Stacey West Player of the Month for March

Credit Graham Burrell

One month ago, I penned the same article and talked about how we were second in the table, still in a good position.

It’s been a tough month since, and one in which it has not been easy to impress in a Lincoln shirt. I think that the player who comes out on top in this sort of month is probably more impressive than one who wins in a month that the team do well in. Your Player of the Month for March will have stood out in a team struggling hugely, and that says a lot about them as a character and individual.

What you do see is a drop in average rating, which is as much to do with fan perception as performance. After all, if you lose 2-1 to Oxford, who is going to award Alex Palmer an 8 all-round, although he did make crucial saves? He is more likely to score above seven in a 4-0 win, just because fans feel that is a better result.

Credit Graham Burrell

That’s not the only reason we have seen numbers drop this month, obviously, we have been poor in games and players have struggled with injury etc, but my gut feeling is we haven’t been as bad as some of the numbers suggest. When you see the so-called worst performance of the month, you may be a little surprised, but I think it was picked as much for who it was against as the actual outcome.

So, in a tough month, who played the best football for City according to you, the Stacey West readers? Which games stuck out as highlights, and which did you struggle to enjoy?

Find out all right here!

 

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

 

  • Also, if a player comes on after 75 minutes, his rating is not counted in the total, as a 15-minute cameo should not impact a rating over a season. Subs who get a quarter of an hour, or more, do have their rating counted.

 


3rd – Tayo Edun 6.41

 

Credit Graham Burrell

Edun had a decent month, picking up two Man of the Match awards, against Gillingham and Oxford. Neither were wins for the Imps, but in both Tayo certainly impressed. He had to change position in both too, going into a midfield role late on against Gillingham as Bridcutt came back, and shifting around the field against Oxford after the same player went off. His flexibility and adaptability showed through in both games and whilst we won neither, Tayo certainly stood out.

Tayo is a player who has shown a huge amount of progress over the season. He turned in good performances against Sunderland (7.8) and Crewe (7.6), which all point to him have a decent month, despite City struggling.

 


2nd – Alex Palmer 6.50

 

Credit Graham Burrell

Palmer earned himself a Man of the Match in February for his performance against Rochdale. He kept the score between us and the bottom club reasonable, and was let down by his defence for the goals. I think he is unlucky not to win Player of the Month, for the reasons I mentioned in the opening paragraph. I think he was better than the 5.8 you awarded him against Gillingham, and the 6.2 he got for the Fleetwood encounter.

As a keeper, when the defence in front of you changes, pressure is increased and I think the stopper has struggled with different players ahead of him. Our defence has gone from strong to paper-thin in a matter of months and that has put much more pressure on Palmer. He hasn’t been perfect, nobody has, but he is a reliable stopper and your runner up for the Player of the Month.

 


1st – Conor McGrandles – 6.73

 

Credit Graham Burrell

Conor McGrandles picked up a Man of the Match award for his outing against Crewe, but he has been one relatively consistent performer in a tough month all around. It is the lowest average score a player has won Player of the Month with, but when you consider we lost four matches, three of those (Fleetwood, Rochdale and Gillingham) in poor performances, I think it is impressive any player has come out with more than a 6.50 average.

McGrandles has been industrious and functional, looking the most settled of all the regular first-team players. Where Tayo has flitted around and impressed, Conor has just kept doing the same every week. The goal Oxford scored against us may have been partly his fault, but that was only one blot on an otherwise impressive copybook.

What I think is really notable is that no single player has won the award more than once. We didn’t do scores in September, but my gut tells me if we had, Lewis Montsma would have taken the award. Still, the way in which the performances have been spread around the squad gives a lot of hope for the future, as does the fact that all of the winners of Player of the Month thus far are our players, contracted for next season. That underlines the potential within the squad, if only we can move through this damned period of injuries.

Previous Winners

October – Jorge Grant 7.62

November – Harry Anderson 7.14

December – Tom Hopper 7.03

January – Anthony Scully 7.53

February – Adam Jackson 7.27

Next Page – The best and worst of performances in March