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1  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Jon Brady on: March 03, 2021, 21:30:23 pm
I would add that I desperately want Brady to succeed.

His post-match interviews are the best of any manager I can remember bar Wilder,

He comes across as intelligent, tactically knowledgeable and genuinely passionate. The way he has dealt with performers like Hoskins and Mitchell suggests that he is a very good man-manager.

I would love him to succeed and like others would far rather have a successful Brady than a soulless journeyman with no connection to the club. However, as I say, he needs to prove that he can maintain a run of results and give us a genuine chance of staying up. Once he does that I would give him a contract to the end of the season with the option of extending it further.

2  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Jon Brady on: March 03, 2021, 19:49:41 pm
Dean Austin: 7 points from 5 games
John Brady: 5 points from 6 games

The signs are very encouraging but I would give Brady a few more games to prove he can produce a sustained upturn in form and goal-scoring.
3  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Plymouth at home Tuesday 02.03.21 on: March 02, 2021, 21:05:02 pm
Who was it that said we should try Watson up front? Playing in a no.10 role today but long may his goal-scoring run continue.
4  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Plymouth at home Tuesday 02.03.21 on: March 02, 2021, 18:30:52 pm

Mitchell, Kioso, Jones, Horsfall, Mills; McWilliams, Watson, Sowerby; Hoskins, Edmondson, Miller.

Subs: Arnold, Harriman, Jones, Korboa, Morris, Rose, Marshall.

Sheehan and Bolger having scans apparently. No place for Ashley-Seal or Chukwuemeka.

Marshall benched.

The question is: is this the side that gives us the best chance of scoring? Personally I'd be swapping Rose for Edmondson and Marshall for Hoskins.

Be interesting to have a look at Jones. Quality but injury prone apparently.

5  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: THOMAS YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED on: February 28, 2021, 15:44:41 pm
We are where we are due to Curle's **** poor recruitment this summer (and in January).

That's it.

Curle's recruitment up until this summer had been very good on the whole (Goode, Morton, Oliver, Wharton, McCormack etc). It was good enough to get us promotion and to net a £1 million + profit.

As a chairman, there is no way KT could have legislated for a manager turning from a veritable King Midas in the transfer market to a complete no-hoper in the space of two windows.

Yes, there is an argument that he should have got shot before January but hindsight is a wonderful thing and there were some signs of a rally in December (the 3-1 win against Gillingham on 29th Dec being the highlight).

6  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: New Manager on: February 28, 2021, 15:24:35 pm
Duff from Cheltenham has been mentioned on here several times but why would he leave a team with an excellent chance of promotion to come here.The same goes for any other division 2 manager in a similar position.

Stranger things have happened. Wilder joined us when were at the bottom of L2 and Oxford were towards the top. Graham Coughlan dropped down a division to move from Bristol Rovers (midtable in L1) to Mansfield (didn't exactly work out very well, but the point stands).

If we went for a candidate like that it would involve selling a long-term vision for the club which was above and beyond the potential of their current roles.

Do I think KT will take this option? No, probably not due to the financial implications of paying compensation. On the other hand, he might look back at the precedent of Wilder and conclude that it would be worth a shot.
7  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Swindle Town away Saturday 27.02.20 on: February 27, 2021, 18:20:05 pm
While I agree with all of those, what I would say is while the likes of Rose, Arnold and Sowerby are improvements on the 3 that started it is by small margins and all have been disappointing for me this season. It wouldn’t be a case of playing well and being unjustly left out more they are slightly less sh1t than the starters.

Agree completely. If Rose, Sowerby and Arnold (if fit) had been playing today I think we would have been marginally rather than significantly better. They have all underperformed themselves at various stages in the season. However, small margins are important when you're in a dogfight: those players might well have made the difference between losing the game and getting a point.

I would say that an experienced manager could get a bit more out of this squad. There isn't scope for a dramatic transformation by any means but I would suggest that an experienced, streetwise L1 manager could make us more competitive and would have achieved a greater points haul than 2 from 5.

IMO Brady has played the right system but with the wrong personnel in a couple of key positions. His substitutions have also been late and ineffective. He's made a lot of good decisions too (e.g. dropping Bolger, recalling Marshall) but we simply have very little room for error at the moment. We need someone to come in, play the most experienced and organised X1 and grind out results.  

8  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Swindle Town away Saturday 27.02.20 on: February 27, 2021, 17:32:54 pm
For me, he's done as well as possible with the players hes got. Horrific defensive mistakes, zero finishing quality, better chances and football game after game, but zero points from it. Don't think anyone else does any better unless they also bring in their own players.

Disagree. Curle's poor recruitment has left him with a poor deck of cards -there's no doubt about that - but he still could have played them better IMO. E.g.

1. Danny Rose (50+ career goals) should be starting ahead of Edmondson, a 19 year-old loanee who simply doesn't have the experience or the goal threat to be starting during a relegation dogfight.

2. Arnold should have been brought in for Mitchell after the MK game. (He also cost us the Burton game.)

3. Why was Hoskins brought back today to play out of position in the midfield three? Surely Sowerby or McWilliams would have been a better option possession wise.

9  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: New Manager on: February 27, 2021, 17:00:52 pm
2 points from 5 games, 3 of which were against fellow strugglers.

Under Curle we were an ineffective hoof ball team.

Under Brady we are an ineffective team who manage occasional bursts of passing football. It's easier on the eye but ultimately just as ineffective as Curle's hoof ball. He simply hasn't done enough to resolve the goal scoring problem and his substitutions are just as belated and ineffective as those of his predecessor.

He's a nice guy and a good coach and we should get him back with the youth team where he belongs.

10  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Swindle Town away Saturday 27.02.20 on: February 27, 2021, 16:32:49 pm
Massive 20 minutes now for Brady.

He needs to chuck the kitchen sink at them.  

As a side note, surely Arnold starts the next game now.
11  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Swindle Town away Saturday 27.02.20 on: February 27, 2021, 15:54:52 pm
We have a striker on the bench who has over 50 career goals.

Edmondson must be impressing Brady in training. He works hard and runs the channels but he just doesn't look like scoring for me.

Surely Rose would offer the same work rate with more of a goal threat?
12  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Swindle Town away Saturday 27.02.20 on: February 27, 2021, 15:32:16 pm
Watson has been a different player under Brady - as you say great feet.

The Swindon keeper is a rookie making his debut (the usual incumbent was injured in the warm up). Will be interesting to see how he gets on if we can pepper the goal with a few more shots.
13  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: New Manager on: February 27, 2021, 11:27:44 am
My order of preference would be:

1. John Brady (on the very important proviso that he proves that he can get wins at this level over the next three games or so)
2. An experienced L1 head like Paul Cook (unlikely)
or 3. An up-and-coming League 2 manager like Michael Flynn or at Newport at Duff at Cheltenham (would require compensation but would pay off massively IMO - c.f. Wilder)

14  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: New Manager on: February 24, 2021, 20:22:08 pm
Dean Austin got 7 points from 5 games during his caretaker stint when we got relegated from League One.

John Brady so far has 2 points from 4 games. (If we win against Swindon it will be 5 from 5.)

I personally think KT has been wise to keep a watching brief for now. Brady hasn't done enough to either rule himself in or rule himself out yet. The style of play has undoubtedly improved and players like Watson and Marshall are enjoying some new found freedom after being shackled by Curle. The interviews are impressive and there are promising signs of tough man-management and merit-based selection policies. However, I recall people saying very similar things about Austin when he took over from JFH despite the fact that the Walsall game in particular exposed some worrying tactical naivety which would rear its head with a vengeance in League Two the following season.

What worried me the most against Rochdale was the unwillingness to change the 4-3-3 system when we were being dominated and were desperate for a goal in the second half. That smacks of tactical inflexibility.

I would give Brady the next two games: Swindon and Plymouth. By then we will have pretty conclusive evidence about his capacity to coax goals out of this team and to grind out 'game-managed' wins at this level. I would suggest that anything less than 3 points from those two games would mean a pretty urgent change would be needed. 3 points and above would give him more time, but I would still be a good idea to give him a bit more time to prove he has made sustained improvements.

15  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Home against the Dale on Tuesday night 23.02.21 on: February 23, 2021, 21:05:06 pm
Really poor second half unfortunately it’s time for an experienced new manager.


I like what Brady is trying to do. I enjoyed the first half. I like the interplay.

However, you have to say that we still don't really look like scoring. It's harsh, but one goal from open play in four games of Brady's tenure isn't really enough to suggest that 'the tide is turning'.

The 4-3-3 worked against MK and was decent in the first half today. However, what worried me was the lack of plan b once it was clear that Rochdale were dominating the second half when playing with the wind.

Luke Graham was excellent in the commentary and called it correctly: we should have switched to 4-4-2 with Rose and Edmondson up top. I think he was scared to sacrifice one of the central midfielders but ultimately the lack of intervention cost us the chance to win the game.  

16  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Away at the MK Dons Saturday 20/02/21 on: February 20, 2021, 19:07:47 pm
Next game is the decider for me. Get the result, keep Brady. Don't, appoint someone else.

Agreed - although I might extend this to the next two games with a minimum target of 4 points.

So far Brady has proven that he can drastically improve the style of play, create chances and (finally) produce goals. What he hasn't proven yet is that he has the street smarts and game management to achieve wins at this level. We have also conceded 6 goals in his three game tenure - the leakiness has to change pretty rapidly too.

If he gets results against Rochdale and Swindon then I'd be supportive of giving it to him until the end of the season. (I'd avoid any longer-term commitment after what happened with Austen.)
17  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Away at the MK Dons Saturday 20/02/21 on: February 20, 2021, 17:04:14 pm
Really disappointing.

A very decent attacking display. So refreshing to see proper overlaps and interplay between full backs and wingers - not sure we ever really saw that under Curle. The likes of Marshall, Watson and even Hoskins seem to enjoy having the shackles lifted and were a pleasure to watch.

That was an entertaining game and I probably enjoyed watching it more than many dour Curle-ball 1-0 wins, regardless of the final result. It was a proper game of football played in the right spirit and I've missed that. 

However, you have to say the game management was poor. Fully back the substitution of McWilliams when we were looking for a winner at 2-2 but it was always going to leave us exposed in the middle once we had the lead and MK were chucking the kitchen sink at us. If Brady had brought Sheehan on at 3-2 to calm things down then it might have been a different story.

Agree with others on Mitchell. Time to bring Arnold in. He's not perfect but when you're in a dogfight you need experience at the back.
18  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: New Manager on: February 16, 2021, 14:07:33 pm
I think this is quite a tricky appointment. These are the criteria IMO in order of importance:

1. Someone with sufficient League 1 - or at least football league - experience to keep us up. Personally I'm not convinced that a non-league manager would have sufficient nous to be able to scout League One opposition and work out how to effectively combat their threats. It's just too big a jump IMO, but I would feel differently if we were in League Two. 

The financial ramifications of staying at this level IMO are too great to risk an appointment purely based on potential and long-term vision. We need to appoint someone who has the best chance of keeping us up.

2. Someone who plays a mixture of direct and passing football  If we appoint another hoofball merchant then 0 progress will have been made and we may as well have stuck with Curle. The squad and the fans are crying out for a different approach. However, if we brought in someone who was too much of a purist or someone like JFH with a tendency to over-complicate lower league football then things might lurch to the opposite extreme. I've said before that I personally wouldn't want to watch the type of powerpuff pass-it-to-death football peddled by MK Dongs and neither would I want to endure another proponent of Curleball. The type of football I personally like to watch is a combination of direct play (crosses into the box, physical aggression, the odd ball over the top for pacey forwards to run onto) and passing (overlaps, proper width, strikers laying things off to onrushing midfielders, passing through the midfield). The type of football played by Chris Wilder, in short.

3. Someone with a track record of developing youth players
  There are some talented youngsters at the club who desperately need nurturing: McWilliams, Chucks, Pollock, Seal, Dyche etc. In the post-Covid era when money becomes tight I think youth development is going to become more and more important. I'd love someone to take over who could set up a genuine pathway for us there.

Those personally are my criteria. As I've said before I wouldn't personally be looking at non-league managers right now. One possibility would be to give it to someone experienced on a contract until the end of the season and then look to make another long-term appointment in the summer.

Of the names mentioned so far, I personally like Cook, Flynn and Duff.

19  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The Brady Bunch V Burton Albion Saturday 13th Feb on: February 13, 2021, 18:33:14 pm
Everything that we did going forward came through Marshall, the cross for the disallowed goal, the cross for Rose.
To drop him we wouldn’t have a single spark going forward.

Agreed. Marshall is our most creative player. He has to start IMO.
20  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The Brady Bunch V Burton Albion Saturday 13th Feb on: February 13, 2021, 17:21:07 pm

1. Neither Brady nor any manager could legislate for the mistakes by Bolger and Mitchell for the first. Bolger had other options other than a risky chest-height back pass, but he probably would have got away with it if Mitchell had had his wits about him and chested it before booting it away.

2. Brady's primary remit was to create more chances. I would say he just about achieved that (relative to the Wigan game at least). I would say he picked the most creative line up possible with Marshall and Watson both having decent games from an offensive point of view.

Up until the sloppy goals I would say that we didn't look any less defensively solid with 4 at the back and the full-backs got forward on the overlap very effectively. There were some signs of some promising interplay

On the negative side I thought Morris had a very poor game and should be swapped for Sowerby next time out. I also think that we need someone with some more physical presence up front - we put in some reasonable crosses today (for the first time in ages) but there wasn't enough in the box to get on the end of them. Edmondson was **** poor again - I would far rather Chucks or Seal were given a go up there.

Overall, I think it's too early to judge the 'Brady bunch'. There were improvements in some areas; there were the same old personal mistakes (largely outside of the manager's control) in others. I think the one area to criticise might be the use of the substitutes, neither of which improved us.

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