Sutton, Tilson & Holdsworth Compared

Fans of Southend United, Sheffield United, Norwich City, Mansfield Town, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham and Celtic will give mixed views on the playing and managerial abilities of  Chris Sutton, Steve Tilson and David Holdsworth.  Oh contraire, with despair in the air let’s compare while we Imps still have a little time to spare.

Thankyou for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Badge of Norwich City Blackburn Rovers.svgBadge of Birmingham CityCeltic crestSouthend United.svgSheffield United logoLogoLincoln City F.C. badge.png

Chairman Bob Dorrian has so far hired three managers. His first two, Steve Tilson and Chris Sutton saw bold two and a half year deals, however David Holdsworth was a different matter.  Last season he did not have a written deal, given instead a remit to keep us up. His new deal, signed this summer, runs until the end of the season.


Comparisons between the three are harsh, given the differing mandates and funds available. However football is a results led business and David Holdsworth appears to be holding up the rear in terms of wins and success rate. Despite the despondency we have scored more and conceded less, although the BSP and League 2 are very different beasts.

Manager G W D L F A Win %
Steve Tilson 15/10/2010 10/10/2011 37 11 7 19 44 72 29.73%
Chris Sutton 28/09/2009 28/09/2010 51 14 14 23 44 71 28.00%
David Holdsworth 31/10/2011 10/09/2012 41 11 11 14 54 59 26.82%

Transfer Policy

In terms of  players signed Mr Holdsworth leads the way with 45 deals. His closest rival Chris Sutton managed 30 (Facey, Watts & Anderson have been counted twice), although most were loans, suggesting he could not have cost us quite as much as the club made out. Sutton and Pearce called in favours from Martin O’Neill,  Roy Hodgeson, Pulis and Grayson.  Indeed many cost us only the accommodation, including life saver Somma from Leeds.

Manager Permanent deals Loan Signings
David Holdsworth 36 9
Chris Sutton 12 18
Steve Tilson 15 8

David Holdsworth

David Holdsworth’s signings took an entire article recently, for full details add Fofana and click here. All told if we include Mansfield he is now 103 for just the one wicket.  There is a wheat-from-chaff nature to the non-league, with quantity over quality symptomatic to working with smaller budgets.  We all have our opinions on the hits and misses, as to whether the finances will allow us the time to tell is anyone’s guess.

Chris Sutton

Chris was also forced to work with little money, although it was more than Tilson and of course Holdsworth.  The FA Cup run money was also not as forthcoming as he had expected.  Ahead of their first transfer window, the comment from the supporter director that the Barnsley League Cup gate had been lower than expected, must have gone down as well with the management as the 3104 Imps that travelled to Bolton.

Chris Sutton’s Permanent deals

Bit of a mixed bag here. Anyon was a superb capture, although Carayol did more for us in the bank than at the Bank. But the purpose of the exercise is to put the data in front of Imps and let you decide.

Clark Keltie Darlo Free 15-Jan-10
James Reid Nottm Forest Free 11-Mar-10
Mustapha Carayol Torquay Undisc 20-May-10
Drewe Broughton Rotherham Free 02-Jun-10
Gavin McCallum Hereford Undisc 21-Jun-10
Jamie Clapham Notts Co Free 07-Jul-10
Josh O’Keefe Walsall Free 15-Jul-10
Albert Jarrett Barnet Free 15-Jul-10
Joe Anyon Port Vale Free 15-Jul-10
Adam Watts Fulham Undisc 15-Jul-10
Joe Anderson Fulham Undisc 15-Jul-10
Delroy Facey Notts Co free 16-Jul-10

Chris Sutton’s Loans

Somma kept us up, Torres was superb when fit, but of the Fulham loans you have to feel we got the wrong ones on a permanent basis.  Many have moved on to better things although Ben Huchison is at Mansfield, swimming against the stream somewhat.

Michael Uwezu Fulham  
David Stephenson Norwich Plays in SPL for Hibs
Brian Gilmour Rangers Stenhousemuir
Michael Gordon MK Dons  
Eric Lichaj Aston Villa Aston Villa
Drewe Broughton Rotherham Darlo
Sergio Torres Posh Crawley
Anthony Pulis Stoke Aldershot
Delroy Facey Notts Co Hereford
Davide Somma Leeds Leeds
Steven Lennon Rangers Newport
Rene Howe Posh Torquay
Nathan Baker Aston Villa Aston Villa
Matthew Saunders Fulham Dag & Red
Adam Watts Fulham Trinity
Chris Herd Aston Villa Aston Villa
Joe Anderson Fulham  
Ben Hutchinson Celtic Mansfield

Steve Tilson

Tilson’s Budget last season was tied up with historic contracts that actually gave him less room to manoeuvre than Holdsworth.  His desire to remain based in the south, meant that he was not around as much as his salary should have commanded. Kit man Matt Carmichael took pre-season training  and in the interests of not looking back in anger, we will leave it at that.

Steve Tilson’s  Loan Deals

Grimes was a hit,without a doubt, but the loan system ensured we lost players at vital times.

Ashley Grimes Millwall Rochdale
Mitchell Nelson Bournemouth
Julian Kelly Reading Notts Co
Gavin Hoyte Arsenal Dag & Red
Stephen Hunt Notts Co Notts Co
Tom Kilbey Portsmouth Portsmouth
Adifane Noussoura  
Trevor Carson Sunderland Bury

Steve Tilson’s Permanent deals

Again we will let you be the judge as to whether finance, managerial ability, or other factors played a part in the following signings.

Luke Howell MK Dons Free 28-Jan-11
Ali Fuseini Millwall Free 31-Jan-11
Jamie Taylor Eastbourne Free 01-Jul-11
Simon Russell Cambridge U Free 01-Jul-11
Francis Laurent Northampton Free 04-Jul-11
Alan Power Rushden Free 06-Jul-11
Sam Smith Rushden Free 06-Jul-11
Kyle Perry Tamworth Free 08-Jul-11
Tony Sinclair Gillingham Free 08-Jul-11
John Nutter Gillingham Free 08-Jul-11
Josh Gowling Gillingham Free 14-Jul-11
Nicky Nicolau Dover Free 10-Au-11
Jean-F Christophe Free 25-Au-11
Jean Arnaud   Free 27-Sep-11
Patrick Kanyuka   Free 27-Jan-11

Tactical and Man-management skills

Chris Sutton, was by far the most tactically astute of the three. The problem was he did not understand that he did not have the tools at his disposal.  With regard to the trio, who bottom line have all let us down, we will leave you to draw your own conclusions on their unproductive tactical and man-management skills. All three, after all, have solicitors who would ensure we ran out of money far sooner than the truth would out.  Undeniably all three would have been able to get better players to the club if they had the money, but then every manager in every walk of life would say that.  As for the man that hired them and insists on us sharing the collective responsibility: Why has only one of the three got anything remotely close to any kind of managerial record. None of the three warmed to the fans and, more importantly, none were able to change our fortunes or give us a style of play that makes fans want to part with their money.

In the immortal words of former chairman John Reames…..

“There have been too many managers….. Allan Clarke a total disaster, real ability but impossible to deal with after a few wins…… and impossible to find after a few losses……. Keith Alexander.. great potential but felt I let him down insisting on an experienced assistant……..Sam Ellis…. Our most disappointing manager….. A great publicist but we needed a coach…… John Beck…. I was naïve enough to think I could control him….. Lincoln have always had 2 kinds of managers…. Those who have failed elsewhere and ex players who have no idea how to run a relatively large business… neither of these make the greatest sense to me.

With that last comment in mind he actually became our chairman and manager.  

Just to cheer Bob up a bit, John sacked 12 excluding himself – Colin Murphy (1978 -1985 left by mutual consent), John Pickering (July 1985 – Dec 1985), George Kerr (Dec 1985 – Mar 1987), Peter Daniel (Mar 1987 – May 1987), Colin Murphy (July 1987 – May 1990 left by mutual consent), Allan Clarke (June 1990 – Dec 1990), Steve Thompson (Dec 1990 – May 1993), Keith Alexander (May 1993 – May 1994), Sam Ellis (June 1994 – Sept 1985), Steve Wicks (Sept 1995 – Oct 1995 just 42 days), John Beck (Oct 1995 – Mar 1998) and Shane Westley (Mar 1998 – Nov 1998)

For those who wish to see the warts and all guide to Lincoln City’s managers and how well these three actually rank in what has to be perceived as an increasingly poisoned challis. Click here


Posted on September 11, 2012, in Ex Imps, Manager's pearls of wisdom, Uncategorized, Writers - Neil Gentleman-Hobbs and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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