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Player ratings vs. Southampton (L. Cup)

A good game to miss, with an energetic but low quality side versus an uncoordinated side lacking creativity, refereed adequately at best by Mr. Var and his officials.

Here are my ratings:

Ward: 7 - Excellent save at the end and looks very assured. By far the best backup keeper we've had in yonks and provides a genuine challenge to Kasper.
Simpson: 5 - Looked very rusty, both in and out of possession.
Soyuncu: 8 - Made a number of good and important challenges, often forcing his man wide and away from danger. My choice for our MOTM.
Evans: 7 - An assured presence and read the game well. Improving.
Fuchs: 7 - Not faultless but his quality delivery from out wide showed everyone else up.
Diabate: 5 - A few good touches can't cover up the fact that he struggled to influence the game. Too often in the wrong position for me and needs to start wider to give himself space.
Ndidi: 5 - Not having a good season. Too many people are drifting past him as he gets caught on the wrong foot and his touch is very shaky.
Silva: 5 - Had a fifteen minute spell where he ran the game well from the middle of the park, but the same old problems are still evident. His defensive positioning is poor, he gives the ball away and he fades significantly. Looked very frustrated to be hooked but doesn't look even close to selling himself for a starting position.
Gray: 7 - Some good forward drives but end product remains an issue.
Iheanacho: 6 - Some good touches but couldn't quite find a way through the opposition defence. Disappeared in the second half.
Vardy: 6 - Keen but largely starved of service. Generally looked the most likely to make something happen but others weren't really on his wavelength.

Okazaki: 6 - Added some forward drive and chased down well but is really struggling for form.
Mendy: 5 - Lucky not to give away a goal with a wayward pass, and didn't really add much.
Albrighton: 7 - Some lively passes and crosses late on.


Southampton really should have won this match. They didn't look like a team who weren't playing for their manager, but they did look like a team who are short of quality. Nathan Redmond stood out an absolute mile for them as their best player but ultimately he needed some assistance around him and it didn't arrive. The frustrating thing from our point of view is that they looked like they wanted it a lot more, in their forward runs and their relentless pressing. However, ultimately their goalkeeper managed to fool himself more than his opponents in the penalty shootout and the rest played out as it did.
We're going to have to play a lot better to beat Watford at the weekend, and an absolute country mile better to stand any chance against Man City in the next round, even if they play their reserves.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

Thanks Dunge, good to have these back.

Not a lot to disagree with in your ratings so I’ll pull out a couple of points:

1. Diabate. He looks like he’s got a bout of the Musas. Clearly a talented tricky player but just looks confused by a football pitch. I hope he turns it around as I saw a very exciting player when he came, but his confidence may be shot and England may not be the place for him.

2. You mention Ndidi, but I’m starting to feel that too many players are underperforming right now and that is down to Puel to resolve along with the individuals. Players like Gray and Albrighton I can accept, decent buy limited players who might not fit a new system, but for Ndidi and Vardy to be playing poorly, then I’m sorry but it’s the system.

In my view a manager has to balance formation and players to get the most out of his squad. Puel, for me, has this squad and too many individuals playing below themselves.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

It’s sad to see what’s happened to Diabate and simply down to a lack of playing time l. He burst on to the scene when he came, highlighted on MOTD as a potential mahrez replacement and then he’s starved of the one thing he needs to develop - games.

It’s nothing to do with English football and if he can fit in, he showed that instantly when he first arrived, he looked unplayable at times. But if you stop playing young players and bring them on for an appearance every 3 months or so, it destroys them. It’s why so many go out on loan

Let’s not ruin another decent player, sell him if we aren’t going to play him, for his own sake

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

There are many criticisms of Puel BS, but not trusting youth is not one of them.

Chilwell and Gray have had more than their share of patience. Chilwell looks to have repaid that faith, Gray less so.

So something must not be quite right for Diabate. I hope it’s just confidence something personal that he can overcome. I like him and hope he comes good.

That said, I can also see potential in Ghezzal so what do I know 😂

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

I agree that developing young players is one of Puels strengths, but his clear weakness has been the need to constantly rotate and to drop players for seemingly no reason. He’s even done it to Vardy.

Chilwell has benefited from a lack of alternatives available if I’m honest, but that is a case in point of playing young players regularly for the sake of their development

For every Chilwell there will be a Gray, but in Diabates case, no one will ever know. Unless he’s taken a dump on Puels desk then I can’t understand why he isn’t being utilised more

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

I thought Diabete played OK last night and worked hard to impress. I personally don't think he was that great when we first signed him. He did OK but was never seriously a Mahrez replacement (in terms of ability), but there was some lazy punditry suggesting as much when he did well against Peterborough away in his debut.

I also think Ghezzal has shown promise.

Thought Gray played well last night and was a constant thorn in Southampton's side. I wrote him off a year or two back but he's beginning to prove me wrong. I hope he continues to improve his shooting and crossing as he could become a real player then.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

Personally, I'm struggling to hold out much hope for either Diabate or Ghezzal.

Diabate is young and might improve, so he's probably worth holding onto for a while longer. But apparently he hasn't looked particularly good when playing or the U23s, and I'm sure if he was putting in strong performances for them then he'd quickly be shifted back into the first team. He showed a few flashes of talent when he first arrived but that was mostly against lesser opposition. What I'd be looking for more in a young winger is someone who can worry strong player on his day but is inconsistent. Then you work on that inconsistency. With Diabate, I haven't really seen that overall talent yet.

Ghezzal still looks like a panic purchase to me - average, and no better than that. Any decent full back wouldn't see anything from him that would worry them.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

Diabate like most young players is a confidence player. He started like a man on fire - lesser opposition or not doesn’t matter, he was running the show in those first couple of games against premier league opposition. So much was his impact he got highlighted on MOTD as the potential Mahrez replacement

Now for whatever reason he was relegated to the under 23s. That can’t be good for confidence and his performances may well be affected by that. It becomes a vicious circle that’s hard to break.

We have had talented players before and not made the most of them before letting them go. Kramaric would be a good example of this

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

We can argue a much as we like about all of our players,but do we have confidence in Puel.?
He appears to be in a similar situation to our prime minister at present.
Clueless , sees things only his way, and will end up pleasing no one at all,doesnt know his best team,tactically poor, and doesnt know any other way apart from his own.
If we had a club referendum think most would vote for him to go.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

Not too much to argue about Dunge:

Our MoM was clearly Mr VAR, without whom it would be the Saints going through to be stuffed by Man City.

Ndidi is a 6 for me, won far too many challenges in midfield to be only a 5.

My rating for Gray is a 6, looks great going forward but still attempting the Hollywood shot instead of looking for his team mates - he would be so much better if his learning on this aspect was developing faster.

Mendy - 5 is a little unfair as he played one great ball forward so maybe a 6 for me.

Soyuncu looks class, that stutter in the run up for his peno to make the goalie start falling to one side was quality.

I'm yet to be convinced by Claude, his insistence in playing two DMs no matter what the opposition is very negative. I'm not deliriously happy with him but we're not far off half way to safety after a third of the season so at least he's got time to improve.

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