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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Legends 98/99: Ronny Johnsen

Ronny Johnsen. Norwegian footballer who played in central defence and as defensive midfielder has been perhaps a rather fringe figure in the history of United. I wasn’t aware of his presence at United until I started looking in-depth at the 1998-1999 squad.

The Early Years

Ronny Johnsen, a Norwegian spent his youth back at home. Starting his youth years in Eik-Tonsberg as striker. Pretty much like our Rio now. Starting to play as a striker, he was retrained by his coach at Eik-Tonsberg as a central-defender.

Solkjaer, Ronny Johnsen and Sheringham

Solkjaer, Ronny Johnsen and Sheringham

Playing as striker was all that Ronny wanted which prompted him to move to the main league: Tippeligaen by signing for Lyn and later Lillestrom. He played mainly as striker for Lyn but used more as a central defender at Lillestrom. After his stints in the top-tier of the Norwegian league, he moved to Besiktas.

Besiktas and United

He spent one season at Besiktas playing 22 games for them. Sir Alex Ferguson, approached Besiktas for Ronny as early as 1995 but the move didn’t materialise until after the 1995-1996 season. Following the transfer, the Norwegian spent a total of 6 years at our beloved United playing 99 matches in total.

At Manchester United

Playing for a total of 6 years for United, he had quite a successful career. Bought from Besiktas in 1996, Sir SAF wanted him to partner Stam in the defense. He played a lot of games in the centre back role as a successor for Steve Bruce and even filled up for the defensive midfielder role. Until he was released in 2002.

He played a lot of games for United for the first three years at United. In the first season at United, Ronny played 37 matches which is a great number considering the players we had in the defence during that time. The following season, he played a total of 28 matches with 4 goals to his name. But perhaps his best season was in the treble year: playing 3o matches in the defense with Denis Irwin and Jaap Stam, he scored 3 goals.

On pitch for the FA cup final and the UEFA Champions league final of 1998-1999 he was a consistent player for us. The best game of his career was against Juventus in the treble year when he played in the central midfield for us and got us through one hell of a semi-final game. Another great thing was that matchup gave United their first victory in Italy; winning 3-2 against the Zebras.

Ronny Johnsen with Neville, Scholes, Giggs and Cole

Ronny Johnsen with Neville, Scholes, Giggs and Cole

Post-United

His path out of United was prolonged after the treble year. The season after the treble was pretty bad for him with long-term injury with less than 10 matches played for us in the league. Following that his playing time continued decreasing with injuries. The final season for him came in 2001-2002 when he was released from United. From United, Ronny joined Aston Villa. A season with the Villans and then a move to Newcastle came where he didn’t play as much. His final games came for Valerenga back in Norway.

In the early years, he played as winger, striker and midfielder for the Norwegian national team. Later on, he found consistency in playing in the central defense. He played a total of 62 matches for his homeland and throughout the 1998 World Cup.

Legacy

Its of importance that Stam and Johnsen were perhaps the first template to the later partnership of the Ferdinand and Stam. A strong man with a ball-playing defender. Sir SAF’s first example of a strong technical idea for United’s defence. That has been consistently followed by United under Sir Alex Ferguson. To be frank, he is one of the most under-rated players in the United squad just because he was eclipsed by the strengths of Stam, Neville and Denis Irwin. He played an important role for United during the treble year and he is a United legend.

You can follow Ronny Johnsen in Twitter here: https://twitter.com/JRonnyJohnsen