Perception is a strange thing, it can be altered or blurred by passion and that is perhaps seen best of all in the football fan.
The perception is Lincoln City are a long ball team. Matt Taylor apparently told his players after the game: “I might have to take some attacking players out of the team to be more defensive if we can’t handle a long ball that is going to come week in, week out in League Two.” That’s the narrative isn’t it, we’re an ugly team to watch and we rough other sides up. There’s been talk of them getting ‘drawn in’ yesterday, of our players performing diving swan routines and the big bullies from the north unsettling the poor home team. What a barrel of baloney that is.
The problem we have is not only perception, but also the short-sightedness of fans, something we’re guilty of too. I recall after the Wycombe game lots of our fans were calling out their tactics and approach. They needed a draw to help them towards automatic promotion and this season they’ll play against Sunderland and Luton. Enough said. Whilst I don’t fully condone the ‘dark arts’, there isn’t a football team from the Premier League to the local Rec who doesn’t indulge in them. For anyone to call another out is hypocritical.
Also, the long ball tag is getting boring now. All three of our goals came from balls being played on the deck. Every single team, bar none, will play a long ball or two during a game. I chuckled when one of our early opponents, Swindon I think it was, complained about long balls from us, but then moaned our defenders beat their forwards in the air. To what? Not neat little passes, that is for sure. You’re not telling me that Exeter, with Stockley up top, always play into feet, are you?
Last year I didn’t call out Wycombe, nor moan about their approach and that is why I feel in a position to defend us yesterday. Firstly, aside from the fans I’ve found on Twitter below, very few are saying we were that bad. Tom Pett spent a while down, but injuries do happen. We saw it against Bury the other week at our place, I’m afraid it is part of the game. Play acting I’m not happy with, but if you pick up a knock and your side are 1-0 up, do you get up and run it off? Of course not and any Exeter fan telling me ‘Elbows’ Stockley would act any differently in our situation is wrong.
To a degree, I have some respect for Matt Taylor because he said they were well beaten. I think he was upset at Stockley’s booking but he’s suffering that tough second season, you know the one, where the big lad is on referee’s radar. Rheady got it, all the big men do, especially those who jump with elbows. Mind you, had we signed him in the summer instead of Akinde, I’d be disappointed. I said before the game I’d take him and Boateng any day, I’m afraid just like good old Donald Trump, I may have misspoke. I wouldn’t thank you for Stockley if yesterday was an indication of how he can affect games.
Apparently Exeter fans don’t mind him, but Dean Moxey and Lee Holmes are in for some extra-curricular activities in the near future if the following fans have their way.
Here’s some Twitter feedback, more or less saying everything above. I know some of you like to read it, not all though, but if you don’t then, well, don’t.
(The picture is from last year’s play offs when a good goal of ours was disallowed for no particular reason. You might remember it because afterwards, our manager made no reference to it at all. Just saying.)
Usual histrionics from Lincoln, but they are also totally outplaying us.
0-1 was a challenge, at 0-2 we’ve got a mountain to climb to get anything out of this one. #ecfc
— Mark Lee (@mark_lee) September 1, 2018
A word on Lincoln. Not sure they needed to feign injury & time waste so much; they were clearly the better team. Must be in the Cowley DNA.
Can’t stand them, but it’s v.effective at this level. They’ll be right up there, we need to put today behind us and move on#ecfc
— Grecian Soc (@Grecian_Soc) September 1, 2018
Agreed. Lincoln did well however remarkably frustrating to watch
— Henry Porter (@henrysporter) September 1, 2018
— Scott Arnold (@ScottyArnold) September 1, 2018
Am I watching Wycombe disguised as Lincoln at St James Park today #ECFC
— Karl Shaw (@shawladd) September 1, 2018
Been very poor the last few league games and that’s worrying. Haven’t looked like scoring at all
— Exiled Grecian (@ExiledGrecian) September 1, 2018
— John Harvey 💜 (@Mr_John_Harvey_) September 1, 2018
When I die I want Dean Moxey and Lee Holmes to lower my coffin into the ground just so they can let me down for one last time. #ecfc
— Josh (@_JoshDenham) September 1, 2018