Successful teams have strong spines.

Let me take you back to 1966.

Gordon Banks in goal. Bobby Moore defensive rock. Bobby Charlton midfield maestro. Geoff Hurst ace marksman.

Let’s look at Manchester United in their heyday.

Peter Schmeichel the giant between the sticks. Jaap Stam towering at the back. Roy Keane controlling the middle of the park. Eric Cantona being Eric.

Finally a look at today at Chelsea where Courtois, Cahill, Hazard and Costa account for 11 straight wins.

And Lincoln City? Top of the League status. Third Round of the FA Cup. Second Round of the FA Trophy.

This doesn’t come about through look. It involves teamwork and hard graft PLUS a backbone that would be the envy of many a National League outfit.

Farman, Waterfall, Woodyard and Rhead. These are four key players who have performed in nearly every game this season.

All consistent. All settled. All important.

What’s more, all vital to the ongoing success of Danny Cowley’s charges.

Next time you look at the opposition, see if it is made up of a spine like Lincoln City.

I doubt it.

As a tactician Danny has performed  a masterstroke with his formation.

Yes, every single squad member plays his part.

But think about the importance of that spine that runs through the team and creates the backbone for its current success.


Peter Hayward




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