Michael O’Connor Leaves Lincoln City: Reaction and Analysis

Courtesy Graham Burrell

I’m surprised, although I’m not. I’m surprised Michael O’Connor has left the club, but we all pretty much knew what was happening over the weekend.

I refused to believe it. MoC was a good player for us, one of our most consistent performers this season. He’s locally based and when someone said the words ‘Salford City’ I laughed. it seems every transfer rumour this season has been made up of picking a player from our squad and adding the words ‘Salford’, ‘Huddersfield’ or ‘recall’. That’s how I’ve seen it and yet arguably the second-most disliked team in the Football League (behind Forest Green) have got themselves a diamond.

I’ll address the elephant in the room first; yes there was a Twitter disagreement with MoC in the summer. I thought, if we signed Mark O’Hara, his game time might be limited and he argued back he was League One quality and would prove it. He did prove it, before getting a move into League Two where he’ll be a big success. The likes of Bruno, Matt Green and even Nathan were expected (or in Bruno’s case will be expected) to be show ponies. They were brought in to score and to assist, but MoC has gone there to solidify and add structure. He’s going to be a huge asset to them.

I’m quite surprised though, especially with Joe Morrell’s comments after the game which hinted he could still be recalled. If he was, we’d be right up shit creek because we don’t have two midfielders that are regular League One quality. Ellis could play regularly, but if Joe leaves would Conor Coventry and Ellis be enough against some experienced professionals? I’m not so sure. Losing MoC is a blow in my eyes, bigger than losing Bruno and not quite as big as if we lose Harry Toffolo.

I suppose some might point to his fitness as an issue, but he’s played regular football this season and has impressed. I guess he’s approaching an age where he wants a bit of a payday and Michael Appleton wasn’t willing to put the money on the table going into next season. As we say an awful lot at this time of year; that’s football.

Courtesy Graham Burrell

What else is there to say? The bulk of the title-winning squad is being sold off, replaced and (potentially) improved upon. It’s a new era we’re edging into and the push back from articles like this is a fear of the unknown. Changing too much in pre-season is not what I’d consider being a route to success, but I am a layman who comments on football, not someone at the training ground every day. Footballers are just people doing their jobs, albeit in the limelight, but they need to make decisions for their family and their own future. MoC certainly served us well across two spells and has a title winner’s medal to add to his collection. Will he get that at Salford? Not this season, but with Bruno and the likes of Tom Elliott going there, they’ve got to be in the reckoning next season, if they don’t come up in May.

We move on, turning over players, picking up fees for those going out of contract and expecting a few bodies to come in perhaps as well. There’s no doubt money from MoC, Bruno and Toff (if he goes) would be a substantial figure which Michael Appleton will have at his disposal which is a big benefit. I suppose my sadness at these players going is purely sentimental. I speak to them, interview them, get to know them a little and when they go I do feel a sense of loss to the football club; they’re not just names on a teamsheet or in a match report. The truth is, I liked MoC as a person. He was always great in interviews, available when he said, open and candid and willing to have a little joke as well. He’s a loss to this club, on the field and off it and I wish him all the best at Salford.

Next Page – ‘Deserves security’ – Twitter Reaction and ‘best of’ gallery from Bubs.

8 Comments

  1. Hope it works out well for him. I am not too worries on the midfield issue as only the other day everyone was saying it was the best transfer window of all time so the new lad must be able to do a job, can’t be both the best transfer window and a worrying time that one of the signed players has to step up.

    For me I want to know what is going on financially? Not as a rhetorical question, as an actual question. We have this, the Andrade, the League cup run, the full stadium, and the pretty huge Cowley compensation. Has this just gone on wages or debts? Is there any available to buy in some one like other clubs do? I still worry about central defence.

  2. I guess if you building team for next season already which MA does than you can understand this move.
    But if we somehow (still possible) will get caught in the middle of the relegation battle after run of bad results than not having someone like Michael on the pitch and in the dressing room could be be a problem…
    Thanks and good luck !!!!!!!

  3. This is all very well if the new and any future acquisitions come up with the goods. If they don’t then we’ve shot ourselves in the foot at a time when a play off position is still very realistic. To that end I hope the new boy additions enable the squad to achieve a play off position. But anyway the very best wishes to MO’C for the future, he’s been a great asset to the club!

  4. Cant fault your loyalty to a player who you have had your photo taken with but really is this such a disappointment? Michael is injury prone! He is at the back end of a decent career at the lower levels, but on the evidence of last night (Coventry) we don’t have much to be concerned about!

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