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We've been here before.

Postby 88BenM » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:25 pm

We are Mansfield Town, a football club that has predominantly spent its life in the lower regions of the Football League. We have flirted with relegation into the abyss more than once, we know how to deal with it, we know how to cope.

With the above being true, I still find it amazing that we are now of the opinion as Stags fans that we should expect more, that we should command a place at the top table of League 2 and if we were to finally manage to breach the League 1 shores, we'd be expecting a pretty short stay in that division too before ascending to our 'rightful' place as a Championship club. I'm not here to argue with anybody about how this season has gone, how our budget dictates that we should be at the other end of the table or this appointment was trash or that decision was terrible. I just think we as fans, should definitely know better and when we hear the lofty ambitions of those in charge, we should remain humble and take such things with the pinch of salt which they rightfully deserve.

I do believe that history does to a large extent have some sway as to where the future path lies. Since I attended my first Stags match in 1997, we have spent just 6 seasons outside of League 2. 02/03 in League 1 and 08/09-12/13 in the Conference. In the entirety of my time as a fan we have finished inside the top 10 of League 2 on just 5 ocassions which were 8th in 99, 3rd in 02, 5th in 04, 8th in 18, 4th in 19. We must surely by now have accepted that we are playing our football as an average at best 4th tier side! Why then, are we, after a few seasons of near misses and a few interviews with our ambitious owners, are we demanding that X should be doing this and Y should have done that, fans getting onto the players backs and consistently needing a scapegoat?

And speaking of our owners and board members, I am absolutely astounded by some of the abuse that has been levelled at them from all different angles this season. They are human beings, we all make mistakes. I do not recall the interview with any of them where they stated that we will be firing our way to the Championship in record time. I suspect that if any of us had an off the record discussion with any of them that are involved in calling the shots, each one would have a story of something which they'd like to refine, do better or make a different decision. I think each and every one of them has earned the right to make those mistakes, why do they need to put up with some of the abuse that is aimed at them? If you were in a fortunate position, through your own personal successes, that you could earn yourself a say and a stake in the football club which we all support, would you put up with some of the personal abuse that is aimed at you? Often by those hiding behind a twitter name or a name on any other social media platform too. I am sure that some people will not be happy until some of our shot callers are publically flogged in Mansfield market place.
We have so much to be thankful to our owners about, just take a look at the Radford & Hymas Academy, we are the envy of many football clubs up and down the land who could only dream of a facility like that! We have it, we own it, thanks to 2 men that if you cut in half, would bleed amber and blue!

We are all disappointed with how the last 12 months have gone, but we do not have to let this kill us from the inside. We have much more to look forward to as a football club than we ever have, lets use the lessons of history to check our expectations but don't get too bogged down in it that we allow it to hinder our ambitions!
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby Sandy Pate Best Stag » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:48 pm

Whilst agreeing with the sentiments of your post Ben, I cannot agree with your view of the club's position in the football pyramid, probably because of when I started watching the team.

I began my stags burden in the early 60's and look on the team as being more than capable of mid league one level and that is my expectation of them. I watched what you no doubt regard as the glory years with a solid league base and several magnificent cup runs. I went when you had to be at the ground by 2.20 or still be outside at kick off time. Free gifts were given to all attendees such as hair gel or other useless items and we had great fun squirting it at each other.

I've seen a succession of owners come and go some good some bad. I've also seen players that would rings around anything we have had for a number of years who thought for themselves (to a great degree) and weren't handicapped by playing to rigid systems with little room for individuality. Admittedly today's crop have much better fitness levels and stamina (due to the professional training) but not the same ball skills or football awareness.

As stated I agree with your sentiments but think you fall far short of expectations and lack ambition. Maybe the current crop have the same views as you and that is why we are doing so poorly. Hopefully the owners don't and we continue to push on to our truly rightful position in League One.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby MTFCMusings » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:56 pm

Sandy Pate Best Stag wrote:Whilst agreeing with the sentiments of your post Ben, I cannot agree with your view of the club's position in the football pyramid, probably because of when I started watching the team.

I began my stags burden in the early 60's and look on the team as being more than capable of mid league one level and that is my expectation of them. I watched what you no doubt regard as the glory years with a solid league base and several magnificent cup runs. I went when you had to be at the ground by 2.20 or still be outside at kick off time. Free gifts were given to all attendees such as hair gel or other useless items and we had great fun squirting it at each other.

I've seen a succession of owners come and go some good some bad. I've also seen players that would rings around anything we have had for a number of years who thought for themselves (to a great degree) and weren't handicapped by playing to rigid systems with little room for individuality. Admittedly today's crop have much better fitness levels and stamina (due to the professional training) but not the same ball skills or football awareness.

As stated I agree with your sentiments but think you fall far short of expectations and lack ambition. Maybe the current crop have the same views as you and that is why we are doing so poorly. Hopefully the owners don't and we continue to push on to our truly rightful position in League One.


The quality is always going to be less than it was 'in your day'. The size of squads and number of substitutes these days means that the quality of player who were starters in your day for Mansfield will now be squad players at premier league or championship teams. That's how I look at it anyway.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby 88BenM » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:02 pm

Sandy Pate Best Stag wrote:Whilst agreeing with the sentiments of your post Ben, I cannot agree with your view of the club's position in the football pyramid, probably because of when I started watching the team.

I began my stags burden in the early 60's and look on the team as being more than capable of mid league one level and that is my expectation of them. I watched what you no doubt regard as the glory years with a solid league base and several magnificent cup runs. I went when you had to be at the ground by 2.20 or still be outside at kick off time. Free gifts were given to all attendees such as hair gel or other useless items and we had great fun squirting it at each other.

I've seen a succession of owners come and go some good some bad. I've also seen players that would rings around anything we have had for a number of years who thought for themselves (to a great degree) and weren't handicapped by playing to rigid systems with little room for individuality. Admittedly today's crop have much better fitness levels and stamina (due to the professional training) but not the same ball skills or football awareness.

As stated I agree with your sentiments but think you fall far short of expectations and lack ambition. Maybe the current crop have the same views as you and that is why we are doing so poorly. Hopefully the owners don't and we continue to push on to our truly rightful position in League One.


With regards to the ambition or lackof as you are accusing me of, I think you've missed the intention of my post. I'm not suggesting that we should settle for where we are, I am suggesting that we shouldn't be acting like spoiled brats!
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby Bradders » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:05 pm

Surely the current frustration is simply due to John Radford having very publicly invested in the squad and managers, to a level matching almost every club in the league. And then finding ourselves at a level matching only those clubs who would dream of our resources.

We have a tradition of failure and underperformance, it's true, but with the recent injection of funds and enthusiasm surely ambitious targets should be on the table, instead of "more of the same"?

At the moment it just seems that our luck is always bad luck. Most clubs that get a major investment boost move up the league. But despite most of the money coming in since promotion from the Conference we just seem to get bad breaks. Maybe it's our destiny, like the disallowed goal at Cardiff and the Suarez handball.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby Sandy Pate Best Stag » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:10 pm

MTFCMusings wrote:
Sandy Pate Best Stag wrote:Whilst agreeing with the sentiments of your post Ben, I cannot agree with your view of the club's position in the football pyramid, probably because of when I started watching the team.

I began my stags burden in the early 60's and look on the team as being more than capable of mid league one level and that is my expectation of them. I watched what you no doubt regard as the glory years with a solid league base and several magnificent cup runs. I went when you had to be at the ground by 2.20 or still be outside at kick off time. Free gifts were given to all attendees such as hair gel or other useless items and we had great fun squirting it at each other.

I've seen a succession of owners come and go some good some bad. I've also seen players that would rings around anything we have had for a number of years who thought for themselves (to a great degree) and weren't handicapped by playing to rigid systems with little room for individuality. Admittedly today's crop have much better fitness levels and stamina (due to the professional training) but not the same ball skills or football awareness.

As stated I agree with your sentiments but think you fall far short of expectations and lack ambition. Maybe the current crop have the same views as you and that is why we are doing so poorly. Hopefully the owners don't and we continue to push on to our truly rightful position in League One.


The quality is always going to be less than it was 'in your day'. The size of squads and number of substitutes these days means that the quality of player who were starters in your day for Mansfield will now be squad players at premier league or championship teams. That's how I look at it anyway.


Possibly so Mussy but there are lots more professional players in todays game and also lots more foreign imports in the English game. Football is changing not just on the pitch but off it as well. It used to be the sport of the working man but we are being priced out to make way for corporate customers who always want more.

Whatever your view of things, I still regard Mansfield Town as a league one outfit and that is where I want to see them consistently. I'm sure we all want progress and would like to achieve it using Ben's sentiments about owners and infighting.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby west country stag » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:34 pm

88BenM wrote:We are Mansfield Town, a football club that has predominantly spent its life in the lower regions of the Football League. We have flirted with relegation into the abyss more than once, we know how to deal with it, we know how to cope.

With the above being true, I still find it amazing that we are now of the opinion as Stags fans that we should expect more, that we should command a place at the top table of League 2 and if we were to finally manage to breach the League 1 shores, we'd be expecting a pretty short stay in that division too before ascending to our 'rightful' place as a Championship club. I'm not here to argue with anybody about how this season has gone, how our budget dictates that we should be at the other end of the table or this appointment was trash or that decision was terrible. I just think we as fans, should definitely know better and when we hear the lofty ambitions of those in charge, we should remain humble and take such things with the pinch of salt which they rightfully deserve.

I do believe that history does to a large extent have some sway as to where the future path lies. Since I attended my first Stags match in 1997, we have spent just 6 seasons outside of League 2. 02/03 in League 1 and 08/09-12/13 in the Conference. In the entirety of my time as a fan we have finished inside the top 10 of League 2 on just 5 ocassions which were 8th in 99, 3rd in 02, 5th in 04, 8th in 18, 4th in 19. We must surely by now have accepted that we are playing our football as an average at best 4th tier side! Why then, are we, after a few seasons of near misses and a few interviews with our ambitious owners, are we demanding that X should be doing this and Y should have done that, fans getting onto the players backs and consistently needing a scapegoat?

And speaking of our owners and board members, I am absolutely astounded by some of the abuse that has been levelled at them from all different angles this season. They are human beings, we all make mistakes. I do not recall the interview with any of them where they stated that we will be firing our way to the Championship in record time. I suspect that if any of us had an off the record discussion with any of them that are involved in calling the shots, each one would have a story of something which they'd like to refine, do better or make a different decision. I think each and every one of them has earned the right to make those mistakes, why do they need to put up with some of the abuse that is aimed at them? If you were in a fortunate position, through your own personal successes, that you could earn yourself a say and a stake in the football club which we all support, would you put up with some of the personal abuse that is aimed at you? Often by those hiding behind a twitter name or a name on any other social media platform too. I am sure that some people will not be happy until some of our shot callers are publically flogged in Mansfield market place.
We have so much to be thankful to our owners about, just take a look at the Radford & Hymas Academy, we are the envy of many football clubs up and down the land who could only dream of a facility like that! We have it, we own it, thanks to 2 men that if you cut in half, would bleed amber and blue!

We are all disappointed with how the last 12 months have gone, but we do not have to let this kill us from the inside. We have much more to look forward to as a football club than we ever have, lets use the lessons of history to check our expectations but don't get too bogged down in it that we allow it to hinder our ambitions!



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Re: We've been here before.

Postby NorthLondonStag » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:26 pm

An interesting debate.

One specific point and maybe slightly off topic but where I think we’re currently getting it wrong, as a club, is wanting to talk about having a ‘Top 3 budget’ or similar. The implication being that if you have such a budget then you are should expect to be in the top 3. And it’s usually mentioned when we aren’t doing well, as if it’s unfair that we aren’t higher up.

You might be one of the biggest spenders in the league but the league table does not respond to spending, it responds to points.

All this talk of Top 3 Budgets then creates an expectation of the fans and then they understandably get disappointed (but we have a top 3 budget so why aren’t we in the top 3?). It also is potentially feeds a complacency amongst the players (we have a top 3 budget so we must be good and wins will come easily...).
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby arsene wengers coat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:37 pm

I've got deja vu.
You've got to go there and come back, to know where you've been.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby The One » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:59 pm

Not into 500 word posts

Sacking DF was right

Appointing Dempster was stupidity bordering on negligent.

Thats why we are where we are.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby Rob » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:36 pm

The One wrote:Not into 500 word posts

Sacking DF was right

Appointing Dempster was stupidity bordering on negligent.

Thats why we are where we are.


Even if we are relegated folk like you will insist it was right to sack DF. It was the wrong decision, we finsihed in our highest league position in 15 years and sacked the manager, how much more bleedin obviously wrong can you be? Appointing JD was also wrong, but no matter who we'd appointed we'd be nowhere this season. Yet DF outers like you thought sack him and we'll be top three next season, so deluded!
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby Amber Andy » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:34 am

I wholeheartedly agree with your point about the abuse to the owners, players etc. It's awful and counterproductive.

Similar to one of the other posters I started supporting the Stags in the mid sixties and remember us being more of a league one club than league two. However, I do think in the last two decades we have certainly became an average league 2 club.

I think we are very lucky to have The Radfords as owners and I think they genuinely want to see us at least at league 1 level. The problem is they do raise the fan's expectations (including my own ), with their "we will smash the league comments" and in one case a totally over the top video regarding a new signing. Also implying they afford the club a top three budget is counterproductive.

As a club, we do tend to shoot ourselves in the foot more frequently than most. Whether it be sacking a manager who failed to get us promotion by the smallest of margins, losing
out on penalty shoot outs when winning them would get us to the next level or gradually building up the number of home support to a decent level only then to lose them through shoddy inept home performances.

Sometimes you think, is all this disappointment, bordering on heartbreak worth it? Then you regain your senses and know it is. I hope The Radfords feel the same way after their inevitable disappointment and heartbreak.

This season has been the poorest I can remember in a very long time. Hopefully we can start building again next season.

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Re: We've been here before.

Postby The One » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:23 am

Rob wrote:
The One wrote:Not into 500 word posts

Sacking DF was right

Appointing Dempster was stupidity bordering on negligent.

Thats why we are where we are.


Even if we are relegated folk like you will insist it was right to sack DF. It was the wrong decision, we finsihed in our highest league position in 15 years and sacked the manager, how much more bleedin obviously wrong can you be? Appointing JD was also wrong, but no matter who we'd appointed we'd be nowhere this season. Yet DF outers like you thought sack him and we'll be top three next season, so deluded!


DF blew it twice, We needed to appoint a proven manager to replace him to maybe get a top three place. We got Dempster. Our form from a year ago , for me it started Notts away was garbage under DF. The stats do not lie.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby lifestags » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:24 am

Were in a great position as a club overall, JR went too public with his backing and lifted everyone's expectations, then made a mistake with regards to the manager resulted in us having a bad season, start again in summer.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby Martin Shaw » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:18 am

If we go back to the 1970/71 season, then in the last 50 seasons, we have spent

1 season in the 2nd tier,
13 seasons in the 3rd tier (now League One)
31 seasons in the 4th tier,
and 5 seasons in the Conference.

So in my lifetime of watching the Stags, the last 50 years, we have predominantly been a Division 4 club. In the 60s, we had a good run of seasons in Division 3.
"Four points clear as Lincoln are McCaffreyised", CHAD headline, April 1975
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby Beano » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:19 am

The form definitely dropped around the Notts game and has simply never recovered.

I’m not convinced it would have been vastly different if Flitcroft had stayed (the rot had set in at the end of last season)

The common denominator is the players.

Massive clear out required.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby MTFCMusings » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:19 am

The One wrote:
Rob wrote:
The One wrote:Not into 500 word posts

Sacking DF was right

Appointing Dempster was stupidity bordering on negligent.

Thats why we are where we are.


Even if we are relegated folk like you will insist it was right to sack DF. It was the wrong decision, we finsihed in our highest league position in 15 years and sacked the manager, how much more bleedin obviously wrong can you be? Appointing JD was also wrong, but no matter who we'd appointed we'd be nowhere this season. Yet DF outers like you thought sack him and we'll be top three next season, so deluded!


DF blew it twice, We needed to appoint a proven manager to replace him to maybe get a top three place. We got Dempster. Our form from a year ago , for me it started Notts away was garbage under DF. The stats do not lie.


No matter if it was our highest position or not, DF failed the board's objectives twice. Narrowly, but failures nevertheless. That is a fact, and why he was sacked. You can question whether the objectives set were realistic (I think they were), or whether that two narrow failures should mean an out, but not whether he failed the objective.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby Sedgwick » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:30 am

The One wrote:
Rob wrote:
The One wrote:Not into 500 word posts

Sacking DF was right

Appointing Dempster was stupidity bordering on negligent.

Thats why we are where we are.


Even if we are relegated folk like you will insist it was right to sack DF. It was the wrong decision, we finsihed in our highest league position in 15 years and sacked the manager, how much more bleedin obviously wrong can you be? Appointing JD was also wrong, but no matter who we'd appointed we'd be nowhere this season. Yet DF outers like you thought sack him and we'll be top three next season, so deluded!


DF blew it twice, We needed to appoint a proven manager to replace him to maybe get a top three place. We got Dempster. Our form from a year ago , for me it started Notts away was garbage under DF. The stats do not lie.


Not buying the blew it twice bull... He had 12 games and the players let him down when Evans jumped ship.

He had one full season with a chunk of players he didn't want or sign, and he finished 4th and when we were full strength and executing his plans to perfection we were nearly there. Imagine if Lincoln sacked Cowley after they lost in the playoffs.... DF should have been here at least until Christmas.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby lifestags » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:37 am

Thinking about it, this group of players have bottled it 3 times.

1) When Evans left and they stopped playing.
2)When the pressure was on last season)
3) When they had a manager they could take the mick out of.

Get them gone and start from Scratch.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby MTFCMusings » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:49 am

Sedgwick wrote:
The One wrote:
Rob wrote:
The One wrote:Not into 500 word posts

Sacking DF was right

Appointing Dempster was stupidity bordering on negligent.

Thats why we are where we are.


Even if we are relegated folk like you will insist it was right to sack DF. It was the wrong decision, we finsihed in our highest league position in 15 years and sacked the manager, how much more bleedin obviously wrong can you be? Appointing JD was also wrong, but no matter who we'd appointed we'd be nowhere this season. Yet DF outers like you thought sack him and we'll be top three next season, so deluded!


DF blew it twice, We needed to appoint a proven manager to replace him to maybe get a top three place. We got Dempster. Our form from a year ago , for me it started Notts away was garbage under DF. The stats do not lie.


Not buying the blew it twice bull... He had 12 games and the players let him down when Evans jumped ship.

He had one full season with a chunk of players he didn't want or sign, and he finished 4th and when we were full strength and executing his plans to perfection we were nearly there. Imagine if Lincoln sacked Cowley after they lost in the playoffs.... DF should have been here at least until Christmas.


The difference you're missing is Lincoln outperformed their objective under Cowley. Flitcroft failed to achieve his. Twice. That can't be question IMO. The question is whether two failures should equal a dismissal.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby Sedgwick » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:50 am

lifestags wrote:Thinking about it, this group of players have bottled it 3 times.

1) When Evans left and they stopped playing.
2)When the pressure was on last season)
3) When they had a manager they could take the mick out of.

Get them gone and start from Scratch.


Coughlan will bring in players that work hard and play for the club... can't imagine we'll go out and sign loads of big name players.

although ive heard jonson clarke-harris wants to move back towards Leicester, and under GC has had the best form of his career. Get him in! :lol:
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby Sedgwick » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:51 am

MTFCMusings wrote:
Sedgwick wrote:
The One wrote:
Rob wrote:
The One wrote:Not into 500 word posts

Sacking DF was right

Appointing Dempster was stupidity bordering on negligent.

Thats why we are where we are.


Even if we are relegated folk like you will insist it was right to sack DF. It was the wrong decision, we finsihed in our highest league position in 15 years and sacked the manager, how much more bleedin obviously wrong can you be? Appointing JD was also wrong, but no matter who we'd appointed we'd be nowhere this season. Yet DF outers like you thought sack him and we'll be top three next season, so deluded!


DF blew it twice, We needed to appoint a proven manager to replace him to maybe get a top three place. We got Dempster. Our form from a year ago , for me it started Notts away was garbage under DF. The stats do not lie.


Not buying the blew it twice bull... He had 12 games and the players let him down when Evans jumped ship.

He had one full season with a chunk of players he didn't want or sign, and he finished 4th and when we were full strength and executing his plans to perfection we were nearly there. Imagine if Lincoln sacked Cowley after they lost in the playoffs.... DF should have been here at least until Christmas.


The difference you're missing is Lincoln outperformed their objective under Cowley. Flitcroft failed to achieve his. Twice. That can't be question IMO. The question is whether two failures should equal a dismissal.


Well if the objective is to get promotion in one season, or in 12 games then thats where were going horribly wrong. Ridiculous expectation and won't ever work at this club.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby MTFCMusings » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:52 am

I would say the minimum requirement in his first season was to make the play-offs, given the position we were in. His second season the objective was definitely promotion.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby Sedgwick » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:27 am

MTFCMusings wrote:I would say the minimum requirement in his first season was to make the play-offs, given the position we were in. His second season the objective was definitely promotion.


It wasn't his second season though was it.... 12 games of one, then one preseason and full season. Its not two seasons, never was never will be no matter how you try and phrase it.
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Re: We've been here before.

Postby lifestags » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:33 am

Off the top of my head:

1. Conrad Logan - Out of Contract
2. Hayden White Out of Contract
3. Malvind Benning Out of Contract
4. Matt Preston Out of Contract
5. Krystian Pearce Out of Contract
6. Neal Bishop Out of Contract
7. Alex MacDonald Out of Contract
9. Craig Davies Out of Contract
10. Otis Khan 1 Yellow Card. - Out of Contract
11. Nicky Maynard Out of Contract
12. Bobby Olejnik Out of Contract


16. Willem Tomlimson Out of Contract
17. Ryan Sweeney IN CONTRACT
18. Joe Riley Out of Contract
19. Andy Cook 2 Yellow Cards. - IN CONTRACT
20. Kellan Gordon IN CONTRACT
21. James Clarke IN CONTRACT
22. CJ Hamilton Out of Contract-option of a year?
23. Harry Charsley Out of Contract
24. Omari Sterling-James Out of Contract
25. Tyrese Sinclair - In Contract
26. Jason Law - Out of Contract
27. Lewis Gibbens - Out of Contract
28. Jimmy Knowles IN CONTRACT
29. Jordan Graham Out of Contract
30. Alistair Smith Out of Contract
31. Aidan Stone Out of Contract
32. Danny Rose Out of Contract
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