Half Year Report Part 1

The dreaded half year report is issued before heading off for the Christmas break.

Report CardAlthough it may not be strictly half way through the season yet we are keeping with tradition by issuing the half year report cards before breaking up for the festivities.  This will allow the players to go home and think long and hard about their performances while we sit back and crack open a bottle of Emva Cream or Warninks Advocaat.

The first half is published today and part two tomorrow.




Michail Antonio

Michail has done well to become leading goal-scorer despite being asked to play in almost every outfield position – sometimes in the same match.  A playing style based on energy, pace and power, often mistakenly described as raw, he has shown tremendous commitment and adaptability.  It is not his fault he is not a specialist right back and that, worryingly, the manager thought that was his best position.




Andre Ayew

The club’s injury curse caused Andre to miss a large part of term.  Having taken the record transfer mantle from fellow invalid Andy Carroll he has yet to complete a full game for the team.  In his brief appearances he has largely been lethargic and laboured with just occasional bright flashes of what he might possess.  Looks far from value for money for the time being and will be off to the Africa Cup of Nations next month.




Andy Carroll

Andy’s attendance has again been poor this term only just showing up in time for the Christmas party which has now been postponed.  Alleged to be unplayable due to his strength in the air this has yet to be demonstrated over a sustained period of time.  Aerial strength is not matched by ability on the ground and his deployment as a lone striker, with poor service, invariable leads to one-dimensional attacking play.




Sam Byram

Another with a bad attendance record we have yet to be convinced that Sam is the answer to our long held right back problem.  Early promise has been interrupted by a series of injuries including the strange self-inflicted one that he picked up early in the game against Middlesbrough.  There are differences of opinion as to whether he is a full-back or a wing-back which can hopefully be confirmed in the new year.




James Collins

James tries his best and is a popular squad member.  Always shows lots of effort and determination but lacks some of the basic technical skills and prone to occasional ‘ricket’.  Known for his brave last ditch blocks and tackles which, ironically, are often of his own making.  There is nothing as final and definitive as a James Collins clearance.  Has been a useful emergency squad player but we should now have better, younger alternatives.  




Aaron Cresswell

Aaron missed the early part of term due to injury and his welcome return coincided with a brief uptick in form and resulted in an international call-up.  Recently his conversion to wing back in the favoured 3-at-the-back formation has seemed to confuse him and his link up play with Payet, which was once a major threat, has now been nullified.  Contributed his most error strewn performance for some time in the recent match against Hull/





Starting the season as the clear Number 1 and on the fringes of his national side, Adrian has had a fraught first half of the year.  A competent keeper both in the air and at shot stopping he has been side-tracked by trying to develop himself as a flamboyant goal-keeping character.  Not as good at ball control and dribbling as he thinks some poor goals conceded through lack of concentration and his mad dash out of goal to gift an equaliser to Stoke have led to him losing his place.





Sofiane Feghouli

The capture of Sofiane against stiff competition was billed as something of a coup and there was early promise despite the disappointment of the Europa League campaign.  Although injuries haven’t helped the over-riding impression is of a winger who is unable to cross the ball or avoid the first defender.  Perhaps there is better to come but there are few encouraging signs.





Edmilson Fernandes

The diamond in the rough of the summer transfer dealings Edmilson always gives the impression of a very assured, controlled and intelligent footballer. Has performed well wherever he has been asked to play although an attacking role plays more to his strengths.  May need to work on the physical side of his game to continue to develop in the Premier League frenzy.




Ashley Fletcher

Ashley has shown some good touches in his handful of start and various substitute appearances.  Possibly not yet equipped physically to play a lone striker role his effectiveness has been hampered by the lack of organisation or cohesiveness within the team.  Has looked a little scared and bemused at times but looks to have potential if used properly.




Cheikhou Kouyate

Cheikhou brings a powerful and athletic presence to the team and will be missed when to sets off for the African Cup of Nations.  Started the season in midfield but has recently played as one of 3 centre backs.  He offers strength and pace to the back line but his strong runs have been missed in midfield.  Overall is more effective in midfield but should bring his defensive discipline with him and look to improve his final ball.




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