WHUJohn wrote:I watched the game again last night (saddo I know ) and without the obvious stuff, there was a couple of things I picked up which haven't really been talked about.
Firstly James Tomkins was absolutely superb both before the AOgbonna sub and afterwards, he virtually never put a foot wrong all night and made some brilliant tackles and blocks.
Secondly Noble was very out of sorts where his passing was concerned, very basic stuff was going wrong for him on Monday. Just a one off I'm sure but against better sides we could have been punished severely.
Couldn't agree more regarding Tomkins performance like you say. Think I mentioned as much after the game. That moment where he picked out Moses with a driven inch perfect cross-field pass switching play from right to left was sublime, just for one example. I could go on about his performance all day as he barely put a foot wrong, even changing position midway through and we were even more solid 2nd half with him restored in his natural position, which also raised Reids game. I would have scored Tomkins a 9.
I also noticed Some of Nobles wayward passes after we went 1-0 up, but bar one incident where he did put us in trouble, the other occasions weren't in threatening positions. 2nd half he was back to being faultless and lead by example. It was nowhere near one of his best games but he still had a decent game overall I think. I'm also really enjoying his freer role, given licence to get forward now where I think he's in his element and can damage teams more in the final 3rd, like for the goal, up at Liverpool. I'd have give him a very solid rating of 7.5.
For me Ogbonna was the weakest link in defence with some very clumsy passing that kept putting us in danger. I think his injury is a blessing in disguise (not that I wish injury on anyone), which means we revert to a more solid back line. It takes the decision away about whether he should start or not at CB right now as its forced Bilics hand to play our best CB combination of Reid and Tomkins together again. It was telling that the likes of Cresswell were cutting out costly individual mistakes once he went off, which crept back in during the 1st half playing alongside Ogbonna. Jenkinson also looked more like his old self with Tomkins behind him. Hopefully Ogbonnas back for the Cup match.