During their first season back in the Football League, The Imps picked up two points from their matches against Cambridge United, with both games finishing 0-0. The first meeting of the season between the two sides was at Sincil Bank on Saturday 14th October in front of a crowd of 8,803, and the away match was on Friday 9th February in front of 5,775.
Rather than typing the next bit, I’m simply going to embed it below. It’s just a few statistics from Ignition Sports Media.
— IgnitionSportsMedia (@IgnitionSportsM) October 18, 2018
Anyway, time to move on to the important bit! Thank you to Cambridge United supporter Tom for answering our questions!
How long have you supported Cambridge United?
23 thoroughly disappointing years.
Where did you finish last season?
There wasn’t much reason for us to look at the table after September, but Wikipedia informs me we finished 12th.
What do you think of your Manager?
No longer convinced. I would have liked to have seen him go with Derry having overseen two failed managerial regimes, but he came in and did a fantastic job the last 3 months of last season and deserved the job, but appears to have now been found out with largely the same XI that finished the season.
What are your hopes and expectations for this season?
Anything above 23rd, and maybe a striker who scores 5 goals.
One(s) to watch?
Christ. Reggie Lambe has been our in-form player recently and is returning to us on the back of scoring a hat-trick for Bermuda last week. George Maris and Jevani Brown can be a threat from midfield too but have been far more inconsistent this season than last.
Who do you think will finish in the top 7?
I had Lincoln finishing top and that looks like it will be spot on. Exeter looked decent against us and should make it, MK are performing well under Tisdale and can only see them improving in January. Playoffs will be Colchester, Swindon, Tranmere and Mansfield after a change of manager.
Who do you think will finish in the bottom 2?
It’s very difficult to look past Macclesfield, and the bookies’ list for their managerial vacancy isn’t very inspiring either. I sincerely hope it’s not us, Cheltenham don’t seem to have made much improvement since getting rid of Johnson, but I’m going to keep sucking up to you guys and say Grimsby.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
Not surprised at how you’ve started this season and expect you to maintain it, I think we all rather enviously look at you in seeing how effectively cup run money can be spent, and also as the Cowley’s were mentioned for our job when we appointed Derry. No doubt you’ll go up and probably stay up next year but be interesting to see how you progress once the Cowley’s do leave. I’m also admirable of the way you’ve built up your fanbase so well on the back of your on-field success, but you do need to have a hard look in the mirror at yourselves with your attitude towards actually going to Checkatrade Trophy games…
What do you think the score will be?
3-0 Lincoln, and that’s my optimistic prediction.
What will your likely default formation and style of play be for this season?
4-2-3-1, the 1 being the guy who will miss a couple from 3 yards out. We do try and pass it around, we had 20+ shots against MK last week, but only one on target, which sums up our issues very well. We have a very generous defence as well, probably guarded by a keeper looking forward to his retirement in May and not particularly bothered about performing his job to the maximum of his ability anymore.
Random fact about your Club?
We have the tallest free-standing floodlights at a football ground in England.
If you could steal one Lincoln City player for your own team, who would it be and why?
John Akinde, I understand he’s played well for you this year without setting the goalscoring charts alight yet, but he’s exactly what we need right now.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Cambridge United Supporter?
Proudest would be making it back into the league after everything we went through in the decade prior, with an honourable mention for the 0-0 draw against Manchester United, soured because it’s played such a part in our recent demise. Most embarrassing losing 5-0 at Histon in the FA Trophy whilst they were still in the Conference South, I don’t think that will ever be eclipsed.
Who would you say is your most underrated player?
Blimey. I really don’t think I can suggest anyone right now!
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
Yes, they played a crucial role in saving the club from extinction in the mid-2000s, but despite having an FED on the board now don’t really seem to do anything of note to aid the fans, I would think it’s fair to say that the general support is split on them as a whole these days, at best.
Which was your favourite match involving Cambridge United?
The playoff final in 2014 against Gateshead, despite the incredibly agonising last 20 minutes once they scored and our captain then went off with a torn ACL pushing the game to 100 minutes, but an unbelievable sense of relief after.
Which was your least favourite match involving Cambridge United?
Again, repeating earlier answers the Histon 5-0 was awful, as were our first two Conference playoff finals where we failed to turn up to both, not registering a shot on target across two games.
How much of a financial mess is your club in? Or were the problems exaggerated in the summer?
It’s reasonably bleak, we’ve been bailed out by long-time fan and director Paul Barry yet again, but he’s very much a plug-the-gap owner and doesn’t really tend to do much in terms of short and long-term strategy. Our chairman, to be frank, is an imbecile, and we have some pretty useless backroom staff on the payroll, in addition to some useless players for a couple of years. The Man Utd money has all gone, despite it being said 1/3rd had been ringfenced for ground redevelopment, and with crowds dropping and with rent to continue to be paid, it doesn’t look promising.
How has Cambridge coped the last few hundred years with thousands of students? With 14,000 at Lincoln University and expected to grow to 20,000 we are being taken over!
The tourism element of it brings a lot of money into the city, and I think it’s fair to say that the type of student who generally goes to Cambridge isn’t quite the same as the standard British university student, so a bit less sick to clean off the streets every morning. The university has such a big hand in running the city because of what it generates, and this is reflected in how the city council view them, and us respectively, where we’re seen as a very big inconvenience unless we’re playing Man Utd in the FA Cup of course.
On the above, do you draw many students in?
Nope, none, absolutely no crossover at all, we’ve tried the odd student night, but with no long-term game. Very different demographics.
Do you think enough lessons have been learnt since the last time you dropped into the non-league abyss?
If you had asked me 18 months ago I’d have probably said yes, and maybe so a year ago, but obviously not! Although it’s a very different kind of financial mess this time, with the last one being driven by ITV digital and the scumbag who bought our ground who wanted to put us out of business, whereas this is more due to executives being over their head and terrible financial planning.
John Beck – hero or villain?
Hero, no doubt his second spell was an absolute disaster but we will never experience anything like his first tenure again, and we take a good amount of pride in the antics and tactics that we employed whilst he was here, much to the annoyance of the “big boys”.
Jez George and Marc Tracy. Discuss.
Jez George did incredible things for this football club in pulling us out of a whole and getting us into a position to get back into the league. Sadly, with a far more senior job title, a far too trusting and happy-clappy chairman managing him, and a lot more money to work with than he’s used to, he completely ballsed it all up and left us in a mess, and I really can’t understand why he’s ended up at your place. Marc Tracy is just a useless chancer, I’m not going to waste my time writing any more about him.
You have ex-Imp George Maris in your side. How’s he done for you?
It took him a while to get going, came with a good reputation but didn’t get many starts under Derry and spent a lot of time out wide where he was sporadic at best. Once Dunne took over last year we really saw the best of him and he was outstanding, but a proposed move to Rotherham fell through in August and he’s openly admitted it has affected him, which has shown in his inconsistent performances. But, as mentioned earlier he is one of our key players and one of the few who can still go out and win a game for us, it just won’t be this weekend!
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) October 19, 2018