End of Season Squad Ratings, Part 2

I’m back.

I know I left the subreddit but I’m back and I’m back to stay. I’m DirectionVector by the way since I deleted my older directionalvector account. You can thank messers Rdzzl and HornberryFields for that.

So, you may be waiting to see Powell and some of the players who are on loan. We’ll be getting round to them in another post. As of now, you get this post from me with ratings from rdzzl added as a bonus. Spoiler: we don’t agree with the ratings. So, let me dive into the people who’ll be talking about this part of the post. So, here is the first one:

David De Gea

De Gea

The master of our Goal!

His chant is nice and catchy, innit?

De Gea had a bad starting season thanks to people trashing him all around the place. We stuck by him and he is pure gold and young. The video posted in the subreddit about De Gea’s super saves, his mistakes and sometimes brilliance was mesmerizing to watch. A guy slowly growing into a great goalkeeper.

The save from Coentrao in the Real Madrid game was spectacular. That save has seriously stuck to my brain whenever I think about David De Gea. I see that he has brilliant shot-stopping but he needs to slowly develop a better command of the box. All he needs time and I believe that he is the Goalkeeper who can replace Van Der Sar.

My Rating: 8.5

Rdzzl’s Rating: 8.5



We seem to have brilliant right-backs in our team. Following Gary Neville, Rafael is just a top-notch player on the attack and on the defense. He has excellent pace on the attack. On the defense, he is strong, great positioning and a hard-worker. More importantly, he is exceptionally consistent across the board. He sticks to the plan most of the time and some times he just creates something so spectacular, you know; you just know that he is Brazilian and he is a United player.

My Rating: 8.75

Rdzzl Rating: 8.5


Doesn't he look stoned?

Doesn’t he look stoned?

Chris Smalling. He is a squid in the team. I’m torn up on how he has played for us this season. He has played 10 games for us in the league, 5 for us in the FA Cup and 2 in the EU. That is a total of 17 games. Sadly, I dont’ remember most of the games he has played for us. For me, Smalling is a really really decent player in the defense. But is he more than decent is the question I wrangle with. I don’t see him as a great ball-playing defender that Phil Jones can be. Is he the guy who can play with versatility? That is not sure too. He is not pacey enough but he is a very very decent defender. Maybe next season will make us understand what is excellent with Smalling.

This season, he wasn’t spectacular in any way. He just played and performed to expectation. That makes my rating to: 6 while Rdzzl’s rating of Smalling is 6.5.

Phil Jones

Channeling the classic look...

Channeling the classic look…

Rdzzl was very very caustic towards Jones when we were discussing the ratings yesterday. He told me that Jones was pretty uninspiring and bad. I said that Jones was young and was played out-of-position a lot of times. Even then, its tough to defend Jones. He is a great player for sure but this season wasn’t exactly a great season for him. His positioning was a bit suspect in certain matches and he is a bit sloppy with his passing.

Even then, for me his energy and physicality are superb to have in the midfield and the defense. More in the midfield since we lack a player like him there.

My rating: 7

Rdzzl Rating: 6.5

Tom Cleverley

The Look

The Look

This guy just works. He just plays and I like that about him. But stitching that with his inconsistencies makes him bad. The problem with Cleverley is that he doesn’t have flair. He isn’t exciting or extraordinary. He is a player who is technically brilliant with a decent head on him.

Adding to that is his lack of ability in defense. He does not have a defensive brain. He is best at playing on the attack with shorter and quicker balls. For the better part of the season, we’ve played a slower but direct type of football which really doesn’t suit him. But his positives were very easy to see when he played with Kagawa and Welbz.

My Rating: 6.75

Rdzzl Rating: 7

Danny Welbeck


Another hard-working, physically strong player who is also technically good. Then again, I absolutely hate his finishing which should be the most important thing on a striker. He cannot play in the wings forever. If I had to rate him as a player, it would be high but I would have to look past his ability to finish. Alas, his whole role is defined by his ability to finish. That brings him done. But, this season, he was wonderful. His best was for sure his great game against Real Madrid.

My Rating: 7

Rdzzl Rating: 7

Johnny Evans


Couple of seasons back, Evans was playing very badly. The last two seasons have been really excellent from him. He has stepped up to take the void left out by Vidic due to his injury. He has grown so much as a player. His positioning over the season has been tremendous and he just dives into blocks and tackles. He has been a top-notch player for us. Playing a good amount of games this season, he has been strong and consistent in his performances. The most brilliant thing is that he has played 29 matches for us and scored a goal too. Next season might end up being his season of starting for us and slowly stepping up to Ferdi’s position.

That makes me give him: 7.5

Rdzzl Rating: 8



1) Any player ratings you disagree with?

2) What do you feel about some players not playing upto their mark?

3) Is this a better layout to the previous one?

PS: We posted these in quick succession and split the work since we thought it had lots of info. That is why. Don’t feel bad about reading another one in quick succession.


Looking Beyond 12/13: Attacking Midfield

Title number 20.

It is a special season. So many goodbyes; so many tear-filled moments and so many shockingly bad decisions wrapped up in a way that can only happen with football. Its been a season of conflicting emotions for us United fans. The fact that Sir SAF won’t be here next season makes it a weird feeling but the show must go on.


My oh my, that was an amazing game of football. But, I’m going to concentrate on the strengths they showed at West Brom and not on the weaknesses. Looking at the match, we are sure to be left wondering why we drew a match we were supposed to win. I don’t care about the result but it matters to me how they played and it looks exciting to welcome Moyes at United for the next season.

Shinji Kagawa

Kagawa, the Ninjawa, the Shin-man, had an exciting first half at West Brom. I loved the way he played and his positioning throughout the game. Fact remains that he is a brilliant player for us in the hole. Taking a look at Kagawa’s first season, I see multiple strengths for the future. He is a much stronger player when we counter-attack at pace. His positioning, body balance and passing are his strengths helped by his agility. The weakness I perceive is the lack of body strength to fight for the ball; that is n0t necessarily a weakness that can’t be converted into strength.

With Moyes, I am quite sure we will have a strong midfield built around Kagawa. This would mean that we might possibly see a fast-flowing attack pivoted with Kagawa in the hole. What I am happy about is the supporting midfielders at United; Cleverley, Anderson, Carrick and hopefully Fletcher would enhance the ability of Kagawa to shine in the position.

What we can expect: Very quick counter-attacking football very similar to one played offensively at West Brom  yesterday. We might see more incisive passing near and in the penalty box.



He is an enigma. Nobody knows how he shall play when he is in the team sheet. He baffles us as he baffles many other fans around the world. What is he? What does he do for us on the pitch?

I churned through all those unexplainable questions in my head while I watched West Brom versus United. Anderson is not a simple midfielder he is different just like he is well… different. His strength I found was in driving forward, pressing opponents high up the pitch and forcing things to happen. The video linked above shows all of his strong points: positional awareness, good ball skill and a killer through ball. What it doesn’t show is that as the going gets tougher and tougher, he gets sloppier and sloppier. Its like his breathing and performance are linked together and are inversely proportional.

Even then, I find it really good to watch him play especially the way he picks out through balls; long ones at that. No one in the team does that as often as Anderson. I don’t know if he has an eye for it or likes playing those passes. Even then, I love the way he does that.

What can we expect: Strong midfield runs past the opposing midfielder. Gorgeous through balls to the striker running the channel or the striker behind the last man. All of this is if he stays at United for the next season.

Tom Cleverley

The worker ant is an important part of an ant colony. It just works and works. That is an imperfect analogy but it somehow fits him. It fits what Cleverley does for us. To describe his football; it is hard-working and omnipresent. He tries to be everywhere in the midfield, a box-to-box midfielder who can run, run and keep running. With that strong running, he is a simple passer of the ball. He gets the ball on target, makes up the distance to get the return pass and keeps moving on.

The weakness from him is something very similar to Kagawa; a lack of physical presence. In my opinion, he makes up for his lack of physical presence by being a constant harassment on the opposition.

What to expect: Cleverley’s role might be dictated by the opposition be it attacking or defensive. He can’t get too defensive and he’ll be steamrolled by physically strong oppositions which means he will be played in a role that would require constant tracking back and forward.

Here ends the first part of the whole post. I’ll continue it next time with more thoughts on what we can expect from our squad next season.


1) Describe what you see in our midfielders? Specific qualities, skills?

2) How do you think Moyes might use the above three players?

3) What sort of weaknesses do you perceive when the three play?