Cowley or Appleton | Page 2 | Vital Football

Cowley or Appleton

#21
I think this is an unfair comparison. Danny and Nicky were very well supported by the board of Lincoln City, and achieved success as a result. Outstanding for two young and inexperienced managers at EFL level. However, their stock was high, and as soon as it became apparent that the football club could not afford to carry on making the losses it was in support of them, they were quick to engineer their passage out, upwards and onwards, and I wish them all the luck in the world. The galvanising effect of the Cowleys brought unprecedented support to this club, the like not seen since the Taylor era when I first began to follow the Imps, indeed they probably exceeded even that.

Michael has arrived at this club with a completely different set of circumstances, the club has to take a breather financially and pay it's way better and build itself up to begin to challenge at League one level. This takes time, wheeling and dealing, knowledge of how to do this and the contacts to be able to achieve the ultimate goal. Micheal has form in this field with Oxford and the players he signed and nurtured who went on to bigger and better things with a very nice tidy profit into the bargain ! The board of Lincoln City, in my opinion, are after exactly the same profile. The difference for Michael is that he knows whatever he generates this time will be kept by him to recycle and grow the club. I believe Oxford were not able to support him in the same way with the burden of historic debts they had.

For what the club are looking to do now, I think we have exactly the right manager in Michael, ambitious like the Cowleys, but at this point in time, looking to re-build his own profile and a commitment to the cause with the signing of a contract due to last another 3 seasons yet. Whether the Cowleys might have been better at this than Michael is really immaterial. They weren't prepared to accept this new challenge. Michael is and I, personally, am very happy to have him.
 

Rasenimp

Vital Football Legend
#22
I'm going to controversially say I actually think this is a more interesting question than given credit. Rather than comparing who might be a better manager or who did what for the club in the past, who would you want in charge at this point given the current circumstances.

I'm also unconvinced that answering it means disunity or the world falling in.
  1. It think the Cowleys playing the on the deck style required at L1 level was unproven
  2. I think the squad they built was a bit lop sided and heavily reliant on Tyler Walker. Payne / Grant / Hesketh seemed a bit overkill
  3. The constant demands for further budget and wanting to challenge immediately for the championship were probably a bit dangerous in terms of bankrupting us especially the way things have gone in the last couple of months?
  4. More positively they had a track record of success with us, generally a very good record on players and you know we'd be hard to beat and less likely to make some of the dodgy errors knocking it out from the back.
  5. A lot of community engagement, momentum, and romance with the press with the whole PE teacher schtick.

With Appleton, we have:
  1. More experience of playing the required style - in league one, not seen anyone play really direct. Also track record at Oxford.
  2. A squad that fits with that style.
  3. A seeming acknowledgement of the financial situation and a more longer term plan focused on developing young players.
  4. Some risk that goes with that - as well as the potential that we are a little easier to beat with some raw / less physically developed young players.
  5. Feeling that there was a certain amount of dogmatism / insistence on one particular style and way of playing that could never be broken. Sometimes that makes me nervous especially when it's not working - more than one way to skin a cat. I think mgr takes some responsibility for games like Sunderland away where we just shot ourselves in the foot over and over again (once was too many!)

On balance, I'm team Appleton. I think the financial situation and where we are as a club in L1 alongside a number of big fish means he's probably a better fit. We'd look like idiots if we'd overspent and were a few places higher but buggered during the covid outbreak. I've seen little to suggest they'd have wanted to spend less money if in charge tomorrow.
 

APHLCFC

Vital Reserves Team
#24
I'm going to controversially say I actually think this is a more interesting question than given credit. Rather than comparing who might be a better manager or who did what for the club in the past, who would you want in charge at this point given the current circumstances.

I'm also unconvinced that answering it means disunity or the world falling in.
  1. It think the Cowleys playing the on the deck style required at L1 level was unproven
  2. I think the squad they built was a bit lop sided and heavily reliant on Tyler Walker. Payne / Grant / Hesketh seemed a bit overkill
  3. The constant demands for further budget and wanting to challenge immediately for the championship were probably a bit dangerous in terms of bankrupting us especially the way things have gone in the last couple of months?
  4. More positively they had a track record of success with us, generally a very good record on players and you know we'd be hard to beat and less likely to make some of the dodgy errors knocking it out from the back.
  5. A lot of community engagement, momentum, and romance with the press with the whole PE teacher schtick.

With Appleton, we have:
  1. More experience of playing the required style - in league one, not seen anyone play really direct. Also track record at Oxford.
  2. A squad that fits with that style.
  3. A seeming acknowledgement of the financial situation and a more longer term plan focused on developing young players.
  4. Some risk that goes with that - as well as the potential that we are a little easier to beat with some raw / less physically developed young players.
  5. Feeling that there was a certain amount of dogmatism / insistence on one particular style and way of playing that could never be broken. Sometimes that makes me nervous especially when it's not working - more than one way to skin a cat. I think mgr takes some responsibility for games like Sunderland away where we just shot ourselves in the foot over and over again (once was too many!)

On balance, I'm team Appleton. I think the financial situation and where we are as a club in L1 alongside a number of big fish means he's probably a better fit. We'd look like idiots if we'd overspent and were a few places higher but buggered during the covid outbreak. I've seen little to suggest they'd have wanted to spend less money if in charge tomorrow.
Brilliant post. Firstly, you took the question as it was intended, looking forward not back. The unfair question would be who's the best? The debate I wanted to start was who would you see as the best fit going forward from here.

Your points 4 and 5 for both managers are spot on. For me the proven track record with this club and the relationship with all the club's stakeholders wins it for the Cowleys. Appleton has his own attributes as you identify very well and given time may well build similar relationships to the Cowleys. I suspect he is probably a good fit for us given the direction we seem to be heading in.
 

MaineRoad_96

Vital 1st Team Regular
#25
Appleton 100%. He is proven at this level and some of the football we’ve played at home has been outstanding.

Always grateful for what the Cowleys did but it’s probably healthy that the personality cult came to an end. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but if they were still in charge we would be in serious financial trouble, because we apparently weren’t allowed to ‘consolidate’.
 

plumbob

Vital Football Hero
#26
I'll always be grateful for what DC/NC did. Would MA have got us out the National league? maybe not. However, if all the press is to be believed, DC/NC would have spent a lot of money this season on a squad that would now be sitting at home on a larger wage bill I suspect than the current squad eating away at club funds, so in that respect MA is the right man in the current climate. MA was brought in on the pitch of a sustainable model and I believe we will achieve that. At worst, we will be a middle of the road Div 1 team, but given where we've come from I can live with that for a period. Come back to this in 2 seasons time and do a "where are they now" and maybe we will have found the answer.
And, given the early season stuff, I doubt we would be any higher up the table either.
 

collingham imps

Vital Squad Member
#28
As has already been said - it's 'horses for courses' - the Cowleys did a fantastic getting us into the League and to Div 1 - and at the end aspirations were out of balance. We did well to hire Michael Appleton and the team that he has put together and they are probably better suited to where we are now given the financial realism that's required and the style of play that is needed to be successful at this level.
 

buckielugger

Vital 1st Team Regular
#29
As has already been said - it's 'horses for courses' - the Cowleys did a fantastic getting us into the League and to Div 1 - and at the end aspirations were out of balance. We did well to hire Michael Appleton and the team that he has put together and they are probably better suited to where we are now given the financial realism that's required and the style of play that is needed to be successful at this level.
Horses for courses is exactly right.
And in both cases, we've got Clive as the jockey and that's probably the most important thing now...
 

Chesterimp

Vital 1st Team Regular
#31
I think this is an unfair comparison. Danny and Nicky were very well supported by the board of Lincoln City, and achieved success as a result. Outstanding for two young and inexperienced managers at EFL level. However, their stock was high, and as soon as it became apparent that the football club could not afford to carry on making the losses it was in support of them, they were quick to engineer their passage out, upwards and onwards, and I wish them all the luck in the world. The galvanising effect of the Cowleys brought unprecedented support to this club, the like not seen since the Taylor era when I first began to follow the Imps, indeed they probably exceeded even that.

Michael has arrived at this club with a completely different set of circumstances, the club has to take a breather financially and pay it's way better and build itself up to begin to challenge at League one level. This takes time, wheeling and dealing, knowledge of how to do this and the contacts to be able to achieve the ultimate goal. Micheal has form in this field with Oxford and the players he signed and nurtured who went on to bigger and better things with a very nice tidy profit into the bargain ! The board of Lincoln City, in my opinion, are after exactly the same profile. The difference for Michael is that he knows whatever he generates this time will be kept by him to recycle and grow the club. I believe Oxford were not able to support him in the same way with the burden of historic debts they had.

For what the club are looking to do now, I think we have exactly the right manager in Michael, ambitious like the Cowleys, but at this point in time, looking to re-build his own profile and a commitment to the cause with the signing of a contract due to last another 3 seasons yet. Whether the Cowleys might have been better at this than Michael is really immaterial. They weren't prepared to accept this new challenge. Michael is and I, personally, am very happy to have him.
Agreed. Answering the OP, both. Different times, different circumstances.

To just add to CottyImp's excellent post, the brief MA was given and the way he's gone about it has left us in a less weak position ( I chose that phrase deliberately) in current circumstances than most other EFL and specifically L1 clubs. With hindsight offloading big earners, for fees in January was a masterstroke.
 

buckielugger

Vital 1st Team Regular
#32
Agreed. Answering the OP, both. Different times, different circumstances.

To just add to CottyImp's excellent post, the brief MA was given and the way he's gone about it has left us in a less weak position ( I chose that phrase deliberately) in current circumstances than most other EFL and specifically L1 clubs. With hindsight offloading big earners, for fees in January was a masterstroke.
Definitely. Our January moves have proved doubly correct given the circumstances that have now ensued.
Large earners gone. Probably around £1 million banked from transfer fees.
Could very well be the difference that gets our club safely through this current situation.
 

Jules

Alert Team
Staff member
#34
I'm

I'm sure he couldn't care less, I doubt the content of this forum takes up too much of his thoughts.

Just a little hypothetical to see where people are with the situation, there was much more hostility towards the Cowleys after their departure than I expected, MA has been here a little while now and a lot of people are very glowing in their praise. I was interested to see if there was a consensus that MA is a better bet for the club long term than the Cowleys.

If the question upsets you I suggest you need to get a grip!
You know, it's difficult enough right now working in the current situation, then coming home to try and do all I can to keep this website going.

I've lost a bit of the momentum in the last few days with no articles published, so please don't tell me to "get a grip" when all I have actually done is state what I think.
 

buckielugger

Vital 1st Team Regular
#35
Yes this is a hypothetical discussion and probably pointless.
But then much of what is written here on numerous threads is also pointless.
But does it not at least generate views and clicks for the site?
 

Jules

Alert Team
Staff member
#36
Yes this is a hypothetical discussion and probably pointless.
But then much of what is written here on numerous threads is also pointless.
But does it not at least generate views and clicks for the site?
Just because a thread makes me some money, it doesn't mean I, or anyone else on here, has to agree with it.
 
#37
Cowley can't build a young team, Appleton thrives off of building a young team. We over spent with the Cowley's, Appleton has come in and got rid of massive earners in January. We couldn't sustain the Cowley's method, they need big budgets for that, we haven't got it.

Appleton is the Manager to get us up the League and to the next level. Cowley wanted a quick run to the top.

Managers shouldn't have to get the crowd going, we should get ourselves going. We play much better football under Appleton and we were far to direct under the Cowley's (Huddersfield fans are saying that at the moment.) The fans have stayed because we're Lincoln City FC, not Cowley FC.
 

Luke Imp

Alert Team
Staff member
#39
Cowley can't build a young team, Appleton thrives off of building a young team. We over spent with the Cowley's, Appleton has come in and got rid of massive earners in January. We couldn't sustain the Cowley's method, they need big budgets for that, we haven't got it.

Appleton is the Manager to get us up the League and to the next level. Cowley wanted a quick run to the top.

Managers shouldn't have to get the crowd going, we should get ourselves going. We play much better football under Appleton and we were far to direct under the Cowley's (Huddersfield fans are saying that at the moment.) The fans have stayed because we're Lincoln City FC, not Cowley FC.
Are we sure about that? He liked an experienced back line, and last season was definitely a recruitment of ready made players to get out of L2, but Toff, Habergham, Woodyard, Ginnelly, Raggett, Vickers, Walker, Wharton, Dickie, JMD, Morrell, Connolly, Lewis etc at various times.

Squads weren't built on Crewe type of young players but it didn't feel like we were Dads Army age either. I might be wrong on that and it'd be interesting to know what the average age of both the squad and first XI's were in each of the three seasons. Not sure if @Scotimp has that info to hand.
 

EastvilleIMP

Vital Reserves Team
#40
Good thread, a few on here don’t like discussion, especially if you are saying the sun isn’t shining out the current regimes back passage or posing a interesting question that even slightly suggests something against the grain.

MA won’t give two hoots about a thread on here.

Anyways, to the question, MA for me has put us in a better place this season, compared to how I believe DC and NC would have, with the spending and the ambition to get as far as quickly as possible.

The decision to get rid of the high earners as said has been 100% correct.. almost as if the board had seen this coming (one for the tin foil hat brigade and the people who think 5g has caused this).

I also think MA will have us in the right place with sustainability. MA has my vote.