Thursday, 29 January 2009

City v Newcastle player ratings

Hart In what could be his last game for a while, put in a solid performance. Not at fault for the goal, the rest of his play was pretty good. 6

Richards Not as good as against Wigan, but still noticeably more comfortable than usual now he's at right back. Attacked with real vigour, getting into the 18 yard box three or four times. But defensively average. Should have conceded a penalty for a flying rugby tackle on Steven Taylor. 6

Kompany Given the captain's armband in Dunne's absence: he is surely our next skipper. Does anyone want to tell Richards his 'vice-captaincy' is meaningless? Defended very well (admittedly Andy Carroll is not a testing opponent), and picked out some fantastic passes. Could end up playing 500 games for City. 8

Onuoha Solid and competent filling in at centre back. Strong in the air as usual, and passable on the ground. But expect to see Dunne back for the Copenhagen and Liverpool games in three weeks' time. 7

Bridge Epic fail for their goal, overcomplicating and getting robbed by David Edgar who crossed for Andy Carroll. Otherwise a good day, linking up well with Robinho down the left and getting to the byline a few times. 6

de Jong Not our best debutant, but good nonetheless. Put in some big tackles and generally accomplished in his short passing. Not many midfielders will enjoy playing against the de Jong/Zabaleta shield. Will be much needed at the Britannia on Saturday. 7

Zabaleta A second very good game in the midfield. Like de Jong, a master of both the destructive and constructive aspects: he was fearless in the tackle and made some powerful runs from the middle. On one such run he set up Bellamy's goal (his third assisst I think - Benjani at Fulham and Caicedo in Spain being the others). 8

Ireland His first game in 2009 (he hasn't played since the Blackburn 2-2) and he looked more rusty than refreshed. A few neat touches but not quite at the levels he set for himself previously this season. 6

Robinho Didn't look particularly distracted by recent events, but not one of his best games. One or two incomprehensible tricks (his one-two with Ireland in the first half was the best) and a good pass to Wright-Phillips for the goal. But shooting and final third play not at its usual standard. 6

Bellamy A good debut and a lovely goal. Quicker and fitter than anyone could have hoped for, he gave us a pace and bite up front we haven't had since Anelka. Didn't quite look to be wholly on the Ireland/Robinho wavelength but that will surely come in time. The spin and finish for his goal was really something. 8

Wright-Phillips First goal for months and a pretty good performance. Took his goal well and generally hassled and ran well. Maybe could have crossed a bit better but still learning Bellamy's game. Picked up a knock: would be sorely missed on Saturday. 7


Elano Another impressive cameo. Touch, vision, awareness all good. Could have done a good job given more pitch time one suspects. 7


BluePeter said...

Hart - I think he will benefit from having a rest, watching and training with a more experienced, confident 'keeper. I really hope someone knocks out of him his predeliction for punching instead of catching the ball, he scares me everytime he go

Richards - better back in his preferred position but for me looked the weak link in an otherwise strong back four. Still needs to work on his positional play and decision about when and where to unceremoniously floor

Kompany - class, sheer class, a cracking example of a top class continental central defender. Give him the captain's armband permanently

Onuoha - looks confident, determined and committed, will be interesting to see whether he is still with us come February 3 and what happens when Dunne becomes available again.

Bridge - Apart from his one glaring error which led to their goal was impressed with his strength, speed and endeavour

de Jong - doesn't look match fit yet still has that confidence and predatory instinct needed by top class midfield destroyers. Having said that, his passing both long and short was effective. Should grow into the role, possibly alongside...

Zabaleta - pushing Superman for the 'find of the season'. Looks so comfortable tackling, passing, carrying the ball forward, interplaying with Robinho, SWP. Could we have found the 'other/extra' midfielder we've been looking for? As the septics would say 'awesome'. But midfield or fullback? What a call.

Ireland - Looked a bit rusty after his enforced lay-off, simply cannot leave him out.

Robinho - considering all that's gone on he played pretty well. However, he needs to concentrate on his bread and butter game and leave the flicks and backheels until we are 2 or 3-0 up.

Bellamy - impressed with his pace, commitment and eye for goal. Give him a chance to bed in and get on the same wavelength as Robinho, SWP ansd Superman and we could have a heck of an attack

Wright-Phillips - good game but still not performing at the level he is capable of, although I don't think it will take him long to get to it. Took goal well and showed he won't be bullied. Along with Robinho, Superman and Bellamy will tarrify most defences.


Elano - felt sorry for him, could have had more time on the pitch, hopefully he is over his 'enfant terrible' phase and can concentrate on forcing his way into the team.

Fernandes - busy and effective, but that was about it.

What we lacked? - A big centre forward to hold the ball out, take the rough stuff and dish it out and get on the end of the crosses fizzing in from just about every angle.

BigPirate said...

Bellamy is non-stop action and fun to watch. I just wish somebody would mic him for a game. It would be priceless to hear what he's jabbering about out there.

tommytheblue said...

big pirate...from where i was sat we could hear bellamy call enrique a complete wanker! very amusing at the time.