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Player Ratings v. Middlesborough


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Overall a solid performance. We look a lot more settled than we did in the run up to the Liverpool defeat - more like our usual selves.

Things should get better with the return of Carvalho too.

My ratings, based on watching live and then seeing the football first highlights.

Cech: 7 Really had nothing much to do. Boro had two good chances which he would have not been able to do anything about. Did exceptionally well to get a fingertip to the mis hit cross in the second half and tip it against the bar.

Ferriera: 5 The right hand side was still our weak link. He looks like a player without any confidence and his positional play is very suspect. Taylor's cross for Viduka's glaring miss came from him being caught tucked way to far inside. Did makea couple of positive runs in the second half and Downing couldn't out run him. I would like to see diarra back in that position when Essien comes back to midfield.

Essien: 8 Seems to be settling in to this centre back role but still looks like he wants to get back to midfield. Some of his defending was a little bit "last ditch" but overall he was great.

JT: 7 Looked a little rusty early on. Lost Viduka on a cross and was slow coming out to play Yakubu offside, both of which could have proved costly. Looked better as the game went on but I would suggest that he is still not quite 100%

Bridge: 7.5 Whatever his merits against Ashley, i think he is most suited to playing in this formation for us. He defended well and got forward effectively. On a personal note I am really pleased for him. He has shown a lot of determination to get back from such a dreadful injury.

Makalele: 7 Did what Maka does and did it well.

Diarra: 7 Did what Maka does and did it almost as well.

Lampard: 8 Had a good game. I hate to say it but he looked happier without Ballack. Played some good balls, particularly the ball that put Drogba through early in the first half, worked hard and made things tick.

Kalou: 7 Looked lively and gave Boro problems down their right. Still lacks composure when shooting but overall quite promising.

Sheva: 7.5 Worked hard and showed some great touches. Didn't really have much in the way of scoring opportunities but always looked lively. Dropped back to the tip of the diamond when Robben first came on.

Drogba: 7.5 I know he scored twice, but I didn't actually think it was his best game for us. He worked hard as usual but looked a bit frustrated by a couple of early misses. Might have played Sheva in a couple of times but chose to shoot instead.


Robben: 7.5 Came on and affected the game immediately. If only he can avoid injury between now and the end of the season he will be critical to our chances in all the competitions.

Wright Phillips: N/A But did have a very good little run and shot which Schwarzer did well to stop.

Geremi: N/A Also had a good run and shot.

We have some very winnable matches coming up against Pompey, Sheffield Utd and Watford. Hopefully Fulham, Liverpool and Bolton can take some points off Utd.

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Pretty much agree with the above with the exception of Sheva - he just doesnt cut it and unlike Kalou - doesn't look promising. He was slow and at times looked lost, like he wasnt reading the game - sorry but thats how I saw it.

That's fair enough, but I would say that he could have scored a couple of times if players had passed to him instead of taking it on themselves. Best example was in the second half when Xavier made a mess of a clearance and it fell to Drogba. He shot and the keeper made a good save, but Sheva had taken up a great position and all Didier needed to do was roll it to him and he would have scored. You could see the frustration on his face when the pass didn't come.

For me, he makes good runs and gets in to good positions, but more often than not the ball isn't played to him.

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I had one clear MOTM, and that was Essien. Awesome, yet again. Why isn't he getting the same rave media reviews every week that Divealdo is getting at the Theatre of Muppets ?

We've been told that Carvy had flu and couldn't play on Saturday. I for one am not 100% convinced that this was the case. Think. Everytime he has faced Boro' he has struggled big-time with the physical strength and power of Yakubu or Viduka, and he has cost us goals. He has regularly been out-muscled by these two in the same way Frank Le Beef always used to get beaten up by Shearer. I believe Jose simply choose to take him out of the equation and play a player with much more physical prescence........ Essien.

Ain't no-one gonna out muscle him.

In respect of Robben, I hope no-one is going overboard here. The game was set-up for Robben when he came on. 1-0 up at home and looking more than comfortable against average, workmanlike opposition. He's always "up for it" in that kind of scenario.

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I had one clear MOTM, and that was Essien. Awesome, yet again. Why isn't he getting the same rave media reviews every week that Divealdo is getting at the Theatre of Muppets ?

Thats because the media spent the whole of last season telling everyone what a dirty player he is (whilst forgetting that Reo Coker took him out for about 6 weeks)

The Scummy papers aren't going to make the jump from fiction to truth and portray Essien as quality - especially as he plays for Chels

Essien - player of the year - no contest

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Essien - player of the year - no contest

As an outsider I would say Drogba should win it, he's certainly seems to be the most improved player. And i honestly think it's because he's staying on his feet more. This year I think he's been outstanding.

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Bridge - 7.5?? I think he was overrated. He played first time badly making some mistakes. And had created nothing dangerous at all, as far as I remember.

Sheva - 7.5?? Obviously overrated. This bloke did nothing again. And what I have seen is Drogba and Sheva did never played like real teammates. Touching the ball they have forgot about passing between each other. Frustration and nothing more....

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