Player Ratings: Stoke City v Manchester United

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Manchester United Starting XI

Van der Sar – 6: After his clanger against West Brom, Stoke are not the ideal team to face a week later. He handled fairly well – everything Rory Delap could throw at him. Nothing he could do for goal.

Neville – 5: Fortunate not to be sent off in his 600th appearance for the club, after receiving a harsh yellow card. Was surprised he started ahead of Rafael or Brown. Couple of strong tackles, but was skinned for pace by Etherington on one occasion. He started well, but his performance gradually deteriorated. The correct decision to replace him at half time.

Vidic – 8.5: Monster in the air. Won virtually header lumped towards him, nullifying the threat of Kenwyne Jones. An assist for Hernandez’s first goal. Best performance as Man United Captain to date. Man of the match.

Ferdinand – 8: Perhaps less noticeable compared to Vidic, but very good all the same. ‘Rio cool’ when required and his positional play was pretty much spot on.

O’Shea – 5: Thought he was okay during the first half apart from the odd aimless long punt forward. During the second half however – we saw the same John O’Shea that faced Fulham – struggling to find a team mate with the simplest of passes.

Nani – 5: Poor performance. Dilly dallied when in possession and passing was below par. He worked hard to atone for errors. Improved during the final ten minutes.

Scholes – 5: Was okay during the first half, poor during the second half – struggled as Stoke upped their tempo and work rate. Sloppy in possession on more than one occasion – leading to the equalising goal. He is having less influence on proceedings in away fixtures, when teams are prepared to battle for midfield domination. The thought he should be saved for games at Old Trafford?

Fletcher – 6: Quiet-ish game again, but better than recent performances.

Evra – 6: At his best when supporting a winger, rather than fulfil the role himself. He struggled in the role (to be expected) and in the main we lacked an attacking threat down the left hand side. He did a job for the team and was his normal busy self.

Berbatov – 7.5: Our main creative force. Heavily involved in the build up for winning goal.

Hernandez – 8: Wayne who? Great improvisation shown for the opening goal and illustrated a natural predator instinct for the winner. He shares similarities to that of a young Michael Owen, which I suggested during the World Cup – Javier Hernandez A Young Michael Owen

Substitutes

Brown – 6: Did okay.

Carrick – 5: Struggled to adjust to pace of game. Hoping he starts against Wolves in an attempt to regain confidence and form.

Obertan – 6: Showed some nice touches and appears more self assured compared to last season. Surely a certainty to start against Wolves.

If you wish to discuss this issue further with myself or other members of the Stretford End Arising community, you can do so in the Stretford End Arising Forum

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2 Comments

  1. Pretty decent assessment – I’d agree on all counts.

    Hernandez is a perfectly adequate replacement for Rooney, with a much better upside technically, professionally, and personally – he also looks to have the kind of intelligence to his play that has always been lacking in Rooney’s game. He already shows signs of being a much better partner for Berbatov than Rooney ever has been, which isn’t saying much as Rooney has always had a reputation for being an awful strike partner.

    Time is catching up with Scholes, and he is having less and less influence in the most critical area of the pitch. I’ve been beating the drum about midfield replacements for the last couple of years, and the problem is really getting highlighted this season. Scholes only functions well these days when teams hang off him and give him the space to orchestrate things. Yesterday he was closely marked and given little time or chance to pull the strings in the way he likes. United need to get a couple of spark plugs in the engine room, one to marshal the team from in front of the back four, the other to pull the strings and get the attack firing on all cylinders. United have become very one-dimensional over the last couple of seasons thanks to the lack of penetration from midfield, using width to bomb the ball up the wings and then cut in or cross the ball. The team needs a good attacking midfielder to act as the hub and to add further options, either by linking up effectively with the strikers or by putting in goals himself in the way Scholes used to.

  2. well vidc 10 cleared everthing at the back. rio 9 . had nothing to do realy scholes 6 gave the ball away for th goal poor ganme over all. nani 7 he was in with frist goal great ball . mexcion king 10 great goals. flecther 6 i dont but he is not sanme player as last year dont no if you have noticed that . brown 8 kept a cooled head not like nevile. good nite now

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