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Sunday, 10 October 2004

1136: WALES: Player ratings against

by : Antony Melvin

Wales went down 2-0 but many of their players played above themselves in what proved to be a mismatch. The defence and goalkeeper clearly look like they could play in the Premiership. Whereas the much-lauded attack proved soft-centred.

Jones 9

Kept Wales in the game at 1-0 for a long time. And the goals he conceded - a deflected shot and a gravity defying lob - showed that he could save anything he could reach. His best save was tipping Rooney’s 30-yarder onto the post, because a second goal that early would have lead to a rout.

Delaney 7

Generally neat and tidy, Delaney pulled up few trees – but the English chances were restricted.

Gabbidon 9

Bar far the best of the Welsh defence. He made a series of challenges that were reminiscent of Viv Anderson, hooking the ball back when it was seemingly yards beyond him. He can hold his head up.

Thatcher 6

The Manchester City full-back had a decent game, but was pinned in his own half for too long. He also failed to impose his physicality on David Beckham until it was too late.

Davies 6

A change in roles for Davies who played much more centrally than he is used to at Spurs. But in an ineffective midfield he was largely missing in action.

Koumas 5

Probably the biggest let-down for the Welsh midfield, without his barnstorming runs he is a reduced player. But the amount of defending that the Welsh side had to undertake significantly reduced him.

Speed 8

At the heart of everything that might have led to a Welsh goal. A flying header from a set-piece and a hurried turn-and-volley were the high points. Never given the support he needed.

Pembridge 5

Given the task of shackling Rooney, Pembridge never got close. His desperation to stay near the teenager left a gaping hole in the middle for the first goal, and by the time Rooney cruised past him to crash against a post he was a busted flush.

Giggs 7

Created Wales best chance from a set-piece and never stopped running, but could not get the better of Neville.

Bellamy 6

Moaned and groaned his way through another 90 minutes on right wing. His contribution was minor.

Hartson 5

Apart from the odd flick-on was largely peripheral – even from set-pieces.

Antony Melvin
10/10/2004

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