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Matt (GNFC)

Lets have some action this week plse Andy....`

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Quote:
Fezpian said:
Perhaps a good Conference feeder South team with a positive balance sheet that will hopefully be in existence for another 50 years isn't so bad.


The survival of the Club maybe paramount but with all due respect, where's the ambition with the above statement?

The 3/400 hardcore fans may reluctantly accept such a fate but many of the newly recruited fans would vanish.

For the Club to return to its roots of underachievement would be unforgiveable considering the success during the "Ford/Kilcullen" era.

The animated views expressed on this forum may reflect a deep-rooted concern amongst genuine supporters that relegation from the Conference would see the Club pursue a downward spiral through the Non-league pyramid, coupled with many further years of underachievement.

We don't mean to knock the Manager/Chairman but as supporters we do have the right to question whether enough is being done to retain our Conference status?

The Nationwide Conference and above is the only place to be for Gravesend & Northfleet F.C.

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I agree JimGNFC; but only if success can be financially balanced. I well remember such stirring ambitious words being voiced by Mr Thompson of Maidstone United back in the late 1980's... One day they will be back in the higher league their long suffering supporters fully deserve and hopefully 'The Fleet' will still be there to renew passionate old rivalry.

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Reading the article in Kent on Sunday about Welling Utd, - they admit being part time, together with a limited budget, they were always going to be perrennial strugglers in the conference. Sounds familiar. They also seem to be happier and a more robust club playing at their "proper" level.

Continuing this debate, are the Fleet truly a Conference club or are we also destined to be year on year strugglers until we are finally relegated?

I have seen it in 1978/79/80/81 and it's not pretty to watch your club going downwards, and it takes a long time to regroup and rebuild.

I personally don't want to go down this road again.

Therefore seroius problems require drastic solutions.

If Fleet are to make a proper job of being a Conference side, then Andy must be ruthless, admit to his mistakes (even Sir Alex does) and replace those players who are not cutting it at this level.

Now is the time: a)before it is too late and B) we have the financial resource at present to do so.

Failure to do so will see a repeat of last year's struggles,dwindling crowds and a realisation that we may only stay up one more year.

I suspect the weaker areas that need urgently addressing are Justin Skinner, (too reckless and indisciplined) Ben Abbey (too lightweight), Eddie McClements (too many errors), James Pinnock (as per Ben Abbey), Louie Evans (Andy simply doesn't rate him), Rob Haworth (not clinical enough, too prone to poor performances).

Offload these players no matter how popular they may be, and replace them with players of proven quality at Conference standard.

It is not too late to change things around, but alternative solutions are not that obvious.

 

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i agree with a lot that's been said.

i do rate moore, and i think that shearer was without doubt the signing of the season, so im more than pleased with that centre back partnership. however, even terry and gallas cannot be expected to defend for 90mins without conceding - it's just not possible; you need forward players to take the pressure off them.

the midfield is good as well in my opinion, but they also require target players in front of them that they can create opportunities for. otherwise their job becomes a lot harder, they have to cover a lot more ground etc. both the midfield and the defence therefore are tiring out, and we can only expect to see more last minute goals going in.

rob howarth i think should stay, but he cant do everything; his purpose in the team i think is to win the headers and to knock the ball down to our '20-a season man'. we need this '20-a season man soon (or even someone that just isnt afraid to shoot & put the opposition under pressure) before the morale of the rest of the team, who are working really hard but to no avail, hits rock bottom.

 

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oh and one more thing. im getting a bit fed up of all this loan business, i think it's a bit of a cop-out; these players turn up and if theyre not good enough, andy lets them go, and the team becomes all the more unsettled. do we have any scouts at the club, and if so are they looking round for a striker for the future? or are we gonna continue to grab players that have been sitting on the bench in the league, only to realise they dont suit the team?

 

re my point about morale- it is these loan players that have dropped down a league or two to play for us whose morales are more fragile. loyal players such as matt lee and rob owen (who have both been left out the team over the years and stuck by us) are the sort of players who wont let their morale drop and will the keep their heads up because they love the club. lets play them. im not saying get rid of all the loan signings - walshe for example is a key player; however we can only expect his level of performance to drop if we dont sort out the team (get this striker) and give these players something to play for.

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It has been said in the past that good sides are the ones with a good spine throught the centre of the team. In that we are actually almost there if one considers we have Wilko, Moore, Shearer and McKimm - just need the striker. We also have some good players in other areas such as Lee, Owen and Drury. But I do agree we have some lightweights who cannot be relied on to do the business like Abbey and McClements.

 

I think that where we let ourselves down is that we defend too deep in too many numbers which doesn't help the strikers hold on to the ball and allow us to get the ball and go on the attack. A particular gripe of mine, which I've aired before is our habit of bringing ten back to defend corners and free kicks - the poor player left upfield has no chance.

 

I think we need to look closely at some of our other tactics such as using the width of the pitch. Whenever we have spread our players across the pitch we have played well. Having too may players in too small an area is easy to defend against and leaves the bloke with the ball very few passing options. How many times have we seen situations where our right full back for example is on the left side of the centre circle or vice versa or the the bloke with the ball could do with the option of passing left or right but there is no one there.

 

As for our defending at corners, with two defenders and a goalkeeper on the coaching staff I actually think we should have no excuse or are the players just not doing what they are told.

 

And as for all this talk of 'are we good enough for the Conference' - I think it ought to be put to bed. We have demonstrated on a few occasions that we are when i think back to our league performance against Exeter for example when, but for the last ten minutes, we murdered them. Our problem is getting that consistently and/or maintaining it for the full ninety minutes. Let's not forget that last minute gosals have cost us five points this season. Add on Ben abbey's penalty miss and that would have been worth another two and all of that would have put us comfortably in mid table.

 

We are good enough, we just need to hold it together - and that includes the fans!

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