Written by kirsikka
– We are wildly inconsistent at the moment. Two games ago we were brilliant. Saturday we were poor. Tonight we were dull. It’s a hard team to judge but we do need to start stringing performances together as someone will make a break at the top soon.
– I’m not blaming the ref for our performance. We weren’t good. However, letting foul after pullback after nudge go without a yellow certainly didn’t help matters or the flow of the game.
– The first and third goals were very poor from a defensive perspective. Work to do on the training ground. The second I’ll give them a pass on and instead respect the opponent’s skill.
– (Copy and paste one of the previous comments about our set pieces/corners here.)
– Surridge was the big bright point. I thought he changed us significantly when he came on and consistently not just got involved but produced quality moments.
Man of the match against Preston
— Player Ratings —
Begovic – 6
Not sure he could have done anything about the goals apart from the second one but I’ve set my stall out on that one up above.
A Smith – 5
Where has he disappeared to? A couple of seasons back he was the best RB and LB at the club and terrorising PL opposition. Now he often looks ineffective. Is he carrying an injury maybe?
Mepham – 5
A couple of shaky moments in the match and we conceded three.
S Cook – 6
It wasn’t like they dominated in our defence, they were simply effective and we didn’t shut them out.
Rico (off at 72) – 6
Alright but still nowhere near as good as he looked playing LCB.
Lerma – 7
On and off all game but at least involved throughout. Unlucky not to set up an equaliser.
L Cook (off at 72) – 5
Started well but faded. Criminal defending for the first Preston goal.
Stanislas (off at 72) – 7
In and out of the match, gets the bonus point for that goal.
Brooks – 5
Another match where we needed him to dictate to the opposition but he failed to do so. He should be the Zaha of this league. Getting fouled but not letting it affect him and still damaging the opponent. Set-piece delivery is dreadful. Maybe needs to watch a Beckham clip where he talks about how he’d stay back after training long after everyone else was home to work on them alone.
Solanke – 6
Battled without much to work with.
Riquelme (off at 45) – 6
Tricky start but at least constantly tried to get involved. He’ll learn.
Surridge (on from 45) – 8 and Man of the Match
Changed the whole energy of the team when he came on. First league goal. Hopefully the start of a purple patch for him. Delighted for him after his struggle at the weekend.
Kelly (on from 72) – 6
Down the line a few times and decent crosses. That’s what we need to see when he starts.
Billing (on from 72) – 7
Got about the pitch very well and was always available. A couple of poor pieces of play but those are forgivable when you’re trying to make things happen all the time.
Anthony (on from 72) – 7
Looks raw but also looks to have talent. Lovely to see an assist on his debut and hope to see more of him soon. Shame about the potentially equalising shot hitting a GPS satellite.
Overall Grade: D
No point and not great but I thought it was marginally better than Saturday. It felt like we were lukewarm throughout when we need to be operating at molten temperatures and really make other teams sweat.
I thought the starting team was 100% the right call so I’m disappointed it didn’t work out. Shows what I know, once again.
Meanwhile some credit to JT for the changes during the match. More than anything tonight though it felt like the problem was our lack of intensity. The remainder of the season now looks set to be one hell of a slog.
Brooks would receive the ball, turn inside and stop! This seems to be the pattern.
I cannot see how we can generate the high-energy play requested when we have a stuttering build-up a lot of the time, especially when you add Jeff and then Bill into the mix.
As for playing out from the back, its time to give Surridge a run, he may not have the presence of the Big Man, but he’d give the opposition something to think about if we needed to lump it. I’d like to see a few starts for him, with Dom in the No.10 role. – Join the conversation, click here.