Saturday, September 28, 2013

Slow, Plodding and Boring: West Bromwich Albion 2 - Manchester United 1 -- Player Ratings

Slow Caution Danger Sign
Photo byKen Teegardin

Manchester United continued its laborious and frustrating start under head coach David Moyes, losing 2-1 to West Bromwich Albion in front of a questioning home crowd at Old Trafford on Saturday. Failing to score from the run of play for a 5th  consecutive game, the United attack was positively sclerotic against the visitors, with dull, plodding and -- even worse -- boring the kindest descriptives a neutral observer might offer.  A series of defensive breakdowns on Saturday compounded the problems caused by an offense that has been transformed from the League's most prolific to parsimonious seemingly overnight.

Herewith, the individual player ratings for a performance that will set the critics to resume sharpening their knives:

De Gea: Once again, almost nothing to do before the interval. Denied Saido Berahino to snuff out one threat, but was beaten by a fine piece of individual skill from Morgan Amalfitano after the break. Stretched to his limits to deny Amalfitano's set piece near the 65 minute mark, but beaten by Berahino just a short while later for the winning goal.  7.0

Jones: Looked infinitely more settled than Smalling has as Rafael's backup, but not a natural right back by any means.  6.5

Ferdinand: Was fortunate that Berahino just missed netting the cross that skimmed over his head in central defense before the break. Embarrassed badly by Amalfitano with a 54th minute nutmeg and was beaten in the air by Olsson before being bailed out by a friendly cross bar.  4.0

Evans: Never under pressure before the break, but was badly beaten by Sessegnon to give West Brom a chance after the interval. 5.0

Buttner: Doesn't possess the attacking game of Evra, but did manage to get involved going forward. Gave the ball away far too easily in the second half, and cleary needs more seasoning. 5.0

Nani: Heavily involved in the first half attack from the right touch line, with several inviting crosses that the home side failed to take advantage of. Looked even more creative in the second half, but to little avail. 6.5

Carrick: Looked slow to the ball, and was late into a tackle for a first half yellow.  Lovely distribution to Kagawa to start a United counter-attack, but was once again unable to influence the game. 6.0

Anderson: Somewhat of a mixed performance, but unlucky not to score when his first half header crashed the bar. 5.5

Kagawa: Found it difficult to get untracked in the early going. Displayed some skillful footing but needs to work on his shooting power. 6.5

Rooney (C): Industrious first half performance, but his headers went straight into Myhill's arms or over the goalpost. Yet another brilliant free kick to pull United momentarily level. This is getting repetitive, but he was the side's best player again today. 7.5

Hernandez: Couldn't quite connect with Nani, although it wasn't for lack of trying on either end. Offered a distracting alternative for Myhill on Rooney's equalizer.  6.5


Januzaj (Kagawa), 45: First touch was a giveaway straight to Victor Anichebe. Looked more sizzle than steak today.  5.0

Van Persie (Hernandez), 58: Atypically, a poor corner was his most notable contribution. 6.0

Fellaini (Anderson), 66: Unremarkable performance in every way, except for being offside when it truly mattered. 5.0

This is farlieonfootie for September 28.

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