Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Abbott on Trial - Fans Roundtable

Three views. All forthright, all uncompromising. GA - look away now!

Jordan Walker (@jordanwalker89)

I’m firmly in the “Abbott Out” camp, there are no end of reasons why.

Firstly, the glaring fact that he gets it tactically wrong more often than he gets it right. The diamond  formation is ruthlessly exposed by sides with decent wingers due to the alarming lack of width it gives us. In the past, he’s also had an obsession with playing the 4-5-1 formation. He’d tell you that it’s 4-3-3, but for this to work you need a couple of excellent wide men to get in behind the opposition defence -  we’ve never had when playing this formation, meaning that it effectively ends up being one man up front alone, with little or no support. 

Playing such a negative formation as 4-5-1 against Tamworth and Grays Athletic in the cup is hardly going to win over any fans.  I’ve also lost count of the amount of times we’ve thrown away leads by sitting back and defending one goal leads. You only need to look at the clueless expression on his face each Saturday when we go a goal down to see that he doesn’t really appear to know what he’s doing.

To accompany his frequent tactical wrong doings, he also frequently picks the wrong players. Paul Thirwell offers very little, yet he’s selected every week without fail. We also have the awful loan signings he’s made, such as Eastham and Commingues. Abbott has used upwards of 70 players during his time in charge, yet he still complains that he’s had no money to spend!

A major gripe of mine, is that his media skills leave a lot to be desired, and may be a major reason he’s unpopular amongst fans. We could lose 5-0 one weekend, and he’d still bang on about our “effort and endeavour”. If these were improved, perhaps more fans would get behind him.

Those who stick up for him will mention two Wembley trips (one of which his aforementioned shortcomings aided the real thumping we got) but these don’t mask the awful, negative, boring football we endure each week. No wonder fans stay away when the football under Abbott is so terrible. 

'JK' (@jk_cufc)

Over recent weeks I have begun to feel a certain anguish towards the Abbott managerial reign. Results speak for themselves, and although a triumph in the JPT and mid-table consolidation last season have to be taken into account, I can't help feeling the club has reached its peak under his guidance. 
Losses to Notts County, Aldershot, Accrington Stanley, Hartlepool, Chesterfield and MK Dons have left a sour taste in the mouths of many of the Cumbrian contingent – as the unfurlingof a week last Saturday’s ‘Abbott Out’ banner proved. 
I don't agree that disposing of him is the right course of action at this stage, but should performances and results not pick up, his days must be numbered – though current calls for his head seem a little premature; winter is the time to make such judgements.
What Abbott does bring to the club is a sense of unity in the team camp. His predecessor, John Ward, left a legacy of discontent amongst the players. Abbott cleared out this 'dead wood' to be replaced by the fresh young faces of Premier League loanees, internationals and players with a point to prove. The hunger and competition for places in the side is a huge positive- something which may pay dividends when the long season undoubtedly begins to take its toll. 
Abbott's determination to succeed in what is a very difficult job has never been disputed, but his ability to take the club to the next level casts an element of doubt in my mind. Whether ornot Carlisle can reach the height of last season's achievements remains to be seen, but is, in my opinion, unlikely. 
Should Greg still be around come the end of the season, I'd hope for an obvious improvement in the team's league position - 10th or higher. The distractions of the cups (FACup aside) are gone; with little else to compete for, a strong league finish is an absolute necessity if the board are to warrant keeping him on into next season.
This is Abbott's team. This is his time. He must deliver.
Ste Kenyon (@stekenyon)

When writing about anything, you always want to be witty and amusing. But I’m writing about Greg Abbott. Never mind…

Whilst researching earlier periods of Abbott’s tenure, I discovered (to my surprise) that he was appointed permanent manager on 5th December 2008. This means that we have now had almost three years of Gregness; something which no club should feel neither pity nor envy about. 

When his appointment was announced I was, unsurprisingly, a few pints deep, and, feeling rather vociferous “went off on one”. It was his first managerial appointment and he was part of a John Ward setup which produced some of the worst football I’ve ever witnessed. 

We also weren’t in a good league position (who is when they sack their manager?) and I was entirely unconvinced that he was the right man to guide us to safety. He did. Just. Mostly due to a disinterested Millwall team who had already secured a playoff berth and put in a non-performance against us. The following two seasons have brought mid table mediocrity. We have had two decent runs in the Paint Pot though last year’s final win scarcely made up for the utter embarrassment of the previous year.

My own view is that Greg is out of his depth. To compare him to a manager further up the pyramid, it would be Roy Hodgson - man who is more than capable of making a team very average, but insofar as moving a team ‘up a level’ is entirely lost. He may learn more, he may become better over time, but I would rather he did it away from my football club. 

The facts back it up, his record makes for uninspiring reading - 136 games, 59 wins, 62 losses and 42 draws at a win percentage of 36%. It’s not exactly world beating stuff but by the same token, it’s far from awful. I believe that with Abbott in charge, we are certain to stay up.  

And certain to stay down. 

Greg is the 14th longest serving manager in England. Proof that good things don’t always come to those who wait. 


  1. Apologies for crap formatting. Clipboard's defeated me and JK's is as good as it will be...

    I fail at computers.

  2. With respect to those who attend matches week in, week out, tenth place in League 1 seems more than respectable for Carlisle. Keep the faith.

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