HaL's entirely subjective and probably wildly inaccurate half-season ratings

Monday, 28 December 2009

Didn't they do well? Well, apart from the couple of tits on the Big Bank

It's January, it's the New Year, it's roughly half way through the season, so, in the style of Delia, let's be having you and dish out HaL's half-season ratings to the squad. Please note, everything on here is generally ill-informed and will probably be proven to be utterly wrong come the end of the season when the player that comes in for most criticism fires 30 goals in a couple of months and leads City to the playoffs.


Goalkeepers

Paul Jones
Out for a couple of months with injury, Jonah has looked solid when he's played and there's nothing to suggest he won't continue to do well at a higher level. Difficult to give a complete picture as he's missed so much, but decent enough without being spectacular.
HaL rating: 7/10

Andy Marriott
Considering he'd spent the best part of two years sitting around on the bench and working in an admin role at the club, the 39-year-old has done pretty well when called upon this season. 11 appearances came and went and probably won't be repeated now Jonah's back from injury, but a very solid backup.
HaL rating: 7/10

Oscar Jansson
He's now back at Spurs and made only the briefest of brief appearances this season before succumbing to calf-tweak, but considering he stepped in at late notice and put in some assured, if raw, performances it's enough to have us nodding our approval. Has the attributes to become a very good player but Harry Redknapp will probably sign a random Bulgarian and ship Oscar out to Huddersfield for twice the amount Spurs paid for him. Such is football.
HaL rating: 7/10 (oh this is getting tedious. C'mon, let's have another number)


Defenders

Steve Tully
Hand up who thought Tully would be a solid League One defender. Not us, that's for sure. Yet, out of all the team, Steve Tully has been the player who has stepped up to the challenge of a higher league and nailed a place in the side. Having Duffy as competition has helped, and Tully hasn't just pushed him all the way, he's forced the Welsh international to play out of position. Fast becoming our favourite player.
HaL rating: 8/10

Richard Duffy
Exactly the type of player we needed to sign for L1, Duffy has been a solid presence at the back and even put in a brief stint as a holding midfielder against Gillingham. Doesn't like getting forward that much, but his experience has been needed and he's got on with the job with the minimum of fuss.
HaL rating: 7/10

Matt Taylor
We know the story by now. Playing in goal for Burscough back in 2003, unknown quantity from Team Bath, yadda yadda. That was in the past, now is the future, or something, and Taylor is the future. And the past. Quite simply, he has been immense, adjusting to League One with ease, getting his head to all balls that fly his way, and generally continuing in the way that no-nonsene centre-halves ought to. We approve.
HaL rating: 9/10

Danny Seaborne
If we'd been writing these a couple of weeks ago, then Seaborne would have scored highly as City's most improved player. But in the last couple of weeks bad habits have been creeping in again. Casual possession, silly fouls, poor distribution. And yet Danny has looked more up for the fight this season, willingly filling it at left-back and looking solid in the air. There's a decent footballer in here somewhere if only he could become more consistent.
HaL rating: 6/10

Troy Archibald-Henville
The man who wrote himself into some form of City folklore, albeit the kind obscure City supporting folk singers might compose a ditty to down The Globe, after a top debut at Dagenham has sort of lost his way somewhat. There are glimpses of brilliance but you wonder if he feels League One is a bit, well, beneath him. He can pick a pass, but will just as often shank it sideways into the stands. There's the ability to tackle back... often after letting the ball bounce. Danny Seaborne has often been ahead of him on merit, yet he's clearly a better player. And then there's a stupid sending off. Will he be back in January? Do we want him back? If a tree falls in a forest and no-one hears it, does it make a sound?
Hal rating: 5/10

Rob Edwards
A bona-fide City legend, albeit one with legs made of very heavy iron these days. Sir Rob hasn't exactly been a regular starter but his experience has been crucial on occasions. For every shocker (see: Huddersfield) he's also been the man who can calm it down against Southend and show Troy how it should be done at Charlton. He won't win any awards this season but is still an important squad player.
HaL rating: 7/10

Scott Goldbourne
After an inauspicious start to his City career with a red card against QPR, Gollum has gone from strength to strength and looks every inch a top player in the making. Has that unique ability to actually track his man and defend him, plays equally well on the wing and can whip in a mean ball. Quietly effective and if he keeps this up, he's in danger of putting himself in the running for City's player of the season before being sold to Sheffield United for £540,000
HaL rating: 8/10


Midfield

Alex Russell
A much-maligned man, if he were a Shakespeare character he may well be the melancholy Jaques in As You Like It, destined to stand near the action, occasionally sliding a perfect ball through but largely despairing at somebody's inability, as often his as anybody else's, to get a grip on the game. Target for the boo-boys and hasn't been sparkling, but also suffers from being 85 and not being Matt Gill. Add balance and calmness to the side. Sometimes.
HaL rating: 5/10

Ryan Harley
Ah, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan. With your ginger beard and silky playmaker skills, you could sit somewhere between Steve Sidwell and Paul Scholes in the Ginger Premiership Hall of Fame. Instead, you occasionally take one touch too many and sometimes miss an obvious pass in favour of running around in circles. But you are still comfortably Exeter's most gifted player, can hit a mean free kick and can change a game in a split second. And you now tackle people. Occasionally. You can do better but this is like telling Jean-Luc Godard his movies are occasionally flawed.
HaL rating: 7/10

Bertrand Cozic
For a player routinely assumed to be making up the numbers because we took pity on him in the Conference, and similarly maligned until this season, Bertie has been nothing short of a revelation. He adds bite to the middle of the park, gets forward, roughs up the opposition and now looks like a decent footballer. And he's just opened a crepe restaurant. If that isn't reason to give him the freedom of St James Park, nothing is.
HaL rating: 8/10

James Dunne
Currently occupying the role of 'The Man Who Looks Good Coming Off The Bench But Isn't Quite Always At It When Starting A Game'. There's definitely talent there and he will improve. Definitely one for the future and will get plenty more chances this season. He can only improve, as we expect his HaL rating score to do by the end of this season.
HaL rating: 6/10

Liam Sercombe
File this one under A Shame. Everybody likes seeing a local lad do well, but after a bright start and decent performances last season, Sercs has put in some poor performances. Like we say, a shame, as he's clearly got ability. His confidence looks shot and maybe a loan spell in League Two for a month might help him, as will a bit of a spell out of the team. He's still very young, so hopefully he'll come back better and stronger. This mark is nothing against you Liam, as we do like you a lot as a player. But fate can be a cruel mistress.
HaL rating: 4/10

Neil Saunders
Makes the occasional appearance to remind us that he is indeed still alive. There is little more you can say. Perhaps he would benefit from an extended run in the team. Perhaps the global recession will end in 2010. As with all matters of great complexity, it is difficult to say with any certainty.
HaL rating: 4/10

Craig Noone
Now back at That Lot Down The Road WHo Shall Not Be Named, and what we wouldn't give to have him back in Red and White. A very talented winger who can make things happen, torment a full-back and score goals. His star shined brightly for his brief spell at the park and we can but hope Paul Mariner continues to show no common sense whatsoever, drops him then loans him back to us. Frankly, he's wasted on that green lot.
HaL rating 8/10

Joe Burnell
*HaL checks Wikipedia. Scratches head, puzzled. Checks official site. Yes, there's a photo there, but who is that man in it, for he looks familiar, yet not familiar*. Apparently Joe Burnell does exist. This is all we can say, having never seen him play. I'm sure there was a purpose to signing him in the summer, but we'll be buggered if we know why.
HaL rating: N/a

Emmanuel Panther
He may have gone off in a huff to Morecambe. He may have been on the receiving end of Sol Campbell's only meaningly contribution to League Two football. He may well never play for Exeter again. Which is a shame, as despite the suspicion of An Attitude, we'd still like him back at the park. Never going to happen, mind.
HaL rating: n/a


Forwards

Marcus Stewarrrrrrrt
Another target for the boo-boys on account of being 97 and no longer able to run. It's true that this isn't the same Marcus Stewart who only had to look at a ball and he'd score for Ipswich, but then nobody told Marlon Brando he wasn't quite the same actor after he aged a bit did they? On occasions, not quite good enough. On others, an invaluable and clever member of the team. Look, I think he's still got a bit of class and it's my opinion that matters on here.
HaL rating: 6/10

Adam Stansfield
Will run all day, all night and then put in an extra running shift in the morning if you told him to. Nobody epitomises City's fighting spirit better than Stanno. As always, he has remained patient, bided his time, when put in a series of performances where he quite literally could give no more, and has scored some nifty goals in the process. Like a fine wine, he improves with age and has well and truly shown that he is capable of playing at this level.
HaL rating: 9/10

Barry Corr
An enigma. Either Barry Corr is a very good player who is still to find his feet again after a series of bad injuries, or a not very good player who occasionally scores good goals and looks half useful, much like a stopped clock. On occasions, he has looked tantalisingly close to the former, but he also has picked up too very stupid red cards and should count himself lucky not to be thrown out of the nearest exit.
HaL rating: 6/10 for general performances, 4/10 for two very stupid sendings off

Stuart Fleetwood
File under Could Do Better. Arrived after a brief loan spell last season with high expectations and the chance to confirm the big reputation he built for himself in the Conference. Instead, he's looked out of sorts and, on occasions, somewhat useless. Perhaps he needs a parade of people to shout in his face that he's overweight each week, as that seems to motivate him to score. But there have been flickers of a decent striker in the past week and we suspect there's every chance something may click and he'll score goals for fun in the second half of the season.
HaL rating: 4/10

Richard Logan
HaL suspects Logan may have run over Paul Tisdale's cat one day. How else to explain his near-constant presence on the bench while mere mortals such as Fleetwood and Corr get starts ahead of him. Every appearance he's made, and these have been few and far between, he has looked useful. Has scored three goals despite spending the majority of the season picking his nose. If we have one wish for 2010, it is more Richard Logan. Logan will lead us to the promised land (we are also idiotic opinionated football fans, so what do we know).
HaL rating: 7/10 for general performance on his rare appearances, but 8/10 for being Richard Logan

Craig McAllister
As we currently have 52.7 strikers on the books, it's no surprise Macca's been loaned out to Barnet. But every team needs a large, sightly angry-looking physical target man and what Macca lacks in ability, namely the ability to last 90 minutes, he still brings something different to the table. We haven't seen if he can cut it in League One. We'd like to see him get the chance.
HaL rating: n/a

Ben Watson
Much like the crew of Star Trek Voyager, Watson lists slowly around the reserves hoping for decimation of the forward line so he can get a chance to prove once and for all he belongs in such exalted company as Logan, Stanno and Stewart. Has scored hatfuls for the reserves and is a decent player, probably. Has made the bench a couple of times and has carried a few water bottles. That's about the extent of his contribution this season.
HaL rating: n/a

James Norwood
If you're reading this twice, congratulations. Have yourself a bonus in the shape of an assessment of James Norwood that we forgot to add the first time around. The assessment runs thus: bags of potential, utterly fearless, plenty of pace, nearly scored at Leeds, needs a bit of coaching and experience and he could be the mutts nuts. Accordingly, we've sent him to Sutton, where I once saw a bloke with a huge labrador. Fitting, really.
HaL rating: 6/10

The manager

Paul Tisdale
By his own admission, Tis is unfamiliar with League One. He's also not used to managing a team in a relegation dogfight. Essentially, this has been a crash course at the footballing school of life. And generally he's done ok. City are never going to be able to compete on the same level and your Leeds's and Charltons but Exeter still play neat, attractive football and haven't disgraced themselves too often. Still able to pull out some tactical strokes of genius, along with a few strange decisions. By and large, he's done alright and kept us out of the drop zone so far, which is all you can ask for really. Long may he continue.
HaL rating: 7/10

2 comments:

happygrecian 28 December 2009 at 23:23  

Very good analysis, and pretty much spot on IMO, though I wouldn't give Bertie more than 6.5, and I think Sercombe's 4 is a bit harsh given that he's hardly had the opportunity this season.

Other than that, totally agree.

Enjoy you blog very much, byt the way. Keep it up!

Benito 29 December 2009 at 20:51  

Agree with a lot of that but the Stewart score is a little tough! maybe a 7 in my book as his clever play and calm head is very useful!

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This is an Exeter City fan blog by Gary Andrews, covering news, views and action from the real St. James' Park.

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