Pompey Player Rankings 2014

Last updated : 05 May 2014 By Jim Bonner

It's that time of year again where I dish out my "player of the season" award but it was a difficult decision after watching so much football, most of it being dire until Andy Awford rescued the situation. 

So, I thought I'd try something a bit different this year. I have taken my player ratings (out of 10) for all of the league games I have seen this season. These ratings come from all of the match reports I've written during the course of the campaign and so ratings only apply to players who played a certain amount of minutes and/or made a significant contribution to an individual game.

I've decided to omit the cup games as our cup runs this season ultimately amounted to nothing significant in the overall spectrum of the campaign.

For the record, the only league games I missed this season were away from home at Torquay (missed majority of the first half because coach turned up late), Hartlepool, Scunthorpe, Newport and Dagenham.

Also, in terms of awarding the Fratton Faithful "player of the season" award the winner won't be any of those players who have played a handful of games and so must have been at the club for the majority of the season.

However, the ratings have been calculated for every player regardless of how many they have played and have been listed from "worst" to "best". Note that the "games played" relates to appearances in the games I have seen where they have played long enough to get a rating.

Here is the list:

37) Dan Butler (Rated 4 from 1 game)

It's extremely harsh for young Dan to be the "worst" player on this list as he only played the opening game against Oxford and got a roasting from Alfie Potter. He never played again during the season and was farmed out to Aldershot before getting injured.

Awford rates him and so he may well be given a chance next season although he'll find a first team place difficult to come by if Nicky Shorey stays. He does show some promise and at 19, still has time on his side.

36) Shaun Cooper (Rated 5 from 5 games)

Some people may think that a rating of 5 is too generous for a player as limited as Cooper but he wasn't terrible by any means. Having said that, he was never that good either and was rightfully not signed up on a longer deal.

35) Ryan Bird (Rated from 5.14 from 7 games)

If it wasn't for his impact during the home match with Exeter then Bird may have found himself bottom of this list. He seems to have found his level in the Conference where he was a regular scorer for Cambridge United.

I'm still not convinced he will ever make it as a league player as he often did nothing in the games in which he started. If he stays on, it's likely he will be an impact substitute at best. 

34) Dan Potts (Rated 5.25 from 4 games)

We never really saw enough of Potts to form an informed opinion about the West Ham youngster but from what we did see, there was nothing to suggest he will ever be a Premier League player. He has decent crossing ability but little else. Maybe his heart wasn't in it?

33) Yassin Moutaouakil (Rated 5.3 from 10 games)

I think it's safe to say that "Yassin the assassin" was a liability this season and having not been seen since a woeful performance at home to Newport, it's safe to say that he will be binned in the summer.

He wasn't too bad going forward but as a defender he has to be one of the worst full backs seen at Fratton Park in years. Expect to see him at some obscure non-league club next season.

32) John Sullivan (Rated 5.33 from 6 games)

Sullivan may well be the worst goalkeeper I've seen during my years supporting Pompey with his circus act at York being the ultimate downpoint of his career so far. Like Bird, he was also shipped to Cambridge but whilst they took to the former, they soon disliked the latter as much as we did.

At 26, he may develop his skills further and he isn't a bad shot stopper. He's just useless at everything else and I would be surprised if he was kept on for next campaign.

31) Johnny Ertl (Rated 5.35 from 20 games)

Whilst I don't ever agree with those who boo or ironically cheer our own players, there can be no mistake that Ertl has been a massive disappointment since being crowned Pompey's player of the season last year.

He's slow, clumsy and gives the ball away too often although every now-and-then he'll pull a performance out of the top drawer. But is that and the fact he's a nice guy enough to keep him on? Could Pompey even get rid of him due to the length of his contract? He will probably end up staying at the club but probably won't deserve it.

30) Joe Devera (Rated 5.43 from 30 games)

I suspect Joe is rated so low because of how woeful he was when Guy Whittingham was the manager. He did improve as the season went on but didn't see much game time under Andy Awford.

He was Swindon's player of the season when they were promoted from League Two a few years ago and as long as he has someone quick next to him, he's generally solid. He could be worth keeping in the long run.

29) Danny East (Rated 5.5 from 12 games)

East is a difficult one to judge as he has played so many positions he hasn't been able to nail one down. I'm not convinced he is a full back or a winger given that anyone with pace can beat him but he could do a job as a holding midfielder.

He still needs to show some improvement if he is to keep a place in the first team next season as Pompey are bound to have better options in his favoured positions, especially if Simon Ferry stays fit and Danny Hollands signs.

28) Romain Padovani (Rated 5.64 from 14 games)

Padovani is a bit of an enigma. In some of the matches he has played in he has looked a class act who can open up defences with a quality pass but there have been others where he has let the game pass him by due to his sluggishness.

Unfortunately it seems to have been more of the latter this season but Romain is one of those players who will perform better if those around him are doing the grafting and in a winning team rather than a losing one. It'll be interesting to see how he features next season.

27) Tom Craddock (Rated 5.67 from 3 games)

Being this high up on the list is flattering for a player who has just one goal to his name against Scunthorpe. In his defence, he has suffered with injury throughout the campaign and when he has been fit there have been better options available.

It remains to be seen whether Awford will give him a chance next season because he never stood out in the few matches he did have some time to shine in.

26) Rhys McCabe (Rated 5.67 from 3 games)

Not much can be said about McCabe. He did an average job when he was here before being recalled by Sheffield Wednesday. I don't think we'll be seeing him in a Pompey shirt again.

25) Bondz N'Gala (Rated 5.7 from 23 games)

A purple patch of form when he scored three goals in three games which saw him nominated for the October player of the month has seen him land higher up the rankings than he really should be.

A lack of pace and composure which has seen Pompey conceded so many late goals will mean that it's unlikely Bondz will be with us next season as he simply isn't good enough.

24) David Connolly (Rated 5.71 from 14 games)

Connolly is arguably the most devisive player in Pompey's squad. Some would be glad to see the back of him given his supposed bad attitude and subsequent loaning to Oxford whilst others say the team desperately missed a striker of his quality.

It's a difficult decision for Awford as it's unlikely Connolly will be able to play too many matches next season despite his ability to change games. I think he will leave for a team that could fulfil his future coaching/management ambitions.

23) Phil Smith (Rated 5.75 from 4 games)

When Sullivan was floundering it was originally down to Smith to improve Pompey's goalkeeping prospects but his flappy performance at Mansfield proved that he was no better and thus Trevor Carson was brought in to resolve the situation.

Smith is likely to stay at the club as a substitute goalkeeper who will undoubtedly dabble in the coaching side of the club, too. If that fails, he could always be employed as Steve McFadden's stunt double.

22) Michael Drennan (Rated 5.8 from 5 games)

Perhaps a little unfair as he was outstanding at Dagenham, a game I happened to miss, but generally I have seen nothing of the the 20-year-old that suggests he'll be a regular for Aston Villa unless they happen to be relegated two divisions. I doubt we'll see him again next season unless he's playing against us.

21) Ben Chorley (Rated 5.82 from 11 games)

When Chorley first arrived at Pompey and took the captain's armband for the 1-0 victory at Wycombe, I believed that he would be the man to get our defence organised and stop the goals going in.

Whilst he originally improved the defence, his disciplinary issues came back to haunt him with a stupid red card against York which saw him ruled out until the final two games where Pompey shipped seven goals. He does have something to offer but is also a liability, so will Awford keep faith in him?

20) Jake Jervis (Rated 5.83 from 12 games)

He started his second spell at Pompey well with a double at Morecambe followed by another goal at Exeter but he hasn't done much since then and, if I'm being honest, Pompey should be looking at moving him on in favour of a better striker if one can be found for the right price.

Whilst he can score goals (albeit not regularly enough) Jervis has little else to his game other than his workrate. If Pompey are to get promoted next season they will need someone with a better scoring record.

19) Marcos Painter (Rated 5.88 from 16 games)

After a shaky start Painter actually did a solid job at left back until he was displaced by Nicky Shorey. It's doubtful that he will stay because of his injury problems and Awford wanting to make more use of Butler next season, but he'll do a good job for another League Two club.

18) Nicky Shorey (Rated 5.95 from 19 games)

Shorey is probably a bit unfortunate to find himself this low due to Barker playing the former England left back in central midfield at the start of his Pompey career. Whilst he has little pace he has the composure and experience to do a good job at League Two level and should be a mainstay in the team next season.

17) Sonny Bradley (Rated 5.95 from 19 games)

An inflated position due to his early performances which suggested he might be Pompey's player of the season. However, until he learns how to read the game and improve his concentration then he will never become a top centre back.

I feel that Awford will want to keep the 22-year-old as he does have potential due to his physical attributes and he also possesses a goal threat.

16) Ashley Harris (Rated 6 from 1 game)

That one game was away to Southend on New Year's Day where he actually looked the part when he came on as an early substitute only to be taken off later on due to fatigue.

However, he never made many appearances for Havant & Waterlooville, Chelmsford or Bognor Regis when he was loaned out this season and it seems like he isn't going to make it as a Pompey player despite how he burst onto the scene a couple of years ago.

15) John Marquis (Rated 6 from 4 games)

I'm probably one of the few who actually thought Marquis was a good player. In fact, he could be a Championship level striker if he knew how to finish as he'd always get in the right positions. He'll probably play against us for another club next season and let's hope he continues to be as wasteful for them as he was when he was with us.

14) Adam Webster (Rated 6 from 4 games)

An inflated ranking due to his goalscoring exploits against Hartlepool and Bristol Rovers, games where he looked comfortable in defence. The same couldn't be said for his performances against Bury and Plymouth where his positional sense really let him down.

Next season will have to be his breakthrough if he is going to make it in league football. Awford obviously trusts him, but he needs plenty of defensive coaching.

13) Thery Racon (Rated 6 from 12 games)

If there was ever a frustrating player it would be Racon. He clearly has some ability and knows how to tackle but his passing can be absolutely shocking at times and there have been instances where he has given the ball away which has led to Pompey conceding.

He hasn't played since Pompey's win over Wimbledon back in February and there are probably better options available to the manager in the summer rather than to keep Racon on, even if he does have something to offer.

12) Patrick Agyemang (Rated 6 from 29 games)

Big Pat can still influence games but his star had faded pretty drastically this season and he hasn't scored a goal since the 2-2 draw with Wycombe last December. He can still hold the ball up and give defenders a torrid afternoon, but could his legs hack another full season?

11) Andy Barcham (Rated 6.05 from 19 games)

Undoubtedly has an inflated rating due to his outstanding early form, Barcham would rival Racon as Pompey's most frustrating player because when he's good, he's really good but when he's not then you may as well be playing with ten men.

His injury problems haven't helped his cause but more will be expected of him next season, especially as it looks like Jed Wallace will be leaving.

10) Ryan Taylor (Rated 6.07 from 14 games)

I like Taylor because he is very much a team player and also has an eye for goal. Whilst he struggles against the more physical teams that know how to deal with him, he can be awkward to play against as he holds the ball and brings others into play.

He also has an eye for goal and five goals isn't a bad return for someone who isn't a natural goalscorer. He should be an asset next season and even more so if Awford can find a player to play alongside him.

9) Daniel Alfei (Rated 6.08 from 12 games)

I was surprised to see Alfei finish so high in these standings which just shows how mediocre this team has been all season. The Swansea loanee was solid and had something about him but he was never really outstanding. It'll be interesting to see which division he plays in next season as his goodbye tweet suggests he won't be returning to Portsmouth.

8) Jed Wallace (Rated 6.09 from 35 games)

A rating slightly above 6 seems about right for Jed who has had an inconsistent season as you'd might expect for a 20-year-old. He has been outstanding in some games and utter dross in others but he clearly has the ability to go further in the game.

I don't think he deserves to move to a higher division based on his performances this season and it might be wise for him to sign a new contract and flourish next year under a manager who knows how to get the best out of him.

7) Simon Ferry (Rated 6.14 from 16 games)

Ferry clearly has the ability to be a standout performer in this division, if only he could get over his horrendous injury problems. He offers the back four some great protection with his tenacity and he rarely gives the ball away.

Some fans have suggested letting him go due to his persistent injuries but you cannot let a player of his calibre leave because he has too much to offer if he can stay fit.

6) Toumani Diagouraga (Rated 6.14 from 7 games)

Toums was clearly Pompey's best player when he arrived on loan from Brentford due to his energy and his ability on the ball. Comparisons to Yaya Toure might be far-fetched but he is too good for League Two.

Now his contract is up at Brentford and they're unlikely to renew it now they are a Championship side, Pompey should do everything they can to try and snap him up on a permanent deal if budget allows it.

5) Trevor Carson (Rated 6.26 from 31 games)

Whilst he has made a few mistakes (and which goalkeeper doesn't?) Carson has kept Pompey in so many games this season with some fantastic acrobatic saves and his calmness under pressure to take crosses and long balls into the box.

The only real gripe with him would be his poor kicking but you could be fairly certain that Pompey would have finished much further down the table had it not been for Carson's heroics at times during the campaign. Deservedly scooped some "player of the season" awards.

4) Wes Fogden (Rated 6.29 from 14 games)

If there is one thing Richie Barker can be praised for it was that his (or Steve Coppell's) signings were generally good and Fogden was the best of them.

Despite a slow start, his energy gave the team a lift and he is a good all-round player who can track back and surge forward whether it be in the centre of midfield or on the wing. He should be a key player next season.

3) Jack Whatmough (Rated 6.38 from 8 games)

The main positive to come out of this season has to be the emergence of Jack. He already looks like an accomplished player at the age of just 17 and so will only get better. Just how good he could become is anyone'e guess but he is Pompey's best young player in years.

He still needs to find a position to nail down. As a defensive midfielder he was outstanding at Fleetwood yet got the runaround at Rochdale whereas he has been more consistent at centre back. Awford has already said he'll nurture him but expect him to play a massive part in Pompey's 2014/2015 campaign.

2) Ricky Holmes (Rated 6.41 from 29 games)

Holmes has definitely been the most consistent performer over the course of the entire season despite some less than stellar performances. However, he is second in the overall League Two assists table with ten to his name and more often than not he is a genuine threat with his speed and trickery down both flanks.

If he could improve his set-pieces and score a few more goals then he would be an oustanding lower league player but there can be little doubt that Holmes deserves his Pompey "player of the season" accolades.

1) Danny Hollands (Rated 7.4 from 5 games)

It can be no coincidence that Pompey's winning run began when Hollands arrived at the club. He is a great all-round performer at this level as he can win the ball, rarely gives it away and scores goals from midfield too.

He is clearly too good for League Two but seeing as he is out of contract and is keen to stay at Portsmouth then Awford should do everything in his power to keep him here as he could be the difference between promotion or mediocrity next season.

So, there you have it. Although Hollands is the top rated player of the season Holmes wins this year's Fratton Faithful "player of the season" award despite a mean average of 6.41 out of 10, which goes to show you how mediocre this season has been (or how harsh I am with my ratings...) but at least he should improve next season with Barker's shackles off him.

Obviously some of the rankings are obscure as I'm sure no Pompey fan would declare Dan Butler as the worst player in the Portsmouth squad but other players near the bottom like John Sullivan could well be. It's all subjective nonsense anyway!

Thank you for reading all of that if you managed. The rest of the awards will be coming shortly and there are a fair few candidates for the worst of them, believe me!