Listening to Nick Barnes and Gary Bennett seemed a poor reason for posting a match report ahead of tomorrow’s thoughts from Pete Sixsmith. But Ian Porter has come up with some incisive points (at the Blackcats list) and is always happy to share them here …
This really was Men against Boys, for the first 30 minutes at least.
When you see a young lad like Jordan Cook (pictured, from his Facebook page) come on against one of the best teams in the world after playing twice a month or whatever the stiffs play these days and look like a useful player, you have to ask the question: just what is it that an established International actually needs to get accustomed to in the PL?
If the player is good enough to be in the squad, he’s good enough to play, else, get rid. Riveros looks like a tidy, but totally uninspiring player who would fit in very well with Celtic or Rangers where games are played at his pace.
We finally saw Angeleri, but it would be unfair for anyone to judge him on his 10 minutes.
However, give me either Angeleri or Bardsley at right back before Elmo. I am just at a total loss to see what Steve Bruce sees in him. He is simply a runner and nothing else. He can’t head straight, shoot straight, cross accurately or defend well.
In midfield, Zenden’s passing was shocking at times. It would be easy to say he’s at the wrong end of his career, but I think he has five years on Giggs, who played much better than he did.
Malbranque was totally ineffective. As much as I love his fancy footwork, there’s rarely any end product from it, the usual outcome is that he loses the ball. Jordan saw a lot of the ball and sprayed the ball around a lot, but plays sideways too much and is totally reluctant to shoot. I’ve noticed him trying to be Arsenalesque nowadays trying to pass the ball into the net around the box.
Admirable, yes, but he isn’t surrounded by players like Fabregas, Arshevin or Van Persie for it to work.
As for Meyler, well he just seemed intent on marauding around catching players.
Crude as it may be, it is actually one of the things that teams like ManUre don’t like and invariably ruffles their feathers a bit. He’s way off the pace still, and while he’s never going to be our best player by a long way, he can still be a useful squad player to bring in when needed, as he did for Cana last season.
I think despite what some people may think about them, Cattermole and Welbeck’s contributions were sadly missed today. Up front, I’d say this was Bent’s worst ever performance for us. I think I’m coming to the conclusion that a fruitful partnership with Gyan just isn’t going to happen.
Gyan himself was shocking at times as well. His first touch and pass is on a par with Murphy at times, and he’s never going to be effective playing up front on his own, as he’s simply not strong enough to play that role effectively. He’s very hot-and-cold, I expect more from a £13M striker TBH.
There’s no disgrace in losing away to ManUre, even though the scoreline flattered us.
Our season’s defined by teams like Blackpool, who I expect to give us a real test. We could actually learn from them on how top break out of defence into attack quickly. Our away record really is quite poor, and even a minor improvement (WBA, Wolves etc) would have probably had us in 4th or 5th in the league.