There's No Place Like Home!

Godfish93

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Jul 18, 2012
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I'm back!

Now you've recovered from that shock, let's address where this story is going. Last year, I stepped into the shoes of Luis Garcia, the Spanish and Liverpool favourite. Well, this year, I've reverted to my roots. A Lincoln lad through and through, it's high time my hometown club and long suffering supporters see some silverware.

So why a Lincoln story? Well, my traditional opening file for FM, and long term file at that, is a Liverpool and Lincoln file. However, when you get to 2033 and you have the best team money can buy at Anfield, the novelty wears off a little. So this year, it's Lincoln off the start, with the main goal to be lifting the Champions League trophy for the first time.

It's worth pointing out, this is not a one club story, and I am open to moving. On that front, it largely depends what the FM gods have in store for me this year.

Of course, there is the other motivation that I can corner the market with this story. Lincoln stories are a rare breed. Brendn has the market cornered for Liverpool stories too, and I'm a large enough fan of the story to not wish to compete, I'd rather enjoy it. I may be a Liverpool fan, but I know when I'm beat.

This won't be the novel that Luis Garcia turned out to be. I certainly won't be getting shot (spoilers), this is will be a down to earth tale. There'll be the narrative, but there will be the monthly reviews. Think Alfa Romeo crossed with Union Berlin.

So back to the point.

It won't be easy. Lincoln have financial difficulties, and let's be realistic, Grimsby and Scunthorpe have overtaken them as the more reputable teams in the county. It's kinda embarrassing. That'll be the first problem I need to address. The first of many problems.

First up, a review of the first season, and a quick look at how my first year as a manager played out.

I'm David Kerry. I'm the new Lincoln manager.

Let the games begin.​
 

Godfish93

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Year 1


League Table

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FA Cup - 2nd Round - Barnet 2-2, lose on penalties.

FA Trophy - Semi Finals - Dover, lose 5-0 on aggregate

This league table does not tell the entire story. For a long time in the season, Lincoln meandered around in midtable. It was the cup replay against Barnet where our season began to turn. We kicked on, and pushed on to near the playoffs. With 3 games to go, 5 teams could get into the playoffs.

You can imagine how delighted I was that it was Grimsby that missed out for us. Neither team could do the double over one another, both teams winning the away legs. It meant that we faced Kidderminster in the playoffs. A 2-0 win at home was a good start, before a 2-2 draw away sealed our place in the final.

We played Braintree, a team who beat us twice in the league. The final was a tense affair, with Lincoln racing into a 2-0 lead, Jack Muldoon with a double. Complacency got to us though, and two late goals took the game to extra time. We limped through the first half of extra time, quite literally in some cases.

Come the 115th minute however, and Muldoon buried a finish to give us the win. He may have had a twisted ankle, but that didn't stop him.

So promotion. That happened.

Lets look at the team that got us there, and the transfers.

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The strikers carried us. Widdowson should have made the first XI, his signing really secured the left back position for us. Naturally, the focus for season 2 will definitely be on strengthening at the back.

Signings wise though, I need to do better. Even with the takeover we had at the end of the season, we still can't afford much. Therefore, I cannot afford to get it wrong. Only time will tell as to whether that actually happens.

 

Godfish93

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The Manager

So before we get too far in, let's get to know me just a bit better.

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That's me. A cricketer by heart, my appointment at Lincoln was a drastic shift from any original life plans. But, if I can make a difference, then it'll all be worth it. Besides, I really want to win some silverware. In joining Lincoln, I replace Chris Moyses, a man I'd seen before at Lincoln Moorlands, a little club at the back of a social club. The ground isn't up to much, but I'd often listen to the general ambience of the match from my back garden.

I'm definitely more of a suit man than a tracksuit guy. A relative unknown in the world of football, I'll be following the school of thought suggested by new Germany manager Jurgen Klopp amongst others. A pressing attack with a man behind the striker is a magnificent sight to behold, and there's no time like the present to bring it through. Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers is also a man I learned a few things from, although when it comes to handling the squad, we have a few different ideas.

The shift to a 4-2-3-1, and the promise of superb link up play, is a significant departure from my first season at the club, where a 4-4-2 long ball was employed. That said, with Rhead up front, I didn't have much choice. The man runs less than a no-legged hamster. As mentioned previously, Liverpool and Lincoln are held dear to me. Leicester hold a special spot though, having enjoyed 3 years in the city at university. I certainly wouldn't rule out a move to either club should the situation arise.

So, what does season 2 have in store for me? A lot of stress I would imagine. Based on my first season, defence is not an area I'm strong in. Therefore, that is one of my first priorities. I'm also lining up interviews up with some defensive minded coaches to help, a situation reminiscent of Allardyce at WHU, and the appointment of Teddy Sheringham.



 

Sandman01086

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Finishing above Grimsby?! Doesn't happen in real life!! ;) Good start though mate, congrats on the promotion!!
 

Godfish93

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The Bigger Picture


It's not all about Lincoln though at the end of the day, there is football on elsewhere. The eagle-eyed among you would have noticed Brendan Rodgers as the new Leicester manager, or Klopp as Germany manager. With the 2016 Euros this past summer, it's been a bit of a merry-go-round, so let's bring you up to speed.

Euro 2016

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A bit of a surprise final perhaps, but France take it on home soil. England put up a valiant fight, but the penalty curse struck yet again. The fallout saw a few managers replaced, and some of the big ones are below:

England: Louis Van Gaal - replaced at Utd by Rudi Garcia
Spain - Luis Enrique - replaced at Barca by Laurent Blanc
Germany - Jurgen Klopp - replaced at Liverpool by Diego Simeone
Italy - Massimilano Allegri - replaced at Juventus by Joachim Low

Leading Transfers

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Just a bit of money spent then....​
 

Godfish93

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Lincoln Transfers

So, what did I get up to this summer? Well...

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A lot, basically.

It's worth noting I released a lot of deadwood this season. Realistically, promotion was above the level I was expecting to get, so the squad was nowhere near good enough. That in itself brought a new problem. The club's reputation was nowhere near good enough for the level either. Therefore, those big names just continued to remain elusive to us.

Having said that, I'm reasonably ok with the players I brought in. Gerardo Bruna is a particular favourite; he's someone I know of through Liverpool. He should be a good influence on the wing, alongside Bell-Baggie, who is looking to resurrect a faltering career.

McCombe, Henry and Poole will all add stability at the back as well. Poole is looking for game time after a year with Utd. McCombe was at Lincoln before, during the Alexander years, and was great alongside Morgan and McAuley. We'll be looking for that again in his second spell.​
 

Godfish93

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The Season So Far...

Results
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Table

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It's not been the ideal start. Winning has been difficult this season, and some of that can be pinned on injuries to all the centrebacks. Poole coming in was a reaction to that. Recently though, there have been signs of improvement. Only one defeat in 6, coupled with still being in the FA Cup suggests we may have actually turned a corner.

Kidderminster are our opponents in the 2nd round of the cup, a tie both clubs will be relishing after the playoff semis last season. It's a winnable game, and we need the money from a huge tie next round ideally. Meanwhile, the focus remains on breaching that top half, as I feel that would get us well enough set to go on a promotion hunt next season.​
 

Godfish93

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Happy New Year!

Happy days, it's now 2017. Rejoice!

Ok, celebrations over, we have important things to attend to. Namely, Lincoln's progress since we last checked in. Lincoln were still near the wrong end of the table at the beginning of November, but showing signs of improvement. Come the first of January however...

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I think "movin' on up" is the appropriate song to be playing. A massive 2 month period as far as Lincoln are concerned, as the club now sits pretty in 13th! Now, there could be a number of factors in play here that can explain our current turnaround in our situation. However, I think the most pressing comment to make is that of the formation.

It is definitely noticable in the game play that the team have finally become comfortable with the formation. The slick movement is there now where two months ago it was headless chickens running into defenders. The wingers have found their groove; Ajala and Bell-Baggie have dominated teams at times. With two stable CB's at the back as well, the team is finally settling down.

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Only one defeat in the two months is pretty good going, and I couldn't be prouder of the lads. The Newport game was a blip, granted, but it didn't get to us. We also progressed in the FA cup as well, and made the third round this year, enabling the possibility of a little money into the coffers.

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The fixtures this month won't be easy to deal with. Having said that, we have the joy of a trip to Turf Moor early this month to look forward to, so I'm looking forward to coming up against a larger club. Otherwise, it's all about continuing the solid league form we are in, and getting those points on the board.

Away from the pitch, December saw me sign a new contract with the club, giving me 2 years more here. Result! We also made a signing as well, as we welcome Doug Loft to the club. The ex-Gillingham midfielder joins on a free, and will compete with loanees Weeks and Muldoon for the two central midfield slots.

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Godfish93

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January 2017


January was always going to be a big month for us. We had a trip up north to Burnley, followed immediately by top of the table Luton. Chuck 2nd place Morecambe in there as well, and it had the potential to be an utter nightmare. Well...

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As it turned out, it could have been so much worse. Granted, our showing at Turf Moor was utterly dismal. Burnley ran rings around our weakened team, stripped bare of key players through injury. Having said that, Conor Robinson did score with our only shot of the game.

There was definitely a hangover effect though, as Luton, and Wycombe, stomped all over us. At Kenilworth park, we couldn't complain, Luton outclassed us. The Wycombe match was frustrating as we were the better team for large parts of the match. After the game, I locked the lads in the changing room, and a shouting match ensued. Let's just say, that would definitely go out after the watershed.

After the heart to heart, we set out with a renewed purpose, which definitely showed in our remaining matches. Morecambe and Leyton Orient couldn't cope with our surging attacks, and we picked up 6 points to ressurrect a dismal month.

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Next month promises to be entertaining, with Mansfield and Yeovil lurking at the end of the month. We have moved up to 10th now though, beyond any Lincoln fans wildest expectations. Even I would be happy with something like 14th.

My biggest challenge now is keeping the squad on a high. We can't afford slips or mistakes, and we can't let our heads drop at this stage of the season. Get through February unscathed, and then maybe, just maybe, we might start uttering the word "playoffs". It's a big if right now though.

In terms of the transfer window for us, nothing happened. With little money in the bank for transfers, I focused on supporting the squad with our reserves to save a little money. On the plus side, the reason we have no money is that we are pushing for a higher youth level. Hopefully then we may find the next Lee Frecklington, Jack Hobbs or Scott Loach.​
 

Godfish93

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Jul 18, 2012
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Just to satisfy some curiosity , are people actually interested in this? I'm enjoying it,but there's not a lot of point me updating on here if I'm talking to a brick wall.
 

Lippo255

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Jun 3, 2010
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Yeah mate, I'm loving it. Keep going!

So many stories popping up atm, I'm finding it hard to keep up but get there eventually! :p
 

Godfish93

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Jul 18, 2012
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Should be back with an update on Season 2 when I get back from work; depends also on whether my game has stopped continually crashing, 23 and rising so far.
 
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