Tuesday, 17 April 2018
The lull before the storm.
I’ve been catching up with a bit of Imps reading and feeling a little more relaxed after the furore over the will they won’t they Ipswich saga. You have to admit all this represents a sea change in City’s status as, it would appear, a predator and this time a very credible one appears to have been rebuffed and we are assured the managers will be staying put. At one time any successful manager would have been off at the first sign of an improved contract so the fact that the Cowleys are still here even after last season’s triumph is in itself a big step forward.
Over the years, to be honest, the Imps have hardly had managers of a calibre that a bigger club would want to poach. That’s the uncomfortable truth. The last one, possibly the only one apart from Keith and you do wonder if some of the stories from his era were clever smokescreens, was Graham Taylor. I was astonished when he left third division Lincoln City for fourth division Watford but we soon saw why. It was only later, in Taylor’s book that we learned that he would have stayed had he been convinced the board’s ambition matched his own.
Does that sound at all familiar? Now we have all our soldiers in a row as it were with a perfect scenario of boardroom expertise, money in the bank, a large fan base coming to games come what may and the right managers. The only imponderable is how far the club can go and the answer is nobody knows. The thing that slightly irritates me is the view, in some people’s eyes that there is a ceiling, possibly at league one, that City cannot progress through. Why?
Before I go on I should mention a reality check, when City were in the championship last, it was simply division two of three at the time, so we were already at division one level rather than having two steps up the ladder to go. Are you keeping up at the back?
Just looking at the wonderful Colin Murphy leading the team out at Wembley I was reminded that a Lincoln team of his was within an ace of getting us up to championship level. That with very little money and a boardroom in open revolt. I can think of the likes of Carlisle, Luton, Bradford City, Blackpool and of course Bournemouth and Swansea City all in the top division albeit short lived in some of those cases but nevertheless it can be done even in the premier league age so let’s have less of those glass ceilings and a bit more ambition.
Of course the reality of City’s quest has to be balanced against last weekend’s result and the considerable obstacle of Wycombe Wanderers before we can start to think about Liverpool or Spurs but both of those clubs have been opponents of Lincoln City in the same league so let’s dream big if we’re going to dream at all.