Friday, May 24, 2013

Manchester United Player Ratings Season 2012/13

Just after the Aston Villa game, when we won the league, I rated each and every member of the squad who played some role during the past season. This is the result.


1. DDG 
De Gea Has Been Excellent
At 22 years of age, this guy is already better than most Premier League goalies. Our Spaniard has improved his goalkeeping abilities and looks like he's been hitting some weights at the gym as well. David looks physically stronger than last season and has been excellent for us in goal. He's become braver and was always ready to get on with the game, even when a 7 foot donkey(Carroll) charged into him. Since Gary Neville singled him out for criticism vs Tottenham, he responded with 7 clean sheets in 10 league games. Obviously, there is still some room for improvement. This goalie will become World Class in 2 years time. Let's hope he doesn't become home sick and demand a return to Spain. That's what scares me the most. I fear he'll fuck off to Spain as soon as he reaches his peak. Excellent season. 8/10



2. Rafael
Our young Brazilian has finally matured into an excellent right back. Gone are his stupid challenges that cost United a point or two in the past. I've always seen potential in this kid and I'm glad Fergie's patience has finally paid off. Whenever he played, he's been brilliant. He delivered some good balls into the box and also scored two spectacular goals against Liverpool and QPR. He's bee excellent on the overlap, it's just a shame his right wing partner, Valencia, didn't have the best of seasons. Otherwise, I think, Rafael could have been more effective on the attack. Nevertheless, he brings youthful energy to an aging defense. This was by far his best season in a United shirt. One liability turned to an asset. Great season. 9/10

3. Patrice Evra
Whoever follows my blog knows that I have constantly criticized Evra during the past couple of years. The determination was there but he was committing too many mistakes. I thought his time was up. Thankfully, he proved me wrong this season. Apart from defending quite well, he scored 4 goals and made 6 assists. Quite impressive for a left back. He was solid all season. Perhaps the introduction of Buttner provided the challenge Evra needed to up his game. Very good season. 8/10

4. Phil Jones
Sorry, but I had to. 
Due to injury, we didn't see Jones play as much as we liked. I always smile a little whenever I see Jones in the starting line-up. His raw talent is a joy to watch. This guy will be a great if he keeps his feet firmly on the ground. The versatile defender looks the meanest when he's at the heart of our defense. Next season, baring more injuries, will be a big season for young Jones. This guy could become priceless. He's so talented. Apart from being an excellent footballer, he could always lighten up your mood with one of his facial expressions. Will become quality. 7/10










5. Ferdinand
After the England snub, Ferdinand wanted to prove to everyone that he's still got it. And, yes, he's still a relevant defender. Fergie used Ferdinand wisely and, in fact, he stayed injury free throughout the season. Our number five rolled back the years with some excellent defending. He'll be at the club for another two years, in my opinion. Our young defenders will gradually take his place in the upcoming couple of years. He played 20 odd premier league games and excelled in most of them. His composure on the ball makes him one of the finest defenders in the Premier League. It's a shame he's in his mid 30's. Very good season 8/10

6. Evans
I will have to admit it, some years ago I used to grimace at the sight of Evans in the starting line up. Last year he showed why Fergie had so much faith in him. Fergie's belief in Evans was vindicated this year as well. As a bonus, Johnny added some goals to his game. His 4 goal tally (3 PL, 1 CL) is quite impressive given the fact that he had only scored 1 goal in the previous 6 seasons. I have grown to like this guy. He's definitely not as mean and tough as Vidic but he's a much better ball player. I cannot really recall one significant mistake he's made this season. There used to be a time when he was prone to a stupid mistake every odd game. He's matured into a reliable centre back. Very good season 8/10

7. Valencia
I like the guy. He was absolutely brilliant last season but, I'm afraid, he failed to bring last season's form into this campaign. Maybe the weight of the number 7 shirt played its part. At some points he had almost become an annoyance. I consider his crosses as powerful driven shots into the box without aiming at no one in particular. Added to that, he just cannot do anything with his left foot. This season, he looked a tad slower than his usual self. Fergie still showed faith in the Ecuadorian as he played just under 30 league games this season. After he scored his first goal of the season vs West Ham, he did look a bit better. In fact, he had his best game vs. Aston Villa some five days later. Let's hope he returns to the speedy Valencia we once knew. Not a good season. 5/10

8. Anderson
If Fergie selected his team on the basis of who's the funniest player, then he'd be in the starting XI week in week out. Whenever he starts a game, he seems to tire out by the hour mark. He's got potential but I don't think he'll fulfill it at United. While I don't mind if he stays at United, for I believe he's a decent squad player, I don't think he'll be a United player next season.  Not an impressive season. 5/10

10. Rooney (note: I had written this before I knew Rooney asked to be transferred) 
Rooney didn't have the best of seasons but he was effective nonetheless. People will look at his 16 goal tally and think that a player of his ability should notch more goals. However, he has been constantly played out of his favorite position and, in my opinion, he has delivered on most of the times. Rooney has matured into a player who'd give his limb for the team. Our game at the Etihad this season was a prime example of his importance to the team. He scored two goals and was helping our defenders in the final minutes of the game. That's what you get from Rooney, 100% determination. He wasn't our best player this season but I still believe he is our best player. While I'd love to see some glimpses of the old Rooney, you know, the one who'd try the outrageous, I still highly value the updated version of Wayne. Unfortunately, it seems like something is brewing behind the scenes at Old Trafford. Some journalists have reported that Roo will make way this summer. I hope not. He's a player who could score, spray Scholesesque passes and help in midfield. I hope he stays at Old Trafford. The acquisition of another striker will probably bring more goals to the club but I doubt whether there are strikers out there who are ready to help the team as Wayne does. He's priceless. Let's hope he stays at OT. 7/10

Edit: Apparently the guy has asked for a transfer...again. It was a heart breaking feeling when he did it the first time but not now. If he wants to move on, then so be it. I obviously would want him to stay because he is quality but I won't be losing much sleep if he leaves. In 2010 he wanted to leave because he said there weren't any quality players in our squad. We bought a world class player and now he wants to leave because Fergie didn't play him in some games. Quite difficult to understand Wayne. We'll wait and see how the story unfolds. 

11. Giggs
During a season when our wingers couldn't deliver a decent ball in the box, Giggs has constantly shown our other wingers how things should be done. He's waning, definitely, but he's still got a role to play in this team. Without really setting any houses on fire, he was probably our best winger this season. To have a 40 year old on top of the wingers' list speaks heaps of the input our widemen have put this season. He's not indispensable to our club but he's a good energy to have around. Wouldn't mind him staying another year but, for the love of God, I don't want him to start another "big" game. I don't mind him starting against the so called inferior clubs but I don't want to see him start in a midfield berth in a massive game again.  His 13 Premier League win record will never be overtaken.  His stamina, technique, cunning and elusiveness still make him important while his leadership makes him irreplaceable. 7/10

12. Smalling
This defender is quite reliable. He's a good squad player to have and he'll surely become a more important member of the squad in the near future. He's only 23 and will therefore improve. He performed well in most games he played this season. He forms part of a young trio of defenders who will become the defensive foundation of the future Manchester United. 6.5/10

13. Lindegaard
Had a run of games early on in the season but has lost his place permanently to the excellent de Gea. Lindegaard is a very good second goaler. He's probably the best goalie cover we've had for quite some time. Whenever called to the team, he's done quite well. 6/10

14. Chicharito
His goals per game ratio is impressive. He's averaged a goal every two games this season. He's most influential whenever he starts on the subs bench and gets thrown into the action 20 minutes before the final whistle, when the opposing defenders start to tire. I also think our little pea has added more to his game. Whenever he played this year, he looked more involved in the team's build ups. His first touch has definitely improved. He won us games vs Chelsea, Newcastle and Aston Villa. A very good striker to have. 7/10

15. Vidic
Our captain fell victim to a couple of niggling injuries during the year but whenever he was in the team he was immense. Our team was leaking goals for fun in the first part of the season but, upon Vidic's return from injury, we recorded some clean sheets. I don't think that was a coincidence. He's still our best defender. Let's hope his excellence brushes on to our youngsters. Fergie used him sensibly and, as a result, Vida managed to play just under 20 premier league games. He only managed 6 PL games the previous season. The days of him playing 30 odd premier league games are something of the past now. If Fergie uses him intelligently, he'll still prove to be a valuable player for us. He had a good season culminating in his immense performance vs West Ham at Upton Park. 7.5/10

16. Carrick
7 seasons in our midfield, 5 PL titles.
Player of the season. His passing has been brilliant all year long. He's been ridiculously under rated in the past but, finally, everyone seems to be recognizing the genius that is Michael Carrick. It's a shame that people, including a lot of Man Utd fans, had to wait until Carrick's 7th season at United to realize how good he is. I've always rated the player and I'm glad he's finally receiving the acclaim he deserves. He's defended brilliantly and played more forward balls than any other midfielder in Europe. Yes, that lists includes Iniesta and Xavi. If only he scores more goals. Excellent season, our driving force. 9.5/10

17. Nani
Whatever anyone else says, this guy is a footballer who is capable of doing big things. Unfortunately he's not really likable because of his on field antics and that's why a lot of people haven't warmed to him. Fergie trusted him vs. Real Madrid and was unjustly sent off while having a very very good game. After that game, he got injured when Fergie trusted him in a premier league game and has since failed to make the starting XI again. I don't think he'll be at United next season. It's a shame because he's our best winger. His crossing is better than Valencia's and Young's, he's got better finishing and could beat a player in a blink of an eye. He's too frustrating and inconsistent though. 5.5/10

18. Young
His season was blighted by injury but he still managed to get 20 odd games under his belt. I'm not sure whether he made any assists or not but to be a winger and not score one goal in a whole campaign is a bit disgraceful. Manchester United have had some of the best wingers who scored plenty of goals, so it's a bit of a rarity to have a winger who couldn't muster a single goal in a campaign. Let's hope he improves next year. 5/10

19. Welbeck
This kid is good. Very good. He's good on the ball and is quite fast. The problem is that when he's in the box, he tends to hesitate and lose the ball or just play the wrong pass. His effort is always a joy to watch and I just hope he adds more goals to his game. He's been played in a host of positions in which he's done well on most occasions. His finest performance was against Madrid in Spain. His determination had me smiling throughout the game. He's a Mancunian and strives to succeed at the club he has loved throughout his life. He's one of us. If he improves his decision making, he'll become an excellent player for the club. 7/10

20. van Persie
Excellent Buy
£22 million well spent? Yes. His goals have been the difference this year. He scored vs City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea. He helped us win points at Stadia where we normally score a blank. He's been pivotal at the front and the team suffered when he endured that barren run between February and April. Sometimes I wonder what else we could have won had he been in form against Real Madrid and Chelsea (in the FA Cup). He looked so happy when United were declared Champions of England. I wasn't too optimistic when he signed for United. I thought he'd struggle to get used to United but he bedded in with ease. Let's hope he keeps his form up and doesn't suffer from that dreaded second season syndrome. Excellent season. 9.5/10

22. Scholes
Scholes featured regularly in the first half of the season but was kept out of the game for quite a long time due to injury. His passing is still top notch but he's not a player who could improve Manchester United. We need to move on and prepare for life after Paul Scholes. Mind you, he's still better than Anderson. However, this was definitely his last season as a United player. It was a joy to get to see the ginger prince have a comeback. He was excellent last year. He wasn't as influential this year. 6/10

Edit : Scholes confirmed his retirement two weeks after I had written this.

23. Cleverley
Played a lot of PL games this season. A lot of people do not rate Tom but I don't think Ferguson and Hodgson can be both wrong. They both share the belief that Cleverley is a very good young footballer and I agree with them. He's still learning the trade but I can see him maturing into a good central midfielder. His crisp passing and good deliveries are some of his attributes. He's scored 4 goals as well this season. He had never scored a goal for Man Utd before. A very good squad player. Decent season as well. 6.5/10

24. Fletcher
Unfortunately, Fletcher only managed to play 10 games this campaign. His illness had the better of him and in December he had to bow out of the game for the remainder of the season. His last game was on boxing day vs Newcastle. His determination is undeniable but, I fear, we'll never see the old Fletcher again. He's been out of the game for the majority of the past couple of season. He'll find it difficult to get back in shape to play at the top level. It's a shame really because he always gives his 100% when he's on the pitch. It would be unjust to rate this player on the 4 PL games he's played. Let's hope it'll be a different story next year…but I doubt it. 

25. Powell
6 appearances this season, two of them in the PL. He scored a scorcher on his debut but found it difficult to break into the first team. He's still young and has ample of potential. I hope we'll see more of him next year. Fergie rates him highly.

26. Kagawa
Started the season brightly, faded and then finished the season on a high. His passing is very good but tends to get bullied off the ball quite often. His best performance was vs Norwich when he got a hat trick. He's shown traces of why people rated him so highly at Dortmund. I believe we'll see the best of him next season. Had an OK season 6.5/10

28. Buttner
Just 12 games this season, 4 of them in the PL. He's done well when asked to play and I think he's a good left back cover. His acquisition was probably the reason why Evra had such a good season. He scored a goal on his debut and bombed forward in the few games he played. Exciting player but still doesn't have  what it takes to be a United regular.  A defender who's better when he's attacking.

Well Done Boys! 

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