Monday, 29 November 2010

Stoke player ratings

Hart Dealt well under the aerial barrage of Stoke, better than Shay Given did last season. Both his decisions and execution when the ball came into the box were good. Only a harsh critic would say he might have done better with the goal. 7

Richards Preferred to Jérôme Boateng at right back, and had a characteristically mixed game. Scored a very good goal, which required a level of imagination and technical ability I must admit to thinking was beyond him. That said, there were times when I thought he could have helped us stretch the play a bit further in the attacking phase. Defensively he was doing ok until he abandoned Matthew Etherington in stoppage time, with predictable consequences. 6

Kolo Touré Generally stood up well to the challenge of Stoke, making eight out of twelve attempted tackles. His passing was generally good, too, but the one time he did give the ball away led to Stoke's goal. To compound it, he lost the first ball to Kenwyne Jones. If he'd avoided either of those errors we would have won the game. 6

Kompany Another strong performance. Won six out of nine tackles, although his passing was not quite as good as it has been recently. Again, the goal we conceded was nothing to do with him. Early favourite for Player of the Season. 7

Kolarov Good, again. Made some important tackles and interceptions and was a constant threat in the final third. His delivery is good and he knows how to trouble defences. Only going to improve. 7

de Jong Felt rather subdued in what should have been his sort of match. Only made two tackles, although in mitigation there wasn't much play for him to break down - the ball was just being fired over his head. Good in the second half as we controlled possession, and completed over 40 passes (53/61) for the fifth consecutive Premier League game. 6

Silva Beautiful as ever. Any suggestion that he 'wouldn't fancy it' on a cold November afternoon at the Britannia was shown up to be facile and lazy. He was our best attacking player, dancing across the frost and constantly exploring for space. In the first half completed 17 from 22 passes, but drifted inside after the break and contributed 38 from 38, allowing us to control possession. What a frustration for him that we couldn't hold the lead. 7

Milner Moved into his Aston Villa role of central midfield in the absence of Yaya Touré. Unfortunately he could never really get into the game, noticeably our worst passer from midfield, making just 21 from 36. That said, he did work hard and if he'd still been on in stoppage time he might just have tracked Etherington into the box. 5

Barry Very good, I thought. One of his intelligent, mature, hard-working midfield performances that we don't really see enough of, but are noticeably useful when they do happen. He effectively did de Jong's job for him, making nine out of nine attempted tackles, as well as contributing another important passing performance: 55/61. More of the same, please. 7

Balotelli Uncharacteristically low profile. No goals, no acts of violence, not even a booking. Quite a few dives, though, which were enjoyable enough. 6

Tévez A bit quiet. Understandably so, given how he's run himself into the ground twice a week for the last year and a bit. But nothing really came off for him. Suspect he'll get a rest on Wednesday night. 6


Johnson Quiet n/a

Jo Too late to mark n/a


city_slacker said...

Richards did the right thing drifting to fill space inside at the end, it was De Jong's failure to track Etherington that was the problem. Still, I Hart will feel he should have saved the shot, it wasn't a difficult one for his standards. But a point was fair on balance, I'll never know how we went in half time with a clean sheet.

fulafalonga said...

You are absolutely right, Richards is not at fault for the goal; he had to come inside, Etherington was de Jong's man and he crucially hesitated for a second and let Etherington get ahead of him. I think Nigel has gone off the boil a little of late. Probably needs a rest.