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Messages - TonyM

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General Discussion / Re: Bishop Stortford
« on: October 25, 2023, 11:53:51 AM »
what were the positives and the negatives from last night?

For me, Cybulski had his best game, helped in part by Stephens and Barrett playing more centrally behind him rather than out on the touchlines leaving him isolated as he so often was under MH.  Also, Jones made some good saves even though Bishop Stortford didn't really have much in attack, Walker really isn't a lone striker.  I guess the big positive was we kept going until the final whistle and got the three points.

Biggest negative for me was with both full backs having been called out previously they kept their places last night and, again, neither impressed so would hope Isaacson and Jones, who were both on the bench, are in the starting XI for Saturday.  Morrison looks like an academy player, tidy on the ball but just looks to retain possession rather than hurt the opposition and doesn't really want to tackle which continued the theme of us losing the midfield as we have in most of our games, should show him the video of last night and look at their no 4 - proper midfielder who won most of his challenges and then looked calm and positive when he had the ball.  Might be a bit harsh on Morrison as really it is the system with two players (whoever they are) trying to cover too much to accommodate Stephens and Barrett in the starting XI

We now move on to Saturday which will, no doubt, prove a sterner test and whilst it is welcome to have got the results in the two recent 'six-pointers', I would agree with Mallard that there is still much work to do before we can really say we are out of the woods

General Discussion / Re: Darlington
« on: October 14, 2023, 06:56:46 PM »
Good win though in that 6 pointer Tony
Not sure about Ponti but he is better in support, as his career goal scoring record is one every 5 and half games
so we need to give him someone to play off to get the best out of him

Certainly a welcome 3 points and gets the AL tenure up and running, listened to the Darlington commentary and sounded a really open game perhaps reflecting two teams who have conceded for fun this season.  Hopefully this will help with confidence and give AL something to build on in training this week for tougher tests to come.

General Discussion / Darlington
« on: October 14, 2023, 02:37:53 PM »
So, the new lad comes straight into the starting XI with Walker on the bench, also no sign of Ponticelli, is he injured?  Not convinced at sticking with what looks like the same formation and a front three, lets hope Darlington don't have a midfield.

Whilst it is difficult to talk about six pointers before Christmas you do feel that this game has quite a lot riding on it for both teams, both of whom have changed managers recently and will be looking to restart their seasons today.

General Discussion / Latest SC podcast with James Blower (Wroxham)
« on: October 13, 2023, 10:14:07 AM »
Just caught up with SC's latest podcast with Wroxham's chairman James Blower as the guest.  First part is how James got involved with the club and Wroxham focussed then, around 35 minutes in, James asks SC what he thinks of the future and in between the ranty bits there are some real SC gems, including
   *  the Crouch review is great for Labour (ignoring the fact that Tracey Crouch is a Concervative MP and the review was commissions by a Tory government and legislation is now being brought forward by the same/different Tory government)
   *  also again gets the wrong end of the stick with fan involvement and fan ownership when talking about his idea of a debt/equity swap of the DCMS COVID loans
   *  some interesting comments about commercial income and the cost/benefit of having someone selling the commercial side of the club which again smacks of short termism
   *  perhaps most interesting were comments about player 'trading' and how SC sees this as an opportunity for us (maybe explains some of the slightly strange signings over the summer)

The last 15-20 minutes are an update on the current situation at Lynn including an update on the TW saga and also that he sees an expansion of the academy internationally as a potential money spinner and that the gigs thing looks like much harder to raise substantial cash than he originally thought

All in all an interesting listen and can't doubt his interest in 'the business' of football but equally that his inability to truly understand what other clubs are doing and how they are doing it in terms of how they engage with their various stakeholders massively hinders us at times

General Discussion / Re: Managers Interview Post Buxton
« on: October 09, 2023, 10:52:45 AM »
Like the game at the weekend, some positives and negatives with that post-match interview and good to see him being pretty frank, hopefully that will continue.

On the positive side he is pretty clear now why we are where we are and, as you would expect, he is confident in his ability in turning that around which will probably come down to his contacts and who he can bring into the club (agree with his rationale that it will probably be loans rather than signings).  Appreciate he has to be positive about JB and wouldn't disagree with his assessment that when he is at it he can be one of the best players in NLN but I would worry about searching for a system that gets the best out of him, for me TW did that at the start of last season - pick a strong first XI and then introduce JB later in the game - we don't have that luxury (level of financial doping) this season so have to find a team set up that can consistently get results rather than compromising the team for one player

On the negative side, although I can understand his thought process around youth / experienced players given where we are in the league, I was disappointed that even though he has gone through all the footage of games he didn't mention any of the younger lads, most notably Isaacson and Fadajdo, who I think have performed well when they have been given the opportunity. 

General Discussion / Re: BUXTON SATURDAY
« on: October 07, 2023, 10:31:12 PM »
Have to say, I haven't come away so disappointed from the Walks in a long, long time.

On the positive side, Hargreaves' return showed what we have been missing for most of 2023, MotM for me by a country mile, also good to see Barrett playing more of a role although ultimately the most positive thing from today will be that AL and SW will be left in no doubt about the size of the task ahead of them, saw AL's comments about 'rebalancing' the squad but think he may struggle moving some on - we are already the bottom rung of full time football so where can we move them to?

Biggest negative was that we went in with 3 centre halves, two wing backs, two midfielders and then a front three a system that we have gone with for the majority of home games this season but which doesn't work with the players in the squad, even with the new pairing of Hargreaves and Oke playing in the middle of the park.  We did eventually change but next week's training has to focus on a different formation, the problem being that most of the centre halves are better in a 3 whereas neither of the full backs look close to having the skill set of being wingbacks and the starting front three continue to look like individuals battling with the system rather than more than the sum of their parts.

General Discussion / Re: BUXTON SATURDAY
« on: October 06, 2023, 10:39:19 AM »
Finally got round to watching the new duo's first interview, seem a sensible couple of blokes and wish them all the best.  Will be interesting to see what they think of some of the experienced players after working with them for a week, obviously the narrative around the start to the season was injuries and suspensions meant key players were missing but for me the worry was the players who were still in the starting XI that 'went missing' in games and it was actually the younger, less experienced players who have impressed me so far this season. 

I guess AL will bring back those that are fit as, in his words, they more about those players but I don't think it will be long before we some of the youngsters back in and a few older lads being shown the door, which won't be a bad thing imo.  As for Buxton, had this years regs on timewasting been in place last year we would probably have still been watching that game in June given the awful anti-football seen that night so hoping for a better game on Saturday and I still think we have players more than capable of producing a win, so long as AL can find a system to get the best out of them and put round pegs in round holes.

General Discussion / Re: Scunthorpe United
« on: September 28, 2023, 06:57:30 PM »
Incredibly sad, take no pleasure in seeing any club in such a state and brings home the main problem with the benefactor model - great whilst they are supporting the financial doping, not so great when the pull the plug.  To be fair, not all Hilton's fault as they were in trouble way before he came on the scene but he may well have been their last hope.  Hopefully something can be worked out with a new ownership group and preferably with a move back to Scunthorpe.

General Discussion / Re: Hughes gone.
« on: September 27, 2023, 12:29:25 PM »
They also have a very capable commercial side and I think they had sponsors booked for most, if not all, fixtures for the season before the season started.  That isn't something that happens overnight and takes years of building relationships with all sizes businesses

General Discussion / Re: Hughes gone.
« on: September 27, 2023, 10:24:27 AM »
...Someone in the David Newton mould would work for me.  Successful, astute, well respected in the local business community and with the fans.   Ring any bells ?...

For those that want a bit more info -

Really interesting quote in the article from June 22 - only debt is the Sports Winter Survival Loan (COVID) and that will be repaid - if ever you needed an example of the contrast between the Linnets and our near neighbours that surely must be it.  The sad thing is that in lots of ways they are the model that we could (should) have tried to copy, as it is it looks like we maybe are more akin to the model they had prior to Newton's tenure.

General Discussion / Re: Hughes gone.
« on: September 26, 2023, 09:12:09 AM »
Like others, I am sad to see anyone lose their job but it had got to the point where he had to go.  No doubt he suffered from a really bad run of injuries but even allowing for this, his failure to make changes to the 'system' which patently wasn't working gave SC little choice. 

As for his replacement, they will inherit a squad that looks very down but I don't subscribe to the narrative that it isn't good enough for this division, if the new manager can find a system to get the best out of the current players with few tweaks then I think we should be fine, maybe not promotion contenders but well clear of relegation worries.  Given the revised SC model we need to see someone who can 'bring on' younger players and, for me, that isn't Setch as other have said let's look forward not back

General Discussion / Re: Chairmans comments after last night
« on: September 20, 2023, 08:26:01 AM »
SC's were more concise than David Hilton's official statement at Scunthorpe -

Lots of very worrying figures in there for a step 2 club which looks like it has fallen too far, too quickly without adjusting to it's circumstances.  Whilst many here, myself included, have long argued for more development of off-field infrastructure at the Walks, not sure any of us would want to see those sorts of figures, in terms of number of personnel or £s.  Leaving aside Mr Hiltons past, really just another indication of how football is 'broken'.

General Discussion / Re: TW
« on: September 18, 2023, 10:20:02 PM »
One of the best midfielders in NNL on the bench for an FA Cup tie. MH is clueless.

TW didn't start him at the start of last season and based on home performances this season he hasn't warranted a starting place let alone being called one of the best midfielders in NLN, he has the ability to live up to that accolade but he has, too often in his time at the Walks, only shown that potential in fleeting spells

General Discussion / Re: Enjoy your FA Cup dayÖ.
« on: September 16, 2023, 01:57:10 PM »
... and still doesn't see the irony of calling people out in the same Tweet as saying we need everyone together, not saying I agree with everything GC or Milly post online but sometimes you have to know when to bite your tongue for the greater good.  Not sure I am looking forward to reading it in full later.

General Discussion / Re: Attendances
« on: September 11, 2023, 11:50:10 AM »
Just for balance

...So basically the faithful are helping to pay for SCís hobby and his lack of nous where the Commercial side is concerned.

could equally argue that SC has pumped £',000s into a club that, in reality, maybe doesn't justify playing NLN (and previously NL) level.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle and depending on your views around the club, SC, the wider fanbase, ownership models, non-league football in general, etc will depend on where you are on that spectrum.  What most would probably agree with (concede) is that the is a real disconnect between the club in it's broadest sense and the town, in particular the business community.  Again we can all have opinions as to how we have got to this point and those opinions will no doubt shape people's solution but the sooner that position can start to be turned around the better

Just one final point on attendances / promotional ticket offers, SC dug himself a hole at the start of the season by doing what many wanted and offering early bird / lower priced season tickets and whilst anecdotally this was a success in terms of season ticket sales, it does mean potentially a lot more dissenting voices should he want to do any sort of promotion with league pricing also as has been pointed out earlier, cup pricing is not solely down to SC

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