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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth 22:49 - Dec 1 with 3896 viewsDylanP

Some things just aint rocket science. We have a team of ball players. Player who like to knock the ball around and build up the pitch.

In his playing days, Aisnworth was a high energy, high speed, non-stop animal. And that is how he wanted his team to play. Smack the ball up field and then go and get it. Run Run Run. But we just didn't have the personnel. I love Gareth. He was a great servant of the club and he meant well. But he didn't have the squad to achieve his vision. Not even close. He couldn't get them to play his game because that wasn't playing to their strengths. And he didn't have the wherewithall to adapt his thinking to the players he had.

Then Marti comes in and says, I want you all to play the type of game that you all want to play anyway. And, guess what, the quality immediately goes up.

I don't blame Ainsworth and I will always love him for his playing days. But he was the wrong man for the job. We haven't achieved sht yet and we are still in the relegation zone. But all signs seem to be that Marti is the right man for the job.

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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 22:51 - Dec 1 with 3822 viewsbosh67

The level of fight, grit and press is extraordinary given the time he's been here.

Never knowingly right.
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 23:00 - Dec 1 with 3725 viewsBlackCrowe

Except that wasn't how GA had us playing...it was pure rope a dope but without the Ali finish...., suck in up, 10% possession is fine, we'll take our chance. We didn't create any chances, let alone score them.

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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 23:00 - Dec 1 with 3725 viewsJimthehip

Will always love Gaz


It just weren't the right fit
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 23:00 - Dec 1 with 3674 viewsstainrods_elbow

I'd say the OP is only half-right. In the space of a month, Marti has improved everything out of all recognition - the industry/press/bite/organisation (which was supposed to be Gareth's forte) AND made us look at least halfway to an enterprising and resilient passing team that can attack when it can and sit in when it needs to. Nothing worked under GA, sadly, and we were in a slough of despond. Now, albeit still cautiously, we're looking forwards and upwards.

For the sake of his career, I hope Ainsworth has been looking and learning since he left. Would be fascinating to know his and Dobson's thoughts on tonight and the Stoke game in particular, and what they take from them as (clearly limited) coaches. Sad to say, Gareth was really found out at QPR, but it could be the making of him.
[Post edited 1 Dec 2023 23:02]

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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 23:09 - Dec 1 with 3613 viewsBrianMcCarthy

Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 23:00 - Dec 1 by stainrods_elbow

I'd say the OP is only half-right. In the space of a month, Marti has improved everything out of all recognition - the industry/press/bite/organisation (which was supposed to be Gareth's forte) AND made us look at least halfway to an enterprising and resilient passing team that can attack when it can and sit in when it needs to. Nothing worked under GA, sadly, and we were in a slough of despond. Now, albeit still cautiously, we're looking forwards and upwards.

For the sake of his career, I hope Ainsworth has been looking and learning since he left. Would be fascinating to know his and Dobson's thoughts on tonight and the Stoke game in particular, and what they take from them as (clearly limited) coaches. Sad to say, Gareth was really found out at QPR, but it could be the making of him.
[Post edited 1 Dec 2023 23:02]


"A slough of despond"

Apposite phrase. Nailed it.

I also think of Dobson, him being a Rangers fan from youth, and someone who came across as a deep thinker. I hope he is well. I hope the same for Ainsworth of course, but somehow when I think of Dobson, there's a tinge more of pathos.

"The opposite of love, after all, is not hate, but indifference."
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 23:14 - Dec 1 with 3575 viewsBluce_Ree

Ainsworth was playing a sit back and counter style of football where you give up 80% possession. It makes sense that if we have the ball then we've got a chance of scoring and the other team haven't.

Setting up like its a cup game away to Man City when you're playing some team of Championship mid table also rans is embarrassing and I'm glad he's gone.

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH MARTI THE REDEEMER.

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH MARTI THE REDEEMER WHO STRENGTHENS ME.

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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 23:15 - Dec 1 with 3558 viewsBenny_the_Ball

Ainsworth's philosophy is a product of many of the managers he played under. You can get away with it in League 1 but in the Championship he was found wanting, twice. Love the guy but if he wants to succeed at a higher level he needs to evolve.

Marti, by contrast, is a student of the game, favours a more expansive brand of football, and is tactically astute. The way he's used the squad this week has been particularly refreshing and the players appear to buying into his plan.
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 07:21 - Dec 2 with 3149 viewsGaryBannister86

I'm sure Marti will have some tough times, but the improvement so quickly is incredible. Remember our squad is so thin that we are one injury/suspension to Dykes away from having a combined total of 1 senior goal worth of experience in our entire striking department.

GA's failings have been done to death, but it does make it hard to judge how well Marti is going. Was GA so bad that anyone could have done it? I think GA was terrible, but never mind the results to get us playing with an away performance like that last night within a month is fabulous.

It was no Burnley belts and braces fluke either. We were well worth it, whatever Sweetman-Kirk and Ryan Lowe said.
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 08:04 - Dec 2 with 3010 viewstraininvain

Ainsworth was such a bad fit for this squad and should’ve been moved on at the end of last season. The players must feel relief at finally being able to play proper football again and express themselves on the pitch.

Hopefully bodes well for the second half of the season.
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 08:07 - Dec 2 with 2983 viewsgazza1

Guys.....you can say what you like but, sadly, GA did not have a clue, he was useless at most things.
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 08:59 - Dec 2 with 2896 viewsStreathamRanger

Having Marti will also open up more loan possibilities as premier league clubs will see that this is a team playing football under a manager with some tactical know how.
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 09:04 - Dec 2 with 2861 viewsdm97

Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 08:59 - Dec 2 by StreathamRanger

Having Marti will also open up more loan possibilities as premier league clubs will see that this is a team playing football under a manager with some tactical know how.


Was just posting the same thing. Play more attractive football, you unlock routes to players with higher ceilings loan or otherwise. Just another item in the “Wtf were you thinking list” to send to LH and AB this festive season.
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 09:16 - Dec 2 with 2781 viewsAndybrat

It is an amazing start but we are not out of the woods yet, sadly under GA we hadn’t actually got that far in the woods to ind a way out. We already have another potential midfielder in Paal, seemed to have found a new left back, EDB had to be good because of his heritage. Somehow GA couldn’t see the potential or just didn’t like these guys. As before loves him as a player but shows the level between Championship and Div1.
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 09:37 - Dec 2 with 2691 viewsNorthantsHoop

I just don't think the players bought into Ainsworth at all, I am not even sure he had a style of football. I was most troubled with Ainsworth towards end of last season at one of our last home games appear to have a slanging match with Rob Dickie during the 1st half, we looked all over the place.
Marti Cifuentes seems to exude calm and tactics to develop our play so far and we look more solid and aware and are now looking more dangerous where it counts at the top end of the pitch. Still a long way to go but signs are really promising, the team still needs surgery, but results like Tuesday's and last night's can turn a season around.
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 09:40 - Dec 2 with 2669 viewsGaryT

It's all well and good to say Ainsworth didn't play to the players abilities but that's only half the story. What was the players excuse for not playing for Critchley? Or for the tail end of Boil's reign?

Ainsworth was a desperate attempt to put out the fire, water wasn't working so let's throw on some petrol, what's the worst that could happen? Maybe the players that had downed tools under Boil and Critchley learned the lesson of 'careful what you wish for' so breathed a sigh of relief when normality returned with Marti and his version of tiki taka. Sometimes it's just timing but it helps if you have the ability as well.

Have to say I am quietly confident 16th spot will be ours come May but let's have a few more surprise results before the rest of the league wakes up to our rise from the ashes.
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 09:40 - Dec 2 with 2663 viewsenfieldargh

Sadly Chris Willock was totally ignored for whatever reason, now it looks like he is going to play a major part in our attack for the rest of the season.

As he should have been doing all along!!

captains fantastic
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 11:30 - Dec 2 with 2464 viewsBrianWilson

How many players did he bring in? 6? reasonable amount to put his mark on the team but didn't happen.

"a diseased bunch of mofos if there ever was one, their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons." - Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys

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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 12:18 - Dec 2 with 2272 viewskensalriser

The last kind of manager you want in the Championship is one who needs to bring in his own players. That kind of time, not to mention expense and FFP headroom, just isn't available. And even if it was, it's of no use outside transfer windows.

What you want is a manager who can improve any set of players as quickly as possible. Who can identify players who haven't performed well under previous managers and transform them into productive members of the squad. Who can introduce styles of play that optimise the individual attributes of the players. In these respects I think we've hit the jackpot with Cifuentes.

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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 12:21 - Dec 2 with 2258 viewsPhilmyRs

Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 09:40 - Dec 2 by GaryT

It's all well and good to say Ainsworth didn't play to the players abilities but that's only half the story. What was the players excuse for not playing for Critchley? Or for the tail end of Boil's reign?

Ainsworth was a desperate attempt to put out the fire, water wasn't working so let's throw on some petrol, what's the worst that could happen? Maybe the players that had downed tools under Boil and Critchley learned the lesson of 'careful what you wish for' so breathed a sigh of relief when normality returned with Marti and his version of tiki taka. Sometimes it's just timing but it helps if you have the ability as well.

Have to say I am quietly confident 16th spot will be ours come May but let's have a few more surprise results before the rest of the league wakes up to our rise from the ashes.


Sorry this narrative just doesn’t add up. We were in the playoffs, or very close to it when Boil left. That’s not a team that’s downed tools. Yes, they were on a poor run but that always happens in the Championship - no doubt not helped by Boil manager speculation. People always seem to throw that one out there as evidence of the players giving up and being the only problem and Ainsworth was the last throw of the dice, which is just rubbish. The reality is we played some great stuff early in the season, we got screwed over by Boil and that had a major impact. We also made a poor, but understandable appointment of Critchley. When Critchley was sacked we didn’t need to rip everything up and start again, we just needed to appoint smartly like we’ve belatedly done. GA was a shockingly poor appointment in every sense and the man responsible has rightly stepped away because of it.
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Marti Cifuentes and Gareth Ainsworth on 12:22 - Dec 2 with 2254 viewsBklynRanger

Strikes me as a good example of where Redknapp was wrong with his lazy, throwaway line:

"Football's easy when you've got good players"

Same squad, properly coached = very different results (so far at least)...
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