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Canary On The Wire

My two penneth (match ratings, and that)

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Should this go into another thread? Probably.

Anyway, because I really don''t care about whether it should or not, here''s my two penneth on today''s game.

Ruddy 7 - Did all that he was asked of him really, could do nothing about a world class strike from Barkley and made a fantastic block on Jelavic- alas, Coleman was first to the rebound.

Whittaker 9 (MOTM) - Absolutely phenomenal game from Stevie, had no right to skin a player of the quality of Baines in the way that he did -and on one occasion he was going to get lucky with a deflection off Fellaini to break free and curl a beauty off the post, reacting quickest to smash in the rebound. Also kept Baines very quiet going forward. Really don''t see his supposed defensive issues? If he was that prone to error surely Baines wouldn''t have been as quiet as he was?

Martin/Turner 7- Solid games from both parties, ensured Fellaini never got free at corners, Martin also made a great block off Naismith on the line.

Garrido 8- Sometimes Garrido is hilariously suspect at the back, today he was dependable and at times a silky Spaniard. One of the best tackles you''ll see this season on Naismith in the second half.

Bennett 7- Solid and tireless, showing great aggression and endeavour to get forward and do damage on the right, linking up tremendously with Whittaker on the overlap. Snoddy faces a battle for his place.

Johnson 8- Rarely will you see Marouane Fellaini dominated physically. Today was one of those days. Passing here and there as per usual, but you can''t drop Jonno for me - he''s tenacity embodied when teams like Everton are content to play keepball, memorably tackling Fellaini like a tree surgeon on acid and sending us away on the break.

Howson 7- Very hard working in the middle of the park, and some great bursts forward on the break. It is unfortunate that his decision making was often poor when one pass would feed the wolf.

Redmond 8- Would have been man of the match (was given it albeit unfairly) were it not for his naivety in defence completely losing Coleman for the second goal. However, going forward...probably the best player we have. Ridiculous ability at making players look silly, somehow skinned Fellaini, Baines, Osman and Pienaar in one move when he looked to be in no mans land. £10m player in a few years no doubt.

Hoolahan 4- Absolute sh1t. Possession vending machine. Needs to sort himself out as the competition is there now. Leroy Fer is in for Hull. (Wes has been my favourite Norwich player for about 4 years)

RvW 8- Ricky putting in a (budget) van Persie esque performance whereby he was very industrious with clever tidy passes on the ground when we were in possession, no messing about, with some superb movement going forward (I remember particularly a pass through from Tettey (iirc) where he was so clearly onside and had just made Jagielka and Distin look a joke by breaking free only to be wrongly flagged). In the end, it came down to a fantastic readjustment from a Whittaker sliced shot. One chance, one world class header (you don''t save those), one goal.

Of the subs, Tettey looked industrious, and Olsson didn''t really have time to impress, overall, job done really.

Sometimes I think some of you find moaning to be some sort of elixir. Sort it out.

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Change Hoolahan and Howson and I agree ^^

To put it simple our middlefield formation started game like this




We didnt get no where as Howson and Johnson couldnt get trough the first press. First Bennett dropped a bit down to help Howson. Didnt help. Then Hoolahan started to drop down and BRING the ball trough the press and our formation looked like.




Only way to pass there from our creative players was either Redmond or try long ball to RvW. Still Hooahan got trough that many tmes even thought he lost the ball few times too, but really if he has to play so much out of place and still can get the job done, you really have to blame someone else than him.

When he played where he should play he just looked isolated as RvW even thought there was passing routes that Howson just couldnt find.

Also Howson didnt do anything better when he got to play in the pocket. for example that one counter where he had ( I at least assume it was Howson) Tettey on right and Johnson comming behind left. He just made the wrong choise when Hoolahan would have been more comfortable in that situation.

You really cant expect Hoolahan to wrestle against Fellaini & fellows and not lose a ball once in a while. He didnt have his best day, but still as our whole middlefield was average with execption of Tettey who was really inspiring with his energy, you cant put the blame on Wes. He moved well, he was availeable and he started few very good looking attacks and made some room for that middlefield with his dribbling that was so hard for us to pass by.

I know that for some of you small player who is good only in dribbling and passing is luxury to have, but see where and how many times he lost the ball and what kind of passes and dribbles he made and you start to realise what he did for us in Everton game when you compare that for Howson or even Redmond who got praised even thought he lost the ball equally easy few times and had hard time with positioning when we defended. Still both of these players with were straight after Whittaker as my man of the match as without them we wouldnt have that needed creativity what sometimes loses the ball for us, but many times give us the goals we need.

Okay Howson didnt have easy day as Snoddy was away Snoddy is nice guy to have on the wing as he wants to make plays where Bennett would like to get those balls behind fullbacks and Johnson had awful day even his standards what comes to short passing so he was quite lone if Wes didnt come down to help him.

If he wants to get that third middlefeld place on our starting line up he needs to start learn how to give that simple pass, move for better position and get it back. This is area where both Tettey in deep slot and Howson in forward slot are light years ahead of him. That dull sideways pass for Whittaker, Bennett or Johnson or even our center backs and bursting move for free space is something that his game lacks badly and same time it is key for succesful playmaking if you dont have huge variety of long passes to make opponent pay for getting too close of him.

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Excellent post Lavanche. I find it baffling that people  are criticizing Hoolahan for wasting possession despite only being dispossessed once more than Howson and Johnson and having a significantly better passing accuracy. Johnson and Howson gave away the ball far more with their lackluster passing (63% accuracy and 68% accuuracy), yet only Hoolahan gets the criticisim for wasting posession. What gives? 

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Hoops is in that tough position, he is the player that we highlight as the route for all our attack and should be a threat on goal. Just being a little creative isn''t enough

I will admit due to no other alternatives and good performances last season my stance changed with the view of him being a luxury to a player we needed for last season. However before the season I would happily have seen hoops come from the bench as we added some quality in to that position as his stats in the end did not make him enough of a goal threat.

Hoops can be a better player with better players around him. I do feel that holty was not on the same page last season and that did not help hoolahan. But I still feel that it is the key position now for us to fill and we need it.

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The long and the short of it is that we definatly need an upgrade in the no 10/player in the whole position

Wes doesn''t carry anywhere near enough of a goal threat from that position. It''s clear that hoots feels the same,hence the bids for quag and ola.

Wes was not great yesterday, no matter what stats you throw at it. Howson is always going to struggle playing deep and I thought at half time we should have taken wes off for tettey with howson moving further up he looks a lot better there IMO. And at the moment that seems to be about our only options, if one of the bids come off I think there will be a lot less starts for wes this season.

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Cant see anyone as a 9 based on yesterdays game - and nor was anyone a 4. Wes a possession vending machine? He lost possession 9 times, less than BJ (17) or Howson (13) Respectively thats once every 8 mins for wes, 6.9 mins for Howson and 5.2 mins for BJ.

Ruddy 7 - gives confidence to theback 4, no chance with the barkley effort (too much time to shoot, cracking effort) and saved first effort for second.

Whittaker 6 best work going forward, great opener is more than a bobble of luck and the wildest shot come assist you will see all season. defending was not great.

Turner - 6 Solid - but lack of pace is a worry.

Martin 6 - great block near end and covered seb well, but played them onside for second. Better at RB.

Garrido - 6 great tackle when player through - defended well but needs to get forward more - best crosser from full back. Best creative pass of day to set RvW free who was given but did not seem offside - CMs watch it again, weep and learn.

BJ - 6 Defensively great - covered loads of ground and did what he does best. Not make or win the ball back enough despite the ground covered Use of the ball summed up when his standing foot put the ball straight out to the everton fan as his striking foor airshot. Needs to be able to pass to front 4 much better than he did today.

Howson 6 Very similar to BJ -best work defensively & great coverage of ground but never quite there in time - see Barkleys goal. Use of ball at his feet was poor - probably even worse than BJ - a couple of passes went straight out summed his passing up. No better when replacing Wes behind RvW. Needs to be able to pass to front 4 much better than he did today.

Bennett 7.5 Great game - kept Baines busy defending and covered his moves forward too. Good pace and movement and better use of teh ball than we have seen. Did so well meant Snoddy was not missed at all and he may struggle to get back in. Close to MOTM for me

Redmond 7.5 MOTM Worked hard - supported Garrido well and gave pace up front - was a threat each time he had the ball - again meant Pilks absence was not missed -just what the club needed. Does need to choose his pass better - as guilty as Wes of holding on too long. Tired as game went on. And I was not a keen advocate of his signing but this was great.

Wes 6. No where near as bad as this forum suggests. Passed well but did not lose possession as much as accused of..

RvW 7 His movement was top class - highligted by his goal, which was as good a header as we have seen at FCR, and when taking garridos pass - able to get free of defenders. Great touch and link up play. But we need to get him the ball, was almost starved of it today. We do need to feed him, he will score.


Tettey 7 Had an immediate impact, reads the game so well and in 25 mins won the ball back as often as BJ & Howson did all game. Also hoicked a ball straight into touch, unlike the other pair that was the exception rather than the norm as he was safe and secure - just what we need an anchor to do. Team benefited from having got teh ball and it being passed better than when Howson back with BJ.

Olson - 6 No time to assess - only contribution was a cross straight to Howard - a feature of the whole teams poor crossing where 18/20 failed to find a city player and most were poor quality. And one of the two successful crosses was Whittakers shot/assists for RvWs equaliser!!

Everton - this was their strongest team, Baines, fellaini and Barkley impressed but they look lighweight up front and lacked creativity. Not sure they will do so well this season but probably feel that they should have won this game. That they did not is down that lack of cutting edge and to the excellent team spirit shown by the yellows - showing we can bring in plenty of new faces and not

lose our identity.

Plenty of good stuff to build on, and with Fer and Seb to come back in and a fit again Tettey in CM we will improve again for a solid season.

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I''m not really sure what got Redmond rated so highly.


While I''m not saying he had a bad game all he really did was have a few dribbles in areas that Everton were reasonably happy to let him have the ball in. He dinked a nice ball over to Whittaker from the RVW goal but other than that he didn''t do too much in terms of really causing them problems. But I suppose when you''ve got an exciting young player like that a few dribbles at speed are eye-catching and a little bit goes a long way.


Thought Whittaker (at least) was a far better choice for MOTM.



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I guess it was just me who thought Garrido didn''t deserve as high as marks as given, and certainly not Rob Butler''s summary on CC that he was brilliant?

Garrido did some good things and certainly got better as the game went on, but he looked out of sorts, especially in the first half.

Not a bad performance, just not warranting massive praise.

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The problem with Wes is, he often gets dispossessed trying to beat a man or while looking for a decent passing option. To the fans this looks a lot worse than a Howson/Johnson misplaced pass or long hoof.

The simple facts remain, Howson and Johnson give away possession far more often than Hoolahan, and the majority of the time while attempting far easier options.

Another problem is of course, we have RvW up front. That basically means launching a long ball up-field is conceding possession. It didn''t stop us trying (the highest proportion of long balls from any side in the weekends games)

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