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  1. 4 points
    I felt some doubt behind his signing, I think it's only natural after Notts has this habit of panic buying. However, yesterday was the first game I've seen him play for us and on the back of things I've heard or been told at Harrogate, for a player who's only 21-years-old, he reminded me a lot of what qualities Alan Judge brought to the club all those years ago when we played in League One. I'm not suggesting that they're the same, both are different players in their own right, but you could see Booty was keen to stamp his ability on the game and came close to scoring with some long distance efforts. His footwork, ability and drive to get forward was very pleasing to see. In the second half, he even had two spells where he took on 4-5 players and totally out-skilled them in order to create a good chance. I actually compared him to Donga He. If he continues, I firmly believe he will become a fan favourite and a player unlike Michael Doyle that we can actually build a team around. What do you think? Are you impressed with him?
  2. 4 points
    It's been the case for so long, I actually forget the last time Notts did better at home than away from it. Meadow Lane is a fantastic stadium, our fans can fill the stands with a great atmosphere, but it seems a select few people who are pushing this to be the case all of the time (rather than just want Notts is winning or playing well). I honestly feel, we need to be aiming for this as the standard. The 12th man can make such a vital difference, yes, ultimately it falls down to the players. Yet I love seeing how our chants can impact the play in a positive way, it's a surging feeling. If, Notts are to successful in any league being good at home is vital.
  3. 3 points
    Right people, here are the scores on the doors! Not content with beating us at Meadow Lane a couple of weeks ago, @barnet11uk now also has the temerity to win this week's prediction league with an impressive 12 points. Well done! @lambleypie, @thommo, @TheSkipper - sorry, I couldn't include your scores as you submitted your predictions too late (the matches had already finished). That leaves the overall table looking like this, with @ARLukomski again in the driving seat: Even though Notts aren't playing, there will be another prediction league round on Tuesday as League One, Two and the Championship are all in action. So gaze into your crystal balls and let me know your predictions on the other thread!
  4. 3 points
    Is it just me or is it a case that Notts play better away from home? They seem burdened by the weight of expectation at home. They seem to be afraid to try things because of the crowd reaction if they don't work out. Meadow Lane should be a fortress but teams actually like going there because they know the crowd will quickly pounce on Notts if things aren't going well. The opposition feed off that and grow in confidence. Isn't it time for supporters to support the team for 90 mins at home? The fans last night were right behind the team for 90 mins and you saw the result.
  5. 3 points
    We've been missing a thread for the latest happenings in this wonderful league of ours, so here's one. Add anything vaguely Conference-related here. Might as well make ourselves at home Solihull Moors are top of the table and Wrexham are visiting Meadow Lane on Sunday. Luckily they've got the added distraction of the Scottish Challenge Cup (no, really). Hilariously, it's now known as the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup. Are we through the looking glass now?
  6. 2 points
    Honestly, I don't blame him for resigning, but I do feel it's narrow minded of someone who moans about not 'getting a chance' due to his skin colour and who has earned millions from the game. He could have done his career the world of good by remaining and keeping them up again, yet he's decided against this. Despite my own skepticism he did very well last season, much to the dismay of Notts. Can people bash him for leaving? No, yet I do think for someone so desperate to be a manager it wouldn't have harmed him if he had remained for the season. Imagine if he was able to get a good cup run or push them on to the playoffs, they've not been playing badly. It could have aided his career more than what the wages are actually worth, as it could have steered him in good stead with bigger teams on a weaker budget than those around them.
  7. 2 points
    It could be worse, especially if this was the sponsor!
  8. 2 points
    It was never going to be a fast start after all the upheaval of the closed season, I don't think it has been too bad a start, starting to adjust a bit. Will obviously need to improve, but that comes with confidence and playing together. Can we go straight back up?.. Heart says yes, head says we will need at least a couple of seasons to build. I would dearly love it to be proven wrong, but I think we will probably just miss out on the play offs.
  9. 2 points
    Every team, sport-related or not, needs a captain to lead and guide teammates, to help achieve the best possible outcome at the task in hand. A good captain is experienced, talented and level-headed (amongst other attributes). Before the 2019/20 season began most of us looked to Michael Doyle (aged 37) to lead his fellow teammates through this campaign. Since he is a mature player with experience and talent, he was the perfect candidate for the role. However, following his red card incident in the first game against Eastleigh, this questions his suitability to the captaincy role. I looked over the highlights of the Eastleigh game and it is clear Doyle jabs Reda Johnson in the side of the face when Notts were defending a corner. I didn’t attend the game so possibly a challenge from Johnson on Doyle earlier on in the game irked him (so he reacted later on) but regardless he should have kept his cool and rightly deserves his ban. Now two games into the season (as when written) it is vital to find a solid leader to keep players calm, organised and perform to the best of their potential. We have seen how dressing rooms can become split and toxic. To excel in the National League, we will need an organised, supportive group of players, with a captain to keep this in check. Personally, I think we should consider other candidates for the captaincy role following Doyle’s bizarre, hot-headed decision making. Ruling out all players below the age of 25 (and those who aren’t first team players) we have O’Brien, Rose, Turner, Rowlinson, Slocombe, and Tyson. Obviously, since O’Brien and Rose have been around the club longer than any of the others and as they are (arguably) the best players they are great for the role. In my opinion, O’Brien would be the best choice because he is more experienced, most of the play goes through him and has a very high work ethic). On the other hand, when Doyle returns if O’Brien is captain could it upset the dressing room and its dynamics? In addition, could it lead to a power conflict and so another dressing room split? The best outcome, however, would be Doyle comes back into the team and picks up where he left off and not to have any repeats of this incident (which is what I assume we all want). Share your thoughts about this opinion piece on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  10. 1 point
    @super_ram, @4everapie, @lambleypie, @weymouthPIE, @Chris, @SIMMO, @nottsnutter, @TheSkipper, @liampie, @BESTpie, @GrannyPie, @Bainbridge NCFC, @CliftonMagpie, @thommo and @Truefootballfan - don't forget to get your predictions in. This round of matches kicks off tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7.45pm!
  11. 1 point
    We're also underway in Germany now - we've had the first round of the German Cup (DFB Pokal) and the Bundesliga started at the weekend, while the lower divisions have already been in action for a few weeks. Summer football feels strange, but this season feels a bit special to me. The Bundesliga has long since turned into the dullest division in my opinion. Despite the lack of top-class transfers up to last week's capture of Philip Cotinho, Bayern Munich are the overwhelming favourites to win the league yet again. Only Dortmund have a serious chance of overtaking them. Eintracht Frankfurt just missed out on the Champions League last season, have been hit by the departures of Jovic and Sebastian Haller and Rebic and Gacinovic are also trying to engineer a move away. I doubt they'll trouble the top of the table due to the burden of a Europa League campaign, but they're good for a cup run (see below). Unfortunately the Bundesliga is blighted by a number of plastic clubs no-one really cares about (RB Leipzig, Hoffenheim, Wolfsburg) and which are likely to be in or around the European spots again. At least Cologne are back to bring a bit of colour and noise to the league. Bundesliga 2 - with Hamburg, St. Pauli, Stuttgart, Hanover and Nuremberg, the second division has a number of real heavyweights more used to life at the top level. Will they monopolise the promotion spots or will Holstein Kiel or Heidenheim make a bid? Last year's promotion race was an incredibly tight race, with Paderborn ultimately winning a second successive promotion, so I'm not making any bets here. "Interesting" stadium experiences can be found at Darmstadt, with one stand under construction, Karlsruhe, whose ground currently consists of a pile of rubble and some temporary stands, and SV Wehen, who are likely to be outnumbered by away fans most weeks. The 3. Liga is the one I'm really into as my favourites SV Waldhof Mannheim have finally won promotion into it after 16 years in "amateur" leagues. The season here is already a month old and Waldhof sit in fifth, unbeaten and with an average crowd in five figures - happy days! For the first time in 19 years, Waldhof have also moved above their rivals, the six-time German champions Kaiserslautern, who could be in for another difficult season. The league also boasts names such as 1860 Munich, Eintracht Braunschweig and European Cup Winners' Cup winners Magdeburg. Almost every opponent is an interesting one, even lesser supported ones such as Bayern Munich II (sigh) and KFC Uerdingen (an obnoxious little club back by a highly wealthy but highly volatile Russian owner who sacked their manager when they were third in the league, then sacked his successor as they slid towards the bottom of the table. Also employers of Kevin Großkreuz). And of course there was the German Cup the weekend before last. This is seeded so that teams from the third division and below get a higher club at home. The first round passed without any major shocks, with the exception of fourth division side SC Verl's win over Augsburg As a reward for their efforts, they'll play the decidedly unglamorous Kiel in the next round. And Waldhof Mannheim played Eintracht Frankfurt in front of a sell-out crowd of 24,000, who brought their first team and very nearly got knocked out! Below I've shamelessly posted a couple of videos - the first shows the general atmosphere (whoever filmed it must have been standing close to me), the second the goals (plus loads of replays - it was the only one I found that enabled embedding). Enjoy!
  12. 1 point
    Mean of 5 Slocombe 6 Rawlinson 6 First touches did not convey confidence. Did an assured job....Toots sidelined? Graham 6 Provides a bit of pace in central defence Turner 6 Real solid centre half... McCrory 5 Defensive yes but not strong enough to beat his man when going forward. Always took the safety first option, which maybe not a bad thing at this stage Rose 7.5 MoTM Much stronger first half than second...A Neal Bishop type performance Doyle 5.5 Unfussy energetic but nothing in an offensive sense Booty 7 Delightful ball in for Dennis. Provided some really good passes but need to be more street wise when too soft in build up of Wrexham goal Enzio 6.5 Provided some good glimses but did drift in the second half Dennis 7.5 Great header for the goal, showed good movement but needs to feed off an old style #9 Thomas 6 Wasted chances which you would have expected to be more clinical Subs Osborne 6 Needs more matches to get confident that he can beat his man JOB 6.5 great layback to set up Tyson Tyson 5 Golden chance missed.... just needed to hit the target https://www.nottinghampost.com/sport/football/football-news/trio-shine-magpies-notts-county-3224692
  13. 1 point
    very exciting prospect i feel, he looked keen to get the ball and i felt he used what time he had on it well. think with time and confidence he will settle in well, but what a difference he is compared to will patching who seemed more comfortable just to be on the pitch rather than influencing the proceedings. very happy by his performances so far!
  14. 1 point
    Slocombe - 6 - Didn't Really have too much to do only 1 shot on target which ended up going in but commanded his area very well Rawlinson - 6 - Played very well despite being played out of position. Made a couple of mistakes but overall was solid Graham - 6 - Did very well sweeping up behind Turner and did the basics right Turner - 5 - Other than winning headers looked very clumsy McCrory - 7 - Did well going forward as well as doing his job defensively. Lack of communication sometimes with other plays lead to him making a couple of mistakes Rose - 8.5 - Was absolutely solid I'm the middle of the pitch a real playmaker today. Everything going through the middle went through him. MOTM in my opinion but very close with Dennis Doyle - 5 - Looked very lackluster despite getting stuck in every now and then didn't really do much Booty - 8 - Played very well out wide got into brilliant shooting positions and the assist that got us the goal was a brilliant ball into the box Enzio - 7 - Played well first half pretty much missing in the second Dennis - 8 - Did very well to score from the angle he scored from. Brilliant movement just needs time to bond with Thomas Thomas - 6 - Despite getting in the right place at the right time could not manage to find the back of the net which is what is needed from a striker Subs Osborne - 6 - Didn't really get much of the ball but when he did drove very well down the wing and got into some good positions O'Brien - 6 - Very energetic when he came on despite playing on the wing and not in the middle. Tyson - 5 - Missed too many golden opportunities
  15. 1 point
    It's not because I can't be bothered, I honestly cannot fault the ratings given by @Piethagoram. The team played well as a unit, nobody dipped under 5 for me. I think Tyson could have been a 6, yet I feel balancing everything 5 is fairer. The thing about Thomas, he runs with such pace that it would be naturally difficult for him to slow down his feet. At my age, I relate to this as my knees have gone and I can't move them as quick as I once could but you could see the effort. He would be a different player with a few goals under his belt. Sam Slocambe deserves some praise IMO, he was solid and is a core reason we aren't conceding too many goals. Wrexham had some good chances, their goal nobody could have stopped and I feel the performance warrants some positivity because its been a long time since I have enjoyed a game this much.
  16. 1 point
    Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the PON prediction league is upon us again. So get your tips in by Saturday 2.59 pm at the latest, don't forget your jokers, and please try not to get more points than me this time Luton Town v West Brom Wigan v Leeds Lincoln v Southend Burton v Rotherham Exeter v Swindon Carlisle v Mansfield Stockport v Eastleigh Barnet v Chesterfield
  17. 1 point
    I disagree. I'm sure there were more than just younger fans who said they would have kept Patching. The guy had the ability and potential but I think Ardley realised the circumstances and didn't want to jeopardise his development. The environment was not right. When you get yourself into a situation Notts did by January, your first instinct is to bring players in with experience. Tootle, Bird, Fitzsimons and Crawford praised his ability and apparently he had a good relationship with Neil Cox. Also if what Ardley said was nothing more than PR, why did he mention the stuff outside of football? Leigh Curtis' article is about it all sums it up perfectly in my opinion. https://www.nottinghampost.com/sport/football/transfer-news/patching-departure-notts-county-down-3215896
  18. 1 point
    After the Reedtz brothers saved us from possible extinction only a few weeks ago, there was an outpouring of gratitude. We were so thankful to be starting the season at all, with no dodgy property developers, no Smurthwaite and no points docked. Notts fans everywhere pledged to be patient as the culture of chopping and changing had gone on too long. Now it was obvious we wouldn't settle for just existing for very long, especially if (as expected) our results didn't turn out too great. It's inevitable that when we start losing against teams we always considered beneath us frustration would take hold. But three matches? Really? At Eastleigh we fielded a team of strangers, against Stockport we had two centre halves who were signed the day before. Wins at that stage would have been little short of miraculous, regardless of what the opposition is called. I think many thought we would just start winning automatically, but in reality it will take us weeks to work out what our best team is, a process other clubs go through during pre-season. That's not to say we should just accept anything though. We will need to see some evidence that the individuals in black and white are becoming a team and of course we simply cannot afford to get into the habit of losing again. At some point we'll be able to judge the work Neal Ardley has been doing and whether his team are good enough. It's my hope that he can stabilise us and we can use this squad as a foundation to build on in the future. Whether that'll happen I don't know yet. Thoughts welcome below!
  19. 1 point
    There's a Belgium footballer, who I recall playing in a game for them in 2008. He's a defender/midfielder known as Mark de Man. How cool is that? His parents kindly named him so he wouldn't forget his main purpose when playing football. @DangerousSausage
  20. 1 point
    Here's a last reminder to get your predictions in by kick-off tomorrow - @lambleypie, @TheSkipper, @BESTpie, @Magic magpie, @barnet11uk, @Bainbridge NCFC, @CliftonMagpie, @thommo and @Truefootballfan! And feel free to take part even if you haven't so far - simply post your scores and a joker. It's only round three so you'll catch up in no time
  21. 1 point
    I actually love Tunnock's wafers and tea cakes. Maybe we should think about taking part in this prestigious competition...
  22. 1 point
    Wrexham are one of the best sides in the division. 7 points from 12 so far. Their away record is not great, 1 draw and 1 defeat. Mark Harris is their danger man. 3 goals in 4 games. Bobby Grant is suspended. At least I think he is. Wrexham were going to appeal his red card, but he didn't play last Tuesday so chances are he won't be playing at ML which is a big boost for Notts. This is a huge game for Notts. It's a chance to send a statement of intent. Wrexham are missing 2 key players so it's a 2-1 home win for me.
  23. 1 point
    It's been ages since I have seen Notts take on Wrexham. They've sold their allocation which is great, both teams should be fully up for the game. I hope they don't out sing us at Meadow Lane.
  24. 1 point
  25. 1 point
    @liampie you need to check your predictions m8. Missed off Luton vW.Brom.
  26. 1 point
    think making meadow lane a fortress stems from the club wanting it, if they focused on building the pre match atmosphere and got the big flag out in the kop. it would make such a big difference, start with a roar and get the players to settle in and around the noise. i honestly feel the indifference might be unsettling to the players.
  27. 1 point
    Luton Town v West Brom 1-2 Wigan v Leeds 0-1 Lincoln v Southend 2-0 (Joker) Burton v Rotherham 1-1 Exeter v Swindon 2-1 Carlisle v Mansfield 1-1 Stockport v Eastleigh 2-1 Barnet v Chesterfield 2-1 You forgot your Joker:-)
  28. 1 point
    The season before last we were far better at home than away - we won 14 at home but just 7 away. Our away form cost us automatic promotion. But that was the first time in a long time that we'd really been better at home than away. It's been over such a long time and with so many managers and styles of play it's hard to pinpoint why. At home you're expected to take the game to the opposition, yet we often haven't had the quality to do that successfully. Also, I think the added pressure of the crowd probably is a factor. Another reason to be positive while the players are out there on the pitch.
  29. 1 point
    It will take time to settle. We have signed several players in such a short amount of time. We are basically a month behind every other team. However, we do need to see some progress being made. We need see aspects of the style of play we want to play and how we are going to win games. A lot of fans seem worried the squad will become bloated like last season. Others worry about our lack of creativity which for me is a big point. We have players in the reserves who can add something to the team but aren't being picked for one reason or another. Is it due to any of: Not being guaranteed game time, not in long term plans, attitude, falling out with Ardley. Who knows what the reasons are but we need creativity and progress
  30. 1 point
    The final scores were: QPR 1-1 Huddersfield Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Barnsley Fleetwood Town 2-1 AFC Wimbledon Ipswich 1-1 Sunderland Walsall 1-1 Forest Green Macclesfield 3-0 Leyton Orient Yeovil 1-1 Stockport Maidenhead 0-1 Hartlepool It was a high-scoring round, with many of you cleaning up on Fleetwood's result. Here are the scores for this round: And the overall table looks like this: As again only the Conference is in action on Tuesday (the League clubs are in EFL Cup action), round 3 will be taking place on Saturday. So I'll be posting the next round of fixtures here on Wednesday or Thursday. Thanks for taking part!
  31. 1 point
    It’s always hard to judge players over a couple of games and I only saw the Ipswich game, we played well but it was your typical professional friendly, I’d have liked to seen how the trialists got on against Alfreton/York which seemed more representative of our games to come. I think Tyson would be really useful in the NL, he’s definitely looked sharp. I think NA wants a target man as well which could mean we’re a bit striker top heavy especially as we’re in desperate need of defenders. Speaking of which I liked Kelly-Evans, I just wonder if his height (or lack off) will be where teams look to expose him. McCrory looked okay, but Burton fans think he’s too good the NL. He was a newer trialist so can only assume he was a couple of weeks behind on fitness compared to the rest of the squad. I think on past reputation alone he’d be a great signing. Those 3 stand out for me (And Jim O’Brien – technically a trialist as well, we know what he can do!) It’s a shame we haven’t had many 6ft bruiser centre backs in, I think this has to be the priority going into the start of the season…
  32. 1 point
    Notts fans will have to accept less attractive away days throughout the season (a friend of mine currently living in Birmingham has already suggested Solihull Moors). The grounds and facilities will generally be incomparable to that of Meadow Lane’s and Notts fans could bring a home atmosphere to some grounds with a good away following as clubs such as Boreham Wood failed to even average a thousand fans in attendance last season. The only other clubs which debatably have fanbases appropriate for league football are Stockport County, Chesterfield and Wrexham. In addition to this, we can expect to see a notable drop in the quality of football being played with physicality being of more importance. With the HMRC court case looming on the 5th of June and the South African Consortium still in the process of attempting to take over Notts County Football Club (at the time of writing) it is difficult to predict Notts’ near future. However, we can look at what can be done to help insure success. It would seem pointless for us to look ahead to the future without acknowledging the causes of Notts’ demise. Looking at the squad which disappointed last season there are areas where improvement is evidently necessary. The defence was where Notts seemed to struggle most of all throughout the duration of last season with fullbacks being a continuous problem in the squad. A lack of squad depth was evident with Matt Tootle being unavailable for many games and there being a lack of options to replace him, especially before the versatile Mitch Rose arrived in January who was able to cover the RB spot (although he is better utilised in midfield). Although Declan Dunn remains an option Notts are currently lacking any sort of experienced LB going into next season with Milsom, Jones and Evina all leaving. As Sir Alex Ferguson believes though, it is important to have a strong centre in any team. This for Notts starts with the promising Pierce Bird who impressed with his performances towards the end of last season. It would seem appropriate to have an experienced CB alongside Bird to form an effective partnership. I remember that performances from CBs like Haydn Hollis in recent years gone by were always significantly better when Mike Edwards played alongside them. With the loss of Duffy, Notts should search for a veteran CB over the summer. Losing Jim O’Brien is another big blow although the Scotsman did hint at possibly signing a new contract next season if Neal Ardley does remain as manager. His leadership and tenacity in the middle of the park was unrivalled following his arrival to Meadow Lane in January. It is vital to secure the signing of another hardened midfield ball winner if O’Brien does not return, especially considering the more physical style of football often played in the conference. The departure of Jon Stead will also leave a hole in Notts County’s attack as Kane Hemmings was provided with numerous chances throughout last season by his experienced strike partner. I am confident Hemmings will continue to score in the conference next season given his impressive tally of fourteen goals by the end of the 2018/19 League campaign with Notts despite the club finishing 23rd in the league. His work-ethic is one of his less desirable qualities though and he would benefit from a fellow forward to take the brunt of the physical battles and create opportunities for him. Overall, the squad needs an addition of physical and experienced players to adapt to life in the Conference. Share your thoughts about this feature article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  33. 1 point
    The season is over and it's been arguably the worst one in Notts County's history as they tumbled out of the Football League but the pain must subside ahead of the rebuilding job, something which us fans must be mentally prepared for. Pride of Nottingham is taking submissions from fans with their take on the events that have taken place over the season and, most importantly, looking forward - here is a piece by Phil Buxton on how he feels the Magpies - and fellow fans - can do this, based on Mick Walker's philosophy from the 1990s. With all the anxiety around Notts County and the rumblings going on at Meadow Lane, may I take you back for a very short tenure of a guy called Mick Walker. He was the guy who developed and brought to the fore the likes of Dean Yates, Mark Draper and Brian Kilcline. In 1993, I think it was, and I remember the football, he played, in my opinion, just like watching Juve as the saying goes. His first instructions to the players after Neil Warnock had gone was, go out there lads, enjoy yourselves, but most of all express yourselves for who you are, and leave the field proud. If words are really needed in our present plight, those words wouldn't do any damage at the moment, of that I am pretty sure. Is there someone out there who can do this, is he already here? Who knows, but if I was given the opportunity to see it all again, I'd certainly be glad to pay for the pleasure. Now, admittedly, the results weren't the best, but the football was awesome. We all have our individual take on football, good, bad, or indifferent, but first of all, you have to enjoy what you're doing, and not running around, with a cloud six inches above your head. Pretty sure we've seen enough of that this season. A training pitch would help, half a dozen decent scouts would add to that, but more than anything, give youth a chance, make them feel important, make them feel wanted, make them feel they are part of a major plan going forward, and you will bear the fruit in the end. After all, football hasn't changed my friends, it's attitudes that have. COYP! Share your thoughts about this feature article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  34. 1 point
    After the departure of 12 first team players, with 17 still under contract, we start to look at who should be given more time on our first ever ‘Vanarama tour’. Players underused, and retained this season include: Kion Etete, Pierce Bird, Tom Crawford, Krisitan Dennis, Will Patching, Sam Osborne, Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, Remayne Campbell, Alex Howes and Andy Kellet. You could even include Ross Fitzsimons and Matt Tootle. Firstly, Kion Etete’s future is a hot topic now. The striker is at an early point in his career (only 17 years old). He has only made six first team appearances, four in the league. To be heavily involved in a team fighting for (football league) safety is often not good for younger players as they need to be nurtured into first-team professional football. Therefore, I believe it was beneficial not to include him in the first team too much. In terms of next season, he may be a useful player due to his height and lighting speed. On the other hand, the national league is considered even more physical than league two so his talents may not be suited to our next campaign. Despite this Tottenham have had keen interest in the youngster and rumours have been going around about an impressive transfer fee- not too dissimilar to Dele Alli’s when he transferred from Milton Keynes. Pierce Bird is another young player (20 years old) who has been around first-team antics since the start of the season. This towering defender was used more regularly when Duffy and Brisley made more frequent calamitous mistakes. Having made 7 appearances, to Brisley’s 24 (I know!), he quickly gained my trust as he seemed so calm at center-back, despite a pressurised situation. I can see him being used more in next seasons’ squad, possibly being a starting eleven player (if he keeps his cool head). Midfielder Tom Crawford (19 years old) was bought from Chester just under a year ago and wasn’t included much in this season’s campaign, having only 6 apps (although scoring one goal). Hence, he was loaned out to non-league AFC Flyde in January. There he made 24 apps (only being on the bench once) and scored two goals. He heavily featured in Flyde’s second half of 2018/19 season and even played in the playoff league final at Wembley against Salford FC. I would like to see him in next season’s campaign but beside a more experienced midfielder. This is in fact if we keep a hold of him as AFC Flyde may want to buy him and our owners, whoever they may be, may sell-out. Striker Kristian Dennis is a tricky one. Having scored 21 goals for Chesterfield FC in 2017-18 things looked bright when we bought him from them for £150,000 last summer. For reasons that would be interesting to delve into, although not now, he performed extremely poorly this season. He was loaned to Grimsby in January, where he was barely used there. Despite this, I feel we should use him next season, but this is mainly because of his six-figure price tag and as his contract runs out in 2021. If his confidence is grown this summer I could see him being used well in partnership with a target man (Did somebody say Shola?). However, I really doubt he’d fit in a Kane Hemmings partnership. Midfielder Will Patching (20 years old) made 9 apps this season and is promising. However, I feel we have a lot of “he could be good if he was with a Jim O’Brien”. I do think this competition for midfielder spots is good for competitivity for team places but don’t want a repeat of this seasons squad size. It seems to me that we have had many mediocre midfielders this season and they’ve been bought in a bit like if you tried to gaffer tape the Titanic. Midfielder Andy Kellet could have been well-used but due to the number of managers this season was set aside early on and only added to the massive wage bill. Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain (3 apps), Sam Osborne (3 apps), Remaye Campbell (2 apps) and Alex Howes (1 app) are again players who could be used but due to there lack of first team football, I am skeptical of their ability and physicality. In conclusion, there is talent in the unused retained players however, we are lacking certain player types and abundant in others. Share your thoughts about this feature article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  35. 1 point
    Notts have stumbled from season to season with no real plan and no real direction. The club has no identity. There has never been any real stability. Notts have had 28 permanent managers since 1992. With Alan Hardy soon to be selling the club, here’s a list of things that needs to change at Notts if we are to make our way back up the leagues. Managerial tactics Not just do the decisions made on a managerial appointment have to be crucial, but when the manager gets the job, they must be tactically aware. Too many times, Notts have had managers who are tactically inept. They don’t adapt to the oppositions way of playing. Against teams who pass the ball, you press the opposition and win the ball back as quick as possible (e.g. Crewe). Against physical teams, you put more robust and tall players in to cope with the physical challenge (e.g. Newport). They don’t install a style of play good enough to get us out of situations or get us to be successful on the pitch. Some managers put too much emphasis on one part of the pitch and that has cost them their job. Jamie Fullarton put too much emphasis on being strong at the back and didn’t focus more on getting Notts to score goals. Ricardo Moniz did the opposite. Also, you cannot want to play a certain style of play and then end up going against it. You have to believe in what you want to do. This mixes in with recruitment. If you want to play direct, you cannot have two strikers up front who are 5’9. You have to prepare adequately for what style of play you want to play. How many times do you see Crewe play long ball? You don’t. If it’s not working either, change it up. Too many times Notts have allowed teams to play with freedom and we don’t do enough to close the opposition down. We don’t press the opposing team and we are not brave enough with the ball. For too long we have relied on Jon Stead as an outlet. This is nothing against Jon, but he is 36 and we don’t use him correctly anyway. He has always liked the ball to his feet and constantly we use him as a target man and ask him to hold the ball up or produce a flick on for a faster player to get in behind. This rarely works and it has rarely worked this season (18/19). Plus, everytime we need to press the opposing team, we start Stead who is too slow and won’t close them down. Notts have not had any sort of quality on the wings in recent years other than Jorge Grant (who was a loanee and is more of a CAM). Terry Hawkridge worked hard but didn’t have enough end product whilst Lewis Alessandra doesn’t impact the game at all and doesn’t make runs. Players, Recruitment and Scouting Player recruitment has been a big factor in Notts’ downfall over the last decade. We do don’t enough due diligence or analysation on players who we want to bring in. Especially in the summer of 2018 where we bought in the complete wrong type of player and we went away from what we were good at. In League Two, you need a bruiser in midfield who is not afraid to put a tackle in as well as pass. David Vaughan wasn’t that player. Other clubs bought in the likes of Neal Bishop and Harry Pell. We wanted to play out from the back (even though we went away from something that was working) but didn’t bring in a ball playing centre-back. We didn’t strengthen the midfield or defence and we didn’t keep the leaders in the dressing room who were so important off the pitch in the 2017-18 season. A big factor for the shambles that has happened this season and in previous years has been the lack of a recruitment structure or scouting network. You have got to be vigorous in your recruitment process and, you must scout the players that fit your system and style of play, thoroughly. Scouts must be put in place to ensure you get the right type of players in and this must go further than just video analysis. You need scouts at games to watch the player and determine whether he is right for the team. Having scouts in place could mean scouting different parts of the country. Maybe have a couple in the south, a couple in the north, east and west etc. Have a few scouts go out and look at midfielders, another few at strikers, another few at defenders etc. The different roles within a scouting system are pivotal and they all have to work well together. If one part of the chain is broken, it cannot work efficiently. The director of football must be organised and must be used to dealing with a big workload. The DOF has to oversee the whole scouting system and make sure it is working properly. They have to deal with certain representatives in football, including agents and lawyers. Another role in a scouting network is a head of football operations. This is a very busy role, dealing with such things as: developing relationships with clubs (this can help bring players in on loan and can also go to the extent of getting Notts a feeder club), keeping an eye on players that have been loaned out or players that the club is looking to bring in on loan, highlighting players and of the manager and director of football and preparation for pre-season and where the best places to train and the finding the most adequate clubs to play against in friendlies. The head of football operations oversees the management and logistics side of the club. A first team scout has to deal with representatives from clubs to get the information and on player targets, who the manager wants to sign. The first team scout must have an eye for a player and identifying talent. This applies to both senior and youth level. Examining the type of player needed is crucial. A target man striker, a ball playing centre back, a deep lying playmaker in midfield, a direct winger, a poacher or a sweeper keeper can be some of the key roles that need filling in the squad. A scouting system can go a long way to making a football club successful and if put in place, can help Notts develop, improve and progress as a club and avoid the transfer window disasters of the past. Part 3 - Training Ground and Facilities, and Youth Team coming Wednesday Share your thoughts about this feature article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  36. 1 point
    Notts have stumbled from season to season with no real plan and no real direction. The club has no identity. There has never been any real stability. Notts have had 28 permanent managers since 1992. With Alan Hardy soon to be selling the club, here’s a list of things that needs to change at Notts if we are to make our way back up the leagues. Board level decisions This step is a crucial part of football and is key to the club’s future and whether it progresses or not. Decisions made by the board can make or break a club and can alter which direction the club goes in. Decisions on managers, recruitment, structure, policy and youth are all important. The decisions made on these areas shape a football club. Notts’ chairman has to be open and has to have a clear ambition for the club and what direction he wants to take the club in. The chairman must do his due diligence on managerial appointments and whether that is right for what state the club is in, whether we are midway through the season battling relegation or we are looking longer term and appoint a manager who will build a philosophy for seasons to come. They need to have full assurance over what they want the club to be run like. Do we need a director of football to forge a relationship between the owner and manager and to take over the football related matters that might be out of the owner or chairman’s reach? Do we need fellow board members and directors to help with the decision making at the club? All these decisions on how the club is run is crucial. Alan Hardy made a mess of how he wanted the club run. He sacked Kevin Nolan and suddenly decided afterwards he wanted a director of football and appointed Paul Hart to help Harry Kewell, only for it to fall apart after 11 games. Ray Trew also changed his ambition a dozen times. He never stuck with a manager long enough to implement a philosophy or ambition. When Notts went down the route of bringing in foreign players and bringing a passing style of play to Notts, it lasted only a few months. Along with the running of the club, the next Notts chairman or owner must have full assurances over finances and must make critical decisions on where to spend that money. The first priority for Notts would be a training ground and eventually getting a scouting network in place to help with recruitment. A big turning point in Notts’ fortunes was when Alan Hardy decided to spend the money gained on an FA Cup run, on the playing squad. Lincoln, on the other hand, spent their money on a training ground. Lincoln are now promoted to League One whilst Notts are staring non-league football in the face. That is key decision making for you. Living within your means is another problem Notts have endured during previous owners’ stints. Ray Trew and Alan Hardy both spent in the chase of success, both failed to attain this, and both times, the club ended up with financial issues. The message being for the next owner of Notts: Spend your money wisely and carefully. Decisions on managers For a long time now Notts haven’t really picked anyone that is forward thinking. Some managers that have been appointed have either been impact managers or shouldn’t have been given the job in the first place. Martin Allen, Keith Curle, Shaun Derry and to an extent Kevin Nolan are impact managers. They make an impact when they first come in, but they won’t take you forward. Managers like Jamie Fullarton and Chris Kiwomya shouldn’t have been given the job in the first place. Fullarton was an unpopular choice and it ended up being the last straw for Ray Trew. Kiwomya was appointed when fans were crying out for someone with at least a bit of managerial experience. Trew went with the cheap option and within two and a half months, Kiwomya left. The board must consider the job the last manager had as well. Neal Ardley’s Notts are currently struggling to score goals, a problem he carried over from his time at Wimbledon. The decisions on managerial appointments come from board level and for most of the last 15 years we haven’t really made a good appointment. Other clubs have taken chances on young coaches who have showed promise and it has worked because they are forward thinking and the board see the good job or jobs they have done before. Take Lincoln for example. They appointed Danny Cowley after he had steered Braintree to 3rd and a play-off semi-final with a small budget. A masterstroke of a decision from the Lincoln board. The decision making at board level is vital. Managerial appointments are only one of the things they have to get right. However, Notts have made too many bad decisions on managers over the past decade and a half and that has to stop. A manager with good tactical ability is key as well. We’ll get onto that soon. Others include Nathan Jones at Luton, Chris Wilder at Oxford, Northampton and now Sheffield United and Paul Hurst at Shrewsbury. Decision making is a massive part of football and something that has let Notts down consistently. Decisions need to be made and they need to be carefully thought out rather than rushed. Part 2 - Managerial tactics and Players, Recruitment and Scouting coming Tuesday Share your thoughts about this feature article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  37. 0 points
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