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Ray

I have some sympathy for the players.

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Rationale as follows;.

IMO, throughout Alex Neil’s tenure, and I include the first 4 months when he managed a team that achieved promotion, he made some bizarre decisions, both tactically and selection wise, furthermore, from what I understand, his man-management skills were lacking somewhat.

My concerns were initially raised when he selected Whitts as CM against Brentford all those months ago. I know we were short, but…

At the time I took the view he was on an upward learning curve and was happy to ‘go with the flow’, however, there was certainly no ‘upward’, at best he flatlined. Consequently he was out thought when it mattered and we were relegated, something that really shouldn’t have happened and will have had a negative effect on moral, mindset, etc.

Did the players lose faith in him then, possibly, did the players expect him to be replaced during the summer, as many on this forum did, possibly, did they enjoy going to work every day to work for a guy they just didn’t respect, unlikely.

The more bizarre tactical decisions and a selection issues continued probably thickening the cloud that hung over Colney.

Then when he was finally let go a vacuum appeared (if indeed a vacuum can appear?). All of the backroom staff stayed and Irvine immediately announced he didn’t want the job and continued along the same lines as his predecessor, there was no bounce effect, how could there be nothing had really changed, if anything things had gone backward. I wonder how much credibility any of us would give a boss who had publicly announced he didn’t want the job and would no doubt be off as soon as possible, simply waiting for his pay-off?

Re moving forward, and to a certain extent looking back, many of us have complained that the club is/has not communicated with us, I wonder if the players have the same issues?

Having said all the above, I still believe the players have a certain amount of responsibility, but they are human beings and still have feelings and emotions that can enhance or dilute their performance, no matter how much they are paid.

There has been talk on this forum of a Sports Psychologist and if ever one was needed it was/is now, yet it appears no one in authority recognised the fact. The fact Alex Neil stated he didn’t believe in all that probably says a lot.

So, yes, I have some sympathy, maybe they are victims of the last two years, just as many of us feel we are.

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A lot of truth in that, Ray. Once the downward path begins it becomes increasingly difficult to arrest the decline. Several of us with longer memories have seen this event more than once.

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Good post Ray and nothing really to disagree with there. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and despite it taking longer than it probably should have, getting rid of AN and getting a new structure in place is definitely a step in the right direction.

The next time we get into the Premiership, be it 2018/19 season or in 10 seasons, we need to make sure that we are best prepared for the longer haul. I like the idea of what Southampton have done but only time will tell how well it will work for us.

After today''s appointment, I am actually looking forward to the coming months - getting a new man in, plenty of ins and outs during the summer and next seasons campaign.

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Ray, a few months back we had a thread where you said you knew some things going on in the background but you felt it in appropriate to go into details at that time.

Is there anything you can share with us now, seeing that things have changed recently at the club?

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Guest
Some of you chaps that played at a decent level might know the response to my question following Ray''s thoughtful post.

Do the players completely stick to the tactic and game plan or ad lib to the situation?

For instance, Ryan Bennett has no pace and turns like a ship. Wells embarrassed him very early on. From then on, if Wells came short, Bennett just stayed zonal.

And I think that was what led ultimately to the first goal.

Would Irvine, after seeing the first incident have told Bennett to stick and not follow? Or would Bennett himself taken the risk he did which led to our downfall?

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I don''t agree about Whitts v Brentford - he''d played in m/f before and we were well short of numbers so it made sense for one game; it didn''t work out, but hindsight is a tremendous thing.

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I don''t!!! They get paid in a month what some of us get paid in a year. Have you been to the performances on the road this season? The effort put in by this lot is questionable if indeed you can call it effort at all. Sympathy, nah, I don''t think so, you are going soft! The AN regime is gone, I''ve not seen a step up in pride, passion or effort since that day.

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Quite comical remarks about our departures

Who is going to want Ruddy, McGovern, Whits. Bennett Bassong, Turner, Naismith, Jarvis, Mulumbu Tetley etc to make way for all these new signings that fans want

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daly - I believe Ruddy, Whit''s, Bennett, Bassong, Turner and Mulumbu are all out of contract in the summer.Getting back on topic, I don''t see how you can''t blame the players to a large degree. In many ways they let Alex Neil down and cost him his job.

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We''ve been through the Whittaker situation before. Three midfielders were injured and he played their because he''d played their for Rangers during their UEFA cup run.Norwich fans seems to blame the manager, then the board, even when the players are blaming each other in interviews (Martin after Brighton and Jerome after Sheff Wed)

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Don''t blame it on the Manager

Don''t blame it on the Board

Don''t blame it on the Players

Blame it on the boogie

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@keelansgrandad
Re. sticking to the game script, on several occasions this season players interviewed after unexpected defeats have said that they didn''t follow AN''s game plan. Not that they deliberately took things into their own hands, but that they simply didn''t in fact stick to the script. This raises the question of why this kept happening, and I keep thinking of a post-match interview Jerome gave after a home match in which we played extremely poorly first half, but much better in the second, eventually winning the game. What Jerome said was that half time discussion led to the original game plan being abandoned, and that in the second half they played a system that the team "were more comfortable with". Perhaps AN consistently overestimated the adaptability of his players.

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