2017/18 Opinion – Midfielders Part Two

Cameron Stewart

Cameron Stewart was either going to be an inspired signing, a talented player who rediscovered his form at Lincoln City and set the league on fire, or he was going to look like a shadow of his former self, a player whose promise and potential had long-since deserted him. I think we got the latter.

Stewart started three games for City, two in the league and three in the Checkatrade Trophy, but his impact in all three was minimal. He did provide the delicious cross for Harry’s goal against Posh in the quarter final of the cup, but that aside I can’t recall one other really positive thing he did. I can’t recall one cross, one rampaging run, nor one effort that the keeper tipped over or that flashed just wide.

Towards the end of the season when we flipped to 4-3-3 it meant there were even less chances for him to shine, his last outing coming against Chelsea in the EFL Cup. I’ll be very surprised indeed if we see him in Imps colours again.

Elliott Whitehouse

I’m sure I could write an essay about Elliott, the down to earth Yorkshire lad who seized his chance in the wake of suspensions and injuries after a stop / start campaign. There’s those who love him, seeing him as a cult hero who works tremendously hard. There’s also those who see him as a limited footballer, one perhaps more suited to the National League. Me? I can’t make up my bloody mind.

I see the hard working footballer, no doubt. I see the player who scored the disallowed goal against Exeter (pictured above where, by the way, none of their players are appealing). He can be instinctive in the area and he’s bagged four goals this term, from 43 appearances though. He’s started 22 games too, leaving him some way behind the likes of Freck and Bozzie in the goals per game ratio.

I also see the tryer, the eager and enthusiastic midfielder that just doesn’t quite cut it at this level. Everyone talks about the two saves Christy Pym made from Matt Green in the play-off semi-final first leg, but few mention the miss from Elliott in the immediate aftermath of one of them. Yes, the ball fell quickly to him and yes, he had little time to react, but I’m not convinced had that been Lee Frecklington or even Ollie Palmer, we might have had a 1-0 lead.

When I say the jury is out though, I mean it. I think back to the Lincolnshire Derby where he ran the show with an outstanding display of endeavour and hard work, setting up a goal and generally impressing. Those outings are few and far between though, are they not? The more he played towards the end of the season the more I wondered if Danny was getting as many minutes into him as possible to assess the future. His contract is up soon and as yet, there’s no new deal. Whereas Bozzie, Neil Eardley and the like have been tied down quickly, Elliott is forced to play the waiting game. That points to him being a ‘fringe’ player and we know how Danny feels about those. Remember, he only recruits players who improve the squad and, as much as it hurts me to say it, Elliott is one area of the squad we can improve upon.

Final page: a loan star and the player Luton Town so desperately wanted



  1. Really good analysis again Gary. Keep up the good work.

    Only thing I would add is Cameron Stewart-there is quality there but not confidence, nor possibly a hard working mindset.

    When we had a bit of a goal drought and on twitter was vids of goalscoring comp at Robert Patt, did he not make final (if not semis !) with Elliot Whitehouse ?? I would have liked to have seen him given more of a chance personally.

  2. I hope Alex Woodyard stays with us for years to come. I’d like to see the actual stats but I think he really never does give the ball away. He has developed rapidly under the guidance of the Cowleys, and I see no reason why that won’t continue at whatever level we reach.

  3. I have to agree with some of the criticism of Alex, he does indeed give the ball away contrary to the song and he is not creative enough. His performance against Exeter was less than average. Recruitment this summer of at least two quality midfield players and some for other positions are very necessary for the cause. However I do agree that he is a ‘keeper’ and I think will dovetail with creative midfielders and Freck alone is good but not enough……

    • Danny has a random group of players right now! 1/3 National League 2/3 Division 2. This small squad mentality will not get us prmooted to Div1. A number of players over hyped! Will not name names but the evidence is there… Danny is a winner… he won’t let sentiment get in the way of progress… Fascinating to see where we go from here.

  4. I think in the voting for ‘Best Midfield Players’ I put Alex Woodyard on a par with Dennis Booth and preferred the latter solely because of his better ability in dead ball situations – mainly when taking corners. Those who remember ‘Boothy’ will know what that says about my opinion of Woodyard.

    Re Elliott Whitehouse, I think at worst he’s a good squad player at this level but if we’d gone up I think he would/should have been released.

    I’d rather have Rowe than Williams – but I don’t suppose I’m the only one to think that.

  5. If there’s one area of the pitch I’ve been disappointed with this season, it’s been our wide players. We started the season with so much promise and anticipation, none of them have contributed nearly enough, with the exception of Harry at a push.
    JMD was the biggest flop, Ginnelly spent too much time hiding behind his fullback. Arnold didn’t contribute enough as an attacking force, his work rate was still outstanding though. Harry was great up until the new year & seems to have lost his way.
    Danny Rowe was sensational at times, but drifted in & out. Williams doesn’t have the pace or trickery to play out wide & I don’t think we found his best position. Tom Pett, I’ve seen it said he didn’t get a chance. I believe he did, he started about 4 or 5 games immediately after signing for us & made zero impact. I’ve not given up on him, but he does have a fair bit to prove.
    All in all, none of them have had the impact we’d hoped for. Is it the system? The role they’re being asked to play? God knows…
    Alex Woodyard though, he’s outstanding for us. If the wide players had pulled their weight I guarantee nobody would be expecting Alex to be more positive. If he goes he’ll leave a huge hole, a bigger hole than Raggett left for sure.

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