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Netflix recommendation
at 13:52 20 Feb 2021

If you’re avoiding football, can I just recommend a film - “News of the World” on Netflix, Tom Hanks at his best and a remarkable performance from his child co-star. It really is excellent.
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Abject
at 19:45 16 Feb 2021

It’s a summary of everything that’s wrong this club currently, a complete lack of urgency, no sense of personal responsibility, no ambition etc etc
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It’s a tough time for us optimists....
at 21:10 9 Feb 2021

NFT
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How much space are we allowing them
at 20:40 9 Feb 2021

We seem unable to restrict them on the flanks in particular
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Some tackles flying in here
at 16:29 6 Feb 2021

A bit of edge in this game
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Ifollow when I’ve cancelled my direct debit
at 20:01 3 Feb 2021

So I’ve cancelled my DD, but I’m still getting a code, guess I’ve paid enough to keep getting one for now
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Evans really is going to keep him isn’t he
at 19:53 1 Feb 2021

4 new loans on top of the 2 we have, when only 5 can feature in a match day squad, 2 of those are wide players when we don’t really play a system that suits them, panic defender loans, when we’ve had a month to sort it out, 3 of those loans are under 20 when we have promising under 20s of our own we loan out, all this on top of an already bloated squad he’s struggling to keep happy, and all this to support a manager whose time is clearly up

Can anyone make any sense of it?
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Good piece on Lincoln
at 12:54 1 Feb 2021

This from the Times today, by Gregor Robertson, interesting comments on the Cowleys style, which isnt for me. A long read but it does point up the benefit of having a proper joined up approach from the club - the result on Saturday didnt quite fit the narrative though!!

"For a little over a year now Lincoln City, the club that bore witness to something close to a miracle, has been in the midst of a quiet revolution. You would have to have been hiding under a rock to have missed the former National League club’s remarkable journey between 2016 and 2019: the heroic voyage to meet the mighty Arsenal in the FA Cup quarter-final, the two promotions, the EFL Trophy triumph in the club’s first visit to Wembley, all inspired by the manager, Danny Cowley, and his brother and assistant, Nicky.

The city was invigorated. Attendances trebled. The cup windfall paid for a new £1.3 million training centre. And then, in September 2019, the Cowleys left the Imps for Huddersfield Town of the Sky Bet Championship.

Let’s be honest: how often does that signal the end of the story?

For Lincoln, though, it feels as though there are chapters in their renaissance still to be written. “The plan was always to maximise the opportunity, the momentum that we had,” says Liam Scully, the Lincoln chief executive. “In sport and football opportunities like this don’t present themselves that often. And we’re desperate to maximise our potential.”

If getting out of League Two “required a certain strategy,” Scully says, “thriving in League One required a different approach.” And so since this time last year, Michael Appleton, who replaced Cowley as manager, and Jez George, the club’s director of football, have completely overhauled Lincoln’s squad. Furthermore, there has been a distinct shift from the functional, and effective, football of his predecessor, to a more progressive style of play that it is believed will bring both success at a higher level and make Sincil Bank an attractive place for talented young players to develop.

The transformation has been remarkable. Only two senior players, Harry Anderson and Jorge Grant, have survived a cull which began last January. The average age of the group has plummeted. As the old guard — Michael Bostwick, Neal Eardley and Jason Shackell et al — were moved on, in came youthful recruits such as Anthony Scully, a 21-year-old former West Ham United winger, Lewis Montsma, a 22-year-old defender plucked from the Dutch second tier, and Tayo Edun, also 22, a former Fulham full back, with room to develop and appreciate in value.

Appleton, moreover, is a former West Bromwich Albion youth coach who has utilised his contacts within the academy system. Seven players from clubs in higher leagues have been signed on loan since the start of this season. Brennan Johnson, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nottingham Forest winger, Morgan Rogers, an exciting 18-year-old Manchester City forward, and TJ Eyoma, a 21-year-old Tottenham Hotspur right back, are among those who have flourished this season. And, after five wins from their past six games, Appleton’s buccaneering young team began the weekend at the top of League One.

“We’re proud of our heavy metal style and approach in League Two; there’s no pretentiousness looking back at that,” Scully explains. “That was the right choice for the right time at that moment. The success of this year is largely the result of the strategy that was deployed this time last year. I think a lot of people at the time probably looked at us and wondered what we were doing. But hopefully everybody can now see the fruits of that labour.”

Lincoln, though, have earned the trust of their supporters. The club have backed proposals for a fan-led review into English football and when football was forced behind closed doors, supporters overwhelmingly accepted an offer of club shares rather than season-ticket refunds, saving the club £341,000 in their most recent accounts. According to Kieran Maguire, a football finance expert, Lincoln “set a gold standard in terms of transparency and governance”.

After a shaky start to his tenure at Sincil Bank, supporters now trust Appleton’s vision on the field just as implicitly. A decade ago, the 45-year-old endured a torrid start to his managerial career with three of England’s biggest basket-case clubs of the era, Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers. In the space of 14 months, he experienced administration, relegation and, at the latter two, 65 and 67-day tenures. After three restorative years and promotion from League Two with Oxford United, Appleton spent time as first-team coach of both Leicester City and West Brom before succeeding the Cowleys.

“As you can see from today, in terms of style of play, we’ve transformed it,” Appleton said of a 1-0 defeat against Doncaster Rovers that was “arguably the best performance since I’ve been here”. “We’ve created a model where if [the players] don’t push on with us, and we can’t take them to the next level, then someone else will,” he says.

It is a model that is largely shared by Saturday’s opponents, managed by Darren Moore, Appleton’s friend, former West Brom team-mate and former Blackburn first-team coach. Doncaster have signed nine players on loan across the course of this season. Taylor Richards, a 20-year-old midfielder on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, scored the only goal of the game with a surging first-half run and low strike from outside the penalty area. Then Ellery Balcombe, an England under-20 goalkeeper on loan from Brentford, saved two second half penalties to deny a dominant Lincoln team who enjoyed 70 per cent possession.

Grant rattled the crossbar from outside the penalty area. Conor McGrandles had a fine strike pushed over the bar by the inspired Balcombe. Lincoln’s Rogers, a rangy bag of tricks, could not unlock an obdurate Doncaster defence, nor could the fleet-footed Johnson. Yet the game was a magnificent advert for League One football. And both teams, in all likelihood, will be challenging for promotion to the Championship at the end of the season thanks to intelligent leadership, recruitment and coaching.

Appleton, though, maintains that Lincoln are “ahead of schedule”. “I signed a 3½-year deal when I came here,” he says. “We’re in the second year now. We finished 16th last year. So anything from 12th and above, at the start of the season, I felt would be a positive.

“As it happens, we are where we are, just after halfway, and ultimately there’s a desire by the players and everyone to stay up there as long as we possibly can. I actually think we’ll be stronger and better next year.

“Whether that’s as a League One club or a Championship club, we’ll see.”
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Hard to see how this can end happily
at 20:47 26 Jan 2021

Even if Lambert hangs on, as soon as fans are back in the ground the atmosphere is going to be toxic to a degree unseen in recent memory. That’s regardless of any improvement in results. Surely Evans must see that there’s no way back from this
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Sums up ITFC
at 20:36 26 Jan 2021

Stupid sending off, battle against the odds to good effect, then concede a ridiculous goal, sums us up, not just, but specifically under Lambert
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It’s a classic vote of confidence
at 21:16 24 Jan 2021

which will be followed by a classic sacking when things don’t improve, regard it as confirmation that there’s an end to this, and likely the halfway point is when we have a potential break point, which is why Lambert couldn’t give a f@ck, as he knows it’s coming and can’t do anything about it
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Is there anyone
at 16:45 23 Jan 2021

Involved with the first team ( players or management)who demands high standards? I don’t see anyone doing anything other than giving dumb acceptance to mediocrity
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Toothless once again
at 16:34 23 Jan 2021

Still no tempo, still no one demanding the ball, still an isolated single striker, let’s hope something changes with 3 sustitutions
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Chambers
at 16:23 23 Jan 2021

Much better 2nd half
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Marc Albrighton
at 22:03 19 Jan 2021

Watching him playing superbly for Leicester, I wondered why he left Villa - it came as no surprise when I discovered the manager responsible
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2 up top then?
at 16:31 16 Jan 2021

N/t
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Kieran and his view on Newcastle
at 11:56 16 Jan 2021

Saw Kieran schooling Jermaine Jenas (twitter link on TWTD sidebar) on why Bruce won’t be respected at Newcastle, because he managed Sunderland. KD said he would never coach or manage Norwich, because he’s an Ipswich boy, which made me wonder about what he thinks of anyone who did the reverse
[Post edited 16 Jan 11:57]
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Imagine if fans were in the ground
at 19:15 9 Jan 2021

It would be very ugly, even the Sky commentator ps expect a 4th rather than a comeback
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Jackson, that’s better
at 18:53 9 Jan 2021

Norwood very lucky but who cares
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If Jackson wants a regular spot on the right, he needs to do a lot lot better
at 18:09 9 Jan 2021

Their full back is dominating him in every situation
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