F365's England v Ukraine Player Ratings...

Boy, that was bad. Oddly, the area of the team we were most concerned about turned out to be the best for England, but that isn't saying a great deal...

Last Updated: 11/09/13 at 10:22 Post Comment

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Joe Hart
Improved as the game went on. Was very lucky to avoid conceding a penalty in the opening minutes, and the indecision that has plagued his game in recent times was evident in the first half. However, while he didn't actually have much to do after the break (Ukraine only had one shot on target), those tasks he did have he carried out well, with a couple of fairly solid punches. This isn't to say his problems are solved, but a clean sheet never hurt any keeper.


Kyle Walker
Jeez. I had 'disaster zone' written in my notes. F365 editor Sarah Winterburn commented he was an 'accident waiting to happen'. A quick review would be 'rotten', but in the interests of further analysis he was caught out of position far too often, was incredibly lucky not to concede a penalty and was toothless when he attacked, usually his saving grace. It was just a surprise that Ukraine didn't direct all their attacks down their left and the threatening Yevheniy Konoplyanka, for they surely would have forced the Tottenham man into a fatal error at some point. Glen Johnson, all is forgiven.


Ashley Cole
Flirted with calamity after being caught out of position early on, but was generally very good, as one has come to expect from Cole. Kept Andriy Yarmolenko relatively quiet, which would have been his priority at the start of the game.


Phil Jagielka
Very good indeed. Jagielka has often looked out of his depth at international level, but while he didn't exactly have the greatest attacking threat to deal with, the Everton man was very solid, bailing England out of a couple of tight spots.


Gary Cahill
Excellent. Man of the match, although perhaps he didn't have the greatest competition. Should be given added credit because he was the right-sided centre-back, and thus had to mop up Walker's errors on a few occasions. Central defence was probably the area of most concern before this game, but it turned out to be the strongest in Kiev. Weird.


Steven Gerrard
Ah, well, erm, not so good. In some ways it's unfair to criticise the midfield three individually because they were all bad, but a couple of reasonable set-piece deliveries aside, Gerrard was very poor.


Frank Lampard
Likewise. Seemed very hesitant in possession, something one doesn't expect from a man winning his 100th cap. If he had managed to guide that header into the net in the final minute, the previous 90 minutes of mediocrity would have been glossed over, and the headlines in your morning papers would have hailed Super Frank. The introduction of Michael Carrick at half-time in place of Lampard (although it would've been a three-way toss-up, if such a thing is possible, to decide who was withdrawn), when it was clear that England were struggling to retain possession, would have been the smart move on Roy Hodgson's part. This was one of those games when a man's reputation grew when he wasn't on the pitch.


Jack Wilshere
Wilshere played like a man who felt obliged to play neat flicks and tricks without having much idea of why. A spluttering performance in a spluttering game, Wilshere seemingly couldn't find the key pass he was looking for. Or any pass, for that matter.


James Milner
Probably the best of the midfielders, but that's like saying the punch that only bruises your nose rather than shattering your cheekbone or cracking your jaw is the best blow to the mush you took in a fight outside a pub. Milner ran a bit as he always does and produced one or two neat balls, but overall he was ineffectual, even when moved to his best position in the middle of the park.


Theo Walcott
There was extra emphasis on Walcott to provide some attacking threat given the absent forward options, and he started pretty well, seemingly signalling a tough night ahead for the 34-year-old Viacheslav Shevchuk. However, an early run in behind the Ukraine left-back was about as good as it got, with lots of the old Theo surfacing - that is to say, plenty of rapid running, but with little idea of what to do with the ball when he got it.


Rickie Lambert
Held the ball up reasonably well, but on too many occasions Lambert was halfway through a 'clever' lay-off before properly controlling the ball, meaning neither skill was executed. It was like he was on a mission to prove that he does have a good touch for a big man, you know. Still, given how isolated Lambert was, it's difficult to be too critical.

SUBS

Ashley Young
Doesn't exactly get the jucies flowing when he warms up, does it? Bringing a player of Young's type was actually a decent move by Hodgson, it's just a shame it was Young. He was, of course, pretty anonymous in his 23 minutes.


Tom Cleverley
Roy just couldn't help himself, could he?

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