Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Apologies for absence

Sorry for the lack of activity on the blog, I've been away for the past few days and my experiment with mobile blogging didn't go so well.

I'll do my best to get an article up today, and obviously a preview for the West Ham game - until then, thanks for your patience!

- Penguin

6 comments:

MoYa said...

Penguin...
Where have U been Bro???
Why the draught?
Been looking forward to some great articles...

swapnil said...

where are you man???...waiting for your posts..

zzxxrrss said...

Come on Penguin
Can't wait for your reviews and previews.

Andrew, Esq. said...

I suppose even the best bloggers need a break, eh? But maybe we need a fill-in writer for Penguin. Not a replacement, mind you, just someone to come off the substitute's bench and make a brief impact until our captain returns.

Andrew, Esq. said...

Well, in your absence, Penguin, here's my humble take on tonight's match:

Positives: a dogged and determined display by the lads, they never did give up on the equalizer but kept pressing against the 10-man defensive dam celtic put up.

Negatives: more missed chances. this is three games in a row now that we've been given numerous opportunities to score but haven't taken them. True, Celtic were the tougher of the three fixtures (West Ham and Hull the others), but we should have won. Evra and Berba stand out for their glorious chances gone wanting. But it took us four times to follow up shots on goal to actually knock one in. We know the likes of Ron, Rooney, Tevez, et al. will be stinging their shots off the palms of Boruc, so why didn't we follow them up? frustrating. as was the persistent giving away of possession in the first half.

Foster: 6.5. Not much he could have done with the goal. Though relatively untroubled most the match, especially in the second half, he was a bit shaky coming out on two occasions. Needs to build his confidence and take charge in the box on set pieces. No wonder-saves to boost him to a 7or 8.

Rafael: 6. good going forward, but that is by now standard. what we'd like to see is a toughening up in defense viz Evra. definitely has the pace to get back, but got beat and was cut out a few times. showing great mental reading of the game, though.

Rio: 8. solid, steady, and calm presence as usual. not much troubled him. showed great presence going forward too.

Vidic: 7. An overall improvement from the previous showings. Great presence in the Celtic box on corners, solid defense on the few Celtic attacks. nothing specific i can say wrong about the performance, but not quite the commanding Vidic we've seen.

O'Shea: 5. And i think that is a bit generous, as i feel he was our weakest performer on the night. far too many stray or inaccurate passes and gave away possession too often. little to no presence going forward. he's a great utility man, but he lacked the physical presence and forward mobility of Evra or Brown.

Ronaldo: 8. Our strongest performer. Wonderful shot leading to Giggs' follow-in. Starting to show a return to typical form, with some great runs into the box, wonderful movement off the ball, and definite hunger to get in on goal and make space for shots. Even checked back on defense. However, I do feel he (after Nani) backed off the challenge for a header which eventually lead to Celtic's goal.

Fletcher: 7. Determined and spirited effort. Worked hard to keep the squad moving forward, worked hard to get the ball back when we gave it up.

Carrick: 6.5. Nothing flashy, but great penetrating passes as usual. Still seems a step short of full match fitness, but certainly a strong influence in the middle of the park. Provided some good protection at the back when needed.

Nani: 5.5. I'd place responsibility for the goal largely at his feet. Clearly backed off a challenge for the ball, which floated toward Ronaldo, who likewise backed off the header, leading to the ball through to McDonald. Offensively, an average performance. Great effort, certainly, but not much to show for it.

Giggs: 7. Started a bit rough, and couldn't quite get through the Celtic rearguard, but improved as the game went on. Much better second half. Showed great intelligence, as always, to move into the central role as Ronaldo opened up for his shot. Right place right time for Giggsy to tap in.

Tevez: 6.5 Industrious and determined as ever. Had a few nice moves on goal and was instrumental in helping the attack keep its shape. Sadly nothing to show for his effort and clearly annoyed by his removal late on. Would have been expected to make a greater impact early on.

Berbatov: 6. One or two great shots, one horror miss at the death. Gave our attack much more organization and composure by dropping deep and also playing as a pivot right on the edge of the area. His calming confidence is always a boost. Hopefully we don't see any more sitters like that last one go wanting.

Evra: 6. Job done, essentially. Rafael was showing signs of immaturity and the danger of getting caught out on a forward run, so O'Shea over and Evra in. Never troubled at the back, but not the typical influence down the left flank bringing crosses in.

Rooney: 7. One solid effort on goal which forced a fine save from Boruc. In his short time on the pitch, showed great ambition to penetrate the Celtic defense. His mere presence adds another dimension to our team, and his confidence still seems high. Long may it stay.

Penguinissimo said...

Andrew - very nice post mate. Drop me an email if you get the chance (there's a contact link on the blog sidebar).

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