Saturday, February 23, 2013

Three managers, One Decision

Hello all

I trust everything is well with everyone?

Well the last seven days have certainly been interesting for the Imps. It all started with a 3-2 defeat at Hereford last Saturday, a game I finally managed to do a video for. As I state in the video, Holdsworth left the Imps on the Sunday afternoon after the game, however, the video wasn't uploaded before then, so that hopefully explains why things are talked about as if they haven't happened, even though they had by the time this video was actually uploaded.....I hope that made sense.

But anyway, yeah, so Holdsworth left the club on Sunday and one thing that I noticed was that the official statement says that it was via mutual consent. Fair enough I thought, I personally didn't think we could justify giving Holdsworth a new contract, and both parties believes that it was the right time for him to go.....skip forward to Thursday and in a press conference, two members of Lincoln's board said that the board of directors had decided after the Hereford game that Holdsworth leave via mutual hold on, did Holdsworth actually agree to this "mutual" consent or did you just decide it would be officially "mutual"? 

Dino Maamria in the Echo Stand before
the game against Barrow
So yeah, anyway, the search beings for a new manager and I am lead to believe that the club has received roughly 35 applications, some of which have come out publicly and declared their interest. There are some interesting names in there to say the least and here are three that stand out for me personally a realistic look at their abilities (please note that these are not in order of preference or any other type of sort).

Dino Maamria 


He was one of only two managers that were seen at Sincil Bank against Barrow. 

Maamria has a wealth of knowledge about the non-league having spent years as a player at this level and then managed the great-escape as Northwich manager. 

Former Conference Manager of the Year.

Has had a great mentor in Graham Westley, someone who has a great record in non-league.

Has gone on record as stating that he loves coaching and managing, so the hunger would definitely be there.


My only MAJOR concern with Dino would be that with no previous ties to our club, as far as I'm aware, this is just another job.

Hasn't managed for several years

He likes R&B and Hip/Hop.

Gary Simpson


Sentimentality would mean that Gary would be the obvious choice. 

Having spent time previously at the club, everyone is agreed that he has a genuine affection for the club.

Regularly scouting for players at all levels of football

Having been at a lot of different clubs over the last few years, mainly with Keith Alexander, he will almost certainly have a big contacts book.


Hasn't managed in the non-league since 1993 and although he does regular scouting at this level, scouting and management are two completely different things. When managers who haven't managed at a certain level for a LONG time, they often struggle.

This isn't the 2002-6 period and we shouldn't just assume that we would have similar success to before. I loved the Keith Alexander era (who didn't), but again let's not just assume that it would work out the same way.

Losing record at Macclesfield was 42.34%, compared to a win percentage of just 28%....that's lower than Holdsworth.

Gary Brabin


Gary Brabin
Winning record throughout his career of 49.59% over 123 league games, which, at any level of football, is very impressive. That winning record is almost double that of Gary Simpson.

Passionate to say the least. He has a reputation for saying it as he sees it....and sometimes in a very heated way.

Having spent most of the latter part of his career in the non-league, he would have a good network in non-league.

Former Conference Manager of the Year.


In a radio interview he sounded less than enthusiastic about the club and it was almost an "any club will do" sort of tone to it.

Has never managed with a budget that will be a similar level to our's.

His passionate nature could easily see him alienate some people as he is a very opinionated character.

So those are the three main candidates. For me it's got to be Brabin, the winning ratio speaks for itself, it really does. As I say, the sentimentality says Gary Simpson but with a winning ratio that is LOWER than David Holdsworth's, it would be hard to justify from a footballing point of view. Don't get me wrong, I like Simpson, he's a great bloke but we can't afford to be sentimental at the moment.

Brabin is a manager who I have always rated and his record speaks for itself. He is a winner and football is all about results, and whilst he has many similar qualities to Dino in the sense that he has recent experience at this level and has a decent winning record, Brabin wins it for me.

Obviously it's not my decision, it's the job of the board to pick the man that they think will do the best job, however, the man who I want in the job usually ends up getting it. In 2007 I was speaking to Dave Roberts (CEO at the time) at a reserve game on the night that Schofield was sacked, and we got talking about a few managers who had already been linked, but when asked who I would want I simply replied with "Peter Jackson." Roberts said that in the early meeting to discuss the type of man that they were looking for they had mentioned a few names and Jackson's hadn't come up......three weeks later and he was in charge.

For me this is the biggest appointment we will ever make as we slip closer to the relegation zone, and with a tricky run coming up, we need an immediate turn around.

But anyway, until next time, peace out.

Oh, and by the way, I would like to wish David Holdsworth all the best in his future endeavours. I was never on the Holdsworth Out bandwagon but I think it was only a matter of time, and whilst I believe you genuinely had the club at heart (unlike some), the time was right.

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