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An Assessment of Player Performance v Rotherham

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An assessment of player performance v Rotherham

Each player was judged on the following criteria:

Instance of excellent play                                      *

Instance of decent/good play                               *

Instance of disappointing/poor play                    *

Instance of terrible play                                          *                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                E&OE


Raya                      *****                                                                                     

Bennett                 ************************                                        

Lenihan(9)            ***************************                  

Rodwell                **************                                                 

Bell                        *************************                                                    

Reed(45)                 ********                                                                

Smallwood               ***********************                                                         

Palmer                  ***************                                                             

Armstrong            ***************************                                               

Dack                      ******************                                                                     

Graham(58)                   ****************  


Nyambe(45)            **************                                                                              

Brereton(76)           **                                                                              

Rothwell(76)           *****                                                                                                                                   


Highlights and Lowlights

(A justification for the main ratings above)


2.        A beautiful teasing ball to the far post from Bennett is pushed behind for a corner.


7.        A long throw into the Rovers box and Lenihan is outjumped. As the ball falls Graham hacks clear. The ball comes back into the box, this time Graham tangles unsuccessfully with Smith and the ricochet lands right at Newell’s feet. Fortunately Lenihan gets a block in and it’s a corner. The Rotherham men surround Raya. OHHHHH! The corner sails over most of our defenders and stays close to the posts as a Rotherham man heads wide from very close range. It looks like Lenihan lost his man but my view isn’t great. That was a let off. The overall organisation was rubbish.


9.        Bell fails to prevent the cross but Raya comes and collects at the second attempt.


13.      Sloppy pass from Bennett on the edge of the box puts Smallwood under pressure but two crunching tackles later and Smallwood lays off a nice square ball to Dack and suddenly defence becomes attack. Bell takes the ball on and feeds Armstrong. He dribbles in and out of the box before miscuing his shot behind for a goalkick. Ritchie’s name echoes round Ewood!


15.      The defender miscontrols and Graham is on it. He squares to Dack who threads a lovely ball into the box and Graham has the keeper to beat. But, exactly as in the first minute against QPR last week, he goes for placement instead of power and the keeper has time to get a glove on it! At least this time he was offside (Dack held on a fraction too long probably).


16.      Hmm, for the second time in a minute, Rodwell fails to dominate in the air. Here a long throw comes into the box and although Rodwell attacks the ball his header falls just outside the D and Towell’s shot lands on the roof of the net. Close.


18.      A beautiful long ball from Armstrong cuts out the defender and Bell races after it, into the box. His shot is on target but hits the keeper’s leg and balloons to Dack on the penalty spot but he miscues his shot.


23.      This is ridiculous! For the third time a long throw into the box causes mayhem! Rodwell loses his man, the ball is bouncing around Lenihan twice tries and fails to head clear and Smallwood half clears. It’s a corner.

            What is going on! The organisation for these set pieces is non-existent.

            As the ball comes in, Lenihan, Rodwell and Bell all run away from where the ball has been directed. They try to backpedal but ……..too late…..Smith has been left totally unmarked. He heads it back beautifully across the face of goal to the unmarked Mattock. Fortunately he is a worse header of the ball than I am and he puts it over! WHAT A LET OFF! Both Mattock and Wood were totally unmarked throughout that whole situation! Graham wasn’t covering his man either.


26.      A lovely turn and run by Palmer who feeds Bennett. His cross is punched into the air by the goalie and Armstrong wins a corner.


33.      Bell plays a nice ball into the left corner for Smallwood who holds off his man well.  He feeds Armstrong who cuts neatly between 2 defenders into the box. His shot hits the bar!


35.      Some nice inter-passing. Smallwood to Bell who slides the ball into the box for Graham to chase. Bell is getting more involved in the attacks.


41.      A low, flat corner by Reed is met by Dack but his shot is blocked.


42.      Bell, under no pressure, heads his clearance into the danger area just outside the D but Dack protects the ball and Reed hoofs clear. Armstrong shows great persistence to retrieve the ball but his attempted crosses come to naught.


44.      Smallwood is continuing to call the shots in midfield. He’s had a good half so far. Rodwell’s coming into the game more too.


46.      Two meaty challenges from Bennett as he wins the ball high up the field but Smallwood’s cross is cut out.


            HALF TIME


45.      A 1-2 between Armstrong and Graham, then Armstrong slides the ball to Dack in the box and he sets it up for Graham but his tame shot fails to beat the keeper again.


48.      Bell’s nice long pass is controlled by Armstrong who squares to Bennett and his shot from distance is parried away by the diving keeper.


52.      Sloppy work in our D and Bennett is dispossessed, Nyambe blocks the shot. The cross comes in, Bell’s challenge is ineffective and Smith’s shot hits Lenihan on the line!


53.      Armstrong lobs a ball square into the box to Graham wide of the far post. He heads it back towards goal but no one is there to challenge and the defender heads off the line under no pressure.


54.      Good pressure now and Lenihan plays a 1-2 with Nyambe and then fizzes the ball across the face of goal; the keeper can’t hold it and the defender hoofs it away for a corner.


55.      Bell withstands a challenge and tees up Smallwood who fires in a low shot, Dack tries to deflect it but the ball is cleared. Nyambe comes back nicely and slips the ball into the box for Graham but his attempt is blocked and it goes for a Rovers throw. Nyambe is making a difference.


58.      A lovely 1-2 between Nyambe and Palmer sees Nyambe reach the touchline and put over a great cross but Graham is outnumbered and the ball is cleared.


60.      Another nice bit of skill as Nyambe skips past the full back from a throw in but his cross is intercepted.


63.      Another dizzying run into the box by Nyambe but there’s too many defenders in front of him his shot is blocked and cleared; it comes back and Armstrong flicks a lovely ball into the box for Bell but he passes straight to the keeper. He did well to get on the end of the pass though. Dack is fed up, he was waiting for the cross!

            Rodwell is done by Smith but his shot is ambitious and wide.


64.      Graham heads Raya’s long punt to Armstrong on the wing. He delivers the perfect ball to Dack in the D. Dack beats 2 defenders brilliantly but his shot hits the keeper’s legs. Smallwood wins the ball back bravely and eventually we get a corner.


65.      Another nice move. Bell skips past defenders on the wing and squares to Dack who manages to hold off a couple of defenders before feeding Nyambe. Another cross into the danger zone from him but it doesn’t find a teammate. Nyambe has opened a whole new dimension of attack on the right wing. Not to be outdone, Armstrong controls the long pass and does the full back on the touchline…..squaring the perfect ball across the face of goal 2 metres out. There’s no one there!!


70.      A lovely diagonal ball from Bennett to Graham at the far post. He gets there but he’s under pressure and his header passes across the face of goal. Danny stays down injured.


73.      Dear dear; another of those seemingly innocuous lazy passes ……..going astray and leading to disaster. This time it’s Bennett giving it away close to the box (for the THIRD time this game!) The winger does Bell too easily and the cross is headed home by Smith. Raya seems to dive late and Smith is too good for Lenihan and Nyambe in the air.


75.      Taylor gets away from Lenihan on halfway and it’s dangerous. But Rodwell is able to get a foot in as Rotherham stumble.


78.      Armstrong sprints past 2 defenders and is into the box. His shot is palmed into the air by the keeper and Nyambe’s header is off target but goes for a corner. Where did Nyambe come from?


80.      Brereton leaps on to Bennett’s deflected cross in the box and squares to Dack to score from 2 metres.


84.      A lackadaisical Bell gives the ball away near the corner flag and the deflected cross is gathered by Raya.


86.      Lenihan slips a nice pass through to Dack on the edge of the box. He leaves it for Palmer but his shot is way off target.


92.      Rothwell puts a nice ball through for Armstrong into the box but the challenge comes in and it’s a corner.


93.      Bennett heads the ball into the box but it comes back, he slips the ball to his left and unleashes a powerful shot but it’s deflected just over for a corner. The ball is bobbling about and Armstrong spins and shoots but it’s well off target.

Edited by tonyoz
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8 hours ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

Bells poor delivery is becoming a running theme in these 

He was a bit better this week, I think, but is still the weak link. I was amazed by Nyambe......I had criticised his last couple of games heavily. He was a breath of fresh air. It’s as though his lay-off has left him mentally re-energised! Very interesting!


5 hours ago, philipl said:

Great stuff as always. Have to admit I thought Bennett had a stinker. 

He did some good things but was uncharacteristically sloppy and cost us the goal. It’s good to have Nyambe back.

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