Silkmen, The Heed & Then The Honeymoon’s Over. Could Mansfield Era Revisit Reg?

Certainly the opening five, against Kidderminster Harriers, Cambridge United, Newport County, Macclesfield Town and Gateshead were never going to be easy, but the next five, against Ebbsfleet, Alfreton, Telford, Hyde and Tamworth are the ones upon which Holdsworth could and, rightly, should be judged.  It will be an interesting test as two wheeler-dealers – Holdsworth and King – go head-to-head on Saturday, to prove whose methods work best on the field.

Vic Erzantarz gives it to you straight and with both barrels as usual.

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I see the local paper is already painting a sympathetic picture again. Duffy now out, Holdsworth needing 2-3 more – and remember he had already got a threadbare squad, particularly in midfield, with Bore out. Indeed, the Sincil spin merchants do seem to be peddling faster than an Olympic cyclist, even though we are surely still on the first lap. The squad, now 26 (before the two injured and just mentioned and the three on loan plus the highest earner not even getting a look), had been envisaged as 21 to 23 when the £400k budget was first sent round the BSP media.  This excludes the manager and physiotherapist,  which adds close on 25% and, did not leave sufficient for an assistant, of course.

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So we need midfielders, yet even before Duffy’s injury, the threadbare budget had stretched to another forward first. OK, so it is on a non-contract basis, but once again the goalposts are being moved to suit. The non-contract deal is a curious one where we cover expenses unless the player plays, but it is still draining a club that the manager says “he will never bankrupt”. Perhaps not directly but it already appears on its knees with just 1943 for the first game of the season, on a Saturday too.  Barraclough (Trinity loan bound probably more for reinforcement justification than footballing reasons) and Connor are not getting a look-in and Vadaine looks to be falling down the pecking order too,  at a club that can ill-afford 6 forwards, as you can guess another is coming as Reg has now conveniently allowed the squad to drop down to 25.  Bob has said we will lose money this season remember, on a budgeted 2000 average gate, when everyone knows we need 3,000 yet still the merry-go-round is set to continue. You have to ask who benefits?

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The midfield need is perhaps the most perplexing. Loans aside, we have 10, of which two are injured (Platt and Bore).   This is the full dozen for those that have lost count – Luke Dayley, Adam Smith, Gary Mills, Peter Bore, Alan Power, Jake Sheridan, Nicky Nicolau, Conal Platt, Geoffrey Gouveia, Frazer Cobb, Karl Cunningham.  Youth does not look as if it is going to get too much of a chance does it, even though young Connor, who has signed a triumphant new deal can play wide or as an out and out striker.

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Given McCammon is back, who is for a double dose of jobs for me boys then, as perhaps Tyrone or another ex-Mansfield lad returns. But then Holdsworth’s tried and trusted are so hard to keep track of you can take your pick from any of these 58 – please feel free to email your Uncle Vic if we have missed any:-


Gary Mills (Stevenage),  Tyrone Thompson (Torquay), Adam Smith (York), Rob Duffy (Newport),  Kyle Perry (Port Vale),  Jake Speight (Droylsden),  Alan Marriott (Rushden), Curtis Woodhouse (Rushden), Daryl Clare (Rushden), Craig Armstrong (Kidderminster), Luke Jones (Kidderminster), Louis Briscoe (Ilkeston),  Paul Heckingbottom (Bradford), Craig Dobson (free agent), Ollie Hotchkiss (Leeds), Michael Brough (Torquay), Jon Challinor (Cambridge), Andy Burgess (Luton), Luke Foster (Oxford), Neil Collett (Coventry), Jon Shaw (Rochdale), Paul Connor (Lincoln), Steve Foster (Blyth Spartans),  Dan Whatsize (Chesterfield),  Scott Garner (Leicester), Curtis Shaw (Ilkeston), Anthony Howell (Ilkeston), Gianluca Havern (free agent), Paul Mayo (Notts County), Neil MacKenzie (Notts County), Scott Gardner (Leeds), Ryan Williams (Weymouth),  Kyle Nix (Bradford), Tim Sandercombe (Notts County), Luke Graham (Kettering), Steven Istead (Ilkeston), Blair Sturrock (Torquay), Ed Eley (free agent), Chris Smith (Tamworth), Paul Stonehouse (Forest Green), Kevin Sandwith (Oxford), Ashley Cain (Coventry), Keigan Parker (Oldham), Luke Medley (free agent), Lee Gregory (free agent), Adam Murray (Oxford), Danny Mitchley (free agent), Mark Preece (Forest Green).


Mihkel Aksalu (Sheffield United), Rhys Day (Oxford), Simon Grand (Fleetwood), Steve Cook (Brighton), Kevin Pilkington (Luton), Peter Vincenti (Stevenage), Tomi Ameobi (Doncaster), Levi Porter (Leicester), Lee Morris (Hereford), Andy Nicholas (Rotherham),

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One thing Holdsworth does seem to have remedied, is his penchant for changing the formation, as well as the faces, on a match-by-match basis. But then these are early days, he does love to counter the opposition by all accounts.  Many of you may feel I am not a Holdsworth fan. Far from it, can’t afford to be as an Imps fan, in a game where the ends have always justified the means behind the scenes.   Holdsworth’s honeymoon will be over come the Gateshead final whistle because Ebbsfleet, Alfreton, Telford, Hyde, Tamworth and Nuneaton will need to see at least a dozen points if we are to be out of the danger zone this season.  Because then we face Forest Green,  Luton, Mansfield, Wrexham and Stockport before  November is upon us.  The end of October is not a traditionally happy one for Lincoln City managers is it? Bet their will be no shortage of Cabbies willing to drive him for free if it all goes pear-shaped.

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You feel the fans and ‘supporters’ may have been placated and sidetracked, but the shouts for Holdsworth out, never far from the surface even now,  will bring it all home.  Holdsworth needs to deliver, not just for himself, but to stop the whole thing crashing down. Failure and the distrust for the Holding company will be a faux pas too far for Bob.   That could see revolutionary ramifications for the Imps, perhaps good, perhaps bad.  David Holdsworth meanwhile will be fine as he plays the PR game far better than the Imps. He will still have plenty of sympathy judging by the pauper pearls of wisdom we have seen in print.  Alas the Imps also wont have a Millionaire called Radford to buy them out of the manure. As we look at the road ahead, could the Mansfield nemesis on October 9, be his undoing or will the post honeymoon bonhomie be gone long before as those ‘supporters’ throw in the towel and vote with their feet?

Lincoln City 1 0 Kidderminster
Taylor (39) 2,112 with 1943Imps
Cambridge Utd 2 1 Lincoln City
 Elliott (03)
Moke (81)
Boyce (39)  2,546 with 278 Imps
Newport County 2 1 Lincoln City
 O’Connor (7 & 27) Taylor (51)  3,022 with 71 Imps

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Sat 25th Lincoln City V Macclesfield Town 15:00
Mon 27th Gateshead v Lincoln City 15:00

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Sat 01st Lincoln City v Ebbsfleet United 15:00
Tue 04th Lincoln City v Alfreton Town 19:45
Sat 08th AFC Telford v Lincoln City 15:00
Sat 15th Lincoln City v Hyde 15:00
Sat 22nd Tamworth v Lincoln City 15:00
Tue 25th Lincoln City v Nuneaton 19:45
Fri 28th Forest Green v Lincoln City 19:45

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Sat 06th Lincoln City v Luton 15:00
Tue 09th Mansfield v Lincoln City 19:45
Sat 13th Wrexham v Lincoln City 15:00
Sat 27th Lincoln City v Stockport 15:00

Posted on August 20, 2012, in Manager's pearls of wisdom, Writers - Vic Erzantarz and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Another thought provoking account. As a Stags’ fan, Save the Mighty Imps is a real source of interest. David ‘Reg’ Holdsworth is an interesting character and I hope he does well for you.

  2. As another stags fan. One thing Reg will do is let you see how all the blue square players play….as he signs each one in turn.

    • Superb line – if we had any cash we would send you a prize – I missed fools and horses when it finished but now we can hum the theme tune each and every signing. Then if we run out of pegs in the changing room bet Reg will first ship them on loan to Sheffield and then when they say no he will be dropping bars of soap in the showers so that he can move them onto the treatment table.

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