Now here’s another like Carayol who could quite easily have been one of the all time greats, had he bothered turning up half the time. Again, he’s no right to be listed with Dave Smith or Gareth Ainsworth, but someone nominated him and therefore I’ll include him here.
When I think of my ‘ideal’ footballer I think of a strong and powerful winger, equally as comfortable playing through the middle. They’ll have the raw physique that allows them to compete with rough full backs, but they’ll have a splash of flair and trickery about them too. Crucially they would be a goal threat and always show an exemplary attitude and complete commitment to the cause. Dany N’Guessan was almost that footballer. Almost.
When Steve Evans said in the press he felt John Schofield had been an ‘armchair scout’ when signing Dany, I understood his point. We first witness the young Frenchman playing for Evans on loan from Rangers and I’m not sure John Deehan’s contacts extended as far as Auxerre or Glasgow. However, once we’d seen him we decided, like Lee Beevers before him, that he was going to be ours.
I was excited to see Dany play for Lincoln; I couldn’t understand what the catch was. He had it all, and as he settled in I was hoping that we’d see what he could do on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, with Dany that was where he lacked.
He struggled to settle at all in the first few months and didn’t show the sort of form that had made him popular at York Street. It soon appeared that when he was good, he was very good. When he was bad he may as well not have been there. At the height of his game he was unplayable, able to beat men at will, fire in shots from all angles and generally look a cut above anyone on the field. The other 80% of the time we essentially had ten men.
Throughout the transfer window of early 2009 he suddenly found form scoring 6 in 10 games right up until early March. Then like on so many occasions he went missing for the latter part of the season. Leicester City agreed with my view that there was a quality player in there, and at the end of the season he left. Few shed any tears.
Since then he’s made a good living from threatening quality only to fail to deliver on a regular basis. It’s a crying shame that a player I firmly believe could have played Premiership football seemed unable to apply himself enough to showcase his talents.
Tomorrow: Another Keith-era winger who suffered terribly from injuries, a National League winner or two and a plyer who represented us from 1958-1961 and would probably beat all of the entrants on this page if you had ever seen him play. Then, finally, you can vote for Dave Smith.