Taking Stock

It’s been a strange few days, not the proudest for the first “City Of Football” it has to be said. Both the city’s clubs have lost their weekend fixtures which generally sets a grim mood by itself – yet the fall out from each defeat has been somewhat spectacular for very different reasons!

Oh and on top of it all, we’ve just released Kyle Dixon today. On the day I sent issue 12 off to the printers with my own article singing his praises, his contract has been terminated by mutual consent. I’m adamant it will be through no fault of his own, and that it’s merely to help facilitate his move to Boston United, but none the less my heart sank when the message came through on my phone. I can’t wish Kyle anything but the very best for the future, and I know he’ll be back in the Football League in no time at all.

Anyway, Notts’ 3-0 defeat at Boundary Park was a miserable afternoon’s viewing, lit up only by internet phenomenon/flash in the pan Twitter joke Andy Tate stewarding the Notts fans. Meanwhile the bunch across the Trent lost 1-0 to Millwall thanks to a costly error from a not long returned loanee of ours, Stephen McLaughlin.

Stuart Pearce was sacked the next day. With all the tools at his disposal the play-offs should have been the very minimum he could achieve. With everything in place, all Fawaz had to do was make the right appointment and success could finally be theirs you might think. Instead he appointed Dougie Freedman within an hour of Pearce’s departure being made public. The next morning, the club’s Chief Executive jumped ship, before later that evening Peterborough owner Darragh McAnthony took aim for not paying their latest installment for Britt Assombalonga.

Not that anyone should feel any kind of sympathy for anyone concerned with Peterborough – but still embarassment none the less for our neighbours.

Now, I apologise for taking up your time discussing that lot. It’s something I’ve tried for us to steer clear of in the past but the chaos at the City Ground however is pertinent here as it acts as a good measuring stick for where we, Notts County, are as a club.

You see the fallout from defeat at Boundary Park has been somewhat more extreme than usual – and we all know by now that’s saying something. I mean I know we don’t generally consider the hive mind of Notts County Mad to be the bastion of common sense – but labelling Shaun Derry such things as a clown, that he’s clueless, or that it was time to “spin the wheel again” regarding our manager is above and beyond the idiocy we come to expect from there, isn’t it?

Notts’ Facebook is similarly out of sync however. Derry apparently needs glasses, he needs to go. Why would such thoughts even cross people’s minds even in jest? Do people not see the carnage across the river? At a time when we’re as stable as a club as we’ve been in probably decades, why would anyone be wishing for us to hit the implode button?

Such – what I’d consider to be – delirious thoughts however are just the way our game is now though. Our own fans boo the team for every result that doesn’t go our way when in the olden days it would happen so rarely that it would strike you to your core. It’s lost all meaning by this point. It’s no fault of anyone’s in particular bar those running our game. I’ve not long read one user on Facebook suggest Nicolas Anelka and Bobby Zamora as a front two for Notts, but that’s of no fault of the poster of it, it’s just the kind of bullshit we’re forcefed by the media on that most odious of days in the sporting calendar – transfer deadline day.

I’m sure it’s a fun event if you support one of the top 25/30 clubs in the country and have so many zeros in the bank that you don’t know what do with them. But for us down here in Leagues One & Two it’s just a morbid freakshow – but sadly one which many supporters want to feel a part of. That in turn creates unnecessary pressure on our clubs and their owners to stretch themselves that little bit further than the existence of their club can afford. Whatever it might be that Sky might have you believing – money is not easy to come by down here in the lower reaches of professional football in England.

Derry’s job at Meadow Lane should be about as secure as any manager’s ever has here. Of course he’s not perfect, he’s still very much learning his trade but surely what he managed to achieve last and the beginning of this season warrants that little bit more respect? Contrary to what people across the whole of Nottingham (it must be the water surely?) appear to believe, it doesn’t hurt to once in a while stand by a manager when you’ve lost a few games of football. By this point I’m so to death of form tables because all logic goes out the window. FORM IS TEMPORARY. You can bury the management team with all the loaded statistics in the world, but in the end they counted for absolutely zero last year when we somehow avoided relegation, and they count for even less now.

If I had my way however, people would stop harking back to last season as a comparison to the here and now, and they’d simply point across the river and ask “Do you want to become like that laughing stock over there?”

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