On the day our current stopper signed a new two-year deal, the keeper he replaced as our number one has been released by Scunthorpe United.
Joe Anyon first joined up with City in July 2010, and his spell between the sticks marked perhaps the worst two seasons in our history. It was (please forgive me for mentioning two names from our dark past here) Chris Sutton who first brought him to the club from Port Vale, and by the time Chris left on September 29th he had kept three clean sheets.
After that we ‘welcomed’ Steve Tilson to Lincoln, and everything went awry. Anyon lost confidence and the manager felt he needed replacing. After conceding ten goals in fifteen days at the beginning of 2011 he was dropped, replaced by Trevor Carson. Carson did well and Joe found himself farmed out on loan to Morecambe as we climbed the table. Then Steve Bruce recalled his keeper and it all went badly wrong. As we know, Elliott Parrish ended up in the sticks and a recalled Anyon looked on helplessly as we conceded 23 goals in the last nine games to get relegated.
Despite being pushed out on loan, Anyon was back for our first season in the BSP, and again manager upheaval caused him issues. Obviously back in Tilson’s good books, he started the season as our regular keeper, but then we sacked Tilson (yay) and David Holdsworth didn’t fancy him. He went out and signed a loan player (as he did), some kid called Farman from Gateshead. Eventually the likeable lad went back to Gateshead and Anyon got his chance again. In truth towards the end of the season Anyon perhaps had his best spell in goal, but come May he was released and in came Farms. He’s now had two years at Shrewsbury and two more at Scunthorpe without ever getting regular first team action.
Lot’s of people have asked me this morning if I’d have Anyon back as our back up goalkeeper, and the obvious answer is no. It isn’t anything to do with his ability as a keeper either, which may sound plain daft. Joe Anyon is a name from a dark time for this football club, and whilst he may not have been the root cause of the issues, he was here and he will always be inextricably linked with relegation. He may have recently played in goal for Scunthorpe in a League One play-off, but in my eyes he isn’t as good as Paul Farman.
If we are looking for a second keeper, which I know we will be given that we need one on the bench, I suspect it will be someone who is young rather than an older player. We have Jimmy Walker here in the coaching capacity, and we simply don’t need that type of player again. Someone like Ross Etheridge would be the ideal candidate, younger and perhaps more inclined to take the odd opportunity in the EFL cup and be content for a while.
Joe Anyon is a decent keeper and I hope he gets a new club soon, but I simply don’t want to look down and see his name on our team sheet.