After a bit of debate on Twitter last night, it was suggested I put together a ‘Worst Imps XI’ from our years in the National League. As much as I dislike writing about the bad times, I have decided to take up the challenge and come up with a definitive eleven terrible footballers that have represented us over the last few years.
To qualify the player must have made at least one National League appearance, which rules out youngsters like Reece Thompson who only played in the FA Trophy, albeit in the debacle against Carshalton. I’m going 3-4-3 too, because we’ve had some really terrible forward players that deserve their place.
So without further ado we’ll move on to the worst eleven players to have represented Lincoln City since August 2011.
GK: Joe Anyon
Joe was a decent keeper, of that there is no doubt. However, aside from David Preece, Paul Farman and Nick Townsend, he is the only other keeper to represent us! Had he played in the final run-in of the 2010-11 season instead of Parrish we might have stayed up, but he kept goal 38 times in that awful first season, and for that alone he has to go down as our worst keeper from the National League
DF: Jordan Keane
A loanee from Alfreton Town, which signals how far we had sunk by the time the young lad arrived. He played in four defeats, two draws and a solitary win against Braintree, and since his spell at Lincoln has hit the heady heights of Nuneaton and Worcester. Keane wasn’t just a non-league defender, he was a step three or four defender and although he wasn’t a terrible footballer, he represented the bottom of the barrel as far as I was concerned.
DF: Karlton Watson
Watson was an unremarkable former Nottingham Forest defender who joined on loan at the end of our first season in the Blue Square Premier. Lost two and drew one game in which he started, then went on to win his final match as he appeared as an 88th minute sub. Watson clearly didn’t have what it took to play successfully at tier five of English football, and after a spell with Telford he endured a miserable time at Boston United. Simply not good enough.
DF: Jean Arnaud
Arnaud made just one appearance for Lincoln as we were tanked 4-0 at Tamworth in Steve Tilson’s last game in charge. He looked completely out of his depth, coming on as a 63rd minute substitute, and immediately letting Tamworth in to score a fourth. Tilson left, and Arnaud wasn’t far behind. If David Holdsworth doesn’t think you’re good enough for a run out, I’m afraid you’ve not got a lot going for you.
MF: Ali Fuseini
You might think we had worse players than Fuseini, a ball playing midfielder who at times looked composed and able. The trouble was he barely ever put any effort in, and despite scoring once for City he epitomised everything wrong with the side that Tilson built. He was light weight, lazy and contributed not only to us getting relegated but also slipping down the National League. Another player that David Holdsworth found surplus to requirements, and you’ll find no complaint from me about that. His off-field antics didn’t paint him in a great light either, he was found guilty of aggravated vehicle taking and disqualified driving, eventually serving a jail term.
MF: Todd Jordan
Todd Jordan kept Jon Nolan out of the team, which is more a reflection of Nolan’s poor attitude than Jordan’s ability. He was a tryer, and for that I give him credit. What he lacked in ability he tried to make up in effort, but nobody could put that much effort in, there was too much ground to make up. Todd Jordan was a good, honest pro but (let’s be frank here) he wasn’t a National League quality footballer. Gary Simpson liked him, and nobody will ever be quite sure why.
MF: Aristede Bassele
You remember good old Bassele right? He came on as a last minute substitute as we ran 3-2 winners against Hereford in our second season in the Blue Square Premier. He clearly impressed in that minute as he earned a starting spot the week after against Woking.
He was frankly abysmal the next game, making no decent passes, no decent tackles and contributing as much as the gherkin contributes to a quarter pounder with cheese from McDonalds. He was the unwanted, unused element in a truly awful side, the Khano Smith to Chris Sutton’s 2009 FA Cup heroes. Instantly forgettable.
MF: Gary Mills
Mills wasn’t a popular figure from the moment he arrived, so firmly ensconced in David Holdsworth’s bottom that he could see his tonsils. He was a DH man through and through, but sadly not a footballer. He pointed a lot, he shouted a lot and he clapped a lot. At times you’d be forgiven for thinking he was a cheer leader or mascot of some sort. He was never far away from an altercation with fans on twitter, never far away from a nasty challenge or some sort of on pitch controversy. He was meant to add the bite that toughened up a weak Lincoln side, but after a 4-1 defeat by Grimsby he lasted just 37 minutes of our next match with Gateshead before disappearing altogether, much to the disgust of nobody at all.
FW: Gomez Dali
Don’t get me started, simply the worst forward I’ve ever seen in a Lincoln shirt, and I’ve seen Drewe Broughton and Ben Hutchinson. Awful player.
FW: Craig Hobson
Couldn’t score regularly in a London tower block, but could clean windows three floors up without a ladder. The stereotypical bambi-on-ice, all legs and arms with no coordination, finesse or potential. He tried, much like Todd Jordan, and he even netted as we beat 10-man Alfreton 2-0. However, he never convinced me he had what it took to play regularly for City, and eventually he scurried back to Stockport to begin his descent of the non-league pyramid.
FW: John Marsden
Marsden had hit a couple of goals for Southport earlier in their season, including an 86th minute equaliser against City. He came in on loan and never looked like scoring for City. In his six games for Lincoln we scored just four goals, and he was only on the pitch for two of them. Another loanee from a fellow National League side that simply wasn’t good enough to represent Lincoln City.
Honourable mentions: Robbie Williams, Luke Daley, Curtis Thompson, Jake Thomson, Paul Turnbull, and Craig Reid.