The F365 England v Ukraine Player Ratings

We should probably just get used to the Lampard and Gerrard partnership, because they ain't going anywhere in a hurry. Plus, a biscuit and a tap on the nose for a hound...

Last Updated: 12/09/12 at 09:36 Post Comment

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Joe Hart
Obviously, it would've required Hart to slow time, Matrix-style in order to lay a hand on Ukraine's goal, but this game highlighted once again the problem with England's only international keeper worthy of the name. He flaps a lot, you see. Flaps more than one would like for an international goalkeeper. And on the few occasions he doesn't flap, it's because he stays on his line, as he did on a number of occasions against Ukraine when a more commanding presence might have been nice. Still, be safe, make sure your chicken is cooked through, avoid hi-octane sports etc, Joe - England needs you to stay healthy.


Glen Johnson
Threatening going forwards, left gaps at the back, blah blah same old oh god don't make me write it again. So, standard stuff, in summary.


Leighton Baines
More secure in a defensive capacity than his colleague on the other side (although in fairness he didn't have the excellent and threatening Yehven Konoplyanka to deal with), and showed a couple of reasonable touches in attack. As ever, a solid enough back-up to Ashley Cole.


Phil Jagielka
Hmmmm. You can see why Roy Hodgson is so keen to have John Terry in his side when the Chelsea man is not there, to the point of ignoring the possible moral quandary of playing a man with a racial abuse hearing hanging over him. Jagielka was a distance from being a certain and reassuring presence at the back, at one point being embarrassingly outstripped by Konoplyanka on the right. Would Gary Cahill not have been a more suitable choice to partner Lescott?


Joleon Lescott
A little shaky too. Perhaps Lescott and Jagielka need a more solid 'senior' central defensive partner next to them in order to perform to a high standard. Jagielka has Sylvain Distin at Everton, while Lescott of course has Vincent Kompany at Manchester City. Neither man seemed keen to lead the defence, and both seemed terrified of bringing the ball out at their feet. Also gave the ball away very carelessly for the Ukraine goal.


Frank Lampard
I have something wrong with my knee. It's not painful, just a little uncomfortable, so it seems pointless to go to a doctor/physiotherapist, therefore I'm used to it - it's not ideal, but I've just accepted it's there, and don't really complain about it. Perhaps we should do the same about the Lampard/Gerrard partnership, because like my slightly dicky knee it doesn't seem to be going anywhere in a hurry, despite them trying to occupy the same areas and very often leaving a whacking great space behind them, exposing the defence. Ukraine actually made their job pretty tough by not allowing room and closing down rapidly when England attacked, but still. Sigh.


Steven Gerrard
See above, but add a few more good passes/opportunities created, a failure to close Konoplyanka down properly for the goal and a daft/tired (delete according to preference/allegiance) lunge to be sent off. Hi-jinks in the stadium too, when Gerrard was announced on the big screens as man of the match, before they realised they couldn't really give such an award to the chap mooching around on the naughty step, and swiftly changed it to Lampard.


Tom Cleverley
Well, 'The Brand' isn't going to be helped by that performance. Ignoring the miss for a second (because it hardly needs pointing out that you'd be forgiven for tarring and feathering him for failing to convert a three-quarter open goal from six yards), Cleverley simply looked off the pace against Ukraine. He looked hurried, even panicked on the ball at times, and was too often bullied by Anatoliy Tymoshchuk. While he won't be the first to be out-muscled by Bayern Munich's wall of blonde hair and sinew, he needs to be stronger and more clinical if he is to play as the attacking point of an England midfield. One suspects that he would be happier in a deeper role, but in this England team that seems unlikely.


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Reasonable performance, but was a tad sloppy in possession on a few occasions. One of those games where he quite often looked threatening, without actually being all that threatening.


James Milner
Milner's value and limitations were perfectly illustrated by a couple of incidents early in the game. In the first five minutes, Johnson went on one of his excursions down the right, leaving a huge amount of space that Ukraine naturally counter-attacked into, only for Milner to chase it down like a particularly tenacious hound. Good doggy, have a biscuit. However, shortly afterwards he found himself in the middle, asked to complete a neat lay-off, and the ball squirted off his foot like he was wearing Toblerone boxes in lieu of boots. Bad doggy, tap on the nose with a newspaper. Actually, Milner had a decent game, and put in a couple of decent crosses that someone less dinky than Jermain Defoe might have gobbled up. Even if you're frustrated by his steady, even stodgy play, he's useful to have around.


Jermain Defoe
I wasn't quite as baffled by the disallowed goal as everyone else. Sure, Andriy Yarmolenko fell to the floor as if walloped with a comedy frying pan, but you really aren't allowed to 'hand-off' potential challengers in football. In rugby, sure, but not football. Other than that, Defoe did reasonably with the scraps he was given. There was one mildly amusing moment late in the game when the ball was humped long towards the 5ft 6 Defoe, and the wee lad only bloody went and won the ball in the air, and set up a reasonably threatening attack. So much for a logical game plan.


SUBSTITUTES

Danny Welbeck
Well, he missed a straightforward chance from six yards (note, Clive Tyldesley - it is not 'unlucky' just because it hit the post - he missed, from six yards out) then committed an utterly outrageous dive that didn't fool the referee. So...not great.


Daniel Sturridge
OK. Didn't make a great impact, but made a few decent runs, although the quality of his final ball was not brilliant. Quite possibly suffering from the virus that laid him low this week too.


Ryan Bertrand
Brought on to provide a little more thrust from deep on the left, which he did, providing the cross that led to England's penalty.

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