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Thread: Exeter Away - Player Ratings

  1. #1

    Exeter Away - Player Ratings

    So I find myself feeling quite churlish reporting this was two points dropped, as I’m quite happy with a point tonight. However, a win would’ve been fantastic and it was there for the taking – touching noses with us. I’m frustrated we didn’t keep Nadesan in the side after last week’s performance – and the introduction of a human standard brain into our attacking play instantly brought its own rewards today. All things said, the worst piece of defending of the afternoon cost us a goal and the most stylish piece of attacking levelled the game, we didn’t have the required quality to convert any of our other opportunities so in the end a draw was fair. One thing I can’t fault however, is the effort and work rate of all of our players (except Stockton), they couldn’t have left anything else out on the pitch. And the second half was quite watchable in a schoolyard “next goal wins” kind of way.

    Anyway, the points dropped today mean we’re still not yet genuine playoff contenders (due to the number of games we’ve played). The teams above and around us aren’t going to lose all their games in hand and we aren’t going to win all of our games left, however we are in the picture – and we have to make the most of our opportunities – which makes today’s team selection all the more amateurish from the manager. Again however, the manager and the players deserve credit for clawing us back into this position – but it’s still, let’s be honest – a huge disappointment to be out of the top seven with nine games to play...

    Bonham – 5 – His kicking is getting worse, I lost count of the number of times he either sliced the ball into touch or passed to the Exeter goalkeeper. Extremely hesitant on crosses today and was, incredulously, still wasting time when we were losing. In fairness to him he had absolutely no chance with the goal as he was left hopelessly exposed by our defence. He did make a couple of regulation saves in the second half from very tame efforts...

    Liddle – 5 – Exeter clearly remember him from last season and they attempted to expose him for pace and at times doubled up on him. You could convincingly argue it was this tactic and the subsequent desperate mistake and idiotic foul (with booking) which led to the period of pressure following which we conceded. However, there were many opportunities for us to clear the ball, mark up and defend properly between then and the ball hitting the back of the net. Despite it being a torrid afternoon, it wasn’t a complete disaster for him, however I found myself wishing we had a genuine right-back today.

    Parkes – 5 – Some excellent interceptions and use of the football, good tackling and solid work in the air. However, a proper left-back wouldn’t have gifted his man that much space and time to score. Also, his lack of awareness in the build up to the Exeter goal led to a moment of panic and unnecessarily conceding a corner. Parkes is genuinely Jekyll and Hyde for me, some of his defensive work and use of the football is sublime but he has lapses of concentration and consistent defensive moments which are genuinely ugly.

    Ellis – 7* – Immense again defensively. If you could pick someone to be beside you in the trenches, Ellis would be that man. If they were shooting bullets at Jack Bonham instead of footballs – Ellis would be there deflecting them away with his head.

    Hill – 7 – Possibly the best I’ve seen Hill play since Christmas, like Ellis – extremely strong and today used the ball very well playing out from the back. Exeter hardly had a sniff in front of goal all afternoon and for this, our central defensive partnership deserve all the credit for their solidity

    Joyce – 6 – Good shift today from Joyce doing the destructive side of the game adequately. Possibly subbed as he was increasingly finding himself in forward positions as we were attacking more and also to protect against his yellow card (for a really worthwhile tackle). If you’re going to pick up a card, make it count – and Joyce did.

    Jones – 6 – Someone on social media yesterday evening mentioned Jan Molby’s performance in the FA Cup at Brunton Park in 1989, suggesting he “ran the game without running or moving in central midfield”. I’d argue the space created for him that afternoon was due to the tireless running of players like Peter Beardsley, Steve McMahon and Steve Nichol – which bought Molby the time needed to stroke the ball around imperiously despite his tight shorts and beer-belly. The point here? Sometimes less is more and when you run around waspishly and introduce a frantic element into your game you lose something in the soul of your game which made you the footballer you are. I always thought the reason the Joyce / Jones partnership worked so well was Joyce put the double shift in and Jones provided the brainwork. I’d love to see this click again – and for Jones to be able to take the extra half second required to engage the intelligence on the football we all know he has. (PS – I’m not directly comparing him to Jan Molby)

    Devitt – 5 – Didn’t have his shooting boots on today, otherwise we’d be talking about a win tonight. I can’t knock the effort but you really need the technique to go with it and today it just wasn’t clicking for him. I’d have left Bennett on and brought Twardek on for Devitt in a deeper role as our final substitution today as it clearly wasn’t his afternoon...

    Stockton – 0 – Disinterested, lazy, on his heels and a joy to defend against. What exactly is it Stockton brings to the side? With Stockton in your team it’s like you’re playing with ten men. Performances like this at any sort of level are entirely unacceptable, frankly he’s a shocking example and I wouldn’t even let him train with our youth team. Minimum when you put on the shirt is to try your hardest and I don’t think he even broke sweat all afternoon. His performance was entirely at odds with everything else happening on the pitch today, I’m not sure who he thinks he is but you can’t walk and jog about all game and expect the rest of the team to provide you with easy chances from close range. His movement is poor, his use of the ball ponderous and predictable and he’s non-existent in the air. Not good enough.

    Bennett – 6 – It wasn’t all working today but he did a double shift today effectively playing upfront by himself until Nadesan came on. Persistence and work rate brings its own rewards and he played a ***** part on our goal. Our best spell in the game coincided with the time Bennett and Nadesan were playing upfront together and this is the partnership we need to be using from the start of games. This being said, he can still sharpen up around the box a little but the improvement in his game is still creditable.

    Hope – 5 – A valuable outlet on the left, but for goodness sake – someone’s told him he’s a footballer and he’s trying too hard to be one. The secret of his recent success is he’s kept things simple, don’t try and think just do the simple things. Run fast, pick the short pass, kick in the direction you’re facing. Don’t try and introduce elements of flair into your game because you have no brain, being brutally honest. Drag backs, Cruyff-turns, step-overs, shots from thirty yards, extravagant flicks – no, no, no, no. None of it worked, not once, not a single time. Don’t try and be Lionel Messi – be Hallam Hope, most effective when you don’t think and keep it extremely simple.


    Nadesan – 7 – Intelligent movement in the channels, pace, excellent use of the football and a fine finish. Without any doubt, the most intelligent forward at the club and the best finisher by a country mile. It’s almost criminal he didn’t start today and he really needs to be in our first eleven.

    Lambe – 4 – I could understand why he was brought on but struggled to find his feet a bit.

    Twardek – 5 - We tried to exploit his pace and he did cause a few problems for the Exeter defence without being quite as influential or effective as Bennett had been.

  2. #2
    Ta Piglet. Not there or watching so I've no comments to give, but listening on the radio Hope was given a lot of credit and Devitt was criticised, so it's interesting that you gave them the same mark. BBCRC are a bit OTT though.

  3. #3
    Quietly going about their business after the turn in form and getting results.Little too late i would think but you never know,forget about other teams and working out who should do us any favors and all that cobblers and concentrate on their own up and coming matches and see if utd are up for it.

  4. #4
    So the difference between Devitt and Hope? It depends on your perspective I suppose.

    Hope was involved in the game more, like I said, and a decent outlet on the left. However, his chronic lack of a left boot meant Exeter were largely able to cope with him in and around the penalty area - show him onto his right boot because there's no way he's going past you down the touchline. He was trying to be too extravagant and must have lost more possession than any other player on the pitch for either team. If you're into the frantic, brainless approach - Hope's your boy, but if you want actual influence or tangible end product this was entirely missing yesterday.

    Devitt wins the same mark as his influence on the game was on a par with Hope. Full marks for effort and running, but his passing, shooting and general decision making were off point. I'm not sure you can be justified in being overly critical of one player and not the other. In fact, after a night at the Symphony and a good night's sleep, I'd probably give Devitt a few decimal points more than Hope due to a couple of decent crosses in the first half, a decent corner we might've scored from and a respectable shot after a flowing move which narrowly cleared the keeper's left hand post (which albeit missed the target).

    So overall, Devitt had slightly more technical quality to his game while Hope had more possession and stretched the Exeter defence on the left - both, ultimately - to equal effect, so the same mark overall.

    I haven't listened to BBCRC commentary for many years now, but I was never convinced by Phillips opinions on the price of chips. Was Ginger-Pan-Face the summariser? I suppose as a fourth division championship winner his views must have a little credibility, although the most influential thing he ever did as a midfielder was to convince Michael Bridges to sign for us

  5. #5
    Nah, GPF wasn't there.

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