Pressure, pressure, pressure: How Football League stature clubs come under pressure when they get relegated to Non-League.
Why are clubs who drop down out of the Football League struggling to climb back up?
It is really unfortunate but the fact is that clubs that have been in the Football League and that have dropped down show an attitude that results in them struggling. It is really hard to believe it at the time and for the fans of the clubs that this happens for to realise but it will just make it even harder. Attitudes from supporters that still believe that they are a standard good enough to have a walk in the park in Non-League is exactly why teams such as Leyton Orient, Wrexham and Tranmere (I could go on) are not winning every game. This is because teams that they believe they should be turning over are coming to play at the ‘big’ clubs and bullying them, and it works.
There has been plenty of times when a team such as Tranmere Rovers have gone to play a match thinking that they are in for a walk in the park… how wrong could you be? The answer to that is pretty much 100%. This is because teams that know the attitude of the supporters, and other connections to the football clubs will play on that and will normally get a good result from that.
To be successful in Non-League you just have to play ball with the teams already in the division and waiting for you. Teams that drop out the Football League may well like to play their football on the floor, this just will not work sometimes and this has to come to the realisation of some spectators. There will be times when you just have to take the chances that come in the game, there will be times when a team with a much bigger stature will have to bring themselves down to a level of other clubs to actually compete otherwise it will get the better of both the fans and the players of these clubs. There have been many occasions when teams such as Tranmere, Wrexham and even a team who finally got back up, Grimsby Town did not play to the opposition’s weaknesses and have instead tried to play to their strengths too much which has cost them, as the teams that they are playing against just will not back down and will play the hard way to try and get a point out of a game on a Saturday afternoon on a pitch that some won’t be familiar of. When other teams are used to playing on pitches as good as their own, they will need to change their tactics when they visit a pitch that they cannot play their football on and this is just life in the Non-League.
What exactly makes it difficult for teams in this position?
When bigger reputation teams are in the non-league pyramid, they will still have the likeness of a football league club which play different styles of football to teams that are comfortably in a non-league position who will probably have different surfaces of playing ground which would not be comfortable for teams such as Tranmere, Leyton Orient, Wrexham and alike. They go to grounds that would certainly not be of their preference and would be bullied by the opposition team with ‘hoof ball’ the opposite of what Tranmere and teams like Leyton Orient like to play which is the passing game. They have teams coming to their grounds and holding out for draws and frustrating the home team.
One hard big campaign:
The Vanarama National League is one very hard, frustrating and long season. From the season commencing in August to when it comes to an end in May, 24 teams fight out for different goals and at the end of it all only one team gets promoted automatically and the rest fight for the play-offs which can do one of two things. It can inspire the teams on to win the league and them do it comfortably and not let the pressure get to them or it could go the opposite way with the team falling down.
Big name managers?
Every season is different. Last season the unlikely Braintree Town had a blast of a campaign and finished in the play-off places which was well above the expectations of the board and manager Danny Cowley who was touted by Lincoln City (Now flying in the Football League). It is business as usual for the former Braintree boss as he has had an excellent start with the imps. This just goes to show that managers that perhaps don’t have a ‘name’ do actually achieve at clubs. On the other hand, Gary Brabin who was manager at Tranmere Rovers for 16 months had a CV of positives in the current division that the club sit in but no actual promotions on his CV, but he was a known name. Gary Mills much the same, he was known from his time at Gateshead and York City, but did not really shown anything special at Wrexham.
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