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Mark Ashton - getting an easy ride?


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Just wondering why Ashton isn’t getting some flak.  I would describe our signing record overall as mediocre.  Teams have that been promoted in recent years have got at least 80% of their signings spot on and most have spotted bargains from both the UK and abroad. 

LJ obviously has to mould players into a team but can we really not lay any blame at Ashton’s door?  Interested to hear views on this from both Johnson Inners and Johnson Outers 

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3 minutes ago, And Its Smith said:

Just wondering why Ashton isn’t getting some flak.  I would describe our signing record overall as mediocre.  Teams have that been promoted in recent years have got at least 80% of their signings spot on and most have spotted bargains from both the UK and abroad. 

LJ obviously has to mould players into a team but can we really not lay any blame at Ashton’s door?  Interested to hear views on this from both Johnson Inners and Johnson Outers 

The reason is because it's harder to judge exactly what his contribution is. LJ is obviously going to be judged by the metric of results.

We just know him as the guy who has something to do with transfers and does some PR for the club. We don't know for sure which transfers are 'his' and whether LJ has a veto. 

If we did he'd probably get equal scrutiny. If LJ's position is reviewed by the board, I hope Ashton's is too.

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I think Ashton has more than enough credit in the bank to be safe . 
 

He has negotiated some amazing transfer deals for the club and has proved that we are no longer push overs when selling our players. 
 

His personality is not to everybody’s liking but you cannot question his effectiveness.

 

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2 minutes ago, BRISTOL86 said:

I don’t really think our overall signing record is poor at all. We have a squad of very talented players who are being impeded by a distinctly average coaching staff. 

He has delivered some phenomenal transfer deals, which I think is a big part of his job? He doesn’t coach or pick the team so I don’t think on-pitch failure should be laid at his door.  

Majority of signings over past 4 years, have been shocking

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5 minutes ago, Redwhitepurple said:

Majority of signings over past 4 years, have been shocking

Majority of players have been shocking? Absolute nonsense. This is the best squad of individual talent we’ve had in my entire life and my next big birthday is 40!

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27 minutes ago, And Its Smith said:

Just wondering why Ashton isn’t getting some flak.  I would describe our signing record overall as mediocre.  Teams have that been promoted in recent years have got at least 80% of their signings spot on and most have spotted bargains from both the UK and abroad. 

LJ obviously has to mould players into a team but can we really not lay any blame at Ashton’s door?  Interested to hear views on this from both Johnson Inners and Johnson Outers 

 

Sweat2.png

Edited by hodge
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Most think our squad is pretty good so how is Ashton blame?

12 minutes ago, Redwhitepurple said:

Majority of signings over past 4 years, have been shocking

Lets have names then

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36 minutes ago, BRISTOL86 said:

I don’t really think our overall signing record is poor at all. We have a squad of very talented players who are being impeded by a distinctly average coaching staff. 

He has delivered some phenomenal transfer deals, which I think is a big part of his job? He doesn’t coach or pick the team so I don’t think on-pitch failure should be laid at his door.  

Which players signed this season are very talented? if there are any they are disguising it very well

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I’ve made my views on Ashton very clear in the past. 
 

I’m in the LJ out camp, but I also have some sympathy for him with Ashton overseeing recruitment. 
 

Ashton, to his credit, has done very well with outgoing transfer fees. 
But his incoming record is scattergun and wasteful. 
He removed the chief scout as he wants control over it all and doesn’t want someone else’s qualified opinion to interfere with his own unqualified opinion, where he’s known for only using a small pool of agents, who get very well remunerated. Make of that what you will. 
 

It would’ve been interesting to see what LJ might’ve done had he been able to appoint his own chief scout rather than working under Ashton’s remit. We won’t ever find out but I think our recruitment would’ve been vastly different (for the better). 
 

That said, LJ had to do better with what he’s been given, and I feel his time is now up. 

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Fact is, we simply don’t know what input LJ has into transfers. So we can only look at the squad. 

I wouldn’t say Mark Ashton has particularly unearthed any gems for next to no money has he? Yes he’s signed some good players, in fact if you were to split this squad down the middle you’d end up with the best and second best squads we’ve ever had, but everyone has been bought for about their market value. 

I suppose irrespective of what he’s paid for them, Ashton has assembled a squad that are much better than 12th and in my opinion, much better than 6th. We just need someone to put the pieces together. 

Dont get me wrong, I can’t stand Mark Ashton* but he’s done Largely alright with the incomings and mostly very well on the outgoings. 

Theres only one mans door (or maybe 3 men’s doors) at which the blame can be laid. 

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25 minutes ago, Malmesburyrobin said:

The squad that has been assembled is fine and ready for a promotion push it’s the tactics and man management that is awful 

Is it? Look how weak our central midfield is.

Smith - likely to be released in a few weeks yet is currently the best we’ve got.

Massengo - potential to be a great player but still super young and a lot to expect of him starting and influencing every game.

Nagy - combo of injuries, home sickness means he hasn’t featured.

 

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Every single club in the world will have bad signings, I would say the disappointing signings we have had were nothing out of the usual in comparison to other Championship clubs. Guarantee you that even the holy Brentford have had an "Engvall" signing in the last few season.

The key is there has been 1 or 2 signings a season which have greatly increased in value after a season or two. That is where Ashton has really been successful compared to other clubs and I would say given the amount he has brought it, it is unfair to single him out. Anyone can see the quality in players like Kalas, Palmer, Josh Dasilva, Afobe, Wells etc. Many of them have played above this level or have won promotion from it. It is clearly the coaching that is not bringing the best out of them.

 

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54 minutes ago, BRISTOL86 said:

Majority of players have been shocking? Absolute nonsense. This is the best squad of individual talent we’ve had in my entire life and my next big birthday is 

The squad is bang average

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21 minutes ago, Harry said:

I’ve made my views on Ashton very clear in the past. 
 

I’m in the LJ out camp, but I also have some sympathy for him with Ashton overseeing recruitment. 
 

Ashton, to his credit, has done very well with outgoing transfer fees. 
But his incoming record is scattergun and wasteful. 
He removed the chief scout as he wants control over it all and doesn’t want someone else’s qualified opinion to interfere with his own unqualified opinion, where he’s known for only using a small pool of agents, who get very well remunerated. Make of that what you will. 
 

It would’ve been interesting to see what LJ might’ve done had he been able to appoint his own chief scout rather than working under Ashton’s remit. We won’t ever find out but I think our recruitment would’ve been vastly different (for the better). 
 

That said, LJ had to do better with what he’s been given, and I feel his time is now up. 

Was interested in your view, and your honesty.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall and watch the dynamic between LJ, MA and SL.  There are flaws all round.

Unfortunately the world of football is “dog eat cat” and requires self preservation.

I would MA would throw LJ under the bus without hesitation.  If Lee hasn’t been given the players he wants I have some sympathy, but as I’ve said before he needed to be brave and call MA out.  I think us fans would’ve got behind him if that was the case.

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35 minutes ago, ORANGE500 said:

Which players signed this season are very talented? if there are any they are disguising it very well

Aside from Afobe, Wells, Palmer, Dasilva, Kalas, Pereira and Massengo I can’t really think of anyone. 

12 minutes ago, ORANGE500 said:

The squad is bang average

No, that’s the coaching staff and tactical ‘plan’. 

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45 minutes ago, Fordy62 said:

Fact is, we simply don’t know what input LJ has into transfers. So we can only look at the squad. 

I wouldn’t say Mark Ashton has particularly unearthed any gems for next to no money has he? Yes he’s signed some good players, in fact if you were to split this squad down the middle you’d end up with the best and second best squads we’ve ever had, but everyone has been bought for about their market value. 

I suppose irrespective of what he’s paid for them, Ashton has assembled a squad that are much better than 12th and in my opinion, much better than 6th. We just need someone to put the pieces together. 

Dont get me wrong, I can’t stand Mark Ashton* but he’s done Largely alright with the incomings and mostly very well on the outgoings. 

Theres only one mans door (or maybe 3 men’s doors) at which the blame can be laid. 

Whilst I want Johnson to go and agree he’s not getting the most out of the squad, I’m not so confident as yourself that it’s that great. It’s unbalanced, not suiting a particular system or style of play, and I think the midfield is closer to being bottom 6 rather than top 6. 

My issue with Ashton is that whilst he may have got decent fees for all of our great assets, he has messed up the “trading model” he goes on about by overseeing poor signings that don’t have the same potential to be sold for £8 million + in the future. He was lucky he had Reid, Bryan, Kelly and Flint already here to fund large parts of our spending. If we were to hypothetically sale the entire squad in the next window I don’t think we have that many players we’d make a profit on in terms of transfer fee. Without that funding, a new manager (hopefully) will have difficulty revamping the squad as necessary for a promotion push next season and it will be hard for them to implement a style with such an unbalanced squad. 

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5 minutes ago, Harry said:

I’ve made my views on Ashton very clear in the past. 
 

I’m in the LJ out camp, but I also have some sympathy for him with Ashton overseeing recruitment. 
 

Ashton, to his credit, has done very well with outgoing transfer fees. 
But his incoming record is scattergun and wasteful. 
He removed the chief scout as he wants control over it all and doesn’t want someone else’s qualified opinion to interfere with his own unqualified opinion, where he’s known for only using a small pool of agents, who get very well remunerated. Make of that what you will. 
 

It would’ve been interesting to see what LJ might’ve done had he been able to appoint his own chief scout rather than working under Ashton’s remit. We won’t ever find out but I think our recruitment would’ve been vastly different (for the better). 
 

That said, LJ had to do better with what he’s been given, and I feel his time is now up. 

There have been a few howlers, but they've been rare. Engvall springs to mind as chief-of-flops. Besides that, I'd argue on paper all the players he's signed have a decent previous standard, even the younger players, ranging from mediocre to fantastic (Magnússon-Webster, case in point), with a minor contingent falling to the wayside for differing reasons, i.e. Hinds, Bakinson, Pring, Djuric; namely his first two seasons were sketchy at best, and per my previous posts I was a very vocal critic of him, at the time.

Ashton recouped the £1.6m for Eisa - how this was accomplished I have no idea; add in the decent fees in for the like of Kelly, Brownhill, Webster - we cannot question his negotiating skills in my opinion, and I wouldn't say we've overpaid for many - possibly Kalas? Eliasson has turned out to be a bargain, getting DaSilva for £2m at the time was cracking business. Compared to pre-Ashton it's night and day.

Taylor Moore for me epitomises a smart bit of business Ashton did, it's just taken time for Moore to gain the right mindset - impressive considering the club's/LJ's treatment of him at times, England U20(?) captain at the time, highly thought of at Lens, but is criminally shat on by LJ whenever he's made an error, he goes from being praised one week (leadership) to shipped out on loan the next.

Add in the use of Walsh, Szmodics, Vyner, Adelakun, Palmer, Morrell, Semenyo, the past 2-3 seasons, and how they've flourished away from the club. Yes, it's League One and Two standards in respect of each, but the core our team three years ago that played Man Utd - almost all were from League One and Two and our own Academy - Bryan, Smith, Pack Brownhill, it's where the most value can be had. LJs single biggest error is that since Kelly, he has not trusted the Academy again outside of O'Leary, where we were forced to include him due to injuries elsewhere - there were rumours of a bit of bust up with Tinnion in the summer, and this is pure conjecture and shit-at-the-fan guessing, but is this the reason why we're seeing the pathway vanish or the lack of progression? Or am I simply overthinking things?

Even if Ashton has been scattergun, it's LJ's job to coach, and this squad is plenty good enough for top half and Ashton has proven previously he can recoup fees for players - yet we're a fair bit closer to the relegation zone than top two as it stands. LJ has said he gets final say on signings. He's the head coach. Anything affecting the standard of the team is his responsibility because it is his utlimate decisions that dictate what occurs, per what he's mentioned previously in regards to transfer policy.

We're never likely to know who is in charge of signing until a new manager is in anyway - as LJ is so fond of blaming anyone but himself I wouldn't trust a single word of what he has to say about his time here, if he does leave.

If someone like Mick McCarthy doesn't want a player that's been put forward by scouting team in his office and the scouting team doesn't take no for an answer, I'd wager their desk is in the river the following morning.

I'd just like a manager that actually takes some ducking responsibility for change, not "we" immediately followed by chucking off blame onto an insinuated player, referee and/or officials.

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Was thinking that from MA’s perspective LJ is a useful whipping boy, his youth and experience level perfect to take the brick bats for the performances when we’re clearly missing key positions such as CM.
 

 

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29 minutes ago, Harry said:

I’ve made my views on Ashton very clear in the past. 
 

I’m in the LJ out camp, but I also have some sympathy for him with Ashton overseeing recruitment. 
 

Ashton, to his credit, has done very well with outgoing transfer fees. 
But his incoming record is scattergun and wasteful. 
He removed the chief scout as he wants control over it all and doesn’t want someone else’s qualified opinion to interfere with his own unqualified opinion, where he’s known for only using a small pool of agents, who get very well remunerated. Make of that what you will. 
 

It would’ve been interesting to see what LJ might’ve done had he been able to appoint his own chief scout rather than working under Ashton’s remit. We won’t ever find out but I think our recruitment would’ve been vastly different (for the better). 
 

That said, LJ had to do better with what he’s been given, and I feel his time is now up. 

You certainly have more insight than I have but even uninformed fans ought to be able to see the situation. Whatever his job title, Ashton is the de facto Director of Football, though he lacks the expertise for the role. Most fans seem to have missed him talking about "my database of players" . .. not "our database ....".

As long as he generates big profits on transfers he can do as he pleases though as the strategy is more a financial one than a playing one imo.

LJ's job title is Head Coach for a reason - i.e.he does not have the authority or control of a Manager.

Fans can have their wish lists of big name managers but none of those would accept the limits on their authority, in the unlikely event they would join us and we could afford them.

Nevertheless, LJ has lost control of the area he does have authority over and has reached the end of the line I think.

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2 minutes ago, Red Alert said:

Was thinking that from MA’s perspective LJ is a useful whipping boy, his youth and experience level perfect to take the brick bats for the performances when we’re clearly missing key positions such as CM.
 

 

Which means we are likely to recruit somebody in the same mould if LJ were to leave.

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1 hour ago, BRISTOL86 said:

I don’t really think our overall signing record is poor at all. We have a squad of very talented players who are being impeded by a distinctly average coaching staff. 

He has delivered some phenomenal transfer deals, which I think is a big part of his job? He doesn’t coach or pick the team so I don’t think on-pitch failure should be laid at his door.  

On the pitch failure - a bit over the top don’t you think? Anybody would think we were Certs for relegation

Mark Ashton has left his head coach with a midfield not fit for the top half of L1 let alone the championship 

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1 hour ago, And Its Smith said:

Just wondering why Ashton isn’t getting some flak.  I would describe our signing record overall as mediocre.  Teams have that been promoted in recent years have got at least 80% of their signings spot on and most have spotted bargains from both the UK and abroad. 

LJ obviously has to mould players into a team but can we really not lay any blame at Ashton’s door?  Interested to hear views on this from both Johnson Inners and Johnson Outers 

I don't think so, no. Mark isn't the one setting the tactics for the game and if we had a different manager would they be able to set better tactic, motivate and get more from the players? 

Overall I think the signings we've made have been excellent and when things are going well, Ashton seems to get a lot of praise.

Personally I think we'd see a different team in terms of performance under a different manager.

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MA appears to be very focused on the balance sheet, evident from the way the refund process was handled.

The reason we have a big squad is the approach of signing promising players which I fully back - but it must be more strategic than kissing frogs and hoping they hit the ground running. 

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