Recently Rich linked to Playerform, a website I hadn’t discovered before. Playerform is a website which allows fans to rate the performances of their players at all the league clubs in England. It’s an interesting project not without a few flaws. The ratings are interesting with the guideline markings indicating that a 6 should represent a player ‘doing his job,’ a 5 being an off day and an 8 qualifying as Maradona circa 1986. Now, I didn’t live through the 1986 World Cup, but Maradona was outstanding and came as close to a 10 as an any player is likely to come. Surely if somebody delivers a flawless performance they should be rewarded as such?
Anyway, leaving my personal gripes to one side, Rich has a post up tonight noting that Playerform have delivered their half-term ratings on all the players. It makes for interesting reading in Fulham’s case:
Star Players (top performing players at current squad): Hangeland and Schwarzer.
Gold Stars (players who deserve recognition): Murphy and Dempsey.
Pull your socks up (players who are performing below par and can do better: Bullard and Gera.
Intriguing. Nobody could argue with the first four picks. Hangeland has been our player of the season so far and Schwarzer’s addition is one of the reasons why our previously leaky defence has been so sturdy this season. Dempsey has done well since he got back into the first team picture – largely on the back of scoring that vital goal at Portsmouth. And Danny Murphy has made fools of those of us who suggested, even after that goal, that he might not be worth a place in the starting line-up every week. Roy surprised us by naming him as McBride’s successor as captain and Murphy’s delivered the sort of disciplined performances that have typified our rise up the table. Once again such developments remind me of the difference between me (the closest I’ll get to football management will probably be coaching a team in my University’s inter-mural league) and Hodgson.
It’s not even Zoltan Gera’s position that concerns me. He’s been the most disappointing of our signings – even if he’s hardly been helped by being played out of position. He’s missed a few sitters and we can only hope that being restored to the right flank will help rekindle the kind of form that made him such a key part of West Brom’s promotion-winning side of last season.
Bullard is the one I’d be disappointed with. If the ratings had been published in September, when Bullard was woefully short of form and many of us were reconsidering his place in the starting line-up, then I wouldn’t have had a problem. But, as I’ve noted elsewhere, Jimmy has returned to form in the last few weeks – he scored a brilliant equaliser against Manchester City a fortnight ago don’t forget – and has helped us extend our unbeaten run. I’d go as far as saying he’d be worthy of a place in Mr. Capello’s squad if the England coach was picking it this morning. So to say he could do better is being fairly harsh.
This is an interesting concept but the results do suggest that these projects can’t be completely trusted.