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Blog Entries posted by Piethagoram

  1. Piethagoram
    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
  2. Piethagoram
    So here we are, National League bound.. Capitulation against Swindon still fresh in the memory. Ardley's experienced midfield, O'Brien, Doyle and Vaughan ran through with ease by Kaiyne River Woolery a former Notts loanee, how the tide has turned! Only once, can I recall a passing move under Kewell, where a string of decent passes led to an opportunity for Tootle who didn't get hold of his shot.
    We have just looked like a team of individuals, bereft of ideas or haven't been "coached" in the prior week before a Saturday game.
    A similar goal to Swindon's first was conceded against MK Dons, the Notts team has had no real pace in it and have been opened up by teams that have.
    Supporters were hurting, but maybe it's just me, I don't see the same level of hurt in the players faces. Losing 30k a week, how can a Notts team show so much economic mismanagement when compared to the cash generation of clubs like Macclesfield, Yeovil, Morecambe and the like?
    Ardley and Cox need to voluntarily walk away now. The "highs" against Lincoln and Mansfield are a distant memory. Against the bread and butter teams, we have consistently failed to deliver.
    A moment to ponder in Saturday's game, Notts had a free kick on the edge of the area, Doyle chips another pointless ball into a team that can't jump to win a header rather than having a shot at goal. 
    We are where we are, we deserved National League football, from an owner that ignored the need for robust recruitment structures. 
    Financial survival of the club IS the most important thing now. We must survive, move on and regroup together.
    C'mon You Pies!!!
  3. Piethagoram
    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. Piethagoram
    Shortcomings of a defence that cannot mark and strikers that cannot score, despite the 000's spent, the central midfield area is one which is being overlooked.
    @ARLukomski twitter posting is so relevant:
    Along with Milsom, we must have one of the most ineffective midfields in this division. Do I see any real quality, the answer has to be no. Milsom's 1st half v Swindon, showed what was possible but there is no real pace to cover the ground whilst in possession.
    Hewitt has long been viewed as an asset by some supporters but all his running is defensively, without the ball, offering nothing in an offensive attacking sense
    January will be crucial to correct this crucial area of the pitch...Thoughts?
  5. Piethagoram
    Glenn Roeder
    Jack Dunnett's £ for £ matching supporters donations never happened
    Colin Foster
    Outstanding centre half loan signing from West Ham. It's easy to say "class" and he fitted that description
    Tom Ince
    Easy to see how he has carved a career in the top 2 divisions
    Lloyd Sam
    Great close control established him as a favourite at the San Sirrel.
    Matt Richie
    One escapee from the Munto era. Had Notts had signed him, Raymundo could have had a saleable asset to sort out the Munto financial mess he inherited.
  6. Piethagoram
    an interesting read from The Guardian on his influences
    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.
  7. Piethagoram
    It's fantasy land if Nolan thinks this squad is good enough? What is very apparent from the initial games, we have no height, no muscle, no guts to grind out results yet other teams are light years ahead of us. Relegation is a real possibility unless decent loan signings can be attracted, which may prove difficult in our position
    I refer back to this link as to where things started going wrong. If he thought Hewitt and Duffy should have been contenders, I am sorry but I think he started losing the plot.
    Hewitt looked good alongside Yates but since the latter's departure, the same Hewitt is the one that loses possession the most. The tightness of the defence for the first half of the season was down to Hewitt and Yates protecting the Centre backs. 
    Duffy, well this season, seems unaware of danger and lingers rather than challenging for the ball
    Coaching staff in totality needs to look at themselves. Do the players know what they are supposed to be doing. After Lincoln, my answer has to be no
    Well, Nolan looks a broken man and I beleive he needs replacing immediately. Gary Bowyer is available. I will leave it at that
  8. Piethagoram
    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
  9. Piethagoram
    ..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.
  10. Piethagoram
    No, not a career reprise on the Banjoman, but on a look back for Millwall's Red invasion
    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
  11. Piethagoram
    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
  12. Piethagoram
    Following on from @AmericanPie commenting on favourite actors / actresses, thought I would share my eclectic favourite films...and if you are expecting a list of Hollywood blockbusters, then best not read further
    Cinema Paradiso
    Breaking the waves
    A very long engagement
    Big Fish
    The Lives of others
    The secret in their eyes
    Hidden City
    Three Colours Trilogy, 
    Brassed Off
    Little Voice
    Fever Pitch
    Notting Hill
    Mute Witness
    Starter for 10
    The Reader
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    The Hunger
    Marathon Man
    Dr Zhivago
    The Life of Brian
    This is England
    Dead Man Shoes
    Brass Target
    North by Northwest
    The girl in the cafe
    Before Sunrise
  13. Piethagoram
    Ian Bolton, left for Watford.. Needham and Masson more famously, Martyn Busby returning to QPR undervalued... Paul Barnes, Rob Matthews, Anders Jacobsen, probably our best centre half this millenium. Craig Short Dean Yates (again seriously undervalued), Draper and Tommy J,  

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