Thursday, 11 November 2010

United player ratings

Hart Only had two meaningful saves to make - from Patrice Evra in the first half and Dimitar Berbatov in the second. Other than that it was a fairly quiet day, one of his high points was athletically preventing a corner. 7

Boateng Defensively solid, again, winning three tackles - two of which were right on the edge of our box. I suppose I'm still waiting, though, to see the same cavalier runs we saw in the World Cup. He didn't make one successful pass in the final third. Whether this is to do with instruction from Mancini or adjustment from the Premier League isn't clear yet. 6

Kolo Touré Another decent performance. Willing to put his foot on the ball (we could never have knocked it around in defence if we still had Richard Dunne) and kept his position well. Lost out in the air to Javier Hernandez when he came on, but otherwise fine. 7

Kompany Second only to Paul Scholes in passes completed last night, with 60 to the little master's 68. The importance of retaining possession from the back to the Mancini plan cannot be underestimated. Defended excellently, too, always in the right place and making three important interceptions. 8

Zabaleta His second consecutive strong performance from left-back. Why Mancini played Wayne Bridge earlier in the season remains a mystery. He kept Nani quiet, holding his position, not diving in, and while he's not a naturally attacking full-back he gave it a decent try and actually had our best chance of the second half. Didn't even get booked! 7

de Jong Did a good job of limiting United's attacking opportunities even while they were allowed to dominate possession. His positional awareness is excellent (he's really not a 'rich man's Michael Brown'), while three interceptions and five tackles kept United at bay. Invaluable in games like these. 8

Silva I was hoping he'd do something historic so was a touch disappointed. He got a fair bit of the ball in wide areas but could never quite produce. Admittedly, crossing a 5'7" Carlos Tévez is difficult but he took four or five of our eight corners - when we have some fairly big players in the box - and couldn't beat the first man. 6

Yaya Touré I think he's getting there. Not quite as good as he was against West Brom, but his bounding runs through the middle are clearly one of the few ways to link what Jonathan Wilson has described as our 'broken team.' His decisions and execution in the final third aren't what they should be though. Tired in the second half - I'm not sure he was fully recovered from Sunday - my guess is he'll rest against Birmingham City. 7

Barry Did a crucial job helping out Zabaleta in the left back position, winning four tackles there and making three interceptions. This shut down Nani which was crucial in our keeping a clean sheet. Couldn't complete as many passes as he did last Sunday, and never really got forward, but he did the job that was asked of him. 7

Milner Important work covering Patrice Evra's runs down the left, in a way that Adam Johnson just wouldn't. Didn't produce much going forward; like Silva his corners were poor (though he did win most of them himself). Must wonder what the point is swinging in crosses that get headed away. 6

Tévez I'm not sure he looked 100% fit but there was never a question of his not playing. He scurried around and nearly worked space to shoot a few times but his only decent chance was a free-kick that Edwin van der Sar saved comfortably. Might get a rest on Sunday. 6

Subs:

A. Johnson Beat his man with his first touch but otherwise quiet. 6

Kolarov Too late to mark n/a

Adebayor Too late to mark n/a

6 comments:

budakon said...

Not sure that Yaya was deserving of a 7 from where I was sitting. Apart from those 2 or 3 power runs of his there was a real lack of dynamism and energy. He also did not seem interested in providing much in the way of defensive cover and was very slow to close down players when we were without possession and when he had possession there seemed to be little end product. Hopefully there is more to come from him.

Trevbrierley said...

Thought Zabaleta had one of his best games. Pity about that shot at the end - would have made my day!

Oh we're playing on Saturday not Sunday this weekend - wouldn't like you to miss it!

marty said...

After travelling from the SE, train fare, hotel, two half days off work (again) etc etc, i demand more than negative soul-destroying tactics. i am paying to be entertained. last night was a f+cking disgrace. both teams set their stall out not to lose and basically stuck two fingers up to the 47,000 paying customers. i like mancini, but playing for a draw at home. do me a favour

pjdemers said...

In full agreement with Budakon. Given that Yaya was a defensive liability ( a pylon cone would provided better defensive cover) in the second half why not bring on Adebayor and give Tevez someone to play off. If nothing else he would have provided an aerial threat.

The bottom line is that Yaya's performance should remove all doubt with the media pundits that he is a defensive midfielder. So lethargic was his display in the second half he looked like an Antoine Siebierski clone. Like Adebayor , a talented player who doesn't pull his weight, unlike Adebayor, he gets too much of a free ride with City fans

JR said...

Mancini defended with 4 and 3, and asked Milner to the be the third along with Barry and NDJ, in part because his pace would better allow him to cover United's width, be it Evra, Park or Nani on the switch.

Toure Yaya did just as Mancicni asked of him - stay high and be a physical force on the pitch in front of the the defensive shell.

He isn't a target like Ade, but Mancini wanted to win the battle in the middle. Yaya has the vision and skill (when in form) to play the quick break game with Silva and Tevez. He tired and perhaps should have been withdrawn, but if for Ade that would have opened up the middle of the pitch.

pjdemers said...

@JR

If you think I'm being harsh on Yaya I am, because the fact is he failed miserably in his responsibilities. I am well aware that Mancini was pushing him up high up the pitch to play off Tevez as he has done this numerous times this season, but please tell how he was a physical force in front of the defensive shell.

Budakon's assessment of Yaya's performance in the second half is spot on. He was slow to close players down, never tried to put pressure on the ball, pulled out of any 50/50 challenge, never tracked the runs made by United pushing through the middle, in short, he did none of the things you claim that was instructed to do (unless his instructions we're to lumber around lethargially in slow lazy trot). In fact I'd go so far to say that United exploited the gaping spaces he left through his failures.

I'm not trying pick a fight here, its just that I think your giving excuses rather than reasons for what was an abject performance for a player of his talents. If he was tired then he should not have been on the pitch, and I don't see how bringing on Adebayor for Yaya would of left us anymore exposed as Yaya left the middle completely exposed and also failed to play the quick break game with Silva and Tevez. Other than the one or two surging runs through the middle in which he ended running himself into trouble, he contributed absolutely nothing to this game and more worryingly provided little if any support to his teammates.