Vito Mannone – 6
In truth, Vito had little to do for most of the game. Back passes seemed to be less so than against Bristol City, but generally was tidy in possession. Did not have much of a chance to save the Hull goal, alas.
Chris Gunter – 5
Whilst being a typical Gunter performance, he seemed to be lacking drive and energy. As a Wing-Back, he did not seem keen to get forward especially in the second half. Surprisingly substituted, not for the performance, but for the fact he very rarely fails to finish the game.
Tyler Blackett – 6
A little like Gunter, his performance is very similar week in, week out – but sadly, that’s not great. Often frustrated at the lack of movement ahead of him, so blame cannot be totally attributed to him, however, he, like Gunter again, is not a Wing-Back and runs into blind alleys far too often.
Paul McShane – 5
Starting to look a little ragged and off the pace is the captain. No doubt he’s still as vocal as ever, but at times he looked unsure what to do in possession even when in space. Obviously, he’s not as adept a ball player as Moore or Ilori, but this seems to be more noticable this season.
Liam Moore – 6
Quiet and efficient as ever, but like others, lacking a little in drive and confidence. Did nothing particularly wrong, just swallowed up in the general malaise of the side.
Joey van den Berg – 3
I will be blunt, but Joey is not of the level required for the Championship. He has neither the skill or intelligence to do the right thing at the right time. A really poor performance which begs the question how he is favoured over the likes of Ilori? A couple of the worst attempts at goal since Paul Brayson (ask your Dad).
Liam Kelly – 7
Until he was (oddly) removed by Stam, Liam was very effective, ran with purpose, played some decent balls through midfield and generally was the only player to provide any sort of creative outlet. Though we scored our only goal without him. Football, eh!
Dave Edwards – 6
Obviously Dave is bedding in and needs times to find his position but at times he did not seem to feature much in the game. Did provide some good movement in general but did nothing of any note. However, he could one of those players that does a lot more, but you just don’t notice it.
Roy Beerens – 5
Never truly seemed comfortable with the position he was asked to play, nor attuned to the physicality of the game. Often Roy is simply out-muscled by the full-back when unable to beat him for pace.
Sone Aluko – 6
Whilst the remit was to link midfield to attack, Sone roamed around but without finding the space that we desperately required. A few decent runs and a difficult miss in the first half, but was otherwise pretty quiet – worryingly so.
Garath McCleary – 5
Another performance where G is asked to play in a position where he’s obviously not as effective as out wide. Anonymous, one could say, until moved out to the wing to cater for Böðvarsson, when, as if by magic, he came alive.
Jordan Obita – 6
Brought on after a mere 5 minutes of the second half, Jordan provided much needed impetus on the left hand side – as a Wing-Back should! Delivered some decent crosses that were crying out for a forward (with any semblance of height) to control. Looked to have received a bad injury at the very end of the game.
Thiago Ilori – 6
Showed plenty of composure and enough to wonder how on earth he does not get a start. Some classy touches without the drama of the likes of van den Berg.
Jon Dadi Böðvarsson – 7
Take a bow, son! Finally, a Plan B that actually delivered. With the miss(es) of the Bristol City game on his shoulders, being substituted at half-time against Brentford, the pressure was truly on for the Icelander. A game-changer in every sense of the word by winning headers, flick-ons and doing everything that had been missing from the game until his arrival. Finally, a focalpoint for our attack! A coolly taken finish from a tricky angle. (But please can he not be called Jon Dadi BöðvarDsson!!)
Jaap Stam – 3.
A baffling line-up, with three central defenders (one of whom patently isn’t), two central midfielders, two wing-backs that cannot provide assists, three wingers in play that lacked mobility and no centre-forward. The belligerence and stubbornness to play a certain way regardless of personnel and without any tangible end product is starting to wear thin, especially at home. There also seems to be a tendency to start blaming the opposition for “playing in a certain way” (i.e. defending) that he is now using as almost an excuse.
For a forward line that on paper is full of running and mobility, none of which were present until changes were made that actually made sense. Pigeonholing players to positions where they ‘might’ be effective appears to be sapping any confidence the players ever had.
Oh, and he upset the fans a bit too. Ouch.