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Thread: Player Ratings - Stevenage Away

  1. #1
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    Nov 2004
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    Player Ratings - Stevenage Away

    Apologies on my lateness with the ratings today, busy times.

    Complete tactical chaos again today, a really bizarre team selection and a 5-2-3 formation.

    For the first thirty-five minutes there was only one team in this game. Our back five were way too deep, our midfield swamped and over-run and our three strikers isolated and chasing after scraps. It seemed like we’d brought in an extra right-sided defender to cover for Webster’s ineptitude and Elliott’s inability to defend – but to leave Sagaf on the bench looked bizarre. We couldn’t get on the ball in midfield and our two midfielders were overwhelmed and out-gunned. We could barely get the ball out of our half and were making Stevenage look like Brazil with the amount of time they had on the ball.

    And when we conceded it was all too inevitable, an extremely poor defensive header from Webster led to Guthrie smashing the ball past a helpless Collin. Once again, Webster’s ineptitude helping the opposition to score, there’s a familiar pattern emerging this season. We’d made an awful side look tremendous and gifted them the lead.

    Then with our first real piece of football we equalised. Gethin Jones (whose forward passing impressed) played a classy long pass into the channel, after spotting McKirdy’s run, and McKirdy smashed it into the top corner. Up until this point we’d been completely out of the game and a better team than Stevenage would probably have won the game already, but as it stood we’d got out of jail free and went into half time level.

    Stevenage’s confidence obviously took a knock and it was an uncharacteristic flowing piece of football on the break which brought us our second goal. A tidy piece of work by Olomola sent McKirdy into space on the left and his pace took him clear of the defence, at which point he showed great composure to lay the goal on a plate for Thomas.

    Now you’d have thought we’d have shut up shop, but with our pub-league defence that seems to be impossible. Some incredibly poor defending on our right and a powederpuff attempt at a defensive header by Knight-Percival and we’ve conceded another hugely disappointing goal.

    Finally, after seventy minutes, the penny seemed to drop with our coaching staff and one of our right-backs was taken off to allow Sagaf to play on the right side of midfield. Suddenly we looked more balanced as a team and began to offer up some threat from midfield. Indeed it was a lovely cross-field pass from Sagaf which fed McKirdy for his deflected winner.

    And from this point we looked comfortable enough, if not beautiful on the eye. The Stevenage manager has a hell of a job on his hands, to dominate like they did in the first half – yet to create so few scoring opportunities – has to be extremely worrying for them. Not many teams are going to turn up, play five at the back and sit off them for the majority of the game giving them acres of space. We got away with it this afternoon, thanks to their lack of quality in the final third and also due to McKirdy having a superb afternoon.

    Worryingly however, if we start with this formation and team – we’ll lose against the majority of teams in the division. You got the feeling we won despite Pressley’s tactics not because of them.

    Collin – 5 – Some embarrassing distribution and needs to ask himself a question or two about that second goal.

    Elliot – 3 – Slightly better than last week but still not good enough defensively. On today’s evidence, Jones looks a more competent defender and is a better passer of the ball. If he was supposed to be a wing-back today – that experiment failed.

    Jones – 6 – A novelty having a right-sided defender who can actually defend. Never fear, Pressley will have him on the training ground next week and his defensive ability will evaporate. Brought in because Webster and Elliott can’t defend – but he couldn’t mask their flagrant ineptitude today. Also novel having a defender who can make meaningful passes in a forward direction.

    Webster – 2 – A lovely assist for Stevenage’s first goal, Jones bailed him out on numerous occasions and it’s painful watching our other defenders bail him out time and again. Is begging to be dropped.

    Knight-Percival – 5 – Generally solid, and gained a mark for not trotting up to the referee when summoned like a little dog after making Guthrie eat some dirt. However he should be ashamed of his attempt at a header for Stevenage’s second goal. Your Grandma could’ve put in a better challenge. He’s been spending too much with Webster.

    Iredale – 5 – Too deep for a wing-back, struggled to come to the pace of the game and his passing was awful. Not as awful as some of our right-sided defenders but needs to up his game massively.

    Jones – 5 – It’s not his fault to be fair, what could he do single-handedly against four players all afternoon? Which idiot plays a two in midfield? Anyway, he came into the game more for the last twenty minutes when we changed formation.

    Bridge – 2 – It’s all a bit pointless again really. Created nothing, worked generally hard and tried to look flashy but it’s all gloss and no substance. As for Jones, had an impossible job but made a poor fist of doing that, even. We’re looking light in midfield. We have Jones and Sagaf, but nobody else up to standard currently.

    Thomas – 6 – Ran his socks off and provided a useful outlet on the right. It was a creditable run for his goal and if we’re capable of feeding him the ball in forward positions things will happen. All too often however, he’s having to scrap it out as our midfield is struggling and our defenders can’t find him with the ball quickly enough.

    Olomola – 6 – Some scuffy nonsense around the box, but he’s the only forward player we have who can show a little quality with his back to goal. Collin needs to cease and desist asking him to fight for headers. A la Thomas, if we can manage to get the ball to his feet he will score and create goals.

    McKirdy – 8* - The difference between the teams. Salvaged the first half for us with a lung bursting run and wonderful finish. Created the lead for us by unselfishly laying the ball to Thomas, and won the game for us at the end. McKirdy is the player Hallam Hope could’ve been, if he’d been faster and had a few brain cells. If the club have an option to extend his contract – they should take it without delay.

    Subs:

    Sagaf – 6 – Great pass for the goal, and even though out of position wide on the right did an excellent job restoring a bit of balance and bringing some football to the team.

    Hope – Ran about a bit.

    Loft – Brought nothing to the side, except his height.
    Last edited by Piglet_Phoenix; 15-09-2019 at 01:18 AM.

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