It’s that time again; someone who has never played football at any level offers their opinion on a squad of League One players based on nothing other than 90 minutes every week or so.
Yep, it is the Stacey West yearly rundown of the Imps squad. This year, to give it a bit of depth, I’ve added a few little bits. Before you jump into my look at the current squad, here are a few things to consider.
- Players who left the club during the season are not included; there’s no Edun or N’Lundulu, for instance.
- I’ve included a few stats. All appearance and goals data are from all competitions.
- The assists are from Wyscout, in case there’s any dispute.
- The average rating, and best and worst performances are from your ratings over the season. I haven’t put the Accrington data into the averages (as there’s also another game to go as well), but I have included those players who you felt had their worst game of the season in Lancashire.
I’m going to break it down into small sections, released daily this week, so as to not drop a whole load of stuff on you, and so you can debate and discuss in small chunks. I’m writing this on Sunday, and plan to drop one article per day through until Friday, which leads us into the Crewe game. If you’re reading this Friday, I hope I feel better, as I’ve had a stinking cold all bloody weekend, exasperated by the Accrington performance!
Without further ado, let’s crack on, shall we?
Apps 23 (4) Goals 1 Assists 0
Average Rating – 6.08
I’m judging new signings on whether they’re a hit or a miss, but with TJ it’s a bit different. The problem is this; if we’d signed him as a fresh face, without knowing about him, his spell this season would not be lauded. The standout moment for me was Crewe away, the tackle which cost us the game given it led to their second and a red card. Last season, his standout moments were all positive. He’s never really got going, thanks to form and injuries, but we know there’s huge potential there, so I’m calling him a hit, despite his season, generally, being below par.
Hit / Miss – Hit
Best Performance: Sunderland (A) 8.3
Worst Performance: Crewe (A) 2
Apps 35 (8) Goals 6 Assists 4 Second Assists 3
Average Rating – 6.20
There’s very little to say about Lewis Fiorini; up to a few weeks ago I thought he might benefit from another spell in this division, with us, but he’s accelerated his development in the last six or eight weeks. In fact, when he’s on song, he’s as good as almost any other eight we have, or have had, for a while. He glides about the field with ease, and he’s got some wonderful passing vision. His goals have certainly helped as well; in fact, he’s been a solid signing. My only gripe would be how he drifted a bit in the spell before Christmas, but he wasn’t alone. It isn’t down to a 19-year-old loanee to pick the team up, that’s the senior professional’s job, so to mark him down for that would be grossly unfair. In my eyes, he wasn’t far from the Player of the Year award, and he should certainly bag Young Player of the Year, no questions.
Hit / Miss – Hit
Best Performance: Sheff Weds (H) 8.9
Worst Performance: Accrington (H) 3.4
Average Rating – 6.53
In some people’s eyes, Josh Griffiths suffered from not being Alex Palmer. We were lucky last year with Palmer; he started brilliantly as we beat Oxford 2-0 and went on from there. Palmer’s dodgy spell came in the middle of the season, making it less memorable. Josh Griffiths made an error which, in part, led to a draw at Gillingham and again in part to defeat against Wycombe. I think some struggled after that to see his ability, but he made a lot of decent saves. In fact, his spell was tainted by the different combinations of defence in front of him, and whilst he didn’t keep many clean sheets, he did keep us in some games. He’ll have a decent future, that’s for sure.
Hit / Miss – Hit
Best Performance: Rotherham (H) 9.5
Worst Performance: Gillingham (H) 4.3
Apps 16 (5) Goals 2 Assists 1 Second Assists 1
Average Rating – 6.06
Like Liam Bridcutt and Joe Walsh (and Adam Jackson), we just didn’t see enough of Tom this season. I understand his injury was a rare one, something that was tough to diagnose and treat, and it left us really short up top. His spell out of the side had a lot of fans acknowledging what he did for the team last season, but since he’s been back in, it hasn’t been as easy to spot what that is. I think it’s been hard for him to get himself near match fitness since coming back, which is why we’ve seen John Marquis picked ahead of him. Hops is contracted until the end of next season, and he’ll certainly hope if he is here for the duration, his campaign is better than this one.
Best Performance: Sheff Weds (H) 7.9
Worst Performance: Fleetwood (A) 4.2
Apps 2 (4) Goals 1 Assists 0 Second Assists 1
Average Rating – 7
It’s hard to quantify Ben House’s impact at Sincil Bank, we’ve barely seen him in action. I do recall him running forty yards in the wrong direction after coming on in one of his early matches, but he was superb against Cheltenham and I think he’s going to be a serious player for us next time out. Calling a player a hit or a miss after two starts is tough, but for the promise alone, I’m calling him a hit.
Hit / Miss – Hit
Best Performance: Cheltenham (H) 7.8
Worst Performance: Morecambe (H) 6.2