The Opposition View: Notts County
Alex Wood answers questions about Rodgers, Harley, Campbell, Storrie and dodgy owners ahead of Saturday's game.
How do you assess County's start to the season? Is the promotion push on track?
It certainly looks that way. Most Notts fans would be delighted with the play-offs this season given that we sat in 7th at the end of the last campaign, missing out on goal difference to Stevenage. Hand on heart? I'd be disappointed not to be challenging for the automatic places, a little optimistic for a Notts fan, I know.
The squad we possess is more than good enough and we have a manager in place who has a fantastic record so far at the club. We've started this season really well and I expect us to sustain this, especially when you consider the fact team selection has been disrupted by suspensions and injuries. All is well at Meadow Lane and the promotion push is going to plan.Jon Harley and Luke Rodgers once wore the famous Magpies strip, what did you think of them during their time at your club?
Rodgers is somewhat of a cult hero at Meadow Lane. He was part of the League 2 winning side and struck up a rather notorious pairing with Lee Hughes. A crucial winner at home to Rotherham is still talked about on a weekly basis and rightly so. Personally, I was never a fan though, his first touch was appalling and I thought he possessed very little footballing intelligence. His ability to be offside so often became a running joke and should draw sarcastic cheers on Saturday the first time the linesman raises his flag. He's a dangerous finisher though and is a good option as a poacher alongside the right strike partner.
Jon Harley will be remembered a little differently. He was frankly a disaster for the majority of his Notts career; slow, cumbersome and woeful distribution. He had the odd competent performance and I'm sure playing in a bad side didn't help matters but I doubt he'll look back and fondly remember his days in a black and white shirt.Sol Campbell is another player who has played for both teams. What did you think of the whole debacle?
I was one of the relatively few people that saw him play....and he was terrible. Had he got match fit, I'm sure he'd have been a class above at League 2 but the whole episode was one that most would like to forget, no more so than Sol Campbell himself.
In hindsight, he smelt a rat and jumped ship, you can't blame him for that and to be perfectly honest, Sol Campbell was only a drop in the proverbial ocean when it came to that year-long circus that Munto Finance brought to Nottingham.Peter Storrie was Notts' Executive Deputy Chairman at one time. How much damage did he do to your club when he was there?
Individually? I'm not too sure if honest, he was after all only part of the 'dynamic duo'; Scardino and Storrie. Together they managed to renege on promises made to the previous owner, failed to pay for anything they bought seeing us plunge into administration and then promptly sold us to a bloke called Aaron Scargill who bolted and left us seemingly doomed and one game away from ceasing to exist. So, he probably didn't do a great job at Notts, to put it very kindly.The links continue, what are your thoughts on Steve Cotterill after he guided your team to promotion from League Two?
Cotterill was awesome here, he dragged us up by sheer discipline and a good old-fashioned kick up the rear end. He was lucky to be blessed with the best squad in the division but tactically he got everything spot on and managed to make players like Delroy Facey and Stephen Hunt look like world-beaters.
He did leave in unpleasant circumstances which left a very sour taste in the mouth but overall, we will always be grateful for his fairly short time at the club.Like Pompey, it seems like Notts are no strangers to "questionable" owners. Describe the whole Munto finance fiasco.
Describe the whole Munto finance fiasco? There's been books written on this subject it was that ridiculous.
In a nutshell, a bloke arrived claiming to have links with the Royal family of Qatar, we brought Sven in to be Director of Football and signed the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Sol Campbell and Johnnie Jackson. We were promised casinos, Premier League football in 5 years, stadium renovations, Luis Figo, Patrick Vieira, Roberto Mancini and even a monorail...yes, a monorail service just for us.
The rule 'if it looks too good to be true, it often is' applied unfortunately. A rotund man with a walking stick, named Russell King was involved you see and with him came a shady past. The whole thing began to unravel and the the horrible realisation set in that we'd been conned, there was no Qatari money. In fact, there was no money at all. We found ourselves £7m in debt and with Sven running around Scandinavia looking for a rich friend to revive 'the project'.
It was never to be though and we were left on the precipice yet again. Praise the lord and multiple hallelujahs for Sir Ray Trew or we might not be playing this fixture on Saturday.Onto the game, you must be confident of another win given the form of both teams?
I support Notts County, I've never been confident of a win. Strangely, we look a lot better away from home than we do at Meadow Lane. A loss to Walsall and a lucky escape against Shrewsbury means that I won't take anything for granted. We normally disappoint in games we're expected to win as well. I won't be putting any money on this game, let's put it that way.Are there any particular weaknesses in this Magpies side that Pompey could exploit?
With our best team out there, I'd say no. However, Alan Sheehan has picked up a hamstring injury and we have the less than impressive Carl Regan filling the void at left-back. Any half decent winger should be able to cause him problems. The rest of the team is fairly solid although I've seen Williamson run rings around Neal Bishop in the past, so watch out for that.Predict the outcome of the game.
I'll go with my heart here and say a 2-1 win for Notts. Rodgers is bound to score but we should have enough to win, I'd like to think.
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