By Kate Jackson
September 14 2013
I am not going to lie, had Jon Nolan not scored then this would be a lot of vitriolic that it is turning out to be, infact it's probably a good thing that I don't write reactions straight after matches like I used to.
For those that don't know, I turned 29 on Thursday and I have promised myself a few things as I enter my last year before I turn 30, and one of those is to try and not let my emotions control me as much as they used to, which believe me, has been a good thing. Luckily, without having the internet at my new house at the moment, I am forced on a regular basis to wait a few days before posting.
Since this site came back up there has seemed to be a considerable difference to how it used to be. Back in the site's original run, I got quite a reputation for write articles pretty much straight after matches and sometimes let my emotions get the better of me.
The club are dominating games. No-one I have seen keeps the ball as well as we do and if you have the ball, you're not going to concede on a regular basis. However, there is a negative to that (see relevant section below).
Unlike in some recent seasons, I have no doubt whatsoever about every player's desire to do well for the club. This is a very "Team Lincoln" style atmosphere to the 2002/3 season, and if this squad can replicate their success then I very much doubt that anyone will be complaining at the end of the season. Much like 11 years ago, you may question the ability of one or two, but not once, even when I have been questioning performances, have I doubted this team's desire to do well.
We may not be having a lot of shots on target, but the ones we are having are generally going in. Nolan's shot was the only shot on target we had all game and it went in, and on numerous occasions this season we have scored with our only realistic shot on goal, so if you can score when you're only creating minimal chances then that's a good thing.
Despite falling four places, eighth at this stage is still an excellent place to be in the table, especially when you consider that, results depending, we could be third on Tuesday evening.
Ok, I'm going to start with what I know may seem like such a small thing, but having a squad full of right footers is not a good thing. I looked through the squad recently and the only left footed player that we seem to have is Newton (I could be wrong but I am pretty certain he is the only left footer, my apologies if he isn't, but the point still remains). This is staring to cause problems because players are constantly having to switch to their right foot, causing delays and therefore meaning that the opposition have time to close down and/or intercept the ball. Also, on a few occasions today we found ourselves in shooting positions ideal for a left footer.....but it was a right footer that had the ball. Don't get me wrong, it's not a MAJOR thing but surely we should have more than one left footed player in the squad, and I am pretty certain that Newton is the only one.
Then we get onto my main concern. I have highlighted it before and I still find the tactics quite negative. It's all well and good playing pretty, tappy-tappy football, but we are not creating good chances. There is no point having position for over 70% of a game (such as the Salisbury game) if you're not going to actually do anything with it. Only playing one up front, especially when we have a fine abundance of strikers at the club, seems ridiculous. As well as Tomlinson might do holding the ball up, because there is no-one up there with him, he often has to try and go alone, and teams are starting to get very wise to our tactics.
In a way it's very similar to the Keith days, we won't score many and we won't concede many either, but it is damn frustrating because with the posession we are having, we should be battering clubs.