2017/18 Opinion – Midfielders Part One

Ellis Chapman

Ellis is this season’s bit part player, two appearances from the bench which would barely warrant a piece here. However, he did make performances and I wanted to recognise his ‘break through’ of sorts.

Young Ellis is a player of huge potential, one Danny believe will be a ‘special player’. We haven’t seen it as yet, how could we inside two late cameo appearances? Nothing was expected of Ellis but his first professional deal in the summer was a special moment. I loved the ‘old and new’ symbolism between him and Lee Frecklington.

He’s barely kicked a ball for the first team but rest assured, he’s been developing and impressing with the group all season. It might be twelve months, it might be two years, but this boy will break through.

Lee Frecklington

When Lee Frecklington arrived, everyone cheered and gasped. A Championship captain less than a year ago, him coming to Sincil Bank would surely cement our play off place. Everyone wondered where he’d fit in, what we might do to accommodate him,

On his debut he smashed a goal to sign back on, against Chelsea U21 he sent us to Wembley in a proper Roy of the Rovers storyline. In all, he grabbed four goals in 16, meaning over a full season if that average continued he’d get ten. Not a bad return, right?

So why much negativity? At times he hasn’t looked as effective as we’d hoped, but this is a different level and a new challenge. Also, without probing too much off the field, he’s got some personally issues to deal with too. I think he’s done incredibly well to remain both fit and focused during that time.

Has he had the impact everyone had hoped? Maybe not, no. Has he been a flop? Absolutely not, no. He hasn’t run the show like some had hoped, he hasn’t been as consistent as even he might have hoped, but he’s been far from a flop. In some games he’s looked dominant and composed, but then there are matches away at Port Vale or Accrington where the ball has passed him by time and again. Remember, we play a direct game which by-passes the midfield and that doesn’t help him.

He’s been surging into the area late as we saw against Grimsby, giving us glimpses of what we can expect. There’s much more to come from Lee is he stays fit, I hope over the summer his personal situation settles down and we get him next season able to focus on his football. However, he scored two fewer goals in the league than both Anderson and Bostwick and had six months less. He banged home that Chelsea U21 penalty too, setting up our Wembley appearance and our route to silverware.

Josh Ginnelly

I was puzzled by Josh being recalled and wonder if the lack of games led to it, but I personally felt he was having a decent season. He looked rampant in the first match of the season, scoring a cracker against Wycombe on the opening day. Then he picked up an injury and in truth, he never bounced back from that.

His chances seemed limited after that, his next goal came in the EFL Trophy and what a goal it was, a curling effort from the edge of the area which was worthy of winning any game. By Christmas I thought he was getting back to his best, hence my surprise with his departure.

I think there was a little of the ‘Derek Asamoah’ about Josh, lots of pace that frightened the opponents, but not always an end product. Port Vale at home also hurt him a lot, his poor corner ending up in a goal for the opposition. I criticised him that day, he hadn’t played well but two games later he scored against Stevenage. Then, he was gone.

He scored twice for Tranmere whilst on loan there, but he’s recently been released by Burnley. Would we like to see him back? I would, I think there’s a lot of quality there and a player able to play League Two football. Losing him at the same time as JMD stung us hard and I think he’d be an excellent squad player. We do need a deeper squad next season and if the right deal could be struck I’d have him back in a heart beat.

 Next page – two flops. Sorry.