Sunday, 15 August 2010

Spurs player ratings

Hart Choosing our goalkeeper for this season was one of Roberto Mancini's biggest decisions as City boss, and he was entirely vindicated by Hart's performance. He was the biggest single reason for our clean sheet, making half a dozen or so saves that would all have been individually newsworthy. One from a Huddlestone volley, one that deflected off Shaun Wright-Phillips' back, a few sharp ones from Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch from close range. Shot stopping isn't the reason he got the place but this was as good as anything Shay Given has done at the club, and could well confirm his place in the City team for years to come. 9

Kolarov One of the three debutants, he had a promising start before going off with a knock at half time. Better than I expected in one-on-one situations against Lennon. I can't judge his pace yet but he's strong and very canny. Made one very important defensive header at the back post. Got forward once or twice and might have put a good cross in but our lack of target inhibited his ability to do so. Maybe surprised by the pace of the game but more positives than negatives. 6

Kolo Touré Quite possibly his best ever game for City. He lost out aerially to Peter Crouch early on, but cannot be blamed for being six inches shorter than his opponent. And when the ball was on the deck he was impeccable, regularly speeding across the pitch to shrug Spurs players of the ball. One time when Gareth Bale skipped past Micah Richards and was stopped by Kolo stood out but it must have happened half a dozen times. More of the same please. 8

Kompany Another performance underlining his status as the best defender at the club. Despite an early booking he was peerless and fearless in defence, staying tight to Jermain Defoe and throwing in a few vital blocks and tackles that John Terry would be proud of. Must have been surprised that he was not made captain. As our best defensive player, in his third season at City, vocal on and off the pitch and fluent in English and French he really is the natural pick. 8

Richards Embarrassed too many times by Gareth Bale. Whether inside or out, Bale skipped past Richards at will, and only a series of remote contingencies prevented these opportunities from becoming goals. His willingness to get forward was impressive, but seeing him jog back as Spurs countered was not. What is Richards if not an athlete? Jérôme Boateng does not have too much to worry about. 4

de Jong With Spurs playing two (excellent) central midfielders, de Jong was often left spare in front of our back four, powerless as Spurs moved the ball quickly out to the flanks. As we grew into the game in the second half his cautious distribution - often criticised by people who somehow expect him to be Xabi Alonso - was effective in allowing us to play the game on our own terms. Still managed one or two of those trademark tackles. 6

SWP A performance perfectly supporting the case that he is not good enough for where we want to go. He was so much under the control of Benoît Assou-Ekotto it was like seeing a pliant performing dog under the total direction of his owner. Assou-Ekotto anticipated his every move, underlining that when Shaun's 'drop the left shoulder and burst outside' isn't working there isn't a whole lot more in his tool-belt. Had our best chance but waited for the ball to drop for him and was robbed again by BAE. 4

Yaya Touré Struggled in the first half as the intensity of Spurs' pressing was just too much for him. Seeing Luka Modrić repeatedly steal the ball from around Yaya's ankles was frustrating to say the least. Dropped slightly deeper in the second half (into a 4-2-3-1), had more time on the ball and impressed with the consistency of his ball retention. Yet to find his shooting range either but that will come in time. 6

Barry The third of our trio of holding midfielders, he made a few key interventions early on as we tried to withstand the gale of pressure from Spurs. Less involved in the second half as he was shifted out onto the left but was a useful and consistent outlet as we slowed the game down. Was about to shoot when the final whistle went. He probably was not going to score. 6

Silva The one I was most excited about. In the first half he alternated wings in a 4-1-4-1, and struggled to get into the game. He clearly has to adjust to the pace of the Premier League: he is still in that stage of looking aggrieved when muscled off the ball by players like Tom Huddlestone. After half time he moved centrally behind Carlos Tévez and was more involved in play. Unfortunately the depth of Tévez and Spurs' organisation meant there was rarely anyone running beyond the defence for him to pick out but his intelligence, awareness and technical ability were already visible at times. Much more to come. 6

Tévez Had a frustrating time in his first game as City captain. His understandable inability to win aerial balls against Michael Dawson inhibited his involvement in the first half, and our ability to retain possession. Started coming deeper and deeper for the ball, which is admirable but meant that when we did have the ball the furthest forward player was Shaun Wright-Phillips, who was fairly blunt himself. Came off with seven minutes to go. 6


Zabaleta Showcased the attributes that have made him so popular with fans and with Mancini: versatility and reliability. He came on at half time at left back, and dealt reasonably well with Lennon. He also picked up a booking, and it wouldn't really be a vintage Zabaleta performance without one of those. 6

A. Johnson Came on for Wright-Phillips and with his very first touch tore past Assou-Ekotto on the inside, which was both a relief in itself but a frustration he hadn't been on from the start. That aside he looked fairly bright without ever getting a good shot away. 6

Adebayor An impressive seven minute cameo. His ability to win headers and hold the ball up was uncharacteristic, and he was a defter touch away from having our best chance of the game. 7

1 comment:

Mark the Spark said...

best appraisal of game 1 that i have read. micah & swp were putrid. and silva showed promise.