CambsIron made the long trip to Glanford Park to witness a 4-1 defeat against Plymouth. Here’s his player ratings.
Jak Alnwick – Lacked authority and presence in the penalty area. Very quiet in terms of communication and organisation. Looks low in confidence having made a number of individual errors over the course of October and from playing behind a disorganised and confidence bereft back four.
One good save high to his right from Carey’s curling effort in the 2nd half, showed decent agility and spring in reflex saves. Looks to distribute quickly at time to help the team break, but lacked accuracy with his balls forward. Perhaps not the source of Scunthorpe’s current defensive problems, but not of the quality or experience to play top end League 1 football. Need Gilks back asap 6.
Jordan Clarke – A much improved performance compared to recent displays and perhaps signs of Clarke returning to full fitness and form. Provided some positive balls into the box and down the line to supply Colclough.
Delivery from wide areas was not standout quality but he hit good areas and took set pieces from deep of a similar quality. Had a reasonable game 1v1 defensively, but suffered from overloads on occasion with Colclough playing high up the pitch. Irony that its a defender who gets the STAR MAN award, but the pick of a bunch on a dismal day. 7
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – Physically as he stands on the pitch CBJ looks a cut above League 1 level – good height and body shape, turn of pace and athletic. Clearly has a decent range of passing, touch and technical ability on the ball, but these positives are routinely counteracted by poor decision making and lapses in concentration.
Questionable heart and attitude, poor recovery runs and often out of position as Argyle attacked. Previous ability to provide width and offensive cutting edge on the break was seldom on display. 5
Charlie Goode – Good attitude, effort and commitment throughout but has not developed his game in the past 12 months. Was given the run around by Ladapo in the first half. Decent enough in the air in a 1v1, but has a tendency to attacks headers with gusto when its not necessary causing misdirection and a turnover in possession. Rash on the deck at times (1v1) leaving space in behind.
Distribution was often rash, lacked composure and quality particularly when looking long. Wayward. One decent run striding out of defence. Would be fine as a stop gap in a confident defensive unit, but looks poor in a struggling team. 5
Rory McArdle – Not comfortable playing left centre back, no left side to speak of and looked nervous coming on to a bouncing ball and when facing his own goal in possession. Seems to have lost a degree of strength 1v1, injuries may have taken their toll.
Struggled with his agility and mobility when having to change direction, but has never been the most mobile. Still decent enough in the air, but in a poor position for the third goal. A good professional and still committed to the cause but is really struggling for form and confidence. Not the leader Scunthorpe desperately need in terms of performances on the pitch. 5
Ryan Colclough – Scunthorpe’s offensive spark. Not his best day in terms of end product, but he offers width, pace, supply and a goal threat. Patchy decision making and composure in the final third on the day. Played high up the pitch and was Scunthorpe’s only real outlet.
Drove his shots and crosses with good power and caused problems with his ability to go both ways on the dribble. The only player who looked like he could get in behind and put Plymouth on the back foot. Not his day in front of goal, but has clear quality and showed a good attitude and energy throughout. Could’ve offer more assistance defensively, but appeared to be under instruction to stay high. 6
James Perch – Failed to stamp his authority on the midfield or screen his centre backs effectively. Offered little going forward in terms of supporting runs and passing range.
Willing in the 1v1 battle on the deck if the ball was in his area, but aside from that, a limited display and was outshone by his counterparts in the Argyle midfield. Limited dynamism in his movement around the pitch and looked a million miles away from the regular Championship player he once was. 5
James Horsfield – Displayed some commitment and intent with his body language and movement in the first half but faded as the game wore on into the second period.
Showed some vision and courage on the ball in his pass selection, but this was few and far between to effect the game consistently. Like Perch, no real attacking threat or ability to attack space himself when in possession. Far from clear as to who performs what role in the makeshift centre midfield area. 5
George Thomas – Showed fleeting glimpses of quality on the dribble and in his positive pass selection. Was willing to take chances on the ball to create, but clearly not at his best playing off the left and it has to said there was a lack of willing runners in behind or deep from midfield to help Thomas.
Scunthorpe still yet to see a performance from Thomas which warrants his recent call up for Wales. Out of position and unclear as to how he fits into the tactical set up. 6
Ike Ugbo – At his best chasing down long balls in the left channel, showed some pace and strength when running onto the ball and got in good positions cutting in from the left in the first half.
Decision making and link play in and around the penalty area lacked quality and composure, never looked like scoring or creating 20 yards out lacked composure and touch in front of goal. Ineffective in terms of hold up play, first touch and strength (his inability to hold the ball put pressure on a creaking defence and centre midfield). Would also expect more in terms of work rate and application given his age and physical attributes. 5
Stephen Humphrys – Like Ugbo, Humphrys was not able to hold on to the ball for long enough to link play and bring others into the game with his back to goal. Looked at his best running with the ball from deep, but struggled with his decision making and pass selection.
Missed a couple of superb close range chances, one in particular where he chose to use his head rather than his feet. Can take a crumb of comfort from the fact that he got in the position to score. No threat in behind. Subbed off at Half Time. 4
Subbed on at Half Time – Lee Novak – At one point in January Novak would’ve been behind the likes of Toney, Hopper, Madden and Van Veen in the pecking order but now Novak looks like the first name on the team sheet. Showed aggression, character and passion upon his arrival.
Has the most consistent touch, positional intelligence and hold up play of the strikers on the books at Scunthorpe. Lacks a yard of pace, but is intelligent enough to find space in good areas. Took is goal well and should’ve had a second. A mid table League 1 striker that could do with being paired with a pacy poacher type forward. Likely captain if McArdle is given some time out. 6