I often find myself disagreeing with Phil Hay’s attempts at rating performances, mainly because he refuses to give anything less than 5/10. Maybe he’s been reading TSS, because since I mentioned his reluctance to give anyone really low scores, he hasn’t rated them. Anyway, it’s unfair to criticise others for something you don’t do yourself, so here’s my first attempt.

Casper Ankergren – 5/10
Never had a single save to make throughout the entire game. Anything Southampton tried was nullified by the defence and midfield making Ankergren more of a spectator than a goalkeeper. Still getting sarcastic cheers from the Kop whenever he catches the ball, and his kicks still have a habit of finding touch, but doing his job well on the whole.

Leigh Bromby – 6/10
A pretty solid performance from Bromby. Closed down well, passed well and essentially did what he’s supposed to do.

Patrick Kisnorbo – 9/10
Kis was everywhere and I only remember him making one slight error that was cleaned up easily by Nayls. The difference with him in the team is remarkable. Irreplacable for me, an absolute rock at the back. Bandage still on from his clash early in the season. I’m starting to think it’s a fashion accessory.

Richard Naylor – 8/10
Not as influential as Kis, but a solid performance nonetheless. Not sure Nayls is 100% yet, but there were few signs of fatigue or lack of match practice.

Andrew Hughes – 6/10
Probably one of his best performances so far for Leeds. He actually looked like a full-back for once. Was beaten a few times down the wing, but overall he had a good game, getting the tackles in and pushing forward when possible.

Jonny Howson – 7/10
Going forward he was missing in the first half, but had a good second period before being substituted. Defensively he was consistently good throughout, closing down quickly and getting back to help out when needed. Tried to sort Becks out during the substitution saga but to no avail.

Michael Doyle – 7.5/10
His defensive contribution was much more important than his attacking one. Like most of the team, he lacked ideas going forward but helped to dominate the midfield by closing down quickly and getting stuck in to make sure Southampton had no time on the ball.

Neil Kilkenny – 7/10
Also played his part in denying Southampton time and space, but much like Doyle he seemed a bit lacking in ideas infront of goal. Felt he selflessly passed up a few shooting opportunities that he probably should have hit, but overall another good shift from Killa.

Robert Snodgrass – 7/10
Had it not been for the spectaculor goal, Snoddy would have scored lower. His crossing was poor throughout leading to many wasted attacking opportunities. He kept the work rate up though and even on a relatively poor day by his standards, he made the difference.

Jermaine Beckford – 6/10
Contrary to most reports, Jermaine didn’t have a bad game. It seems that a lot of fans are too willing to focus on the negatives now though and refuse to give him any respect for what he did do well. Becks chased the ball, closed down with the team and tried to play people in throughout. Nothing really fell for him, but the one chance he did have saw him slip and whinge at the referee. Whinging and substitution antics aside, not a terrible game for Becks.

Lucciano Becchio – 8.5/10
I said it was a coin flip between himself and Kis for man of the match in my report, but Becchio did let himself down by putting an unmarked header over the bar from six yards. Aside from that, he hassled the opposition whenever they had the ball, held the ball up well, linked well with the other players and worked tirelessly throughout.

The substitutions
The usual introduction of Max Gradel brought with it some new ideas in the second half, whilst Bradley Johnson, who came on at the same time also had a good run out and brought the game to life. Although neither of them were really involved with Snoddy’s goal, they did seem to give Leeds an edge.

  • AndrewM

    Spot on with most of your evaluations; especially Doyle, Snodgrass and Beckford, as well as the impact of Johnson and Gradel. I think, perhaps, you could have been more generous to Bromby (not normally one of my favourites) who had the best game I’ve seen so far and was really flawless. Overall, great stuff mate!

  • Choppers

    I have to say Bromby’s districbution from the back is still suspect and against a pacey winger I think he is going to get turned a lot. If you look back at the last 5 games he has played, I think he has got better and better with each one of them.

    Beckford for me was really out of order. Like you I think he didnt play too bad, he did chase the occasional ball. I dont think the scouts watching would have been too pleased with his antics. If he does go in January then he isn’t going to be first choice where ever he goes, premier league or otherwise.

    Also not sure if you can confirm or deny this. The Wealdstone chairman was on Talksport radio last Wednesday and confirmed that he is watching the Beckford situation with great interest as Wealdstone have a 40% sell on clause. This would also indicate a reason why SG is unwilling to sell

    • TSS

      I was under the impression it was 20%, but not entirely sure to be honest with you.

  • Yorkshrman

    Some strange ratings, if you don’t mind me saying so – and probably shows it’s a harder job than it might appear.

    I’ve got to agree with AndrewM that Bromby had the best game I’ve seen him play for Leeds. He’s really not a full back, but on Saturday I don’t think he did anything wrong – 6/10 is a bit mean. Similarly for Hughes – was there really a difference of 2 between him and Nayls??? Especially when you say he had his best game for Leeds (in your opinion)??

    And I have to disagree over Beckford – he had an awful game. Apart from fluffing the two best chances of the game – and a striker with his aspirations HAS to do better – he rarely chased the ball or closed the defenders down. I get really angry with him when there’s a ball played between him and a defender, and he can’t be bothered to even try to put pressure on the defender – it does nothing to help out the rest of the team. Not good enough, and to give him 6 seems completely out of kilter with the scores for Bromby, Hughes and Ankergren.

    But then they’re the traditional “bad guys” in the Leeds team, aren’t they …..??!

    • TSS

      Hi Yorkshrman,

      Hughes and Bromby – both were beaten a couple of times, but can see why the ratings seem a little low. The reason for that is I didn’t think they did anything exceptional but did do their job well. If Parker was fit, he’d do the same thing every week so to give them extra credit for one game where they peformed as they should seems unrealistic. In heinsight however, maybe 7/10 would have been a little fairer?

      I honestly didn’t think Becks did all that badly. I’ve seen him play so much worse so for people to give him 3/10 (vital) seems ludicrous when they’re happy to give him 7-8-9 just because he scores in other games. For dragging half the oppositions defence with him all game alone he’s worth his place in the team. It creates space for others.

      As for Nayl’s I think there was a difference of 2 between himself and the full-backs. To go back to my earlier point of Ankergren never making a save, that’s largely because Nayl’s and Kis made the likes of Rickie Lambert look as threatening as Tomas Brolin. Few defences have been able to cope with that threat all season, but at Elland Road it was non-existant.

      I think everyones view of any game invariably alters from the next person. Just checked Phil Hay’s now (who has started rating again just to prove me wrong) and he’s scored the full-backs higher and Becchio much lower (6). For me, Becchio was tireless in his efforts and aside from the six yard header, he never put a foot wrong. It’s weird because on other weeks where I think Becchio’s had a poor game, Phil rates him higher than I would, but differences of opinion are part and parcel of the game and make it all the more enjoyable.

      • Yorkshrman

        Hi TSS, thanks for the comments. As you say, we all see things a bit differently!!!

        I do think that Beckford’s attitude has changed over the course of this season. In the first 2-3 months I thought that he’d really pulled his socks up; was doing far more chasing and harrying, was generally encouraging his colleagues, and (given all the speculation over the Summer) gave the appearance of being genuinely happy with his lot. Over the last few weeks, though, he seems to have not only regressed to the “bad old days”, but seems even less interested than he was before. Saturday just typified it for me. No, he didn’t get the greatest of service – but that’s when strikers have to work even harder to try to make things happen. And there were several occasions when the ball was running through towards Jaidi, Becks was less than 10 yards away from the defender, but didn’t even give a pretence of challenging. (Maybe put off by the thought of trying to tackle a brick s***house?!)

        I always think back to the famous 4-3 game against Liverpool a few years back. We were 2-0 down with ‘Pool in complete control …. Smith chased a ball he had no right to get anywhere near, put the defender (Ziege?) under pressure so his clearance rebounded off Smith to Viduka, and the whole balance of the game changed.

        Can’t imagine Beckford ever doing that ……!!!!!

    • TSS

      Just to go back to Phil Hay again, he rates Snoddy as follows;

      Robert Snodgrass: The creator of several of United’s better chances and the scorer of a decisive goal which was threatening to elude Leeds. His sublime finish oozed class. 8/10

      Snoddy is probably my favourite player in the current team and it was an amazing goal he scored that made the difference. Aside from that though, I thought everyone was in agreement that he’d had a very bad day? His passing and crossing seldom reached it’s destination, but his tireless work ethic paid dividends.

      I’d agree it’s a lot harder than some may think to rate players.

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  • Ramblinjohn

    That was close to full strength team I think and it showed…though he didn’t do anything wrong, well anything really, I still want Higgs back instead of Ankergren – definitely too Sprakeish for me