Analysis Opinion Insight

Thursday, July 19, 2012

AmaZulu vs. Manchester United: Player Ratings

Before we begin analysing the players, it is necessary to put this match into context. AmaZulu is an 80 year old club and one of the oldest in South Africa. The quality of their players and their style of football is obviously different and not as competitive as we would see from different clubs in Europe. Also this is a pre season tour, therefore some players may knowingly not play to their absolute best potential. There was an interesting mix of youth and experience in the squad with younger players inserted in all areas of the pitch. And it was the first time I watched the match via MUTV and it was fascinating and pretty biased to be honest. These friendly matches are meant to give younger players a chance to prove themselves to the team and secure a first team position during the regular season.

Lindegaard(GK) - 7.0 - the Dane didn't see any plying time at the Euros but he was kept moderately busy in goal. Several attempts on goal by Dlamini did cause some trouble and a fantastic stretched save in the first half. He was pretty assertive from corners. I would have preferred for him to hold on to the ball and not usher it away. He pulled off a couple of great saves in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

Veseli(RB) - 6.5 - He made a great choice when he took off the blue of city and made his way to the red half last season. He seemed to be technically adept at the RB position but that position is pretty safe with the likes of Rafael and Phil Jones around. He demanded the ball on many occasions but Brady on the left flank got more attention.

Ferdinand(CB) - 7.0 - A solid performance from the skipper. Not much to says except that he set a great example for Wootton. Now he should just concentrate on staying off twitter and concentrating on his game a bit more.

Wootton(CB) - 7.0 - Another youngster infused by Fergie, Wootton was very solid in his game and held on to possession quite well. He has ways to go before being selected for any of the important matches in the season but definitely a go to option.

Brady(LB) - 7.0 - Robbie Brady is someone I've had a look at before via FIFA12 stats. He is definitely a boy with great potential but not a LB and definitely not a replacement to Evra. The reason Evra is being 'replaced' is because he looks shaky in defence and clearly Brady is a winger and I see him as more as a heir to Ashley Young on the left flank. He gets into attacking positions very well and would do well in the future.

Carrick(RM) - 7.0 - Michael Carrick continued his superb form with another outstanding show. His pass completion rate, vision and ball possession were brilliant and comparable to that of the ageing Scholes. With Scholes, Carrick was the backbone of Manchester United enabling youngster Jesse Lingard to play supremely well. I was surprised that a player of such high calibre not being selected for the England Euro 2012 squad. Michael Carrick is our unsung hero and I have no doubt in my mind that Carrick will get the most playing time in the upcoming season.

Scholes(CM) - 7.0 - Scholes played fascinating football at the Moses Madiba Stadium and received a warm standing ovation when he was substituted. Very much like Carrick, Scholes had a great influence in the centre and I expect him to form a formidable partnership with Carrick in this season.

Lingard(LM) - 7.5 - I have a soft spot for promising talent and Jesse Lingard was fantastic tonight. He performed exceedingly well with his through balls, chips and angle cutting passes. He was truly playing as a CAM today and his pace is devastating. He had a chance to score but it wasn't meant to be. Overall, I thought Lingard was the young player of the evening.

Berbatov(CF) - 9.0 - This is a review I am excited to write because I have so much to say about Dimitar Berbatov. I lived in Bulgaria for a few years and bulgarians have always had a soft spot in my heart. Berbatov was excellent tonight with one assist and one venomous volley on goal that would have/ should have been a goal. His tactical and intelligent approach to the game made him a menace throughout. I hope SAF had a good look at Berbatov and realised that Berbatov is deadly when given opportunity. His position to play behind Kiko and Chicarito looked to be made for him and his array of abilities. He was the most efficient player on the pitch. Now, I don't know whether he played as well as he did today to make a point to SAF or to potential suitors but all I can say is that Berbatov still has strength in his legs. I would hate to see him leave Old Trafford. My advice would be to keep him and play him frequently. He is definitely someone who doesn't miss much. The player of the match for me.

Macheda(ST) - 8.0 - The Italian needs to show all his skill and power in the pre season for any realistic chance of making it to the first team. Kiko had a great game as he had the winning goal. I am sure he is proud of that but on top of that he also had a few missed opportunities that could be costly. He started off brightly last season as well with 2 goals in Boston. I certainly hope history doesn't repeat itself.

Chicharito(ST) - 4.0 - I hated this player throughout the match. He was wasteful of his opportunities and was shuffling everywhere around the pitch. Mainly known for his poaching capabilities inside the box, Chicharito could have easily added a few more goals tonight but was stupid not to. He strayed offsides quite a few times that really got on my nerves. If only Chicharito were to show more reliability then SAF could rest easy and not worry about brining in addition strike force.

Blackett, Anderson, Tunicliffe, Petrucci - 6.5 - These guys got a fair amount of playing time. In that time, Tunicliffe looked ugly and stiff. Blackett looked good but needs better ball control. Anderson will hopefully start next game. He needs to make a point this season or he will probably leave. Petrucci, the captain of the reserves, had a great shot on goal and nearly went in. I think the lad should be given a chance, now that the likes of Morrison and Pogba are gone.

Kagawa - NA - He only played 6 minutes but was the most anticipated 87th minute substitute. His first pass was an offside pass to Berbatov. He looked calm and confident on the ball and hopefully we see some goals from Shinji.

NEXT MATCH - vs Ajax Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa on 21st July 2012 By Ananya Behera


  1. goodbstart ananya. welcome to unitedjournal looking forward to reading more of ur opinions

  2. how good was veseli coming forward? compared to rafael? i assume his defensive positioning is a bit better? i think robbie brady will compete really well with fabio to be the next starting left back. as for smalling and jones :i think they have to stop playing as right backs and def. mids and start to really improve their play as centre backs to eventually start ahead of rio and vidic