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Posted by: AlfredTheGreat, September 27, 2017, 8:41pm
When did we last play good football? Every manager we have had since Buckley Mark 2 (even Buckley Mark 3) has been accused of playing the wrong way? Have we ever had a good footballing team since the 1990s? Not sure I can recall one.
Posted by: Mariner_09, September 27, 2017, 8:44pm; Reply: 1
Hurst
Posted by: Mariner Ronnie, September 27, 2017, 8:45pm; Reply: 2
Hurst.
Posted by: HertsGTFC, September 27, 2017, 8:46pm; Reply: 3
Quoted from AlfredTheGreat
When did we last play good football? Every manager we have had since Buckley Mark 2 (even Buckley Mark 3) has been accused of playing the wrong way? Have we ever had a good footballing team since the 1990s? Not sure I can recall one.


Do you go to games?
Posted by: AlfredTheGreat, September 27, 2017, 8:48pm; Reply: 4
Hurst now and again but not consistently.
Posted by: Cambs Mariner, September 27, 2017, 8:51pm; Reply: 5
Hurst
Posted by: AdamHaddock, September 27, 2017, 8:56pm; Reply: 6
Two weeks ago at Accrington
Posted by: KingstonMariner, September 27, 2017, 9:00pm; Reply: 7
I don't remember seeing many games of 'good' football under Hurst. Plenty of wins, and plenty of away wins, which as an exile I was happy about. Relative to the level we fairly played 'good'.

One Hurst (actually Scott and Hurst) game that sticks in my mind was away to Cambridge in about 2012. Started off under the cosh and gradually asserted ourselves and 'earned the right to play football'. Which we did for about 60 minutes from a quarter to half time to the FT whistle.
Posted by: HertsGTFC, September 27, 2017, 9:12pm; Reply: 8
Quoted from KingstonMariner
I don't remember seeing many games of 'good' football under Hurst. Plenty of wins, and plenty of away wins, which as an exile I was happy about. Relative to the level we fairly played 'good'.

One Hurst (actually Scott and Hurst) game that sticks in my mind was away to Cambridge in about 2012. Started off under the cosh and gradually asserted ourselves and 'earned the right to play football'. Which we did for about 60 minutes from a quarter to half time to the FT whistle.


I agree a lot of PH's time here was "functional & pragmatic" but with non league players you get non league football. There where some bright spots both home and away,
Posted by: ginnywings, September 27, 2017, 9:13pm; Reply: 9
Buckley spoiled us i think. Never seen better football anywhere and it was brilliant in it's simplicity. Play the ball quickly and move into space. I think most footballers at this level now have nothing but speed, fitness and organisation. You don't see many truly skillful players now. They are all much of a muchness.
Posted by: TAGG, September 27, 2017, 9:14pm; Reply: 10
FFS mate for the last 15years we have been getting relegated, playing non league or been in the bargain basement of the league.
What do you expect Brazil circa 1970??
Posted by: promotion plaice, September 27, 2017, 9:15pm; Reply: 11
Quoted from Cambs Mariner
Hurst


Welcome to the madness that is "The Fishy" Cambs Mariner     :)

I wasn't a fan but yes........Hurst.



Posted by: HertsGTFC, September 27, 2017, 9:19pm; Reply: 12
Quoted from ginnywings
Buckley spoiled us i think. Never seen better football anywhere and it was brilliant in it's simplicity. Play the ball quickly and move into space. I think most footballers at this level now have nothing but speed, fitness and organisation. You don't see many truly skillful players now. They are all much of a muchness.


At our level I would completely agree with this............."We need more technical ability in the squad" so we and the existing squad where once told,
Posted by: Cambs Mariner, September 27, 2017, 9:37pm; Reply: 13
Thank you Promotion Plaice.

Hurst isn't a dynamic manager but he knows how to instil a team spirit.
He is still learning his trade but he will go far.
And no I am not related to him in any way before the Anti Hurst brigade come out of the woodwork.
Posted by: lowerfindus, September 27, 2017, 9:42pm; Reply: 14
Anyone saying Hurst has dodgy glasses on. His football ideas were cautious and pragmatic. His obsession with target men started with Damien Spencer remember, Ben Tomlinson, LJL, Scott Vernon to name a few. His refusal to find and play decent wingers on both side of the pitch left us with players constantly out of position. They guy never ever got a partner for Disley and when he did (Clay or Nolan) he played that Robinson from Luton for which he was rightly critiseductive or played Nolan on the left.
The list of naff centre midfielders adds class like Derek Niven and Anthony Church.

I could go one but what's the point. The little fella needed his frown turning upside down. He's gone to Shrewsbury good luck good riddance.  Let's not paint him out to be something better than he was. On the budgets he had available he never got near the conference title. Was lucky to get a long run without being removed for failing to get promoted. Disliked the one true talented player we signed when in the conference in Bogle and promptly let the core of a team most supporters appreciated for their efforts if not their skill all sodomist off!!


So, back to the original point.

Good football? God knows.

But it would be nice to see some players attempt some pass and move play. Maybe, controversially under Woods we played some decent stuff. Thumping Mansfield,  Histon,  hayes? But there again. That ended well didn't it.
Posted by: KingstonMariner, September 27, 2017, 9:48pm; Reply: 15
Quoted from HertsGTFC


I agree a lot of PH's time here was "functional & pragmatic" but with non league players you get non league football. There where some bright spots both home and away,


That's why I qualified it by reference to the level we were at.

Actually that Cambridge team we played that night played some good stuff that season. I'm sure there were others that were 'easy on the eye' too.
Posted by: HertsGTFC, September 27, 2017, 9:55pm; Reply: 16
Quoted from KingstonMariner


That's why I qualified it by reference to the level we were at.

Actually that Cambridge team we played that night played some good stuff that season. I'm sure there were others that were 'easy on the eye' too.


Yeah I thought Luton where decent after Christmas the year they went up.
Posted by: grimsbybrown, September 27, 2017, 10:25pm; Reply: 17
Being controversial -

I'd say Slade, in the first five or six games of his first stint at the club.

I also thought Laws started well in terms of style too, again, just the early games - he seemed to iron out the latter weaknesses of Buckleyball - playing pretty football but no goal threat whatsoever, and to some extent no excitement.

Most others have been limited by budgets and quality of players - or have been more pragmatic.
Posted by: KingstonMariner, September 27, 2017, 10:33pm; Reply: 18
Quoted from grimsbybrown
Being controversial -

I'd say Slade, in the first five or six games of his first stint at the club.

I also thought Laws started well in terms of style too, again, just the early games - he seemed to iron out the latter weaknesses of Buckleyball - playing pretty football but no goal threat whatsoever, and to some extent no excitement.

Most others have been limited by budgets and quality of players - or have been more pragmatic.


Good calls. Not controversial IMO.
Posted by: toontown, September 28, 2017, 1:11am; Reply: 19
GrimsbyBrown just basically posted what i would have said. Laws took the buckleyesque football and briefly improved it by varying it a little and making it more pragmatic.
Slade inhis first season played good football (as in on the deck/pass and move) with sestanovich being a talent on the rare occasions he could be bothered to try. i particulary remember him being the best player on the park against premiership at the time (i think) Charlton.
in the final non-league season we played our best football down the left with conor townsend, monkhouse, bogle and amond playing some lovely well worked stuff. when townsend left that stopped. i would say under Hurst it wasgenerally mixed with some good football and some less so particularly being prone to hoofs from the back and/or long balls to monkhouse/the shop.
Posted by: LondonMariner43, September 28, 2017, 7:28am; Reply: 20
I used to go to BP a lot more regularity in the Buckley era than I do now.  And in those days there were constant moans from the crowd such as 'get it in the box' etc.  

GTFC fans are a fickle lot, like most football fans.  
Posted by: grimps, September 28, 2017, 7:36am; Reply: 21
Quoted from LondonMariner43
I used to go to BP a lot more regularity in the Buckley era than I do now.  And in those days there were constant moans from the crowd such as 'get it in the box' etc.  

GTFC fans are a fickle lot, like most football fans.  


' whats all this tippy tappy shite''  Was often heard in the Pontoon
We was truely spoiled back in those days , Honestly if Madrid or Barca played like we did when we ripped some teams apart like the Huddersfield 1990 4-0 game they'd still be raving about it now
Posted by: Meza, September 28, 2017, 7:53am; Reply: 22
I remember that hame grimps....they had Mark Smith who later signed for us.
Posted by: jaygy, September 28, 2017, 7:56am; Reply: 23
Quoted from LondonMariner43
I used to go to BP a lot more regularity in the Buckley era than I do now.  And in those days there were constant moans from the crowd such as 'get it in the box' etc.  


GTFC fans are a fickle lot, like most football fans.  


Nail on the head!

During many home games Hursts sides would start to play it out from the back and pass it around from defence to midfield and maybe back again whilst sizing up the opponents, they really were just trying to play football the right way but all I could hear from fans was "FFS! Get it forward!"

I don't know whether it's the same at most clubs but our fans at home are definitely fickle
Posted by: Lincoln Mariner 56, September 28, 2017, 8:05am; Reply: 24
Quoted from ginnywings
Buckley spoiled us i think. Never seen better football anywhere and it was brilliant in it's simplicity. Play the ball quickly and move into space. I think most footballers at this level now have nothing but speed, fitness and organisation. You don't see many truly skillful players now. They are all much of a muchness.


Watched about ten minutes of the Debate last night with Zola & Bellamy as the guests & they were discussing the demise of flair players. Both were pretty much of the opinion this is down to the fact that in the modern game most players have come through Academy/Youth systems and been coached since an early age so no longer grow up perfecting tricks whilst playing with your mates down the local parks.

Assume this is why most modern flair players that exist will tend to come from the poorer African & South American countries where playing on scabby football pitches, roads or beaches (not so shabby) is all they know.

Not a big fan of kids being with clubs from age of 8 onwards and in reality for clubs like Town there is no evidence that it has any value to the club's playing resources at first team level but acknowledge it will bring other benefits in terms of employment etc.
Posted by: golfer, September 28, 2017, 8:11am; Reply: 25
I am not sure that it exactly fits the title but I think the Man. Utd. ex centre half and captain Allenby Chilton deserves a mention . Plenty of a different kind of skill in his teams and he was remembered for giving advice to the great Sir Matt. Busby.
Posted by: Jarmo.Is.God, September 28, 2017, 8:19am; Reply: 26
Quoted from lowerfindus
Anyone saying Hurst has dodgy glasses on. His football ideas were cautious and pragmatic. His obsession with target men started with Damien Spencer remember, Ben Tomlinson, LJL, Scott Vernon to name a few.


And thats without mentioning Andy Monkhouse...

Nothing against Monkhouse, as he was a good pro, but Hurst ruined him by just making Macca hoof it to him every time
Posted by: Tommy, September 28, 2017, 8:44am; Reply: 27
Quoted from Lincoln Mariner 56


Watched about ten minutes of the Debate last night with Zola & Bellamy as the guests & they were discussing the demise of flair players. Both were pretty much of the opinion this is down to the fact that in the modern game most players have come through Academy/Youth systems and been coached since an early age so no longer grow up perfecting tricks whilst playing with your mates down the local parks.

Assume this is why most modern flair players that exist will tend to come from the poorer African & South American countries where playing on scabby football pitches, roads or beaches (not so shabby) is all they know.

Not a big fan of kids being with clubs from age of 8 onwards and in reality for clubs like Town there is no evidence that it has any value to the club's playing resources at first team level but acknowledge it will bring other benefits in terms of employment etc.


I wouldn't say that's it, personally.

I think it's more a case of the pressure on Managers and the lack of time they are given which has changed their approach to games. Definitely at the higher levels, Managers want to pack their teams of players that will do their robotic job out of possession to get in the team's defensive shape. Many don't want to carry flair players because they aren't always as quick in transition when the team loses possession.

It's gone that way in the prem in this country, certainly since Mourinho first came to Chelsea and showed what could be achieved by having a well-drilled team that could defend as a unit 1-11.

Even the lesser teams (including international teams) are now set up more intelligently and more organised defensively these days resulting, generally, in less big one-sided wins.

In years gone by you'd have seen central midfielders with flair. Real footballers with attacking mindsets. Now you often see players like that shunted out wide because managers' first thought is for the central midfield to be tight and solid defensively so they're not trusted in CM. See Joe Cole. Gascoigne would've been made to play out wide if he played in the prem in this day and age.
Posted by: Caesar, September 28, 2017, 10:09am; Reply: 28
This is such a subjective question both on terms of what good football is and also whether you mean for a long period or in individual games.  I like to see football that is committed, organised and effective in creating good chances when we have the ball.  I will hold up Luton away last year for example as us playing really good football, it wasn't just the goals we scored, we created 1 or 2 other good chances with very good moves.  Carlisle away last year is the last time I watched us and thought we played a really good game of football.

Over a sustained period of time is harder but then that has many more variables on it, the level you are playing at, the opposition you are playing etc.  It is harder to play good football against sides that want to stifle you in every way possible, the obvious example being Guiseley at home although Braintree could be a good example also.  However in every period there will be some stinkers, Buckley is obviously the gold standard in terms of football and thankfully due to a combination of age at the time and good memories lasting better than bad memories I don't remember the real stinkers but I am sure in the middle of great runs we would of put in some really poor performances.  
Posted by: 1mickylyons, September 28, 2017, 10:23am; Reply: 29
Quoted from Caesar
This is such a subjective question both on terms of what good football is and also whether you mean for a long period or in individual games.  I like to see football that is committed, organised and effective in creating good chances when we have the ball.  I will hold up Luton away last year for example as us playing really good football, it wasn't just the goals we scored, we created 1 or 2 other good chances with very good moves.  Carlisle away last year is the last time I watched us and thought we played a really good game of football.

Over a sustained period of time is harder but then that has many more variables on it, the level you are playing at, the opposition you are playing etc.  It is harder to play good football against sides that want to stifle you in every way possible, the obvious example being Guiseley at home although Braintree could be a good example also.  However in every period there will be some stinkers, Buckley is obviously the gold standard in terms of football and thankfully due to a combination of age at the time and good memories lasting better than bad memories I don't remember the real stinkers but I am sure in the middle of great runs we would of put in some really poor performances.  


When Buckleyball was crushing all before them Town had a home game vs Darlo who I think were rock bottom possilbly Dave Booth as Manager and we only drew 0-0.

We lost at home 0-4 to Rotherham (who won the league) in one of his early games may even have been 0-4 at HT? Town went off to a standing ovation we battered them 2nd half and it should have been 4-4 at the least that defeat galvanised the team and fans and we got it together and just missed out on the play offs finishing 8th.
Posted by: Maringer, September 28, 2017, 10:57am; Reply: 30
As I've noted in the past, my view is that because the players are now much bigger, much stronger and much fitter, there is effectively less room on the pitch and a lower division team could never play Buckleyball with any success these days as they just don't have the skill levels to do so. Watch footage of the era of Rees/Woods/Gilbert etc and you'll see that the athleticism we see from most teams these days didn't exist back then. The football was fantastic to watch at times, but the wide open spaces available made it possible. As an example, Colchester might have been distinctly average on Tuesday night but they were a team packed full of athletes and we had little space to work with even on the occasions when we managed some good play - remember Summerfield's two very good passes out wide in the first half? Our player still had a defender right on him attempting to block the cross whereas in Buckley's days it would have been a free run to the byline and picking your spot for the cross or running in for a shot.

At the top level of the game, the best players have the skill to play some breathtaking football at such high pace, but League Two players generally can't, the odd passage of play aside.

I'd say this is as much the reason for the demise of flair players as any other. You still get players who can beat a man or two, but they are then invariably surrounded by opposition defenders pretty much straight away.

What's the solution? Increase the size of the pitch, perhaps, so there is more space available? No surprise that the first thing that managers taking over struggling clubs tend to do is reduce the width of the pitch!
Posted by: Abdul19, September 28, 2017, 11:00am; Reply: 31
I remember reading that Socrates' solution to the above was to change football to 9 a side!
Posted by: livosnose, September 28, 2017, 11:10am; Reply: 32
Quoted from Maringer
As I've noted in the past, my view is that because the players are now much bigger, much stronger and much fitter, there is effectively less room on the pitch and a lower division team could never play Buckleyball with any success these days as they just don't have the skill levels to do so. Watch footage of the era of Rees/Woods/Gilbert etc and you'll see that the athleticism we see from most teams these days didn't exist back then. The football was fantastic to watch at times, but the wide open spaces available made it possible. As an example, Colchester might have been distinctly average on Tuesday night but they were a team packed full of athletes and we had little space to work with even on the occasions when we managed some good play - remember Summerfield's two very good passes out wide in the first half? Our player still had a defender right on him attempting to block the cross whereas in Buckley's days it would have been a free run to the byline and picking your spot for the cross or running in for a shot.

At the top level of the game, the best players have the skill to play some breathtaking football at such high pace, but League Two players generally can't, the odd passage of play aside.

I'd say this is as much the reason for the demise of flair players as any other. You still get players who can beat a man or two, but they are then invariably surrounded by opposition defenders pretty much straight away.

What's the solution? Increase the size of the pitch, perhaps, so there is more space available? No surprise that the first thing that managers taking over struggling clubs tend to do is reduce the width of the pitch!


Has Slade done this at BP?


Posted by: Maringer, September 28, 2017, 12:30pm; Reply: 33
Pitch size at BP looks pretty normal to me, but then it's a reasonably compact ground with the stands close to the pitch so there is no leeway. Most of the modern pitches at new stadia seem to be around 5 yards longer than BP, but with the same width.
Posted by: realist, September 28, 2017, 12:34pm; Reply: 34
That was an interesting post Maringer, I had never looked at football like that.   Mind you I am clueless about tactics, I just go to be entertained, which is getting harder at all levels of football.
Posted by: RichMariner, September 28, 2017, 12:55pm; Reply: 35
The first half of the 95/96 season - particularly when we had Ivano in the team - was probably some of the best all-round football I've seen played by GTFC in my time.

It had Buckley's style at the core, but it also had the ability to mix it up a little, and be more direct, but still retained the skill (and it was enhanced through our favourite Italian on the left or through the middle).

I suppose we should credit Laws for evolving the Buckley style into something that, at one point in the season, looked good enough to get us in the play-offs, but we fell away badly that season - we all know what happened at Luton - so how much of the good football was down to the manager in post, or the manager before him, with a sprinkling of new players, is hard to measure.
Posted by: Mendonca1995, September 28, 2017, 1:16pm; Reply: 36
Quoted from livosnose


Has Slade done this at BP?




No mate the pitch hasn't been altered in terms of width I went on a stadium tour vs Crewe as the company I work for sponsored that game and that was the first question I asked as I am usually in the stand and couldn't tell myself the tour was great to be honest I see a lot of other areas around bp I haven't before was interesting

Posted by: Mrs Doyle, September 28, 2017, 3:31pm; Reply: 37
Buckleys sides were known in football circles as a team who would get the ball down and pass and move you need fit players to do this as possession was the key to success. When not in possession you harassed the opposition to win back the ball if done right at pace you could murder teams but slow it was ineffective. Having the right players was key but even Buckers appreciated the target man hence big Keith Alexander (RIP). Not the most skillful but a great target man difficult to dislodge off the ball.

Slade as a good blend up front to play any formation but whether he can get them to gel is another thing.
Posted by: Tommy, September 28, 2017, 5:07pm; Reply: 38
The difference between a Buckley target man (eg Livvo) and pretty much every manager since is that his target men were strikers you'd play the ball into their feet (at worst their chest) and they'd hold it up and lay it off.

Not just a big lump to chuck the ball 50 feet in the air to and hope they can win a 50-50 aerial challenge.
Posted by: HertsGTFC, September 28, 2017, 7:06pm; Reply: 39
I sometimes think all this obsession about shape and systems holds players back from playing off the cuff or whats in front of them.

When we have played good football we have got both the ball and players in the box at the moment it's one or the other or for long periods neither.
Posted by: KingstonMariner, September 28, 2017, 7:45pm; Reply: 40
Hmmm! Sounds like the sort of comment is Hurst 'haters' used to say Herts. ;D
Posted by: jamesgtfc, September 28, 2017, 7:55pm; Reply: 41
The last time I saw us play good football was one of the early Bignot games, against Carlisle at home where I think we drew 2-2. I left that game very entertained and thought the Bignot era would have brought the crowds flooding back.

Since Buckley II we have probably had a few good games under most managers but the style has largely been statistic based.
Posted by: nightrider, September 28, 2017, 11:56pm; Reply: 42
Says it all when the best season under Scott & Hurst was the one where we finished mid table
I went to Southport a couple of seasons ago, last game. Anyone remember that?
The fans turned out in force, Southport were all but relegated. Ended in a draw. What a miserable game. That was hoof ball at its finest. According to Hurst it was a good point and we played well in patches no doubt
Posted by: Abdul19, September 29, 2017, 7:49am; Reply: 43
The midtable season in question was good for a 12 game spell. The 34 either side were bloody awful!
Posted by: diehardmariner, September 29, 2017, 1:07pm; Reply: 44
As a poster above states, early Bignot games were so promising. He really looked like he was going to loosen the shackles of the more disciplined Hurst regime.

Thing is in January he added players that strengthened us where we needed it (Clements, Osborne, Jones).  Just so happens we also lost Bogle and he had already gone crazy with his tactics. Plus of course he brought in countless players we didn't need.
Posted by: barralad, September 29, 2017, 1:49pm; Reply: 45
Quoted from Abdul19
The midtable season in question was good for a 12 game spell. The 34 either side were bloody awful!


This makes a great point. Only someone with a very serious case of nostalgia could ever point to the reign of any manager as being consistently good (or bad). The often quoted game against Huddersfield remains the best 90 minutes from a Town team I've seen in 48 years of watching them but it can and does overshadow games in the Buckley eras that were frustratingly bad. Even Buckley had the ability to split the fan base. Someone has already alluded to the complaints from the Pontoon about "Tippy tappy football" which often produced nothing. Had The Fishy been around in 93/94 it would have been interesting to see the take on an evening game v Port Vale where there were less than 4K in attendance for a game in tier 2 (Buckley had the last laugh  as Town hammered Vale 4-1 that night with some breathtaking attacking football.)!!!!  I don't think Town won many of their first 10 games of the 97/98 season. I well remember fans being interviewed when Buckley was sacked (grossly unfairly in my view) in 2000 after a draw away at Portsmouth and even allowing for Look Norths possible agenda I don't recall anything being said  other than variations of "Its boring" or "He's taken us as far as he can". Great spells in my experience come in small doses. My favourite this century was the last 10 games of the 2001/02 season where Boulding, Allen and Pouton not forgetting Andy Todd at the back steamrollered Palace, Wimbledon and Burnley won away at Wolves for the first time in years and got a point at Norwich. Hurst (and Shouty) had small good spells (2013 where we beat Wrexham to go top just before Christmas springs to mind) but excluding Buckley's repeated spells over his time here the standout spells were under Laws when Bonetti first arrived and before that a 20 match unbeaten run in 83/84 when the magnificent Chris Nicholl ruled the pitch. The 79/80 team were magnificent from October onwards and for me the only complete season where watching Town made you constantly excited was 1971/72.
Posted by: realist, September 29, 2017, 1:55pm; Reply: 46
You have stirred some memories there Barra. I wish that I had known at the time that it was to be our best era ever, I would never have complained once.
Happy days
Posted by: Maringer, September 29, 2017, 2:45pm; Reply: 47
It's also odd to think that, despite how good the football often was under Buckley, we never really got that close to actually winning the title of the division we were in. When promoted out of the Fourth Division, we finished ten points (!) behind Exeter, we only sneaked promotion the following year on goal difference and, in the Buckley Mk II era, we finished 13 points from an automatic promotion spot!
Posted by: GrimRob, September 29, 2017, 5:16pm; Reply: 48
Quoted from Maringer
It's also odd to think that, despite how good the football often was under Buckley, we never really got that close to actually winning the title of the division we were in. When promoted out of the Fourth Division, we finished ten points (!) behind Exeter, we only sneaked promotion the following year on goal difference and, in the Buckley Mk II era, we finished 13 points from an automatic promotion spot!


Playing "good" football all the time probably isn't the best strategy. Keeping the opposition guessing on how you are going to play is probably worth a few points a season IMHO. And it depends how the opposition play how you can and should play yourself.
Posted by: KingstonMariner, September 29, 2017, 6:08pm; Reply: 49
Quoted from GrimRob


Playing "good" football all the time probably isn't the best strategy. Keeping the opposition guessing on how you are going to play is probably worth a few points a season IMHO. And it depends how the opposition play how you can and should play yourself.


You're right in principle Rob. But getting players at this level to adapt as individuals is difficult. Getting to adapt as a team is nigh on impossible.

It was frustrating at times seeing the slow methodical build up of play under Buckley, when sometimes a quick ball over the top would have produced better results occasionally. But with our budgets, even relatively higher than we are now, probably didn't run to that kind of adaptability even if Buckley had allowed it!
Posted by: barralad, September 29, 2017, 6:08pm; Reply: 50
Quoted from Maringer
It's also odd to think that, despite how good the football often was under Buckley, we never really got that close to actually winning the title of the division we were in. When promoted out of the Fourth Division, we finished ten points (!) behind Exeter, we only sneaked promotion the following year on goal difference and, in the Buckley Mk II era, we finished 13 points from an automatic promotion spot!


Bristol City and Watford were almost out of sight in 98. We managed two draws against the two of them.
Posted by: KingstonMariner, September 29, 2017, 6:12pm; Reply: 51
Quoted from Maringer
It's also odd to think that, despite how good the football often was under Buckley, we never really got that close to actually winning the title of the division we were in. When promoted out of the Fourth Division, we finished ten points (!) behind Exeter, we only sneaked promotion the following year on goal difference and, in the Buckley Mk II era, we finished 13 points from an automatic promotion spot!


And that season there were 3 automatic promotion slots from the 3rd Division (as it still was) as well as the play-off place (which I think Tranny took) because the Football League* was adjusting the sizes of the divisions and increased the size of the 2nd Division.

* Oh what halcyon days! No Premier League and divisions named 1-4. Simples.
Posted by: Vance Warner, September 29, 2017, 7:22pm; Reply: 52
Quoted from Tommy


I wouldn't say that's it, personally.

I think it's more a case of the pressure on Managers and the lack of time they are given which has changed their approach to games. Definitely at the higher levels, Managers want to pack their teams of players that will do their robotic job out of possession to get in the team's defensive shape. Many don't want to carry flair players because they aren't always as quick in transition when the team loses possession.

It's gone that way in the prem in this country, certainly since Mourinho first came to Chelsea and showed what could be achieved by having a well-drilled team that could defend as a unit 1-11.

Even the lesser teams (including international teams) are now set up more intelligently and more organised defensively these days resulting, generally, in less big one-sided wins.

In years gone by you'd have seen central midfielders with flair. Real footballers with attacking mindsets. Now you often see players like that shunted out wide because managers' first thought is for the central midfield to be tight and solid defensively so they're not trusted in CM. See Joe Cole. Gascoigne would've been made to play out wide if he played in the prem in this day and age.


Very good point. When was the last time we had a proper box to box midfielder? Dis got his fair share of goals but I wouldn't say he was box to box. Cunnington and Cockerill were arguably 2 in the same team. Groves was the best I've seen and Pouton and Bolland were far superior to what we have now. In an era when fitness is supposedly better than ever the only reason I can think of is that managers have coached it out of players.
Posted by: Garth, September 29, 2017, 7:36pm; Reply: 53
Quoted from Vance Warner


Very good point. When was the last time we had a proper box to box midfielder? Dis got his fair share of goals but I wouldn't say he was box to box. Cunnington and Cockerill were arguably 2 in the same team. Groves was the best I've seen and Pouton and Bolland were far superior to what we have now. In an era when fitness is supposedly better than ever the only reason I can think of is that managers have coached it out of players.


Probably Summerfield is the only one who remotely falls into that category in todays squad.
Posted by: forza ivano, September 30, 2017, 12:46am; Reply: 54
What a good thread. Kingston mentions the Cambridge away in 2012 when we were absolutely awesome.frankie artus was superb.would love to know hursts and frankness recollections of that game.if only we could've replicated that performance,we would've walked the league.hurst was superb at controlled disciplined away victories,whilst ab produced the most consistently good footie. However I think it was Barra who mentioned the Brian laws reign.for me that that as the best quality and most incisive skilful football I've ever seen from town with ivano being the icing on the cake..we were flawed to be sure but by Christ when we were good we were breathtaking.tranmere, Huddersfield at home n Norwich away will live in the memory until I'm nodding off in the care home
Posted by: toontown, September 30, 2017, 1:01am; Reply: 55
Dizza was a box to box midfielder when he first arrived but time caught up with him.
Agreed that summerfield is probably the closest we have now. Maybe jamie osbourne when he is fully fit and over the shin splints?
Posted by: lukeo, September 30, 2017, 7:46am; Reply: 56
Plymouth away, Bignot first game in charge. We absolutely bossed them from start to finish, played very good football and made top of the league look bang average... It was all down hill after that :(
Posted by: Gaffer58, September 30, 2017, 4:40pm; Reply: 57
In general though even the British players in the Premier are not really good,technical players, just whatch the home national teams, so by the time you get down to our level so long as they can run, trap a bag of cement, and kick it a long way there good enough. It's just the way football is going.
Posted by: KingstonMariner, September 30, 2017, 8:12pm; Reply: 58
Quoted from forza ivano
What a good thread. Kingston mentions the Cambridge away in 2012 when we were absolutely awesome.frankie artus was superb.would love to know hursts and frankness recollections of that game.if only we could've replicated that performance,we would've walked the league.hurst was superb at controlled disciplined away victories,whilst ab produced the most consistently good footie. However I think it was Barra who mentioned the Brian laws reign.for me that that as the best quality and most incisive skilful football I've ever seen from town with ivano being the icing on the cake..we were flawed to be sure but by Christ when we were good we were breathtaking.tranmere, Huddersfield at home n Norwich away will live in the memory until I'm nodding off in the care home


Don't forget the St Valentine's Day Massacre of West ham in the Cup. Stuffed them even without our best player.
Posted by: HertsGTFC, September 30, 2017, 8:17pm; Reply: 59
[quote=120818]In general though even the British players in the Premier are not really good,technical players, just whatch the home national teams, so by the time you get down to our level so long as they can run, trap a bag of cement, and kick it a long way there good enough. It's just the way football is going. [/quote

What makes a “technical” player?
Posted by: Gaffer58, September 30, 2017, 11:19pm; Reply: 60
If you whatch the Spanish league, not just Barcelona and Real Madrid, then the thing that stands out is that they are all comfortable with the ball, they can 9 times out of 10 pass to a team mate, where as most British players can usually only manage it at best about 50% of the time. Jordan Henderson at Liverpool is a prime example, he is both England and Liverpool captain and possibly classed as a good player, but how many of the La Liga teams would he get in.
Posted by: Swansea_Mariner, October 1, 2017, 9:48am; Reply: 61
The game I most enjoyed the most in the last decade (apart from winning at Wembley) was AB3 first home game against Accrington. We absolutely played beautifully that day and I'll never know how Rankine didn't at least get a hatric.
Posted by: TheRonRaffertyFanClub, October 1, 2017, 10:10am; Reply: 62
The last time we played good football was when we got enough points and won the play offs to get promoted.

To be quite frank and honest and reasonable about this - it’s all a load of balderdash. Would people be saying the Buckley days were great if we had played his style and got nowhere? In any case we didn’t play the beautiful game every week even for him.

The best football I remember from Town teams was under three forgotten managers - Jimmy McGuigan, Ron Ashman and a bit later under Tom Casey. None of them got us promoted. The last 2 got sacked! The football I have enjoyed most was under McMenemy, Newman, Kerr, Booth and Buckley because we won and went up.

Huddersfield last year got promoted by parking the bus and hitting sides on the break. Totally boring and stifling. The manager had a team of unknowns and drilled them to do it. Of course if the other side scores first you are usually bu99ered and when it happened they got toasted just like they did on Saturday. His clone at Norwich this season is doing the same. If they get promoted, in years to come the Carrow Road faithful will be on their keyboards with “do you remember when ....” and “that was a good side”.

As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.
Posted by: TheRonRaffertyFanClub, October 1, 2017, 12:16pm; Reply: 63
Quoted from Gaffer58
If you whatch the Spanish league, not just Barcelona and Real Madrid, then the thing that stands out is that they are all comfortable with the ball, they can 9 times out of 10 pass to a team mate, where as most British players can usually only manage it at best about 50% of the time. Jordan Henderson at Liverpool is a prime example, he is both England and Liverpool captain and possibly classed as a good player, but how many of the La Liga teams would he get in.


And if you watch recordings of the Leeds and the Liverpool sides of the 70s & 80s you will see exactly the same game as Barcelona play now. People like John Giles, Phil Thompson & St John used to say that training was 90% five and six a side games that would be stopped if the player with the ball did not have at least two passing options.

Unfortunately there is little film of the Spurs side in the 50s that played the push and run style here before we got misled into thinking the Hungarians invented it. And who played in that side for years? Alf Ramsay.

I’m not poo-pooing your point at all though. British teams got hung up on formations and tactics and forgot the ball. But I would say that there is very little that is new in what Spain or whoever do on the pitch. The point is always, who does it better? I would bet that Jordan Henderson in training can do just the same tricks and control of a football as any Spaniard but he doesn’t do it in a game. I watched Carlton Palmer in training once at Sheffield Wed and his control was so good you thought the ball was superglued to he boot. Remember how crap he was for England and how the ball used to bounce off him? The question we should ask is not why can’t  they but  why don’t they?
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