Date: 12th October 2019 at 11:27am
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Well, here we are, sat twiddling our thumbs with the onset of the second international break of the 2019 / 2020 Championship season upon us.

But, with the onset of another international break, I thought I’d take the opportunity to bring to the table a subject that could be deemed as very controversial, the subject of Graeme Jones being in charge of our beloved club.

Now I know it can be deemed as disloyal to discuss such a controversial subject and I know I’ll face criticism for not getting behind the club 100%, but I’m a hardy soul and I will have my say.

Last May, when back-to-back promotions were achieved, I was ecstatic as the rest of you.

After climbing from the desperate days of non-league football to participate in the Championship was a dream come true, a wonderful opportunity to put our proud club slap bang in the middle of the top echelons of English football.

But one problem had to be overcome, with Nathan Jones having departed and Mick Harford declaring that he didn’t, after leading the Hatters to promotion, want to take the role on full-time, a new manager had to be found.

Rumour had it that the Luton hierarchy had been focussing their attention on Graeme Jones for a considerable time and after negotiations were concluded a deal was announced.

To the Hatters faithful, it seemed a great appointment, with it being proclaimed Luton had secured the services of a great manager whilst others, taking a more cynical approach, pointed out that we’d merely signed somebody who had worked alongside some pretty decent managers.

In the cold light of day, Luton had appointed somebody who was taking on a managerial role, in his own right, for the first time.

A hectic summer saw the Hatters bring in a plethora of new players, welcome additions to the squad or bulk buying, or, more worryingly, were they as good or better than those we already had on our books, I’ll leave you to decide that particular point.

Now nobody said life in the Championship was going to be a breeze, indeed survival and consolidation, in the second tier of English football, might be deemed as a successful season.

With eleven games gone, of the new season, just over a quarter, the Hatters have accumulated 11 points out of a possible 33 and sit in 18th place, just three points off the relegation zone.

Averaging a point a game is, quite possibly, flirting with relegation, a worrying consequence for a club that, with Power Court on the horizon, has so much ambition to fullfil and indeed look forward to realising.

But, returning to Graeme Jones, I remain unconvinced that the Hatters have the right man, too often we’ve been tactically naive and his reluctance to drop our record signing, Simon Sluga, after an awful run of form continues to baffle me.

Football is a harsh environment, time is of the essence, the pressure to succeed can be overwhelming and Jones, operating in such conditions is, like many others who have made the jump from right-hand man to top dog, perhaps, finding it more difficult than he first imagined he would.

Now, I may have gauged this completely wrong, the remainder of the season may see the Hatters, under the stewardship of Graeme Jones, go from strength to strength and, to be brutally honest, although we’re, currently flirting with relegation, we are far too good to go down, but that gut-feeling, that continual doubt, relating to the boss, just refuses to go away.

Does anyone else share similar feelings or do I stand alone?

Please feel free to share your viewpoint in the comment facility beneath this article.

Previous article by Mad Hatter

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33 Replies to “I Have My Doubts Over Jones Tenure As The Luton Boss, How About You?”

  • Our position in division one last season at this point was not a lot better then look what happened. I think he will take the keeper out off the firing line for a while so negative talk from supporters do not make things worse. Then we will move on and finish in a position which gives us championship football next season. This with more of a mixture of championship and premier players. Football goes in circles and and Graeme Jones the players the club and supporters will have their good time as they deserve. Keep the faith.

  • It is far too early for judgement. The club are not ready for the lofty heights of the Premiership as the plan was always to be in the Championship by 2020 not 2019 and the stadium plans have also been delayed by C & R doing their utmost to scupper or at least delay them. The board are still doing an amazing job with the lowest budget in the division and against clubs gambling with £100m budgets and we are operating within our means. The plan is survival at the moment and so far so good with that. Players in this division are looking for money well above our threshold and we missed out on a few in the window and may well miss out again on some in January. One thing is for certain the board will not allow our club to suffer the fate that others recently have from overstretching and gambling. There are clubs in the Championship who are at serious risk if their gamblers don’t come off. GJ is a perfectly capable manager at this level and understands the situation and is working well with improving the players we can afford. We have had an amazing run of success. Now is the time for consolidation.

    • I’d certainly take survival as being a success this season but I don’t want to be drawn into a season-long relegation battle!

  • Too early to judge but I think he’s given Sluga enough opportunities now and we’ve lost valuable points as a result. If Shea doesn’t start the next game I’ll have serious doubts about GJ’s judgement. The other issue is that he seems very unsure about his midfield and, apart from Tunnicliffe (our most consistent performer in my view) has chopped and changed far too much. It’s noticeable that the last 3 defeats have seen Butterfield as an unused sub whereas when he’s started we’ve achieved our best results – maybe a coincidence but I think he gives us more stability and control. As he’s had a good look at all our midfielders now I’d expect him to start picking a more settled team.

    On the plus side we’re generally not being outplayed by teams and defeats are happening mainly due to individual errors (Sluga mostly). With Shea in goal and a more settled side I would hope to see positive results over the next couple of months, otherwise a decision needs to be made!

  • In my opinion neither Jones or our record costing keeper are good enough too many changes and no settled formation I know that losing jj and Stacy was a huge blow we all knew that was going to happen and he never really went out and replaced them

  • As much as I have no delusions of grandeur, I do think we can get more out of the players we have. Cornick and Lua Lua are isolated, Collins isn’t being allowed to be the threat he can be playing so deep.

    Midfield isn’t maximising the skill sets we have and we are relying on a proven system with players who don’t fit it with no central striker.

    Keeper isn’t filling me with much hope.

    Play a 442 get some width and support a two striker system as from what I have seen we could do more damage and pick up more points.

  • Jones should know what is required in this div. may be the some players are not up this level
    Need ask mike H what he thinks?

    WE need to keep on Cornick or Lua Lua and so on and not isolated, Collins

    Give Shea go it may take the pressuer off untill jan 20 then change it fast if not right with the right type of players to suit this or you go down
    and i know nout i never play at this level mike w.

  • I seem to agree with a few others and will be patient on the Graeme Jones subject. As others have said, let’s wait and see how we are traveling come Christmas time. I have no expectations this season and will be happy to survive the year and build from there. Let’s reaccess in early January. Go you mighty Hatters.

  • I believe Shea should have continued in goal from the onset of the season. Sluga should have been given time to settle and bond in with his new teammates.
    TBH £1.3m these days is peanuts so the record signing pricetag is to me irrelevant.
    Graham will come good, and agree with the comment of losing JJ and Jack hit us badly, they were key players. It’s another huge stepup in levels and we have to acclimatise and stop being so naive.
    I think we’ll finish above the relegation spots and that will be a good season, oh and a good away fixture in the FA Cup 3rd round come January.
    Onwards and upwards.COYH.

  • The way I see it so far , shut the back door , we are scoring goals tactically we must improve, the champinship is a tough place but we are Luton Town.

  • iv been luton fan since 1959 ivs seen all ups downs but it seems our manager doesent seem to have the ability to put thing right the amount of goals scored late ingames shock me mid field we are over run our forwards are good but we arnt laying as team i do wish luton luck

  • What some people forget is that being an assistant manager is completely different to actually taking the reigns, similar to top ex pro’s going into management for the first time. I know Nathan Jones did well for Luton but most aren’t that successful. Look at Steve McClaren for example. I agree about the comments at the top of the page. I don’t think Sluga is good enough at the moment & feel he should have been dropped a long time ago & been made to compete with Shea for the GK Jersey. By playing him this long after all his gaffs is just sending out the message that it’s acceptable to just keep making errors in my view. Also it affects the confidence of the others especially in defence.. Also think GJ is tactically inept at times, ie why didn’t he change things at QPR before they went 3-0 down as we may have rescued a point later with two second half goals, also he has played Collins out of position at times & not taken players off quickly enough if they are not doing the business. I personally will be very surprised if things improve under GJ in fact I think it will get worse but hope I’m proved wrong. Also if Luton are so ambitious why do they keep selling their best players. I know you will say because they need the money or the player wants to play at a higher level but if they had kept the two defenders then I think the defence would have invariably been stronger. But then Luton have been a selling club since I started supporting them in 1968.Good luck Luton, your going to need it!

  • I for one would think its too early and too be honest who we to judge a football manager who is appointed by 2020. Your talking about a mans job, a difficult jod, an impossible job for the likes of and you, and others. Personally i think its disrespectfull to even raise such a subject. Leave the man alone is what i suggest.

  • I hate to say it mad hatter. But I cautioned about Jones right at the start of the season. Wether we stay up or go down. Jones has character flaws regarding managership. His nievty is becoming apparent now to all a blind loyalty to some as well. I warned of factions forming in the dressing room. It’s now starting. This could affect performance even more. To all those who called me a downer at the start. Who was more right

    • spot on Chris, these are worrying times, it doesn’t take long to undo all the good work done of the last 2/3 seasons!

  • What a load of rubbish. Judge him at the end of the season. We are way out of our depth here at the moment and if you think that we won’t be fighting for survival for the next 5 seasons you are seriously mistaken. The championship is one of the toughest leagues in Europe and teams get stuck in this division for years and years. While I agree the team needs to be more settled at the same time unless you experiment you never know, and if one thing goes our way and turns the result around it seems like a great idea. We should of beaten Millwall, Jones could do nothing about that, their keeper had a blinder! Championship football is so cutthroat you have to take your chances, if we don’t you can’t blame him for that, we’ve had our chances to win games this year and haven’t. We will be fine this season I think, its the 2 following I think we will struggle, we simply do not have the money to compete with even midtable sides. pull your socks up get behind the team and the manger , and enjoy the ride, if we go down so what, I’d rather that and still have a football club to watch.

  • I’ve been saying this “ I’m not to sure about the new Jones in charge” at present I don’t think he’s the right man for us, I’ve seen people say give him until end of season could be to late I think we should of got replacements for Stacey and Justin don’t get me wrong I hope I want GJ to succeed here I’m not expecting us to go unbeaten for 20 odd games but I don’t believe any team is too good to go down I honestly think we will b ok so let all us Hatters fans get behind the team and you never know!!! #COYH

  • I believe in Luton Town Football club. I trust Gary Sweet is doing what he thinks is best and that includes GJand Sluga for the long haul. Are they ready to take us up to the Premier this season? No. Is that what you all thought would happen this season? I think not. I think you (Vital Luton) have seen many seasons go from okay to bad over the years so you are wary. In my limited time I have seen mostly fantastic seasons so I am sticking with the belief that this season will be another great season. It may not be like the last two, but it will be great. LTFC is in the Championship, we are #18, we have fantastic players like Collins, Shinnie, Berry, Pearson, Bradley, Sheehan, Rea, Shea, Moncur, Hylton, Pelly and so many more. All we need is Power Court and then we are ready to fly! Until then, I love LTFC win or lose! #COYH

  • Far too deductive. You’ve completely failed to realise that we are way out of our league competing at this level. We have the lowest budget and probably some of the lowest revenues. 18th and we are over-achieving, with some nice football being played along the way. Buckle up bedwetters!

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