Former Lincoln City and Mansfield Town manager David Holdsworth may want to give his brother Dean (who got Aldershot Town relegated) and his nephew a helping hand after both left Chelmsford City today. That is of course if he has time as he has been a very busy lad in the transfer market…….
Vic Erzantarz gets the abacus out
The Clarets lost 6-0 to Boreham Wood in the Conference South on Saturday and have now lost 8 of their last 11 games. City sit 17th in the table after just four wins from thirteen this term. Dean, with a massively redused budget it must be said, agreed to stand down after just five months in charge – this off the back of almost getting Aldershot relegated although Andy Scott got the honour – with assistant Kenny Brown put in caretaker charge of the side. Holdsworth’s son Jordan, a striker, has also left the club.
David meanwhile is getting busy at his Goole gig, with three new faces on Friday alone. Midfielder Anton Fosterjoins from Matlock, striker Ryan Williams joins from Guiseley AFC on dual registration and defender Jack Freeman from AFC Darwen in the North West Counties League. Goole beat Chasetown 3-1 on Saturday to move to 14th as Holdsworth and Chairman Baron’s brave new dawn continues.
The previous week was even busier with 6 out and 4 in as David Holdsworth looked to ring the changes. The released half dozen were George Wysocki, Brice Tiani, Regis Kimba-Mavambu, Chris Ovington, Matt Semley and Nick Guest. The arrivals were former Scunthorpe United, forward Reece Richiardi, former Crystal Palace forward William Johnson-Cole, former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder James Cottingham from Worksop Town (waiting on the registration) and former Notts County and Mansfield Town winger Danny Bisungu who is awaiting international clearance.
Chris Moyses’ and Grant Brown’s addition to the management team will spark plenty of questions amongst fans, startled at the Chairman’s steadfast defence of the manager.
The Duo will be taking far more of a hands on approach, in order to assist the manager, for the foreseeable future, at least. Both took the pre-match warm up and appeared to be an integral part of proceedings, in the dugout, throughout yesterday’s game against Luton Town.
As to whether this will prolong David Holdsworth’s tenure, or give more credence to the rumour that he has just three games to get it right (including yesterday), is anyone’s guess at the moment. Thoughts will however go back to Roger Bates comments at the recent Fans V Board encounter, in house derby (still no footage on the official site it should be noted)
BD passed things on to RB (Roger Bates) who would not comment on individual players. This negated LH (Linda Hodson’s) question over Karl Cunningham. RB has faith in DH’s philosophy of 6 months chance elsewhere. He will not go against the view of the manager anyway and asked Chris Moyses opinion. CM replied that he was keeping his thoughts to himself at the moment – if you don’t mind Roger.
For context purposes please see second half of paragraph 15 (starts The Player turnover issue) of P2 Fans Meet Board HERE.
David Holdsworth learned his belief in self discipline and respect at Sheffield United under Howard Kendall but, alas got short shift at Mansfield before he could get time to blend his team. Mr Holdsworth, like Mr Kendall preached discipline and respect: “it did not matter if you were in the reserves or the top earner, you were all treated the same. It made you aware of how to act and treat others.” Please read the full article in the typically unbiased Echo here, as ever a riveting read. Such a shame that Sheffield United friendly may never come to fruition.
Another dose of Rose Tinted… the futures bright ’tis red and white.
Mr Holdsworth, clearly a man who knows the boundaries of decency, goes on to discuss the Olympic ideals and how things have changed since he was a trainee at The Blades under Howard Kendall, a manager who himself made mountains from financial molehills at Sheffield United and then Everton. This and Graham Taylor’s influence at Watford has shown him how to act and treat others. Celebration of success should be done at the right time” and as he rightly says Joe Public is sick of those who ‘live without boundaries’. As he also so rightly says ‘Discipline is a big thing to me in and outside of football.’ Well said sir and long may you continue to live up to such high standards and thus continue to lead by example. Mr Holdsworth may have traded his Sheffield roots for Lincoln but he was instrumental in insisting we returned to our heritage of red and white stripes.
One warning for our manager however, is that he should not bite the hand that feeds. For the overworked and underpaid Mr Holdsworth concludes the article with another unnecessary dig at the fans, or ‘supporters’ as the club has errantly referred to many of those who dared to question the clubs, hopefully temporary demise; last season, oh and of course the season before. I quote again from the esteemed Lincolnshire Echo – From swearing and abusive language on the terraces to some very hateful facebook pages, the respect in the game is not there like it was. It needs to be addressed, but it is down to people in authority.” Clearly Mr Holdsworth’s knowledge of the club does not extend back to the days of the Clanford End, or heaven forbid the foundry workers for whom Councillor Bainbridge and Mr Strawson formed this club – ‘for the benefit of two hours of healthy recreation’ as a break from five and a half days of blood sweat and toil. Though all things are relative things are much more passive now than those Gilbert Blades times.
Although I can agree with the former half of that last comment, the latter is a less than veiled swipe. Surely Mr Holdsworth should not bite the hand that feeds – for passion is an unbridled and, therefore unpalatable beast, particularly in a game so fickle, so short-term, based purely and ominously upon results. Lincoln City Banter has been the real driving force behind the fundraising. They have sponsored 13 shirts (some of whom are already loaned out) and are maintaining the momentum behind the Fans player scheme, one that will boost Mr Holdsworth’s war chest in the transfer window. Mr Holdsworth should perhaps not therefore throw stones in glass houses and realise that Lincoln has been long starved of the success and financial backing that it deserves. Win games and they will come in their thousands to boost your war chest sir.
Mr Holdsworth, like the Lincoln Holding Company Board of Saviours, who preach collective responsibility with religious zeal, should also realise that technology has forced things to move on. In the good old Sincil sepia old days, fans would discuss things after a game with beer adding to the already boiling blood. Then it was gone with the wind, like the hot air and bravado. Love and hate are close emotions and, passion will blow hot then cool, but never go cold. Alas nowadays, the residue of the blast hole, stays there in print for all who choose to look. Even I, through my Rose tinted specs, can see the love and desire for better within the struggle, strife and torment of the staunchest Imps who have yet to bathe in the wholesome Holdsworth light.
Many of these fans or ‘supporters’, who have done so much to find common ground over the summer, have needed to vent their spleen on the forums as opposed to in the smoking rooms and snugs of the traditional pubs; to fashion and find a common way. Change rarely comes without cracking a few eggs as Chairman Bob surely knows from his Chicken and, maybe even blossoming property development interests. The personal intervention and comments over the Leicester and Sheffield United cancellations – and now this – need not be said if he like we are to be focussing, pulling together and creating a positive and seamless team. The fans may be stakeholders from afar, but you need our turnstile clicks. Imps are patient, so Macc and Gateshead apart, please start to deliver on your promises and virtuous vision soon, or even Rose Tinted’s blue sky thinking may not always be there to find you a cloud with a silver lining.
We can only do so much Mr Holdsworth the path shall be chosen ultimately by you and money – certainly the central ill of modern life. As your illuminating article in the Lincolnshire Echo (such a shame such a local institution is now weekly – let us hope our beloved Imps do not follow suit) concludes:
The managers, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the FA and even parents with young children making their first steps in football, they must start drilling that respect back.
Amen to that and long may you continue to lead by example, to prove that hard work, clean living and the ethical way to do business, can indeed lead us to the promised land. Atop Steep Hill is the 8th wonder of the World, Lincoln Cathedral – deliver on your crusade and we could make a Saint David of you yet!
Miracle manager Holdsworth will look to make Birmingham City centre-back Graham Hutchison the final piece of his cunningly crafted jig-saw this week after astonishing Imps with the signing of Chesterfield’s Dan Gray. With just a £400k budget the manager is to be commended and despite one year deals for his young charge’s as long as we offer them new deals, accepted or not, we will even get a fee. Sincil Salivates as the Bank bounceback beckons.
Mills and Gray will give us a spine we have not possessed for some time, to shield the back four, similar to the role Petit and Vierra played in prolonging the career-span and impregnability of the defence Arsene Wenger inherited from George Graham. Hutchison, Gowling and Boyce give us a steely guile and some style should our midfield be breached. Three different beasts, but the desire to prove their undoubted ability sees the word team at the heart of the collective and individuals dream.
This may be the Blue Square Premiership, but the concept is the same throughout football, although Holdsworth has had to play poker rather than chess knowing charisma, the waiting game and the ‘bluff’ are his only cards. He has had to go blind in 3 card Brag and deservedly got double. But to return from the tangent, fellow Imps. You must contest the second ball, shield the back four and get your wide men into action as fast as possible, if the threaded ball through the middle isn’t on. Games are by and large won in midfield and we now appear to have the two matadors to do it with the stylish musketeers given a remit to pillage and plunder.
Feel free to pinch yourself, but yes we now have a central midfield duo or trio if we want to go 4-3-3 that will not only compete, but also get the quality of Adam Smith, Conal Platt and Karl Cunningham into a game, with the ball to feet, as opposed to those hospital balls or poor passes that need two touches. This flawed ploy plays into the opposition’s hands, needing us to win it all over again. With traditionally just the one battler we are normally undone on the counter second or third time around. Thompson and Kerr before him, could not be expected to run 7 miles a game without a blemish that undoes all the good work that went before .
As Thommo points out regularly on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 may get you the possession but it invites sides on and generally leads to fewer goals. Not so if Power can play to his strengths as Adam Smith moves up front with Duffy and Barraclough, Jamie Taylor or Sam Smith, who is looking increasingly as if he may stay. With the supply lines in place all four forwards should hit double figures, with at least one knocking on that elusive 20 goal door.
There is also the defensive qualities of Nicolau and Sheridan if we do need to shut out games, or dig deep when injuries and disciplinary records intervene. Though their decisions and distribution skills may be found wanting, their heart and passion for the cause sees them in the squad for reasons other than the budgetary issue that often clouds their merits. Artisans will do as much to win you a point or a see out a 1-0 smash and grab on those cold wet Tuesday night in the heat and heart of a BSP winter.
Dan Gray appears to be a catalyst, but only if he is allowed to become the midfielder we crave. So that leaves Graham Huchison as that final peice of the jigsaw. Will the Boss seal the deal? If so even though we are an assistant short off the pitch, we will have two bosses dictating things in the middle where it counts. We will also have heart at the back and the front, with Boyce, Gowling, and Hutchison eager to put a few opposing reputations in their place. But it is also the excitement going forward with Adam Smith and Barraclough showing a desire that can inspire the fightback Impdom yearns for. Bring on Leicester by all means as a tasty treat to tantalise us, but the wait for Kidderminster at the Bank on August 11th is getting closer.
Sincil Salivates – the Bank bounceback beckons
Our manager has faced battles at Sheffield United, Birmingham and Watford as a player and then been made manager of Mansfield and Lincoln when the cupboards were bare. Here in his own words, a plea from David, for us to help him finish rebuilding our side. He has pushed the board to his credit but now we need to help with the cause and quick with only 5 days of the Renaming raffle to go.
As David Holdsworth puts it
“I think our financial position has been well documented
The club has looked at various ways of bringing money to help compensate for losing solidarity payments and this is a great idea.
I would really appreciate any help that comes my way in terms of giving me a better budget.
And if the club can raise £50,000 then that would be absolutely fantastic and a credit to the community.
This will give fans and businesses the chance to help me sign a player and have their name in lights.”
Remember Entry forms are available on www.nameourstadium.com
Tickets are also available
at MSR Newsagents on the corner of St Marks and High Street, Lincoln as well as several Co-op stores in the city
AND MAY THE BEST IMP WIN!
Lincoln City Banter
to go on-line to
pick up a ticket from
City Co-op stores or MSR Newsagents
It would appear that David Holdsworth has won the first round of the war of wills with regard to the slight stretching of the Lincoln City Budget. A long and protracted contract negotiation was finally concluded on Friday as the manager put pen to paper on a one year deal. Thus far two have agreed to sign for another year and the first three new faces have arrived, with more to come and soon.
Here is something that may endear him to a few more Imps. The stumbling block appeared to be as more about the size of budget, than his own personal remuneration and notice period should he meet the same fate as most of our managers at the end of October.
With this settled he has been able to secure sufficient funds for Duffy, a player who should excite the fans. A potential partnership with Jamie Taylor, Sam Smith, if they can stay fit, or of course dark horse Bradley Baraclough, should yield a few goals as long as the supply lines are in place. Gary Mills and Conal Platt are such providers but they will need a ball winner to get them in the game.
Tyrone Thompson, still at the table, or Alan Power are not the duo to do that together although they may not have to if Holdsworth can pull off what he is planning. With the contract issue sorted he looks to be on the verge of another landmark signing that could see some frantic discussions over a ball winner in the middle to drive the team.
That might see him knocking on the Chairman’s door again for more cash. Then again the season ticket sales and raffle tickets at £50 a time may well increase the size of the budget anyway. It needs to as the playing budget is still lower than the off-field costs despite the redundancies. In football you must speculate to accumulate like any entertainment business. For all his faults Holdsworth is at least putting that at the top of the agenda at the Imps.
Ambition is something foreign in Impdom of late. Its long overdue, the jury is still out, but maybe Holdsworth, warts and all, could be just the man we need.
The Imps had rather a busy day yesterday as five signed up to Reg’s rebellious Reds ransacking of the lower echelons of the BSP. Time for a quick recap with the Lincoln City squad now up to 19 players and by the sounds of things set to rise further.
Let us start with the positives, then the current squad layout and finish with the outbound traffic for those still interested.
The ‘signings’ & new deals thus far
The 3 new faces so far are striker Rob Duffy, wide midfielder and wing-back Gary Mills and seasoned central defensive campaigner Ashley Westwood. Paul Robson, Peter Bore and youth quintet, keeper Nick Draper, centre-backs Elliott Green and Dan Coupland, plus midfielders Frazer Cobb and Karl Cunningham; have all signed new deals at the club. Sam Smith, Alan Power, Bradley Baraclough, Jake Sheridan and Nicky Nicolau have also agreed to remain with the club. All are signed until May, the traditional month for the curtailment of 44 week non-league deals.
The existing squad
We do appear to have an abundance of wide midfielders although Bore, Mills and Nicolau can play in defence and midfield. As we can see the goalkeeping position and central midfield positions still need to be concluded and another big striker would be desirable. As to whether the budget will stretch to that remains to be seen.
Paul Robson, Ashley Westwood, Josh Gowling, John Nutter, Elliot Green & Dan Coupland
Gary Mills, Peter Bore, Alan Power, Jake Sheridan, Nicky Nicolau, Conal Platt, Frazer Cobb, Karl Cunningham
Rob Duffy, Sam Smith, Bradley Baraclough, Jamie Taylor.
Thus far fifteen Imps have missed the cut if we include McCammon and Kyle Perry. McCammon had needed a contrived loan via Sheffield FC, after missing the window due to clearance issues whilst Kyle Perry has receives a five figure severance package that has saved the club over half his outstanding contract if one considers the tax and National Insurance elements, always a factor in these things. The rest then will cost us nothing more than an extra months money at the end of June, although Holdsworth’s imports finish in May as they operate on 44 week contracts.
Joe Anyon, Jean-Francois Christophe, Danny Hone, Andrew Hutchinson, Francis Laurent, Jefferson Louis, Richard Pacquette, Nialle Rodney, Simon Russell, Tony Sinclair, Karlton Watson, James Wilson.
Mark McCammon (technically) and Rob Williams, meanwhile, have returned to their parent clubs.
Andrew Abbott, reflects on the week highlighted by a jolly neighbourly offer from Scunthorpe United.
Thinking back to last winters big freeze, Lincoln City were casting about for somewhere to practise, Aston Villa was one club who came to city’s rescue offering the use of their indoor facility for training purposes. It’s easy to think, good for them, how the other half live. Then, on Thursday night listening to David Holdsworth on Imps player, he was thanking Scunthorpe United for letting us play at their training complex. That came as something of a thunderbolt.Scunthorpe?
Looking back to City’s fairly recent past and that much derided championship whatever it was, 2010 or something initiative, where the aim was to give City the facilities to compete at that level and now of course here we are not only not in the championship but not even in the football league and Scunthorpe United graciously loan us their facilities. That statement is not in any way intended as sarcastic by the way, it was gracious of them but the point is they invested in facilities and really did play in the championship an achievement this correspondent would dearly love to emulate. Iron fans, so often the target of our over confident jibes are the big noise in Lincolnshire and as we beg scraps from their table they must have laughed their heads off when they heard that.
Rant over and another week goes by without a chance to see how our new signings will fit into the master plan devised by Mr Holdsworth to at least get Lincoln City back to some kind of respectability. Judging by the cold and the forecast Tuesday’s game must also be a doubt. If that is the case also of course many an Imp’s partner would have to do without her Valentines Day treat, there’s no end to the agony!
David Holdsworth was practically willing the postponement of the Hayes and Yeading game on the basis that it would avoid a six-thirty start in the morning and a battle through the Saturday traffic for the game down south. So much for grit and determination David. You should try being a fan! City’s players should not get it in their heads that the weather will deliver an unaccustomed day off though. Holdsworth confirmed that even though it’s not exactly business as usual the team will be working if not playing.
Holdsworth expanded upon the fragments we already knew on the situation at Sincil Bank when he arrived pronouncing the team more united now, that there were divisions that necessitated the departure of nine players, although of course most of that was as a result of the straitened financial circumstances:-
“You now only have to be in the dressing room for a couple of minutes before you start to see the mannerisms associated with a good dressing room,” said the manager
“There is laughter, there is a lot of banter and there certainly seems to be good blend of youth and experience.
“We have got some very good characters in the dressing room now in Tyrone Thompson and certainly in Joe Anyon, who has been a big voice and that is what I want, they are enjoying it.
“Overall, the dressing room is a completely different place to when I first arrived.
“Players are arriving early before training doing weights and core stability work, relationships are forming and for a manager that’s fantastic.
“Before it was very quiet, there were divisions in the dressing room and the previous manager didn’t like some players, but liked others.
“That does happen, but it’s the unhealthiest thing to happen to any dressing room.
“But I’ve been around long enough to know that if you have smelly cheese in your fridge you have to get rid of it.”
There we have it then, the fridge is clear. When we fans will next be like the cat that got the cream is an entirely different matter.
Read a version of this together with many other articles on LincolnCityand life in Lincolnshireby logging on to http://hykehamwriter.blogspot.com
David Holdsworth is eager to counter the blow, dealt by the departure of Richard Hind, by signing Blackburn Rovers reserve Mattew Pearson following a successful trial.
Matt is a big strong 18-year-old 6 foot centre-half, a natural leader and a great reader of the game. His composure belies his age and were it not for a leg fracture earlier this season, that kept him sidelined until October, he would have added to that England U18 debut – a fine 3-0 win over Poland.
Matt has been at Ewood Park since the age of 10 and progressed through the academy to earn his first pro deal in August. Don’t be surprised to see him on the score sheet either, a one-in-5 ratio for the Rovers reserves is pretty impressive given the company he would have to keep
|Season 2011 – 12|
|Reserves||2 (1 sub)||0|
|Lancashire Senior Cup||1||0|
|Season 2010 – 11|
|Reserves||17 (1 sub)||3|
|Lancashire Senior Cup||3||0|
|FA Youth Cup||2||0|
|Season 2009 – 10|
|Reserves||4 (1 sub)||1|
|Academy||13 (2 sub)||1|
|FA Youth Cup||1 (1 sub)||0|
Cambridge United have gone public in their local newspaper, alleging that Lincoln City are attempting to obtain Conal Platt on the cheap. This is not to suggest that a transfer fee has become a stumbling block, moreover the Imps desire to continue to pay just a fraction of his wages. The opening line – Jez: We wont be conned over Conal is hardly the way to go about things, as David Holdsworth attempts to rescue a player from a dead end at United.
Confused? Let’s rewind to the original terms of Conal’s loan contract, whereby the Imps agreed to pay a just a percentage of his weekly wage. Now it appears the Imps would like Cambridge to continue to pay a portion of the lads wages until the end of the season. Quite surprisingly, it is quite normal for a club to agree to pay a percentage of an ex players wages for a period in order to help them on their way. We will be doing the same with Barnet to induce them to take McCallum if we get the chance. A decent pay-off, after all, makes a longer contract on a lower wage look a little more attractive.
Jez George and David Holdsworth both appear to be facing the harsh economic realities of football judging by his comments in the Cambridge News. Both will naturally be poles apart when it comes to opening gambits, however paper sales apart these are some interesting tactics, unless they have been taken out of context.
“Lincoln are speaking to his agent and what Lincoln say they can do financially doesn’t stack up for us at all. We aren’t going to continue to fund clubs with our players because I’m fed up with other people benefiting from our situation all the time. We’ll do what’s fair for everyone, but we won’t have people taking advantage, and that is what Lincoln are trying to do. They are saying they haven’t got any money, but we haven’t got any money either. We agreed a two-month loan deal with them in good faith and they only covered a small proportion of his wages.”
Although the deal is not dead, the arrival of McGoldrick, coupled with the fact that we have yet to put something to Cambridge United that’s “realistic” according to George suggests a deal has stalled for the moment. Then again the U’s manager also brought up interest from another couple of clubs to force the Imps hand.
He told the Cambridge News “There are one or two other clubs interested in him that we’ve instigated, but what we really need to know from Conal is whether he wants to train with the youth team and kick his heels for six months or move on. We’ve got to the point where it’s got to be fair and right for Cambridge United and we’ve got to stand up for ourselves with other clubs that they can’t just take easy pickings off us.”
Conal has been a revelation at Sincil Bank since his arrival, let’s hope there is a happy ending for all parties.