See-saw, Sol, Soze & sofa pundits

Will the real Lincoln City please stand up?

That’s the question on our supporters' lips as we put them through another 90 minutes of purgatory last weekend.

Decent on the opening day at home, rubbish against Accrington. Decent in midweek versus Bradford, beyond rubbish against Burton last Saturday.

The sequence suggests we’ll be good this weekend against a Dagenham & Redbridge side who’ve had a good start to the season.

But there’s no taking anything for granted where we are concerned at the moment.

Some strong words were spoken during and after the Burton game; we simply failed to show up against a hard-working side who we managed to make look even better.

Suffice to say that the players are under no illusions now - if they ever were before - as to the minimum expected of them every time they go out to perform.

Meanwhile the Notts County juggernaut rolls on.

Not content to hit the top of the table with a resounding win against fellow pacesetters Dagenham, they’ve followed it up with the acquisition of Sol Campbell, no less.

It’s as big a coup on the field as Sven-Göran Eriksson was off it, and establishes them as seriously big players of the lower divisions along with Leeds, Charlton, Norwich, Huddersfield et al.

With all that comes more pressure, not least on manager Ian McParland to deal with a dressing room full of experienced players who’ve played a lot higher in their careers, and a board who would expect automatic promotion as a right.

Ian’s a good guy though, and good luck to him, after all, who amongst us in the management fraternity wouldn’t welcome such an opportunity?

Sol and Ian: All smiles – for now

As for Sol, well I don’t claim to be best friends, but I know him well having been introduced by our mutual friend Ade Akinbiyi several years ago during my early Gillingham days, and when Sol was winning all at Arsenal.

I once played against him and Tony Adams in a Fifth Round FA Cup tie at Highbury for Gillingham.

We were holding them to 2-2 with 20 minutes to go before they decided to unleash Robert Pires and Thierry Henry.

10 minutes later it was 5-2 and we were imploring the ref to blow up early.

Sol and Tony Adams barely gave me a kick all game, though he was gracious enough to swap shirts with me.

I’ve still got his, though I understand a few days later he was seen washing his car in – or possibly with? – mine!

He’s a top guy, Sol, and moreover he’s been a magnificent player for both club and country.

He’s a thoughtful guy too, who I know has been interested for some time in going into coaching, because we spoke at length about it a while ago now.

It’s probably the lure of a coaching role there above all else, which persuaded him to drop into League Two.

Well if that’s the case Sol, welcome to the division, I look forward to catching up next month when we entertain them at the ‘Bank.

But back to the mighty Imps, and though not looking for excuses, we’ll undoubtedly be better for clearing our treatment room, which presently looks like a scene from M*A*S*H.

Potter, Klinger and Hot Lips: a fearsome front three

With the exception of the unfortunate Paul Green who’s a little longer term, all may well be available for the weekend trip to the Daggers.

And given that there are some influential senior players among their number, that will be a big boost.

Mind you, their ranks have also been swelled by the appearance of the gaffer, no less.

A particularly painful bout of gout has resulted in him walking around the training ground like Keyzer Soze from The Usual Suspects.

Suffice to say that he’s not the easiest patient for the physio, Slick c– no, I don’t know why he’s called that, but I’ll find out and come back to you – and Matt the Kitman, a.k.a Mourinho/Handyman/Football Pundit.

Speaking of Matt, I’ve drawn the short straw and am taking him to not one but TWO games this week!

To be fair, there is a method to this undoubted madness. I nominally live in Bristol these days having settled there during my stint playing for Swindon “back in the day” (that’s for the kids!), and stay in Lincoln during the week.

So after the Port Vale vs Sheffield Wednesday game on Tuesday Matt accompanied me down to Bristol to do some jobs on my flat before the new tenants move in next week.

From there we took in West Brom vs Rotherham on Wednesday night, before heading back to the People’s Republic of Lincoln afterwards.

Now I know what you’re thinking, that seems a heavy price to pay, and you’d be clearly right.

However he’s cheap labour and I don’t get back to Bristol usually during the week much to the annoyance(?) of my Other Half.

Mind you, I had to go through the mental torture of sitting watching Match of the Day with her last Saturday, fresh from the Burton beating and a three-hour drive.

I should explain that she knows nothing about football in any way whatsoever.

She once swore blind that there was on no account TWO teams in Liverpool, one of whom was called Everton, despite me counter-claiming not unreasonably that I probably had a better idea of the facts as I grew up there – and how would she know, coming as she does from Belgium?

So you can see what I was dealing with on Saturday night as she “analysed” EVERY goal scored and conceded on Match of the Day.

As I tried to watch the show through silent tears of despair while displaying the patience of Job, my ordeal was only relieved by the phone going off half-way through the Arsenal highlights.

I reached for it quickly, seizing any opportunity to put me out of my private hell, whereupon I heard a familiar voice.

“Hi Iffy, it's Matt, are you watching Match of the Day? Did you see the Arsenal... hello? Hello? Was that a gunshot? HELLO?”

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