Tactically Speaking: The Young Guns: Week 2, Part 2

Posted on August 26, 2011

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1. Junior Hoillet (Blackburn Rovers)

The 21 year old Canadian had a great game against Aston Villa. In fact, he was their best player on that day. He took on the defenders willingly and more than once beat them decisively. His passing was also really good and it was his cross that enabled the Rovers to score. He became subdued after Morten Gamst Pedersen was substituted for Radosav Petrovic as the Serb did not venture forward enough like the Norwegian and hence Hoillet’s crosses were taken out of the equation. Eventhough Blackburn lost the game decisively, Hoillet had an excellent game and should take heart from his performance.

   Hoillet: An all-action performance

2. Phil Jones (Manchester United)

Phil Jones was an absolute beast against Tottenham. His positional awareness was top notch as he and Jonny Evans made sure that Vidic and Ferdinand were not missed. Jones effectively shackled Spurs’ wing dynamo Gareth Bale and he did not hold back on moving further up the field as well. Brilliant performance that has led to a deserved call-up to the England squad.

Jones: Absolutely Magnificent

3. Jake Livermore (Tottenham Hotspur)

Livermore had a great debut for Tottenham in the Europa League game against Hearts, which prompted Harry Redknapp to rather unwisely start him against Manchester United ahead of Jermaine Jenas and Wilson Palacios. The youngster was efficient in his passing, that has to be said. But he was not able to impose himself in the midfield like his opposite numbers Tom Cleverly and Anderson. Unlike the game against Hearts, Livermore didn’t venture forward at all and Spurs were run over in the midfield. But he shouldn’t feel bad, any responsibility to the defeat solely rests with Redknapp.

Livermore: Tried his best, but not good enough

4. Victor Moses (Wigan Athletic)

Moses was immense against Norwich, but became a victim of his own success against Swansea. Moses did not bother much about coming down deep to receive the ball and instead waited in the wings for the ball to be served up to him. Not a great performance, by his standards.

WMoses: Wasted Opportunity?

5. Chris Smalling (Manchester United)

Smalling has been an absolute revelation since he was moved to the right back position. He has made the most out of the da Silva twins’ injury and now the Brazilians face an uphill task in dislodging Smalling from the starting line up. So good he has been in his new position that Fabio Capello has picked him for his latest squad as a Right Back. Against Tottenham, he was in great form as he made good runs, passed well and tackled brilliantly. Though he was beaten by Bale a couple of times, there was no denying Smalling’s brilliant performance on that night.

Smalling: Not bad for someone who played for Maidstone 3 years back

That concludes the first edition of the report on The Young Guns. I intend on doing this analysis every week and would love to hear your feedback.

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