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I really do worry for McDonnell as we know football is about confidence and he’s not had the best start, so I’m sure his confidence will be really low right now, plus the crowd getting nervy will not help, but understandable. His kicking doesn’t sound too great either. I appreciate he may need time to settle in, but it’s time we cannot afford. Hopefully he can have a good game soon to ease ours and his nerves our midfield is a major concern for me, as you rightly wrote, we do not dominate the midfield and this combined with the fact we don’t play outside wingers is actually terrible, we generally have more bodies in the centre to try and dominate and it’s just not happening. This may sound crazy but I’d play the wingers out on the touch line especially when we have the ball, I don’t mind them tucking in when we’re out of possession, but as soon as we get it back we have to get wide and offer some options to the full backs and get some ammunition for our staved of service strikers. I feel we’ve given this setup far too much time to work and frankly it doesn’t often enough, we always seem to be on the back foot when we should be forcing teams back by playing offensively.
Where do you start with a review of Doyle's Notts career thus far? A man who was well known to us for being a thorn in our side in recent years as a player at Portsmouth and Coventry, both of which we he forged successful promotions, an outstanding achievement by any professional's standards. We know from first hand experience that he is a player the opposition fans love to hate, which in truth is a huge compliment to the man. His tough approach to the game and ability to wind the opposition players and fans up alike, whilst always in the referee's ear telling him what decisions he should be making and still having a playing influence in the game, is quite remarkable. It would be fair to say his transfer to Notts has not been smooth by any means and at times he has clearly divided the Notts faithful. One of the first games I think he played for us was our home game against the Stags. We of course were in an extremely poor run of form, so I doubt many of us were looking forward to the game, especially seeing as we were desperate for the points and them being our bogey side, yet step up Doyle, who I am sure many will agree was superb in the match along with JOB. I for one was buzzing and thought that his signing will surely help us escape the drop, but alas it was not to be. Life in the National League did not get off to the greatest of starts as we know for obvious reasons and I am sure it was very frustrating for the players as it was us fans. I suppose we will never know the stress that the players were under but it did seem to show on Doyle and this resulted in him receiving a red card for a rash challenge, fair play to the man he did apologise and reassured us that he would pay the faithful back, he soon returned straight after his ban and a few games later he was sent off again, this further dividing the fans as to his worth as a Notts regular. In the following weeks and his return to the side, I see that he was asked to play a different role in the team, a role that saw him as a defensive midfielder whose job it was to bring the ball out from the back and keep possession. I can honestly say I was not a fan of this style of play and whereas we had plenty of possession we struggled to create many chances as the ball was predominantly in out last third, I also felt that this left out other midfielder Rose exposed as his partner was too deep. In more recent games Doyle seems to have moved further up the pitch, this also coincides with the addition of Lacey, who can play and is quick, so no surprise really. Now I see Doyle as back to his best, a man who in whatever circumstances is always available to receive the ball and never hides, he keeps the ball moving and now in the right areas and we have looked far better. A recent game I noted that Doyle was the furthest man forward in the hope of receiving a ball over the top, this brought great joy to me as we no longer seem predictable like we did before. Whether you have had mixed opinions about Doyle for whatever reason, I am sure we should tip our hats to the man, a 38 year old who is full of running and such an influence on our side, he really is the beating heart of our side so I suggest we get behind the man, although we know he is sky blue through and through, no one can fault his commitment to Notts. 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.
I think our squad size and depth will give us a huge advantage through deep winter when injuries kick in, I’m not sure any other team has the quality in depth we do. Hopefully we will be able to take advantage of this
How does it feel losing the World's Oldest Football League club tag? I, like many other Notts County fans, were dreading the thought of losing the title of world’s oldest professional league football club during last season and at times I was more concerned about this than us actually playing in non-league, but what has it actually meant to us? I always saw it as our biggest selling point and I suppose it had a major part to play in the Munto takeover, a takeover that did not make everyone happy, but I certainly thought it was great at the time as it was the stuff of dreams, which ultimately it turned out to be, just a dream. Excluding Munto, I cannot really say that the title did much for us as a selling point, even though I still expected it to be, but when no real big money buyers took us over, it came as a bit of a surprise to me. I always expected major investment as I see us as a good acquisition, of course providing any investors had the means to plough a fair chunk of change at taking us back up the leagues. I am certainly grateful to all the previous owners putting their money in, but I still feel we are a bigger club that the one languishing around the lower leagues and the facts of modern day football mean clubs almost certainly have to spend the money to gain success. I wonder if the title provided us with more appeal to players and sponsors, again although someone inside the club may say different, from an outside perspective I did not really see it. How does it feel losing the title now, especially seeing as it seems the title has gone to our neighbours over the water, is this all too much for us to take? Well, I believe not, perhaps helped by the fact they won some cup or other some while back and that still seems to have some mileage left in the tank, or maybe it is the fact that when (not if) we do make a return to the Football League, people may still recognise that we were one of the founder members of the professional league and that will always be part of our history, whether we are in the football league or not. I am certainly proud of our heritage and I do not think it is something that many football fans will forget, especially as it is such a popular question in television quiz shows, but perhaps this question will now be changed? If so I will be having words with Bradley Walsh! I am certain my fears were worse than the reality of it, which can only be a good thing. Football seems to be in somewhat of a transition period with new rules and technology constantly being brought in; it certainly has changed a lot since my first Notts game in 1991 against Liverpool at home, certainly a life changing moment for me personally. I will never forget our history and after doing a stadium tour with the great Les Bradd, I would recommend that all the new generations of Notts fans do the same, it is good to remind ourselves where we came from and of that I will always be proud. 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.