The second part of every player of the 90s ranked – you can read Part 1 here – cover positions 76-51, giving us a clear run at the top 50 in part 3. This mid-ranking section is not exactly a list of our best players, more a list of players people remember, and not always for good reasons.
Firstly, a confession. There’s been a travesty of justice. After someone excitedly asked about Ben Abbey on Twitter, it suddenly struck me that I couldn’t remember seeing his name. I assumed he hadn’t played in the 90s. I was wrong; he made seven substitute appearances, but I missed him off the list. I feel terrible. I can’t guarantee where he’d have finished; but based on my appearances/goals algorithm – it could have been dead last.
Right, lower mid-table of the list is a curious mix. Mark Warren was ranked 75th, but I wonder whether it was an accidental vote which should have been to Mark Watson. Other players are like those indie bands people will worship ‘if only people got them’; to some the next Beatles, to many forgettable dirge.
There’s a raft of strikers who should have been better than they were; Marco Gabbiadini (72nd), Jamie Lambert (66th) and Gary Bannister (59th) were OK when they were with us, but better at other clubs.
Steve Anthrobus (57th) and Steve McClaren (58th) both breed enduring contempt. McClaren for his performance as England manager, Anthrobus because he was synonymous of some of our darkest times.
There were one or two names that were a little surprising. Derek Lilley (65th) was a better striker than we perhaps remember, Ken Veysey (69th) was generally well liked, though perhaps most for letting in nine goals for Dorchester in 1995. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all was Paul Tait, who only ranked 54th despite never really letting down a side which constantly let each other down. But, I suppose, we are creeping towards the hallowed placings of the big 50, and that’s not an easy list to break into.
|51||Arjan Van Heusden|