With eleven matches played, we’ve entered the second quarter of the season. This post takes a look at the performances that have earned us a point a game — on track for safety — but left us rueing missed opportunities for more.
The numbers below were calculated by averaging the performance scores we dole out after every match. They are obviously subjective, but provide some insight on the areas of the team that are — at least in the eyes of the writers on this site — performing to, below or beyond expectation. Ali Al-Habsi is perhaps unsurprisingly our stand-out performer, followed by James McCarthy and Shaun Maloney. The strongest area of the pitch was the centre of midfield partnership of James McCarthy and James McArthur, while the weakest was the centre of defence. Only players who have started more than five matches were included.
Ali Al Habsi: 7.4 — Mostly 7s and 8s, with a 5 on an off-day and a 9 on a particularly excellent afternoon.
Gary Caldwell: 6.45 — Like Ali, has had one standout 9-worthy performance against Spurs, but a few more off-days.
Ivan Ramis: 6.65 — Nightmare debut, but steady improvement since then.
Maynor Figueroa: 6.55 — One of the more consistent performers. Had a bad day at Swansea post-international break, and a good one at Sunderland. Otherwise 6s and 7s.
Emmerson Boyce: 6.45 — Mr. Reliable, with nothing higher than a 7.5 but rarely letting his team down.
Jean Beausejour: 6.78 — Good performances without reaching his best.
James McCarthy: 7.2 — Very good season so far, has been dominant in midfield. Imagine if he adds goals to his game.
James McArthur: 6.78 — Stop-start campaign with injuries, but has been good when available.
Shaun Maloney: 7.05 — Some high numbers, but lack of finishing is probably losing him points. He makes this team tick, but is starting to be identified as the man to mark.
Arouna Kone: 6.75 — Very good average given these have been his first 11 matches in Premier League football, with a new team and surroundings, and no adaptation period.
Franco Di Santo: 7 — A big number for Franco, who has scored some well-taken goals, continued to put in the hard work, and been rewarded with an Argentina call-up.
Defence (including Al-Habsi): 6.76
Centre of Defence (without Al-Habsi): 6.55 — weakest
Centre of Midfield: 6.99 — strongest