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

Rafael

Rafae

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

Smalling

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

welbz

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

johnnevan

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

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Questions

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.

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Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United – Routine Stuff

Starting Eleven – Manchester United

David De Gea, Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Buttner, Carrick, Anderson, Shinji Kagawa, Young, Valencia, Robin Van Persie

Substitutions used:

Johnny Evans for Rafael; Cleverley and Welbeck for Kagawa and Anderson;

Setup
The international break has prompted Sir SAF to rotate the starting eleven. The defense was the quad of Vidic, Rafael, Smalling and Buttner. Ferdinand given rest after the international match while Evra too given rest favoring Buttner on the left.
The midfield had a fresh twist with the trio of Carrick, Anderson and Kagawa in the middle. The Japanese midfielder slightly ahead of Carrick and Anderson to help out RvP with Anderson and Carrick to provide protection to defense. Valencia and Young out on the flanks to provide the width and pace to get the ball beyond the defense of Sunderland.
The solo forward being RvP.

The substitutions were the early bringing on of Evans in place of Rafael who tweaked his groin. This prompted the switch between Smalling and Evans. Smalling taking the right back and Evans taking on the CB role. Later on, Cleverley and Welbeck came in for Anderson and Shinji Kagawa to provide more energy in the midfield.

United Counter Attack

The whole of United’s philosophy was to counter attack through the wings and Kagawa. In the first half, the quickness of Kagawa and the lethargy among the Sunderland players to track back enabled the Japanese midfielder to find pockets of space to run into and attack from. This provided the impetus to switch the ball to and from the flanks.

In addition, Young and Buttner had a strong play on the left helped by Kagawa’s positional freedom. The rapidity of United’s counter was thanks to the pace on the wings and Kagawa in the middle. Sunderland were really slow in getting numbers back that it hurt them continuously with decent chances from United.

Sunderland Amps It Up

The second half saw the Home team play with more gusto and enthusiasm. They pushed higher up the pitch putting pressure on the midfield. Like matches before, this caused some lapses in passing which would’ve been dangerous if the opposition was a better team. Much like the Chelsea match. This prompted SAF to bring on Cleverley and Welbeck to replace Anderson and Kagawa. In essence, this move was to solidify the midfield and bring some control. It didn’t work wonders but it was enough.

Player Thoughts

The best player of the day in my opinion was Michael Carrick. He time and again shows why he is a great midfielder. Passing and control of the game was top notch in the early half. As time wore on, with oncoming pressure, he was brilliant. Running back, tackling and marking. Carrick was by far the best player on the pitch.

Conclusion

The difference between United and many other teams season after season has been the ability to grind out wins. This was an excellent example. First half, they put Sunderland in a good amount of pressure and then just held steadfastly. Maybe, RvP should’ve score at the last touch of the match which was palmed away by the Sunderland Keeper. A win is a win and that was enough.