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VB Weekend Winners and Losers



Well that all feel a little bit flat didn't it? Saturday represented an excellent chance to get some more points on the board and build some momentum heading into the international break.

Yes, Stoke are a tough cookie and don't lose much at home but the lack of threat carried in the second half, especially after a very good first half was borderline criminal.

It may surprise others that this was the first Premier League game in which we FAILED to score a goal, which is a shame as it was a good record up to Saturday.

But who at least tried to claw back some pride? Who really didn't?

WINNERS

Phil Jones -
For my money the best outfield player in blue and white. He stuck to what he knew and that was to use his strength, power and determination to act as a glue between midfield and attack.

The roaming forward was kept to a minimum for once but his presence was required in a defensive capacity pretty much all through out the game as the full backs struggled to cope with Stoke's Etherington and Pennant.

The only problem we have with Jones now is that he is becoming too important to drop, which would go back on Sam Allardyce's promise to use him sparingly which was made at the start of the season.

At this point in time I can't see the merit in dropping him? He is a much better option in that holding spot than Grella (too injury prone) and N'Zonzi (struggling for form).

Paul Robinson - Kept Rovers in it in the second half with three barn storming saves and some assured commanding of his area.

One stop in particular down low to his left was absolutely first class and showed a certain element of trust has been built between back four and the stopper.

If anyone deserved a clean sheet at the Britannia it was Robbo.

Rovers definitely have problems to address for now but none of them are with their Number One.

Ryan Nelsen - The best of the back four.

Whilst in recent weeks it has very much been the Chris Samba show back there in the trenches but on Saturday afternoon it was Nelsen who put in a more solid effort.

With the more attacking, front fronted players Rovers had to offer, producing very little as the game wore on, the pressure was cranked up increasingly on Ryan and the boys.

And if there is a cauldron of pressure building on your goal, there is no-one better than Nelsen for the battle.

It wasn't an award winning display by any means and he has played better but those 7/10 performances are what we needed more of from the members of the defence.

Error free and steady as you like.

LOSERS

Steven N'Zonzi -
In this spot purely because he displayed his passing showed the accuracy of a an American machine gun using movie star.

I honestly cannot remember one pass that reached a team mate... which when your passes barely surpass the ten yard range is quite an achievement!

Big Sam was right when he said last season's successes may have gone to his head because a certain care-free arrogance has engulfed his game.

There was nothing wrong with his tackling (despite MOTD's efforts) and his work rate is still passable but this is not the Zonz of last season.

Back to basics Steven.

Morten Gamst Pedersen - An utterly anonymous display from a man who should be stomping his talents on the game.

Stoke were too big and crowded the more finesses based Morten out of the game, his set piece delivery was iffy and when given the chance to create he was too pedestrian.

As clearer indication as any that we miss Dave Dunn.

Big Sam Allardyce - Got this match horribly wrong. Said before the game that he would make changes to combat Stoke but all the alterations made were at best average and at worst useless.

Why use Givet at left back when Pennant was bound to be out there? Martin Olsson was fit and has more pace.

For all his promise Mame Biram Diouf is not a lone striker, he can't hold up the ball and is much better when facing goal. He may not be flavour of the month but if you are intent on resting Niko then why not use Jason Roberts? He may not be a goal getter but no sane person would deny he can hold up play.

Using Brett Emerton was a fair call after his goal last weekend but tucking him inside nullified the threat he can carry.

Real Madrid and Inter will not be pleased.

Join The Vital Debate
The Journalist

Writer: Mikey Delap Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 4 2010

Time: 9:23AM

Your Comments

A frustrating day at the office... we were toothless in that second half.
Mikey Delap
I struggled for ages to find a positive. I did find one! We got trounced 3-0 last year......only losing 1-0 is an improvement...right? Help!
fransavarese
We cant keep playin this way, surely Sam must go back to basics, we have a tight back four, we have some creative midfielders and we even have some strikers capable of scoring if they work together and not alone. Time to stop hoofing the ball up field to the backs of lone players. Its never worked for us and unless its samba up front it aint gonna work for us!
mutts nutts
Niko Kalinic should have started against Stoke, Sam made a mistake there. His selections and substitutions surprised many indeed, but as long we are winning, who cares. Now we are not, and there are some concerned faces around. Another screw-up against Sunderland, that is if we don't get 3 points this time, could see us slide down the table further.
metalrover
sunderland is playing well at the moment. they were evenly matched against man u this weekend, creating many chances by surprisingly...keeping possession. like mutts nutts said, we have to stop hoofing the ball forward every single time.
DommyWalker
i think the break will give us time to allow dunny and grella to heal, whilst it will also break up the good form of sunderland, hopefully falling into our hands!
sasman
not inter and milan will not be pleased lol... agree with everything here, particularly about BSA- looks like the Zonz isn't the only one with success going to his head
retroflair31
 

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