1. Marty James

    Marty James New Member

    I posted a couple of messages during last season, which were negative to say the least. I stopped posting because I had nothing good to say, and It was just bleating. I live in The USA, and normally make it for about 5 or 6 games a season. This season only 4, because frankly I couldn't bear coming. But at the end of the day, we stayed up, and I applaud McCann for that. My question is this. And I ask without any malice. Do people think that McCann is up to it? I don't think it is, but I bow to the views of those that go and watch regularly. One thing I do know. Hendon stayed up only on the last day of the season, so I HOPE he won't go back to add to the dross he signed in the first place from them. Zak Joseph aside......
    Guingamptonian likes this.
  2. SteveM

    SteveM Member

    I posted quite a few messages towards the end of last season backing McCann as the right man to keep us up, mostly because I felt that a change of manager at such a crucial stage would be detrimental to the cause; because there was a lot of negative sentiment surrounding the manager at that time and I felt that the team needed the backing of the fans to achieve that immediate goal; and also because I felt that we had enough about us to avoid the drop anyway, with other sides in a much worse position. However, I was surprised that after we secured safety many who had previously been critical of the manager seemed to change their opinion and started backing him to build next season’s squad. My own personal thoughts on this are that once the job was done, we should have been looking to appoint someone else to take us forward, mostly because I do not believe that Gary has the right contacts to build a squad that can compete at this level. This is based purely on the players that he seemed content to rely on as his core for the best part of the season and the quality of those he subsequently bought in, except for one or two who ultimately helped us to scrape through. The general consensus seems to be to give Gary a chance and see how we go for the early part of next season, but I don’t believe that this is the best approach because it risks us starting off on the backfoot and having to play catch-up for the rest of the campaign. In my opinion we would be better off rebuilding over the summer with a new management team and a fresh batch of younger players who are more hungry and eager to impress. I understand that this is easier said than done, but if we truly want to compete at this level, rather than having another potentially miserable season, that is what I feel we need. At the end of the day it’s down to the board, though, depending on their goals and ambitions for the club — we’re probably not going to sink, but do we swim ahead or merely tread water? My apologies to Gary, because I think he’s a bloody nice, genuine bloke who is good at his job to a point, I just sincerely do not feel that he quite has what it takes to lead us onwards and upwards. If I am proved wrong I would be as happy as anyone, but I have to say that, with all modesty, that is rarely the case.
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    Guingamptonian likes this.
  3. My experience over many years is that from the Board down to supporters at Hampton are a tolerant and try to give Managers a fair chance.
    It would be fair to say many supporters commented quite early on that Gary had underestimated the standard in this league and that quite a few of the players he brought in from Hendon were struggling plus signing players with poor injury records. He himself towards the end of last season acknowledged this and hopes to get it right now.
    As for next season, we all hope the lesson has been learned and that the signings will be more what is required. In fairness to Gary, his budget is not the biggest in the league and we would be mid table . His task is to get good value for money and overachieve.
    Who he signs/retains may well give an indication of next season’s prospects.
  4. SteveM

    SteveM Member

    My point entirely
  5. cliffp

    cliffp Member

    The problem here is really what are our reasonable expectations for next season? And then can Gary or any other manager over achieve them?

    I thought this season and with a completely new squad and management team a mid table finish and decent cup run would be more than acceptable and save for an argument about finishing 1 or 2 league places higher that's exactly what we got. You could also argue that the FA cup run was an over achievement as it brought revenue and exposure to the club we've not seen in a very long time even under Dowse and Dev.

    I think it was widely accepted that certainly in the first part of the season the "style" of football was also more pleasing to most supporters. Granted it got a little nervy for a time later on but a run of victories meant it never really came to squeaky bum time did it?

    So on the basis of having a years experience and no doubt having learnt about the level and certain players he had worked with previously, why wouldn't you give Gary the opportunity to now try and improve upon last season?

    I wouldn't expect the board to issue any sort of statement of intent as that rarely happens at this or any club to my knowledge and I wouldn't expect the board to chuck a load of last seasons FA cup money into the playing budget either.

    Shepp said in his earlier post we have a mid table budget and whilst I never understand how it's possible to rank any teams budget without knowing everyone else's I'd speculate that's probably correct. I wouldn't imagine any of Aldershot, Havant, Braintree and Maidstone (coming down), Woking, Welling, Chelmsford, Bath or Wealdstone (admittedly one of whom will go up) plus the likes of Billericay, St Albans, Dartford, Dulwich and Slough would have less of a playing budget than ours so that probably leaves us in a group of Oxford, Chippenham, Hemel, Gloucester, Eastbourne and Hungerford which seems to me exactly what we finished in the middle of this season?

    If we thought it was a tough league to get promoted from this season it looks even tougher next season from what I can see? As I say unless there is someone who can garauntee to over perform the playing budget I can't see any reason to change things at this stage surely?
    Les 1949 and Whoryer like this.
  6. Just to clarify, I have no idea of ours or any other club’s budget. My thought process is as Cliff outlined.
    From what I read, Wealdstone may have to operate on a reduced budget next season if they are not promoted, as they have lost their main financial donor who has been voted off the board. They need to release some high earners like Cox, who they will not play as he has fallen out with the manager.
    Welling have tried to reduce their budget this season and it is full marks to Steve King for producing the results in the later part of this season.
    Expect some player turnover at Billericay as they only want to keep a handful of players from their current squad.
  7. davc

    davc Member

    i would agree with Cliff pretty much 100% though i would say Gary brought a fair number of players into the club which were nowhere near Conf south standard, not only at the beginning but throughout the season. Obviously Dowson had a big turnover of players especially in his first season but could definitely spot a player and worked the loan system really well. We need to see a big improvement in player recruitment.
  8. Interesting comments from Stringer (Chelmsford) towards the end of the interview about building teams . The need to get the basics in place within the club.
  9. My stance hasn't changed. I don't think Gary did a good job this season, and we were a lot closer to relegation than our final position suggests. We've been saved by six good weeks at the start of the season, two good ones at the end, and the fact that there were a few teams who were marginally worse than us. My thread about retention of players made no mention of the manager as I don't think the board are likely to pull the trigger. The noises from the club have been generally supportive. If he was going to get the boot it would have happened by now. I don't agree, but given as how he is likely to be staying I'm happy to give him the opportunity to prove me wrong.

    What I will say is that he should have zero credit in the bank with us. If we start the season playing how we did from October to March then he should expect the disillusionment of supporters to be far more obvious than it was this season. At times it felt like I was the only one being openly critical, despite the conversations I had with others who were also not happy. He's got as big a job on this summer as he did last as he should be letting nearly every player go. Let's hope he doesn't make the same mistakes again.
    Busy Beaver likes this.
  10. Lord Elpus

    Lord Elpus Member

    There's a lot of truth in this. So much will depend on the players we sign in the summer and, as usual with these things, despite the signings announced we won't know what the actual side is until the first league game. The signings will clearly be a bit of a statement of intent though...
  11. Think we all would agree that the signings he makes in the summer will set the tone for the season.
    Looking through the various posts , there seems to be an acceptance that a few long term loans is a cheap way of strengthening the team. A young keeper from a Championship or Premiership club fits into this requirement . In addition, the two young Orient players seem to have made a good impression.
    If this was done, then quite a bit of the budget left to add experience to fill central defence, midfield and a target man. Would accept they might be in their thirties (providing they didn’t have poor injury records).
    I am sure Gary has some names pencilled in, he might awaiting retain lists , playoff games results.
  12. tony

    tony Member

    It will depend also on what budget we have. We might not be comparing like for like.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Quite possible Tony, it will depend if it less, same or more and upon which the season may hinge!
    I note Wealdstone expect to announce shortly some players remaining for next season even though they are reporting to be operating on a reduced budget next season.
    Wonder how long we will have to wait for player news?
  14. Rob Overfield

    Rob Overfield Member

    Last season, as we all know, Gary had build a squad from scratch, with nothing to work with, but he knew who he wanted. Some of it worked out, some of it didn’t.

    This season, he will have a nucleus to build around; players in the club that he trusts and wants. That makes a massive amount of difference to any manager.

    Let’s face it, we had great years under Dev and then rocky years under Mark Harper and then Paul Barry. We got well lucky with Dowse, who proved to be one of the greatest ever managers the club has had. He took a modest budget and produced three great seasons. Let’s not forget that, all of which it can be said we overachieved.

    If we can’t accept that we have to move on and take bad with good then we’re no better than Wealdstone supporters...
  15. SteveM

    SteveM Member

    Too many inept displays and nowhere near enough consistency for my liking. We finished 15th of 22 teams, 14 points off 11th, so it’s not a case of just one or two places — we were a yawning chasm away from achieving anything like a mediocre season. Yes, the televised FA Cup game was a massive financial boost, but I’m talking about levels of performance on the pitch (and even then we managed to blow a golden opportunity to achieve a massive giant-killing with naive decision-making). It will indeed be interesting to see who we retain for next season; I don’t see a core of players that’s strong enough for this level among the current batch and the suggestion that we do is, frankly, myopic — two or three individuals, sure, but not the reliably strong spine that’s required. In my view the squad needs a significant rebuild to make us a more competitive, technically better and (therefore) more entertaining unit throughout the season, rather than merely for two brief purple patches either side of a long lull.
  16. Yep, more with Steve than Rob here. The fact we have a smaller budget than many is a given and readily accepted by our fanbase. That shouldn't (and hasn't in the past) preclude us from being considerably better than we were this season. We should really only look to retain 2-3 of the permanent members of this squad. Any more is asking for trouble.

    I've actually been narked this season by Gary saying we've been spoiled in recent seasons. I'd hardly say spoiled, we've had a few good seasons in the last decade or so but watching us for thirty years has hardly been a feast of glory. I'd say it's mostly been frustrating and at times downright painful. We're hardly demanding we romp the league and take our rightful place among the elite. I guess I'm just a bit touchy about that as it sits alongside the 'deluded Geordies' nonsense that gets peddled about Newcastle fans.

    Glad to hear Steve say that the Oldham game was a missed opportunity. Had we been a more disciplined side we could have won the game. It'd be harsh to be too critical about a game against a pro-side, but it is something that was evident all season, right up until the final week where we threw away the lead against Truro and gifted Welling at least two of their goals. Basically, for much of the season we were only a matter of seconds away from a major calamity from a member of our team. That has to improve, especially if we struggle to score goals again.
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  17. Lord Elpus

    Lord Elpus Member

    Its been interesting looking at the last few posts. The greatest manager of my time was Devonshire, without a doubt. Took us from Ryman div 1 to two Connie South playoff finals.
    And as for being spoiled, surely we'd only have been spoiled if our budget under the previous manager had been far in excess of what Gary had to work with? Anything other than making the playoffs, with the same budget, is pretty much the definition of underachieving...
  18. I seem to read on this forum that the budget that Gary was given did not differ much from the last season under Dowse. However Dowse worked very hard to raise additional funds when he had a project or player he wanted.
    I have no idea as to figures.
  19. I'm minded to flip that on its head and say on the basis of our average home crowds and a guess that our budget is lower quartile that we have actually over achieved in the NLS , until last season where we ended up in a more realistic position . That said as Cliffp alludes to elsewhere with should always been aiming play offs and upwards . A tougher league next season I should think leavened by only 2 going down..
  20. tony

    tony Member

    By and large league positions reflect budget at this level. Some team’s budgets were significantly above those actually needed to achieve what they did. Torquay, Billericay and Woking had budgets that would have easily won the league most seasons. Wealdstone well up there too.

    Dowse certainly over-performed with us in his final year. This year we were arguably a bit below par but not massively. With some larger teams joining next season, even if we maintain the same budget we could easily find ourselves further down the budget league table.

    In comparison, who got the best value out of their budgets? And at what cost in terms of sustainability? There are some very worrying balance sheets out there.

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