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 it 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 34 (4) Goals 15 Assists 7
Average Rating – 6.69
Injury has clearly ruined a lot of players’ seasons, and Scully is one who suffered, He struggled post-Sheff Weds and yet when he dropped out of the side, everyone assumed he’d fallen out with the boss. It’s ridiculous what the rumour mill throws up, and Scully came back with a bang, scoring against Oxford. I think I read somewhere he’s the first Imp to hit 15 goals in consecutive seasons since Mick Harford, which is some achievement. He can seem frustrating, running up blind alleys on occasion, but 34 Lincoln City goals from 100 outings. That’s not to be sniffed at and if we are to kick on next season, we need a player who knows how to score in the squad. Just think on this; he’s scored nine more goals than any other player in the squad.
Best Performance: Cambridge (A) 9.8
Worst Performance: Gillingham (H) 3.7
Apps 19 (14) Goals 1 Assists 0
Average Rating – 5.59
It pains me to write this, because I love Lasse as a character. I’ve said I see a player there and his attitude is second to none, but this has not been a good season for him. He started okay, some didn’t like him, others could see his technique and ability in early fixtures, but he faded, quickly. He was a key part of that pre-Christmas slump, starting matches against Accrington and Portsmouth which felt like the nadir of our season. He’s been back around the squad in recent weeks, but was ineffective when coming on after half an hour at Shrewsbury. He’s only young (22) and therefore has the potential to develop, but this has not been a good season for Lasse.
Hit / Miss – Miss
Best Performance: Gillingham (A) 7.4
Worst Performance: Portsmouth (H) 3.5
Apps 13 Goals 0 Assists 0
Average Rating – 6.32
It’s virtually impossible to judge Joe Walsh this season. He started the campaign injured, came back and got injured, came back again and is now injured, again. That’s what, five or six different stints out of the side injured since he signed. There’s a player in there, but he’s never got the run of games he needs to settle into a rhythm and show us what he can do. It’s must be so frustrating for Michael Appleton knowing that between then, Adam Jackson and Joe Walsh have started fewer games this season combined than Regan Poole. The problem is this: a squad can carry one player who plays 50% of games, just. Three? Four? It can’t go on, sadly.
Best Performance: Charlton (H) 7.8
Worst Performance: Gillingham (H) 4.6
Apps 16 (3) Goals 5 Assists 1
Average Rating – 6.28
You recall me writing about John Marquis, and saying how his goals had won us four points in our hunt for safety? Well, Morgan Whittaker’s goals have all come in wins; he scored and created as we beat Oxford, scored the opener as we beat Morecambe, did the same against Charlton and bagged a brace (plus involvement in the other one) against Cheltenham. 12 points? That’s a big lift, and for all the criticism he took through February and March, I’ve been impressed with his ability. Imagine, if he had a full season with us, the benefit of developing throughout the campaign, where we might be. Sure, he’s lacked at certain times, but we’re talking about a young player with next to no senior experience at this level. I’m not having him as a miss, not for one moment.
Hit / Miss – Hit
Best Performance: Oxford (H) 8.8
Worst Performance: Bolton (A) 3.4
Apps 11 (1)
Average Rating – 6.62
I said it before, when Jordan Wright signed I doubt he felt he’d end up keeping more clean sheets than the England Under 21 player he was to play understudy to, but that’s what’s happened. He’s an imposing figure, his shot-stopping is superb (Sunderland and Wigan spring to mind), and he’s only young as well. The last couple of matches have seen the odd error, but there’s been more to applaud than criticise, that’s for sure.
Hit / Miss – Hit
Best Performance: Sunderland (H) 8.5
Worst Performance: Accrington (A) 4.2