February was another tough month for the Imps, despite looking on paper like one where we could pull away from the bottom four.
The euphoria of the January window, which certainly seemed to improve the squad, wore off quickly as we lost to Doncaster, Bolton and Gillingham. Some of the players who seemed like they’d have an impact; Liam Cullen and Morgan Whittaker perhaps the main two, drifted from the squad quickly. Others, such as Arsenal’s Brooke Norton-Cuffy, have proven to be very shrewd acquisitions.
It’s hard to look back on February when we’ve just beaten Sheff Weds in March and reinstalled some positivity, but look back we must. As you know, after every game, you have the ability to rate the players on the site, and from there, I can work out your Player of the Month. In January, Regan Poole took the award, but who has topped the table in February?
To recap, these are the rules.
- To qualify, a player must have played in at least 50% of the games that month.
- Players who play fewer than 15 minutes will not have their rating counted.
- If two players are tied, the player with more appearances will be placed highest.
Without further ado, let’s crack on, shall we?
3rd – Regan Poole (6.77)
Last month’s winner had a solid month again, with the Gillingham game dragging his score down (as it did everyone). Without that, he’s be a solid seven, excelling in the game against Wycombe which was an aerial bombardment of the highest order. Poole certainly looks better in a more central role, and it’ll be interesting to see if that continues as part of a three this month.
2nd – Conor McGrandles (6.90)
Since Christmas (much like last season), Conor McGrandles has been very influential. He’s had to be; Liam Bridcutt’s absence has ensured it is the Scot we turn to for the holding role. He picked up the Man of the Match award as we lost to Bolton Wanderers, and received high scores against Wycombe (7.9) and Doncaster (7.3). When he’s on song, he’s as good as anyone in this division, and whilst his future here might be in doubt, he will be integral to our survival hopes if he stays in form.
1st – Brooke Norton-Cuffy (7.20)
Who else, right? After coming on against MK Dons, then not appearing as we beat Morecambe, it didn’t look as though the Arsenal youngster was going to be making the impact many hoped. Then came Wycombe, the first of three Man of the Match performances he’s turned in. there’s so much to like about Brooke; he’s young but he big and powerful, difficult to knock off the ball and direct with his running. He announced his ‘arrival’ if you like with a rampaging run against Wycombe that almost led to a goal, and since then he’s been on fire. I can’t see anyone else playing right back for us again this season, especially not in a 3-5-2, which this exciting young man is suited to.
August: Anthony Scully 7.54
September: Josh Griffiths 7.90
October: Chris Maguire 7.44
November: Max Sanders 6.40
December: Josh Griffiths 6.70
January: Regan Poole 8.20
My Player of the Month
As a new part of the feature, I’m also going to add my pick for Player of the Month. Often, my choices don’t follow the same pattern as your ratings. however, in a rather flat start to the new feature, this month it does. I thought John Marquis had a slid month, albeit missing a few key chances, but BNC takes it for me. It’s rare that we see a loan player make such a significant impact, physically as well as in terms of his ability, but this boy seems to have it all. It’s been a good month for him, and I expect Mikel Arteta will be watching closely.