Saturday, 30 June 2007

Kevin Anthony Lisbie - An Obituary

So the whipping boy is gone long live the new whipping boy (Marcus Bent?). But was Kevin Lisbie really as bad as that? He took over the mantle of Carl Leaburn, except Carlo divided opinion, as many loved him as hated him, Lisbie failed to divide too many fans. He made his debut in '96 /'97, after signing in 95, and that was probably the root of his problem, he was at the right club at the wrong time. Most of his career was spent during the Premiership years and his opportunities to develop and build on his reserve team experience, was in the full glare of the media. He is a Championship quality player, but his few good Premiership appearances indicated that there was a talent, that only on a couple of occasions shone through. Unlike Carlo, who exceeded his potential, Super Kev failed to achieve his. So yes he was that bad and sadly a player of unfulfilled talents.

I have only seen about three reserve games in my life. The first was at The Valley against Swindon, when Lisbie was just a kid. Sitting behind some non playing Swindon reserves I chatted to them. They pointed out this young black player as one of the best players they had seen and that with his quick feet he was bound for stardom. It never happened.

Too often in one on ones he bottled it, not enough did he use his pace to unsettle defences, just one season - the year of the Stamford beach, when he used it and won countless penalties for us.

Kevins best spell during his contract with Charlton was when loaned out to Gillingham 4 goals in 7 appearances. His highlight was his hat trick against Liverpool.

His record for us was:

Starts Subs Goals Yellows
67 101 19 1

With that record it is impossible to put forward a case for retention, despite the last three seasons being blighted by injury. Injury also cut short three of his loan spells and is a theme through his career.

Sadly one of his last appearances generated particular venom against him, as he failed to take the opportunity to score the winning goal away to Watford in the last minute, a miss that summed up his career and gave him the alternative nickname from Super Kev to Misibie.

Many players when they have served clubs for 10 years or more, get granted a testimonial, its testimony to Kevin that he's missed his.