Well, what a day that has been? I spend a whole week sat staring at my computer waiting for news, and get nothing. I spend a day down at the ground and we get three signings that I’m the last person to comment on. The fact I was predisposed isn’t an issue though, today we’ve made a real statement of our intent.
I would say something like ‘I’m not going to prioritise who is the strongest signing’ or something equally as wishy-washy and politically correct, but that’s a lie. I’m going to launch straight into the verbal massaging of our brand new number 10, Matt Green.
The club didn’t ‘need’ a marquee signing, contrary to popular belief. What we needed were players that DC feels can add value to our League Two squad, and there is no doubt at all that Matt Green does that. The strong rumour is that he could have commanded a six-figure sum just a few months ago, and to see him strutting around in City training gear today re-affirmed any slightly wavering belief I had. I wasn’t on of the ‘we must sign players’ crowd, but I think in landing a so-called name Danny has continued to surprise fans and critics alike.
At the time of his release Matt Green spoke of having offers from the Championship to League Two, and I don’t doubt there was a lot of interest in him. One name club he was apparently interesting were Bolton Wanderers, and one year ago Bradford were having significant bids turned down. He scores goals at this level, he is quick and strong too, and at 30 he also brings experience. I blogged before about him not fitting ‘the Danny profile’, but in truth there is no profile. If you’re good enough and can add value, then sod the age or background. Matt Green adds value, no doubt.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Notts County fans are watching on with a bit of envy, maybe even our fishy foes as well. Before my best friend Steve Evans joined, Green had scored 8 in 20 games for the Stags. Once Evans was in place that dropped off to 13 in 49, or just five from his remaining 29 outings. If ever a manger arriving had a negative effect on an individual, this was it. Green even commented that he knew his face ‘didn’t fit’ under Evans, speaking to the BBC he said:
“He (Steve Evans) is the new era and unfortunately I wasn’t part of his plans; that was obvious. I turned into an unhappy player. It is demoralising for any forward if you have scored the amount of goals I have and you are not getting the respect you think you deserve.”
How tasty does this make Mansfield now? I’m doing my best to underline my own personal distaste for their tubby manager, but now we have a star striker eager to prove what he is worth too. I thought Angol v Green would be an interesting battle next season, I never thought it would be with Green in red and white and Lee Angol in yellow. I’m not going to be a hypocrite and claim I wanted Green all along, I rate Lee Angol and I won’t lie about that. However, we have the player who is proven at this level, has bags of experience and a point to prove. Lee Angol liked Lincoln City, had good times here and by September will probably already be disillusioned with his new managers approach.
So bringing in Green is a statement of intent and hopefully it put a few of those mutterings of dissent to rest. That was followed up very quickly by the arrival of giant striker Ollie Palmer, another former Mansfield player who has also played for Orient.
I was fortunate enough to meet Ollie this morning, and let me tell you this: if you spilled his pint you would 100% buy him another one, and probably a bag of crisps too to say sorry properly. He stands almost two metres tall, he has to duck down to walk through a standard door opening and he doesn’t need a ladder or chair to change a lightbulb. If there was ever a player who was going to come in and play the ‘big man’ role in the long-term, it is Ollie Palmer. He’s an intimidating presence that is for sure, and he’ll frighten an awful lot of defenders next season.
Palmer wasn’t a player I had much knowledge of if I’m honest, even though his name has been bandied about social media recently. I lumped my bets on Paul Mullins, instead the big lad has got the nod. He’s got Football League experience which is great for us, he’s another forward which we desperately need and (to underline in again) he’s physically very impressive. Good signing? Everyone is a good signing at this stage of the season aren’t they? He’s certainly not underwhelming, and he will add value to the squad which I think is sufficient for now.
I noticed Palmer commented on playing in front of 10,000 fans next season, something I’m sure has been important in selling the club to the new players. Last season our opponents were quick to point out that fans don’t win you games, but they do apparently attract players that can win you games.
Finally we got the news young Josh Ginnelly was coming back for the season. Josh admitted in a press conference this afternoon that he’d made his mind up he wanted to be back at Lincoln before we won the National League, and I think his passion and commitment should be applauded. I’m told he had options to go elsewhere, but he only had eyes for Lincoln City.
I’ve spoken and written about Josh plenty and I don’t want to write stuff twice just as much as you don’t want to read it twice. He’s quick, he’s tricky and I think there is a lot more to come from him. I know we didn’t beat York at home last season, but I recall Ginnelly coming on in one of those games and terrifying the full-backs with his direct attacking nature. That won’t be any different in League Two, the quality goes up for sure, but there will still be creaking full-backs who will not want this ball of enthusiasm and energy going off like a firework in their face. No, Josh Ginnelly certainly adds something to the squad, he added last season during the run in and he’ll do the same from the get go in five weeks time.
There ended the Lincoln City day of excitement, but you can bet your bottom dollar that’s knott the end of it. I’m led to believe by numerous sources that tomorrow will see the arrival of two more players. How does an attacking midfielder with England youth caps sound? What about a young wide player coming in on the back of scoring 15 goals last season? It’s all speculation, and down at Sincil Bank they were very tight-lipped with me snooping around.
One thing I think I can confirm exclusively, Paul Mullin is not signing for Lincoln City tomorrow. Kevin Cooke took great pleasure in revealing that to me as we passed in the office. At least I know he reads the blog!