I saw an interesting Facebook post the other day which challenged Imps’ fans to make their best ‘Frankenstein player’, using elements of different players to create a whole.
I thought it was an interesting concept and in the absence of anything getting close to news, I thought I’d do my picks, with reasons why. However, rather than do it from the obvious, I’ve tried to be a little more creative with some of my choices.
The idea is you pick one aspect of a player you’d like to put into your final player: left foot, right foot, pace, heading, strength, stamina and creativity. I decided to odd ‘off-pitch persona’ too, making up the perfect Lincoln City player. What I have tried to do is ensure that not only do I never use the same player twice, but I’ve also stayed away from some of the more obvious choices.
It’s not as easy as you’d think, feel free to have a go and let me know your picks.
Left Foot – Peter Gain
Okay, I said I wasn’t going to make it obvious, but I have here. Peter Gain was always going to be my pick for one of the positions, I just couldn’t fail to take elements of his ability and use them on our Frankenstein player. I know there will be others who spring to mind, Stefan Oakes perhaps who apparently could peel oranges with his. Well, whilst Stefan was off peeling, Gain had quartered the orange, juiced it, put the bits left over on the compost and scored a goal too.
Right Foot – Neal Eardley
Turns out my original pick, Dean Keates, was left-footed. Cheers Transfermarkt – don’t believe everything you read online I guess.
It does mean that Neal gets in now though. I suppose it is the right outcome in the end, few full backs have had the quality delivery he was, plus his free kicks are legendary.
Also, I don;t need to check which foot he was and be lied to by the internet.
Pace – Derek Asamoah
I’m not saying I rated Asamoah whilst he was with us; he had little end product and I thought could have done much more whilst wearing red and white. What he did have though, in abundance, was pace. He was like soil off a shovel, like an F1 car off the grid, or like me switching off a television set whenever Love Island comes on; rapid.
Forget the lack of direction, the relatively weak end product and the eventual departure without aa meaningful tally of gaols or assists, this kid could run and coupled with the other elements here, he’d make a cracking player.
Heading – Sean Raggett
It is hard to pick one or the other here; Waterfall or Raggs. I remember Luke’s head meeting everything and anything that great 2016/17 season, but I’ve had to go for Raggs. He is fearless, he’ll compete for anything and in an Imps shirt he was utterly dominant. I’ve even had him over McAuley, Futcher and McCombe, all great headers of the ball who could make this list. Even Rheady might; we’ve been blessed with players that can challenge in the air.
Anyone would think we’ve been long ball at some point in the past.
Strength – Mark Stallard
I suppose plenty of people have gone for Rheady here, or those of a certain age might have gone for Mick Harford or Percy Freeman, but I’m going to look to a different era and go for Mark Stallard.
We got Stallard at the end of his career, but it was still a delight to see him in a Lincoln shirt. He was as strong as an ox and could play a bit too. For a decent centre forward, he was tough as my Mum’s roast beef on a Sunday. He got battered around plenty, but never let it phase him and his hold up play would bring Jamie Forrester in whenever he could. Quality footballer, but picked here for his brute strength.
Stamina – Alex Woodyard
You know it, I know it and I’m not ashamed; I was a big Alex Woodyard fan. I wish he’d never left, I’d still have him in our side now and he had a terrific engine, one I don’t recall being rivalled during my time as a fan. He worked his socks off, up and down the field every single week and he rarely came off the field. I remember one gut-busting run he made to put a tackle in whilst we were in League Two, I don’t recall the game. It was the second half and he sprinted the full length as if he’d just walked out on the field.
Few have impressed me with their stamina as much as Alex and my Frankenstein player would always shove 90 minutes in if he had the Woodyard engine.
Creativity – Dany N’Guessan
The keywords here are these; on his day. On his day, I don’t think we’ve had a better player in the last 20 years, and that’s no error. Dany had a real gift, he was so creative and full of guile it was unreal. The problem for us was this; we only saw it 20% of the time. When he was on form he was untouchable and if we could take that ability and blend t with all of the other attributes we have here, we’d have a hell of a player.
It still surprises me he didn’t make a success of his career. I guess attitude and application really do make a huge difference.
Attitude – Jake Sheridan
This might surprise a few, but if I could pick one player’s attitude for everyone to have, it would be Jake Sheridan. In my heart of hearts, I don’t think I ever rated Jake. I often groaned when he had the ball and he was almost never truly National League standard. You know what though; he fought every ball, chased every lost cause and never once gave up. I’ve seen a lot of players come and go at the club, many who would sell their Gran for a win (Graham Bressington should have got picked here), but few won my heart purely through that. The others all have redeeming features, all played in decent sides or brought something else to the party. I’m not sure Jake ever did and yet his attitude alone endeared him to me. Imagine, his unwavering application with N’Guessan’s sensational (but often absent) ability. Frightening.
Off Pitch – Harry Toffolo
This was a close call; I almost typed in the words ‘Simon’ and ‘Yeo’, but somehow I came around to Harry instead. It was a sad day when he left the club as we lost not only a superb left back, but also a top person. He was an ambassador off the pitch, great in interviews and always ready to be involved with community work. Harry Toffolo ‘got it’, he understood what it meant to be a professional footballer and have a duty to pay the community. To be fair, Lee Frecklington gets it too, but Harry just nudges it for me.
That’s it, that’s my Frankenstein player. I’m sure you have your favourites, with some players who could easily have come in not being picked. No bit of Gareth Ainsworth in this player is a surprise (even to me), whilst if I’d had to pick a finisher, maybe Liam hearn might have got a shout. Think your player could be better? Plan one out, send it over and I might publish some of the best.