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Player ratings Vs Newcastle


just

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Watched it from the MHU yesterday and thought I'd kick off the player ratings for this game;

Cech - 7

Didn't have a great deal to do but still had to make a couple of sharp saves. And those saves were vital because one goal could have changed the whole direction of the game. The fact that he wasn't overly employed by a very, very a good Newcastle forward line was largely down to Mr Cahill.

Ivan - 7

I am glad we have brought a right back, (though personally I know nothing about him), not because I have any doubts about Ivanovich but because I think genuine competition for the starting spot will bring out the best in him and keep him consistent. He did have problems with Ben Arfa at times yesterday but was mostly solid like the rest of our back four.

Ashley - 7.5

He may be 107 years old but he was up and down like the Assyrian Empire yesterday afternoon. Makes you wonder if he is on the same "energy sweets" as Lance Armstrong ,(allegedly).

Luiz - 7

One minute he can play like Franz Beckenbauer next he can have a brainstorm and try to dribble out of his own box like an 8 year old in a school game. I loove the bloke, but he has to learn not to over complicate things and take un-necessary risks. He is just like Leboeuf insomuch as his all round game makes up for his occaisional defensive frailties.

Cahill - 9.5 MOTM

A nigh on perfect defensive display yesterday. Not only from his own playing perspective but also in the way he organized and marshalled our entire back line. He led us. He was the rock on which the whole team performance was built. Newcastle have pace, mobility and skill going forwards, Cahill dealt with it all and showed again how well he reads the play. As you can probably tell, I was mightily impressed by him.

Bertrand - 8

The biggest compliment I can pay this kid is that he looks like he has been in the team for years. The confidence he has on the ball is great to watch and he has that agressive athletcism that only youngsters have. He goes in for a 20-80 ball and expects to win it everytime. If he has one area to work on it is his crossing, he tends to overhit the ball on the run.

Mikel - 8.5

Just as Cahill shielded Cech, so Mikel shielded the centre-halves. He was excellent except for the customary long range shot in the first half which had everyone in the Shed End Upper ducking. I know he has many detractors on here and I can fully understand their frustrations at times, but the guy has a big physical presence and can pass the ball smoothly and accurately. This was one of his best performances in a blue shirt.

Mary Ellis - 7.5

Enjoyed the Merieles song ............."He cuts his own hair, he cuts his own haaiirrr. Raul Merieles, he cuts his own hair" His performances can often be like his hairstyles, a bit of a mess, but yesterday he was a little terrier in midfield without giving away cheap free-kicks. He broke up Newcastle attacks and pushed us forward. Wouldn't ever get in my first choice XI but could be an important squad player in a long campaign.

Hazard - 8

At fricking last! We have a player who can run at the opposition and go past them. It makes so much difference having that weapon as it forces defenders to double up on him and opens space for others. The fact that Hazard can do it at pace, and with great close control, makes him even more dangerous. The kid is exciting no doubt, but as his influence and reputation grows I fear the EPL hatchet men will be looking to take him out. I wonder what Ryan Shawcross has in mind?

Mata - 8

Juan is no longer our sole inventive, creative, flair player and the sharing of that burden with Hazard, (and hopefully Marin when he gets a run-out), is making life easier for him. The thing I like about Mata the most is his intelligence. You can have all the skill in the world but if you don't have a football brain it counts for little. Mata instictively knows when to pass, when to hold, when to run and his link-up play with Hazard is going to destroy some teams.

Torres - 8.5

So pleased he got that goal because there were times in that first half when Fat O'Dowd didn't look like he would give Nando the sh*t off his shoe. Torres couldn't buy a decision from Dowd and you could tell the frustration was building in him. The goal, which was a wonderful opportunist strike after some beautiful build-up play, took all that frustration away and must have pissed Dowd off no end. I have read some people in the match thread say that Torres has re-discovered that yard of pace. Personally, I don't think he has. When you lose speed at his age you don't get it back, and there were one or two occaisions in the game yesterday when he has was put through 1 V 1 but didn't have the old electric pace to burn off the covering defender. But it didn't matter because the support he received from Hazard and Mata enabled him to lay the ball off and keep the attack flowing. Myself, I still think we are light on options up front and need another alternative to maintain depth and cover our ourselves for the season, but Torres has started very well and it shouldn't be someone who is going to take the starting spot from him but rather someone who is prepared to provide back-up or could play alongside him.

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These ratings remind me of the Soviet Union gymnastics judges rating their own gymnasts in the 70s/80s. Way too high for most of the players. I would have loved to have you as my teacher in college, I think I would have gotten all A's. Luiz made some real bad mistakes at the back, which to me, would drop his rating to 5.5 or something like that. A. Cole was fine, but again, a 6.0 would be a more sensible rating to me. Ivan was also fine, . . .

I forgot about that wasteful free kick from Luiz at a very dangerous position. I think he needs to defer to others from now on.

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Good post Just, as usual.

Cahill was excellent and I'm glad you mentioned it. He is incredibly determined and comitted, which is great to see.

Luiz was a 6.5 (don't argue). No way does he deserve the same mark as Ivan. He tries to nick the ball too often and gets turned because he's timed it all wrong. This happened a few times yesterday and it is immature, and one mistake can cost you. He makes too many mistakes and he needs to learn. He is old enough and been here long enough and he is good enough not to do it. Like you I love him but it's getting unforgiveable.

As for Torres, you are bang on about his pace.

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I agree with you about Torres pace, on a couple of occasions he shouldn't have been caught but was.

What I'm hoping is happened is that he has adapted his game to compensate, he is looking much sharper now, but I wish he would go to the front post when those little cut backs are coming in from Mata and Hazard.

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I liked your analysis for every player, but the grades are a bit high imo. Cahill was good, but not 9,5 good. I liked Bertrand too but grading him the same as Hazard and Mata?

It's all subjective Eldakar. Personal opinions and everyone sees the game differently, but I stand by the mark for Cahill. He was practically flawless. The movement and positional inter-changing between Ba and Cisse is extremely difficult to defend against but Cahill read it all and directed the entire back-four for 90 minutes. Other than getting caught once on the wrong side of Cisse in the first half, (and he still made up the ground to concede a corner), I can't think of one other mis-judgement he made.

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I've agreed with everything you've written Just, since you admitted you were only joking about Jimmy.

I'm also very excited about Cahill. A proper centre half in the great British (and Irish) tradition.

As for Hazard hopefully our coaches will concentrate on helping him to ride tackles and not try and knock the exuberance out of him.

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The kid is exciting no doubt, but as his influence and reputation grows I fear the EPL hatchet men will be looking to take him out. I wonder what Ryan Shawcross has in mind?

Very good point. Hazard looks a brave lad and he will need to be. All the best players are brave (Maradona, Messi, Best, Cruyff etc). They have to be able to withstand a bit of "treatment". In fact, they need to relish the challenge. This is where Robben fell down for me (if you'll pardon the pun), at least in English football, which is particularly tough. Robben got targeted, very early in games, as he was brittle and didn't like it "up him" so to speak, and it may explain why English clubs haven't come back in for him, I don't know.

If you remember The Invincibles, they lost their unbeaten record at Old Trafford, Utd basically kicking them off the park, and the ref letting it go. Also, in the CS this season, City basically bullied us, and again, the ref let it go. They have Kompany and Toure and those guys ain't to be messed with. I suspect Hazard will be targeted by both teams, in our clashes with them, and I hope we have strong referees. My biggest fear with Hazard is that he gets injured, because that's the only thing IMO that can stop him being a great player.

Personally, being a bit old fashioned, I rue the fact we lack a bit of muscle in the middle of the park, as we did when Essien was in his pomp. I do not like seeing us bullied by other teams, and there's no doubt City have the edge over us in that regard, because Toure is a monster. An absolute frickin monster.

Look at those great Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea sides. Essien, Vieira, Keane. Have Arsenal ever replaced Vieira? Not even close.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. This team could do with Tiote. Had I been manager, I would have made his signing a priority. He would have given us the balance, that steel and protection that would have allowed our attacking players to flourish. Part of the reason Robbie plays Bertrand on the wing in my opinion is because we don't have a solid defensive base to our midfield, so he is reluctant to play three all-out attackers behind Torres. Mikel played well in this game, and he is starting to look the player we all hoped he might be, but I think, in terms of the title, we may not be strong enough in that position.

The Mirror are saying City and Chelsea are interested in Tiote but Arsenal are the front-runners. If he goes to any of our rivals I'll be gutted as he is a personal favourite of mine. However you can't have everything I guess and it sure has been a great summer, in terms of signings. Certainly Arsenal need a DM with the departure of Song, and as for City, Tiote would be a preferable option to De Jong, who is limited.

Edit: I know somebody will say Mikel is a strong lad, and he is, but in terms of imposing himself physically on the opposition, I don't think he does it, and I just have a suspicion this team may need it, given all the little attacking players we have signed.

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Very good point. Hazard looks a brave lad and he will need to be. All the best players are brave (Maradona, Messi, Best, Cruyff etc). They have to be able to withstand a bit of "treatment". In fact, they need to relish the challenge. This is where Robben fell down for me (if you'll pardon the pun), at least in English football, which is particularly tough. Robben got targeted, very early in games, as he was brittle and didn't like it "up him" so to speak, and it may explain why English clubs haven't come back in for him, I don't know.

If you remember The Invincibles, they lost their unbeaten record at Old Trafford, Utd basically kicking them off the park, and the ref letting it go. Also, in the CS this season, City basically bullied us, and again, the ref let it go. They have Kompany and Toure and those guys ain't to be messed with. I suspect Hazard will be targeted by both teams, in our clashes with them, and I hope we have strong referees. My biggest fear with Hazard is that he gets injured, because that's the only thing IMO that can stop him being a great player.

Personally, being a bit old fashioned, I rue the fact we lack a bit of muscle in the middle of the park, as we did when Essien was in his pomp. I do not like seeing us bullied by other teams, and there's no doubt City have the edge over us in that regard, because Toure is a monster. An absolute frickin monster.

Look at those great Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea sides. Essien, Vieira, Keane. Have Arsenal ever replaced Vieira? Not even close.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. This team could do with Tiote. Had I been manager, I would have made his signing a priority. He would have given us the balance, that steel and protection that would have allowed our attacking players to flourish. Part of the reason Robbie plays Bertrand on the wing in my opinion is because we don't have a solid defensive base to our midfield, so he is reluctant to play three all-out attackers behind Torres. Mikel played well in this game, and he is starting to look the player we all hoped he might be, but I think, in terms of the title, we may not be strong enough in that position.

The Mirror are saying City and Chelsea are interested in Tiote but Arsenal are the front-runners. If he goes to any of our rivals I'll be gutted as he is a personal favourite of mine. However you can't have everything I guess and it sure has been a great summer, in terms of signings. Certainly Arsenal need a DM with the departure of Song, and as for City, Tiote would be a preferable option to De Jong, who is limited.

Edit: I know somebody will say Mikel is a strong lad, and he is, but in terms of imposing himself physically on the opposition, I don't think he does it, and I just have a suspicion this team may need it, given all the little attacking players we have signed.

while i do agree with you that every team needs a bit of muscle i think you are underestimating some of our players. luiz, terry and ivan are all pretty physical and a lot of their tackles could even be called dirty. and even lampard can put in a crunching challenge if he sees it fit

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