Andrew Abbott's Blog

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Lincoln Loco steaming in a slightly different direction but in some ways not.

Farewell then Sean Long. That’s the bit of the Lincoln City story that doesn’t change. Fringe players offered a contract which they keep on the back burner hoping something better comes along. It’s a tribute to the stature of the club at the moment that usually an offer will be made as clubs seem more than happy to consider our outcasts as suitable for their first teams.

It was the same last season and of course in most cases the players go with our best wishes as we realise that, for the players the career is short and they need to be playing. We know or can be reasonably sure that replacements will be found.

They’re not advertised as replacements of course they are the players who will improve the squad and coming to Lincoln to dislodge the present incumbent. That’s understood by players and to a certain extent accepted. Until the chance of a move that is but at least they can console themselves with the fact that they were offered new contracts even if it was in a slightly half-hearted way.

I’d be surprised if Shane Long isn’t given a good reception if and when he returns to Sincil Bank. Whether that will be the case with Elliott Whitehouse remains to be seen. He has of course gone to Grimsby Town. Personally I think there has been enough business done between the two clubs lately to negate any bad feeling. The case of Nathan Arnold has highlighted that a player moving from Lincoln or Grimsby is not necessarily on a downward trajectory although my argument is questionable in view of Arnolds move to Boston United but there are other factors in play with that move. Not many clubs can expect to hang on to players who aren’t getting a game, particularly with no reserve side. The thought does occur though whether it is time for City to feature a second string? My Father used to tell me in the good old days City’s reserves played in front of gates of thousands. Could that happen again in view of the current supporter numbers?

The different direction could be a figment of my imagination but are we detecting movement away from our much derided playing system to something a little more, ahem scientific? I’d certainly like to think so. I have no problem with a simple and effective style but the better teams will easily negate those tactics and I’ve always thought the most successful teams will be fluid in their approach and able to switch things around as the circumstances dictate. Our manager is not one to let things stagnate and he is on a constant learning curve. The least effective manager will continue in the same rut convinced they are right and everyone else wrong. I don’t think ineffectiveness is a failing the Cowleys can be accused of.

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