speaking to someone else he had met. Drew spoke to me, he's funny and very friendly. The person my dad was speaking to had a pretty nice camera and we went out but it started raining. We took shelter and they spoke a bit more before deciding it was best to get into the ground. We ran and then walked, it was funny for me because I was not bothered about it raining. Notts started the game quite badly and it wasnt long before the other team scored, dad did not seem very happy but he kept singing and trying to encourage me. I was more excited about being sat towards the back of the stand. At half time dad asked me if I wanted to play the drum, my sister Ellie as always wanted to play it herself and I was excited about trying but nervous. I did not think I would be allowed but dad insisted, he spoke to one of our fans who was sitting near the drum and I had a go but I was not very good. Someone else dad knew came and shown me, I played it a little better but it was good fun to try. After the other team scored three goals, I asked dad who controlled the scoreboard. He laughed and asked why, I then told him I wanted to go and have try of that. He asked me why laughing still. I told him I wanted to change the score to favour us. The fans where we sat was pretty vocal in support, although one fan kept swearing and I think hes naughty! He kept saying Notts was useless, I think it was just a bad day and I think fans some fans are quite unhappy people. At the end of the game it was 5!! goals to the other team and the player dad likes (Callum McGregor) was the only player to score for us. He scored a very nice free kick, I think we will do better next time, it was just a bad game. When we got back home, dad was getting ready to go to a party. He asked me to check on my blog, I was surprised to see all the comments but I was hungry and ended up forgetting to thank everyone. Im really happy that people read my blog, plus dad tweeted a few people and shared it on Facebook. There was comments elsewhere which was very kind, im hoping to write about an away day next time and hopefully one of my friends will answer some questions. I like when people reply to my blogs, its even better when they write really nice comments and like it on facebook. Its nice that Alan Judge and Bart saw it and that Aileen Trew reposted it to her friends. I like how Romeo read it too as he is my friend, i wish i got to see him more. Thank you for your kind comments and reading.
    5 points
  14. To take a look back to last season, a lot of the players we had have moved on (or been moved on - depending how you look at it). Was it the right move for them, and more importantly, was it the move right for Notts County? Bartosz Bialkowski - Our No.1 joined Ipswich on a free, with rumoured sell on clauses. After first struggling to displace Ipswich keeper Gerken, Bart has gone on to establish himself as No.1 in an Ipswich side doing very well in the Championship, with a string of impressive performances. An excellent shot stopper at his time with Notts, he would not always give you too much confidence with his command of the area and coming for crosses. Right move for him? Yes. For us? Undecided - Carroll is a great keeper, and if we end up getting a fee, it might have been worth it. Alan Sheehan - Captain, and for the dark days of last season, he was one of the only ones that looked like he gave a monkeys. His ability to play well in CB also helped us a lot. However, Sheehan seems to have a big ego, and every season he wants more money. Sheehan decided that after narrowly avoiding relegation, he deserved a massive wage increase. Notts thought otherwise. Sheehan decided to try and engineer a big wage at Sheffield United, but that failed to materialise. A move to Bradford followed, reportedly on only 100£p/w over what Notts' had offered him. He now warms their bench and is a bit-part player. Right move for him? No. For us? Yes - We don't need his ongoing saga of constant wage demands and throwing his toys out when he doesn't get it. Gary Liddle - Spent a lot of last season injured, and we sorely missed him. When he was back in the side we were a much better force. Departed for pastures new, supposedly to be closer to his family, and is a prominent member of Braford's starting line-up. Right move for him? Yes. For us? No - We could do with him in the centre of the park. Manny Smith - A bit of a strange one. Could have absolute stormers of games, where he would dominate opposing players. However, also spent a lot of time 'star-gazing' or 'day-dreaming', and a lack of concentration and/or positional awareness was always his downfall. Now plays for conference side Wrexham. Right move for him? Yes - Wouldn't get a game. For us? Yes - Same reason. Dean Leacock - Another flop. There was nothing to suggest that Leacock couldn't, or wasn't, a good L1 defender. His attitude was that of a minimum wage, overworked, toilet cleaner at McDonalds. Head constantly down, no fight, no passion. Who thought this bloke was good material for a captain?! Joined Crawley, who have one of the worst defences in L1 this season. Right move for him? Yes - Not wanted. For us? Yes - Same reason. Gareth Roberts - Bit/part player drafted in to plug a gap temporarily. Moved to Chester in the conference. Right move for him? Yes. Us? Yes. Jack Grealish - What a fantastic player this boy is. Seems to glide past opponents with ease, keeps the ball well and draws a lot of fouls. Destined for a big future. Rejoined Aston Villa after his loan spell, and comes off the bench in the Premier League. Right move for him/us? Jack, come back. (Titanic?!) Callum McGregor - Another great loanee from last season. His goals in the first half of the season almost certainly kept us in the league. Without them, we would be playing Accrington Stanley in L2 (No disrespect intended). Rejoined Celtic and similarly to Jack, comes off the bench in the SPL or starts lesser games. Right move for him? Yes. For us? Wouldn't it be great to get him back on loan, again, please?! Jamal Campbell-Ryce - A frustrating, yet at times, brilliant player. Could beat a man with ease, however always had an annoying attribute on wanting to repeatedly skin a man when there was no need. This was especially annoying during the first half of last season. However, was instrumental in our turn of form and played some absolute peach games, where he was almost unstoppable. Joined Sheffield United, sometimes plays, sometimes warms the bench. Right move for him? Undecided. For us? Undecided - We could do with his creativity on the wing. Mark Fotheringham - Where to start? An excellent trial period meant that Mark landed a contract (and a lot of fans agreed with this). That is where it ended for Mark. A string of rubbish performances, and well..... yeah... I don't know what else to say. Moved to Fulham in the Championship (Best agent ever?!). Played one game, not seen since. Right move for him? Yes - thank your agent, Mark. For us? Yes - We just needed rid. Andre Boucaud - Inconsistent, is the exact word to describe Andre. At best, a good eye for a pass and an excellent player. Normally? You didn't know he was on the pitch. Moved to Dagenham and Redbridge in L2. Right move for him? Yes. For us? Yes. Enoch Showunmi - Started off last season brightly with a couple of decent goals. However, as the season went on, it was hard to imagine we once considered paying 100k (!!!) for him. Lucky escape. Went to Wealdstone FC - 'You want 'shum?!', who loaned him out to Canvey Island. Who are they you ask? I don't know either. Right move him? I guess. For us? Yes. I've missed out a couple of loan signings as they didn't really play a big part in the season as a whole.
    5 points
  15. The new FM14 is released! (I know I'm a few months late) For those who are avid fans of the Football Manager series, we knew roughly what to expect. I never played FM13, I skipped it totally, in-fact, up until a couple of months ago, I was still playing FM12. If you are going to download/buy FM14, shop around. I looked on Steam and it was listed at £35 at the time. After browsing various sites, I managed to find a deal which was 22 Euros, which I guess is pretty much £20. This gave me a code, to download via steam. Perfect, and £15 cheaper! Cracking on with the game itself, I started as Notts, an obvious choice for me. In previous FM games, I would pretty much ship out 90% of the existing squad and bring in who I wanted. I had been warned, however, that this would unsettle my team and I would struggle, at least initially. Also, on previous FM versions I managed to bounce Notts from League 1 on consecutive promotions all the way to the Premier League, practically re-vamping the squad every season. I was told by friends who have played this game before me, that with FM14, I might struggle achieving these standards. So I did... Season 1 Signings To begin with, I decided that the attacking part of my team wasn't really up to scratch. I was pretty happy with the defense. To compromise on my usual tactic of getting rid of everybody, I decided to replace the attacking half, and keep the defending half, give or take a player or so. As you will see in the screenshot below, this didn't quite materialise. As you can see, I off-loaded a lot of the youngsters on loan. Jamal C-R could have been useful, but I wanted to free up his wages and given his age, 100k was enough to see him away from ML. I brought in A.Keita, only slightly better than Bart, but with a lot of potential and on really small wages. Lopez, Bronzi, Zapata and Mambo were youngsters that could maybe be sold for a profit. The initial big signings were Gomis, Giandonato and Jay Bothroyd. All were Championship standard, with maybe the exception of Giandonato, who had excellent potential. I thought Gomis could be paired with Liddle in midfield, Gia to operate at DM instead of Fotheringham, and Bothroyd to be my main striker. Then the big blow. Offers made for Leacock and Liddle. Fairly big offers for this level, and they both wanted to leave, Leacock I thought I could replace, but Liddle was quite important and this was reflected by me trying to sign him back (unsuccessfully) the following season. Sheehan had offers, but due to the lack of any type of quality left backs available, I wasn't going to let him leave. Further signings included Fitz Hall, an ageing but quality CB to replace Leacock, Dudas, an adequate replacement for JCR, Bauben, to replace Liddle, Manuel Ruz, for challenge/cover for both full-back positions, and Craig Gordon, once recovered from injury, as a backup keeper and part-time GK coach to help Pilks. Gace and Bouazza were bigger signings to confirm the 'complete squad', especially as Grealish wouldn't extend his loan until the end of the season. Results As you can see, the first half of the season didn't go well. Mostly bad form was punctuated with brief periods of good form, followed by another run of losses. I did sort of think that this would be the case with pretty much a complete overhaul of the squad, although I didn't expect it to be this bad. There wasn't really much I could do to halt the bad form, changing tactics, players, nothing seemed to work. This form put me only just above the relegated zone! Moving us on to the second half of the season. Polar opposite. Great form punctuated by the odd loss or draw here and there. Loan signings helped me along the way, but the main key players were the ones that started in the first half of the season. Gace, Bothroyd, Gomis and Bouazza were particular stand outs. The form led me into the play-offs, 5th, and secured good wins over both Tranmere and Sheff. Utd in the play-offs. A great second half of the season, just goes to show what effect changing your whole squad has, it takes half a season for them to adjust. It worked out OK in the end I guess! Season 2 to follow...
    5 points
  16. Having only witnessed the final 10 minutes of Weymouth's FA Cup 2nd Qualifying round tie with Bognor Regis last weekend (we won the replay 4-1), I was desperate to see a good game this weekend. Weymouth were away to Biggleswade and I didn't fancy the idea of sitting on a coach for 5 hours. A quick look through the fixture list and I saw that Bristol Rovers were at home to Fleetwood Town. I did some research on the football ground guide website to see how to get there, and when I found that a return ticket on the train was only £17 it seemed like too good an oppurtunity to miss, so off I went. I got to Bristol Temple Meads just before 2pm and decided to just jump in a taxi outside the station rather than trying to find the right bus. The driver was quite chatty - turned out he was a Bristol City fan, and he reminisced about the 70s, and when Don Revie's Leeds United played at Asthon Gate in front of 45,000 people. It was an FA Cup tie, and Bristol City went on to win the replay at Elland Road 1-0. He dropped me off right outside the Memorial Gates, and at ten quid for the four mile drive I couldn't complain. My mate who moved to Bristol recently for work met me at the ground and we decided on standing in the Blackthorn end behind the goal, where the Bristol Rovers singers stand. I went to buy my ticket, but it was only when arriving at the ticket office that I realised I had left my student card at home. I asked about a student ticket but was asked if I had my card, so I had to pay full adult price. At £18 it wasn't cheap, but compared to other ticket prices certainly not overly expensive. When I got into the ground I took a few photos (see below) and went off to get some food. A sausage roll and can of coke for £1.90 was not to be snifed at, although half the pastry from the sausage roll ended up on the floor! http://prideofnottingham.co.uk/community/gallery/album/35-/ One thing I really liked was while the players were warming up, Rovers managed John Ward came over to the Blackthorn end to greet the fans. He shook hands with fans, took the time to stop and speak to a lot of young children, and signed programmes. I thought that was a really nice gesture, it would be nice to see more managers do that sort of thing. Finally, kick off approached. I was looking forward to this game as it had all the makings of a very interesting game. Fleetwood are in the promotion mix and have been strong on the road; whilst Rovers have struggled with injuries and made a stuttering start. However they appeared to be finding a bit of form and were still unbeaten at home. The first half was actually quite dissapointing, not much happened at all. Bristol Rovers tried to play football but offered next to nothing in the final third. Fleetwood were very well organised and pressed the ball well. However their own tactics in the first half seemed to be to just hoof it forward to the big lad up front. 0-0 at half time was deffinitely fair, with neither side creating any real chances. The second half however, was much better. Rovers came out more fired up, and they should have taken the lead when Andy Bond raced onto a through ball but at one v one with Fleetwood keeper Scott Davies, he put his effort wide. Then the visitors went close when Antoni Sarevic's effort was tipped over the crossbar by Steve Mildenhall when it looked destined for the top corner. On 64 minutes a goal finally arrived, and it came for Fleetwood. A run into the penalty area was not stopped by the Rovers defence, and Jamille Matt turned the ball home from no more than a yard out. But this seemed to spark Rovers into life. Just two minutes after falling behind, Andy Bond put a cross into the box and John-Joe O'Toole headed into the top corner from a couple of yards out, sparking jubilant scenes in the Blackthorn end with many fans running down to the front to rub it in Scott Davies' face, after he had shushed the home fans when Fleetwood took the lead. Suddenly Rovers were on top, and the home fans were right behind their team. In the very next attack Rovers had another header cleared off the line, and from the resulting corner Chris Brunt saw his header smash against the crossbar. Fleetwood managed to weather the storm and going into the final few minutes, it was anyone's game. But it was the visitors who snatched the points with two late goals. With just 3 minutes remaining, Sarevic opened up the Rovers defence and found Jamille Matt, who slotted home from the edge of the area to send the Fleetwood fans mad. Bristol Rovers tried to rally and push for another equaliser, but they didn't really threaten the Fleetwood goal and deep into added time, a Fleetwood counter attack was finished off by substitute Jon Parkin who volleyed home superbly from a tight angle. The full time whistle was greeted by some boos from the home fans, but I didn't think they had played too badly. On another day they might have won had they taken advantage of their spell of pressure just after the equaliser, but that's football isn't it? Full of what if's. The atmosphere wasn't quite as good as I thought it would be, with the Rovers fans only really coming to life after they scored. Mind you, when the entire Blackthorn end sang the club anthem "Goodnight Irene" it sounded brilliant! I didn't record it, but here's another video I found of that song: We left the ground and caught a bus back to the town centre. My train back was due to depart at 17:49 so by the time I got off the bus, I had around 20 minutes to make what was apparently a 20 to 25 minute walk back to the station. So just to be safe, I did something I hadn't done for years - run! I made it back with a bit of time to spare but was knackered for it. I'm deffinitely unfit! On the whole it was a very good day out. Not too expensive and another ground ticked off. I liked the Memorial Stadium - it was odd in that 6 stands make it up and none of them match, but I always prefer the older grounds as they have a bit of character and tradition about them. Next up for me is Cirencester Town away with Weymouth in the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying round, then Swindon Town away with Notts Up The Terras! Come On You Pies!
    5 points
  17. Good Morning Notts fans, Over the years I have thought to myself if other notts supporters feel the same as me ?? a brief insight to what I mean !! do you get excited when you go on holiday abroad and see a fellow notts fan wearing the stripes ? I do !! do you get frustrated when non football fans call us Nottingham county and the other team notts forest? I do !! being a fan for 36 years there have been a few ups and downs from the lows of school and being surrounded by florist supporters to the highs of reaching Wembley more times than any other local team. for me being a notts county supporter is about tradition that has run through our family for over a hundred years. from looking up to the scoreboard and watching the man change the score manually to where we are today. My question to you is :- what does it mean to you to be a Notts County fan ??
    5 points
  18. This blog is personal, as a result, it's not your typical read on Notts County, and I thought that I should warn potential readers before. It's not designed to be or written to be appreciated, understood or to attract comments. It's more a personal approach to how the individual feels if any reads are struggling with depression, anxiety or illness - please do reach out. Support will be out there, so give yourself a little care. I keep meaning to try to find myself, but my head and life, to an extent, provides setbacks. I don’t want this to seem like a sob story, expressing myself through writing has been quite an eye-opener as I can take in how I feel. It’s a slow progressive part of life I guess and, in my nature, I problem stress a little too easily about things which others might be able to dismiss quickly. The biggest sense of finding inner peace comes from working or at times when I am away with my family. I quite like finding a quiet area to reflect on things, especially as the world passes me by. I’m not afraid to open up about my feelings, yet it isn’t the easiest thing to do – I know and, can understand why some would allow it to build inside. I used to do this, and it isn’t constructive. The thing about depression is that it takes over your mind, I wished I could be more strong-willed, but it’s not easy. I spent many years putting on a brave face, and I used to think I hide it quite well – yet at times now I think it’s more obvious. 2019, for personal reasons, I wanted it to be different. I ended up falling into the usual trap – it’s a never-ending circle which goes around. 2020 for me is the year I want to push myself, yet I keep thinking about how I could have supported those I consider close better. My illness tends to take its toll, it’s not just depression, and since learning about it – I would say I have a level of understanding on how to manage it. Coping is a different issue, especially when I am tired. Until recent years, I haven’t felt as sorry for those with back injuries – as pain in this department is a lot worse than feeling it in your knees or hands. I can’t wait for warmer weather, as I have genuinely struggled with the harsh cold that has been here for what feels like forever now. I often joked about “winter is coming”, a quote from the Game of Thrones (I’m sure I didn’t have to explain that) – yet I would rather face White Walkers than to feel how I do some days. The past few weeks, I have been trying to catch up with my to-do-list, and I have to say I feel bad about not being able to get @ARLukomski thumbnails on time. I put a lot of pride in them and, helping people I can. I know he understands too, yet it’s still a disappointment to me. I know I tend towards being harsh on myself, yet I should be able to be more productive when I can – I mean it’s not like I sit back and deliberately forget, but at the same time, it frustrates me because I’m not used to it. The bottom line is, I need to work harder on managing my health. It’s something I have previously enjoyed and, those that know me well enough – will be pleased to know I have spent more time having me time. That said, it still feels strange, and I want to use social media a bit more – yet I never seem to put it as a priority. It doesn’t remotely bother me if nobody responds, it’s just nice to interact when it is possible. DM’s are always open, I try to reply to those as quickly as I can, but I suppose I need time. I do want to re-find my middle ground, improve my health and be a better person. The latter part makes it sound like I’m not a good person, I don’t mean it like that – I know I care about things. There’s also a difference between needing to say something and, wanting to sat it – I could so easily ignore how I feel but I won’t.
    4 points
  19. When Alan Hardy took over at Notts, and then welcomed questions on either the Official Notts Co twitter or Nottingham Posts questions and answers...I submitted questions on the quality of our recruitment process, citing Brentford and Accrington as the "optimum" to aspire to. Needless to say, on countless opportunities, my questions remained unanswered We are now faced with a bloated squad with key positions short of the quality needed ( goal scoring striker in Akinde mould), Central midfield king pin in Bishop / O'Connor mould,( Harry Pell fitted the bill), a Goalkeeper to compete with Fitzsimons ( Pindroch cannot).. Yes, there will be trimming of the squad, but who are going to take our "surplus"? For an owner that is always quoting the mantra "best in class". our League Position shows the actual class in recruitment. Having said that, the owner has backed the manager with the cash and it has been blown away
    4 points
  20. Things are weighing up on my mind a lot, I’m still in some form of shellshock from yesterday and I am truly disappointed – I honestly struggle to see past my current mood because it’s all very deflating. I attended the game against Yeovil yesterday with my son @super_pie, @Magic magpie and @super_ram. Leading into the game I wouldn’t have gone if Mark dropped out, I just wasn’t looking forward to it but not because I felt Notts would lose. I actually felt positive about the game and 25 minutes in, it was hard to see how Notts could lose the game but sadly they handed all 3 points to Yeovil on a plate. Personally, I don’t attend games to see a side win and I don’t try to promote the club for any other reason than wanting to help. I am used to what happens on and off the pitch, I shouldn’t be fazed by what occurs but somehow it still gets me down. Notts played very well in the early minutes of the first half, they knocked it around well but I felt attacking the KOP wasn’t the best game plan. I don’t know if this was due to Kevin Nolan/Alan Hardy thinking “excite the fans, we have worked hard in training.” Or, if it was simply Yeovil winning the coin toss at the start – either way I feel it made the second half harder. I didn’t take any pictures or do anything yesterday, I didn’t even use my phone until after the game. By the time the whistle had blown I just wanted to bury my head in the same sand that Kevin Nolan seems to be used to by now. I love the Notts Community and most fans will know there’s a ‘family’ vibe amongst the regulars but I honestly feel very dissociated right now. This is the main reason why I wasn’t looking forward to Notts, people don’t seem to understand how individuals feel and I saw a lot of unpleasant stuff going on amongst ourselves. It’s like a bunch of kids fighting over the same wish but doing nothing about it. Notts are poor right now, Kevin Nolan needs to sort the defence out and sign a keeper on loan. This season is far from finished and I wish we could focus on that, it’s just very depressing and I can’t absorb much more of the nonsense that I see. The football club’s better than this, we are better than this. Alan Hardy and Kevin Nolan have their first real test, the issues on the field are Nolan’s problems. Those that say he fixed us from being sure relegation candidates, that wasn’t his mess and it will be interesting to see if he can make the right decisions. I don’t want him to be sacked, nor do I want any pressure to be mounting on him because I think stability will resolve itself eventually. But Nolan needs to get a grip of his squad, he needs to acknowledge the players who are out of form and get the defence focused. The midfield for me would be fine, yes they could help out more, especially the wingers but they play to instructions – so that needs adjusting. Rant over….
    4 points
  21. This blog is personal, as a result it’s not your typical read on Notts County and I thought that I should warn potential readers before – if you prefer the regular variety of opinions be sure to have a read of our home page otherwise I would suggest clicking away from this blog. Towards the end of last season I decided to make changes, I wasn’t all that happy with things and as most fans (who know me) will have seen I started using my real name. It was more of a positive change than I had thought, but I was worried about trolls. Despite this I was actually pleased, as I made the change for the right reasons – some fans didn’t know if they should call me Joe or Chris and the confusion really started to impact how I felt inside. I’m not going to dwell on the mental side of my feelings, despite people claiming to understand depression – I find most don’t have the foggiest and take to judging rather than offering support which does help to heal. So, I cast my mind back to the remaining league home games – a point where I started to realise that the regular fans that I grew to enjoy speaking with, well, the numbers had dwindled despite the new ownership. I wanted things to be different, I wanted to feel happier and I realised at this point avoiding things only impacted how I felt. Those people who warned me about others, the idiots who would send me stupid messages and the likes of a certain fan who has received a lot of media attention for being the tool that he is – really take no bearing on me. I ended the 2016-2017 season promising myself that I would try harder to be more sociable, I mean I don’t avoid it but I tend to be busy. I’m not the biggest user of social media, I write my thoughts and feelings – rather than reforming to the standard form, popularity really doesn’t concern me. Yet I did want to try and break some of the anxiety that I felt inside. There’s people who only see the confident, fairly outgoing Chris – who don’t understand remotely why at times I find it hard to even speak. And again this comes back to the ‘judgemental’ side of things, though it is something I have been trying to tackle head on. In my private life, I try to occupy myself as the close season I have fewer things to do and this is the time I fall into traps about what I think about, and how I feel. My wife’s has been a great support, as we have made a lot of home improvements – and things feel homely. The house had been left in a very bad state by the former owners, plus teens and thieves who had vandalised the property and stole all the lead or mental in the house. It’s funny how little things, such as blinds or just having the kitchen in a more finished state changes how you see things – again this is something I felt I would take notice of with match days which is a good release for me. Though I wished my son would attend more games, there’s many who ask about him and it’s not the same but I do respect his decision. This season I feel I’ve been doing the right things, as I use Fridays to focus on my health and the weekend as a way to just to enjoy without the pressure of having to do things. That said, match days are extremely busy for me but if I wanted – I could make it easier. I’m hoping to get back on the road once things settle, I can’t justify spending money away from my family and I really do need to choose which away games I make carefully – fingers crossed I can get to Mansfield as I haven’t yet been to the One-Call Stadium.
    4 points
  22. 50 songs have been included in the following summary of Notts Countys' woeful plight. How many can you find? Keep yourself alive could have been the battle hymn of the republic of County supporters as the last day of the season arrived. The fans would have been feeling good after victory over Doncaster left Notts knowing a win would have been enough to keep the Magpies afloat but that didn't happen. Unlike last season and the great escape II, just as us 'pies fans were holding out for a hero, Notts managed to crash and burn in spectacular fashion. Of course us Notts fans have been there before but we still feel the hurt, moreso this season after the early season promise. The slide has been long, slow and painful. At the start of the season we were high on emotion. A play-off berth was briefly occupied due in no small part to their defence being as solid as a rock, but the arrival of the cold November rain saw Notts embark on the long road to ruin. An unbelievable run of rank bad form saw Notts manage to win 2 games out of 20, a win ratio of one in ten. This sent Notts sailing inexurably towards the danger zone causing the board to panic and in turn fire Shaun Derry. Opinion was divided as some felt that he had become a wayward son and others felt he had been mistreated. Like most football fans through good times,bad times I'm a believer but not a dreamer. Reality seemingly bites harder at Notts than any other clubs. It is hard to keep the faith when a succession of managers are here today, gone tomorrow and seemingly ushered in through the out door. Personally I would like the board to show a little more patience. Of course no one knows what happens out of the view of us common people but you need a good solid foundation to build a club. The only way to do that is to have some continuity. Having a Russian roulette policy of management appointments does not help. Having money does but how much goes on settling severance terms with departing personnel? Ricardo Moniz has since been hired but his arrival has not had the immediate desired effect. However early indications are that he is capable of delivering the goods.Time will tell if the current incumbent will follow the blind by being Ray Trews latest master of puppets or if he can provide a wind of change. He has a summer of 69 days or so to prepare for the future. Notts cannot afford to keep free-falling. They are, yet again, 1 desperate season from non league football. I suppose the obvious analogy to throw in is that it is the same old song but if Notts were to slide out of the league it would be the bitterest pill I ever had to swallow but as an eternal optimist I believe that it can't happen here. Just before i finish my relections I am off to seek sanctuary in the purple haze of a tequila sunrise as the holiday season gets into full swing I should congratulate Notts County Ladies FC for making it to Wembley for their cup final. Play with pride and do yourselves proud. The club needs a lift and you have the opportunity to provide it. I will leave it for a couple of weeks and then post a full and chronological list.
    4 points
  23. Like I said yesterday this blog will be very controversial and may upset or offend some fellow fans. Whilst history is our greatest weapon do us fans rely on our history to much ? yes we are the oldest club in the football league and yes we have ties with the biggest Italian clubs in seria A. but what else do we have to fall back on ?? investors keep us at arms length do to recent problems, we have managerial problems every year where we see at least 2 every season promising the world but bring nothing to the table. We have owners that openly refuses on the club and national web site to invest in the club anymore unless they see more fans coming through the gates !! we've had problems paying our taxes the blacklisting goes on ! We've won one game drew one game and lost 7 if the manager was a doctor and made this many mistakes he would of been struck off by now ! the fans have always said he is not good enough and most of those fans have refused to go back to meadow lane until he is replaced, which in turn is a bit of a catch 22 situation from and earlier statement made in this blog, yes you can have your cheep promotions and discount days but it really doesn't make a difference as a fan you are probably just spending less for the same result !! at this rate if things don't start getting better and stay the same for the rest of the season notts will end on 20 points (go figure). Some of the statements from fellow fans are that the manager doesn't play the game and its down to the players on the pitch but that's like having a business with no manager to drive his or her department to achieve better thing which brings the loop back to the manager not doing his job !! Mr Trew if you want bums on seat and you want to maintain those bums on seats find a manager that has strong connections in the footballing world that knows how to develop a squad to have a positive mental attitude within the dressing room on the training field but also on the football field. next I come to the team most are paid 10 times the amount of a normal hardworking fan, they are classed as a team built to entertain the fans they are their to build the club in to something bigger better that it already is, which is something they have lacked in doing, these are all professional footballers that have trained all of their lives to do so why is it the team we have cannot string a movement together, cannot move around the pitch and make space for their fellow footballer ? think whilst on the ball think whilst of the ball our defence this season is a sham it's like they don't know how to block a cross or stop a shot or even get anywhere near the opposition these again are back to basic movements on the training field. now here is the biggest part of the controversy Grand Colin is it not time he gave it up ?? the guy makes that's many mistakes on the radio its unreal ! is it not time to let dean yates take the bull by the horns and rule the airwaves ?? I haven't heard so much negativity in all my life yes I agree that he has committed to the club and given his dedication to the work he has done but for me its time for out with the old and in with the new. offer him a lifetime membership card in the comfy seats and maybe a memorial match with new and old players that he has commentated on in years but for me its time he hung up his microphone and passed the baton on to the next person. I know this blog may sound like a rant but most if not all of what I have spoken about you are all thinking deep down. For me the club needs to concentrate on the future use our history and links to our advantage but not dwell on it. bring in someone capable of doing a proper job from the off and give him or her the financial backing they need to do that job. moving forward should be our aim not living in the past. hope you enjoy my blog scott
    4 points
  24. This weekend the headlines have been dominated by the chants and banners aimed at Hoffenheim benefactor Dietmar Hopp, in developments that must seem a bit bizarre from over the Channel. I've seen a few articles in English papers already, but none seem to tell the full story. I'll try to give you the inside track. At the weekend, numerous matches in Germany were stopped while offensive banners aimed at TSG Hoffenheim's billionaire owner Dietmar Hopp were taken down. Most referred to him as a "Hürensohn" ("son of a *****"). Some went further and depicted his face in a gun's target. When banners were unfurled by Bayern fans at Hoffenheim (minus the targets), the players stopped playing and simply passed the ball among themselves for the last 15 minutes (although it should be noted that Bayern were already 6-0 up at this time, so hardly had anything to lose). Players up and down the country refused to play until the banners came down, and engaged in a public show of solidarity with the billionaire. So who is Dietmar Hopp, why does he stir such strong feelings and what brought this all on in the first place? Dietmar Hopp is the co-founder of SAP, one of the world's biggest software companies, and is a very rich man. He often puts his money into charities, local sport, and in particular youth sport. He invested in his village club TSG Hoffenheim in 1989. At that time they played in the Kreisliga A, the eighth level of German football (as the German pyramid is heavily regionalised from the fourth level onwards, this is lower than the Northern Premier League in England. Think Nottinghamshire Alliance). The investment was modest at first, but the big money started to come out from about 2005, when Hoffenheim was in the then third-level Regionalliga. After Hopp tried and failed to merge Hoffenheim with two other local clubs and move them 20 miles to Heidelberg, he decided to financially dope the village team instead and get it into the Bundesliga - which he achieved in 2008. Just months later, Hoffenheim (population 4,000) had a brand new stadium next to the motorway with a capacity of 30,000. OK, the idea of a billionaire taking, say, Bingham into the Premier League is a bit bizarre. But what has that got to do with all the insults? In Germany there is something called the 50+1 rule - a majority share of each club must be owned by its members (50% plus one). While this makes German clubs less attractive to investors, it does mean that the fans' voice is heard. Hoffenheim, who were transparently Hopp's plaything, drove a coach and horses through this rule. The rule was recently weakened to the extent that individuals or companies that sponsor a club for more than 20 years can own more than 50% of the shares, but not before Hoffenheim had gained an unfair advantage. This riled fans before they reached the Bundesliga, but from 2008 Hoffenheim were national news. In 2011, Borussia Dortmund were visiting. The away fans decided to sing a few songs goading Hopp, and for their trouble they were subjected to an "acoustic attack" - to drown out the songs, a Hoffenheim employee played a high-frequency noise on the loudspeaker system at a frequency that could cause hearing damage. Naturally this didn't have the desired effect of stopping Dortmund's songs and banners about Hopp and, a couple of weeks ago, the German FA banned Dortmund's fans from attending their team's fixtures at Hoffenheim for the next two seasons. Hence uproar in Germany's fan scenes and "Hürensohn" banners out of solidarity up and down the country. In my view the banners with Hopp in the target are tasteless and have to go. The "Hürensohn" banners are crass and insulting (I'd prefer a more creative and witty protest, but many ultras struggle with that). But does that on its own justify bans? At Saturday's match I insulted every single Kaiserslautern player before kick-off, I insulted everyone who lives there, I insulted the referee and the linesmen in two languages and I was pretty harsh with two of the home team's players too. I'm sure there were plenty of away fans questioning my parentage too. That's hard to justify in a normal social context, but if we hit ordinary insults with the ban hammer, where does it end? "The referee's a chap who's made a few unfortunate decisions"? This goes deeper too. A couple of weeks ago, a Schalke player was racially abused - he reacted furiously, and for his troubles was shown a second yellow card and sent off. This was not front page news, there were no public expressions of solidarity from clubs or the German FA - and the furore over the insults aimed at Hopp is showing that the football authorities take rude words aimed at a white billionaire more seriously than racism. I've followed the walk-offs and abandonments in England as a result of racist abuse. In Germany, this solidarity seems to be limited to rich club owners, and that sends out a pretty damning message.
    3 points
  25. There was something special about watching the first home game of 2020 under the floodlights at Meadow Lane, and I’m impressed with how December went and more so due to the buzz which we as fans have created. Of course, credit where it is due. Neal Ardley and the squad have done amazingly well – especially after the 2nd set back to Jim O’Brien. Despite feeling like Jim would be a massive loss, I think Notts as a squad has coped well to setbacks like these. As I have mentioned, I missed the Boxing Day game due to illness, and I wasn’t able to make the Maidenhead United game. The sense of feeling I got from doing my usual rounds, rekindled some of my excitement which has been lacking in recent years. I don’t know, seeing and hearing fans lit up about making the play-offs it felt harder to play it cool. It felt like a genuine sense of belief that we Notts County could make the 2019/20 one to remember for the right reasons. I’ve always felt starting a new year well, shows not only signs of intent but also lifts that atmosphere which any club needs to be successful. Honestly, there’s a sense of feeling that things are coming together. Usually, you can tell when something is important, and that win against Bromley felt important too. No football club is perfect, in the lower leagues’ teams have to react well to setbacks and form is a lot more difficult to resolve unless everyone is on the right page. That coming together has a sense of pride, I mean, I never thought Notts would accumulate 13 points from a possible 15 during the festive period. Not only did the win against Bromley feel important for the campaign, it felt nice to win the game by fighting – the defence seems very focused right now. Performance-wise, there wasn’t a lot of standout moments which could form some of the argument against my sentiments expressed here – however, usually, Notts would have conceded a late goal. I never felt like Notts would concede a second goal, after recapturing the lead on Saturday. Considering there was a lot of panic at times. With clearances needing to buy time, after wave of attack by Bromley – in and around the penalty box. I always felt like Alex Lacey and Connell Rawlinson would have it covered, and if not them, Sam Slocombe appeared to be in fine form himself. Watching our opening goal, as Sam Osborne perfectly setup Wes Thomas for his strike, seeing him cope with the Bromley player who attempted to barge him off the ball – regain his focus very quickly showed a lot of maturity. It would have been easy to lose the ball or go attempt to get a foul – getting that cross in seemed the only item on Osborne's mind, which is another positive sign for me. I want to take a moment to thank those who spoke to me at half time, the reaction I got did take me back. I’ve always found people at Meadow Lane to be appreciative of what I try to do, yet some of the words resonated with me – the few pictures I had with fans took me back a bit too. However, I have missed catching up with people during Christmas with the number of away games thrown in-between home ones and of course, my absence. I’m also very thankful to Lee Coates-Kenzitt, who kindly gave me a scarf which I will be putting around my daughter’s grave as soon as I can visit. That continues with this belief, and attempt to make 2019/20 the season we can add some proper foundations to the potential success of Notts County Football League.
    3 points
  26. ..or the chickens coming home to roost. The defence last season was so well protected by the likes of Hewitt, Yates and Hawkridge and since the departure of Yates, he was the key player that has not been replaced. Player identification is the key for success. Look at Accrington last season, 23rd in L2 in terms of revenues yet the budget was allocated so precisely and a balanced team won promotion By offering O'Connor allegedly 3 contract offers, we then panicked and signed Vaughan...the wrong type of midfielder when we already had Husin. Neither can tackle and win the second ball, yet players like Harry Pell were available at the right price and Colchester rightly identified him as a Bishop / O'Connor / Yates like midfielder Similarly, Omar Sowunmi contract had expired and his towering performance Friday night, showed that there were better players than offering Duffy a new contract. Calls for Hewitt to return to midfield I hear people voice out loud,. However, he must have one of the worst pass completion rates in L2. If we are serious about promotion, are there better midfielders available ( see Pell above!) Brentford built their success on their own "moneyball" model. Even scouring Europe for "value for money" players that could give you a competitive advantage. Southampton also devoted a lot of resources behind the scenes watching lower European league videos, looking for "gems" at a low price. Fitzsimons, has come under a lot of criticism but he was blameless against Yeovil, and it can be argued his saves, could have prevented a 0-8 loss Well the loan window needs to be used to get that key central midfield bully. It's early days too, but the strikers don't look like "natural goal scorers". You look at some strikers and can recognise a goal scoring instinct and coolness in front of goal. I just don't see that with Dennis and Hemmings at the moment.
    3 points
  27. Well the dust has just about settled on another season of highs and lows, joys and sorrows for the world's oldest league club. It's been a rather strange season. It sounds very cliche but it really has been a season of two halves - one spent watching our promotion hopes go down the drain, and the other half spent fighting the unthinkable in relegation out of the very league we helped establish. But we've come out the other side, and now seems like a good time to look back on a real rollercoaster of a ride. So this is my season review. Nothing special, no real plan. Just me waffling in the hope that somebody somewhere has enough time on their hands to read said waffles, and hopefully - raise a smile! Despite an awful end to the 2015/16 season, the appointment of the experienced John Sheridan seemed a real statement of intent from Notts, and with players such as Jonathan Forte, Michael O'Connor, Richard Duffy, Matt Tootle, Adam Colin etc all signing from higher league clubs, there was reason for quiet optimism going into the new season. Not that that hope lasted very long. All of 16 minutes in fact before Adam Collin introduced himself to us with a howler to gift Yeovil the lead at Huish Park. A second followed soon after, and in the end the 2-0 scoreline probably flattered Notts, who were second best all over the park in the West Country sunshine. Still, at least we got a nice sun tan! And from a purely selfish point of view, I was home and tucking into my takeaway whilst the Notts fans were still trying to find their way back to the M5! Failiure to win either of our first two home games of the season did little to raise enthusiasm, and it wasn't until the second half of our fourth game of the season at Hartlepool that Notts' season finally kicked into life. Trailing 1-0 until the 65th minute, loanee Louis Laing would change the game - netting the equaliser himself before setting up veteren striker Jon Stead for the winner ten minutes later, to the delight of the hardy souls who made the long trip to Scotland, and to me and some other Notts fans enjoying Twenty20 Finals Day at Edgbaston! Back-to-back away wins were recorded thanks to another terrific second half display that saw us win 3-1 at Crawley, and set us up nicely for what promised to be a tasty home game with Grimsby Town. The Marriners brought a large and boysterous following, and when Omar Bogle (Omaaar, Omaaaarrr) latched onto a pathetic back pass from Aborah to double their lead early in the second half, they appeared to be cruising. But Johnny Forte halved the defecit with eleven minutes to go, and barely a minute later the travelling army of "Fish" were stunned when Notts won a penalty. Maybe it was the adrenelin, or maybe it was just a c*ap effort, but O'Connor smashed it wide to the disbelief of the Notts crowd. But to their credit, the players didn't let the setback get to them, and after launching the kitchen sink at Grimsby for the final ten minutes, Aaron Collins lifted the roof off of the Kop end when he equalised a minute from time. Vadane Oliver almost stole all 3 points moments leter when his looping header was tipped onto the crossbar by the keeper. If that had gone in I think there would have been a few broken bones in the Kop! We couldn't repeat the trick a week later as we slumped to a dreadful 2-0 reverse at home to Accrington Stanley, but our away form came to our aid again, with back-to-back away day successes again, this time at Cheltenham Town and Exeter City, either side of a first home win of the season over Leyton Orient. Those 3 straight wins had us briefly up to the dizzying heights of 5th, but we came crashing back down to earth with a bang, with a gut wrenching defeat to Mansfield Town at Field Mill, conceeding two stoppage time goals. Another home defeat followed, this time to Morecambe, before, once again - our away form kept us in the mix, and saw us achieve arguably our best result of the season - winning 2-1 at eventual champions Portsmouth, thanks to two Adam Campbell goals. An incredible result, and a brilliant day for the travelling fans. Little did we know, it would end up being 14 long, excruciating weeks before we had that winning feeling in the league again. A frustrating goalless draw at home to Luton followed, before we just about avoided FA Cup embarrassment to non-league opposition again, coming from 2 down to rescue a draw at Boreham Wood. There's a first time for everything, and that was the first time I've found myself watching a game from the toilet block door to stay out of the rain! An utterly calamitous 4-0 trouncing at Bloomfield Road put a slight dampener on what was an otherwise cracking weekend in Blackpool, before bottom side Newport came to the Lane and tore us a new one. Shaun Derry was then on hand to rub salt into the wounds 4 days later, before another masterclass in defensive ineptitude handed Barnet 3 points at The Hive, in a game where Notts should have been 3 to the good by the time Barnet got on the scoresheet. Some degree of pride was briefly restored in the FA Cup second round, as we fought back from 2 down to earn a deserved replay with league one Peterborough, but the losing run in the league was stretched to 6 games as we threw away the lead at Colchester. By this stage, the atmosphere was starting to turn toxic, not only against the manager and the players, but the owner. The clear chants from the crowd for Trew to leave at Colchester proved to be much closer to the mark than any of us imagined, as the following Monday Trew announced that he had agreed a deal with Alan Hardy to sell the club. This meant that the army of Notts fans who travelled to Peterborough the next evening for the FA Cup replay were in good spirits, and with the prize at stake being a trip to Chelsea, there was a cracking atmosphere in the away end. It wasn't to be as we were comfortably beaten on the night, but it was a fantastic evening in that away end. The optimism was short lived as two more home defeats over the Christmas and New Year period left us just one place above the relegation zone, and 4-0 humbling at Cambridge in the first game of 2017 signalled the end of the road for yet another manager. John Sheridan was relieved of his duties, but we were still yet to hit rock bottom. That would come with an embarrassing surrender to ten man Morecambe, making it an unwanted club record of 10 consecutive league defeats, during which we shipped just the 27 goals! But thankfully, things were about to change for the better. Alan Hardy officially completed his takeover of the club, and wasted no time in appointing Kevin Nolan as manager. Some wondered if we were in a position to be able to afford to gamble on another rookie manager, but it was obvious that he and Hardy had already struck up a strong relationship, and quite frankly, many of us thought "sod it he can't do any worse". A bumper crowd of over 11,300 descened onto the Lane for the pairs first game at the club, and Notts finally stopped the rot with a hard fought goalless draw against local rivals Mansfield Town, who's fans seemed more interested in setting off flares than watching the game. We never did find out if any lifeboats actually responded... The next home game finally brought us our first win in what felt like an eternity, and in typical Notts fashion, it came in the most dramatic way possible. For the most part we had been all over Crawley, but try as we might we just couldn't find that all important goal, and when Curtis Thomspon saw red midway through the second half, after all of the chances we'd missed, you couldn't help but feel that a sucker punch was inevitable. But if anything, the red seemed to galvanise Notts further, and the home fans roared them forwards. Sure enough, with just 15 minutes remaining Thierry Audel headed Notts into the lead. Just ffteen minutes to hold on for that long awaited victory. Crawley had created nothing all game, surely this was it? Well this being Notts there had to be a sting in the tail, and when James Collins let fy from some 30 yards and his effort flew in off the underside of the bar, everyone's heart sank. Just typical, we had been the better side and had been hit with the sucker punch. "Watch them nick it now" I remember thinking to myself. But once again, the setback only seemed to strengthen our resolve, and when Crawley's keeper spilled a shot, Forte was on hand to smash the rebound home, sparking scenes of utter delerium around Meadow Lane. Those five minutes of injury time were five of the longest minutes of my life, but the sheer release of emotion at that final whistle will live long in the memory. There were grown men in tears. Unless you suffered through those 14 weeks of hell since the last win, you can't even begin to understand just how much that win meant to us, and the way in which we won it made it even more special. Moments like that are why we stick with our clubs through thick and thin. The joy was short lived, as a frustrating defeat at Accrington Stanley (I'll let you say it...) followed, and set up a relegation 6 pointer at home to Cheltenham. It was a game of huge importance for both sides, but by now Nolan was really starting to stamp his mark on the side, and wth the embargo being lifted at the 11th hour, he was able to bring in some useful signings for the run-in, and in particular Jorge Grant and Shola Ameobi would prove invaluable. Notts beat Cheltenham 2-1, and the never say die attitude Noaln had instilled was emphasised days later when Richard Duffy and Jorge Grant struck in injury time to rescue a dramatic draw at home to Exeter. This set up yet another relegation 6 pointer in East London against Leyton Orient. It proved not to be one for the faint hearted! Normally games like that are tight and nervy, but this was anything but. Both sides seemed to decide that the best form of defence was attack. Jorge Grant gave Notts a 35th minute lead which they would just about hold onto into half time. It looked like Jon Stead had settled the nerves when he doubled the lead early in the second half, but in typical Notts fashion, we allowed Orient straight back into it a minute later, to set up 40 of the most nail biting minutes those of us in attendance would experience all season. Orient threw everything at us, and the defending at times was desperate. We were beginning to edge towards a massive victory, but then ten minutes from time Notts failed to clear their lines, and Mezague struck an absolute rocket into the roof of the net to lift the roof off of Brisbane Road. Other scores were against us at the time, and now we were just hoping to hang on for the point. But some great skill from Bola carved open the Orient defence, and he pulled it back for the unmarked Jon Stead on the edge of the box, and the veteren frontman cooly rifled the ball into the bottom corner to spark utter chaos in the away end. We just about held out for the 6 minutes of injury time, and secured one of our most important wins of the season, and what a game it was too! A slightly less exciting goalless draw with Yeovil followed, before another memorable away win, this time in deepest Devon at promotion chasing Plymouth, on a Tuesday night. Ultimately it was a goalkeeping howler that let Grant in for the decisive goal midway through the first half, though any of the 163 hardy souls in the away end that night would tell you Notts were genuinely the better side on the night, and Plymouth wouldn't have had much ground for complaint if we'd won 3-0. The young Forest star (as the local chip paper loves to point out) was having quite an impact, and he slammed home one of the goals of the season to seal a 2-1 win over Hartlepool in another six pointer at Meadow Lane. Quite a contrast in the home form since the arrival of Nolan. A batting 3-1 loss at league leaders Doncaste followed, but so good was the run we had been on that we now had an 8 point cushion over the bottom 2, neither of whom were showing any signs of dragging themselves out of it. Safety was all but confirmed over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of March. Results went our way on the Saturday, but when Mark Yeates saw red for a rash challenge early on at home to Barnet, it looked like we might be thankful for those results going our way. But under Noaln we're a different animal, and this team doesn't know when it's beaten. We limited Barnet to very few openings, and Matt Tootle's goal early in the second half gave us something to defend. A combination of Notts runing themelves into the ground, and Barnet being a bit toilet meant we held on for a massive 3 points that took us 11 clear of the drop zone. The pressure of the dogfight was now off to some extent and we were able to enjoy the run in. Shola Ameobi's goal was enough to earn 3 points in a rather uneventful game at Wycombe, before we put in arguably our best performance under Nolan when comfortably seeing off play-off chasing Colchester at Meadow Lane. Four straight wins were notched up with Jon Stead and Matt Tootle scoring in the last 5 minutes to seal a dramatic comeback win at Carlisle, before an entertaining, if somewhat frustrating draw at Crewe. But by now we were already starting to look to next season, and not even the unbeaten home run under Nolan coming to an end against Portsmouth on Easter Monday could wash away the feel good factor. The final home game of the season saw us sign off with a hard fought and scrappy win over Blackpool, and it just brought home how much things have changed in the last year. 12 months ago we lost 5-0 to Carlisle on the final day, and the club was in complete turmoil. Now we're revitalised, and everybody is looking forwards. The feel good factor is back in the club. Watching Notts has gone back to being fun again. It was actually nice to go into that final game at Newport and be in a position to just enjoy the day. It was a shame we lost but credit to Newport, what a way to survive. I'm just glad it didn't hold any relevance for us, as it was only a few months ago that we were starting to look at that game as a potential do or die game! It's been another topsy turvy season at Meadow Lane, but we've come through it. I know we've had more false dawns than we care to remember at Notts, so I say it with extreme caution, but there is genuine cause for quiet optimism. I really do think that Nolan could build something special here if given the right backing. It's obvious him and Hardy have a special bond, and that's crucial. Look what it did for Derek Pavis and Neil Warnock. We need to be patient though and give him time. And I mean proper time. Don't panic and go and get rid of him at the first sign of things not going according to plan. We've been through a frankly embarrassing number of managers over the last few years and look where it's got us. Now more than ever we need some stability, and I trust Nolan to take us forwards next season. I really don't think we're that far off challenging at the right end of this league. The gap between the top and the bottom isn't that great. We beat 5 of this season's top 7 this season, so we know we can compete with the big teams. We'll see what happens come August. But as with any Notts season, it sure as hell won't be dull!
    3 points
  28. Football's tribal, it's a game of pride and passion. The skill came into the game as it developed, my father's written interesting articles regarding the growth from mob football to what we know today. In the early days it was about 'families' and true gentleman of the sport, it was respected and professional but contributed by people of lower classes. It was certainly the working's man game which made it what it is today, certainly not anything to do with Sky. The backbone behind the popular sport is the fact that anyone can enjoy it, that's if you give it a chance. The sport brings together a mix of people, from all walks of life and although much as changed from the days when the ball was first struck – The principles still apply. We can all see the difference from various teams, sports and types of fans. For me this is football, this is what makes the game different and unique. Our side might not be in the league which gains the most attention, the better players, the fans or board members with financial clout. However, it's what we can make of it and in our current situation we have to rally around the team we support. It's funny, one season you can be on the verge of glory and bound for the league many of our fans dream of being able to watch Notts play in. The next falling into the basement league of professional football, set-up with capable players who could achieve so much more. The thing about football is that we can make a difference, the club can strive for better things and if we can combine the two – perhaps the light will grow brighter at the end of the tunnel. I don't know about you, I can take comfort in seeing positives and hold onto the belief that one day we can get back into the Championship but this said I am more than content to watch us in any league, regardless. It really disappoints me to see our fan base splitting up. There's portions which will be around no matter what, but without sticking together the meaning behind the passion equals very little. This doesn't mean we can't survive but it limits our own dreams and there's very little point in hitting the self-destruct button when something isn't quite working. The appointment of Shaun Derry's been acceptable, the response from many fans far better than I had expected and the fact his record is quite fragile already. It's the fact he installs the pride we require, as a fan he's more likely to want to fix things and we do seem to be playing better. Yesterday I witnessed a fan becoming abusive towards fan who were being silly, I can't say I don't expect to hear a fan calling certain players, but I can ignore it. Although it's concerning when a fans whole attitude says 'I know more than you', as it would be boring if we can't discuss and if you think someone shouting 'x player your a bunch of ****' leaves room for discussion then something else is going on. So I don't understand the need to reply to each and every whimper, I thought at periods this certain fan was going to say it to someone who wouldn't back down. It's extremely dangerous and careless, especially for other fans. Opinions vary – in real life you wouldn't expect a compete stranger to share your views and the same should be said in football. You will meet some fantastic people if you're open to it, I know I've done this and I am grateful but it's saddening to see fans having ago at each other. There's very little point in starting on each other, whatever happened to agree to disagree? It happens away from the ground, you see it all over the place and it isn't just related to our fans. You see this on general football forums, where opposition fans don't allow you to express yourself and try to prevent your opinion. Even the person who inspired me to ramble on about this has that right but he should choose to do it in the right way. Just in front of him, my son sat trying to ignore his comments and for a 7 year old. It's not what you want him to witness, you don't expect a fan to respond to every little negative comment or even just general opinions – in the way that leads to arguments and an attempt to big your own knowledge up. Stewards should be more watchful of this type of behaviour, as I think it's best ignoring. Hopefully some will agree with me, I am sure I am not the only one who becomes annoyed when hearing players being bashed or negative comments but it annoys me more when people rise to this negative behaviour. Football is so much better being the sport which tries to strive for better things.
    3 points
  29. A more serious look at our club So,so you think you can tell heaven from hell. There is no living proof available to testify whether or not the 2 parameters actually exist, but almost everyone has a pre-conceived notion of both. Welcome to the emotional roller-coaster world of a football fan. As reality dawns on the fans of teams that have suffered the inigmony of relegation, we have an opportunity to analyse how things descended to these depths. Very often when things go wrong the first thing people do is look for a scapegoat. Let's be right someone, somewhere must have screwed up right? Not necessarily but the chairman usually ends up being a human target. Not spending enough money, lacking ambition and all other misguided cynical ramblings. The main point is that every club has its own income and expenditure forecasts etc and a budget is calculated. However it is easy to spend someone else's money. That said Notts' budget was only 18th highest out of 24. Surely the chairman must have anticipated another struggle at the wrong end of the league table. However if reports are true the the chairman has invested £19 million in Notts County then he has to draw the line somewhere. The club has to be self sufficient at some point. It is that point where a club discovers it's true level. let's be honest here Chelsea would not have conquered Europe and the Premier League without Roman Abramovich and his obscene wealth bankrolling them. So that brings us to the manager. Well the manager that started the season at least! Trivia question for Notts County fans, who was the last manager to start and finish the same season in charge of the club? Shaun Derry masterminded the great escape at the back end of the 2013/14 season and optimism was high. Throw into the mix that Notts is Derry's club, a former player and Nottingham man to boot and everything seemed rosy in the garden. The fans related to him and he has a genuine affinity with the club. He even signed an international goalkeeper in Roy Carroll. Despite this though there was a whole host of loan players coming and going which in turn led to a lack of continuity or cohesion.It seemed that the manager did not really know what 11 players made up his best team. Before Shaun Derry was relieved of his duties he had used a total of 43 different players. Whether or not that was bad planning or rank bad luck is immaterial now. My only concern with Derry was that he seemed 1 dimensional. Hard work and commitment will only get you so far. There comes a point where a bit of flair, guile and ability needs to shine through. That,sadly did not happen often enough at Notts. If it wasn't allowed to by a conservative manager then that should be frowned upon. If the players henuinely weren't good enough then we have to accept that fact, hard as that may be. Ricardo Moniz has since been handed the poisoned chalice that is the title of Notts County manager. It is far too early to assess his impact on the club and is absolved of any immediate blame. I am not even sure if he has had enough time to decide which players he wants to keep and who will be shown the door. Certainly he has had a baptism of fire and will have to move quickly. What does the future hold? That brings us back to the chairman. If Ray Trew genuinely wants to re-build Notts County Football club and stand any chance of getting a return from his investment then patience will need to be a virtue. His previous track record in this department though is far from encouraging. Any long term project needs a solid plan and a rock solid foundation to build from. The more you try to cobble something together the greater the risk of it all falling apart at the seams. Whilst it is true to say Rome wasn't built in a day that doesn't mean there should be a lack of ambition, imagination or progress. However the cynic within me believes that the Colloseum as it stands is in better shape than Notts County. Knowing Notts as a fan of 40 years and counting though, we'd skimp on the foundations to save a few quid and end up with the leaning tower of Pisa! The crying shame is that with time patience and steady sustained investment we could have the Sistine chapel. The potential has always been there. We have graced the top flight before and there is no reason why it couldn't happen again. In 2009 Bournemouth finished 2 places above the line to avoid falling out of the League altogether. Next season they will be playing in the Premier League without throwing stupid money at the club. If Ray Trew persists with the I want it all and I want it now mantra then he will be in for years of disappointment. Good things come to those who wait. Any Notts fan who is over 21 years old has never seen his team play top flight football. I have only seen 4 seasons or so in nearly half a century. If it takes another decade to get anywhere near that level again so be it. It has to be better than a decade of climbing one division and looking to avoid the trap door back down the next 2 which has been the case for too long now.
    3 points
  30. The New Manager.... Back when CK was sacked, I didn't really much thoughts on who would replace him. I only had a shortlist of who I would hate to see in the hot seat here at Meadow Lane. Openly, I would hate to see Paolo Di Canio and he was my only real fear. I know of friends who would hate 'Steve Evans' but at least he commits to doing his home work and as a manager he really hasn't done all that bad, it's just a shame about the type of person he is. Now we've seen the likes of Shaun Derry, Brian Kerr and Dean Saunders. Are these really the types of managers we can hope to expect managing the team so many fans truly care about? It's a shame really, it's a succession of bad managers and limited ambition (on whoevers part) for the reason of why we have such a lack of uninspiring candidates. I've actually grown tired of the blame game, I don't care and the type of person I am - I want to see us all move on and accept this, the only real way in doing so in my opinion is to make sure the right person comes in. It could very well be one of the 3 names mentioned above..... Notts County..... Big club, small club or even family club. We have an image, it's not being desperate or the fact we tend to find ourselves far to often in these situations but it's the fact that WE ARE BATTLERS. Perhaps the existing squad don't realize this, along with the tradition and history which comes for playing for the magpies but they have to care. I don't suggest that they enjoy losing, certainly I have the belief that they're good enough. If we go down, I will be there and along with many others. The people who suffer really for supporting Notts, as a club which reflections on the missing fans - The current fan base which I have come to know seem to greatly care and there's a good sense of family/good spirit among them. This suggests as a fan base we are perhaps braver than the actual players, who by the way will most likely leave us after relegating us to the basement division. It will be interesting to see what loyalty these players have! Coventry..... We matched them - I can't refer to Walsall because they looked sharp in the first half and I can't say Carlisle because we were considerably better than them. Coventry looked destined to play out a mediocre game, one which Notts should have taken it to the next level - especially if they had a little of self belief and pride. Can we really be upset about losing to them? No, though it's the fashion we did. It wasn't acceptable and apologizing is not the right thing to do, pretty weak and naive. My Personal Part.... Yesterday I actually enjoyed, I don't see results as being the only important thing. I can take winning, losing and drawing but for me it's about how we do it. The game was horrible, very depressing and I'd rather not try to remember any more about that. Jake was very excited, he likes the group we go with and there's several members (like me) that can make your day just by seeing. One of which did something very nice for Jake and he hasn't stopped talking about it, I really don't mind because I love to see him being confident. It was weird visiting a team playing away from home, although I wasn't impressed by Coventry fans. They seemed very deluded and in their position I wouldn't be making a joke. At half time they gave away free pizza! It was very funny, my honest thoughts was it was a poor joke. It seemed very Americanized, whip the crowd into a frenzy and finish off by throwing football away. Pretty pathetic but I've seen other odd things, so you shouldn't really be surprised. My final thoughts, I'd hate to see people as numbers or making up for a lack. I have to say I feel a little disappointed, especially since I have to make some big decisions but I have to add that the whole day wasn't a disappointment, just watching Notts and going back home.
    3 points
  31. Anyone who knows me, will know how much my family mean to me. I am a very proud father! So when Notts announced that they would be doing an offer for the Crewe game, I set many hopes on making this our first game together as a complete family. Myself and Jake have season tickets – I thought it would be a good way to bond with him further and on occasions we manage to encourage Ellie into joining us. Yet Kate isn't really all that into football, she's not big on noises and it's a little demanding taking 3 little one's to a football game when you don't drive but it's fun. Jake and Ellie, I feel was more excited then me. They love Notts, I can't say I was so passionate at their age but I think they see how much it means to me, so equally it means a lot to them. I wanted to get down early today, I think we left not long after 12pm. We had arranged to meet up with Uncle William, this was his actual first game of the current season and I am keen to see more from him! We caught the bus into town and made our way to Meadow Lane. Once at Notts, I was actually surprised by how slow it was. I'm not sure of the time but it was well after 1pm, I have seen it busier and I did feel a little nervous about the attendance. This said, not long after arriving. Les Bradd past me, walking along side several suited men and talking about expecting a good crowd. I heard him say - “We will get over 6k today, I expect a very good attendance” I felt a little reassured by that. We got the tickets we required, then went into the Meadow Lane Sports Bar. Jake noticed someone who means a lot to him, a very kind fan who we both respect. He was pretty nervous, I had to encourage him to say hello. He was a little disappointed that he didn't see anyone else he knew, though it's a change because this time last year I would not have stepped into the Meadow Lane Sports Bar, yet alone actively see if anyone was in there. I'd be surprised if I managed to get a drink with Kate to be honest, we are both too shy for our own good. After a drink, a little bit of fan and of course myself taking pictures. We headed for a brief walk around the ground, then went to take our seats. A little bemused by a Steward who let my Wife through the gates with the children (without seeing our tickets). I actually asked if he wanted to see them, as I was concerned by this but he insisted that I just went through the other gates. I have to be honest here, I think he should have looked! Now onto Notts! Young Speiss came out, he's looking more like a keeper. I don't doubt his ability but he looks very young and slim, which he starting to look more round and built up. It's good to see, as I hope he becomes number one for us some day. I liked how Notts trained in front of the KOP, not at the side of the Pavis Stand. I felt this was a good way to get the fans in spirit, I have to say I wished the Pavis would sing more. We looked very calm, collected and exactly how a team should appear. When the game started, I felt Crewe broke off nicely and came at us. It looked a little nerving at the start, although when we found our passing you could tell the training ground's been a key area. Bright football, although early on I noticed the ball creep back to Bart a little more than I would like but after all they're the pro's.. After our first goal, I felt a great sense of pride and that hope which comes from wanting to see us do well re-lit. I have to be honest, despite the Tranmere and the accepted Carlisle performance. I have been a little down and I am unsure about CK now, although if we can put a few more performances like this in. I will openly admit I should have backed him, though I don't think anyone can be faulted really – Sitting bottom of the league, looking unimpressive as we did. It's enough for fans to become concerned and I don't think it means “negative” in the destructive sense. I believe in character building and any manager would ultimately want to change the opinion of the fans and so I feel CK wouldn't see it as personal, after all it's not about disliking him but wanting the best for the club we support. After the second goal, I felt we was in a great position. At half time, I felt we needed to continue and just break up play. Crewe came back out looking sharper, they tried to cause us problems and I did think they might perhaps get back into the game. This was until we scored the third, then it became a bit of an exhibition. They came at us, though without much ambition and they reminded me of us after drawing to Walsall and dare I say it, the result which followed after that game. Grealish, although not quite a Tranmere performance. He did very well, I think we'll see him shine or McGregor, I think it's unlikely to see both have such an amazing game but I certainly hope I am wrong. Fotheringham deserves credit, he broke play and directed it. Boucaud, he's not been away from the team? At least his performances give the confidence that he's been a first team starter for sometime. Haber – Despite me thinking he's got the ability of a stranded defender. He tries, I like that and he's the hampering striker we require at times. I didn't see his header, although his goal at Tranmere is where I get the vision of a defender from. Leacock seems a little different, I have to say I think Liddle is playing more like a leader. At least when it comes to winning play, some of Deano's passing could have seen us punished on another day but it didn't today, so it's not really a problem. Yet I sincerely hope the players realizes how much support they have, it's not always in the bigger forms. I am someone who seems something in a little, rather than a lot. Obviously it's great seeing the fans as they was today but on the cold dark days, when the football isn't as inspiring. There's a portion of great fans, who care deeply about Notts County. I think they should take faith from that a little more, especially those who travel to away games. It's honestly like a family
    3 points
  32. After reflecting over the past week or so, I feel so proud to be a notts county fan. Being part of the black and white family fills me with passion to sit in the stands every other Saturday and take whatever result comes my way !! But there is nothing like that drive from Derby to Nottingham with my youngest son sat next to me in the car listening to Colin slater on the radio doing pre match talks, then pulling up to the cattle market car park then walking round the back end of the kop past all the away supporters coming of the train. Then you have then anticipation when going through the turnstile in to the ground walking up the steps in the Kop and seeing the green grass that has been lovingly maintained by Trev, That's when it happens a smile comes across my face and I think to myself I'm home again. for me its not just about the winning, don't get me wrong I do love to win but its the atmosphere its the wheelbarrow song being sung by 2000 people behind me, its knowing that every single person in those stands feel the same as me for 90 minutes. Over the last 30 years I have seen many a good footballer come and go from the likes of Geoff pike, tommy Johnson, Craig short, don O'Riordan, Charlie palmer, dean yates, Phil turner, Mick Leonard and Steve cherry. I've also seen some bad players to (won't mention those !!) all these players all had one thing in common success playing at the lane !! how many players do we have now that are true to the club that will play 120% week in week out to pull the result out of the bag ? 2-3 years ago I personally thought we had one of the best teams in a very long time with the likes of mike Edwards in the heart of defence, bishop, Davies and judge in the middle and the man himself golden boot Lee Hughes up front and what I think is the best manager we've had since the Warnock days Steve Cotterill, but once again financial differences got in the way and Notts now see themselves a year or two down the line 3 managers later and a brand new squad having to build new foundations. whilst I believe in stability of the club not only on the pitch but also off the pitch I also believe in speculate to accumulate. 3 years ago when we had all that fiasco with Munto Finance they speculated and it paid off in the end (we got promoted) and there was double the amount of supporters down the lane watching. I'm not saying Mr Trew has to put his hand in his pocket but I firmly believe if we are to reach the championship the fans would come out of the woodwork every other Saturday down the lane to watch the likes of Forest, derby, Leicester, Birmingham, Sheffield Wednesday just to name a few !! League one is a very difficult division to get out of at times but it is possible. I feel with the right manager with the right financial backing Notts county as a club as a team could quite easily make it to the championship. I know I've rambled on about past but that's who we are ! that's one of Notts county's main strengths our history ! there is no other team that can match us for our history. I think with the strides we have made over the years and the links with Juventus we should build on that further and make the Notts County brand even more wide spread than it is at the moment. I would like to see more community projects in the paper on the website in the programme, I would like to see the club getting more involved in local charities I would even like to see all the Notts players getting involved at Nottinghamshire schools. It was a refreshing read today regarding bart and his community work. I feel that the club over the past couple of years have been more about the sell, sell, sell than the give, give, give. Notts county to me has always been a family orientated club and I think the club should remember that. well that's it from me onwards and upwards UPIES
    3 points
  33. The other day I posted this picture on this site and on Facebook: Although I found the image amusing as it's certainly true to a point, it got me thinking - how on earth could anybody play with a broken neck? Did he know how serious it was? What kind of a man was he to think "my neck's broken but I'm fine"? As a result I did some research on Bert Trautmann's career and life and wow! Bert Trautmann's is certainly a remarkable story. I have done my best to re-write his story here for PON, so I hope you enjoy Bernhard Carl Trautmann, or as he became more affectionatly known as - Bert Trautmann, was born in Bremen on 22nd October 1923. He lived with his Father who was a factory worker at the docks, and his Mother. The Treeaty of Versailles which was signed at the end of the First World War had left Germany in a pretty sorry state - they had been relying in loans from the USA to keep up with their war reperation payments, but the Wall Street Crash meant that they no longer got those loans. The bleak economic climate in the 1930s left the Trautmann family with no choice other than to sell their home and move into an apartment. The young Bert Trautmann had a keen interest in playing football and handball from an early age. He joined Football Club Blau Und Weiss, and took to playing with much enthusiasm. Bert joined a group called the Jungvolk which was a precurser to the Hitler Youth. The following year he won several Junior athletics events which led to him being awarded a certificate for athletic excellence signed by the German President Paul Von Hindenburg. When the Second World War began, Trautmann was working as a mechanic but he joined the Luftwaffe as a radio operator in 1941. However he didn't show much apitude for radio work during his training so he went off to become a Paratrooper instead. He served in Poland although his regiment were stationed far behind the front line, which resulted in boredom. Therefore they resorted to playing a lot of sports and practical jokes. One of those practical joked backfired on Bert as it resulted in a Staff Sergaent burning his arms. Trautmann was court-martialled and given a three month prison sentence. However he came down with Acute Appendicitis so spent most if his sentence in a military hospital. Following his release he joined up with German forces in Ukraine, where the German advance had been halted due to the adverse weather conditions. Hit and run attacks on the Soviet Forces became the focus for Trautmann's unit, and he was soon promoted to Corporal. In 1942 small advances were made but Trautmann's unit were hit hard by a Soviet counter-attack. By the time his unit were withdrawn from the Eastern Front, less than 300 of the original 1,000 men in the unit were still alive. Trautmann himself won five medals for his actions on the Eastern Front - including the Iron Cross. Following his withdrawel from the Eastern front, Trautmann was promoted to Sergaent, and he became part of a unit which was made up of the remnents of other units which had been almost completely destroyed on the Eastern front. His new unit were stationed in France in anticipation of an allied invasion. In 1944, he survived the bombing of Kleve, and he decided to head back to Breman as he had no unit left. By now, German soldiers caught attempting to flee were being excecuted as deserters, so Trautmann had to try and avoid soldiers from both sides. Unfortunatly, just a few days into his journey home he was captured by a couple of U.S soldiers in a barn. They soon came to the conclusion that Trautmann had no useful information to give them so they marched him out of the barn. Trautmann, thinking he was about to be excecuted, made a bid for freedom. He fled his captors and jumped over a fence. Unfortunatly he had the miss-fortune of landing right at the feet of a British soldier who is said to have greeted him with "hello fritz, fancy a cuppa tea?". That was Trautmann's third attempt at freedom during the war. Earlier in the war he had been caputured on the Eastern front by the Russians and he was captured again by members of the French Resistance, but he escaped both times. This time though he wasn't so lucky. At first he was held in Belguim before being transfered to Essex where he was interrogated. Trautmann was a volunteer soldier who had been essentially brainwashed by the Nazis from a young age. He was therefore classed as a catergory "C" prisoner, meaning he was regarded as a Nazi. He was then transferred to a Prisoner of war camp near Northwich in Cheshire. Soon he was downgraded to a catergory "B" prisoner, meaning he was no longer regarded as a Nazi. Follwing this he was transferred to another POW camp in Ashton-In-Markerfield, Lancashire. Football matches were regularly held in the camp as the prisoners tried to keep themselves entertained. In these matches, Trautmann usualy played outfield. However, in an organised match against a local amateur side, Trautmann picked up an injury while playing at centre half and he asked to swap positions with the goalkeeper. From that day forth, he played as a goalkeeper. It was also during his time at the POW camp that he started getting called "Bert" as the English guards had trouble pronouncing his name. The POW camp at which Trautmann was held closed in 1948 - three years after the formal surrender of German forces and the end of the War. Trautmann decided to stay in Britian - working on a farm, and on bomb disposal in th Merseyside town of Huyton. He also began playing football for amateur club St Helens Town in the Liverpool County Combination League. Over the course of the 1948-49 season, Trautmann's stock as a goalkeeper grew, and big crowds began turning up to see him play, including a record 9,000 in the final of the local Mahon Cup final. As the 1949-50 season progressed, league clubs began to take notice of Trautmann. First Division club Manchester City offered Bert a contract in October 1949, which he signed - joining the club initially as an amateur but soon turning professional. The signing of a former member of the Luftwaffe did not go down well among many Manchester City supporters. Many season ticket holders threatened a boycott, and the club was bombarded with protest letters not just from the people of Manchester, but from people all over the country. The antagonism of fans was not the only thing Trautmann was up against. He was signed as a replacement to Frank Swift, who was regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the club's history. City's captain Eric Westwood was a D-Day veteran, and although he privatly expressed many doubts about the signing of Trautmann, he publically welcomed Trautmann to the club saying "there's no war in this dressing room". Bert made his first team debut for Manchester City in 19th November in a game against Bolton Wanderers. He put in a competent display in his first game which silenced some of the doubters, and fans began to realise his talent. He did however recieve a lot of abuse from opposition fans at away matches which had an affect on his concentration in his first few games. In December of 1949 he shipped seven goals at Derby County. Manchester City travelled to Fulham in January 1950. This was to be Trautmann's first visit to London, and the game recieved a lot of coverage with most of the country's media at the time being based in London. Due to the heavy damage London suffered as a result of Lufwaffe bombing raids during the War, Trautmann was a target of deep hatred for the crowd who yelled "kraut" and "Nazi", among other things at him. City were not having a great season and they were expected to lose heavily, but a string of fine saves from Trautmann meant City only lost the match 1-0. At full time, Trautmann recieved a standing ovation from the crowd and he was applauded off the field by both teams. City continued to struggle in the league and suffered relegation from Division 1 - finishing second bottom on 29 points, 3 points from safety (2 points for a win back then). The following season, Man City were promoted back to Division 1 finishing second in the second division. Over the new few years, Trautmann really began to establish himself as a top goalkeeper, and he played in all-but 5 of City's next 250 league games. Come 1952, his reputation had spread back to Germany, and Schalke made a £1,000 offer for his services. City refused the offer, and were quoted in the press as saying they believed Trautmann to be worth twenty times what Schalke had offered. In 1955, Manchester City reached the FA Cup final where they would face Newcastle United. Trautmann became the first ever German to play in an FA Cup final. It's said that the City team were gripped by nerves before the game, and they fell behind after less than a minute. Things got worse on 18 minutes when Jimmy Meadows was injured, leaving City with only 10 men (no subs back then). Now City had made the final largly thanks to Trautmann's ability start attacks by throwing the ball out to the wingers as oppose to simply kicking the ball as far down the field as possible. But the loss of a player limited this ability. Although City did equalise during the first half, they struggled during the second half and were eventually beaten 3-1. They reached the final again though the following year, this time to face Birmingham City. Shortly before the final, Trautmann hadd become the first goalkeeper ever to win the Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year award, and two days later he stepped out onto the hallowed turf at Wembley for the Cup final, and a match that would cemment his legacy as one of football's greats. This time, Manchester City were more settled and they took the lead after just three minutes. Birmingham soon equalised after a quarter of an hour. It stayed 1-1 but then midway through the second half, Manchester City bagged two goals in two minutes to take control of the game. From then on Birmingham threw everything forwards. With 15 minutes remaining, Trautmann dived at the ball but collided heavily with Birmingham's Peter Murphy. Trautmann's neck smashed against Murphy's knee knocking him briefly unconcious. Remember, no subs were permitted in those days so although dazed and unsteady on his feet - Trautmann played on. For 15 more minutes he defended his goal, bravely denying Murphy once more to help Manchester City hold on for a 3-1 victory. Trautmann was the hero for his spectacular saves towards the end of the game. These are the television highlights of that final: Trautmann's neck was still causing him pain as he went up to collect his winners medal, Prince Phillip commented on his crooked neck. Nevertheless, Trautmann attended the post-match banquet that evening despite not being able to move his head. He went to bed that night expecting the pain to go away after some rest. It didn't, so he went to St George's Hospital the following day where he was told he simply had a crick in his neck which would soon go away. Three days later, he got an opinion from a second doctor back in Manchester, and X-Rays showed that Trautmann had dislocated five Vertebrae in his neck, one of which was cracked in half. The third Vertebrae had wedged against the second, which had prevented further, pottentially fatal damage. Trautmann took several months to recover, which resulted in him missing the first part of the 1956-57 season. In early December, he played in a couple of reserve team games but he clearly lacked confidence. Nevertheless, he was restored to the first team on December 15th, but he conceeded three goals against Wolves. He continued to struggle, and some began to call for him to retire. Some even criticised Manchester City for forcing Trautmann to play when he had not fully recovered. The following season, City became the first, and thus far only English league club to score 100 goals, and concede 100 goals in the same season. They finished 5th in the First Division, and Trautmann played on 34 of City's 42 league games that season. He only kept two clean sheets that season, and he shipped 8 at Leicester in an 8-4 defeat. City fans certainly got their moneys worth as far as the entertainment on offer was concerned that season! Overall, between 1949 and 1964, Bert Trautmann played in 545 matches for Manchester City. His City career finished with a testimonial game between a joint Manchester City & Manchester United XI which included the likes of Bobby Charlton and Dennis Law, against an England team that included Stanley Matthews and Jimmy Armfield. The official crowd for his testimonial was 47,000 although it was thought to be more along the lines of 60,000. Although he had planned to retire after his testimonial, Trautmann briefly joined Wellington Town. He had lost some of his agility but he proved he could still pull in the punters on his debut for the club at Hereford. However in just his second game for the club, Trautmann was sent off for violant conduct, and he never played again. After a few months pondering his options, Bert recieved a telephone call from the Stockport County chairman Victor Bernard, who offered him the chance to become the club's general manager. Stockport were struggling both financially and in terms of league position, and the appointment of Trautmann was an attempt to improve the club's image. Many of the club's fans, and indeed many local people also supported one of the two Manchester clubs, so between them - Trautmann and Bernard decided to move all of Stockport's home games to Friday night's in an attempt to boost revenue from extra support. Whilst that worked, the performances of the team didnt improve much, and in 1966 Trautmann resigned after a falling out with Bernard. In 1967 and 1968 Trautmann managed German club Prussia Munster, and he guided them to a 13th place finish in the German second tier. He also had a short spell at Opel Russelsheim. Following that, the German FA employed Trautmann as a development worker and sent him to countries without a football structure. At first he worked in Burma where he enjoyed two years as national team coach in which they qualified for the 1972 Munich Olympics, and they won the President's Cup - which was a competition contested between South-East Asian countries. He also worked in Tanzania, Pakistan, Liberia and Yemen until 1988 when he retired and settled in Spain. Now you might have thought that Trautmann would have enjoyed a succesfull International career too given his sucess at Manchester City. He was a renowned shot stopper who saved 60% of the penalties he faced. But actually, despite being recognised as one of the world's top goalkeepers at the time, Trautmann never played for his country. He had met with the German national coach Sepp Herberger in 1953 and was told that the travel expenses, coupled with the pottential political implications of selecting a player who did not play in Germany were the reasons why he could not be selected. Trautmann's only international experience came when the Football League decided to include foreign players in Football League representative matches. Trautmann captained the Football League against the Irish League and he also played against the Italian League. As a result of this Trautmann missed out on the 1954 World Cup which West Germany won, and thats a real shame. Many people these days claim that a player cannot really be classed as a true great unless they have achieved success at International level as well as club level. You can see their point, but to discount Trautmann as a legend I think is wrong. Not only was he a fantastic shot stopper, but he also changed the goalkeepers role to an extent with his ability to start attacks from throwing the ball out wide, at a time when it was perfectly acceptable for keepers to simply kick the ball as far down the pitch as they could. And he won the public over too, which must have taken some doing. Gordon Banks cited Trautmann as a big influence on his playing style. The media have recognised Trautmann's reputation numerous times. The Daily Mail ranked Trautmann as the unofficial 19th best goalkeeper of all time, while the TV channel ESPN ranked his diving save at Peter Murphy's knee which resulted in him breaking his neck as the best ever FA Cup save. There is also a statue of Trautmann inside the main reception at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium: His reputation was again recognised in 2004 when he was awarded an OBE for his work in Anglo-German relations, and the following year he was inducted into the National Football Museum's Hall of Fame. I don't think anybody could possibly deny Trautmann his place in history. Yes, his only honour as a player on the pitch was that 1956 FA Cup success and no he never played for his country. But you have to look at the bigger picture. Look at where he came from, what he went through, his road to success. The obstacles he had to overcome to reach the heights he reached. His immense bravery in that Cup final should, and probably will be remembered forever. I've spent quite a few hours reading all sorts of stories and researching Trautmann's career in order to put this blog together, and it's taken me two days to put the whole thing together. I really wanted to write something that would do the great man justice and I hope I've done that, because Bert Trautmann is an inspiration, a legend, and a true great. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully found it interesting
    3 points
  34. With no live footy to go and watch over the last few months I've ended up adding to my programme collection which has brought back memories. This week I added a few from what should be remembered as one of our great cup runs given the sides we beat, yet in truth it's hardly remembered at all. The 2006 league cup run for Notts was the first proper cup run I experienced as a fan. Its largely a forgotten run from a period of our history most people have tried to forget, but this was a small beacon of light which gave us some much needed excitement. We were lucky to be entering the competition at all having stayed in the league thanks to a last minute penalty on the final day of the previous season. Steve Thompson had took over as manager and had to be fair assembled a half decent xi with no money. Still, when we were drawn away to Crystal Palace in round 1, we didn't exactly anticipate anything other than a beating. The Eagles had suffered championship play off heartache the previous season but had started the new season with 3 straight wins. We'd surprised even ourselves with 2 wins and 2 draws from our first 4 games, but surely this was a step too far? Peter Taylor naturally made changes but still 6 of the side who'd started their last league game started, though it would be one of the changes Michael Hughes who danced through the middle of the Notts defence to put Palace 1 up after just 17 minutes. But Notts rallied and levelled on 24 minutes - Lawrie Dudfield with a wonderful strike from the edge of the box to stun the Cockneys. Notts' solid start to the league had been built on a strong defensive record, and they frustrated the hosts for the rest of the night. And then 6 minutes from time we hit them with the sicker punch - Dan Martin volleying home Needham's Cross to send the small but loud and proud pocket of pies into dreamland. We held out and caused the shock of the round, and we were rewarded with a trip to Teeside to play Middlesbrough. Boro were a well established premiership side and to be honest they were a class act. They'd lost a UEFA cup final just a few months prior, and they were coming into this cup tie off the back of a win over Chelsea and a draw at Arsenal. We were still doing well ourselves and were 6th. But surely this really was a step too far? Well we were in luck as then Boro boss Gareth Southgate made several changes, but Viduka was playing. He could beat us on his own. Well after a nervy start, Notts settled into the game, and it was out of nowhere on 26 minutes when we took the lead. A hopeful punt forward was headed clear by McMahon, but it fell at the feet of Congolese striker Tcham N'Toya who coolly slotted it home and stunned the Riverside. From then on, particularly through the second half it was very much backs to the wall for Notts, but our luck was in. A combination of woeful Boro finishing and some great saves from Saul Deeney saw us yet again pull off the shock of the round, and earn easily our best result for a number of years. We weren't rewarded with the dream tie of a United or a Chelsea etc, but we were given a home tie, and a good one against Southampton. Like Palace, Saints were starting a second season back in the championship following relegation, although unlike the Eagles they weren't looking like getting back up anytime soon. A midtable finish the previous season had been followed by a rather average start to this season, and George Burley was under pressure. We were up to 5th and enjoying a start to the season which surprised even ourselves. We fancied our chances under the lights at the Lane, although due to injuries we were the one's making changes for this one. But with a boisterous home crowd behind them Notts hit the front on 13 minutes thanks to The Phoenix, Mike Edwards - poking home a Junior Mendes cross. Right on the stroke of half time we were in dreamland again as Andy Parkinson lead the Saints defence a merry dance before setting up Jason Lee (minus the pineapple on his head) to double the lead. Saints threw the kitchen sink at us in the second half, but even a young Welsh lad named Gareth Bale couldn't save them, and we found ourselves in the 4th round of the league Cup for the first time since 1983. We dreamed of a money spinning tie at Old Trafford or the Emirates , but alas it wasn't to be. The 4th round draw was a bit of an anti climax as it put us up against fellow league 2 side Wycombe. A good chance to progress, but in typical Notts fashion, having beaten 3 higher division sides we went out to Wanderers in extra time, and they went all the way to the semi finals where they earned a first leg draw at home to Chelsea before bowing out at Stamford Bridge. As for us, it was a mixed season. We were still in the play off picture at the turn of the year, but our small squad caught up with us and we'd fall away to finish 13th. A bit disappointing but given our perilous financial state, a good effort. And what of the heroes of that cup run? Well Dan Martin would leave Notts at the end of the season and embarked on a non league tour which took in Mickleover, Tamworth and Rocester. Lawrie Duffield would end up at Cork City and Quorn before setting up a football clinic business after retiring. N'Toya ended up playing in the Israeli 3rd division before disappearing off the face of the earth. Jason Lee ended up working with the PFA after spells with Boston, Stags, Corby, and Arnold. The only one who hung around was Eddie Oofball, Mike Edwards. He stayed until 2012 before a brief spell at Carlisle only to come back here. He retired in 2018 and his own testimonial money was withheld by a certain previous owner. Not that one...
    2 points
  35. Right you lot. Inspired by 11 Freunde magazine, I've thought up a few ways to improve football. Agree? Disagree? Let me know! And feel free to add some more suggestions in the comments. Spoiler: lots of things are going to be banned Ban VAR. For better or worse, let referees decide on things instead of spending half of our matchdays staring at a monitor. We spend enough of our lives looking at screens as it is. Let's have some common sense in offside decisions. No, a player isn't gaining an unfair advantage if their elbow is a centimetre past the last defender. He's not allowed to touch the ball with his elbow for heaven's sake. Merge the Premier League and Football League. For the name of the new organisation, take the “Football” from Football League and “League” from Premier League. The new organisation shall not use a logo that looks like a washing machine brand. The four divisions of the new “Football League” shall be named division 1, 2, 3 and 4. There shall be neither “championships”, nor any “super” or “premier” leagues. All TV money shall be distributed equally between every League club, whether Manchester United or Stevenage Borough. Stevenage Borough shall actually be called Stevenage Borough, not Stevenage FC. Luton Town shall decide what colours to play in. I don't care whether you play in white and black, white and blue, orange and white or orange and blue. You've existed for 135 years, so make your minds up! Alan Hardy shall be installed as the chairman of Nottingham Forest with immediate effect. Football matches shall never start earlier than 3.00 pm. All new football stadia shall have proper, towering floodlights built on acres of scaffolding. Ban music after goals. If we can't make noise after scoring a goal, we might as well just stay at home. Each stadium shall have a designated sniper, who will shoot the stadium announcer with a tranquilliser dart if the latter becomes too excitable or attempts to “animate” the crowd. If, during World Cup matches, a fan shown on the big screen immediately starts smiling and waving, this fan will also be shot with a tranquilliser dart. If the behaviour in 13 persists, big screens shall be removed from football stadia. In fact, remove the big screens anyway. Notts County shall never play in white shorts at home, and the black and white stripes shall also be visible on the back of the shirt. Only flamboyant Latin American stars and tricky wingers with their socks rolled down are allowed to wear coloured boots. Everyone else wears black. Referees must all be over 40, balding and with pot bellies that wobble as they run. They must all be schoolteachers. MK Dons shall be stripped of the “Dons” name and relegated to the lowest rung of non-league, so they can earn their League place like everyone else. Beer can be consumed in the stands, instead of having to neck it in the concourse. Football managers are allowed to be fat again. Chairmen should be local barons of industry with a comb-over. All interviews that begin “Well, at the end of the day...” shall be cut off immediately. Players whipping off their shirts and jumping into the crowd after scoring shall no longer be given a yellow card, but actively encouraged (but only in the last ten minutes of play). Players who gloat to opposition fans after going 2-0 up shall be tolerated, but only on the condition that they are still on the pitch when their side loses 3-2. No more postponements, ever. If players slip around on the ice, or are completely submerged in the mud, or are struck by lightning, that just adds to the spectacle. Any mention of the acronyms “EPL” or “EFL” shall be an offence punishable with a season ticket at Mansfield Town. The Champions League shall be for champions only. Teams that finish fourth need not apply. Rochdale play in the fourth division. Sorry Dale, but it's called the Rochdale division for a reason. “Premier League records” are not a thing. The many records from our rich football history shall not be disregarded because they happened before a bunch of greedy first division chairmen decided to keep all the TV money for themselves. All journalists who use the phrase “what Pele called the beautiful game...” shall be sent to a rough Mansfield pub in a Chesterfield shirt to learn the error of their ways. A minimum of three teams shall be promoted from the National League to the Football League every season. The lack of promotion places from the National League is a relic of the strict separation of the League and non-league up to the 1980s and needs to be corrected. The National League shall be given a new name. Don't care what. National League sounds a bit too much like an underground neo-nazi cell for my liking. Betting companies, online casinos and all the rest of them have no place cluttering up our beautiful football shirts. Bring back standing. And cheaper prices for standing. Please let us have no more soulless new stadiums next to a motorway junction and Tesco's surrounded by zillions of parking spaces and Pizza Huts but with no pubs or anything approaching character. No stadium sponsors. Or, if they HAVE to be sponsored, they should at least be accompanied by the name of the actual stadium. Too many grounds are identified solely by a changing sponsor's name. Imprisonment for the “band” that plays at England games. Preferably in a dank medieval dungeon. Last, but most definitely not least: racism shall never, ever be tolerated and shall be punished with a life ban.
    2 points
  36. I've wanted to touch upon this subject for some time; however, I tend to put it off. It's not the most exciting subject, but at the same time having somewhere, I can express my inner thoughts did offer me some focus in the past. Towards the end of 2019, I tend to find my mind the most proactive of the year. While some openly mock people for wanting to improve their lives, whether it be for real or just for the sake of a quick social status - depression can be worse for those who suffer from it doing December. It's for that reason; I think it's harsh for people to mock others - as it seems natural that people will want to improve their lives or learn from the year that has passed. I'm thankful this December; my mum has been at home where she belongs. The past two years has been difficult for the simple reason she's been quite ill in hospital, I've enjoyed spending time with my parents and this past Christmas for me it was all about sharing quality time with them. Only issue I've had this time around was due to falling ill, but I am used to this. While I felt ill - I spent a lot of time thinking. I usually do, which is why I tend to be productive but again it wasn't negative as I typically find. I've focused on perspective, being content and figuring out what I did during the summer months - which I could benefit from trying to do in the winter ones. Another is having more focus on what I do, I've invested a lot of time doing art - mostly due to being told it would only become more difficult with arthritis and how easily I can dislocate my joints. I spent a few hours on Christmas and Boxing Day messing around, well, just trying to familiarise myself with a new graphic tablet which my parents brought me. I have various applications installed on my laptop/PC that would support the device, such as Photoshop and Illistrator. However, I spent some time with the equipment, and I wanted to see if I could find something more geared towards digital art instead. I love it; it's much easier to hold the pen. I find drawing for longer spells more comfortable, and I can even see my daughters loving uses graphic tablet. I'm hoping to find some free time to doodle more, maybe work on some new things. So, with the focus of saving time and making things easier for my condition - I do want to find time to do the things I know I take for granted.
    2 points
  37. an interesting read from The Guardian on his influences https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/sep/07/harry-kewell-frank-rijkaard-notts-county Frank Rikjaard noted as being a main influence I may not have been a fan of Harry's initial appointment but was pleased to have someone to roll up the sleeves and work on the coaching, rather than Nolan's perceived man management at a distance. Mind you, Harry is at odds of my opinion of Brisley today...We cant agree on everything Kewell: ''you have to win ugly in every league, the attitude has to be right and then you earn the right to play''. #Notts 1 reply0 retweets3 likes Reply 1 Retweet Like 3 Direct message BBC Nottingham Sport‏ @BBCRNS 4h4 hours ago More Kewell: ''Brisley gives my back four a little more of a safety net - I thought he did an excellent job''. #Notts 2 replies0 retweets2 likes Reply 2 Retweet Like 2 Direct message Pie Thagoram‏ @Piethagoram More Replying to @BBCRNS sorry @HarryKewell . He looked lost, was too slow and is not comfortable on the ball.
    2 points
  38. https://www.nottinghampost.com/sport/football/notts-county-boss-kevin-nolan-280965 https://www.nottinghampost.com/sport/football/kevin-nolan-backs-notts-county-1214452 so why does Nolan play him there? Yes, injuries to Ox-Ch but it is no coincidence that the change in form coincided with the loss of Yates, so even in midfield, I have to say he is not good enough. I would like to see the stats for pass completion, which must be among the lowest in L2. He helped protect the defence last season, covering for Duffy and Brisley but just giving the ball away heaps more pressure on the team Nolan's faith in Hewitt is misplaced, I am sure that Harry Pell should have been on the summer shopping list. I am too losing faith in Nolan's management, that he cannot see what is needed for L2. Colchester's tall hungry and mobile set the standard and Notts are woefully way off the mark
    2 points
  39. No, not a career reprise on the Banjoman, but on a look back for Millwall's Red invasion http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/yuran-admits-hes-top-of-the-flops-6318309.html Always remember Danny Baker complete with Russian Red Army Fur hat, on television full of enthusiasm of a new dawn for Millwall...but such new dawn was relegation
    2 points
  40. Taxi tales...Lima Peru... exit area of Lima airport can be best described as a cage. Taxi drivers touting for business and I couldnt find the car booked for me by the hotel. So I went back inside and paid a bit extra for an airport car. Conversing with the guy in Spanish, he said dont worry when we go through red lights. If we stop at red lights, likelihood of being robbed at gunpoint. So an interesting 20 minute drive through the dark streets of Lima to a hotel surrounded by barbed wire walls. Had an early flight next day so arranged for same guy to bring me back to airport. I get to airport to check in for flight to Cuzco, to find airline ticket not valid. Dont worry sir, its happened many times before, we give you preprinted letter for you to take back to your travel agent saying we only accept tickets issued by American Airlines only. so had to pay about 100 dollars for the flight. I could have gone to the Aero Continente desk, but that airline had a not so good reputation ( must have been true, as I believe, allegedly american insurance companies subsequently withdrew their insurance so they couldnt fly). So just paid 100 bucks and an american girl turns up on spec...same flight USD 70? I asked why her flight was cheaper? Well sir, you had a reservation already? Yes maybe reservation with an invalid ticket! Such is life in Latin america Vielen danke @DangerousSausage
    2 points
  41. http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/row-zed/steam-train-drives-through-football-6620021 Well, we never got the monorail, perhaps will enhance the watching experience at Meadow Lane
    2 points
  42. At the beginning I often felt a little down, this is just me in general but I understand the process but it's not just that. I have big hopes for the site, this isn't to take away credit from anything or even the official site. I'm just a very proud and loyal fan. I feel I am helping in a small way and believe that my positive attitude however deluded it seems actually helps. It's a strange one because in life I am not openly positive, rather for myself I think very negatively but when it comes to others I have strong faith. Notts County will have no doubt seen some harder times, much harder than this, and if we're to rise up the league, which I still think we will, the fans will have to give the club a little bit of a break as it's early days and we tend to go from low expectations to world beaters. Somewhere along the way we have to be realistic! Notts will take on Liverpool tomorrow, I am very optimistic. Saturday I was disappointed like the majority of fans, I try to draw from the positives and admittedly even they were few and far between. Thing's might change by tomorrow, football is one of those things with many up's and down's but we've shared more than a few of our own. Unlike some of the minority of our fanbase, I am more than happy to state when I am wrong and not throw it into anyone's faces when I'm right. I don't get the need for this, as in itself it's very negative. My hopes for the season in terms of prediction(s) might be a little off from us but the season must start somewhere. I don't believe any fan of ours wants us to underachieve or not do well, so with this said it would be nice to see a little more of a re-group after we've had our moan. Tomorrow is a positive thing within it's own right, the clubs got a chance to return to centre stage and hopefully show the world we're not as bad as things seem. A good account of ourselves tomorrow might bring the fight within the players, we need them to be hungry and wanting to achieve. I don't mean to sound patronizing, these are just my thoughts. I'm lucky that no matter what the outcome tomorrow, I can take strength from seeing my lad enjoy his day and I hope many others also do. It's amazing how these types of things can bring us together, I very much hope the fanbase does regroup because this is no time to start panicking. I'd leave this until at least after Christmas If you read this and are one of the travelling fans, no matter what.,show your PRIDE, we're a family club and there's no difference between us. Sing loud and proud – Make your presence known. Come On You Pies!
    2 points
  43. The hub and heart of the site is no doubt our community, I've tried to keep things engaging but simple. It's my first port of call when I visit, obviously due to me already knowing the content on the home page. It's the place also most commonly people visit, so I try to make sure it's not over cluttered. 1) If you click where it says "Welcome *your username*" you will see a menu display. This is where all sorts of useful likes are found and of course the place to edit your settings. It's pretty straight forward once you notice it, although you can do quite a bit from this location. My Profile, My Content, Manage Friends, Manage Blogs, My Gallery, My Settings, Content | Follow, Manage Ignore Prefs and Personal Messenger. You can also update your status here which shows in your profile and in the sidebar area of the community, a useful way to express yourself to the community. A useful tip to both Newpies and of course existing members is found in the breadcrumb bar. To the right you will see "Rules" please don't be put off by these but sure to familiarize yourself with our policies. "View New Content" the easy way to keep track on what's going off and has happened in the community, very good way of finding discusses to take part in also. To end you will see a little toggle box, if you scroll over it you will notice it says "Open Quick Navigation" this is a great way to quickly finding a location anywhere on our site. Easily noticeable is Community Message and of course the Community Notice, you don't have to take to much notice of these but eventually they will change. To the right, you will see the "sidebar" here we feature all the little pieces we feel you might be interested in. Next Match Block, Member of the Month, Mini League Table, Recent Status Updates, and Recent Topics. The Recent Topics is another useful way of keeping up-to-date with on goings within the community. If you follow this straight down, you will see a large block which lists Newest Users, Top Posters, Top Forums and Recent Posts. It's always nice to welcome a new member and you will find that one of our friendly members usually start a thread to welcome them, the two others "Top Posters" and "Top Forums" are just interesting information but of course again, the Recent Posts is another quick way to keep tabs on what's going on. Just a little lower than that, you will find some more useful information. A row of "Statistics" and then the "Who's Online", along with a little key legend to let you know what colour means what. This pretty much wraps the community index page up, in my next 101 blog series. I will cover #Posting. I hope these will be useful to everyone and if you're a new member please express yourself, seriously we're a very friendly community and it's the interactions which make any site. Right at the very bottom, we have our "Footer" with useful links inside. In the middle there's a button to send you back up to the top of the site, to the left - Change Theme (useful if you're on a mobile and the sites no detected your device) - Mark Community Read - Help - Rules and Privacy Polcy. To the right our copyright details and beneath you will see our chat system. The far right button (which I think looks like a pill) is the toggle on and off switch. Next to that the "blue and white" people icon, is our chat room and to the side very much like Facebook is the individual chat area (as you can I'm talking to Super Ram). To the left you find our social pages. Here's my previous Blog | Getting used to PoN 101 #Basics Thanks for reading!
    2 points
  44. The football world is often refered to as 'the football family' but what does that mean? Ofcourse, there are signs of togetherness from all football fans all the time - the way fans of different clubs all get on under one roof like on this website, the support Stylian Petrov has recieved from supporters of all clubs in his fight against Leukemia, and the way we can all come together in respect (well, most of us) when disasters such as Hillsboroough, Bradford and Ibrox occured. I could go on. But there are reasons to suggest that this 'football family' isn't much of a 'family'. To me, the term 'football family' would suggest that we at Notts County, and down here at Weymouth share the same values and dreams as clubs in the premier league and there is equality, with those at the top of the financial tree helping those at the bottom in their hour of need. But is this really the case? When Weymouth fell on hard times where was the 'football family'? It certainly was not there offering to help us! Are we not as important as Southampton, Liverpool or Chelsea? Ofcourse we are, but where was the equality? Surely the strengh of the English game is based largely on its structure from the Premiership down to Sunday league level? Most people at the top of the game, especially football pundits (or as I like to call them - self appointed experts) and the TV companies never mention our leagues. If they do, it's because a club at that level has had a big FA Cup draw, but even then they seem to do it with a smile and a joke about them. I find it a very dismissive attitude of that level of the game. I would happily bet that the vast majority of Premier league players have little to no knowledge of football below League 2, let alone below the Conference National. But to be fair the clubs dont help. How many of the big clubs offer to play smaller clubs in friendlies to help bring them in some cash? Most of them would rather jet off for a pre-season trip to America, Asia or somewhere hot. Hampshire based club AFC Totton have fallen on hard time lately, but what are the chances of Southampton (not half an hour up the road) offering to play them in a pre-season friendly to try and help them out a bit? Pretty much nil. It's not only AFC Totton in financial difficulties. Aldershot Town & Dunfermiline Athletic recently entered administration, and hundreds of football clubs up and down the UK are in trouble but does this so called 'football family' help? No. I know it's a bit of a cliche but ONE WEEK'S wages from any of Manchester City's stars would be more than enough to sort out most clubs, especially at non-league level's problems and give a fanbase a club to support for another season. But ofcourse that will never happen because any such payment would be deemed inappropriate. It's a bit of a euphemism for greed I think and until reality strikes, the future of the game below the elite level will remain in serious danger. But what can be done? The obvious answer would appear to be a wage cap at all levels but personally I can't see that ever being implemented simply because clubs will never agree to one voluntarily. And trying to impose a wage cap could invite legal action from football clubs, and in the end lawyers would be the only winners. And another problem is that all too often these days, small clubs come across a wealthy benefactor who then bankrolls them on a rapid rise through several divisions to a league they never previously dreamed of, or ever came close to. But crucially, they wont have the support needed to sustain that level once the promotions inevitably stop coming. When that happens, clubs have to hope that the benefactor continues to pump in his money but only to stand still. In these difficult times, it simply does not happen. I go back to AFC Totton. They were in the Wessex League (step 10 of the English football pyramid) or lower for donkeys years, but suddenly they shot up and found themselves in the Southern Premier League (step 7). However they were ill equipped in terms of support and as a result of that, when the promotions stopped coming, the benefactor upped sticks. The support was not anywhere near good enough to sustain the level they've found themselves at and as a result, they face the possibility of being kicked out of the league at next months league AGM with players having not been paid since February. Another recent example is Cornwall based club Truro City. They came further than AFC Totton - rising from the South Western League (step 11) all the way up to the Conference South (step 6) within five seasons. But inevitably, the promotions stopped coming, and with the lowest gates in the league, and with people on mad wages it was destined to end in tears. Now they're in administration, have been relegated from the Conference South and still have no idea what league they'll ply their trade in next season. They don't even have a ground to play at currently. And it's the true fans of clubs like Truro and Totton who suffer. Fans who were quite happy when their clubs were stable in the Wessex League/South Western League. It's easy to say these clubs got themelves into their own mess but the problem is it's being allowed to happen far too often and far too easily. Something has to be done but until the powers that be wake up, and realise that football does exist below the glamour of the Premiership, more and more clubs will die or fall into trouble, and the future of the game at grassroots level will look very bleak indeed. If you have managed to read all the way through this I hope you have found it interesting at least. It might come across as a bit of a rant, but I wanted to get this off my chest because as someone who has been bitten by the non-league bug, I really do fear for the future of the game. The story in the Football League isn't much happier. I've almost see Notts County die twice, and I've seen Weymouth stare death in the face in the past few years. Both my clubs were lucky in that they were saved but many other clubs won't be so lucky. No fan should see their club die. Something MUST be done, but will anything be done, or will the powers that be and the media continue to ignore the existance of football below the promised land and let the game fall into more turmoil?
    2 points
  45. Well it's been an interesting couple of days at Manchester United to say the least. Sir Alex Fergusson's retirement has been cropping up for the past few years now. He always said he would only retire on health grounds and with with a hip operation coming up, his retirement should not really come as a great surprise, but it did. Let's be clear, I dislike Manchester United. Nothing to do with being jelous of their history as their fans seem to think it is, if anything you can't help but respect that clubs history; it is those fans themselves that irritate me. Every club has it's glory hunters but United fans are the worst. Over the years I've been far from Alex Fergusson's biggest fan. I don't like the way he blames a refereeing decision almost every time they lose, and I think he can be a bit of a bully sometimes. He is quite intimidating, and he makes sure commentators, the press and the games governing bodies are scared of doing or saying anything that might upset him. But despite this, no sane person can deny the man's achievements in the game. I very much doubt we will ever see another manager hang around at one club for as long as he has and achieve as much as he has ever again. He's transformed Manchester United into the most marketable football club in the world. Time and time again people have doubted him and his teams but time and again he's proved everyone wrong. He challenged Liverpool and won; he saw off Newcastle United, Arsenal, Chelsea and now Manchester City on the way to what seems like league title after league title. He raised the bar in the English game - bringing some of the world's top players to our shores and making some of the world's top players himself. Love him or hate him, you cannot help but admire him and what he has achieved both domestically and on the European stage.You can't really praise him enough. Sir Alex has certainly earned his retirement! Is he the greatest manager of all time? Well its up for debate and everyone has their opinions. He's certainly the best manager theres been in my lifetime. And what of his successor David Moyes? I have to say I'm not too convinced by this appointment. Here is a man who has spent the last 11 years at Everton and some (including a few Everton fans I know) would say that he has got too comfortable with simply finishing in the top half, and he is unable to step up to the next level. In those 11 years he has failed to win a single trophy; in fact his only managerial honour is the second division title with Preston North End back at the end of the 90s. He's never managed a team to victory at Old Trafford, Arsenal or Anfield and furthermore, he's never had to manage some of the world's top players. Alright, he worked with Wayne Rooney for a few months until he was sold but thats hardly preperation for the job he is about to undertake. I question the motives behind his appointment. I think a large part of the reasoning behind his appointment is stability. Alex Fergusson has been manager of United for 26 years, while David Moyes has been at Everton for 11 years. However the game has changed since Fergie first pulled up in the Old Trafford car park, even since David Moyes first arrived at Goodison Park. As us Notts County fans well know, we live in an "I want success now and I can't wait" sociaty. The bulk of Man United 'fans' wont care in the slightest about having a manager in place for the next decade. All they will be interested in is winning a couple of trophies every season. Will Moyes be able to cope with the level of expectation? Will he be able to handle the pressure and increased media attention? Will he be able to spend more money than he's ever had available to him wisely? Will he be able to do all of this under the watchfull gaze of Sir Alex? With Sir Alex taking up roles as a director and club ambassador I fear there could be a fair bit of interference from him, and I doubt any manager likes that. As a neutral I have my doubts but don't get me wrong I don't have anything against David Moyes and to some extent I hope he does well. But the thing is David Moyes, and indeed anybody who manages Manchester United in the future will always be compared to Fergie on everything and that's unfair. Moyes is his own man. And you just know that the moment Moyes' side hits a bad patch of form in his first season, the media will be straight on his back claiming he can't handle the pressure etc. Still this is all just food for thought really. As a neutral I think its going to be interesting to see how United do next season. Will this weeks events be a bit of a shockwave that takes a while for the players there to come to terms with? Ofcourse they're professionals but when you think there are players and people at that football club who have only ever worked under Sir Alex, you do wonder. It's also going to be interesting to see how the Everton side respond to everything thats gone on this week, and who will they get to replace Moyes? I can't see it being a particularly big name. One last thing though, I wish the media would stop talking like Sir Alex has died. I know he's a legend but come on, he's just retiring. There's no need for black and white montages with depressing music in the background!
    2 points
  46. Well yesterday was fun! We were meant to get to Crawley for 12:58, but the train we were meant to get from Southampton to Crawley was initially delayed by over half an hour, before being cancelled completely due to a broken down freight train further down the line. We therefore had to get a train to Clapham Junction to get a train to Crawley. Got to Crawley at about quarter past two, asked a police officer outside the station for directions to the ground, he gave us the directions and told us it was about a ten minute walk. Ten minutes my arse! We got to the ground about ten minutes before kick off! Was an adventure, and I have to say I didn't think we were going to make it at one point but we got there in the end and thankfully we can laugh at it now. It's trips like that you end up remembering more. The things we do for our football clubs eh! I was somewhat surprised by the starting xi - having Blyth up top by himself with 4 strikers on the bench after Kiwomya had emphasised how important it was to win games if we want to stay in the play-off picture. We knew Dean Leacock was suspended after picking up a tenth caution on Wednesday night so Manny Smith's recall wasen't a surprise; and I wasen't all that surprised by Judgey's absence given his rough treatment by Orient on Wednesday Night. Was pleased for Bencherif to be given a start, I really don't think some of the abuse he gets from a section of our supporters is fair. He may not be the best player in the squad but one thing he will always do is give 100% to the cause, something which certain players fail to convince me they do. I can forgive a lack of talant if they give their all. Hayden Hollis and Manny Smith put in a really good shift at the heart of defence, so Leacock may have to go some to win his place back, which can only be a good thing. Deespite the strange team selection, we didn't play badly. Blyth certainly put himself about, and played some good passes at times, but I did think he lacked the instinct of a top striker. The midfield did present him with a couple of chances but the finishing touch wasen't there. He is however, still young and will surely improve over time. Bencherif I felt looked unfit. He gave his all but he was always a couple of yards off the pace. As much as I want him to do well, I'm not sure he has what it takes to hold down a place in the first team at this level. It'd be interesting to see what he could do if his fitness improved, he does show glimpses of promise from time to time. I don't know whats happened to Jamal Campbell-Ryce in recent games. He was excellent when I watched us on Sky against Bury the other week, but since the Tranmere match he seems to have hit a bad patch of form. Jeff Hughes on the other hand seems to be finding some form now and was possibly our best player yesterday, so unless Campbell-Ryce finds his form again, he could lose his place in the side. John Cofie came off the bench and brought some much needed flare to our side. On numerous occasions he took on and beat a number of Crawley players on his own but as has been the case so often, we lost out in the final third. Enoch Showumni also came off the bench and was superb. Within seconds of entering the field of play, he'd won the ball from a Crawley throw in - beaten two Crawley players and had two shots saved by their keeper. Fair play to the lad, he played well, and caused their defence a few problems. The match was probably destined to end in a draw given both sides recent form and positions in the table, we both had our chances to win the game but a draw was the right result. Bart, as usual made a couple of good stops and Gary Liddle made yet another goal line clearence. Also, Hayden Hollis managed to slice a clearance onto his own crossbar, which wasen't the calmest of moments for me! Crawley seem to lack in the final third just as badly as we do. I wonder where we would both be if we had a prolific scorer each. Can we make a late push for the play-offs? Well with two home games to come this week against Preston North End and Scunthorpe United, there is a brilliant chance for us to get those crucial back to back victories. If we can do that then who knows, but we can't really afford to drop many more points particularly on home soil, if indeed any at all. One team really flying at the minute is my local lot Weymouth. Seven wins in our last eight league games including a 3-1 victory at second placed Hemel Hemostead Town on Tuesday night, and a hard faught 1-0 win over Banbury United yesterday thanks to a 92nd minute goal has lifted us up to 4th in the Southern Premier League on 58 points. We have played one game more than sides around us, so we need to keep winning, but after years of turmoil and 5 consecutive relegation scraps, just to be in a position to challenge is fantastic. We travel to second placed Stourbridge next weekend, so it should be a very interesting game. Next Notts game for me will be in a fortnight at Swindon Town. Hopefully it'll be a more straightforward journey this time! Thanks for reading, COYP
    2 points
  47. Ian 'Charlie' McParland retains the honour of being the last Notts County manager to complete a full season in the hotseat after Keith Curle was sacked following Saturday's 2-1 defeat at bottom club Hartlepool united. It proved the final straw for the Notts top brass, after The Magpies had won just two of their last eleven games, and they were against two teams badly out of sorts in Portsmouth and Oldham Athletic. To say Keith Curle wasen't wanted by the fans when he was first appointed would be a massive understatment. He was replacing Martin Allen - a man who had galvinised the club at the end of the 2010-11 season and had forged a strong relationship with the fans. Yet Curle's track record was hardly anything to get the blood pumping - sacked by Torquay United, Chester City and Mansfield Town with allegations of bullying. He was going to have to go some to win the fans over but he quickly set about doing just that. On just his second day at the club Notts welcomed play-off chasing Stevenage to Meadow Lane, and Jeff Hughes' last minute winner gave Notts 3 points and left us 5 points off the top six, but having played at least 1 game more than most sides up there. But 4 wins and a draw in our next 5 games, culminating in an unbeleavable 4-2 victory away to runaway league leaders Charlton Athletic put Notts right into the mix. But we soon came back down to earth with back to back home defeats to Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, and a goalless draw at Scunthorpe in a game we dominated. Still, by the time we hosted Bury in the penoltimate home game, we'd overhauled Brentford, Carlisle United and Stevenage to take 6th place. But we crashed 4-2 at home to Bury in an early kick-off, and Stevenage's win over Brentford meant we dropped out of the play-offs. The final away game of the season at Adams Park proved arguably the most memorable game of Curle's reign. Trailing 3-2 going into injury time, goals from Dela Adebola and a rocket from Alan Judge gave Notts the most dramatic 4-3 victory to lift us briefly back up to sixth. However Stevenage drew 2-2 at Brammal Lane in the evening game which meant we needed them to slip up on the final day to get into the top 6. And despite a 4-1 win over Colchester on the final day, Notts missed the play-offs on goal difference after Stevenage beat Bury. Now weather you supported Keith Curle or not, it's hard to argue with what a great job he did in those final few months of last season. He made us the divisions form side and turned what looked like a lost season into a dramatic play-off push that nearly ended happily. But then you could look at it and say it was our own fault we missed out, with the defeat to Bury and the failiure to convert just one of those chances at Scunthorpe. Because of the end to last season, expectation was high coming into this season and Curle himself wanted promotion. New players were signed and we started the season in fine form, and at one point we topped the table in September. But since then we've had some rather stuttering form, and just five home wins all season has left many supporters calling for the managers head despite a record breaking unbeaten away run of 22 games which was only ended last weekend at Leyton Orient. But attendences have fallen drastically, which has meant the club has less money to spend on players. And that was made even worse by an early FA Cup exit in a second round replay at home to league 2 Rotherham. I suppose you could say that was the beggining of the end. But then, you could look back to the decision to strip Lee Hughes of the number 9 shirt in the summer as the beggining of the end. I must admit, I thought absolutely nothing of it at first, but rumours soon began circulating of Hughsey speaking to fans at pre-season games about Keith trying to force him out, and when a last minute loan move to Port Vale fell through it was clear that Lee wanted out. He eventually got his move last month, and the failiure to bring in a replacement striker only increased the amount of people wanting Curle out. That's not to say we didnt try and bring players in, but we were simply unable to compete with the wages offered to players by other clubs. To be fair to Curle, he did try to sort out our striker problem but this leads to what I think has been the main problem. Curle has been very badly let down by players. On paper, I think we have one of the best squads in the divison but for one reason or another certain players have simply not been doing the business. Francois Zoko was signed in the summer but he's gone missing in too many games, and Yoann Arquin rarely looks interested. They're certainly not the only two players, and Keith also brought in some players that have been outstanding. Bartoz Bialkowski was dismissed as "****" on one youtube clip by most fans when he signed, but he's proved a revelation and his consistant performances have earned him the title "Polands number 1" from the Notts fans at least. Also Gary Liddle has been played out of position for most of the season but has been absolutely outstanding, and Dean Leacock has also been superb. Furthermore, Curle has managed to get the best out of Alan Judge by giving him the chance to pretty much do as he pleases on the pitch, and Andre Boucaud - signed on loan from Luton Town, proved his doubters wrong with some very consistant performances in the middle of the park which lead to him signing on a permanent basis in January. Sadly the number of players underperforming has outnumbered the players playing well. It does seem strange considering that they were always so quick to jump to Curle and the two coaches defence in the media and on Twitter. Black 'N White fanzine editor Stuart Brothers said in his blog that the players owe it to Keith to play to their pottential for the rest of the season, and I have to agree. I really wish we as a club could be more patient with managers. We are now looking for our seventh full time manager in three years, which is just embrassing quite frankly. But the problem is Ray Trew has now got himself a reputation for being very trigger happy, so when another manager comes in and hits a bad run of form, fans will be waiting for Ray to pull the trigger again. I dont want to sound like a broken record but I really do feel that the fact we're not loaded like we thought we were in the munto days hasn't sunk in among some fans. Too many expect miracles from the club but we're not a club that has money to throw about. I would think there have been enough examples of club's throwing too much money around in recent years for people to be thankful to have a stable club with owners who dont want to waste money, but it appears not to be the case with some people. It also really dissapoints me when I see fans refusing to go until a manager is gone. I'm sorry, but I lose a bit of respect for those who refuse to go just because of a manager. A football club is for life, you support it through thick and thin no matter who the manager is and however the team is doing. If you can't take the rough with the smooth it really is time to go and do something else. But maybe that's just me. I grew up knowing Notts to be simply fighting for Football League survival every single season. I got used to seeing us lose at home to the likes of Macclesfield Town, Chester City and Barnet. I also remember us losing 6-1 at Dagenham & Redbridge one awful day. That still goes down as the worst day at the office I can remember, even worse than yesterday's defeat! It's a very sad day in my opinion. Keith was fighting against the tide from the moment he stepped through the door but he won a lot of people over during his time here - myself included. Sadly those of us supporting the manager were always going to be outnumbered by those wanting him out sooner or later so I suppose this day was inevitable, but that dosen't make it the right decision I don't think. The questions I've asked for weeks have been if we sack Keith Curle, who could we realistically afford to bring in? Who in their right mind would want the job? If I was a manager out of work I wouldnt touch Notts County with the proverbial barge-pole. You have less job security than a Turkey in November and little hope of ever being able to keep some fans happy. It's the same every time - we bring in a manager, enjoy the honeymoon period while it lasts, sack them once we hit a bad run of form, bring someone else in and start the cycle again. We need stability, and we won't get anywhere anytime soon if we keep going through managers at our current rate. Stability is key, and a manager needs time to build his own squad. We'll have to wait and see if we bring anybody in on a permanent basis this season, but Ray Trew made it clear on Notts Mad that his next appointment would be another gamble, so expect another little-known name or someone without a proven track record. In the meantime, development team manager Chris Kiwomya has taken the job as caretaker and will be in charge for Tuesday night's game at Stevenage, Chris is a very brave man choosing to take the job on after suffering such a recent personal tradegy. I for one am fully behind the guy, and I'd also like to wish Keith Curle and the two Colins the very best of luck wherever they go next. Curle is a very good young manager, and given time and patience I truly believe he would have gone on to achieve success with us. But sadly we live in an "I want success now and can't wait" society. Another manager has gone but our season is far from over. Tuesday night's game is certainly winnable for us with Stevenage suffering from poor home form this season, much like ourselves. A win could take us to within 2 points of the play-offs. Last season, Martin Allen was sacked after defeat at Hartlepool; Keith curle came in and won his first game in charge against Stevenage. Almost a year on, Keith Curle has been sacked after defeat at Hartlepool, and Chris Kiwomya has came in for the Stevenage game. Let's hope Chris can have a similar start to his tenure and get the win. Who knows, maybe this will trigger another fantastic run of form into the end of the season like last season. One thing is for certain, it's never dull at Meadow Lane! COME ON YOU PIES
    2 points
  48. Portsmouth 0-2 Notts County Notts bounced back from Saturday's dissapointing result at Leyton Orient with an extremely hard-faught victory at Fratton Park last night. It was built up really as being a must win game for Notts, anything less would have been a bad result. Going into the game I felt fairly confident with the starting XI boasting an arsenal of attacking options in Zoko, Arquinn, Judge and Boucaud. However it was never likely to be a classic with the wind swirling around Fratton Park and the rain flying into the players faces no matter what direction they ran in. Portsmouth, as they seem to most games - started very brightly and had the games first chance when Connolly beat Alan Sheehan, crossed the ball into the area which drifted goalwards in the wind but was well saved by Speiss. Just minutes later the young goalkeeper making his first full start had to be on his toes again when another ball came into the area, which was this time punched clear. The game then settled down a bit but Portsmouth continued to press with their ever bouyant home crowd behind them. Their best chance of the whole game came when Wallace's close-range shot was well saved by Speiss at the expense of a corner. Notts did get forwards quite a bit but we kept trying to play one pass too many, almost trying to walk it in which wasen't going to work. Also there was some very sloppy play from virtually all Notts' players, as they seemed to struggle to adapt to the tricky conditions on the south coast. We did however, have the ball in the back of the net from a corner midway through the first half when one of Pompey's defenders headed into his own goal. We celebrated, but only realised there was no goal when the Pompey fans began a rendition of "sit down shut up!" - turned out the goal has been dissalowed for a push. Half time: 0-0, and it must be said we didnt really look like a side chasing the play-offs. We were very sloppy and things had to improve in the second half. We began the second half much brighter with Pompey struggling to clear a number of balls into the area, but we just couldnt find that final touch. That was the story of the next 35 minutes really - we kept getting into decent positions but we'd try and play a bit too much and Pompey would break up field. But I honestly can't remember Speiss having a save to make in the second half. They kept getting forwards but they never really had any chances. Alan Judge, Neal bishop and Francois Zoko all went close for Notts but finally, a breakthrough goal came ten minutes from time. Yohann Arquinn, who it must be said put in a very lazy shift, crossed for Jeff Hughes to volley home from close range to send the 135 Notts fans wild with delight, or was that just relief? Probably a mixture of both. It had been said in the buld up to the game that Portsmouth had a habbit of starting games very well until they conceeded, at which point they'd fall to pieces, and this was too true. Suddenly Notts had more energy about them, and seemed to play more positively and with more freedom. Within 5 minutes of that opener, Francois Zoko made it 2-0 scored from inside the six yard box from a Bishop ball. That killed the game. All the travelling fans seemed very relieved to have the points in the bag. What seemed like a pottential bannana skin before the game looked like becoming one until the last ten minutes. But credit to the lads, they proved once again that they can dig in and adapt their style of play when neccesary, and get the job done. It wasen't pretty, and it wasen't the walkover that some fans were demanding but our goal difference is pretty strong as it is. I dont think there's much point in going all out to score bags of goals and risk injuries. Just get the 3 points in the bag and move onto the next game. The only big dissapointment on the night was the red card shown to Neal Bishop in injury time. Now quite what this was for I personally cant be sure. What I saw was Bishop play a pass forwards, and while we were watching Boucaud attempt to take on a defender a few fans began shouting. I saw something out of the corner of my eye and I looked to see Bish and a Pompey player squaring up to eachother. One fan stood next to me said the Portsmouth man had had Bish by the throat and a small scuffle broke out. I suppose retaliation is a difficult one, but it does beg the question if the whole away end (well, seemingly apart from me!) saw a Pompey man start on Bish, why did none of the two assistent referee's or the ref himself? So it wasen't a pretty performance or a classic by any stretch of the imagination but job done, a wins a win, and we move up to 9th in the table - 5 points off the play-offs with a game in hand. I also want to mention Portsmouth's loyal and ever-vocal supporters. Not only did the players give it a real go until the first goal but their fans just didn't stop singing all night. To keep going back, and supporting their team as loudly, loyally and proudly as they do when they're getting beat week in week out takes a hell of a lot. I really hope they survive, it would be such a shame to see such a wonderful club with a rich history like that of Pompey die. Next up for us, we go to the opposite end of the country completely with a trip to bottom club Hartlepool United on Saturday. It's another must win game for us, anything less would be a big dissapointment. COME ON YOU PIES
    2 points
  49. Well that was an interesting weekend of football! So much to talk about so please do bear with me, I'll break this down into sections. My Own Saturday Thankfully this Saturday I was spared that gut-wrenching feeling of waking up to the news that the game was off, because Weymouth's trip to second placed Hemel Hempstead Town had been postponed on Friday morning with the pitch a good few feet under snow! For once the Southern League saw sense in allowing the game to be called off early. For some reason they dont usually allow clubs to call matches off until the day of the game, which causes everyone disruption when its clear for all to see that the match wont be on. So for me and my mate it was down to the ground still to watch the ever improving Weymouth Reserves play Wareham Rangers in the Dorset Premier League. The team line-up was interesting, with an outside goalkeeper coming in as an emergency replacment as the other two keepers who were both suspended, and three first team players lining up with defenders Ben Doidge and Ashley Wells (for me, our standout player this season), while seasoned striker Matt Groves reverted to a midfield role. Old Groover seemed more interested in shouting at the poor youngsters though than having an impact on proceedings himself. Wareham took the lead roughly ten minutes before the break via a freak goal. A corner came in and there was a scramble which resulted in the keeper having his hands on the ball. Play seemed to stop for a minute, and the keeper let go of the ball. So a Wareham striker tapped the ball into the net and everyone got set for the restart. Took us spectators a few moments to work out weather the goal had been given or not, quite what was happening with our keeper I dont understand. Second half our lads came out and played with a lot more intensity which had been missing through the first half, although that might be understandable given that this was their first game in over a month! Highly rated among us fans, Sean Zima took on and beat a couple of defenders before prodding the ball home to make it 1-1 around the hour mark. Then within 5 minutes the turnaround was complete when Ashley Wells (what he was doing so far forwards god only knows!) stole the ball from the Wareham left back, ran at the keeper and at the second attempt - slotted home to give the Weymouth Reserves the lead. The rest of the game was a scrappy affair with the refferee and his two officials taking centre stage. One linesman had absolutely no understanding whatsoever of the offiside rule. How can our man be offside if he's had to beat the defender who had a head start of a few yards to reach the ball?? Then the ref suddenly discovered a mysterious yellow card in his pocket! He loved it so much he decided to show it to 5 players in as many minutes. Still, I suppose there's a reason these lot are refereeing at this level.. Full Time: Weymouth Reserves 2-1 Wareham Rangers. 3 points lift the Ressies up to 9th in the DPL, although for us the table isn't important. What's important is helping these players develop and feed them into the first-team. And it must be said there's some great young talant in the reserves side which bodes well for the future of our club. All good news after years of turmoil, but maybe I'll tell you that long story another day. Notts County With the Reserves game having been a 2pm kick off, on my way home I checked our score which was 0-0. Was very sad to hear of Bialkowski's injury though. I think I speak for all Notts County fans when I say that he's proved a lot of people wrong so far this season. When his signing was announced in the summer, a large section of supporters dismissed Bart as "****" on one youtube clip from his now infamous appearance for Southampton against Blackpool last season in which he had an absolute stinker. But everyone has bad days and I was all for giving the guy a chance. He's since proved himself to be argubly one of the best keepers we've had at Meadow Lane in many years, producing a string of fine performances that have earned us plenty of points so far this season. His heroic stand against Swindon Town at Meadow Lane in November was probably the easist Man of The Match award to be given at Meadow Lane for years! Fabien Speiss came on to replace Bart and quickly set about showing us just why he's been watched by some of the top premiership clubs. A string of fine saves, and some very good kicking lead to him being unanimously named as Notts' MOTM for the afternoon. He's got a bright future ahead of him, what a great young prospect he is. It proves that Bart certainly has some competition - can 'Polands number one' keep his place? With regards to the result, it was bitterly dissapointing to lose, but the incredible away run off 22 games without defeat under Keith Curle had to end sooner or later. We'll just have to start a new one now! What dissapointed me more than the result though was the reaction of some of our fans. If your reading this, you may have read my rant on one of the forum threads on Saturday evening, so I wont go into it all again, but the point I'd like to make is that yes - it's always dissapointing to lose a game, but I really do think some of our fans expect too much. It's as if the fact we're not loaded like we thought we were hasn't sunk in with some and they expect us to carry on sacking managers whenever we hit a bad patch of form and sign 30 goal-a-season strikers. We cant do that. How people can be calling for Curle's head is beyond me. I'll be the first to admit I was completely mystified at his appointment but he's certainly proved me wrong and I for one am fully supportive of the guy. At the end of the day, we dont have a divine right to win anything. What do we do if we sack Curle? Who could be realistically afford to bring in? Who in their right mind would want the hottest seat in football? And if we found someone who we could afford and was mad enough to take the job on what would happen? We'd enjoy the honeymoon period, then sack him once we hit some bad form and start the cycle all over again. We're not a rich club. We need stability. Jimmy Sirrel didnt achieve success constantly during his time at Meadow Lane, but we stuck by him and look what he did for our club. Brian Clough took over at Derby, and actually took them to a finish of one place lower in his first full season, but they stood by their man and the rest is history. It's a shame there's no patience in football anymore, with everyone demanding instant success. FA Cup A rather sore subject still after our exit to Rotherham, but I still want to mention this weekends Cup action. Anyone who feels that the FA Cup has lost its magic need look no further than this weekend's action. Millwall, Leeds United and Oldham Athletic all beat Premiership opposition as did Luton Town. The Hatters have had a well documented tirbulant few years, and they deserve more coverage for their win at Norwich than they got. It was the first time EVER that a Premiership club had been knocked out by a non-league side. The last top division side to fall to non-league opposition was Coventry City at Sutton in 1989. Their reward - a home tie with Millall. That could be carnage! Also, Brentford managed to hold the European Champions Chelsea to a 2-2 draw at Grifiin Park, and they get another crack at Stamford Bridge. The winner of that tie goes to middlesbrough in round 5. Next Game Well the Magpies next game should be away to Portsmouth tommorow night, but I'd be surprised if its on with the forecast being for torrential rain in Portsmouth all day tommorow. I pray they have an inspection and call it off nice an early (it seems likely to be the case). If I have to get there to find its been called off again someone somewhere at the Football League or FA or whoever it is that sorts match officials out will be recieving a strongly worded letter! IF, however the game goes ahead, its simply a must win game for Notts. The next two away games are Portsmouth then Hartlepool, so anything less than 6 points would be pretty bad. I kind of feel sorry for the players in that they're basically in a no win situation this week. They're expected to win both games, but if we dont, "the usual suspects will be out to complain" in the words of Captain Neal Bishop. He's not wrong, always the same people. As ever I'm confident we can get the win and get our play-off push back on track. Fingers crossed tommorow night's game at Fratton Park is on, but I'm not feeling too optomistic about that. If you've somehow managed to keep yourself awake to read through this whole blog i salute you! COYP
    2 points
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