I’ve read a lot on social media this evening about Tom Champion the recent arrival from Barnet. It’s fair to say Tom hasn’t had the best time since arriving on Monday, a 0-0 draw with Solihull followed up by defeat today against a determined Barrow team.
I even saw a photo of him sat on the bench after coming off with some form of slur written above it. In less than 180 minutes he’s gone from ‘Champion of the Champions’ to the reason we’re no longer top of the league.
The actual reason we are no longer top of the league is because we are still a work in progress team that has performed well above expectation for the last few weeks. Solihull came to frustrate us on Tuesday, but Barrow came with a game plan as well and unfortunately we got sucker punched.
To blame Champion though is crazy. He wasn’t even on the pitch when they scored their winner, if he had been he might have actually made a significant impact in stopping the ball coming out to Jordan Williams for Harrison’s header.
I understand people are seeing an Imps side that had won five on the bounce suddenly lose form, but it isn’t the fault of the new player however it may look. I didn’t think we were too bad against Barrow and I thought Champion put in some really strong tackles. Bradley Wood was doing well in midfield be he is a full back and he is far more effective there.
I know there’s been a bit of a love in for Lee Beevers at full back but I can wholly understand Danny wanting to bring in a ‘proper’ midfielder to let Bradley go back to his favourite position. It just so happens that Champion’s arrival has coincided with a couple of tough games.
I like the look of Champion despite the indifferent start to the season. He was unlucky today in that usually Barrow go 4-4-2 but they changed formation meaning we had more space out wide than in the middle. It left him doing a lot of dirty work without getting any opportunity to shine.
He’s been promoted from this level before and not many of the current squad can claim that. He knows exactly what it takes to compete in this league and his experience will be precious through the next few months.
Our passing game does appear to have broken down over the last couple of games and it would be easy to point to Champion’s inclusion but it would be wide of the mark. As a whole team we haven’t had the energy and purpose over the two games and that simply isn’t the fault of the new signing.
Solihull weren’t an easy side to break down and that’s been proven by them going and getting another draw and another clean sheet away at Gateshead today. Barrow were another in form team and they were always going to give us a real game. I think we probably deserved a point but football has a habit of dealing you a bad hand and in the last five minutes we let our concentration slip. That’s football.
So we push on now to a really tricky match next week away at Dover. Ricky Miller is scoring goals for fun and at present we’re struggling to hit the back of the net. Don’t be surprised for our little blip to continue on until the home match with Braintree a week later.
We have to be patient, we have to understand we can’t win every game and we absolutely have to realise that one player does not make or break the game.