Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Ed and number-cruncher Dom Roman checks through the TT Match Verdict ratings for TUFC from the torturous month that was August and reveals our first TT ‘Player of the Month’ of 18-19:
No. Name and August TT Rating
1) Liam Davis 6.6
What is a player like Liam Davis doing in the NLS?! He must be on decent wages for a start, and unlike a number of others on our books he’ll earn them. The defender has only been man of the match once, but has been one of our best performers in just about every game – showing his athleticism and ability up the left hand side, and even grabbing a goal to win us three points against Bath. Liam’s crossing does let him down frequently, but so do the lack of viable targets in the box. Simply our best player post-Luke Young and too good for this league.
Man of the Match – East Thurrock
2) Shaun MacDonald 6.5
Shaun took his early chance to deputise for Alex Bass very well, and was unlucky to be dropped for the Slough game. (Bass has since showed his quality with two motm performances, but only played less than half of August’s fixtures – thus making him ineligible for this list). The young stopper made some key saves in the first three fixtures to deny the opposition, and with him as our number two the goalkeeper position would appear to be in rude health (unlike many of the others!).
Man of the Match – Chelmsford
3) Jean-Yves Koue Niate 6.4
Niate could be a United cult hero in the making. The massive central defender was pivotal in the early clean sheets, standing strong and tall in the middle of the back three and attacking crosses with some welcome aggression. Niate does look prone to the odd error and he’s not exactly light on his feet with the football, but he was instantly missed against Hampton and Richmond and will be slotted back into the first XI asap when the ankle injury clears up.
Man of the Match – Oxford City
4) Kyle Cameron 5.9
Kyle is a young man learning his trade and so far, so decent. He’s big, strong and fairly mobile – making him a shoe-in for the first eleven unless the United injury curse hits. Passing is another matter, with Kyle (and other centre backs) banging it far too long – that’s not entirely their fault, as team-mates struggle to find space and Owers unimaginative tactics continue to make life difficult. I would like to see the defenders come back and get the ball off the keeper as well, playing three at the back should allow them the opportunity and balls being pumped forward from the keep is not the way to proceed.
5) Ryan Dickson 5.7
Dickson is the only non-defensive player in the top 5 and as an ex-league player I don’t think he would ever have expected such a difficult time in the NLS. Ryan is always showing for the ball and wants to create something for the attackers, however the final product has so far been lacking. As our chief set piece taker, the ball into the box has rarely been right and there’s been very little cohesion around, making it a frustrating start to his United career. On the plus side he’ll remain one of our most important players with his ability on the ball and has the right attitude (unlike others) to succeed.
Man of the Match – Bath City
6) Ruairi Keating 5.7
7) Samir Nabi 5.7
8) George Essuman 5.6
9) Ben Wynter 5.6
10) Asa Hall 5.5
11) Jamie Reid 5.1
Man of the Match – Hampton & Richmond
12) Brett Williams 4.5
13) Chris Regis 4.5
14) Andre Wright 4.5
1) TT Rating is the average of the ratings (out of 10) from the TT Match Verdicts
2) Players only included if they have been rated in 50% or more of TUFC games
3) Players only rated in games if they have played more than 10 minutes
It is still early days, but with the manager already losing the dressing room and attacking flair at a bare minimum – my player ratings article takes on a similar tone to last season. Strikers are again struggling, and it’s the same ones that toiled frustratingly last year. The squad needs dynamism, pace, bite, cutting edge (amongst other things) – and a new manager. It’s only August, but another long season awaits…
On the bright side (humour me!) at least the defence can be a called a strength and gives us something to build on – with the likes of Cameron, Niate and Davis more than fit for purpose in the NLS – getting us reasonably organised at the back is the only thing Owers can do apparently. Anyway well done to Liam Davis our player of the month for August, I’m guessing it won’t be his last this season!
TT Player of the Month roll-call
August – Liam Davis