MoKo gives us his player ratings for the match against Bolton on the weekend. The ratings have come in a bit late this wee as MoKo only managed to watch the game as a replay thus he was not as tense as usual during his assessment of the play.
REINA : 7 – A rock as usual. Bolton games always require a commanding performance by the keeper for dealing with crosses and set pieces. Pepe did not disappoint.
CARRAGHER: 6.5 – Was a solid performance. Was never put under pressure. Distribution was much improved from last week.
SKRTEL: 6.5 – Roles reversed from last week. Was responsible for sweeping up. Did ok but never excelled.
KYRIAGOS: 8 – Yet another commanding performance from the Soto! Won the aerial duel with Davies in my view. When you lose a tooth in a fixture you know you’ve put in your all.
INSUA: 8 – Superb game on both ends of the park. But his attacking contribution was top notch. Added great width and was able to supply dangerous crosses throughout.
KUYT: 8 – Another game another goal! Let’s hope this is a habit he keeps up till the end of the season. This is more like the Kuyt of last season. Especially loved the mini-crossover that put Zat Knight on the ground!
MASCHERANO: 7.5 – Every week I say pretty much the same thing. Has found some consistency and is now the fulcrum for the teams play. His passing was exceptional, both long and short.
AQUILANI: 5.5 – Didn’t quite get into this game. His passing was not what you would expect. Hopefully this we can chalk up to experience of physical fixtures. Unlike many commentators I’m not writing him off in his first season.
REIRA: 7 – An efficient performance. Worked well in tandem with Insua. You can see his form is slowly coming back. Visible lacking in fitness.
GERRARD: 7 – This was more like it! The touches were there and the runs were penetrative. He was shadowed by Muamba but managed to get free and make some great plays. I guess Rafa was right last week to keep with him – I’ll be admit it I was wrong!
NGOG: 6.5 – Lead the line well even though marked by Zat Knight (6’7″ defender) managed to win some 1st ball. This fixture did expose his lack of strength a little. Maybe he can get on the same diet as Agbonlahor. Should really have scored though.
LUCAS: 6.5 – Was effected and was more adventurous than normal in getting into advanced positions. Came out looking good in comparison to Aquilani’s performance. Hopefully this buys him some slack from his band of detractors.
MAXI: 6 – Was impressed at the way he ghosts into the box. Always makes the early run in when the ball is on the opposite wing. This could be a sign of goals to come. Also spotted him is defensive positions which is a relieve as some imports are a tad lazy on that end of the field.
BABEL: 6 – Came on to eat up time and well….ate up time. Nothing else to report. I will admit a bias against him as it just doesn’t seem like he is making an effort to get into this team. Maybe the battle for a world cup place will wake him up
MANAGER: 7.5 – As I’ve said before. The system is pretty much set these days. Personnel is the only issue for the manager. He got the Gerrard decision wrong when many of us felt he was not in the right form. Another clean sheet shows the defensive issues are being addressed. One thing to note is that we do better when we don’t give away free kicks deep in our half. It sounds a rather obvious observation but is something we have not been applying this season.
That’s 6 unbeaten, 4 wins and 2 draws. You can’t complain about that form!
TEAM : 7 – Overall an efficient performance. When Lucas was in for Aquilani we bossed the game and were more stable. Defence is now back to something close to the standard expected. In the weeks to come the attack has to come to the party.
The season began with the team balance tipping to attack. We scored goals for fun (6 vs Hull, 4 vs Burnley and Stoke, 3 vs. Bolton and West Ham all before the end of September) but conceded plenty.
Now the balance is back to the defence. In the last six league games since 26 Dec it’s 8 goals for and 1 against. That’s more like the Liverpool we know!