Monsieur Salut writes: Keir Bradwell‘s “after Len Shackleton” device for his ratings from Southampton – a blank page – divided opinion. This week normal business is restored. I would not quarrel with most of it, save that Larsson’s industry merited a high mark and Wickham was, in truth, no better served than Fletcher …
Mannone – 3
I think it’s time for a break for Vito. A good, what, five howlers in the last two games? No matter which way you look at that, what sort of message does it send if Mannone isn’t rested for Palace? Pantilimon hasn’t been the best so far either, but I think he deserves at least a game in between the sticks. Mannone looked incredibly shaky today, especially at the end of the game.
Vergini – 4
Never a right-back, as hard as we try to persuade ourselves he is. His last two games at RB have been poor. Has to move into the centre for me, once Jones returns from injury.
O’Shea – 5
Okay. Had nothing to do with either of their goals.
Brown – 2
Oh dear. Terrible before he gifted Arsenal their goal, then even worse afterwards. A horrible performance from Wes. The O’Shea – Vergini partnership seems the best bet at the minute.
van Aanholt – 6
Our biggest creator once Johnson went off, which says a lot of the rest of the team, given where he plays. Gave a decent account of himself and is one of the few to escape today and last week with their cards relatively unmarked.
Rodwell – 6
The only midfielder to pressure Arsenal when they had the ball, which was great to see. By far our best midfielder today, and it baffles me why he was subbed off.
Cattermole – 5
Slow and clumsy, but with the occasional crowd-pleasing tackle or interception. Far from fantastic.
Larsson – 4
What did he actually do?
Johnson – 6
Like Rodwell, Johnson was one of the few to put any actual effort into the game, and yet they were both hauled off with a while to go. Johnson showed great skill in glimpses and did well to keep his head with the woeful refereeing going against him.
Fletcher – 5
It’s difficult to achieve anything as a striker when nobody ever gives you the ball to shoot with.
Buckley – 4
Run run run, dispossessed, run run run, offside run run run…
Wickham – 4
Altidore – 2
The only striker I have ever seen to manage to shoot the ball behind himself.
Gomez – 5
He was all right. No final ball, though. Oh well.