December’s Stacey West Player of the Month

Credit Graham Burrell

It’s a new year, but there are still some bits to cover from 2020, such as our Player of the Month awards.

We’ve invested in a widget which allows you, the Stacey West readers, to rate each player on a game-by-game basis. From that, we derive the Stacey West Player of the Month, as well as understanding the performances you enjoyed most, and those which perhaps you did not.

Thus far, we have had two winners – Jorge Grant took the October award and Harry Anderson lifted it in October. There was nothing for September, as it took me too long to find the right software! Still, we’re now into January which means we can name the December winner.

December was a busy month in which we played seven matches, six in the league and one in the EFL Trophy.  Those games brought us five wins and two defeats, with 17 goals, eight against. It wasn’t a bad month at all, one which saw us move to the top of the table with a 5-1 win against Burton and discover something of a goalscoring niche. From Rochdale to Shrewsbury via Northampton and Sincil Bank – who was the best, which performance grabbed you and which individual performance stole the month? Read on to find out.

To qualify for the Player of the Month, a player must have featured in 50% or more of the club’s matches. 

3rd – James Jones – 7.00

Credit Graham Burrell

Jonah actually finished joint second, but I’ve put him in third by virtue of having played one game fewer than the other player on seven. His mont started well, a super goal against Rochdale helping us bag a win in a tough outing, and generally, he’s been industrious and creative all month. If you take out the games against Sunderland and Shrewsbury, both of which dragged down the player ratings, he would have bagged 7.75. That underlines his influence when City win matches – he’s definitely one of our key players and maybe goes a little unnoticed with the likes of Johnson and Grant around him. His best performance of the month, according to you guys, was the Boxing Day win against Burton, when he played a pass that might just pip Adam Marriott’s as one of the most sublime seen at the Bank in recent years.

2nd – Jorge Grant 7.00

Credit Graham Burrell

If you know me, or read the site regularly, you know that I idolise a player called Peter Gain, a sumptuous footballer of such exquisite skill that he remains burned into my footballing psyche two decades after he first walked out onto the Sincil Bank pitch. Here is my bold claim – Jorge Grant is even better. That is a hard thing to say, but I dare say that Jorge Grant is the best footballer I have ever witnesses play in Lincoln City colours. December was no different, the midfielder put in seven outings, grabbing ratings of more than seven in all but two (Sunderland and Shrewsbury in the league). He opened the month by scoring what Imps fans voted as Goal of the Month against Wigan, but all round he was just outstanding. Whether he plays deep in the middle, advanced, or out on the left, you know what you’ll get. He’s got ‘it’, he’s a proper footballer with flicks and tricks, but substance and fight too.

1st – Tom Hopper – 7.03

Credit Graham Burrell

Tom takes some stick at times for being a nine that isn’t a natural ‘fox in the box’, but this month he has come out on top in the ratings. It’s no surprise, he’s been altering hearts and minds with a series of strong displays, picking up Man of the Match for his winning goal against Wigan. He’s industrious and turned in a strong display at Northampton too, sticking his head in where it hurt to grab us a goal. Tom is something of a warrior, maybe even a throwback centre forward, a workhorse who takes one for the team. He has been likened to John Akinde in terms of his goals ratio and how his work helps the team in ways we don’t see, but I think he works much, much harder. He played six matches in December, scoring twice. for the record, he’s off to a strong start in 2021 too, with a goal and an assist already under his belt.