Young Keir Bradwell‘s ambition is hardly extravagant. He’d like Sunderland to be in the Premier League when he reaches his 14th birthday in September. He assessment of the players’ performance in the ominous goalless draw against Crystal Palace is either wildly extravagant or he’s been listening to Gus Poyet’s post-match praise for the effort shown. Feel free, as ever, to disagree wit him …
Sunderland 0-0 Crystal Palace – Player Ratings
Football is so frustrating. I am also immune to disappointment, so please excuse my somewhat generous ratings this week. I felt that we were actually rather good, even if we completely failed to take our many chances.
* Vito Mannone – 6
Never had anything to do. Almost made an error of cataclysmic proportions, though thankfully didn’t. Aside from that, an uneventful performance in which I was never overly alarmed.
* Phil Bardsley – 7
Got forward, which I thought was lacking from last week. Managed to overlap more and pass to Johnson on a consistent basis, which I thought was promising, and generally impressed me a lot. Didn’t get as far forward as Alonso, but I admired his effort.
* John O’Shea – 6
Solid, really. Dealt with the little he needed to well, from where I was sitting, at least (Premier Concourse, right next to the South Stand). Strode forward once or twice, though refused to shoot, even when he was in a great position. Overall he did well, just not spectacularly.
* Wes Brown – 5
Much the same as O’Shea, really, although his distribution was poor and he rarely ventured forward.
* Marcos Alonso – 8
I was really impressed by Alonso. He was excellent defensively, and when he got forward, regularly, he was excellent at creating chances for others to fluff. Showed the form he had on his debut at Manchester United once again. Man of the Match.
* Liam Bridcutt – 7
Bridcutt is far more physical than he looks, as he won tackles and headers all game in midfield. He also made some neat passes from the back, setting the tone of the game. I’d certainly start him over Cattermole based on current form.
* Ki Sung-Yueng – 7
Did rather well, I thought. Kept the pace of the game high once we’d started attacking, especially in the first half, and was, as usual, excellent at passing the ball around.
* Seb Larsson – 3
Yet another really frustrating & powder-puff performance from Larsson. Fails to produce anything, and wastes ridiculous amounts of possession.
* Adam Johnson – 7
The Adam Johnson/Phil Bardsley combination worked wonders down the right hand side, and Johnson managed to create vast amount of chances for his team-mates which were usually well crafted and accurate. Could have done with a confidence-boosting goal, though.
* Steven Fletcher – 5
I know everyone lambasted him for his performance, but I thought he had an average game, rather than a horrible one. He missed chances, yes, but was a nuisance to his defenders in and around the box. Still not the great finisher he once was, however.
* Fabio Borini – 8
The Adam Johnson of the left wing. Created many chances, and was usually very good at doing so, and had an excellent partnership with Alonso. Hit the post, which earns him the extra mark over Johnson. Would’ve been nicer if he’d hit the back of the net.
* Jozy Altidore – 4
A less effective, more frustrating Steven Fletcher.
* Craig Gardner – 3
I have no idea why he was brought on. Lost possession, and was poor at getting it back. Extremely irritating performance again.
* Nacho Scocco – 4
Didn’t have much time on the pitch, but didn’t look like he deserved more anyway. I really hope he settles down here soon. I’m not convinced he will. Rarely ever gets involved in play, and when he does, he seems motionless.
*** Man of the Match – Marcos Alonso
Perhaps not the pick of the majority, but I was really impressed by him.
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