Writing about weaknesses and threats is not always easy. You can be perceived to be too negative if you are critical when your club is second (joint top) in the table, and I don’t want to become an ‘Arsenal Fan TV’ style platform of overreaction. However, it does not hurt to remember that every situation has elements that are not perfect, the very best teams have areas they could develop. One of the most obvious for me is our squad depth. I don’t think it is any secret that the squad needs reinforcements, almost certainly in the central striker role, but probably in the wider squad too. Much does depend on injuries and there will be no huge glut of players given the pandemic and the problems it poses. I think it is interesting that our biggest strength, and possible weakness, are both squad related.
Let’s be honest, the budget is a potential weakness. That isn’t due to the board being tight as t was back in the early eighties, quite the opposite. What it is down to is us, Lincoln City, a small provincial team battling for promotion with clubs such as Ipswich, Portsmouth, Sunderland and Hull City, all with Premier League experience. The truth is we are the poor relation, the plucky underdog fighting on a smaller budget and winning using guile, craftiness and strategy rather than spending power. Can we go out and spend £2m on a striker? No. We wheel and deal bargain and barter and whilst we are good at it, we are weaker in terms of buying power than some of the clubs around us. Again, this isn’t a criticism, it is a stated fact which we succeed in spite of.
I did genuinely struggle for a third, and whilst I know some might say ‘playing out from the back’, long term I wonder if our capacity might be a weakness. I think the club agree, seeing as the proposed development of the Stacey West is going ahead. It isn’t even the Lincoln fans not getting in which is a concern, but we could accept 4,000 from Sunderland and Portsmouth all day long at this level. other clubs could bring a bigger allocation too, and for those meaty derbies with Hull City, Doncaster and
Mansfield Grimsby Scunthorpe Sheffield Wednesday, we could easily sell 12,000 home tickets. Sincil Bank is a limited ground, it is a wonderful ground, but it might not be currently adequate for the journey the club is on. I can see us looking at further expansion longer term, especially if we did end up in the Championship, where attendances would increase further.