1. Marty James

    Marty James New Member

    My last post (actually my first), was back in June, when I expressed fear in the ability of the new manager given his background. As I commute from the USA, I have only been to three games this season, and I did not feel it was appropriate for me to comment, given that most of you go to virtually all the matches, and I feel an outsider in that regard. However. Saturday's match left me feeling downcast and miserable. The manager has said he is working flat out to get it right. I believe him. But I fear he is not up to it. I mentioned my disappointment at the calibre of players he had brought in, especially those from Hendon. Corcoran, Maclaren, Uchechi and Sprague. Of those, all still here except Uchechi who has gone down 2 levels. Hmmm!!! Bray has been a disappointment as well. This club is far too classy to get rid of a manger in his first season. But during the close season, some hard questions must be asked and answered. I would like nothing more for McCann to lead us to success. But I genuinely feel that this is one level too high for him. It's interesting, that Hendon after a good start are hovering near the relegation zone. Maybe they were born for each other
    hrbfc__fan likes this.
  2. Lord Elpus

    Lord Elpus Member

    In fairness to Gary, he was left with a blank squad list in the summer. He had to assemble a side very quickly and mould it into a team immediately. A very tall order for any manager at any level.
    There is also the well documented fact that, this season, Torquay, Woking or maybe Billericay will go up. No one else is equipped with the budget to compete this season. So I think next season will see us go for it a bit more in terms of a competitive budget and hopefully that will be reflected in the squad.
    However, I bet every other club is thinking the same way!
    I like what McCann is trying to do. I can see that he really does try to play attacking and attractive football. When we've been on song, the style of play has been much more inspiring than last season. With better players next season who know the level, and a full season in this league under his own belt, I hope and believe that the boss will have us up there challenging.
  3. cliffp

    cliffp Member

    That's a fair summary my lord and let's not also forget to throw into the mix Wealdstone who have had a benefactor ploughing huge sums of money in until it was very recently cut, the very well supported Dulwich Hamlet and the usual play-off contenders the likes of which include Chelmsford, St Albans, Dartford etc. So it's fair to say financially it was always going to be a challenging season to compete at the higher end of the league and given the complete turnover of players during the close season meant any new manager would have found it challenging so I think it's unfair to suggest Gary is out of his depth.

    Whilst our league form and results haven't been quite what anyone would have hoped for, let's not forget the clubs best FA cup run for decades, the national exposure and the revenue generated as a result and a great night back in October when the small village team came very close to a real upset. Let's just think who was the manager at the time? Oh yeah Gary McCann!
  4. SteveM

    SteveM Member

    Would tend to agree with the sentiments expressed above: this season was always going to be a write-off after the W**king Brothers shuffled off with all our prized assets, leaving us to rebuild from scratch among clubs with much higher budgets. My only real concern is whether Gary will be given the funds required to overhaul the squad for next season and whether he then has the clout to bring in and keep players of a better quality than we have generally seen under him thus far. Only time will tell so for now the jury is out, but it won’t take too many back-to-back seasons such as this before fans start voting with their feet, as has been mentioned elsewhere on this forum.
  5. Lord Elpus

    Lord Elpus Member

    Absolutely, don't get me wrong, I think having a season as a write off is only going to make people vote with their feet. I'm actually pleasantly surprised our attendances have held up as well as they have so far. Thank goodness for the Oldham game, which proved a real focus of interest and was generally good for morale.
  6. TW2-Beaver

    TW2-Beaver Member

    I suspect Gary is under a certain amount of pressure at the moment, he needs to make sure we don't slide into the relegation scrap. We have some big games against the bottom teams over the next couple of months and probably need to find a minimum of three wins and a few draws to ensure survival at this level. We are all behind Gary and wish him every success. I agree certain players haven't really made the step up to this level and I think management will be aware of this, but there are not a great number of quality players available and we can't just ship out half of the squad at the same time.

    The original poster is right about the football being played at present. Last Saturday was just boring to watch. The club have given season ticket holders vouchers to bring a friend along at a discounted rate for the next two games, but I really don't think its a good time to be bringing new people along if we are performing like this. Perhaps one of the 'six pointers' against lower placed teams would have been better options. A friend of mine was going to come along on Saturday but cancelled on me at the last minute, I was really glad he didn't come in the end because he wouldn't have returned after watching that game.

    I'm not knocking the initiative, by the way, it's a great idea and good to see people trying to focus on generating 'new business' which is something we don't do enough of IMO, so no criticism intended at all.

    If we can go to Bath and take anything home it would be unexpected and very useful, so lets get over there and get behind the lads. All I ask as a fan is for 100% effort and to try our best to take something from the game and not roll over. In a sense, performance/attitude is more important than result on Saturday as we are not expected to take anything from the game. Bath is also one of the best away days in terms of pubs etc, so come along and make a day of it.
  7. Let's be honest, this season was always set to be a funny one. The previous 3 seasons have been nothing short of brilliant - Ryman champions, followed by two successive NLS play-off's - we've been well and truly spoilt. Personally, I think Gary has done a commendable job under the circumstances. We can't lose sight of the fact that he came into a new club with barely a player on the books, and assembled a half decent squad from scratch which led us to the 1st Round of the FA Cup and see's us sat in 16th position in the league some 9 points off the relegation zone. Clearly we all would have wanted to be sitting a bit higher up the league - no more than Gary of course - but we've got to be realistic. There are a significant number of teams in the NLS this year with a) high playing budgets; and b) who started the season with settled squads/management teams. We do not tick the box on either of these.

    Whilst our primary goal from hereon in is of course to avoid relegation, there is not a doubt in my mind that Gary and the Board already have one eye on next season. There are certain players who have failed to live up to expectations so far this season and there is no-one who knows this better than Gary. However we are where we are, and I suspect that the lack of transfer activity over recent weeks is down to the fact that the Board feel that the current squad and management team is capable of achieving this primary goal without the need to break the bank. I tend to agree, but still feel we need to fork out for a quality CB to shore things up at the back.

    Before the season started I said to myself I'd be happy with a cup run and a mid-table finish. We've already delivered on one of these and we're roughly on course to deliver the other. Not a bad season at all in my books, under the circumstances.
    TangerineBeaver and TW2-Beaver like this.
  8. TW2-Beaver

    TW2-Beaver Member

    Ian Macdonald
    Chic Botley (2nd era)
    Brian Cottington (all right, he doesn't really count...)

    Sometimes it needs to be done! Just being contrary :cool: Cotts did ok with the team he had but very glad we got Devonshire in, of course. I hope MK is not offended at my shocking change of topic!
    Hampton mad likes this.
  9. Hampton mad

    Hampton mad Member

    As long as we don't return to the dark days when Harper and Number 2 were in charge.
  10. Adam

    Adam Member

    When Dowse departed. My opinion was as long as we don’t get relegated next season. My opinion hasn’t really changed. Gary came in at the end of May. Before that he’d have been talking to players for step 3 football. Although I’m sure he’d have had an idea of players for this level trying to get them is not easy when other managers have had a head start. Although I’d imagine our budget won’t be anything amazing next season. Gary will be able to start his recruitment process much earlier. If he can’t manage to put a squad together for next season then I would be more worried. But more than happy to see Gary given the time.

    Personally I feel we have been spoilt with the level we have not only achieved in the last few year under Dowse but the last 12 years. 4 play off finals at this level is a great return for a club our size. We should aspire to that level again but also at times we are going to have to make the numbers up. Not to mention we could easily end up playing step 3. I’m sure I read somewhere that the average life span of a club in this division before either going up or down is 3.5 years.
    Hampton mad likes this.
  11. Picking up on the life expectancy of clubs in our league mentioned above. There is talk from the FA that soon there will be four teams from the conference north and south relegated each season. This is designed to sort out the playoffs from the step below. If approved, will make our league an even more ‘revolving door’.
    Hampton mad likes this.
  12. Adam

    Adam Member

    Although I think this is better for us as I’ll eat my hat if we don’t play a season at step 3 at some point in the next 10 years. Each league having 2 promotion spots rather than 1 and another shared with another league would help us a lot in getting back to step 2.
  13. Most of the comments on this topic reflect those of the majority of supporters. The principle need is to preserve our league status and to plan for next season.
    Gary will no doubt be thinking of this already and looking at who he wants to retain. Having had a season’s experience of this league's requirements, he hopefully will be looking at players whose ability and fitness records are compatible.
    Ignoring loan players, an analysis so far this season is we signed 9 players from Hendon, 2 have been available for selection most of the season, 4 have had varying fitness issues curtailing their availability, in the worse cases for long periods. 3 have been released.
    From other clubs.15, 4 have generally been available, 2 are away on dual registration, 2 have had fitness issues curtailing their availability, 2 have spent most of the season on the bench and 5 have already departed
  14. TW3Beaver

    TW3Beaver Member

    Nice bit of research Shepp.
  15. In fairness to Ian MacDonald he was an excellent coach. Certainly one of the best I've worked with but if you think the budget is small now back then he was working with pennies so never had a chance of succeeding.
    Hampton mad likes this.
  16. Lord Elpus

    Lord Elpus Member

    Well that's a first...I agree with Captain Christie!
    Indeed, McDonald arrived with a reputation as a great coach. But he just wasn't used to managing a club further down the ladder and as the Captain says, a minimal budget. Shame.
    Captain Christie likes this.
  17. TW2-Beaver

    TW2-Beaver Member

    I actually think on paper at least, our squad wasn't too bad that season. There were certainly some individual players who were decent. Sestanovich, Mead, Inns, Iga, O'Connor spring to mind. Think Mead was injured for most of the season mind you.

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