Neal Ardley became the longest serving manager at Notts County since Magpies legend Sam Allardyce a couple of weeks ago.
Since his appointment, the club have been relegated from the EFL in 2019 and missed out on an immediate return after losing the National League promotion final in August 2020.
But this doesn’t tell the whole story of Ardley’s time in charge as the club have faced financial difficulties throughout his tenure, leading to relegation from League Two.
Unfortunately, Ardley couldn’t keep the Magpies up and they lost their status as the Football League’s oldest club, having been founded in 1862.
Despite a rollercoaster two years in charge at Meadow Lane, Ardley seems to have kept support from the Notts County faithful as many would like to see him stay at the club.
One fan remarked that he is an ‘eloquent’ person and another welcomed newfound stability.
What a knowledgeable and eloquent person is Neal Ardley. He’s absolutely in tune with management and not prone to over egging any situation. Some people may interpret that as negative but for me he’s a great communicator who articulates all aspects of the modern game
— Alan Carnell (@carnell_alan) December 3, 2020
It’s the Notts way too- the only one this millennium with any longevity is our current manager, Neal Ardley.
— Wendy Patrick (@pieorama2) November 30, 2020
Before Ardley’s appointment, there had been 20 managers in 20 years at Meadow Lane and some fans feel this instability is what lead to the club’s demise.
Reading the reply’s to @Official_NCFC congratulating Neal Ardley I’ve come to the conclusion that some #notts fans hate stability and dislike having a manager at the helm for more than 6 months as that is the only logical conclusion for the amount of stick Neal Ardley gets 🤷♂️
— Andrew Briggs (@chogger5) November 23, 2020
With Notts County missing out on promotion last season after losing 3-1 to Harrogate in the National League promotion final, one supporter feels Ardley will have to achieve promotion this season to keep his job.
Top bloke! But if he’s to make it 3 years we need to go up this season.
— Tom (@magpie_gunner) November 23, 2020
The Magpies currently sit sixth in the Vanarama National League after a mixed start to the season, however they are unbeaten in their least four league games. A last-gasp win over Chesterfield and a 3-0 dismantling of newly-promoted Wealdstone in recent weeks will have done Ardley’s position at the helm no harm.
Having survived a topsy-turvy two years at the club, and survived a board takeover last summer in which the club was taken over by Danish data analysis entrepreneurs Christoffer and Alexander Reedtz, Ardley will be hoping to finally have something to celebrate at the end of the season as fans dream of a return to the EFL.