NUFC player ratings vs West Ham – One 7, a few 5’s & 6’s, several 4’s + two 3’s

The first game of the season brings disappointment, with West Ham beating us 4-2 in a six-goal affair at St James’ Park.

We played well in the first half, but fell apart in the second. Hopefully lessons are learned and we see a much better performance against Aston Villa next week. Joe Willock will help, but he won’t solve this alone. Further reinforcements are needed if we are to play this formation. 

Here’s my marks out of 10 from today’s defeat:

Freddie Woodman – 5.5 –
It was great to see him make his Premier League debut. There was little he could do for any of the goals really. He made a penalty save, but his understanding with the back three may need to be worked on.

Jacob Murphy – 5 – The wing back was threatening in attack, but vulnerable at the back. He took his goal well. However, he needs to understand his defensive responsibilities. The foul for the penalty was harsh, but by diving in, the optics weren’t great.

Emil Krafth – 3 – Fans were surprised to see him on the team sheet and it wasn’t his best performance. Aaron Cresswell had a lot of success down his side. He shouldn’t be starting in the Premier League and isn’t a centre-back.

Federico Fernandez – 4.5 – He was the best of the defenders, but that isn’t saying a lot. The organisation and communication wasn’t the best in the back five. As the middle centre back and most experienced, he should be helping with that.

Ciaran Clark – 4 – It’s unfair to criticise the defenders too much, as they are unsuited to covering large areas like they are asked to in this formation. Clark offered a threat at set pieces, but his lack of pace and mobility was an issue.

Matt Ritchie – 3.5 – There are qualities that Ritchie offers, but he is often caught out at the back post. Two goals came from players ghosting in behind him. Jamal Lewis should be given another chance in the team.

Isaac Hayden – 4 – This role doesn’t suit Isaac Hayden, as he was asked to get forward and contribute in possession. We didn’t see him tackle or intercept like he usually does. It may be that in this formation he suits playing as the right centre back.

Jonjo Shelvey – 4 – It was a classic Shelvey performance. He played some nice passes, but he was easily outbattled by their midfielders. The balance in the midfield needs work if we are to become tougher to break down.

Miguel Almiron – 5.5 – The performance was a tidy one between the lines. However, like many others, the formation doesn’t allow him to thrive like he should.

Allan Saint-Maximin – 7 – If he can perform like that every week, we should have an exciting season ahead of us. West Ham couldn’t cope with his bamboozling dribbling at times, especially in the first half as he turned Cresswell inside out before firing a brilliant cross into Wilson. We need to create a more solid base to allow him to win us matches this season. One criticism, however, was him losing the ball in bad areas sometimes. He did this just prior to Benrahma’s goal to make it 2-2.

Callum Wilson – 6.5 – It didn’t take him long to get off the mark for the season. Wilson is excellent at occupying defenders and his movement causes problems. On another day, he could have scored more than one, having one clever backheeled effort and a few where the ball didn’t quite fall for him after making good runs.


Ryan Fraser – 5 – He looked lively when he was on the ball in the final third, having one whistle just white of Fabianski’s far post. The game was all but gone by the time he was brought on.

Sean Longstaff – N/A – Only came on with five minutes to play and wasn’t involved much.

Joelinton – N/A – One good ball inside to release Murphy, but not on the pitch long enough to give him a rating.

7 thoughts on “NUFC player ratings vs West Ham – One 7, a few 5’s & 6’s, several 4’s + two 3’s

  1. ASM was solid. Truly exciting player. He will attract buyers before the deadline and we know Cashley will be tempted by anyone waving wads of cash in his face.

    Sadly the Cabbage will use the 4 goals given up as an excuse to go back into his ultra defensive shell. We will be playing for nil nil draws starting next match…


  2. First day started well and it’s hard to be critical of the players!

    Sadly this cannot be said for Bruce – simply isn’t a MANAGER and can’t effect a game… if we go down in the first minutes he doesn’t have the skill set to bring on the right players = 4-2 down and he brings on FRASER (!?)

    We NEED another Striker and a couple of Defenders = Ritchie will always give his 100% and I’d have him on the bench to replace midfielder’s but not a left back.

    I bet the Numpty just brings in more dross midfielder’s – after the signing of Willock (great) we need to get shot of Hendrick and Fraser


  3. As soon as I saw Krafth in the back line I knew we were in trouble yet again.
    His rating of 3 says it all, shouldn’t be anywhere near the first 22 never mind playing!
    I thought Graham Jones had more sense than that?
    Must have been Steve Bruce’s idea.
    We do pose a threat up front but we don’t know how to defend.
    Solid Left back, Right back and a dominant Centre back urgently required, none of the defenders today possess the necessary pace or positional know how!


  4. Same S***E comments from Bruce post match, we need to tighten up defensively, you’ve been saying that since you got here, while your licking Ashley’s backside ask him for some new defenders and stop playing people out of position, that could help!


  5. I get that you are set in your ways, but these are possibly the most biased ratings I’ve ever seen.

    Krafth was not fantastic, but he wasn’t bad. He certainly wasn’t 3 bad. He wasn’t as bad as Murphy.
    Yes Ritchie was caught out a couple of times, but no mention of his superb corners and crosses into the box being whipped in.
    Shelvey hardly put a foot wrong all night. Made a single error where he tried to control the ball in the air and it was taken from him. But you don’t like him. Never have, never will.
    Hayden was by far our worst player.
    Murphy scored a goal but was otherwise horrendous. Your defence of him is like saying the keeper had a few good headers but was not great with his hands. Murphy was a liability. He’s a wing back. If he can’t defend and can’t pass, replace him.
    St Maximin – you have to get over the fact that he had a couple of good dribbles. His passing wasn’t good and he just lost the ball too easily too often, going down quicker than a quayside hooker.
    Our problem at the back is the same as it has been for 4 seasons. We line up on the edge of the box and nothing. We just watch.
    We need a dynamic centre back. Lascelles is past his sell by date
    I love the way Bruce gets a hammering again. The team played brilliantly for 45 minutes. What changed? You think Bruce told them to back off or don’t you think maybe the players should take some of the blame?
    As for the penalty, I thought Murphy got a touch on the ball first.

    If you want these ratings to be taken seriously you have to take the personalities out of it and concentrate on the performance.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.