Thursday, 25 February 2010

Stoke player ratings

Given Had a good game up until Shawcross' goal - made some sharp saves from headers close in. But then he charged out for a long throw, missed it, and we were 2-1 down. 5

Richards Restored at right back, and continued his steady improvement. It's hard to think of a defensive mistake, and when on possession he looks slightly more composed than he used to be. 7

Onuoha One outstanding tackle on Ricardo Fuller was the standout moment in an otherwise quiet game. 6

Lescott Had a difficult job tracking Fuller across the pitch. Generally he coped well with Stoke's barrage. 6

Bridge Influential down the flank in the first half, but more cautious as Stoke improved later on. Withdrawn just before ninety minutes. 6

Zabaleta Played most of the game wide on the right. If he was just a little bit quicker he'd be very effective - he tackles hard, passes the ball well enough and makes intelligent runs. When SWP came on he moved inside, and continued to work hard. 7

Ireland For the first thirty minutes it was his best performance in months, drifting between Adebayor and the midfield, finding space and linking play. But then when he had a decent goalscoring opportunity stolen by a Shawcross tackle the confidence seemed to leak out of him, and he stopped any productive involvement in the game. Taken off after an hour. 5

Kompany Moved into his preferred defensive midfield role, he was excellent. Preferred over Nigel de Jong for the extra 19cm of height he brings, he was dominant in the air, and against the 'robust' Salif Diao in midfield. Passing ability underrated, too. 7

Barry Like Ireland he started very brightly, controlling the tempo of the game, but was not able to maintain this throughout. Missed a good headed chance and was moved to left-back. 6

Bellamy Our main outlet down the left, he repeatedly beat the Stoke defence for pace. If he'd been as sharp as he was a few months ago he would have put us ahead before half time. But he continued to work hard and took his goal well. 6

Adebayor Another improved performance, dropping deep, running with the ball, and all the rest of it, before his red card. The card was probably harsh but I don't think he can have too many complaints when he swings his arm like that so close to the referee. 6


SWP Lively down the right when he came on. Very useful against tired legs in games like this. 7

RSC Not fit. Missed a good chance but the game was probably gone by then. 5

Sylvinho Too late to mark. n/a

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