Worst XI: Hamilton Academical

February 7, 2014

Finally, the last of our “Worst XI” blogs from all the teams in the Championship has reached a conclusion. After much searching through twitter and fans forums we finally located an Accies fan willing to face the horror of reflecting on recent years and picking their select worst XI. Even though they reached the Premier League recently it doesn’t matter mean players from that time are exempt from such a collection. Owen McGuire writes.

The task of finding a worst eleven for a team like Hamilton Accies is near impossible. Throughout my life as an Accies fan I am never sure I have ever considered us to be actually good, in fact a lot of the time I knew we were bad. It’s never been that important to me, I was an Accie out of a sense of rebellion and because everyone else I grew up with were hunting trophies and lending their support to the Old Firm. I love supporting a wee team, I love the feeling of defying the odds. When Accies last won the first division, I hated that season. It was no longer a feeling of joy at the win, it was a disappointment that came with any result that wasn’t a win. The expectation of winning was a horrible thing to bear. 

Many of the players who feature in my eleven I hold in high regard, I admire their effort and work rate, in many cases the fact they were so terrible made me like them even more. Nonetheless, someone had to fill the positions. Some players are in because they possess no talent or ability, some due to attitude and others because of the excitement I felt at their arrival and the subsequent let down.  A couple are in purely because of the way I would feel when they were in possession. 

Goalkeeper – Dave McEwan

This guy would probably make it on to the bench if I were naming a best eleven for the club. Originally a loan signing from Livingston, McEwan blew my mind. He made saves that no other Accies keeper I had seen could make. His move would become permanent and he became our number one, making over 100 appearances. From there it sort of went downhill. His demise is told via numerous threads on different forums. From what I remember there were rumours of a bad attitude and an altercation with Graeme Jones, formerly Billy Reid’s assistant and now Roberto Martinez’s loyal deputy, that led to his release. He now plays for Larkhall Thistle. What a waste. 

Right Back – Tony Stevenson

Tony Stevenson is another guy who I really like. He offered a lot of good to the team, scoring a penalty on the last day of our last first division win. The reason I liked Tony was his right foot, he was like a Scottish Beckham. He had great free kicks and corners, like Beckham, but combined that with a real lack of pace and a couple of love handles, like most Scottish people. Tony never found a place in the squad, too slow for right back and not quite intelligent enough to cover Alex Neil in midfield. He too was released and worked his way down the leagues and into Junior football. If there was a designated NFL style kicker in the game who could come on for set pieces, Tony Stevenson would be my option every time.

Centre Back – Simon Mensing

I loved Mensing. He was a solid unit. A great accompaniment to the technique of McCarthy and McArthur. However, if you played him in your defensive line you could expect bookings and lots of them, often more than one in the same game. A solid midfielder who always tried his best in a back four but never looked comfortable, yet still played there a lot under Billy Reid. If I had only saw Simon in midfield he would be nowhere near this team.

Centre Back – David Elebert

I don’t want to say many bad things about David Elebert, he was just slow. Really slow. Slower than Mark McLaughlin, who was old enough to be his Dad. He always gave it his all but he never seemed like he could cut it in the SPL. In fact we opted to play with Chris Swailes, a man who lived in a different country, never trained with the team and could only play once a week due to his heels being made of metal.

Left Back – Luis Rubiales

Think I only saw this guy play once. He’s the ultimate Billy Reid signing. He came from Spain with La Liga experience. He was released and retired after three games, an occurrence that wasn’t uncommon under Billy Reid’s reign where a new signing staying longer than a month was worth celebrating. He is now President of the Spanish equivalent of the PFA. 

Holding Midfielder – Marvyn Wilson

I remember seeing Wilson on the front of the local newspaper with Alex Neil when they signed. They were meant to signal the beginning of up becoming a force at our level. He was solid and not bad for us. The reason he is in this team is for a tackle he dished out to James McCarthy on the day we tried to clinch our title. There is no time or date in my memory of this, all I know is he went right through him and it made me view him with a degree of hate that still lingers. 

Central Midfielder – Marcel Mahouve

Much like our Spanish left back, Mahouve makes it in because of the excitement I had prior to seeing him play. Experience in Ligue 1, a member of Cameroon’s 98 World Cup squad with 18 caps to his name and even rumoured to be the son of Roger Milla. I don’t remember much about him but there was some scandal on the way out about missing towels and toiletries from his lodgings. 

Central Midfielder – Marc McJimpsey

McJimpsey is the guy who would have played week in week out if Accies had never signed McArthur or McCarthy. He was always the guy I watched come out at half time and do tricks and flicks. I remember little of his ability in game. The reason he makes it into the team is as follows. In the first few weeks of Uni, the getting to know people phase, I spoke to a girl and we were saying where we grew up, who we supported etc. The mention of Accies from me prompted her to ask me if I knew of Marc. As it turned out he was faced with the choice between staying with Accies or going to Ibiza with all his buddies. Ibiza won. A quick google shows no club since. 

Right Forward – Damien Casilnuovo 

Good player for Dundee United as far as I was concerned. I believe we paid a fee, another big shocking occurrence as an Accies fan. He just never played. He now is retired and does a normal job in Argentina.

Centre Forward – Brian Wake

Easily the worst player I have ever seen. Just a big guy who ran about trying hard. I remember him scoring a goal, by total fluke, with his arse. If I could remember any greater technical acts it would somehow go against the spirit of the guy. Now plying his trade in the Swedish lower Leagues and managed to persuade Billy Reid to follow him. 

Left Forward – Joel Thomas

Joel Thomas has the best agent in world football. No doubt about it. Came to us on a free after having trials with the likes of Wigan and other high championship level/low premiership teams. His CV included Bordeaux and Werder Bremen. After coming to Accies he played for a while before being signed for 225,000 by Paul Lambert’s Colchester. The thing about all this was he was total garbage. Colchester quickly realised this and loaned him back to us before releasing him. He was capable of the odd mazy dribble and goal but not a capable enough player to have the reputation he does. He how’s plays in Romania’s top flight.

Manager – Billy Reid

This selection may surprise any since he’s the last boss to take us into the top flight and kept us there for three seasons. It cannot be denied that we were flying at times under his management and arguably punching above our wait. However, he could be so infuriating and when things started to go badly he seemingly had no clue on how to turn it around. Really lost his composure as manager towards the end of his tenure. A real Jekyll and Hyde manager.

 

Owen is a contributor on the Scottish Comedy FC website and podcast and can be followed on twitter by clicking here.

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