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1  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh R.I.P. on: April 14, 2021, 15:59:56 pm
Of course youíre right Manny - now sky is owned by the Democratic Party supporting Brian Roberts, it has changed - for the better for me! So itís moved away from the ultra right wing Murdoch influence. Which probably makes your point very well.

It also makes the point for the BBC. Who do you think gives more unbiased views:
1) A political motivated individual American (Comcast)
2) A political motivated Australian (Sun and Times)
3) 2 political motivated British brothers (Telegraph)
4) A political motivated British Viscount (The Mail)
4) The BBC

Gotta say Iím enjoying this political thread- can we please rename it mods? Just call it Political Jousting?
Can we start a chat on Cameron and if his latest gaffe shows him not only to be the most inept PM in history but now one of the most corrupt?

I noticed you've not included the left wing biased media from your list so for balance...

Channel 4 news - I watch this every night, I like the presenters, even though its politically VERY left wing. I guess its a bit like a Cobblers fan listening to the away commentary on iplayer!
The Guardian - hate mongering rag, on an absolute par with the Daily Mail but the other extreme/agenda. 'Intelligent' nutjobs read it.
The Mirror - thick people who find the Guardian a little bit too complicated.

Id consider myself a centrist, in some ways I'm right of centre, others left of centre. I haven't bought a newspaper for at least 15 years. Used to buy the Sun, read it back to front. Always found the sport an easy read whilst having lunch in my Mondeo when I was a sales rep. Rest of it was utter nonsense lol. Wouldn't feed it these days though, I've become more principled as I've got older!  Grin

Id consider voting for Labour if they got rid of the Corbyn element, which they are no where near to achieving. Find more of their prominent MP's despicable than I do Tory ones.

A solution for me would be for the momentum seeking lefties to fcuk orf and build their own unelectable party, and then Labour could provide a decent viable alternative. Labour would get far more voters like me than they would lose voters who are Momentum sympathisers. They can take Abbot, Corbyn and McDonnell with them, of course. As things stand, Id only vote Tory out of the three main parties in a general election because for me they are the least bad of the three options!!

2  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Injury Updates.... on: April 12, 2021, 12:06:50 pm

Interesting observations ref Marshall. Pretty much every man and his dog from our end of things, would have brought him on with at least 30 minutes to go.

What I don't get though, is that if he's fit enough for 15 minutes with a dodgy hamstring, surely he's fit enough for 30 minutes? If the hamstrings gonna go, it will go in the first few minutes of coming on? I profess to knowing nothing about sports injuries, I would though love to understand the rationing behind this?!
3  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The 'Clare Balding' POTS: Bristol Rovers (h) 10/04/2021 on: April 10, 2021, 21:36:25 pm
McWilliams. Carried the team today. Quite literally....
4  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Rattling the Rovers 10.4.21 on: April 10, 2021, 21:34:28 pm
I like Brady a lot. His passion and integrity are beyond reproach and I think it's clear that he's a very good man-manager and coach. Curle's recruitment has given him an extremely limited hand of cards to play with.

However, for me the pressure of the relegation battle has transformed him into a risk adverse manager. When he first took over we were properly having a go at teams with Marshall and Miller flying down the wings and the full-backs overlapping in support. He spoke encouragingly about increasing our touches in the opposition's penalty area.

Now Marshall has been jettisoned to the bench and we're playing some kind of weird '4-2-2-2' pseudo-diamond formation with very little width and very little creativity.

Today's draw keeps us just about alive but he needs to have a radical tactical rethink. For me there just wasn't enough ambition to get 3 points in what was a very winnable game today. It's sad how refreshing it is to watch Jones do the absolute basics of centre forward play - holding the ball up, using his strength to turn his man, directing flick ons - which seem to be beyond the purview of his colleagues. I find it hard to belief that we couldn't get 60 minutes out of him (a la McCormack last year) and this could make all the difference. This is what I'd play from now on:

                        Kioso      Jones        Horsfall        Mills/Sheehan

                                      McWilliams       Morris

                           Marshall            Watson             Hoskins

                                                  Jones (sub off after 60 minutes for Edmondson/Chucks)

4-2-3-1 is a tactically coherent formation and would give us some width without compromising our ability to press and defend. It would also allow Watson to get in the box and hopefully feed off Jones. Mills is an interesting one. He looked like a great signing in the summer having scored and assisted for fun for Forest Green as a left-wing back. He's been fairly solid defensively but he looks to me like a player who could do with a rest. His crossing, passing and composure were not up to his usual standard. Sheehan started his career as a left-back and putting him in at left-back might be a way of getting some much-needed composure into the side.


At some point I hope to meet you because EVERY post you put I agree with! No one else anywhere ever does, so it would be refreshing to talk sh1t with someone who I would never argue with!  I have nothing to add, apart from one thing...

...that my frustration with Brady has been and continues to be his late subs when things are not working. He lets games drift. It was crying out for Marshall to come on at half time, yet he keeps him benched until 75 minutes. Shortly after we score. It winds me up incessantly watching it!

5  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The 'Clare Balding' POTS: Hull City (a) 05/04/2021 on: April 08, 2021, 13:11:19 pm
Id give it to Mitchell,  7/10.

The rest of them 6/10 or lower...

6  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Lee Collins R.I.P. on: April 07, 2021, 20:49:49 pm
I'm feeling quite maudlin and philosophical about this latest news. In the past I've been a bit glib about suicide and said how I feel more sorry for the people they leave behind than the person themselves. As I've got older though I've come to understand it more and have more of an appreciation of mental health.

I think becoming a father also changes your perspective and I'm laying next to my daughter, trying to get her to sleep as I type this. Seeing her silhouette in the gloom and hearing her gentle breathing as she drifts off, I'm privileged to know to that little girl I'm currently her everything. The main worry I've had through the pandemic is the concern of what would happen to her if anything were to happen to me? How would she cope with a loss like that at her age? How would it affect her as she grew? I'll be honest, it frightened me; I was far more worried about the effect on her rather than my own mortality.

I don't think I'm anything special as a father. I think all parents feel like that. Your child is just more important than you.

Lee Collins had three young daughters and seemingly could still only see this as a way out. To think someone, by all accounts a good person, could feel so badly about things that they lose sight of their value to their children is just heartbreaking.

I've just made a donation to the Just Giving page set up to help Lee's family, along with a second donation to the National Suicide Prevention Alliance's CALM campaign in Lee's name. It would be nice if someone else who finds themselves in this sort of position could be saved on the back of his loss.

This is actually really quite hard hitting. I have for a while, felt precisely like that (my lads 11). Those 'negative thoughts' are apparently very common for a parent, I didn't realise that until a while back. Thought it was me, for a while. I could have typed that myself, without the good grammar though. Really Good post mate...
7  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The Hotelend Grand National Sweepstake 2021 on: April 07, 2021, 20:44:41 pm
to his 'orse. Ill have a go!
8  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Away at 'Ull Easter Monday 05.04.21 on: April 06, 2021, 19:24:35 pm
I would have played Sheehan, but Id have brought him in for Morris and kept with the same formation. Had him and McWilliams screening Jones and Horsefall, with Watson pushing on...

In reality though, would it have made any difference? In reality, Hull's players are considerably better than ours, so all things being even, and they 'turn up'...they will beat us. That said, I'm being defeatist, and I am a bit disappointed that the players/management seemed to treat Hull like they were Man City. Reminded me a bit of when we went to Leeds and lost 3-0 last game of the season, and tamely got relegated...

Anyway, we move on. Whatever we think about Saturdays game, it was always likely to end in defeat. The Bristol Rovers game will set us up for the final push, either way. A win and I reckon our chances of survival rise to 60/40, a defeat and it will be more like 25/75. Its a HUGE game.

Lets just hope that Saturdays park the bus 'experiment' was a one off; I think most of us thought it was the best approach; but clearly it doesn't work with the personnel we have, so when we pitch up at London Road and potentially Sunderland, we'd be potentially better served to take the game to them!
9  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The 'Clare Balding' POTS: Shrewsbury Town (h) 02/04/2021 on: April 03, 2021, 12:41:55 pm
10  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Season ticket holders on: March 28, 2021, 13:18:20 pm
Shout out to all those demanding refunds and criticising the clubs actions while drafting their posts bemoaning the lack of investment in the summer

This is how I see it.

Football fans often criticise their clubs owners for not spending enough money, yet moan if a hot dog goes up in price. The way I see it is simple. When I bought our season tickets this season, I knew that there was a bloody good chance Id be throwing money down the drain, for obvious reasons.

The iplayer restrictions is what irritates me the most, and clubs should have been publicly lobbying the EFL to lift them so EVERYONE with a pass can link up their devices to their tv. Clearly its just luck with what TV/phone/app you've got/run it through as to whether or not it works on a big screen.  I also think that this seasons season ticket holders could/should be offered i player passes for next seasons away games as a sweetener for their continued loyalty. Clubs have the chance to budget accordingly in the Summer again, and if that initiative was offered across the board, it would create a level playing field where all clubs could handle the difficulty with regards to refunds etc in the same way.

What we will see for sure is those clubs who have offered full refunds and have large take ups, will budget accordingly next season and end up with a worse team than they would have had.  Unless of course they are owned by a sugar daddy. Id rather they keep my money on the basis that it will help us be more competitive next season. Fortunately I can afford it, but if I couldn't I wouldn't have bought season tickets in the first place. Plus Im a mug when it comes to the Cobblers!  Grin
11  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Wombles away 27.03.21 on: March 27, 2021, 20:55:03 pm
Awful, utter dross.

It does though reignite the debate about tactics, footballing style etc. I always argued that KC tried to play to the players strengths and that this lot passing the ball wouldn't work. Well today, we did *try* to pass it but it was horrible. Better surely to just lump it to some big lad in attack and hope for the best?! Problem is, Oliver didn't sign, Smith wasn't up to it...

Every 2nd or 3rd pass went straight to a Wimbledon player. And of course, when we go long, we don't have the right personnel to challenge for those balls successfully.

I wont blame Hoskins. 'Legend' Rico did the same at Walsall a few years back. It happens. At least he got it on target, Rico cleared the ground and probably found the M6!  Grin

People are blaming Mitchell. Yeah it was sh1t keeping, BUT the goals against column wont be what sends us down. The forward play is truly abysmal most of the time, and its so blatantly obvious that Edmunson, when played, at least holds the ball up a bit and allows the midfielders, particularly Watson, to become involved. Rose is a finisher, a hustler, but not a target man in a front 3.

Brady is tactically questionable (being kind), said that since the start. I do like him though, he's passionate, him and Rico/Sammo/Warburton is a good group, just not sure about their managerial credentials. His interviews this week hinted on a 'cant lose' rather than 'must win' mentality. He/we got what our approach deserved today.

We are where we are. Still in with a fighting chance. Beat Shrewsbury on Friday and its game on again. We live in hope. Lets face it, back in August, any one realistic said 20th was the seasons aim and we are 20th, albeit below teams have games in hand. BUT. We still stand a chance. We've played our cards this season, these lads though need to be all on it for us to win a game of football in this division. That needs to happen a minimum of 4 times now in the last 8 games.

12  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Home v Oxford United 23.03.21 on: March 24, 2021, 10:32:45 am
Very decent performance last night, a real battle where every player ran themselves into the ground. Brady Im sure will be saying thats the minimum to be expected; if we can replicate that work rate and determination for the next 9 games we are more than capable of staying in this division because we will win the 4 or 5 games needed.

Despite the performance though, I would still tweak it on Saturday, with Sowerby coming in for Morris if he's fit. I think that would improve our quality in the midfield area, and allow Watson to roam forward more with intent. Nothing against Morris but for me he's the weakest player in that midfield unit by some measure, and Sowerby is a very good league1 footballer.

Id also like us to rotate the forwards a bit more, surely Jones has to start playing a part now?

Marshall had easily his best game for us this season, whilst Rose and Hoskins both worked their socks off as well and showed good quality at times. With a better final ball we could have scored 2 or 3 easily, hence my comments above!

13  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The 'Clare Balding' POTS: Crewe Alexandra (h) 20/03/2021 on: March 22, 2021, 10:51:00 am
Lloyd Jones
14  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Home against the Railwaymen Saturday 20.03.21 on: March 20, 2021, 19:21:43 pm
Ill defend Brady with regards to the team selection today, only because no one else has! I could see his thinking. Crewe are well known for trying to play it out from the back, faffing around with the ball with square passes across their defence and our chosen forward 3 looked like the plan was, was to press them and irritate them, hopefully into an error or at least making them go long.

Unfortunately though and very early doors (Id say 20 minutes to be kind) it was ultra clear it wasn't working in the sense that we had zero threat. Why we kept that shape for 55 minutes, who knows. And why we brought Rose on instead of either Edmunson or Jones, only Brady and his assistants will know the answer to that. And why he played Edmunson out wide....hmmm!

That all said. No body outside of the back4 had a decent game. No body. McWilliams was a tad fortunate not to have been sent off, he was without doubt one minor offence from being red carded, and with that in mind Brady did have no option to sub him which given the options on the bench, basically ended any hope that we had of getting back into the game. The balance of the team had disappeared as well as having no bite, which meant Crewe would easily see it out. Which they did.

In summary. Yes, Brady can be criticised today for his team selection but I think its only fair to say that in mitigation, it did seem to make some sense. I though would definitely criticise him for sticking with it for so long, and then making the wrong changes. I've said numerous times now that my concern with Brady is that he does seem to dither when it comes to changing things during games, that he's reactive and not proactive with them. Today was another fine example with Jones only coming on moments after we went 1-0 down.

All in all, a very poor performance but I guess a positive is that we are still very much in with a chance of staying up...but that will only happen if our lads show up in half of the games left with their A games like they did versus Pompey and Plymouth. If they are not collectively all 'on it' we will most likely lose....we are not a good enough team to play badly and still win. That has been proven throughout the season.
15  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: New Manager on: March 15, 2021, 15:56:20 pm
Larry talks bollox and passes it off as fact.
Next thing heíll be claiming Burtons upturn in form is also luck.

One transfer window and about 10 signings later, he somehow made Burton from the worst team in league1 to arguably the best team in the same division.

When he did the same trick with us, he somehow made us bloody worse than we were before!!  Grin
16  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: New Manager on: March 15, 2021, 11:52:38 am
No meltdeyn!  Cheesy

As we sit today, cant disagree with any of this. Its worth a go. But ultimately, and God forbid, we do go down and follow it up with a Austin style start next season (22nd after 10 games), they wont survive! That's my point mate. All good plans get ripped to shreds when the team does badly. That's for a number of reasons. Falling attendances, vocal fan pressure at games creating a toxic attitude, discontentment in the dressing room (you get factions when the team is doing crap, thats just the way it is)...

Unless the team implodes in the last 11 games, and it doesn't look like it will, then Brady and co will and should be here for the start of next season. They have brought a positive and upbeat attitude to proceedings and its becoming infectious. I think they do have it in them, I wasn't sure (far from it) at the start of their tenure, but they've won me round for now. Like many others, Im enjoying watching the games and its been startling to see that our players can actually play football at this standard. We look two decent attackers away from being a very decent league1 team.

I hope poor Drilling doesn't have another meltdown with us having the audacity to express opinions on here but here goes! There are some great points here from Larry.

Today we can add Kenny Jackets name to the game of "musical managers." We've had all the usual suspects parroted out on here since KCs departure, as we always do every few years. Big names, upcoming names and left-field suggestions from the ponderous.

When it comes to some of the posters here, I'm a relative newcomer to watching the Cobblers as I've only been going since 1981 but I cant remember the club ever being in this position before with having such a strong and well organised back room set up and academy so dedicated to the club and the town.

KT deserves a lot of credit for quietly assembling this in the background and now I hope he can be bold enough to reap the rewards.

The odds are, and despite JB's best attempts with these players, we'll probably go down this season. I hope with every sinew we don't but maybe the forty odd years of supporting us are taking their toll!

We've flirted with some amazing times but almost immediately after every success has come bitter disappointment with the platform of that success disassembled as fast as a travelling fair ground.

Ray Warburton is now helping out and this is no dewy eyed perspective of players past but the characters now in place at the club, JB, Ian, Marc and Ray not only study the game but are capable of creating desire, heart and belief.

Whatever happens this season, in my own opinion, the biggest loss to this club would not to allow JB and his team time to build a team and I would go further mould the club. If we hit the panic button and appoint another out of town [cut paste from sack race] standard reply, "one game at a time" etc blah blah career manager, we would possibly have lost the opportunity of a lifetime.

We're not a huge club with obscenely wealthy foreign owners striving for instant success or a quick buck, and thank fuck for that. Time to follow a Crewe (plus) philosophy not the Oldham or Watford example.

I would rather have Premiership clubs knocking on our door to blood their youngsters with ours, knowing they are in good hands, rather than ripping them away to join a more progressive club as what happened with Morton.

17  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The 'Clare Balding' POTS: Doncaster Rovers (a) 13/03/2021 on: March 13, 2021, 22:08:11 pm
Gord knows. One of the centre backs. Watching on the ipad is hard lol. Ill say Lloyd Jones.
18  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Donny away on Saturday 13.03.21 on: March 13, 2021, 21:34:41 pm
Its a funny old game!

I actually quite enjoyed todays game, thought we played pretty well and with a half decent striker would have won or indeed, with the current lot with some luck (Watson clearing it off the line) would have sneaked a 1-0 win.

The central striker position, what I will say is that Edmunsons hold up play as part of a front 3 is pivotal to our tactics and thats why Rose or Chuck are not getting game time (or the new lad for that matter). I do understand that, however we must have reached the point now that Brady comes to the conclusion that there are no goals in our front 3, so regardless of how well they are all individually playing, they are not actually scoring!

For me, defence and midfield is absolutely fine. But we do need to tinker with the forwards. Somehow we need to keep the current shape whilst forming a forward two which will support each other.

With the latter in mind, Id be inclined to play Edmunson down the middle again, but with Rose and Marshall either side of him. Rose coming inside where possible. Hoskins work rate is less important to us at the minute and Id bench him. Rose works bloody hard so he ticks that box. The new lad probably isn't ready to start but needs to come into play around the hour mark imo.

Next weeks team - same as today, but with a forward 3 of Rose, Edmunson and Marshall with Jones and Miller to come on potentially around the hour mark if required.

19  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: New Manager on: March 09, 2021, 17:11:16 pm
Norwich have had 4 in the last 6 years. They sit 1st.

Watford have had 11 in about 5.5 years. They sit 2nd

Swansea have had 10 in the last 6 years. They sit 3rd.

Brentford have had 5 in the last 6 years. They sit 4th.

Reading have had 9 in the last 6 years. They sit 5th.

Barnsley have had 9 in the last 6 years. They sit 6th.

Sorry, bit bored. I've done this before!  It drives me insane when people on social media or online, bleat about how crap our management recruitment has been over the years. Just take a look at other clubs. Its the same everywhere. Hire and fire until you get lucky. There's a good little pool of clubs above, some with money, some without. Some you'd expect to be up there, others less so.

A lot of fans think they can find a winning formula with relative ease, recruit the right chap...and away you go. It doesn't bloody work like that in the real world!!  Grin Grin

20  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Jon Brady on: March 08, 2021, 11:04:41 am
Made my concerns about Brady loud and clear. I must say though that I've been mightily impressed these last 2 games (in particular) and the teams shape and tactical approach to games is very clear and concise. At the end of the day, 10 goals from the last 5 games tells its own story, and Id argue that we could have scored many more if our strikers had been ruthless.

I still have concerns that when we go a goal down or are struggling in a game, I've not seen evidence to move away from plan A (which has worked very well versus Plymouth and Pompey) and adapt accordingly. Whilst that doesn't matter when your in front in games, it does in other matches and I think our points haul would have been far higher if earlier subs had been made etc, particular in the Rochdale and Swindon games.

That isn't a negative slight, we've been exceptional this past week, and long may it continue. Charlton's results at home this year have been dreadful, so I'm really hopeful that we can kick on tomorrow evening.

What I do like about Brady is that he oozes positivity, and seems really passionate about the job in hand and the club in general. The players have responded to that and some of their performances are now at a level that I think any reasonable person wouldn't have thought possible a short while ago.

Im not going to get carried away, there's some tough games coming up and we are still right in the sh1t but we've given ourselves a decent chance and a real platform to kick on from!
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