MICHAEL PEARLMAN SAYS: Edinburgh will have to be ruthless over shaping squad for next season

First published in Newport County

NEWPORT County boss Justin Edinburgh faces the most difficult summer of his managerial career, beginning at the start of May.

The ex-Rushden manager did a fantastic job last year of retaining the core of his squad and adding players such as Ryan Jackson and Chris Zebroski who have been big hits and carefully allocating every penny of his somewhat restrictive budget.

Edinburgh quite rightly allowed the players who had earned Newport promotion the opportunity to show what they could do in the Football League and on the whole they’ve performed admirably, outshining Conference winners Mansfield, who finished 15 points ahead of the Exiles, for much of the campaign.

However, the lopsided nature of County’s season simply has to have a bearing on Edinburgh’s thinking for next season.

The Exiles are just about the worst side in the Football League on form in 2014 and it is very clear that this current squad isn’t, and wasn’t, good enough to compete for the League Two play-offs.

The loss of Connor Washington has exposed the Exiles far more than it should have as has the injury to Aaron O’Connor, Newport simply too goal-shy to be taken seriously as a force in League Two.

Newport unquestionably suffered a litany of misfortunes around the turn of the year – and injury-wise, throughout the campaign – but this squad of players has either lacked the quality or the character to prevent a blip becoming an absolute slump.

It’s almost universally true that sides that end a season badly or on a low, even just an isolated disappointment like a play-off defeat, begin the next campaign in similar fashion.

The sad truth is that this slump has shown Newport need more quality to seriously compete in League Two. There won’t be another en masse renewal of contracts.

Edinburgh has some tough decisions to come and he may even already be second guessing the only one he has made, because Mike Flynn currently looks one of County’s most reliable and influential performers.

In the past the former Spurs defender has got things right far more than wrong in his transfer dealings, but there will be no margin for error this summer.

His squad is lacking and it’s up to him to identify where things have gone wrong.

Comments (11)

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8:10am Wed 2 Apr 14

JimMachen says...

An unusually hard hitting but accurate article from the Argus.

The truth is that the team retained from last season weren't even good enough to be second best over forty six games in the Conference, even with the assistance of a substantial contribution from the Chairman in the form of loans.
An unusually hard hitting but accurate article from the Argus. The truth is that the team retained from last season weren't even good enough to be second best over forty six games in the Conference, even with the assistance of a substantial contribution from the Chairman in the form of loans. JimMachen
  • Score: 1

9:35am Wed 2 Apr 14

Clever Trevor says...

JimMachen wrote:
An unusually hard hitting but accurate article from the Argus. The truth is that the team retained from last season weren't even good enough to be second best over forty six games in the Conference, even with the assistance of a substantial contribution from the Chairman in the form of loans.
Blimey,if you feel that way,good job you are not a Mansfield Town fan then eh !!!
Put it another way,if we'd had the injuries,the postponments,and all the goings on last season,then we'd never have got promoted either.
[quote][p][bold]JimMachen[/bold] wrote: An unusually hard hitting but accurate article from the Argus. The truth is that the team retained from last season weren't even good enough to be second best over forty six games in the Conference, even with the assistance of a substantial contribution from the Chairman in the form of loans.[/p][/quote]Blimey,if you feel that way,good job you are not a Mansfield Town fan then eh !!! Put it another way,if we'd had the injuries,the postponments,and all the goings on last season,then we'd never have got promoted either. Clever Trevor
  • Score: 0

10:21am Wed 2 Apr 14

JimMachen says...

Clever Trevor wrote:
JimMachen wrote:
An unusually hard hitting but accurate article from the Argus. The truth is that the team retained from last season weren't even good enough to be second best over forty six games in the Conference, even with the assistance of a substantial contribution from the Chairman in the form of loans.
Blimey,if you feel that way,good job you are not a Mansfield Town fan then eh !!!
Put it another way,if we'd had the injuries,the postponments,and all the goings on last season,then we'd never have got promoted either.
I make no expression of my feelings. The plain fact is that over the normal season, Mansfield and Kidderminster were the best two teams in the Conference last season. It is probably also true that without Les's reported input of upwards of £300k, we would not even have made the play-offs. These are just pragmatic statements

What is an expression of my feelings is that I have no truck with the play-off system. As far as I am concerned, all it does it force one of the teams which has earned the right to an automatic promotion spot to fight it out again with teams which have not earned that right. The worst example of this was Hereford United some ten years ago when they finished in second place, a point behind Champions Chester and seventeen points ahead of Shrewsbury in third place, yet they lost out in the play-offs with Shrewsbury gaining promotion.

If it were down to me, the play-off system at all levels of football would be abolished tomorrow.
[quote][p][bold]Clever Trevor[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JimMachen[/bold] wrote: An unusually hard hitting but accurate article from the Argus. The truth is that the team retained from last season weren't even good enough to be second best over forty six games in the Conference, even with the assistance of a substantial contribution from the Chairman in the form of loans.[/p][/quote]Blimey,if you feel that way,good job you are not a Mansfield Town fan then eh !!! Put it another way,if we'd had the injuries,the postponments,and all the goings on last season,then we'd never have got promoted either.[/p][/quote]I make no expression of my feelings. The plain fact is that over the normal season, Mansfield and Kidderminster were the best two teams in the Conference last season. It is probably also true that without Les's reported input of upwards of £300k, we would not even have made the play-offs. These are just pragmatic statements What is an expression of my feelings is that I have no truck with the play-off system. As far as I am concerned, all it does it force one of the teams which has earned the right to an automatic promotion spot to fight it out again with teams which have not earned that right. The worst example of this was Hereford United some ten years ago when they finished in second place, a point behind Champions Chester and seventeen points ahead of Shrewsbury in third place, yet they lost out in the play-offs with Shrewsbury gaining promotion. If it were down to me, the play-off system at all levels of football would be abolished tomorrow. JimMachen
  • Score: 1

1:23pm Wed 2 Apr 14

NakedDancer says...

I disagree. In League 2 the top 3 are automatically promoted, only the fourth promotion place is up for grabs via playoffs. Obviously it can be tough for the 4th placed club that have earned more points than other clubs yet lose the playoffs.

However, the playoff system means that teams down to mid-table have a chance of making the playoffs until quite late in the season. That maintains an interest for fans of many clubs and bigger gates means more income for more clubs. Not forgetting the benefit for fans having a nice event for the playoff semis and final and the financial benefit to clubs in the playoff semi & final. Overall, playoffs have many more pros than cons.
I disagree. In League 2 the top 3 are automatically promoted, only the fourth promotion place is up for grabs via playoffs. Obviously it can be tough for the 4th placed club that have earned more points than other clubs yet lose the playoffs. However, the playoff system means that teams down to mid-table have a chance of making the playoffs until quite late in the season. That maintains an interest for fans of many clubs and bigger gates means more income for more clubs. Not forgetting the benefit for fans having a nice event for the playoff semis and final and the financial benefit to clubs in the playoff semi & final. Overall, playoffs have many more pros than cons. NakedDancer
  • Score: 3

2:40pm Wed 2 Apr 14

jetspotter says...

Interesting debate. It would be instructive to see how many of the teams which scraped into the play-offs and then gained promotion managed to stay up the following season compared to teams which gained automatic promotion.

On a limited budget it is hard to see where quality replacements are going to come from, but I guess spotting potential from unlikely sources is the mark of a good manager at this level. Fingers crossed.
Interesting debate. It would be instructive to see how many of the teams which scraped into the play-offs and then gained promotion managed to stay up the following season compared to teams which gained automatic promotion. On a limited budget it is hard to see where quality replacements are going to come from, but I guess spotting potential from unlikely sources is the mark of a good manager at this level. Fingers crossed. jetspotter
  • Score: 0

3:34pm Wed 2 Apr 14

JimMachen says...

NakedDancer wrote:
I disagree. In League 2 the top 3 are automatically promoted, only the fourth promotion place is up for grabs via playoffs. Obviously it can be tough for the 4th placed club that have earned more points than other clubs yet lose the playoffs.

However, the playoff system means that teams down to mid-table have a chance of making the playoffs until quite late in the season. That maintains an interest for fans of many clubs and bigger gates means more income for more clubs. Not forgetting the benefit for fans having a nice event for the playoff semis and final and the financial benefit to clubs in the playoff semi & final. Overall, playoffs have many more pros than cons.
To be fair, I wouldn't expect many to agree with my views (although Kiddy fans may be an exception).

Nonetheless, in my world it is quite simple. If there are four promotion places available, then those places should go to the four best teams in the division over the full season.

I don't think that it is particularly fair that a team securing seventh place (nearly a third of the way down the table after all) on goal difference should be given the opportunity of possibly three extra lucrative games at the expense of a team which scored maybe a goal less than them over the season and finished eighth. it all seems so inequitable to me.

Just my opinion though and it won't change things.
[quote][p][bold]NakedDancer[/bold] wrote: I disagree. In League 2 the top 3 are automatically promoted, only the fourth promotion place is up for grabs via playoffs. Obviously it can be tough for the 4th placed club that have earned more points than other clubs yet lose the playoffs. However, the playoff system means that teams down to mid-table have a chance of making the playoffs until quite late in the season. That maintains an interest for fans of many clubs and bigger gates means more income for more clubs. Not forgetting the benefit for fans having a nice event for the playoff semis and final and the financial benefit to clubs in the playoff semi & final. Overall, playoffs have many more pros than cons.[/p][/quote]To be fair, I wouldn't expect many to agree with my views (although Kiddy fans may be an exception). Nonetheless, in my world it is quite simple. If there are four promotion places available, then those places should go to the four best teams in the division over the full season. I don't think that it is particularly fair that a team securing seventh place (nearly a third of the way down the table after all) on goal difference should be given the opportunity of possibly three extra lucrative games at the expense of a team which scored maybe a goal less than them over the season and finished eighth. it all seems so inequitable to me. Just my opinion though and it won't change things. JimMachen
  • Score: -1

4:07pm Wed 2 Apr 14

peckylecky says...

The play offs are the best idea the league has come up with in years, teams need support and if a team are mid table and cannot go up or down they may as well just go through the motions as nobody but diehard fans will care. contrast that with a mid table team who, if they get on a good run can gain a chance of promotion and the whole city is excited and behind them. I love the play off system.
The play offs are the best idea the league has come up with in years, teams need support and if a team are mid table and cannot go up or down they may as well just go through the motions as nobody but diehard fans will care. contrast that with a mid table team who, if they get on a good run can gain a chance of promotion and the whole city is excited and behind them. I love the play off system. peckylecky
  • Score: 1

4:33pm Wed 2 Apr 14

exrisca says...

A certain team won promotion last season through the play-offs after finishing third. They had conceded six points to the team that finished second and four each to the teams that finished fourth and fifth. Yet they won the mini cup competition which is the play-offs.
Dreadfully unfair, but it was the County so who the heck cares!
A certain team won promotion last season through the play-offs after finishing third. They had conceded six points to the team that finished second and four each to the teams that finished fourth and fifth. Yet they won the mini cup competition which is the play-offs. Dreadfully unfair, but it was the County so who the heck cares! exrisca
  • Score: 1

5:22pm Wed 2 Apr 14

NakedDancer says...

JimMachen wrote:
NakedDancer wrote: I disagree. In League 2 the top 3 are automatically promoted, only the fourth promotion place is up for grabs via playoffs. Obviously it can be tough for the 4th placed club that have earned more points than other clubs yet lose the playoffs. However, the playoff system means that teams down to mid-table have a chance of making the playoffs until quite late in the season. That maintains an interest for fans of many clubs and bigger gates means more income for more clubs. Not forgetting the benefit for fans having a nice event for the playoff semis and final and the financial benefit to clubs in the playoff semi & final. Overall, playoffs have many more pros than cons.
To be fair, I wouldn't expect many to agree with my views (although Kiddy fans may be an exception). Nonetheless, in my world it is quite simple. If there are four promotion places available, then those places should go to the four best teams in the division over the full season. I don't think that it is particularly fair that a team securing seventh place (nearly a third of the way down the table after all) on goal difference should be given the opportunity of possibly three extra lucrative games at the expense of a team which scored maybe a goal less than them over the season and finished eighth. it all seems so inequitable to me. Just my opinion though and it won't change things.
The playoff system is a lot harsher in the Conference with only 1 automatic place and 1 through playoffs but hey, thats working for County now with only 2 teams relegated from League 2.

In League 2 (by the same logic) would it be fair if the 4th placed team is promoted if the 5th placed team is on the same points, having beaten the 4th placed team twice, but 1 goal behind on goal difference ? Maybe. Overall I think the playoffs benefits the clubs and the fans and with 3 of the 4 promotion places being automatic that seems fair.
[quote][p][bold]JimMachen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NakedDancer[/bold] wrote: I disagree. In League 2 the top 3 are automatically promoted, only the fourth promotion place is up for grabs via playoffs. Obviously it can be tough for the 4th placed club that have earned more points than other clubs yet lose the playoffs. However, the playoff system means that teams down to mid-table have a chance of making the playoffs until quite late in the season. That maintains an interest for fans of many clubs and bigger gates means more income for more clubs. Not forgetting the benefit for fans having a nice event for the playoff semis and final and the financial benefit to clubs in the playoff semi & final. Overall, playoffs have many more pros than cons.[/p][/quote]To be fair, I wouldn't expect many to agree with my views (although Kiddy fans may be an exception). Nonetheless, in my world it is quite simple. If there are four promotion places available, then those places should go to the four best teams in the division over the full season. I don't think that it is particularly fair that a team securing seventh place (nearly a third of the way down the table after all) on goal difference should be given the opportunity of possibly three extra lucrative games at the expense of a team which scored maybe a goal less than them over the season and finished eighth. it all seems so inequitable to me. Just my opinion though and it won't change things.[/p][/quote]The playoff system is a lot harsher in the Conference with only 1 automatic place and 1 through playoffs but hey, thats working for County now with only 2 teams relegated from League 2. In League 2 (by the same logic) would it be fair if the 4th placed team is promoted if the 5th placed team is on the same points, having beaten the 4th placed team twice, but 1 goal behind on goal difference ? Maybe. Overall I think the playoffs benefits the clubs and the fans and with 3 of the 4 promotion places being automatic that seems fair. NakedDancer
  • Score: 1

5:51pm Wed 2 Apr 14

COUNTYVOICE says...

i think the play offs are a good idea, purely for interest and money making potential, but recongnition should be made of where the team has finished in the play off positions.

maybe a goal start for the team finishing in the first and second play off spots. that would make the play off semis more competitive , and more exciting and also recognise the position the team finished in the league
i think the play offs are a good idea, purely for interest and money making potential, but recongnition should be made of where the team has finished in the play off positions. maybe a goal start for the team finishing in the first and second play off spots. that would make the play off semis more competitive , and more exciting and also recognise the position the team finished in the league COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Wed 2 Apr 14

JimMachen says...

NakedDancer wrote:
JimMachen wrote:
NakedDancer wrote: I disagree. In League 2 the top 3 are automatically promoted, only the fourth promotion place is up for grabs via playoffs. Obviously it can be tough for the 4th placed club that have earned more points than other clubs yet lose the playoffs. However, the playoff system means that teams down to mid-table have a chance of making the playoffs until quite late in the season. That maintains an interest for fans of many clubs and bigger gates means more income for more clubs. Not forgetting the benefit for fans having a nice event for the playoff semis and final and the financial benefit to clubs in the playoff semi & final. Overall, playoffs have many more pros than cons.
To be fair, I wouldn't expect many to agree with my views (although Kiddy fans may be an exception). Nonetheless, in my world it is quite simple. If there are four promotion places available, then those places should go to the four best teams in the division over the full season. I don't think that it is particularly fair that a team securing seventh place (nearly a third of the way down the table after all) on goal difference should be given the opportunity of possibly three extra lucrative games at the expense of a team which scored maybe a goal less than them over the season and finished eighth. it all seems so inequitable to me. Just my opinion though and it won't change things.
The playoff system is a lot harsher in the Conference with only 1 automatic place and 1 through playoffs but hey, thats working for County now with only 2 teams relegated from League 2.

In League 2 (by the same logic) would it be fair if the 4th placed team is promoted if the 5th placed team is on the same points, having beaten the 4th placed team twice, but 1 goal behind on goal difference ? Maybe. Overall I think the playoffs benefits the clubs and the fans and with 3 of the 4 promotion places being automatic that seems fair.
Erm, yes but no but.

The team finishing fourth has been the fourth best team over the season so should be promoted, not possibly the team finishing up as the seventh best team in the league.

I understand the the arguments for mid-table teams having more to play for but I still think that the best four teams should be promoted. Any team hoping to be promoted should set their stall out for that at the start of the season. In the Hereford example I used earlier, the team in fifth place in that season (Aldershot) were a full twenty one points behind Hereford and could have been promoted instead.

As I said, it is only my opinion.
[quote][p][bold]NakedDancer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JimMachen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NakedDancer[/bold] wrote: I disagree. In League 2 the top 3 are automatically promoted, only the fourth promotion place is up for grabs via playoffs. Obviously it can be tough for the 4th placed club that have earned more points than other clubs yet lose the playoffs. However, the playoff system means that teams down to mid-table have a chance of making the playoffs until quite late in the season. That maintains an interest for fans of many clubs and bigger gates means more income for more clubs. Not forgetting the benefit for fans having a nice event for the playoff semis and final and the financial benefit to clubs in the playoff semi & final. Overall, playoffs have many more pros than cons.[/p][/quote]To be fair, I wouldn't expect many to agree with my views (although Kiddy fans may be an exception). Nonetheless, in my world it is quite simple. If there are four promotion places available, then those places should go to the four best teams in the division over the full season. I don't think that it is particularly fair that a team securing seventh place (nearly a third of the way down the table after all) on goal difference should be given the opportunity of possibly three extra lucrative games at the expense of a team which scored maybe a goal less than them over the season and finished eighth. it all seems so inequitable to me. Just my opinion though and it won't change things.[/p][/quote]The playoff system is a lot harsher in the Conference with only 1 automatic place and 1 through playoffs but hey, thats working for County now with only 2 teams relegated from League 2. In League 2 (by the same logic) would it be fair if the 4th placed team is promoted if the 5th placed team is on the same points, having beaten the 4th placed team twice, but 1 goal behind on goal difference ? Maybe. Overall I think the playoffs benefits the clubs and the fans and with 3 of the 4 promotion places being automatic that seems fair.[/p][/quote]Erm, yes but no but. The team finishing fourth has been the fourth best team over the season so should be promoted, not possibly the team finishing up as the seventh best team in the league. I understand the the arguments for mid-table teams having more to play for but I still think that the best four teams should be promoted. Any team hoping to be promoted should set their stall out for that at the start of the season. In the Hereford example I used earlier, the team in fifth place in that season (Aldershot) were a full twenty one points behind Hereford and could have been promoted instead. As I said, it is only my opinion. JimMachen
  • Score: 0

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