Neal Ardley | Two Years In
Neal Ardley joined Notts County as first team manager on 23rd November 2018 but didn't take charge of his first game until the 8th December 2018, a 2-0 defeat at the hands of local rivals Mansfield Town at Field Mill.
Notts were 23rd in League Two when Ardley took over and during the remainder of what transpired to be a truly awful season both on and off the pitch the Magpies were never really out of the bottom two seeing them relegated out of the football league, a club they were founder members of some 131 years earlier.
Here we take a quick look at Neal Ardley and his time at the helm over the last two years:
Neal Christopher Ardley
1 September 1972 (48)
UEFA Pro Licence (2010)
Cardiff City (Academy) Sep 2007 - Oct 2012
AFC Wimbledon Oct 2012 - Nov 2018 (League Two play off winners 2015/16)
Notts County Nov 2018 - Present
Neal Ardley has overseen a total of 83 games in all competitions at Notts County. Based on 3 points for a win his PPG is currently 1.47 and he has a win% of 40.96.
A full breakdown of matches is detailed in the table below.
Of the 34 wins so far for Notts Ardley's biggest win margin was the 5-0 victory over Aveley in the FA Trophy at Meadow Lane last season. Notts also scored 5 in the National League the same season beating Chorley 5-1, again at Meadow Lane.
Ardley's biggest defeat for the Magpies so far came quite early in his Notts career, a 4-0 drubbing away at Grimsby Town in the 2018/19 relegation season.
When it comes to unbeaten runs Notts managed 9 games without defeat in all competitions last season although there was a real chance they might go one better had the season been completed as Neal Ardley's men won 5 out of their last 5 games before the pandemic curtailment.
Biggest win margin: Notts Co 5 - 0 Aveley, FA Trophy, 29 Feb 2020.
Biggest defeat margin: Grimsby Town 4 - 0 Notts Co, League Two, 22 Dec 2018.
Most games unbeaten: 9 - 7th Dec 2019 to 18th Jan 2020.
Most games without a win: 8 - 22nd Dec 2019 to 2nd Feb 2020.
Total number of clean sheets: 23 (27.71%)
In conclusion it has been a tumultuous two years for Ardley. Financial and 'other' off the field issues surely contributed to results and performances on the pitch. It was clear there were issues within the player ranks as well and it is difficult to know if any other manager would have managed to halt the inevitable slide towards the trap door.
It is evident he has his detractors within the Notts fan base who hold him responsible for the clubs fall from grace, and despite just missing out on promotion back into the football league in his first full season there is a presentiment of unfinished business about his tenure so far but quite how that might be concluded we can only wait and see.