Sunday, May 04, 2008

Stattos City player ratings

I know City still have that big match to play, but that's a bonus that all City fans will enjoy win or lose. The hard work has been up to this point, and therefore in keeping with just about every other footie fan in the world, I'm going to rate the players for their efforts this term (by squad number).

01 Peter Enckleman 8/10: Since arriving on a loan from Blackburn after Kasper Schmeicel's return to Manchester City "Enck's" has been superb. In truth the defence has helped but we finally seem to have found a decent keeper. Surely Dave Jones must make this a permanent move in the summer.

02 Kevin McNaughton 8/10: The side always looks better when "Nauts" plays. He's versatile, tenacious and quicker than he looks. City always look good when he's playing. Only downside are those dodgy hamstrings...

03 Tony Capaldi 7/10: I wondered what Jonesy had done when he brought Capaldi from Plymouth. He looked all at sea for a while, but has settled in well and nows looks solid. That long throw is reminiscent of Andy Legg too - and led to our goal in the semi final!

04 Gavin Rae 7/10: Another one whom I doubted at the start of the season, Rae has got stronger and better as the season progressed. Started to see more attack mindedness from him in the back endof the run in.

05 Darren Purse 5/10: What can you say? His heart's in the right place and he gives it everything when he's got the chance, but is error prone and has made way for Johnson & Loovens for most of the season (rightly so). Must be gutted by the limited number of appearances as he's Club Captain. Will he stay? If he does, and Loovens & Johnson do too, it's another bench season for him next term.

06 Glen Loovens 9.5/10: Almost pipped my winner to a 10/10. The "Loovenator" has been awesome this term. with Johnson the defence looks rock solid. Not so much will he stay as can we keep him? Easily one of the best if not the best defender in the Championship, and my daughter's favourite player (it's the flowing blonde locks).

07 Peter Whittingham 6/10: "Whits" should be one of the best midfielders in the Championship. Who knows, he might be? The trouble is when he's good he's brilliant, but when he's not, you don't know he's on the pitch. Clearly can score some brilliant goals, and probably technically the best player in a City shirt. Need more consistency from him if he stays.

08 Robbie Fowler 4/10: Arrived on a media tidal wave, looked unfit, was unfit and never really got going before injury curtailed his season - but still scored 6 in 12 appearances. You can't take away what he's done in the past, and if you believe what you read he seems focused on getting another year's contract. If he really is fit, I'd give it to him.

10 Stephen McPhail 6/10: Another Whittingham, McPhail too often flatters to deceive. Could be so, so good, and just occasionally shows it, but doesn't get forward enough for me. Should be banging in 6-8 goals a season at least and has to learn to pass forwards rather than sideways and back (though that might be due to the limited options up front?).

11 Paul Parry 8/10: The Welsh Wizard, Parry was switched from the wing (where he's awesome) to striker (where he's as good if not better than anyone we've got in that position). When he runs at defenders they don't know how to cope. City are a different class when he plays and look much more ponderous when he doesn't.

12 Roger Johnson 10/10: My player of the season. Just pipped Loovens to this. Johnson has been immense. Consistent at the back, rallying the troops, scoring goals and collecting MoM awards for fun. His partnership with Loovens is superb. If he stays long enough should be City's captain at some point in my opinion. Same again next term Roj.

13 Michael Oakes 4/10: Looks shaky between the sticks and has never really inspired me with confidence, and obviously hasn't inspired Dave Jones either. Thank God for Enckleman (and Schmeicel).

14 Warren Feeney 3/10: Dave Jones has made very some strange choices regarding bringing in (alleged) strikers and this is one of them. Never understood what anyone saw in him, though obviously he helped the Jacks gain promotion when he went out on loan to them.

15 David Forde 1/10: 3rd choice keeper behind Enckleman and Oaksey. Not good enough for City on the limited appearances we've seen I think and will almost certainly go.

16 Joe Ledley 8/10: City's own, born and bred. Brings a spark to the midfield when he plays there but can be solid at left back too. Gets forward, scores goals and has a huge future. Has already turned down a Premiership move, but can he keep doing that? I think not. It'll be sad to see, but he will if the money and deal is right.

18 Trevor Sinclair 6/10: One of the trio of "old stagers" brought in (Fowler and JFH being the other two) and looked solid early doors down the right flank. Then got injured, never really recovered and has struggled since.

19 Riccardo Scimeca 2/10: Out nearly all season with a career threatening injury. Good to see him regaining fitness. We missed him big time in the middle of the park. Can he recover that form, and his place next season?

20 Steve Thomspon 3/10: I remember the "Tommahawk" announcing himself at Ninan Park on debut a season or two ago with a superbly taken brace in front of the Grange End. It's been downhill all the way from there for the former Rangers man. Clearly not on Dave Jones "must keep" list he's been transfer listed all season, but it appears that no one else wants him either and is therefore low on confidence. He works hard, and I'd love to see him turn the corner and bang in a hat-trick but I just don't think it's going to happen. Not in a City shirt anyway.

23 Darcy Blake 3/10: Another up and coming youngster with bags of potential, his arrival in the 1st team has been overshadowed by that of Aaron Ramsey's and thus has made only limited appearances.

30 Aaron Ramsey 8/10: "Rambo" has burst through into the 1st team and looked completely at ease. A couple of magnificent performances, especially in the cup run have made his mark not just in the team and Championship but has also got Premiership interest going, and allegedly there's talk of a move to Manchester Utd. He's certainly got the potential. Another one we really need to try and hang on to. he wouln't get into the MU 1st team yet, so maybe a buy and loan back would be the best for everyone?

36 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 7/10: Another big name signing last summer, and another one along with RF who looked unfit (though not as unfit as RF) at the start. Clearly his best years are behind him, but he's still good for 75 minutes (today he looked like a spring chicken for the whole 90) and has scored some sumptuous goals including that one against Wolves in the Cup. Can we get another year out of him? Do we want to? Maybe big man.

Dave Jones (Manager). Great appointment as manager I thought at the time. And so he proved, up until the start of this season when we looked a shadow of our former selves. Sure, there was no money in the kitty for players, and the squad was small but this was essentially the same team that had been top of the Championship, or near the top for 3 months last season. Just not getting the players to tick. I was even one of those last December wondering whether he should go - no, at one point I said he should. But to be fair to him (and Peter Ridsdale), he took it all on the chin and just got on with it, and to be in with a shout of the playoff's up until the last 2 or 3 games and be in the final of the FA Cup, well....who's doubting him now? Do the Ayatollah Jonesy!

Peter Ridsdale (Chairman). Arrived under reign of the lamentable Sam Hamman (Boo, hiss) to sort our financial problems out. What? Ha ha, on the back of his form at Leeds? Surely you jest. No sir.
To be fair to Mr R, he does seem to have put his past behind him, and whatever his motives for doing the job at City, I for one think he's done a remarkable job behind the scenes. Well done Mr R. Please, please, please don't now bugger it all up by doing something silly.

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