I’m not a football manager, if I was I’d be a bad one. I did once concoct a training routine that saw Wragby U15s snatch an unlikely draw away at Birchwood Colts, but I hadn’t picked the team. It was a one-off, a brief foray into the coaching world that ended dramatically when I found out laying in bed Sunday mornings was far easier.
I do have an opinion on Lincoln City though and whilst I may not be the manager, I’ve watched enough to suggest the side I think we should put out tomorrow. Given that I’m in London as you’re reading this, not likely to return until Sunday, I thought I’d give you my starting XI for this afternoon’s clash.
GK: Josh Vickers
I’m a big Paul Farman fan, I always have been and you’ll never hear me slagging off our long-serving stalwart. He deserved a shot at the Football League and I hope he sticks around and fights for his place.
The unavoidable truth is that Josh Vickers is a better keeper though. He’s also better than Ryan Allsop who, incidentally, hasn’t kept a clean sheet in five games. He’s not a bad keeper, but Josh Vickers was a pair of hands I felt truly safe with.
RB: Neal Eardley
I’m done writing nice things about Neal. He’s our outstanding player of the season and without him in the side we look much, much worse.
Sean Long must be kicking himself, he just makes his way into the first team frame and we accidentally find our best ever right back when trialling left backs. Wow, that is bad luck.
LB: Sam Habergham
Wow, I’m not really reinventing the wheel here am I? After all, who else is going to play left back, Neal Eardley? Our thinly spread squad means that there isn’t a lot of choice in some areas and the full back positions have pretty much picked themselves all season.
If I was being unusually critical I’d say Sam hasn’t been as good as he was towards the end of last season, but the level of opposition is much higher than back then.
CB: Scott Wharton
Probably the first big call, but I’m beginning to think that Scott Wharton is a special player. It isn’t just his two goals, although that goes some way to cementing my belief, but his overall awareness isn’t what you’d expect of such a young player.
He looks a class above League Two, he’s composed and calm under pressure and having spoken to him at length, he’s a level-headed young man too. When I interviewed him I forgot I was talking to a 20-year old, such was his demeanour and persona. I think he;s got a big future ahead of him and that’s why if everyone was fit, I’d have him at centre back.
CB: James Wilson
Sorry Luke fans, but if everyone is fit and on point I suspect James Wilson would be a shoe-in at the back. we’ve not seen the best of him yet, not by a long way, but he’s been brought here to lead the team, nothing more and nothing less. He’s got League One experience, international experience and he’s no business in League Two.
The injury set back at Cambridge was as much to our detriment as it was his, we desperately needed a Raggs replacement and I think Wilson was meant to be that guy. Scott Wharton came in and did really well, but once Wilson is fit too I think Luke might be back out of the side, again. Remember Dickie and Raggett from the first half of the season? It’s coming again, but Wilson and Wharton will disappoint the captain this time.