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tonyoz

An Assessment of Player Performance v Stoke

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A great team performance. Sure, there will be individual mistakes but it’s great to see the rest of the team put their bodies on the line to relieve the pressure!

An assessment of player performance v Stoke 

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

 

Ratings

 

Raya                   *            **                                                    ****                               *

Nyambe            *             ********                                       *****                             *

Lenihan             ***         ******************                 ******                          *

Williams                            *****************                   **                   

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

Smallwood        *             *******                                          **                       

Evans                  ***          ********                                        **

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

Reed(78)              *              *******                                          **

Dack(83)              **            ************                               ***                                  *             

Graham(83)            *****         **************                           **                       

 

Rothwell(78)                        **                                                                                             *

Brereton(83)                        *                                                       *           

Armstrong(83)                     *                                                       *           

 

Highlights and Lowlights

(A justification for the main ratings above)

 

6.             Bennett is filling in at left back but his short pass puts Bell under pressure. He gets the ball back and retreats dangerously into the box. His attempted clearance is poor and Stoke knock the ball back into the box towards Ince but Lenihan saves the day with a great interception. 

13.      Ince turns Bell inside out in the box and crosses dangerously. Fortunately Allen couldn’t react quickly enough and pushes the ball past the post. Goal kick and a real let-off!

21.          Some impressively persistent play by Nyambe when twice he keeps the ball in play and keeps the attack alive…..but Dack is closed down.

22.          Unnecessary bobbling back pass from Smallwood puts Raya under a bit of pressure and he slices the ball into the crowd. 

26.          Excellent multi-player move! Bell takes the throw, Dack nutmegs a Stoke man, nice interaction between Smallwood and Bennett and the ball is pumped into the corner for Graham. Graham does brilliantly to hold off his man and lay off to Bell, Bennett and Reed are involved again and finally Smallwood pushes the ball into the box. It’s deflected but Dack is on it, he holds off the defender and sweeps the ball into the net off the right post!

30.      Outrageous but wonderful dummy by Graham. Nice, one-touch football by everyone!

33.      Noticeable that right now…..everyone is chasing everything!

33.      Also interesting here; one sloppy pass can lead to danger! Smallwood’s pass to Nyambe is just too short, he can’t control it, Reed tries to help but Diouf sprints away from them both. It looks dangerous but Evans and Reed and Nyambe all get back to crowd the Stoke man out. Real teamwork! The ball still comes back into the Rovers box, however, but guess who’s there to head away? Danny Graham! He then sprints out to slide tackle the ball into touch. Even TM is applauding!

35.      Nyambe fails to prevent the cross, Lenihan’s header is weak, Evans manages to prod the ball away, the ball comes back though. Evans wins the ball well but his pass puts Graham under pressure. He tries a dragback on the edge of the box and loses the ball! Panic time! Reed does well to harass the Stoke man out of the box but back they come. This time Williams does the clean-up. Phew!

37.      Stoke corner………….the ball is headed away by Graham but it sits up nicely for the Stoke man. Evans and Nyambe hurl their bodies into harm’s way and Evans blocks the shot! Bennett flies after the rebound and Stoke are forced back to the keeper. Great to see the commitment!

42.      At the moment, Evans is very noticeable because of his constant harrying.

43.      Bennett launches the perfect, long ball downfield, Graham springs the offside trap and he’s away. Beautiful, professional, one on one finish; sweeping the ball into the net. What a game Danny’s having!

45.      Graham shows great control as he lays off a long free kick to Bell. Williams hits a long ball downfield, Bennett controls on his chest then slides the sweetest of balls into the box for Dack. Dack squares the ball to Reed who manages to move his feet fast enough to put the ball in the net!

Commentator’s quote “Surely that puts this game to bed!” Stoke fans’ boos echo round the ground.

49.         Bennett is dispossessed and the cross comes in. Great positioning by Lenihan to head behind for a corner. Goal-saving effort.

51.         Stoke corner. Raya comes but makes minimal contact. Cleaned up by Lenihan again.

52.         Fantastic commitment under pressure from Lenihan on the edge of the box as he hurls his head at a dangerous, incoming ball. The ref calls it a foul!!! Speechless!

The free kick is punched away by Raya but it doesn’t leave the box and needs Evans and Lenihan yet again to throw their bodies at the incoming shot.

54.         Dack sticks in a foot to break up an attack. Graham carries the ball into Stoke’s half and lays an exquisite ball through to Dack in the D. His shot is saved and his follow-up hits the post. He’s gotta get one of those!

              Stoke swarm downfield, Bell doesn’t cover his man and the cross ping-pongs around. Williams and Bennett manage to frustrate the attack.

59.         37 year old, 6’7” Crouch on! He has immediate impact heading down the first corner. Dack miskicks, Williams miskicks, then Dack falls over and the ball is fired over the bar! Blind panic!

61.         Bell is done on his inside again and Smallwood has to hurl himself forward to block the shot.

63.         Good collect by Raya as Allen crosses into the box.

69.         Berahino drops his shoulder and foxes Bell completely. More ping-pong until Smallwood smashes the ball downfield.

72.         Olés from the Rovers fans!

74.         For goodness sake! Another pointless overhit free kick from Raya straight to the Stoke goalie.

75.         Commentators are talking about the stream of Stoke fans leaving the ground. Am I imagining it……or are the Rovers players starting to look a bit complacent?

78.         A long ball into the box, Crouch beats Nyambe and heads down, Lenihan misses it, Berahino beats Williams to the ball and bundles it into the net. Raya is totally wrong-footed.

79.         A lovely ball into the Rovers box, floats over Lenihan, Williams tries to cover by throwing himself at the ball but Berahino crosses, Bell sticks out a leg but Ince scores. Flipping heck! Share the blame between that lot. Cool heads needed!

81.         Etobo skins Nyambe and gets to the line in the box. His cross is met by Crouch’s head 3m out. The ball hits Raya’s chest but I don’t think he knew much about it. Evans clears off the line and Lenihan boots it clear!! At least, that’s my take on it. I only have one camera angle! The stadium is on fire! Dack is injured. Pandemonium!

87.         Shawcross is winning every header since Graham went off!

89.         Long ball into the Rovers box, Lenihan pushes over Berahino. PENALTY!! Berahino smashes the ball against the crossbar!!!!!!!!!!

As a sidenote…….. from the clearance, Brereton has the chance to do a Graham and relieve pressure but instead he falls over!

91.         Stoke corner…..Raya comes for it and catches………..Worth a * at this stage!

94.         Armstrong plays a nice ball out of defence to Rothwell………………Rovers have  2 on 1. Brereton makes his run but Rothwell’s ball is terrible and Stoke have the ball.

96.         Final whistle but I can’t see any huge beaming smiles…………….I think it’s just sheer relief!

 

 

Edited by tonyoz

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2 hours ago, philipl said:

Been looking forwards to reading this one and didn't disappoint.

Thanks Philip. I thought I was going to get zero replies!

 

1 hour ago, Dreams of 1995 said:

What a difference Crouch made judging by these stats. We had a truly awful last 30 minutes

Oh blimey! Crouch frightened the life out of our defence, out of both commentators....and out of me! 

I do quite like him though!

1 hour ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

I think Bell may have played himself out the left back spot going off the written feedback...

Hmmmm, it’s been interesting comparing Bell and Williams in the same team. Bell has been making too many mistakes; he’s very suspect when the winger cuts inside. Williams, on the other hand, has looked effective at centre back. I’ve been impressed with his commitment since he came back.

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Bell is primarily left footed and probably why he struggles when the winger cuts inside. He's shown himself to be quite limited defensively. I'd still prefer him to Williams for what he gives us going forward and I think with the right coaching he can overcome his defensive frailties.

Left back has been a real contentious issue so far this season. I think eventually all will conclude that neither are good enough to retain a spot in the team once our ambitions turn towards promotion. 

That's not to say I don't believe we can achieve a play off spot this season by the way. I'm more talking that if we are to become a team that is talked about in terms of promotion/play offs there are certain positions that will need replacing -left back being one of them.

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Fair enough, they are both young lads........but in the Stoke match, (I don’t know if you saw it) i was interested to see Williams carry the ball forward out of defence on a few occasions. That’s not something I’ve seen Mulgrew or Lenihan do very often. Watch out for it in the Bournemouth match if he plays.

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10 minutes ago, tonyoz said:

Fair enough, they are both young lads........but in the Stoke match, (I don’t know if you saw it) i was interested to see Williams carry the ball forward out of defence on a few occasions. That’s not something I’ve seen Mulgrew or Lenihan do very often. Watch out for it in the Bournemouth match if he plays.

That's the benefit of having a guy who plays full back in center half, more comfortable/used to running out with it. 

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Thanks again Tony ! What a performance from Graham, though another aging CF caused us mayhem (as usual) and we so nearly threw it away. 

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42 minutes ago, tonyoz said:

Fair enough, they are both young lads........but in the Stoke match, (I don’t know if you saw it) i was interested to see Williams carry the ball forward out of defence on a few occasions. That’s not something I’ve seen Mulgrew or Lenihan do very often. Watch out for it in the Bournemouth match if he plays.

 

26 minutes ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

That's the benefit of having a guy who plays full back in center half, more comfortable/used to running out with it. 

Mulgrew always plays it out and is far more comfortable on the ball than Williams. Lenihan isnt the best on the ball to be honest.

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1 hour ago, roversfan99 said:

 

Mulgrew always plays it out and is far more comfortable on the ball than Williams. Lenihan isnt the best on the ball to be honest.

You would think Lenihan as an ex-midfielder would be a bit calmer in posession.  He goes for the long crossfield pass 8 of 10 times..

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1 hour ago, briansol said:

You would think Lenihan as an ex-midfielder would be a bit calmer in posession.  He goes for the long crossfield pass 8 of 10 times..

To be fair he was very poor in midfield.

 

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2 hours ago, roversfan99 said:

To be fair he was very poor in midfield.

 

Your irrational dislike of Lenihan is as bad as your irrational dislike of Bennett. 

Edited by blueboy3333

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6 minutes ago, blueboy3333 said:

Your irrational dislike of Lenihan is as bad as your irrational dislike of Bennett. 

Dont talk rubbish.

I really rate Lenihan, hes never a midfielder but he doesnt play there so its irrelevant.

Hes a good centre back although hes not very good on the ball.

I also think that Bennett had a poor first half of last season out wide shown by a lack of goal contributions but was much better in the centre and at right back. And hes done much better wide this season with assists v Hull, Brentford and Stoke.

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9 hours ago, roversfan99 said:

 

Mulgrew always plays it out and is far more comfortable on the ball than Williams. Lenihan isnt the best on the ball to be honest.

Yeah, I didn’t make it clear. I don’t mean play it out exactly. There were “hints” at Stoke that Williams was capable of driving forward, carrying the ball into the Stoke half. I don’t want to overstate it.......I’m talking “hints” .......whether Williams is good enough is another matter. I gotta admit though, my opinion of him has increased significantly this season. He’s just been sent off for a dumb reaction apparently (haven’t seen it yet) so maybe I’m dreaming.

 

Edited by tonyoz

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