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Rudgie used to say drop a few from the bottom of your squad, and bring in one or two at the top.
Last Summer I seem to recollect great enthusiasm that all the players offered new contracts signed them. 
This probably took the vast majority of the budget, yet not too many moaned at the new, make weights, that were added.
The team did well for the first dozen or so games and I don't recollect anyone being surprised how well we were doing.
One of the highest scorers, goals spread through the team, defensively sound.
All Clarke has to do is get those players fit, motivated, and playing again.
Then do a Rudge. (As above)
I agree, I think people will be surprised (and most probably disappointed) with the retained list.
These players may not be the best we've ever had in this division, but they aren't as bad as some keep banging on and on about.
A few additions here and there and we won't be far off a team capable of challenging next year.
In my humble opinion of course.

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I agree, I think people will be surprised (and most probably disappointed) with the retained list.
These players may not be the best we've ever had in this division, but they aren't as bad as some keep banging on and on about.
A few additions here and there and we won't be far off a team capable of challenging next year.
In my humble opinion of course.

I think you will be surprised. DC has previous for massive clear outs in every job he’s had.

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I think with the squad cap it’s very important to have 40 games a season players! However as an add onto this players need managing correctly and the fitness needs to be right. We also need a few young lads who would be able to step up or be slowly brought on.  Our recruitment has been very poor for sometime, we have let a few players go who are doing ok elsewhere. This is going to be where Flitcroft and DC are going to earn there corn, much to be done as soon as our league status is assured.

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There is no evidence that squad stability leads to success at this level.

Teams with mass turnover often do better than teams who keep the 'core' together. Fans getting excited about stability were pining after an era of football that is long gone.

Our issue was a complete, laser-focus on 'continuity' without consideration that the same players may struggle to perform at the same levels, as tactics became predictable and some individuals declined measurably. Add in the depth signings, largely, being sub-par and you get the mess of the 2020/21 season.

Unfortunately the vast majority of this squad is either

a) not good enough to win promotion

b) prone to injury

c) over the age of 32

We have a core of players who don't fit this criteria. Most of the rest need to go.

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I think the question over the fitness of Manny (and to a lesser extent Monty) is a difficult one, can see both sides of the argument, especially given the reduced squad size.

Given we're putting resource into the sports science side of things though, with new people to improve conditioning, fitness, rehab, etc., surely it makes sense to give them both another year (perhaps on slightly reduced basic terms but with an additional appearance bonus element) to test the benefits of the new approach? Manny is a perfect test case to see what return we will get for the investment, because if it does the trick for Manny, helps to manage him better physically and gets more games out of him, it will work for anyone! Seems daft to have had him for three years that he's mostly spent out injured, only to let him leave at the point we put money into the potential solution.

He's one of the best midfielders in the league when fit, so given that potential reward, would we regret not giving it another year under better conditions? If he again only manages about 15 games next season, it's still better than 15 games of a lesser quality squad midfielder on not dissimilar wages, and at the end of the year we accept the sad fact that he's not physically cut out for it and allow him to move on. 

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6 hours ago, Rockape99 said:

Manny for me should stay if Clark thinks he can play 30plus games a season he is when fit one of best midfield players in league 2 .anything less 30 is a waste of a wage 

We’d all like to think Manny could do 30 games a season but I think that is completely impossible. I’d love him to stay in my heart but anyone thinking rationally knows it is a risk unlikely to pay off.

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On 21/03/2021 at 12:05, theresonlyonemcphee said:

Agree with this, though I’d be happy giving Monty 12 months and Manny 12 months/a pay as you play deal.

Agree. both decent when on the pitch with their 'head-on'

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If Manny isn't on huge money, I think he stays on a one year. When fit, he's the best midfielder in our squad, if not the league. If he plays 20 games, then that's 20 games we don't need to rely on a Burgess or a Whitehead. You can't take too many gambles like that, but he's one IMO.

I'd rather see us replace Whitehead, Burgess, DTS, McKirdy with a couple of better options. Potentially with a DM and a traditional number 8. 

Despite a better last month, Mills goes for me. As do Brisley, Crookes  and Legge. Harsh, but I'd love to see something like:

Brown

Gibbo - Smith - New CB - Monty/New LB

Joyce/New DM

Manny - Conlon

Worrall - Pope - Rodney

A successor to Pope is the elephant in the room. Taking the combined wages of Cullen, Guthrie, Robinson should give us decent bargaining power. Potentially Swann on loan for the year and a more proven threat, like a Doidge or Matt.

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4 hours ago, andy jones said:

Darren I agree with your post, just wonder if Mills will prove a better player than we have given credit so far with a run of games.

Crookes seemed to be benefitting from regular start before injury.

Above everything else it's the same situation as past 6 years or so ... We have to find a replacement for Pope and hope Devante continues to progress.

 

Good point. I'd keep Crookes based on his improvement and versatility. 

Although Mills has had a considerable amount of games prior to Clarke arriving because Gibbons has missed loads of games.

Mills both against Bolton and Newport was very decent, but again with squad reductions a fit Gibbo is a shoe in and though not his favoured position Smith coped admirably on Saturday and has before, although he's also had the odd dodgy one thrown in.

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ive got a feeling clarke wont get rid of as many as we think....that said....my retained list would be as follows.....

 

Brown. Taylor. Gibbo. Monty. Amoo, Hurst. Conlon. Smith. Wozza. Pope . Super Dave

 

however smith and amoo have had very average seasons and they would only make squad players currently. so thats the task facing our new manager.

 

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For me, all we need is to keep the nucleus of the first team together and add quality. IMO, we need at least 1 good striker (excluding Dave, they can all go), a winger to replace Amoo who doesn't do enough, a good quality left back specialist. Add those 3-4 players and evolve the team and we will be there or thereabouts 

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3 hours ago, Joe B said:

There is no evidence that squad stability leads to success at this level.

Teams with mass turnover often do better than teams who keep the 'core' together. Fans getting excited about stability were pining after an era of football that is long gone.

Our issue was a complete, laser-focus on 'continuity' without consideration that the same players may struggle to perform at the same levels, as tactics became predictable and some individuals declined measurably. Add in the depth signings, largely, being sub-par and you get the mess of the 2020/21 season.

Unfortunately the vast majority of this squad is either

a) not good enough to win promotion

b) prone to injury

c) over the age of 32

We have a core of players who don't fit this criteria. Most of the rest need to go.

There is a difference between stability and evolution. Every year we should be looking to be bringing in 3-4 that can realistically challenge to get into the first team. Whats has happened this year is that the players bought in (with the exception of Dave) have been poor and not looked close to being first choice. Its essentially last years team that have got us out of this ish. we need a prune, but not back to the Norman scum mass exodus of players.

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For me, all we need is to keep the nucleus of the first team together and add quality. IMO, we need at least 1 good striker (excluding Dave, they can all go), a winger to replace Amoo who doesn't do enough, a good quality left back specialist. Add those 3-4 players and evolve the team and we will be there or thereabouts 
But for 3 of 4 years, that 'nucleus' has nearly been relegated. Completely fresh start for me.
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Just now, philmpv said:
5 minutes ago, Row L said:
For me, all we need is to keep the nucleus of the first team together and add quality. IMO, we need at least 1 good striker (excluding Dave, they can all go), a winger to replace Amoo who doesn't do enough, a good quality left back specialist. Add those 3-4 players and evolve the team and we will be there or thereabouts 

But for 3 of 4 years, that 'nucleus' has nearly been relegated. Completely fresh start for me.

I don't think that we were nearly relegated last year were we?

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4 hours ago, Joe B said:

There is no evidence that squad stability leads to success at this level.

Teams with mass turnover often do better than teams who keep the 'core' together. Fans getting excited about stability were pining after an era of football that is long gone.

I think it very much depends on the circumstances. Mass turnover at Swindon got them promotion this year, mass turnover at Grimsby could see 'em out of the League this season.

I don't think it's a cut and dry rule. Crewe went up with three permanent and two loan signings in the summer. Swindon went up with eleven changes over the summer. 

For me, I was wary of huge changes previously because I felt that a settled team which knew each other was gelling but that's changed after a summer of poor recruitment. 

So, I do think the time is now clearly ripe for a big overhaul.  I think it's clear that there can't be just one or two changes and I think there's has to be changes possibly in the double figures both in and out of the squad.

How successful that is will go a huge way towards whether we take the Swindon or Grimsby route next season. I obviously hope it's the former. 

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The affects on player performance post Covid also needs to be taken into account, as it has affected so many younger people to a lesser or greater degree.

Smithy is one whose sudden loss of form takes some explaining otherwise.

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