Goodbye, Ollie Palmer

Striker Ollie Palmer today left the club for an undisclosed fee, joining Crawley Town as their new number nine.

The long-rumoured move was announced a little after six o’clock, bringing to an end the striker’s one-season stay at Sincil Bank. It comes a year and a day after he was unveiled as our new signing.

It is fair to say Palmer polarised opinion, many felt he didn’t get a fair crack of the whip, others questioned his aerial ability and selfishness that plagued his early season efforts.

I was a critic, credit where it was due I thought he picked up the pieces of his Imps stay very well in the second part of the season. His late goals and cameo appearances from the bench caught the eye, but as a starter he never really had an impact. The one exception to that game was Coventry, but after 65 minutes he looked absolutely knackered.

I’m afraid I was never totally convinced and two of the players I have been critical of, Whitehouse and Palmer, have both left the club. Whereas Whitehouse laboured and often didn’t get the rub of the green, Palmer was a one-man show who was less predictable than lightning.

We joke about him being unpredictable and that was both his strength and his weakness. He could amble through three defenders and score a worldy, or he would come on and wander around looking like a lost child. One imagines he was a nightmare to manage tactically because it often looked like he had no awareness of the world around him.

I have this image of Palmer wandering around and, every so often, a ball lands at his feet. His brain engages and the only thought is ‘run towards goal’. sometimes that resulted in a great goal, other time he lost the ball and failed to find a team-mate with a pass. As the season went on he did get better, but clearly not enough.

I can’t write an enthusiastic goodbye, I’ve tried but I can’t. I did apologise to him in a blog for being critical and I did appreciate what he added at times, but the truth is if Ollie Palmer is your number nine, you’re not a top seven team. His virtually anonymous outings in the play offs only confirmed that. For a big fella, his physical impact was negligible.

I liked his attitude, at least what I heard of it. His determination to remain an Imp in January and his assessment of Mansfield fans in March, but a few soundbites and a couple of goals couldn’t convince me entirely he was worthy of a start. He might have been a good squad player, but now there’s more wages freed up to bring someone else in.

I guess I’m being a little too negative, but I just never ‘got’ Ollie Palmer. I liked the idea of him, I loved the player bagging against Chesterfield, Exeter and Mansfield, but I could never understand why anyone believed he was a better choice up front than Matt Green.

Also, despite improving, he couldn’t head for toffee. When 1,000 fans travelled to Crewe and sung; “We’ve got Ollie Palmer, he can’t win a header, we’ve got him on a two-year deal”, you know there are weaknesses in his game.

I’ll leave this by thanking Ollie for his efforts and wishing him, and Crawley, the best of luck in the future. Most Imps fans are perhaps a little more positive than I, with lots of love on Twitter for the big bugger.

 

6 Comments

  1. Spot on Gary.
    If Greeny or Rheady had the physical prowess that Ollie possesses, they’d be championship or higher. I’m sure Ollie has many positive facets, it’s a shame a footballing brain isn’t one of them.

  2. Is there a pre season surprise when the rest of the lads report in tomorrow? Palmer would have not been allowed to go unless there was a definite incoming.

  3. Colchester have signed Norris so is Mandrin on the way here?
    How is the back Gary? Off the table and fit for the new season?

  4. The story was Palmer wouldn’t be allowed to go till a signing had been made, suggesting it would be his replacement. Now the rumour is an announcement is imminent but its not what you would expect….very confusing.

  5. @ExAgent1
    Following Following @ExAgent1
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    I’ve been on the phone tonight organising a London get together with an agent mate, he says Lincoln and John Akinde have been mentioned in the same breath. The problem is the size of the fee, given Akinde’s injury. It’s holding up his move to AFC Wimbledon.

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