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Keith Downing in talks and Simpson


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5 minutes ago, Rocky said:

What's the obsession with City fans (maybe other clubs) wanting to bring back former players and managers.  JJ been here 3 times before and is likely to be semi retired.  Arguably also one of the old school, the game has moved on massively since his 'day'.

 

 

Agreed.

some even saying Tins as DoF and offer a JET a contract.

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9 minutes ago, Rocky said:

What's the obsession with City fans (maybe other clubs) wanting to bring back former players and managers.  JJ been here 3 times before and is likely to be semi retired.  Arguably also one of the old school, the game has moved on massively since his 'day'.

 

 

Down with jobs for the boys. Unless it's one of the boys I like.

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56 minutes ago, JonDolman said:

Can anyone tell me who they would want as assistant?

I can't think of any that the fans would all be happy with.

I want people who can do the job but know that, as a fan, there is no way I will ever have enough information to know who that is.

Frustrated as I am at how long this process has taken and disappointed though I am with the appointment of Holden, the  England under 19 and under 20s coaches will have got where they are for a reason and, if they were the two assistants, that would at least make me a little bit more reassured than I have been over the past few days that there might be a vague semblance of a plan in place. 

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18 minutes ago, WirralRobin said:

For me, it came apparent that our biggest issue in not getting the best out of our squad and achieving more this season has been LJ himself (and I say that as an LJ fan right up until lockdown) and bucking the trend I'm actually convinced Holden can be an upgrade on LJ in two keys areas, tactics and man management and surrounding himself with experience in Simpson and Downing can help him do that.

Back to LJ I just don't think tactically he got it right at all. For most of the season we looked devoid of a clear, consistent plan or 'identity, seemingly too concerned about the threats of the opposition, to how we would cause them problems leading to far too much chopping and changing of both formation and personnel and tbf to Holden within days of taking over from LJ he'd moved us to a fluid 3-5-2 formation that many fans on here, including myself, had been crying out for and so obviously fit the players better. It produced some of, if not the best, football we've seen all season in that win against Boro. He then stuck with that formation/style throughout the remaining 5 games which at least shows consistency that was so lacking from LJ and could be something to build on into the new season. From the accounts I read it seems Simpson especially got lots of plaudits for the good football he got the under 20s playing in their World Cup win in 2017 and Dowling has been used as a scout by Southgate for the full England squad (I think as an opposition scout) which suggests he has tactical nous too.  

In terms of man management, this is obviously tougher to judge but from the little bits you hear (especially on @Shtanley's great 'cider with' Aaron Wilbraham' discussing LJ managing Tomlin and discussing the differences between LJ and Cotterill) I really get the feeling LJ wasn't a great man manager and is one of his great weaknesses as a head coach. Will Holden be better? It's impossible for me to say but again from the feeling I get from reading Gregor's pieces from his sources, the Nakhi retweet etc I really feel he could be. I take on board completely that it's much easier to be liked / respected by the players as a number 2 rather than the head coach but I struggle to see how he can be worse than LJ on this score. Surrounding himself with the likes of Simpson and Downing who if nothing else have shown they can manage players to victory in tournament environments where man management of the entire squad can be such a key to success also bods well imo.

Really excellent post. Agree on all of it.

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3 minutes ago, Rocky said:

What's the obsession with City fans (maybe other clubs) wanting to bring back former players and managers.  JJ been here 3 times before and is likely to be semi retired.  Arguably also one of the old school, the game has moved on massively since his 'day'.

 

I'm not talking about bringing in Carey or Skuse here - no surprise if those 2 are earmarked in SL's future plans though.

Joe Jordan is an internationally respected football man of great knowledge and experience living on our doorstep.

So he may be 'old school' and might not cosy up to the players or put his arms round them after poor performances, but tell them a few home truths - should that be a problem?

 

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My questions would be.

 

Has Holden worked with these two before? If yes we're they his choice? If no why these two, we're they his choice?

If Holden has worked with any of them before.. Great 

If Holden wants them but hasn't worked with them before not so great the interpersonal relationship will need to be worked on before any of the tactics and training of the players gets inacted.

If the answer is no to any of those questions how is the Head Coach/Manager going to have any trust in them? How are these coaches going to know the mindset and ideas of the manager?

Who knows it could work brilliantly, but I wouldn't put money on it. I will have to resort to finger crossing as my head feels this has not been thought out well or should I say, has been thought out well for the way SL MA and JL like to run things.

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Just now, Nogbad the Bad said:

I'm not talking about bringing in Carey or Skuse here - no surprise if those 2 are earmarked in SL's future plans though.

Joe Jordan is an internationally respected football man of great knowledge and experience living on our doorstep.

So he may be 'old school' and might not cosy up to the players or put his arms round them after poor performances, but tell them a few home truths - should that be a problem?

 

He's past it.  Game has moved on massively.

I am absolutely not enthused by Simpson, Downing and Holden in the slightest, but I think I would still take them over JJ.  At least they've been working recently(!).

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25 minutes ago, mozo said:

I think the three positives are this: 

1. Holden can work with Simpson and Downing to bring Academy talent through.

2. We have a couple of coaches with a lifetime of pro football experience. 

3. We get the balance 0f continuity and new ideas.

 

Negatives:

1. Complete rookie at the helm in a very challenging role with very high expectations. 

2. Three men with very limited track record of success.

3. Three men that have never worked at a club together and are basically starting from scratch.

4. No one that players will admire for their football achievements. 

5. Disillusioned fans.

6. Chris Hughton was a better option.

 

 

I agree with the positives quoted.

Should the new set up be DH as head coach with Downing and Simpson as assistants, initially one must wonder if DH has enough experience and personality to be the leader.

However, if we aren't getting an accepted leader in Houghton, then this could be a way to bring in experienced football coaches with the young one, to assist, to bring different ideas to the table. Holden, with his personal background, where he has had to overcome the loss of a young daughter, would appear to be a strong character. Just like LJ? I believe not, because with Holden agreeing to this set up, he is clearly looking forward to learning from two older heads rather than imposing his way on everybody else.

If this is the way forward, it will give a real boost to our Academy boys, who let's be honest, have just been shunted out on loan while we have brought in mediocrity from elsewhere instead.

It would be silly at present, for us to play a side with all Academy graduates. "You don't win trophies with kids." But with a more balanced approach to team and substitute selection, we could and should be able to bring at least three or four in each season. A game or sub appearances here and there. Building confidence and experience.

If the current rumours are fact, I feel a lot more relaxed and hopeful for our immediate future. Whether it gets promotion in the next season or two remains to be seen.

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2 minutes ago, The Dolman Pragmatist said:

Or not.  Wait and see.

Is it really necessary to respond like this so often?

People are just speculating which is what the forum is for. I find it interesting to see people's general thoughts.

We don't KNOW anything but we can make educated guesses/predictions based off the knowledge we have. 

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Just now, The Dolman Pragmatist said:

Or not.  Wait and see.

Good to see your optimistic, I wish I could be too, I'm afraid I am not. If we are focusing on the academy then we will be in for a tough season ahead. We need signings, and fast. 

It just screams to me failure of trying to get Hughton/Gerrard in so all of a sudden we 'change the structure' so the board don't look as bad. This was the time to push on, like 2015 and we have bottled it in my view.

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3 hours ago, deadredfred said:

This smacks of Lansdown peering over the fence to Swansea, and seeing their relative success this season with Steve Cooper, who won the World Cup with the England U17’s

He had Rhian Brewster on loan from Liverpool (read another Tammy) and they snuck the play-offs despite selling their best academy raised player in Daniel James for £15m.

This is exactly the blueprint Lansdown wants and if Swansea can do it, why can’t we? 
 

Cheap option. And if the words “the Swansea model or Steve Cooper” are mentioned in any PR, I’ll have convinced myself. 

It might well smack of Steve Cooper and Swansea.  I totally get your point.

However in his first season as manager of Swansea he got them to the playoffs.  I wish Lee Johnson had done as badly in any of his 4.5 seasons here. I wish we had sneaked into the playoffs. 🙂🙂🙂

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1 minute ago, IAmNick said:

Is it really necessary to respond like this so often?

People are just speculating which is what the forum is for. I find it interesting to see people's general thoughts.

We don't KNOW anything but we can make educated guesses/predictions based off the knowledge we have. 

No, we must not take any past performance as any form of indication, we should purely base everything on the fact that Holden is a decent bloke and the 2 others have been part of an England set up that is full of failed coaches. 

A team of 3 who between them have such excellent records to include 2 relegations from the football league and 1 basic relegation of Cheltenham Town from League 1, I suppose we can be enthused by the single promotion from the National League that they can muster between them. 

Add to that our manager who has such a quality record of solid relegation form in his career so far, **** yeah. 

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I’m thinking they’re trying to get ahead of the curve with all the financial limitations due to covid. Attract high quality PL youth players with the lure of working with the (ex) England coaches (whom lots of them will have worked with before) rather than risk spending money on more experienced championship players. 
 

Could be a smart mov, could fall on its arse. 🤷‍♂️ 

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14 minutes ago, Nogbad the Bad said:

I'm not talking about bringing in Carey or Skuse here - no surprise if those 2 are earmarked in SL's future plans though.

Joe Jordan is an internationally respected football man of great knowledge and experience living on our doorstep.

So he may be 'old school' and might not cosy up to the players or put his arms round them after poor performances, but tell them a few home truths - should that be a problem?

 

Massive problem for the owner when he calls out Ashton for being a fake.

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I’m sure that Mark Ashton, Jon Lansdown and Steve Lansdown are in a bubble cut off from reality and are really excited about these appointments. That is what is really sad about the whole saga. In these sort of circumstances it needs someone to be brought in from the outside to burst the bubble and give everyone a dose of reality. Unfortunately that obviously didn’t happen and it’s unlikely to happen in the future with the current trio of SL, JL and MA 

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2 hours ago, extonsred said:

This only would excite if there is a DoF overseeing the coaching side. Needs an overseer who is removed from the coaching team and can seriously and consistently see and recruit what is needed for the team. 

I wonder if Downing might be that bridge, more than coaching.

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2 hours ago, Port Said Red said:

To play devils advocate, this could mean a team of young energetic players being coached by a team who understand what it takes to get a performance from them and will be able to deal with inconsistency that youth sometimes brings. 
 

                      Bentley/Max O

(young loanee) Zak    Taylor     JD
 

         Nagy   Bakinson Morrell

                        Walsh/Palmer

             Wells.     (young loanee)

Palmer played under Downing for Eng u20s.

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1 hour ago, Fuber said:

Ah but who gave Aidy the Watford gig?

 

 Our very own MA.

Also to note MA would know Downing from his spell as a consultant at WBA in 2014, when the latter became caretaker.

Was MA at West Brom in 2014?  Was at Oxford!

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1 hour ago, Atticus said:

Who have decided these are 2 coaches we need? I'm going to guess not Holden.

Our strategy is to clearly double down on youth. Morrell and Walsh had great seasons at league one level sure, does that guarantee they will be hits in the championship right off the bat?

This is an absurd risk which I can only see backfiring massively. That's 3 inexperienced championship coaches at this level then. While also hoping our youth players step up.

I dont know what they are doing tbh.

@GrahamC mentioned in other post that Simpson was Holden’s manager at Shrewsbury.

1 hour ago, Spud55 said:

I can understand interviewing Hughton and not being able to agree, maybe the club thought they could get him to give in his terms more than he actually would, and if we couldn't come to an agreement I have no problem with that. 

What I have a problem with is what appears to be a complete lack of planning and the fact that the shortlist appears to have been completely random. 

As a lay person the sensible composition of a shortlist would have been something like this. 

The top tier candidates, Hughton, Gerrard etc etc they types that if you can convince them to give a bit in their requirements without the club throwing all of theirs in the bin are ideal although the most unlikely appointments. 

Then you have your next tier which are not quite at that level but have some pedigree, your Cooks, maybe Robins or big name assistant's, again there will have to be some give and take on both sides to get an agreement, but because they don't have the pedigree of the top tier candidates they cannot be as demanding so agreement is more likely. 

Then you have your third tier, the promising managers who have achieved things at a much lower level but show potential, your Lowes, Wellens etc etc, should be easy enough to get an agreement as they would be unlikely to turn down an opportunity to manage us. 

Then you have the final, "***** sake lads, even Flynn at Newport has turned us down" option and that is where Holden resides, we have jumped straight from top tier to scraping the bottom of the barrel and its a bloody joke. 

That to me is the big unanswered question.  What happened to attractive group of global candidates that applied that when MA and JL had sifted through them, were beneath Holden in the pile?  All of them?

I genuinely think MA and JL have been exposed by the likes of Hughton as what a top head-coach wants.  A top head-coach probably wants control, that’s why they’ve got to where they are.  It might not be control of transfers, it could be coaching staff, it could be other things.  But they’ve had LJ!

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52 minutes ago, WirralRobin said:

For me, it came apparent that our biggest issue in not getting the best out of our squad and achieving more this season has been LJ himself (and I say that as an LJ fan right up until lockdown) and bucking the trend I'm actually convinced Holden can be an upgrade on LJ in two keys areas, tactics and man management and surrounding himself with experience in Simpson and Downing can help him do that.

Back to LJ I just don't think tactically he got it right at all. For most of the season we looked devoid of a clear, consistent plan or 'identity, seemingly too concerned about the threats of the opposition, to how we would cause them problems leading to far too much chopping and changing of both formation and personnel and tbf to Holden within days of taking over from LJ he'd moved us to a fluid 3-5-2 formation that many fans on here, including myself, had been crying out for and so obviously fit the players better. It produced some of, if not the best, football we've seen all season in that win against Boro. He then stuck with that formation/style throughout the remaining 5 games which at least shows consistency that was so lacking from LJ and could be something to build on into the new season. From the accounts I read it seems Simpson especially got lots of plaudits for the good football he got the under 20s playing in their World Cup win in 2017 and Dowling has been used as a scout by Southgate for the full England squad (I think as an opposition scout) which suggests he has tactical nous too.  

In terms of man management, this is obviously tougher to judge but from the little bits you hear (especially on @Shtanley's great 'cider with' Aaron Wilbraham' discussing LJ managing Tomlin and discussing the differences between LJ and Cotterill) I really get the feeling LJ wasn't a great man manager and is one of his great weaknesses as a head coach. Will Holden be better? It's impossible for me to say but again from the feeling I get from reading Gregor's pieces from his sources, the Nakhi retweet etc I really feel he could be. I take on board completely that it's much easier to be liked / respected by the players as a number 2 rather than the head coach but I struggle to see how he can be worse than LJ on this score. Surrounding himself with the likes of Simpson and Downing who if nothing else have shown they can manage players to victory in tournament environments where man management of the entire squad can be such a key to success also bods well imo.

I'd agree with much of this. I've said this before but I think the major problem with LJ was he was so obsessed with getting marginal gains, he frequently neglected or over-complicated the basics and would try to get an extra 5% out of the players but lose the other 95% in the process. I'm not at all sold on Holden but it seems the players like him and can see how he might do better than LJ just by keeping things clearer and keeping the players motivated. 

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