Jacko's Reign Remembered
Article by Peter Jackson
Updated Thursday, 3rd September 2009
An all too brief look at the highs and lows of Jacko & Onuoras reign.
In the eyes of most Imps fans, ex manager Peter Jacksons reign will be defined by the name of one other man – Adrian Patulea. The Romanians persistent exclusion from the side despite finding the net 11 times for City was the turning point for a large section of fans. In the eyes of the average man through the turnstile, Adi was the best striker to grace Sincil Bank since Simon Yeo. If he caused trouble it didn’t matter as long as he hit goals in an Imps shirt. Surely only a manager of immense ego could leave a successful player out?
He will be remembered fondly for a few things as well. He’ll be remembered as the manager who made a massive profit for the club by selling off star players. Dany N’Guessan was a fringe player until Jackson stuck him out wide and told the remaining ten Imps player to pass to him. Jacko will be remembered as the ma who saved us from relegation and the man who successfully beat cancer in a spell that saw him fully endeared to the patrons of the City. He also brought Richard Butcher back to the club, a player set to figure in a massive way for The Imps in the coming weeks. He also stuck by the Imps youth policy bringing numerous young players through. It might be said he relied too heavily on it, but Messrs Hutchinson, Adams, Coleman-Carr, Miller and Bennett will disagree.
However as well as Patulea he’ll be remembered as the man who swept out the old guard. Keith Alexander stalwarts such as Alan Marriott and Jamie Forrester were farmed out as the new Jackson faces came in. There will be those who cannot forgive the constant references to his budget, constantly bemoaning the war chest he had. His comments often made the club look like a poor side when the truth is we are competitive with 70% of our league financially. Then there is the unique stubbornness he has that saw him stick with 4-3-3 when all the fans around him called 4-4-2. When he changed at half time f a game we trailed against Accrngton, the 4-4-2 brought 5 second half goals, with substitute Patulea playing a big part. Needless to sat Jacko took the credit.
There’s his debatable transfer record to hold against him, with only Moses Swaibu, Aaron Brown and Rob Burch emerging as quality players for the club. Other faces such as Gall, Graham, Horsfield, and Sinclair will be seen as flops. His magnificent seven turned into decent double a five of failure last season, and so far this season few of the new faces can hold their head up high, perhaps only Paul Connor.
Although results have been cited as a reason for his departure, the love / hate relationship with the fans will probably be the most memorable feature of his reign after Patulea. He breezed into the club winning many friends, and the battle with cancer further cemented the special relationship he developed across the City. However the Patulea incident definitely signalled the end of the love affair, and him blasting supporters for not turning out proved unpopular. When he stated he expected seven thousand for a friendly with Arsenal Youths, fans were left scratching their heads at where he thought the attraction lay. His berating of Stefan Oakes in the press won him few friends, and the ones that stayed were beginning to waver when he persistently commented on transfer targets before losing them.
LCM lost faith in Jacko last season after Frecklington’s departure came too late for adequate replacement to be found. Perhaps Michael O’Connor would have changed our mind, had it not been for the 5-1 defeat at Grimsby in his first game. We were prepared to throw our weight behind Jacko this season, but the meek surrender against an average Burton side convinced us nothing would change. A 3-0 demolition at Dagenham on Saturday further enhanced the view that his days were numbered, but even we didn’t expect a move to come so quick.
We are in favour of his dismissal, which did come suddenly but not wholly unexpected. Word hit LCM at around 11pm on Tuesday that his days were numbered, in the aftermath of yet another defeat, this time a cup exit against Darlington. Arguments on the pitch between players suggested he’d lost the dressing room, and the 60 or so travelling fans chanted ‘your getting sacked in the morning’. When people who are prepared to travel 250 miles round tip for a JPT 1st round game want to have their say, we think they’ve arned the right, and those loyal followers were maing it well known Jacko had entered the final straight of his tenure as Imps boss.