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brought about by zapsta hating gylfi sigurdsson so much.
Fabio Borini is essentially a younger Dirk Kuyt. Great work rate but little or no skill and no consistent goal threat. Would have preferred it if we'd kept Dirkules personally.
Oussama Assaidi looked alright against Young Boys, but Rodgers clearly doesn't have enough faith to actually start him if he's persevering with Borini.
Joe Allen has been our best player by absolute miles so far this season. I wasn't a huge believer in the whole "Rodgers style" thing until I saw just how differently Joe Allen played compared to the rest of the team. His workrate, tackling and closing down are all phenomenal but his use of the ball is better than any of our midfielders since Xabi Alonso. His range of passing and decision making is brilliant. An excellent, excellent purchase.
Samed Yesil hasn't played yet but he looks a lot (A LOT) like Mesut Ozil. This is a straw I'll be clutching with both hands.
Nuri Sahin looked a bit crap against Arsenal but slightly less crap against Young Boys.
re: your Allen comments.
I think he's looked very, very, very poor.
Joe Allen on the other hand has looked fantastic. Not sure how much of a `RODGERS PHILOSOPHY` buy thing it is because, erm, he's basically your archetypal `complete` midfielder (of which there are many knocking about)... But, sure, he's looked fantastic so far. Not sure how him and Lucas are going to play together yet but Rodgers clearly has something in mind...
Anita - DM/RB - adequate, looked a little weak as a defensive midfielder but a lot better filling in at right back.
Elliot - back up keeper - does the job, some would argue he should be ahead of Harper as Krul's understudy but they're about even really.
Bigirimana - DM - very good, at 18 and intended as a signing for the future he's had to step in and fill Tiote's spot and he's coped well. Arguably man of the match in the Europa League game on Thursday.
Amalfitano - CM - again signed as one for the future but having to get perform with the first team in Europe and from the bench. He's looked better in the slower paced European games than the more physical Premier League ones but some decent touches means he should come good before too long.
I've been really impressed with Bigirimana and I think Amalfitano will be excellent given bedding in time.
Anita was only really signed as cover anyway, wasn't he?
good additions - rhys mccabe, chris kirkland, michail antonio
promising starts - kieran lee, rodri
jury's out - nejc pecnik, chris mcguire, anthony gardner, danny mayor, paul corry
utter shitrot - jay bothroyd, joe mattock, martin taylor
left two months after signing, making us a small profit - diogo amado
Podolski didn't have his best game today, just by virtue of the fact that we were playing city, but has been our second best player i'd say. I hadn't realised from watching him before what a technically good footballer he is. The fact that both cazorla and podolski can receive the ball from each other under pressure and each can know that they're likely to receive the ball back, or for the play to continue isn't something we had at all last season and has been vital to the quality of our play so far.
Giroud hasn't started as well but we haven't needed him to, and i think it's naturally gonna be harder for a striker to come in, given that he'll generally be far less involved in the play than a mid or winger or whatever. I'm not too worried about him.
Dixon - Good solid left back. Got a decent delivery on him too.
Lynch - Beast of a centre back. Really impressive. Got sent off in our last game for a rash tackle.
Gerrard - Not had chance to feature due to Lynch's good form. Will find out in the next 3.
Southern - Tough tackling midfielder, looked a bit off the pace in our first couple, but has shone recently, allowing our other 2 midfield signings to push forward.
Norwood/Clayton - Forming a good midfield partnership with Southern behind them. Both in the goals, look composed on the ball, can pick a pass and good in the tackle (Clayton especially). Very impressive.
Scannell - Has impressed in patches on the wing, really impressive against Cardiff, but picked up an injury.
Vaughan - Full of running up front, pace to burn, and if he stays fit should net a good few this season.
Hammill - Only played a couple since joining on loan, but has a bag of tricks, is direct, and scares the life out of full backs.
Yep, I'm happy with all our signings so far.
van persie has 5 in 5 so it would be unfair to moan too much... he has been very much on the periphery of the games in which we've played poorly though. i'm sure he'll kick on if the side's form picks up but i was expecting more in the buildup to be honest. still by far the best finisher we've had at the club since rvn.
buttner is clearly a world beater, very few get the better of emerson boyce so consistently. did look good though.
powell is quite handsome
kagawa looks very impressive but not the sort of player to dictate tempo or really run a game, i was probably deceived a bit by this talk of him being a number ten, riquelme is a number ten... kagawa seems more of a slinky, linky guy right now. at dortmund he looked much more central to their play so maybe he'll grow into it.
and this season they're pretty much ALL new players. We're doing loads better than last season though, so they must be settling in alright. Bit inconsistent at the moment (lost to Crawley at home, then battered Hartlepool, then lost to Walsall away), so might still need a bit more time to gel.
Seem to have got ourselves a couple of decent goalscorers in Sodje and Beavon, so they at least soften the blow of Hume leaving and Mellor retiring. Nicky Wroe's got a few in from midfield too.
Fairly optimistic about our chances this season, despite Westley being absolutely mental, but just need to find a bit more consistency and hope the gap between us and the others near the top doesn't get any bigger than it is.
good luck getting a run of games out of him with that injury record!
when he's on form he's near unplayable though, so if he's over the worst he'll be very good for league one.
Didn't know he'd had injury problems. Been on the bench for the last couple of games, but I think that's probably due to Westley dropping him for 15 minutes of not playing well, rather than a niggle. Hope he stays fit.
scott barron - signed from millwall, left back, pretty sure we only signed him as we wanted to sign jake bidwell on loan but weren't getting anywhere with that. bit rubbish, not even on the bench because of the next signing
jake bidwell - left back on loan from Everton. good coming forward, decent defensively, really like him. hope we sign him permanently as I doubt he's good enough to get into everton's first team, what with baines being in the way.
tony craig - centre back from millwall. rubbish. was happy to give him a chance as he played left back most of last season apparently but nah, rubbish.
harlee dean - centra back from Southampton. really good, strong, good in the air, good on the ball. will go on to play for a better team than brentford in the future.
Adam forshaw - midfielder on a free from Everton. really good too, excellent on the ball, has good vision and popped up with a goal on Saturday. has some abdominal injury though so seems to get subbed off at 70 mins every match.
farid el alagui - didn't expect much from falkirk's top scorer from last season, but he's good in the air, decent finisher and has lots of energy so is good enough for me
Tom adeyemi - midfielder on loan from Norwich. don't rate him so far, but he's only had a couple of games so will see how he gets on.
Stuart Dallas - winger. no idea as I don't think he's played any matches.
Ryan fredericks - on loan from spurs I think, right winger I think. played on Saturday, lots of pace, beat people and had a good shot saved. promising.
Paul Hayes - striker signed from Charlton. got off to a good start by missing a penalty about a minute after coming on for his debut, hasn't scored yet, probably going to be on the bench for a bit as Donaldson and el alagui are first choice for now.
so some good, some bad, and some in between. about normal for us.
we had andrew davies on loan last season but i still can't over the fact that we secured him <3333 absolute colossus.
garry jones is the best and most complete midfielder we've had in years.
nathan doyle's looking good in midfield, we had him on loan at left back a few years ago and he was class there too.
zavon hines has shown moments of quality and he's still getting his fitness back.
rory mcardle and james meredith both look solid full backs, apparently meredith's a big threat going forward too but that's not gonna happen much under parkinson.
alan connell isn't gonna score loads i don't think but he offers something different up front, excellent first touch and can hold the ball up better than any of our other strikers.
as you say, doesn't score loads but makes up for that with his general play. was disappointed that we got rid after only one season.
haven't seen much of either yet but both have decent pedigree
Lloris - such an Arsenal player, but I love him already. Much respect to Brad Friedel, but it'll be nice to have a young keeper between the sticks who can be with us for years and years
Dembele - pick of the bunch so far, he's gonna keep getting better, especially once he links up properly with..
Dempsey - who hasn't had enough time yet to prove himself, but he's certainly gonna come good and be a decent replacement for Rafa
Vertonghen - can see him getting sent off quite a bit, but he really does look promising. Shame he hasn't had chance to hook up with Dawson, as I think they'd be great together
Sigurdsson - looked good pre-season, not really sure what's hapepned since then...
Adebayor - jury's still out, but I couldn't care less as long as Defoe keeps banging them in. I love you Jermaine
unless you meant Jenas??
So far, Vertonghen has been very good, looks really comfortable on the ball, him and Caulker/Kaboul could be very tidy together.
Dembele looks great, big fan already.
Haven't seen enough of Dempsey yet, but was alright against Lazio with the offside goal, hopefully he'll chip in with a few goals.
Sigurdsson looked alright against Reading, put in Lennon for JD's first so i'm not writing him off yet as he can clearly pick a pass and shoot, but yeah not a great start by any means.
I have to disagree, sorry. He looked poor in pre-season and has continued to look poor since. No movement, easily pushed off the ball and almost invariably wants too much time to decide what he's going to do next. Not a great combination. That pass against Reading was almost literally the one worthwhile thing he's done in 6 games.
such an Arsenal player?
I know we were rumoured to be in for him and I'm definitely jealous you've got him. Does seem like you've bought him a year too early, but then again maybe he's the reason Friedel's looking so sharp and motivated.
Doumbia is an absolute boss in midfield.
Pezko looks positive and is very enthusiastic and energetic, if nothing else.
Sako has a decent shot on him.
Sigurdarsson has looked a bit poor though, got his first goal yesterday, so maybe that will spur him on. He looks like Richard Stearman, also.
Mirallas is outstanding
Naismith looks OK, hasn't had that many minutes
Oviedo has only made one appearance
Pienaar is a diety
Hazard- Brilliant start. Couldnt ask for much more. Has been involved in most of our goals and good play this season. Prefer him in the number 10 role to the wing, which could be problematic with Oscar's emergence.
Oscar- Has been excellent when given the opportunity. The goal against Juventus was probably the best I've ever seen live. Has good shooting accuracy and makes chances for himself and others. I can see him scoring a lot of goals for us and possibly replacing Lampard.
Moses- Hasn't played much, but his two sub appearances so far have been superb. Changed the game gainst both Stoke and QPR- although we count win the latter. Can see him being an important player for us this year, particularly against more physical teams.
Azpilicueta + Marin haven't played yet due to match fitness/ injury, although Marin looked promising in preseason. Very direct running and dribbling- reminded me a little of Robben. Hopefully Azpi will get a game soon as Ivanovic has begun the season like he's on coke.
Same opinions as above, but perhaps a little more skeptical/cynical at this point. Very early days.
Hazard has really impressed me. I'm wary of bright young things in lesser watched leagues but his work rate has been tremendous and he looks willing to get stuck in. The same thing has pleased me most about Oscar- sure, he's ridiculously good on the ball but it's been his stamina and willingness to press I've been most impressed by. And Moses has offered real direction in his two short cameos.
BUT we're five games into the season and I'm not mental, so I won't be proclaiming any of them the best thing since sliced bread just yet. I still have my concerns- I know more about what we lost this summer than what we gained.
Sam Baldock - looks like the striker we desperately needed. Brilliant start.
Stephen Davis - not had much gametime but scored on Saturday and has generally shown nice touches.
Greg Cunningham - looked brilliant for the first few games but now sadly out for a while with a ligament injury.
Mark Wilson - done okay but seems injured more often than he's fit.
Paul Anderson - yet to play
Jody Morris - yet to play
His injury problems blighted most of his Celtic career but when he put together a good run of games two seasons back he was indispensable and always one of our most committed players. And the time he utterly spangled Sasa Papac before scuffing home a magnificent winner in one of the ugliest derbies of the last few years was transcendent:
Rodwell- Has made several high profile errors but has perhaps been a bit unlucky with that because otherwise he's been good- great work rate and passing ability generally. Still remain to be convinced he can go on to feature for us regularly.
Maicon- No doubting the guy's general level of ability but I've seen concrete pillars which were more mobile. If he gets games in the league I can see a number of wingers and full backs having him for breakfast. I don't understand his purchase at all except if the context is Richards' injury is more serious than it has been given out to be. The fact we got a right back in instead of a left back makes me despair, if Clichy gets put out for any length of time we really are fucked on that side.
Nastasic- Says a lot about Mancini's selection policy so far this season that I've only seen him against Real Madrid away. Where he did as well as he could be expected to, barring one fluffed backpass. The next Stevan etc.
Sinclair- Guy just isn't top four quality. He was decent but not a stand out at Swansea last season, so what we've bought him on the strength of, aside from filling the obligatory disappointing English winger niche, I'm still searching for an answer to. From what I've seen of him so far he tries hard but loses the ball with wearying ease.
Wright- Triffic player. He's 40 miles closer to home, he's appy, he's playing is football, top class.
Garcia- Has looked distinctly lightweight so far and has been unable to strike up a meaningful partnership with Yaya. Has had one or two good touches which suggest he could do the business for us on one level or another- though whether that business is De Jong shaped business remains to be seen, will need some hard training in the art of the leg breaker first for sure. Many of our problems this season have come from neither he nor Rodwell adequately filling the midfield enforcer role, allowing teams to break on us with real ease. Has a great header on him though, which is an unexpected bonus.
Matt Mills - Plays like someone stuck a rocket under the arse of Frankenstein's monster. Big and tough, wouldn't ask him to lead a defence though.
Benik Afobe - Alright from what I've seen of him, offers pace, but can lose the ball to much. Still, he's behind the immovable pair of Ngog and Davies, so will probs see no game time
Jay Spearing - cracking player. We've yearned for someone who can tackle in midfield, win the ball back and pass it since Muamba retired and Holden got injured. He's that guy.
Andrews - Pretty much the definition of journeyman. Chugs along without doing much. Glad he's got Spearing next to him.
Lonegran - superb benchwarming.
Improving all the time
Green - seems a massive error in hindsight. Has made a holwer in every game he's played for us.
Cesar - Still can't believe he actually plays for us. Calm and composed and has made some top saves
Bosingwa - Bit early to judge. Doesn't seem massively arsed tbh
Nelsen - has been absolutely brilliant for us so far. Has become a bit of trope *if only he was 10 years younger* Marked Torres out of the game against Chelsea
Diakite - obvs was on loan before. Got high hopes but he's had a tough time personally so hasn't played much
Granero - El Pirata has been brilliant so far. Joyous to watch and has struck a great partnership with Faurlin who it's also been great to see back from a long serious injury
Hoilett - Been good but not amazing. lacking a bit of final product right now
Johnson - really dislike the guy but massively impressed me against City and Chelsea. Then promptly got injured and out for the season
Mbia - hasn't played yet due to injury on intl duty
Park - gotten better with every game. Looked at sea in the middle, but has been great out wide. Also achieved massive props by blanking Terry
Fabio - has less positional discipline than Gerrard. Decent enough when he sticks down the left, but seems incapable of doing so. Keeps popping up at like number 10 or the right wing, which isn't a bad thing, it's just it tends to happen when the oppo are breaking down his subsequently undefended flank. Has gotten injured which I hear is his *thing* he likes to do a lot
Michael Bostwick - Looks like a massive donkey. He reminds me of the time my mum tried to reverse my dad's work van on to the drive he's that slow and negative. Apparently he cost us nearly a million quid as well. The mind boggles.
Nat Knight-Percival - A pretty average league 2 centre half. Obviously a bit out of his depth in the championship.
Nat Mendez-Laing - Has ran with the ball and passed to a teammate. That probably makes him our player of the season.
Danny Swanson - Seemed exciting before he signed, now it just looks like he's always going to be injured.
Bobby Olejnik - Seems like he's absolutely batshit. Screaming at centr-halfs, storming out of his goal at any opportunity. Plus he's got to be better than Joe Lewis.
Jonson Clarke-Harris - Not even getting on the bench.
That's it. How depressing. Our policy of trying to sign players with double-barrelled surnames clearly isn't working.
Or just way out of his depth at that level?
I'm sure you'll sign Matthew Barnes-Homer from Macclesfield soon, maybe Craig Braham-Barratt as well.
He looked pretty decent last year, but has looked like a little lost boy this season (although to be fair, almost our whole team has).
I think, from the way Ferguson has talked in post-match conferences etc, that he's got some issues with Brisley's attitude as well.
Peter Ramage (Centre Back/Right Back. Free Transfer, previously QPR).
We had him on loan for the first half of last season, before going on loan to Birmingham for the second half, before we signed him on a free in the summer. I cannot really doubt his commitment at all and he defintely gives 100%. But I don’t think he is good enough. I think we signed him due to losing our entire defence over the summer, but we now have better options. He was at fault for us going 2-0 down early on against Cardiff at the weekend, he went off shortly after and improved dramatically. He will be a good backup player though. 6/10
Damien Delaney (Centre Back. Free Transfer , previously at Ipswich) - An absolute rock and a leader. Before we signed him we had lost our first three games, and we looked like dead certs for relegation. Since he has come in we look a lot more organised and have played 4, won 3 and drawn 1. 9/10
Darcy Blake (Right Back/Centre Back. Undislosed Fee, Cardiff). Another reason why we have improved and gone 4 unbeaten. He has been playing right back and seems solid enough, but I was very impressed when he was moved to Centre back when Ramage went off at the weekend. I think Centre Back is his preferred position. 8/10.
Yannick Bolasie (Left/Right Wing, Undisclosed , from Bristol City) – A fantastic signing, works hard and we takes a lot of the pressure off Wilfried Zaha who previously would have three defenders on him. Rapidly turning into a fans favourite. Shooting can be wayward, but he works hard and gives us an attacking threat. Him and Zaha constantly swapping sides seems to scare the Championship defences. 9/10
Joel Ward (Right Back, £400k, Portsmouth) - A very shaky start, but he was chucked into a make shift defence. He has since looked really good with a more solid defence. 8/10
Aaron Martin (season loan, Southampton) Very shaky start and looked totally out of his depth in the first few games. Now dropped and I can’t see him getting anywhere near the team. I imagine we will terminate his loan early and send him back to Southampton so he can gain experience on loan elsewhere in League One. 3/10
Andre Moritz (Free, Attacking Midfield/Forward. Mersin ?dmanyurdu)
A few subs appearances, and you could see he had great touch and footballing brain. He started at the weekend, and in the second half was running the game and looked special. For now 7/10
Aaron Wilbraham (Free, Centre Forward, Norwich City)
A few games early on but he looked very immobile and didn’t seem to offer much. However, with Zaha and Bolasie on the wings he may be better. But with Murray in form and Goodwillie on loan I can’t see him featuring too much. Jury’s out. 5/10
David Goodwillie (loan, Centre Forward, Blackburn).
Not really featured, one sub appearance I think. He looks really unfit but seemed to be trying hard. I imagine he will start to feature properly in a few weeks. 5/10
Danny Gabbidon (free, Centre Back, QPR).
Only signed last week and not yet featured, so no comment. However, having McCarthy, Delaney, Gabbidon, Ramage and Black as centre back options we know look to have very strong options at the centre back