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Worst Signings of the 2018/19 Premiership season (part 1)



Wow, so this is the seventh season we've done this. It does seem to give people a laugh - except for Dapo Kayode, who complained on Twitter when I ranked him 21st in 2016/17. It's also fun to see who has proved me wrong a year down the line - Mickel Miller of Hamilton clearly shouldn't have been on last year's list, though all the St Johnstone fans who thought I was grossly unfair on David McMillan have been quiet.

The six previous 'winners' of this prestigious award:
2012/13 - Rory Boulding (Kilmarnock)
2013/14 - Stephane Bahoken (St. Mirren)
2014/15 - Jim Fenlon (Ross County)
2015/16 - Rodney Sneijder (Dundee United)
2016/17 - Joey Barton (Rangers)
2017/18 - Eduardo Herrera (Rangers)

Last year it was hard to find 25 real duds; this time round it was much easier. For that I owe thanks to Neil McCann, Jim McIntyre, Martin Canning and Alan Stubbs.

As for the rankings themselves, they are of course concocted using the incredibly complex Toepoker Formula, which is too elaborate to detail here. They've definitely not just been cobbled together with the minimum amount of thought possible. Honest.

Let's start the countdown...

Lads, it's Connor Sammon. Why Motherwell felt it was worth taking a loan punt on the Irish striker is beyond me, though he at least managed 7 league goals for relegated Partick Thistle in 2018/19. But after hitting the net a few times in the League Cup it became a barren year for Sammon, who now finds himself at best fourth choice striker for a team who tend to only play one up front. It's remarkable to think that he has spent two and a half of his three year Hearts contract out on loan.

The Greek international hoped to stay at Hibs for 'a couple of years' when he arrived in October. But he wasn't fit to play until December and managed only two starts before pulling a hamstring. He was gone less than three months after arriving, though Hibs apparently wanted to keep him as backup to David Gray. He has since moved to Cyprus and remarkably earned an international recall in March.

I felt compelled to add Woods to this list simply because of the sheer amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth from Dundee fans when I asked on Twitter for recommendations. They loathe Woods, a midfielder who looks decent on the ball but who lacks the mobility and physical presence to play at this level - and probably did so when he was at Ross County a few years back. There's also his insistence on taking set pieces even though his delivery is invariably cack. And yet Jim McIntyre keeps signing him and playing him. Does Woods have a dodgy dossier on him or something?

Kellermann made such an impact that most websites misspelt his name as 'Kellerman' for most of the season. Signed by Jack Ross before he legged it to Sunderland, Kellermann wasn't rated by Alan Stubbs and left on loan for AFC Fylde by mid-August, only to return in January. Bizarrely, Oran Kearney has used him twice, both of which were matches against Celtic. He started the second of those but his only impact on the game was to be stamped on by Scott Brown.

Accies' defence is as leaky as ever...so what does it say that they've trusted Penny to play just a single minute of first team football in 2019? Apparently Hamilton paid 'an undisclosed fee' to sign him from Peterborough; one hopes it wasn't much more than a bag of balls.

When he signed a two year deal for Neil McCann's side, the French midfielder was described by someone at his old club Kidderminster as being 'unplayable'. Jim McIntyre would agree with that - he didn't let Ngwatala near the first team. He made 13 appearances under McCann and none after he left, before being let go in January. Dundee fans were not exactly devastated by his departure.

Nelom looked like an impressive signing for Hibs given he has two caps for Holland, but those came years ago for an experimental squad on an end of season trip to Indonesia. So maybe we shouldn't be that surprised that he couldn't displace Lewis Stevenson at left-back, though it bodes ill that Sean Mackie leapfrogged him in the queue as well. He hasn't played for the club since December.

It's never a good sign when I can't find a picture of a player in the correct colours on Google Images. Accies fans could be forgiven for not realizing they'd signed the youngster on loan from Norwich, given he played two League Cup group games plus one for the Colts team in the Challenge Cup before returning to Norfolk before August had even finished. Norwich then let him go in January.

Neil McCann wanted Mendy so bad he tried to sign him in January 2018...but goodness knows why. Some ungainly, awkward forwards prove deceptively dangerous, but not Mendy, whose only two goals came against lower league opposition in the League Cup. He went from starting the first three league games to playing only six minutes of football from the end of September, and was binned in January by McCann's successor Jim McIntyre.

Hamilton bigged up attacking midfielder Smith when he signed from Nottingham Forest. "He's got good ability, has goals in him from midfield and we're really looking forward to working with him" said Martin Canning at the time. Smith played just 10 minutes in a defeat at Annan and was never seen again, possibly because that he was arrested for that appalling ponytail. "I'm here to make a name for myself up here", Smith told the press when he arrived. Safe to say he didn't manage that, especially given that Accies quietly deleted him from their website without actually announcing he had left. Apparently you can buy a Match Attax card for him on ebay though (which claims he's worth £0.5m!).

One of Alan Stubbs' all-stars, King had a bit of pedigree after making a handful of first team appearances for Bolton - as many as he made in Scotland in fact. His only games for St. Mirren were in the League Cup and for their Colts team. King was sidelined after Stubbs' exit and his two year deal was cut short after only six months.

Leicester defender Johnson's record so far for Hibs since arriving in January: a single 25 minute sub appearance, a retrospective two match ban for hacking Emilio Izaguirre, and then an injury that has kept him out since. He hasn't been available since Paul Heckingbottom took over at the club.

Livingston don't feel good (I knew that they wouldn't) about this signing. Rumour has it that then-Livi boss Kenny Miller only agreed to loan him from Millwall to keep an agent happy. Subbed after an hour on his debut - with Livingston 3-0 down to Celtic at the time - he was never seen again and was out the door shortly after the manager who signed him. Another one with an obscure Match Attax card available - which rates him at £1m!!!

Another Stubbs signing, you say? Another player who completed only six months of a two year deal, you say? St. Mirren conceded 13 goals in Kpekawa's last 5 games, which explains why he pretty much disappeared from first team contention after Stubbs was dismissed. He's now to be found in England's sixth tier.

Apparently parent club Aston Villa pay McCormack £44,000/week. Even at 32 and after having fallen out spectacularly with Villa, you'd have thought he still had plenty to offer - especially at Scottish Premiership level. Unfortunately he was hooked at half-time on his debut and was clearly short of fitness. He went on to make all of three sub appearances before returning to Villa with a calf injury.

The top ten will be with you next week...

Lawrie Spence has ranted and spouted his ill-informed opinions on Narey's Toepoker since September 2007.  He has a life outside this blog.  Honestly.

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