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Peace Cup - Atlante - 2009/07/29 - Ratings and reactions.


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Oh and Sidwell + NRC = Barry + NRC of 07/08.

It's what it reminded me off, they looked comfortable with each other and sorry but we were really exciting in that 2nd half like we were in that season and I do think the fact Reo-Coker wins so much of the ball means that we win the ball higher up.

I mean with Coker in the team, he wins alot of the ball in midfield meaning we get the ball quicker out wide and attack 1 on 1.

Last year without NRC, the only times we would win the ball back is when they gift us a long ball, or crosses into the box or shots meaning the opponents had time to set-up.

NRC wins the ball in midfield meaning it suits our style, he HAS to play IMO!

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Positives, Albrighton, Sidwell and NRC partnership, Cuellar, Guzan and Young.

Negatives - Petrov Injury, Heskey, Shorey, Davies.

I do think the Petrov being injured may be a positive in a weird way, we looked so much better without him, he isn't suited to a 4 man midfield, and the Sidwell/NRC partnership could flourish.

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Shocking first half, better second. Team still nowhere near ready for a Premier League season.

Guzan: Class. Decent shot-stopping, excellent communication, I still maintain he's ready for the step up: 8

Shorey: Can't fault him but he seemed to have a very quiet game: 6

Cuellar: Improving. Definitely the better of our centre half pairing: 6

Davies: Has me worried; very: 5

Lichaj: Something about this guy. We'll definitely be seeing him again this season: 6

Young: Took a while to get going, but then so did everybody. Took his goal well, troubled the full backs a little, still not showing his true quality though: 7

Sidwell: I'm sorry, I know he had a part in the goal but attacking aside he is our most useless midfielder. Can't get the basics right. There, I've said it: 5

Reo-Coker: This the player I know. His end product still isn't brilliant but he was everywhere today. Could still play a big part in our midfield: 7

Petrov: Injured, replaced by Albrighton: Words can't express that performance today. For such a young lad, that was excellent. Shades of Macheda against us last season with that instant impact. The cross for Young's goal was sublime. Did well right at the final whistle too when Villa were under a bit of pressure: 8

Heskey: Who?: 5

Carew: Took his goal well but otherwise absent. Can't play beside Emile, full stop: 6

Herd, Lowry: Just making up the numbers at the end.

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I thought Albrighton was excellent, he's had a good pre-season and you can see the confidence coming into his game. Chuffed for him.

Guzan, Cuellar, Lichaj and Reo Coker did well.

The others were so-so with the exception of Sidwell and Heskey who were poor, but will most likely be replaced by Gardner and Agbonlahor when the tough stuff starts anyway.

I thought we got stronger as the game went on which was a good sign.

Petrov's injury is a worry.

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A very shaky start not helped by Petrov's knock, NRC out wide and Davies looking nervy....

And considering we went one down whilst playing some shocking football, this is a real result - NRC switching to the middle was the impetus alongside bringing on Albrighton... Surely MON does not need another winger now as he looks very very promising indeed and will be good competition/back up for Milner

Guzan had a great game and put in a performance to make Big Brad sweat a little!

In the end, we played some great football, the short touch passes were beginning to find their mark and the off-the-ball running was getting better and better.

Three good goals, all well taken and a superb comeback!

My ratings -

Guzan. 8. Kept us in the match

Shorey. 6. Still unsure and looks uncomfortable on the ball.

Davies. 6. He looked good against Malaga, not so tonight!

Cuellar. 8. Did everything expected of him - great stuff.

Lichaj. 6.5. Shaky start but did well against a tricky LM.

Young. 7.5. Got into the game as it progressed - great header!

Sidwell. 6. Absent for long periods of the game - silly fouls too.

NRC. 8. What an engine! Commited and energetic!

Albrighton. 8.5 (MOTM) Changed the game, brilliant!

Carew. 7. Took his goal well, made himself available always.

Heskey. 6. 2nd touch was always a tackle...


Lowry. 6. Didn't have much to do

Osbourne. 7. Played very well and broke up the midfield.

Weimann. 6.5. Did well with little time and on his own.

Herd. 6. Didn't have much time.

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There was a lovely moment near the end when we were playing out time. Right under Robertson's nose Albrighton rolled a ball down towards the corner flag and the old Forest winger Robertson applauded.

Except on top of that it went to a Villa player.. Reo-Coker, Young and Cuéllar were also very impressive.

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Been out, drove home in time for a 9.30 KO and it's all **** over :-(

Although as I watched the previous game, maybe we do better when I'm not involved (ala the cricket thread)

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well i watched the first 30 minutes and we was dreadful and since then seems we improved!

davies looked woeful today i must say from waht i saw. and stans injury looked bad. NRC really looked good today i still stand we should keep hima nd now with stan injured there is no way we should let him go

glad we are through, who we got real madrid? that would be fantastic

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The only thing I know about Atlante is that they beat a decent Malaga 3-1 so based on that I'd say we did pretty well tonight given that we had a number of players missing and ended the game with half the team consisting of youngsters.

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a handful of very good performances got us through tonight, because most of the team and so called senior players were poor.

the good:

guzan- very vocal and made the saves when he had to. i like that he makes the save then gets up and bollocks the defence for him having to make it! good on crosses and commanded his area well

cuellar- lots of good tackles and timely interceptions and was happy to have the ball and keep it on the deck. hes got to be careful in the prem though because some of them he plays are very tight!

NRC- really drove the team forwards,was winning the ball and then moving us on. he looked much better on the ball than he did last season and showed some nice control and skill at times. his passing was also very good. still the odd crap one but most of them found their target and some were very nice incisive balls.

Albrighton- excellent. a well taken goal and assist. good pace, and great crossing. if you whip a ball in across the face of goal about 8 yards out you are always gonna cause trouble, and he can do that going at full speed down the line. none of this float it in rubbish. no need for bently we got a backup and potential challenge to jimmy down the right

decent- young, carew and lichaj. ash and john were way below par, but both scored which is what mattered. eric did ok, decent pace and good on the ball. just needs to learn when to commit and when to go with the man, but that will come with experience. i think hes got a chance if he can still show improvement over the next year.

not so good- the so called senior players like davies, shorey, sidwell and heskey who were put to shame by some of the youngsters. davies really needs to get his act together because he does have the ability to be a very very good centre back. sidwell came alive a bit more in the second half but was still mostly a passenger as was heskey. shorey keeps the ball on the deck well but is poor defensively.

a massive improvement is still needed though, because against a prem team we would have been 3 or 4 down by HT. 1st half the passing was awful, we just didnt keep the ball well enough at all. the problem is in the midfield, because if they cant control the ball the defence gets to much pressure on it and the strikers have no service.

id be happy for NRC to start the season there, because his pace and tackling we need, especially in a 442. his control and passing has also been better this pre season. sidwell should only be a squad player, and only then in 451 because he goes missing to often. with petrov likely to be out while it is imperitive we get another quality CM. and if we get the right one it will really help out things at either end of the pitch.

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Extremely impressed with Albrighton, he just needs to learn to hold the ball better, and maintain some composure at times. Hopefully, that'll come with age. Looks a cracking player.

Thought Guzan did well; wasn't so sure about the defence, though. Davies didn't look too composed and I'm still undecided on Cuellar. I think we definitely need a big, commanding presence to replace Laursen and play alongside either of these two (probably Cuellar on form). Didn't think Lichaj looked good enough for the first team at all - I'd be very worried to see him playing in the PL, but hopefully that won't be the case.

Sidwell often seemed to disappear in midfield as usual, although I think his contributions often go unnoticed. I'd still rather see him replaced by a creative attacking midfielder with a lot of flair. NRC did well at breaking up play, much better than Petrov in such a role, but he can't pass anywhere near as well.

Carew was alright, but as usual I wasn't impressed with Heskey. I think we need another striker, and I'd love to see someone like Tuncay come in, who could play the AM role or up front off Carew (or Gabby, as I think he's effective as a holding striker and him and Tuncay up front would see us playing a lot more football on the ground).

In general, we turned the game around well. Looking forward to the semi finals!

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Guzan - Excellent though should have caught the ball instead of punching (only 1 occurance)

Really impressed with Albrighton's attitude, gave 100%. Not close to being a starter yet but signs are very promising, needs more experience at the highest level. This cup will give him a big boost.

Lichaj - Needs to improve his positioning, esspecially when closing players done a few times he was on the wrong side of the player who got away. But he is still very young and will improve

Shorey - Solid resource but thats it unfortuantly, hoping Bouma is back sooner rather than later.

Reo-Coker - Had a very good game, broke up countless attacks

Davies - Lacks confidence.

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