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Thread: Player Ratings - Yeovil at home

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Player Ratings - Yeovil at home

    What a difference it makes when you attack from the start.

    A traditional 4-4-2 (with two wingers) has been a long time coming and was much needed with this set of players – so fair play to the manager for finally selecting a genuinely attacking formation for a home league game. It’s the first time since August and it should be a lesson to everyone – especially Keith Curle. In fairness to Curle, as well as getting a pat on the back for the result (and performance) today – I like very much the way he rested his key players for the reserve fixture on Wednesday and gave priority to this league fixture – full marks.

    The players had been told to attack, for a change, and what a difference it made. To go onto the pitch with the belief you can beat the opposition and to play with positivity from the start – it’s what has been lacking – but was there for all to see today.

    I’m inclined to say that we made Yeovil look poor today, although their own tactics were a little naïve. What definitely didn’t help the opposition was some bizarre refereeing, which put the result beyond doubt – if there was any doubt in the first place because frankly, we looked very comfortable by the time it happened. I’m also inclined to think the FA know we were harshly treated by the Miller-gate so they’ve instructed referees to show us a few favours. It meant our players looked too embarrassed to celebrate the fourth goal, which was a Brucey bonus. The incident spoiled what had been an entertaining game. I’d have liked to have seen us hit the kind of groove which resulted in our sublime second goal, it almost doesn’t count when you’re playing ten men…

    And on the second goal, it was easily the highest quality piece of football we’ve played this season. We moved the ball intelligently and our movement off the ball was top class. The passage of play before the ball was cut back to Hope would’ve graced any football pitch on any stage – the patience and maturity of our passing was fantastic. It’s the kind of passage of play that’s been missing from our side for almost a year now (our players are capable) and hopefully, this kind of excellence will be a sign of things to come.

    Bonham – 7 – Was not seriously tested, however did all that was asked him adequately. He looked comfortable and assured in all aspects of his game today. His kicking might’ve been a little sharper – but the distribution with his hands was much better today. I’m still not a fan long term, but today he did little wrong.

    Brown – 7 – Solid as ever, got forward to good effect. Not his sharpest performance, but an extremely important player for us now. Worrying noises coming from Curle about the likelihood of him staying beyond Christmas – he needs to be on the phone to Milwall every day, pestering them until they agree to let us keep him for the season. Of course there’s an argument for “testing” him at a higher level, however there’s also an argument for letting him continue to develop by playing first team games at our level – he should aim to step up to tier three at the end of the season (in my unbiased view).

    Grainger – 7 – Someone dropped an extra shot of espresso into Granny’s latte this morning. Looked twice the player who’s been struggling and bumbling through the season so far, and it makes a massive difference to the whole left side of our team. We need to increase his coffee dosage every week, it would be like a new signing. An absolute screamer of a first goal; although from Yeovil’s perspective – everybody in the division knows about Granny’s left foot and they gave him enough time to pour himself a few more lattes, leaf casually through a few pages of Farmer’s Weekly, pop by the barn to stack some bales of hay and have a conversation about England’s prospects in the forthcoming Ashes series with Harold from Penrith – before picking his spot. In fairness to him, that’s not his problem – and he took his goal splendidly. Hopefully he can carry this form forward.

    Hill – 7 – Again, imperative we extend Hill’s contract. Solid, dependable and the glue holding our back four together.

    Liddle – 7 – Some questionable passing, although he’s on the pitch to defend – which he did dependably. Also got forward to good effect, overlapping (ahem) impressively on occasion. We probably show him too much of the football, in fairness he’s no Platini, and should play to his strengths a little more. However, since coming back into the side he’s made the shirt his own. I never thought I’d say that – so fair play to him.

    Jones – 7* - Bossed the midfield today like the old Jones. Some of his passing was a bit rusty early doors, but once he settled into his rhythm it was a textbook defensive midfield performance. He can play better – which is great news for us

    Joyce – 7 – Reunited with Jones in a midfield two, finally we play to our strengths. Some great passing and excellent work rate.

    Adams – 6 – What on Earth was he thinking making a tackle like that? Do we coach our players to tackle, or not? Of course you’re going to injure yourself when you jump into a challenge with your legs everywhere, honestly. And it was such a shame because he was looking lively on the left beforehand. His crossing was still awful, but some of his crisp short passing and movement was excellent. Hopefully his injury will give him time to regroup and find his best form later in the season. An in-form Adams would be sorely missed, however he hasn’t been anywhere near his best and we have plenty of options to replace him…

    Lambe – 7 – Decent performance from Reginald, involved in all our best passages of play.

    Hope – 7 – Took his goal splendidly and I was impressed (pinch yourself, I have actually used this word in reference to Hallam Hope) with some of his movement leading the line. Unfortunate to be pulled back into midfield to cover for the injured Adams – but did an excellent job for the team.

    Bennett – 7 – Always a problem for the Yeovil defence, even when he was failing to win the ball with regularity in the air. The point being he was occupying at least one Yeovil defender for most of the time – making space for our other forward thinking players. Looks a much better player now he’s fitter and when we manage to get the ball into his feet he generally uses the ball quite well. Can still improve with his back to goal and could use a little more composure when he has a shooting opportunity, but looks to be settling quite well now after his goals.


    Miller – 7 – Some decent touches and a good finish for his goal, looked useful partnering Bennett – it’s a shame it took an injury to bring them together.

    Etuhu – 5 – Did nothing (wrong)

    O’Sullivan – 5 – Should’ve been brought on a lot earlier with the game won, no better way to get fit…

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    442 seems to suit us; the players are comfortable with it, Grainger plays better in it, it cuts out a lot of the hoof-ball and 2 up top provides goals. All the time at home please.The play leading to our second goal was wonderful, though it didn't stop a few near me in the Paddock tutting and moaning - they're not used to us keeping possession for more than 10 seconds. The penalty was for a punch during open play spotted by a linesman. Fair play to the ref for giving it. As you say, Adams' injury was self-inflicted and we'll have to see how the knee looks once any swelling has gone. I think Bennett did as well as he could against a giant who was in his back most of the time and he'll need to learn how to come off his man if he wishes his career to progress. His distribution on the ground is improving though, and I think we've got a useful player for our 50 grand.

    Above all though, I think the players - and supporters - learned a lot about patience yesterday. We bossed the possession stats and you could see that increasing confidence as the game went on. That made it a useful day all round.

    Nice report Piglet, thanks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Having watched the highlights on freeze frame, the penalty incident is still very inconclusive.

    What is apparent from watching is in the build up to the decision, Hope is all over the Yeovil defender. First he's seen manhandling him near the six yard line, then he's in his face and almost in his shorts before you see the Yeovil player about to raise his arm.

    You can't see whether there was "a punch" thrown or not from the video. However, in fairness, if I'd have been the Yeovil player being molested I'd have punched Hope as well - a damn sight harder than the defender is alleged to have.

    That's not trying to excuse anything, you can't retaliate (if he did), whatever the provocation, and expect to stay on the pitch. However, if I was the Yeovil player I'd feel a bit aggrieved that none of Hope's actions were witnessed before the retaliation.

    I suppose that's what you get with Hope, one of his strengths may be getting under the skin of the opposition - although I'm not sure whether it was necessary yesterday in a position where we effectively have the game won. Maybe if goal difference comes into play at the end of the season small incidents like this will make the difference, however I'm still not entirely happy about it...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Yes, great report, well written. Thank you.

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