I’ve found a few folders of old blogs going back several years, and thought I’d drop the occasional blast from the past in (when I haven’t got the time to write anything new). First up, a blog I originally wrote for Sky Sports back in 2010 a few months before Chris Sutton walked out on the club.
Predictably with a week into the season The Imps were already out of one cup and sitting pretty in the league with no points. A week after that the situation hadn’t changed. Cue the rumbles of discontent.
Sincil Bank can be an unforgiving place for Imps players and fans. One misplaced kick or slip and a players reputation is in ruins. Take poor Joe Anderson, a young left back brought in from Fulham who has simply never managed to break through the barrier put up by a small majority of the home faithful. After one game his suspect tackling and distribution saw a ‘fans’ facebook site called ‘I Blame Joe Anderson’ spring up. What chance does a 20 year old player stand with that sort of backing from the home supporters? The same fans barely seem to notice the same inadequacies in Cian Hughton when he plays at full back, but then they will miss it in him won’t they? He scored a goal and has a famous Dad, which makes him off limits.
Then they move onto Delroy Facey. Two games after our less than auspicious start and we have collected 4 points, with a fine win at Gillingham and a hard fought draw at home with Crewe. Mr Facey has been ploughing himself down the left wing, a role unfamiliar to him. In this writers opinion he has been doing a fine job when called upon, and deserves credit for that. However a money paying supporter behind me on Saturday chose to suggest that perhaps Facey should ‘apply at Burger King’, a crude reference to his size and physique.
There are a few things wrong with this. Surely someone who actually works at Burger King doesn’t gorge themselves all day on burgers? If Facey had been a spotty teen barely able to string a sentence together then I’d maybe see the humour. Secondly at the time Facey had beaten the right back and played a neat cross field pass to Albert Jarrett. Are we so fickle now that even good play is rewarded with poorly thought out abuse? The answer for some City fans is yes.
Okay so now I take off my moaning hat and put on my ‘letting Sky Sports readers know what’s going on at the Bank hat’. As I mentioned we have 4 points from 4 games, but we have already played in form Torquay and travelled to Rotherham as well. Those two games formed a tricky opening for City, and despite not gathering any points I took plenty of positives from those displays. The trip to the Don Valley was as pleasant as ever with its superb unimpeded views of the pitch (albeit from a mile away). The stadium may be rubbish but the stewarding was not, and after a couple of bad experiences there in the past I take my hat off to the quality of stewards this season. In truth at 1-1 with 5 minutes to go it looked like City might get a win, but with our defence as sturdy as an over-dunked hob nob the inevitable happened and we conceded.
The hob nob continued its soggy existence a week later with a 2-0 home reverse against Torquay, in a game we could arguably have won. Drewe Broughton put in an excellent example of centre forward play by holding up the ball, creating space for himself and even managing a couple of efforts. The sad thing for him is he couldn’t hit an OAP with a bus, and the goals scored column remained at zero.
Then Sir Chris of Sutton pulled a master stroke. He shut up shop against Gillingham with a 10-0-0 formation, or maybe it was 4-2-3-1 (equally as baffling). However with loanee Ben Hutchinson doing the running and The Imps latest international Albert Jarrett benefiting from the hard work a corner was turned. Three points and even Joe Anderson had a decent game. Wonders will never cease.
As we were surprising Gillingham with a formation straight out of leftfield, Crewe were dismantling the perennial strugglers Barnet by seven goals to nil. The star studded forward line of Joel Grant, Clayton Donaldson and Calvin Zola looked an ominous threat with a visit to Sincil Bank planned.
However the doom and gloom merchants didn’t get their way. The Imps managed a 1-1 draw in a game of football that barely troubled the birds in the sky. Slick passing on the turf from both sides served up a game that the neutrals should have been impressed with. Indeed the neutrals were, but sadly the guy behind me with a confused impression of what happens behind the counter at Burger King was not.
Personally I’d happily sit amongst 2,500 fans every week who fully supported the team, rather than amongst 3,000 with a section talking as much garbage as Nick Griffin or the EDL. It’s idiots like them who attach a stigma to the game, abusing someone for their shape, their effort even at times their nationality. They don’t reserve the abuse for away teams, in fact they almost seem to relish doling it out to the players they know and are meant to support. So to Delroy Facey, Joe Anderson and any other Imps player who has had to listen to moronic comments from so called home fans, they are in the extreme minority.
Next up, Rotherham away in the JPT. Probably a second cup exit in a month. I blame Joe Anderson myself.
Of course nothing really went right from this moment on. Any sign of early season promise was lost when Mr Sutton bottled it and headed for the exit. Steve Tilson came in and sadly for everyone concerned proceeded to take us down.I think the worst thing is that whilst Sutton wasn’t going to get us promoted I don’t think we were going down either. That 1-1 draw with Crewe proved we knew a little about defending, but when Tilson took over we suffered humiliating defeats at home against Gillingham, Rotherham and Bury to name just three.
Also I believe the comments aimed at Facey were probably unjustified, he formed quite a partnership with Ashley Grimes and had he not got injured against Macc with a few games to go I suspect we’d have got the point we needed to stay up. Of course history will show he’s been a naughty boy since then, and doubts hang over him and Swaibu and their contribution to our demise but that’s another story altogether.
As for Joe Anderson, it completely passed me by that we’d faced him this season. That’s the size of the impression he made on the club!