Sunday, 7 November 2010

West Brom player ratings

Hart After a minor dip in form I think he's getting back to his autumn best - he was impressive under a sustained aerial barrage, although I suppose it ought to be remembered that he was twice beaten when West Brom hit the woodwork. 7

Boateng A funny performance: he's clearly very talented and does some things very well. A few tackles, particularly one in the second half were excellent and some runs of his were as good as those he made during the World Cup. But there were a few moments where his positioning or decision making was unreliable. Still adjusting, but there's clearly an excellent player in here. 6

Kolo Touré A good performance again; no mental freezes, just repeatedly being in the right place at the right time, intercepting and clearing with no obvious problems. 7

Kompany Very good, as usual. Had a difficult physical battle with Marc-Antoine Fortuné but he made almost everything, coming out of some potentially difficult situations always with the ball under control. 7

Zabaleta Reminded us what we all knew - until Aleksandar Kolarov gets fit he's still the best left-back at the club. This was one of his best performances for City, playing flawlessly until his late substitution. He was fierce enough into tackles without getting sent off, his positioning was very good and he tried to help out going forward. Does prompt the question why on earth Mancini tried Wayne Bridge and Joleon Lescott there for so much of the season so far. 8

de Jong Booked for handball within the first five minutes, and this could have inhibited his natural game but he played well: not diving into tackles but always in the right place, crucial to our keeping the ball when we needed to, making 49 of 54 attempted passes. A good demonstration of how good he is without the occasional Lee Cattermole impressions. 7

Yaya Touré His best game for City. Finally showed off the awesome physicality of his runs more than once in a game, taking on West Brom defenders four or five times, and causing panic and problems every time he got going. Defenders don't know how to deal with it, and he ended up taking some fairly brutal treatment as they attempted to stop him. Clearly isn't far from becoming a very useful goal-scoring midfielder, once he further adjusts. 8

Barry Completed 70 passes (from 76), which sounds like the most from a City player for some time. He was very influential, dictating our tempo, breaking up play and buying a few of those free-kicks of his. As with Yaya, there was a notable improvement in effort from Molineux, which was pleasing to see. 7

Silva Were it not for Mario Balotelli all the focus would be on him today. He was just wonderful, again, playing football in a way not many in the Premier League can. There were three passes that were straight out of the Xavi bracket: a reverse pass into the channel for our first goal, a chip down the middle for our second, and one to Jérome Boateng ('Feed the Boat and he will score') that nobody else on the pitch could have conceived of, never mind executed. 8

Tévez As ever, the whole team looked different with him in. Yes, he didn't score, but I'm not sure we could have done it without him. It was his energy and movement that drove the front three on - his run and cross that set up our first goal. When we were down to ten men his hold-up play and leadership was invaluable - he just wouldn't let West Brom have the ball. 8

Balotelli I don't know what to say. This was a performance unlike anything I have ever seen. To start with the obvious: he's clearly a very good footballer: he's strong, quick, technically excellent and has a sharp eye for goal. But - and I wish I had a better way of putting this - he's just mad. Even before the sending off, he was more petulant, more contemptuous than any player I've seen. Not just the diving, the bickering, the running battles but also the skills - the whole array of tricks even at 1-0 up. There is certainly the suspicion that he plays the opponents rather than the game, but it's really something to behold. I need to write more about him soon. 7

Subs:

A Johnson Did a decent job when he came on, stretching the defence and working hard at the back. 7

Kolarov Too late n/a

2 comments:

matt 1975 said...

Great summing up of performances. I agree Zab is the best LB at the club when Kolarov is injured but he is a liabilty and gives too many free kicks away in dangerous areas. Love the guys commitment though.

I am buzzing today as that was the team i have been wanting to see and they didn't disappoint apart from Balotelli who has a real chip on his shoulder. If you were that good surely you would just go out and enjoy playing. Really hope he calms down as that forward line can be awesome. Dare i say it but Balotelli plays like Thierry Henry.

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