Welcome to POTG, or Player(s) Of The Game, where you rate the team after a League/Cup game and decide who the POTG is, and more. Today we look at our 4-0 Loss against Manchester United.
If you want to see a far more well researched and detailed analysis of each game, with lots of statistics and data to back it up, I highly recommend taking a look at Mithrandir's data blog articles he has started up. These articles are much more opinionated and gives the fans a chance to rate the players themselves, so everyone has a voice.
How the ratings work:
8: Very Good
3: Very Poor
1: Bob Bradley
Paul Clement: 6.26
Clement had a change of tactics from pre season and the Southampton match, instead of the usual four at the back formation he opted to go for a 3 at the back (despite changing to a 442 in the last ten minutes) and it overall kept United out of the game for the most part, with 76% of people surveyed saying the formation worked.
However, Clement was not without fault as 92 per cent of people saying that none of the substitutions worked, with comments such as 'The change of formation was wrong. The flat 4-4-2 left our midfield exposed and it showed. The 4-2-3-1 would have been the better choice. Taking off Mesa was an enormous mistake.' And 'Substitutes didn't work because they didn't stand a chance in the 4-4-2 formation Clement switched to. UTD dominated midfield and we had no pace or width to counter-attack.'
However, most agreed that the issue wasn't in Clements tactics but that it was just down to the players 'Routs and narsingh contributed nothing other than losing possession, both failed to help defensively and were never a threat up front. Mcburnie , no time to make an impact.' and some didn't blame the manager for changing formation saying 'Unfortunately we had to chase the game and when the system changed we became more open However, I don't think you can blame the Manager for being more attack minded at Home.'
Lukasz Fabianski: 6.20
Fabianski was very unlucky on Saturday, conceding four goals none of which were really his fault but due to an influx of chances for the Manchester United's attack at the last couple of minutes. He actually saved the first effort from Pogba and couldn't do anything for the tap in from Eric Bailly a moment later. However it must be noted his distribution throughout the game was shaky at best and at times downright terrible, something that didn't help with the constant United pressure.
Martin Olsson: 6.00
Olsson performed as usual making his runs down the left but was forced to stay back sometimes because of how much the Manc's attacked us from all angles. He did do well but not his best. Definitely a starter for the season though.
Federico Fernandez (C): 6.73 (POTG)
Fernandez was his usual, consistent self and was one of our better players against Manchester United and didn't really let the team down against possible Premier League title contenders. There was one moment where he almost gave away a penalty in the first half but apart from that, he served his duty as captain well and has definitely sealed in that centerback position in my book.
Alfie Mawson: 5.66
Mawson was our worst center back in the back 3 in a game where he made a few errors leading to different goalscoring opportunities. Despite this he is an obvious first team player but does need to step his his game next match against Crystal Palace.
Kyle Bartley: 6.60
Bartley performed above expectation in his first real test since joining back from being on loan at Leeds in the championship. It seems that most people expected him to leave after coming back however he received a new contract and now is doing well in the first team, starting almost all games in pre season and coming off the bench against Southampton. If we continue with the three at the back then Bartley has to join Fede and Mawson as he definitely deserves his space in my opinion.
Kyle Naughton: 5.66
Naughton was given the same rating as Mawson in an average performance for the right back. He didn't do badly but we could do a lot better with a RB and I feel Arias, a full back we have been linked with for 12 million, would do twice as well in the 3ATB formation. Kyle just doesnt have the pace to keep up with the formation imo.
Roque Mesa: 6.46
Mesa started in Britton's position and filled his boots well, managing to keep down Manchester United's attack only falling for a set piece in the dying moments of the first half. He was substituted after receiving a knock and that is when we started falling apart, conceding 3 in 3 minutes. I think the rating is a bit harsh for the Spaniard who, pending on Leon's status, should easily start against Palace.
Leroy Fer: 5.46
Fer is always either in hot or cold form, and sadly against United he was cold in a sub-par performance for the Dutch international. The change in formation to a 442 did not suit him at all and ended up making him perform worse. Hopefully he can return back to form or otherwise be replaced by the potentially arriving soon Samuel Clucas.
Tom Carroll: 5.86
Tom was kept quiet by a tough United midfield. He was relatively lacking in creativity despite sending away Ayew for our first chance at goal and his set pieces were definitely lacking and not up to the standard that he set against Sampadoria. We all know he can do better so I think he should be kept on set piece duty, but one of the players who needs to up his game. Like Fer, he did not suit a 442 formation at all.
Jordan Ayew: 6.06
Ayew, despite giving the ball away a lot during the game, worked hard all match and was so close to scoring against De Gea when he did a clever outside-foot chip and it hit the crossbar almost glancing in off Abraham on the rebound. He did tireless running and definitely starts next game (depending on transfers).
Tammy Abraham: 5.40
Kevin Oghenetega Tamaraebi Bakumo-Abraham (try pronouncing that one in one go) was disappointing against Manchester United. He had a free header in the second half that went high over the crossbar and didn't find his place in a game where to be fair there were limited opportunities. He should start against CP but needs to get a goal sooner rather than later.
Wayne Routledge: 3.87
Our worst performer by far. Routledge has clearly past his prime now and better players need to replace him as soon as possible. He just isn't premier league level anymore, sadly. Even Chadli would be better.
Luciano Narsingh: 4.25
Narsingh has a poor game, not doing much if at all since coming on in the 67th minute. I think he is good enough he just needs to prove himself more as he is our best winger at the moment.
Oliver McBurnie: 4.06
McBurnie only had about a 9 minute run out against one of the best teams in England but he could've done better in the short appearance he had. We need Llorente back, hopefully by next week.
Overall Team Performance: 5.64
A below average performance is to be expected against a top club. Still, we could've done better. The scoreline definitely flattered the visitors however. Hopefully we can do better against another bottom to mid table club in Crystal Palace where 44% expect a win, 31% A draw and 25% expect a loss.
Opposition Performance: 7.23
A good performance from the away club who have won two matches on the bounce now and look towards aiming for the top. Their bench is worth more than our entire team combined so the result is to be expected.
Match Officials Performance: 6.47
A decent performance from referee Jonathan Moss, despite letting Pogba stay on which 41% of Swans fans think he should have received a second yellow.
Paul Clement Average: 5.11
Top 5 Performers this season:
1. Lukasz Fabianski 6.62
2. Roque Mesa 6.46
3. Federico Fernandez 6.33
4. Alfie Mawson 5.95
5. Martin Olsson 5.76
Top 5 Worst Performers this season:
1. Wayne Routledge: 3.49
2. Oliver McBurnie: 3.85
3. Jay Fulton: 4.12
4. Luciano Narsingh: 4.25
5. Leon Britton: 5.12
Best Performance this season: 0-4 against Manchester United (5.64)
Worst Performance this season: 0-0 against Southampton (5.38)
Best Performance in a match: Lukasz Fabianski vs Southampton (7.04)
Worst Performance in a match: Wayne Routledge vs Southampton (3.12)
Thank you very much to everyone who voted!! It helps this series a lot and I appreciate you taking a minute to fill it out, it means a lot.
All criticism is appreciated!