Andrew Abbott's Blog

Monday, 25 March 2013

A win. So why am I more fearful than before?

Am I more fearful than before? I remember, when I wrote for the Give Me Football website, I ventured to suggest that Lincoln City fans were getting in a bit of a state over the clubs lowly league position, yes that’s Football League position, a fan offered a comment that I should get a grip and accept that all that was needed was the fans to rally round and get behind the team and all would be well. That fan regularly offers his views on BBC local radio and in the Echo. I wonder if he ever thinks about that comment and how wrong he was because we certainly would like to be a struggling league club now.

I think what really got me going about Saturday’s performance was that we were really awful in parts. That tendency for heads to drop when misfortune occurs does not augur well for the battle to come. It wasn’t just the team. When Telford were looking good for three points the crowd were muted to say the least and if they were anything like me were mulling over what they would be doing with their Saturdays next season because they sure weren’t going to be paying good money to watch what we were watching.

Having said that there were good points too. The manager made a good change at half time. Jamie Taylor was once again in imperious form in front of goal, explaining on Radio Lincolnshire that he had asked the manager to play him in his preferred role and the goals would come. He made good on that promise. Nat Brown, never a favourite of mine gave me reason to doubt my former distain with a solid display and Dali, who I thought was out of his depth previously started to win headers, the be all and end all at this level and the moribund and restless crowd made some impressive noise when the team equalised. It was better than impressive to be honest but they are going to need to maintain that support for the remaining, what is it, seven games?

So here we are again, the last few games of the season and we face the terrible prospect of yet another relegation fight and the price of failure, in my view is the entire future of Lincoln City Football Club because I don’t think the club have the stomach to rise from the ashes if we drop down another level. I didn’t want to be right when I hinted that failure to get to grips with the clubs slide down the league would result in a painful period of decline but it turns out I was. Personally I’m not interested in Blue Square North football and if that’s what City are offering next season I don’t think I’ll be on my own.

So in the latest of a series of last chance saloon sessions, City face their destiny once again. Is it going to be the limp struggle against the worst club in the division (by a country mile) as we saw on Saturday or is it going to be the fight back, good management and the born again silky skills of Mr Taylor giving cause for Gary Simpson to be doing a clenched fist salute in front of the Echo Stand, also in evidence on Saturday? It’s no wonder I’m confused.

Friday, 15 March 2013

First Impressions – not to be trusted we hope.

I went along to Sincil Bank last Tuesday for what I have to confess was my first view of Gary Simpson’s new improved City. You couldn’t in all honesty describe it as easy on the eye. Critics of the previous regime will argue with justification that it’s no use playing pretty football if the team is going to lose though.

For me the problem with the Holdsworth style of play was the defenders were trying to play their way out from the back often with disastrous results. If you watch Premier League football on the telly even they don’t do that as a matter of course. There’s a time and place for the good old hoof and maybe if Holdsworths Imps had done that a bit more points might not have been surrendered with such regularity.

It’s Simpsons Imps however and we are entering a new era. It’s far too early to judge whether that is ultimately going to bear fruit or whether we are to remain in this present trough or even worse. Having said it’s too early to judge I’m going to jump in with both feet and confess I found Tuesdays spectacle nothing better than awful quite frankly. Talk about all hell and no notion, the ball was pinged about like a bagatelle machine. Our goal was an oggie, Wrexham’s were defensive catastrophes. Farman, on a night when he performed heroics in many ways left wearing, appropriately enough for an article written today, the red nose.

Talking of disasters I don’t think I can remember a first team home game played in front of such a sparse audience. They did admittedly make a fine job of getting behind the team and creating a good atmosphere, often the case when the crowd is down to the most diehard of fans but the honeymoon, such as it was seems to be over before it started for Simpson with many of the watchers complaining about the removal of the industrious Jones to be replaced by most fans favourite whipping boy Smith. A cantankerous sounding Simpson afterwards on the radio maintaining that Jones was not doing the business as far as he was concerned in contrast to Smith who got some good crosses in. I must have missed them.

So the honeymoon turned out not to be a fortnight in the Caribbean but a wet weekend in Cleethorpes, the brides dress appearing to be so thin that onlookers were treated to a first class view of her spindly legs, garter round her ankle. Welcome to the world of supporting Lincoln City at the moment.