Andrew Abbott's Blog

Monday, 31 October 2016

Avenues of accessibility.

These days there’s so much coverage of Lincoln City, on the radio, daily in the Echo’s website. Humble bloggers such as myself and the internet generally including the clubs own website. There’s also the weekly paper Echo.

Back in the day, which I seem to be more and more drawn to these days, must be a sign of age, there was the Echo, nightly six days a week and the excellent Football Echo which used to arrive about six pm on a Saturday. This had all the results, tables and some detailed coverage of local sides and comprehensive coverage of the Imps.

All this meant City’s manager, whoever that may be and there have been many, was not exposed to the full glare of media publicity as they are today. Now that we are well and truly into the season I find it interesting to go back a few managers (not that far in years, this being City) and see what their public pronouncements say to us, the fans.

The not unintelligent but monosyllabic Chris Sutton was at the helm when I started my writing career, if you can call it that, with the PFA and I did find him an interesting character. His view seemed to be he knew what he wanted to do but did not want anyone asking him how he was going to do it and he was damned if he was going to give any further explanation as to how we were going to get there.
Sutton left in strange circumstances, still not fully explained but my view is that playing for and managing top sides bore very little relationship to life at the peasant end of the market. When he realised his meticulous planning, and I think he did plan meticulously, when that wasn’t working he didn’t want a sacking on his CV so jumped ship.

Steve Tilson, the less said the better really, he did talk the talk but was a long way from walking the walk. I didn’t hear many voices warning of his unsuitability though, certainly I thought it was a good appointment, show’s what I know. He was however very good on the radio, just not at managing Lincoln City. Disastrous in fact.

Who was next, David Holdsworth? He was another media savvy radio performer although I found his touchline antics bizarre. How he thought anyone might give of their best whilst being screamed at for ninety minutes I really wouldn’t know. In his case the decibel count had no effect on the team and off he went which brings us to Gary Simpson. I felt sorry for him every time I heard him on the radio particularly after the hopeful signs of his early tenure faded. He gave every indication he was out of his depth which I think was right.

Chris Moyses was a manager I had a lot of time for and I think he laid the foundations for the current renaissance but the catastrophic loss of form at the end of last season cannot be ignored. I found him an interesting performer. I got the feeling I would have liked to work for him.

So to Danny Cowley and the contrast with all of the above could not be more marked. Consummate radio performer, assured coach and manager. Spotter of talent, nurturer of players. Hard headed businessman when it comes to the transfer of players in or out. I find it quite reassuring the ease with which he persuades players to join the Imps. We’ve heard all the excuses from former managers, Lincoln is remote, the budget etc etc. Doesn’t seem to be an issue for Cowley although it does have to be stated his is a better budget than formerly but I don’t think it’s all down to that.

The only City managers I met personally were Graham Taylor and Keith Alexander and I got similar vibes from both of them. I can’t give higher praise than that.

We now pause for breath after a fairly hectic start to the autumn although we must laud the latest success, the win at Chester which City have never found a comfortable place to be. To come back from behind twice and still register a handsome win is remarkable. I felt quite exhausted just listening to it on the radio.

Now for the FA Cup. I said I was confident City would come away from Chester with something and my confidence remains for the weekend.

A cup run would truly confirm the mould has been broken.

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