Writer: Auckland Owl
Date:Monday October 5 2009
Our man on the spot, robtheowl, provides his player ratings from the weekend.
Lee Grant 7/10
Couldn't really do much for the three goals, made one trademark save where he pushed the ball around the post for a corner in the 2nd half. He gave Purse a deserved rollocking for leaving his man who went on to hit the post.
Lewis Buxton 4/10
Another shaky performance at the back, although some criticism being forced on him is slightly undeserved. He completely miscued a header in the 1st half which nearly lead to goal. A really clumsy, no need challenge for the penalty summed up his performance really. Maybe it's time to give Simek a run out.
Darren Purse 2/10
What more does this guy have to do to get dropped? Laws brought him into to offer experience and solidity: he is providing neither! Paul Dickov half his size pushed him and outmuscled him off the ball leading to the 1st goal. The fans were really getting on his back as were his teamates! Just awful.
Richard Wood 7/10
Probably saved Purse from complete embarassment. Made some excellent recovery tackles, one particularly stood out when he flattened Hulse when he was clean through on goal. Had good aerial battles with Hulse and stood his ground.
Tommy Spurr 6/10
Gave 100%, showed a bit of urgency but again let their right winger get the better of him on countless occasions. Went up for corners, which I haven't noticed in previous matches, and should have got a free header on target but instead he put it over the bar.
Michael Gray 5/10
Just generally looked tired. Didn't produce much and gave the ball away too often. Had one glorious chance which he should have took on himself instead of squaring a nervous ball to Leon who blazed it over. All he had to do was slot it home but he panicked which is unusual for a player of his experience and played it to Clarke.
James O'Connor 5/10
Poor performance from a man who I've thought has been superb so far this season. Struggled strength wise, his passing was terrible and should have scrambled the ball in mid way through the 1st half. At least he was given the opportunity to learn from his counterpart in the Derby side Robbie Savage who was excellent.
Darren Potter 6/10
A surprisingly poor game from the midfielder. Distrubution wasn't up to scratch and was pretty anonymous in large parts. However, did attempt to pass the ball around but was simply out-fought in the middle of the park. Failed to create any openings for the attackers.
Etienne Esajas 4/10
An absolute shadow of the man who ripped the Blades and Cardiff apart. I was really looking forward to seeing him in action but his inconsistency showed yet again. Far too lightweight on the wing and easily pushed off the ball numerous times.
Marcus Tudgay 7/10
Unfortunately cannot do it all by himself. Ran his socks off and won most headers. Nobody gave him the ball to his feet and he really missed the support of Varney. Looked like he was still carrying a bit of a knock at times.
Leon Clarke 5/10
The big man didn't turn up today. Needs to learn how to jump in the next fortnight. Certainly was not up for it, almost seemed like he was disinterested. Squandered the best chance of the game to make it 1-1. He blasted it over the bar from 8 yards. Does not provide Tudgay with the same support as Varney I am afraid.
Akpo Sodje 6/10
Nearly made a superb impact when he headed the ball against the bar with his first touch. Worked hard, seemed like he was trying to prove a point. His physical presence obviously scared their defence.
Jermaine Johnson 5/10
Posed a bigger threat than Esajas. However, was at fault for the 2nd goal when he was caught in possession which led to the break away. Went on a couple of runs which resulted in nothing.
Tommy Miller 4/10
Little time to make an impact, the game was already lost. Needs 90 minutes to prove himself.
A very depressing day, I don't know why we bother travelling to Pride Park, we always put in a lacklustre performance. The only positive was Barney Owl swooping to victory in the mascot race before the game.
Thanks to robtheowl. Note: If you're a member of our forum, and you're going to the match, you can contribute player ratings for the site. Watch out for the forum thread each week, volunteer, and we may select you for the job!
Date:Monday October 5 2009
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