It’s a point I’ve seen raised on social media recently in the light of our recent transfer policy.
Michael Hortin pointed out he felt the current Imps’ squad was the strongest we’d had since he’s been covering the Imps. I agreed, but that does cover the 2003/04 squad that took us to the play-off semi-finals against Huddersfield.
Some say that squad was the best we’ve had at Lincoln City, featuring an on-loan Kevin Ellison and the likes of Yeo, Gain and Taylor-Fletcher. Was it the best? Or has the current squad usurped the old hands.
There’s only one way to find out, right?
Remember, this is opinion and nothing more. I mean no disrespect to any player or squad that doesn’t win. 2003/04 was a wonderful time for me as an Imps fan and the players I’m going to mention here are all heroes in one form or another to me. One or two are the very best players I’ve ever seen in red and white.
I’ll award one point per ‘victory’ in the match ups of the squad that faced Bury this weekend and the one we fielded against Huddersfield. It may be there’s a positional imbalance, if that’s the case I’ll try to be as fair as possible.
Let’s start with the keepers shall we?
2003/04 – Alan Marriott, Darren Horrigan
2018/19 – Josh Vickers, Grant Smith
This is very hard for me personally because I maintain that Alan Marriott is the best keeper I’ve seen in an Imps’ shirt. He was the mainstay of the side from before we went into administration through to the Peter Jackson era when he was so cruelly disposed of. Had Jackson not had an ego the size of Russia, Mazza would have played more games for this club than any other player, amassing a record in terms of appearances and clean sheets that would never have been beaten.
For that, I’m going to give him one point in the match up with Grant Smith, who started the Bury game.
In terms of whether Grant Smith is as good as Darren Horrigan, there’s little choice to be made. I’m going from the squad on the back of the programme from the Huddersfield play-off semi-final, Horrigan wasn’t on the bench for the game but would class as the reserve keeper. I believe he works for Jewson now, successfully selling roofing products.
I’m scoring this round 1-1.