The Worst Players : The Conference Years

Top of the league, into the semi-finals in the FA Trophy and away to Arsenal in the quarter final of the FA Cup, these are indeed heady times for the Imps. Should we stick the landing and return to the Football League after a six year absence, it would bring a successful end to a downward spiral that had lasted for ten years. Following on from City’s last good season, 2006/7’s fifth placed finish, the Imps have failed to finish in the top half of the table since and the relegation in 2010/11 didn’t really come as a surprise, so based on that it is time to reveal who I think are our ten worst players to play for us since we got relegated to the Conference.

I was initially going to do a “Worst XI”, however, I can’t in all fairness do that because the keepers have all done pretty well considering. It is really strange looking at the list of players that have played for us over the last six years and there are many names that I had completely forgotten had played for us, Brad Barraclough for example, or how about that Portugese signing we made but didn’t play a single minute, Geoffrey Gouveia? I could also probably make an XI out of the players that played less than five games for us that would still manage to give our team from the first year in the Conference a tough game.

So here we go, the ten worst players, in my opinion, of the Conference years.

In the interest of fairness, this list is only sorted into surname alphabetical order.

 

 

Jean Francois Christophe3151980

Signed from : Free Transfer

One of the trademarks of Steve Tilson’s time as Lincoln manager was signing some of the players that did so well for him at Southend United. He had signed Scott Spencer in our relegation year, as well as trying to bring in Adam Barrett, and during the summer following the drop he signed two Frenchman that played for him at Roots Hall. One of those was the injury prone Francis Laurent, who to be fair was pretty decent when he did play, and Jean Francois Christophe, who wasn’t.

Christophe was a defensive minded midfielder and failed in both aspects of his position. He couldn’t defend and he struggled to accurately pass the ball. I particularly remember a game that we lost 3-1 at Darlington and he was responsible for all three goals because on each occasion he played the ball directly to a Darlington player. When you’re playing one of the better sides in the division (although they were relegated at the end of that year due to financial issues), the last thing you need is one of the players of your core spine constantly playing the ball to the opposition.

Subsequent career : Christophe returned to the continent with a spell at Belgian sides Tienen and Royal Football Club Seraing, with a period spent at Avion in between. Arras in the French fourth division was his next destination and he currently plies his trade at US Vimy.

Gomez Dali130312-dali-43169-710168_478x359

Signed from : Woking

Another Frenchman, Dali joined towards the end of the 2012/13 season, making his debut in a home defeat to Wrexham. Gomez played four times for the Imps before being released and it is far to say that he is only remembered by the majority for one thing, getting sent off in the first ten minutes at Braintree. The Imps rallied and comfortably won on the night with little trouble, but Dali’s days at the club were numbered and he only played once more for the club.

In his four games for City he didn’t even manage a shot, as a striker.

Dali will go down as one of the most forgettable strikers that the Imps will ever have and if you can find someone in five years that remembers anything about him then you have found a true “anorak”.

Subsequent career : After being released at the end of the season, Dali returned to France and played for UJA Maccabi Paris Metropole, a team in the second division of the French Amateur League (the fifth division)

Bohan Dixonimg_1413

Signed From : Free Transfer

Bohan Dixon was a name that very few Imps will have heard of before he scored a pre-season hatrick in a 7-0 thrashing of Lincoln United in the summer of 2013. During that game he showed composure and a level of clinical, close range finishing that secured him a contract.

Goal-shy Bohan is considered by many to be one of the least capable players to have represented the Imps since the turn of the millennium, and it wasn’t hard to see why. In a conversation with other Lincoln fans some said he was the striking equivalent of Jude Stirling, arguably one of the worst players during the Playoff years in the mid 2000s.

Dixon struggled with the simple basics of football. He overhit near enough everything, he was incapable of outrunning seemingly anyone and I can’t recall a single occasion where he actually played well. I was still a regular during the early parts of 2013/14 and I can recall at least one positive contribution that all other players made, but not Bohan.

Subsequent career : Following his release Bohan joined Northwich Victoria and has slowly made his way back up the non-league period and is surprisingly part of the AFC Fylde team that is top of the National League North (at the time of writing). He also rather interesting played for Salford City following the take over from the “Class of 92”, but he was not featured in the “Out of their League” BBC documentary series.

Ali Fuseini

Ali Fuseini, Lincoln City
 

Signed from : Millwall

The first of a few players that will appear on this list from the side that got us relegated in 2011 and stayed, Fuseini was not a popular man amongst Imps fans. Prior to the start of our first season in the Conference he stormed off of the pitch midway through a friendly at Gainsborough because he didn’t like how he was being challenged. That sums him up really. He was petulant on the pitch and certainly didn’t have the attitude or skill to back it all up.

Fuseini rarely created chances and helped out the defence on an even rarer basis. He was not a team player and there is a quote from the film Cool Runnings that I’d like to slightly modify in order to tell you what sort of attitude Fuseini had, “I may be on your team but I am no-one’s team mate”.

I can’t think of a single good word to say about him.

Subsequent career : Fuseini returned south following on from leaving the Imps and has played for Eastleigh, Bromley (twice), Sutton and Margate before joining his current side, Welling.

Craig Hobsonjs45658779

Signed from : Stockport County (loan)

Lincoln fans are a simple bunch in many respects. We’re happy to applaud a player that might not be that good but actually tries his hardest, such as Jake Sheridan, but there is one thing that we’ll never forgive and that is a player who doesn’t even try, however, the ultimate sin is not trying and then abusing your own supporters on social media!

Hobson scored just once in twelve games and it was a goal that ultimately didn’t matter as we’d have won the game anyway, but his unskilled style, lack of urgency and general attitude problem rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way. In arguably our worst season since we got relegated (that despite it not being our lowest finish), Hobson was one of the worst of the worst.

Craig Hobson played for the Imps towards the end of the 2012/13 and that was strange in the sense that he was loaned to us from Stockport County. Despite being in a relegation battle with us, they were happy to loan us Hobson which tells you all that you need to know about his ability, even though it did come back to haunt them as they were relegated instead of City at the end of the year.

Subsequent career : Craig joined Guiseley during the 2013/14 season before then playing for Chester and Altrincham. In the three years between leaving Lincoln and the end of last season, Craig played 75 games in league and cup, scoring just ten.

Gavin McCallummccallum

Signed from : Hereford United

One of the few survivors of our relegation to the National League six years ago, McCallum’s signing back in the summer of 2010 actually excited me as his performance against the Imps for Hereford in February of that year impressed me heavily.

Many thought that the Hereford fans were just being bitter in their criticism when he left then, but it turned out that the criticism was completely justified.

I’m always curious how players like McCallum got into football because there was no passion in his play and whilst he was talented (when he could be bothered), he very rarely tried. If you want evidence that he doesn’t really have passion, Google Image search his name and you’ll see that there is only a single picture in which he shows anything other than what would be described as a “resting bitch face” if he was female. His lack of passion or desire meant that he rarely put any effort in, and it was often like playing with ten men when he was on the pitch.

He did score some absolute crackers during his time at City, but the problem was that when he wasn’t scoring world class volleys, he wasn’t really doing anything, and his childish attitude on the pitch didn’t help.

Subsequent career : McCallum joined Woking following on from his release and then Sutton United. He joined Eastbourne in 2014.

Josh O’Keefe_63096865_okeefe

Signed from : Walsall


Another survivor of the squad that got us relegated, Josh was one of those players that actually seemed to care, and was capable of scoring a great goal, such as his efforts at Northampton and Cheltenham in our relegation season, but the problem was that his good games were few and extremely far between.

Josh was not overly capable unfortunately and ultimately makes this list because looking at all of those who also played central midfield during the last six years, or at least those who played often enough to give an accurate representation of their skills, Josh was unfortunately one of the least capable.

Subsequent career : After leaving City he went on to play for Southport and then had a very successful spell at Hereford. This convinced the much fancied Kidderminster to take a punt on him, but they realised most of his goals at Hereford were from the spot and he failed to score in twenty games for them before loan spells at Telford and Chester. He currently represents Chorley in the National League North after a season with Altrincham.

Kyle Perryperry

Signed from : Tamworth

I’ve mentioned a few times that I can forgive a lack of skill if the player actually consistently tries, but unfortunately Perry didn’t fit into either.

Perry had scored nearly 20 goals for Tamworth in the season before Lincoln City got relegated and therefore his signing seemed very decent, and early on his did well as he scored three goals in his first month as an Imp. That was the end of his goal scoring in games involving the Imps (well, at least for Lincoln, more on that in a minute). After that Perry stopped trying. I remember specifically watching him during a draw with Mansfield in which he saw that there was an opposition player going for the ball, Perry was actually closer to the ball but stopped running and let the Mansfield player get to the ball without so much as a challenge. That was the moment I lost all respect for him as a player.

Rather bizarrely we did a swap-loan deal with another player on this list with Telford that allowed the subsequent players to face their parent clubs when the two teams met. Perry never actually scored for Lincoln at Sincil Bank, but he did score whilst a Lincoln player……for Telford. What made that even worse was that he actually celebrated the goal as well by goading our fans. He was still a Lincoln player officially, so it didn’t go down well.

He is very similar in terms of size to Matt Rhead, and they share several similarities, but I guarantee you 100% of Imps fans would choose Rhead over Perry, and that’s even without goals being taken into account.

A likeable guy off of the pitch, but the complete opposite on it.

Subsequent career : The journeyman striker has played for Nuneaton, Hereford, Tamworth, Altrincham, Hednesford, Worcester and Stafford since leaving Lincoln in 2012.

Paul Turnbull_89901935_rexfeatures_3473815t

Signed from : Northampton Town (loan)

Turnbull joined the Imps towards the end of the 2012/13 season and was completely anonymous in his time at the club. If I was to rank the most ineffectual and anonymous midfielders that have ever played for the club, and I go mean EVER, then there is a good chance that Turnbull would feature. To sum up how ineffectual he was for us, whilst doing a google image search I found three pictures of him in games involving Lincoln, and only one of them saw him actually playing for us.

I couldn’t tell you a single thing that Turnbull did during his time at Sincil Bank other than ONCE objecting to the awarding of a free kick. Fifteen games, no contribution whatsoever.

Subsequent career : Paul returned to Northampton before joining Macclesfield permanently. He stayed there until the summer of 2016, joining the Barrow side that he done the double over the Imps this season.

Rob Williamsdownload

Signed from : Telford United (loan)

So in the Kyle Perry section I mentioned that there was a player who we did a loan-swap deal with in exchange for him, and Robbie Williams was that player.

Over the years we have had a LOT of tall defenders, such as Ben Futcher, Gareth McAuley and current player-coach Jamie McCombe, amongst many others, and Rob will be considered arguably the worst. When you make Nat Brown look good then you know you’re failing as a footballer.

Seemingly incapable of defending, kicking or heading, I can’t think of a single good thing to say about him so I’m just going to leave this here.

Subsequent career : Rob went on to play lower down the on-league pyramid, including spells at Colwyn Bay and Hyde.

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