I was interested to read on Sky Sports the former England caretaker manager Peter Taylor’s ratings for England’s starting eleven in the recent friendly international versus France. A match England lost 3-2, in case anyone had forgotten.
Tom Heaton 6
Kieran Trippier 7
Ryan Bertrand 7
Phil Jones 8
Gary Cahill 7
John Stones 7
Raheem Sterling 7
Eric Dier 6
Alex Oxelade-Chamberlain 6
Dele Alli 7
Harry Kane 9
Not a number lower than 6; a pretty good scorecard I would suggest. If this had been my end of school report for the subjects I had taken that year, and these were the scores I had received from my teachers, I would be feeling pretty chuffed with myself.
English Literature 7
English Language 7
Religious Studies 7
Physical Education 9
I could imagine the headmaster’s summing up at the bottom of that report: “Well done, Blake, very good effort; lots of progress being made; keep up the good work!”
Does the England football team deserve similar praise?
It is something that I frequently notice when players are being rated after matches. The write-up of their performance may frequently be damning––“Lost the ball far too many times; regularly caught out of position.”––but it will be followed up with a high score out of ten, which seems to bear no relation to the write-up, which has gone before.
Sky Sports’ assessment of the France versus England friendly would suggest that England had played well, both in defence and in attack; that there was no obvious sign of weakness in the team. I wonder if I was watching a different match?
Of course, I am making a critical assumption, which might be confusing matters. I am assuming that Sky Sports’ ratings are being marked out of 10. Perhaps this is not the case, and they are actually being marked out of 20.
Even then I think that some players’ ratings are overly generous.
© Donnie Blake
Donnie Blake thinks players’ ratings should tell it how it is.