Opinion

Preston North End: Gameweek 1 Power Rankings

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As a new feature on our site, we’ve decided to do a power rankings for each Preston North End player that features this campaign.

It’s a way of seeing who our star performers have been and perhaps who the most underrated players of the campaign are too.

We didn’t get off to a great start by any means though against Hull City. In fact, in the wake of a 4-1 loss, it’s hard to pick out many that performed well considering the manner of the defeat.

However, a cup game against Mansfield tonight perhaps provides the chance for some of the fringe players to help us bounce back in terms of form this week.

Here’s the first lot of power rankings. They are calculated and based on match ratings from various sources and feedback from fans watching the game.

1. Emil Riis

The striker got his season off to a flyer by bagging the goal that put us in the lead with eight minutes on the clock. It was exactly the kind of start that he would have wanted and although he missed another good chance to volley another in later on in the first half, he still looked the brightest of our two strikers. He was then surprisingly hauled off at half-time – leading many fans to question the decision making that went into the substitution. Still, based on the fact he’s a striker (who actually scored!) he tops our rankings. Hopefully it’s a good season ahead for him.

2. Daniel Johnson

Another player who didn’t play the full 90 minutes but was bright enough to claim a high place on this list is DJ. The midfielder came off the bench and provided some spark and creativity up the field – but ultimately it wasn’t enough and we were let down at the other end of the field.

3. Liam Lindsay

Although not the world’s greatest performance, he still looked fairly capable at centre-back. Perhaps it is a case of the rest playing so badly that a centre-back in a 4-1 drubbing is third on the rankings but the player himself actually didn’t do terribly. There were a few moments of decent defending and he was always a threat from set-pieces.

4. Declan Rudd

The goalkeeper was limited to not even a half of action before he had to be substituted off due to a concussion. Early on, he looked alright. That gets him fourth.

5. Tom Barkhuizen

Although he looked a bit haphazard defensively – and you can clearly tell he was playing out of his natural position – going forward he looked better. He helped tee up Riis’ goal and had two efforts himself that troubled the opposition goalkeeper. If he didn’t have defensive duties, he wouldn’t have done as badly – the only issue is, he was deployed as a RWB and therefore his defending let the player down.

6. Sepp van den Berg

Brought on at half-time to try and make an impact on the game. He was lively when he first came on and his work on the right flank was good in helping to try and take us further up the field. However, he tired early and then let some Hull players (especially Keane Lewis-Potter) get the better of him.

7. Brad Potts

Potts has often been a scapegoat for negative North End football but the midfielder was one of the better players in this game. He worked hard and at least tried to get our forward line playing to try and get us back into the game. Just lacked a little bit of creativity here and there.

8. Ben Whiteman

Not a great day for the North End midfielders but Whiteman looked the better of the bunch. We know he is well capable of some brilliance (as shown for Doncaster Rovers) but he just didn’t produce it enough here. His passing was okay but again not very creative in said passing.

9. Daniel Iversen

Usually a rock inbetween the sticks, he shipped four goals here. Although some of the goals he arguably couldn’t have helped – some of the efforts came down to the defence letting the Hull players have too good or too easy of a shot on goal, where Iversen could do nothing – he wasn’t at his best by any means. Got a strong glove or two to the ball a few times but then let the ball trickle past him for a goal and then couldn’t get a hand on any other effort.

10. Alan Browne

The captain didn’t have his most productive game and couldn’t grasp the game like he sometimes can. Showed a flash of what he is capable of early doors by helping set up Riis and played some more decent football like that but then slowed and didn’t do much else of note.

11. Ched Evans

Evans looked a solid addition to the side after his move in January, surprising many when he signed and impressed. Yet his first game of the new season certainly passed him by. The Hull defenders kept him at bay and he couldn’t manage to break through or create chances for himself.

12. Andrew Hughes

He’s looked okay as part of a backline where he features in the middle but when he was moved back to his natural left-back role he struggled. He didn’t manage to get up the field much and defensively he struggled to contain Hull and didn’t manage to keep them out, as they conceded four goals.

13. Greg Cunningham

The ever-dependable Cunningham didn’t have his best game in PNE colours either. Didn’t bombard the left wing perhaps as much as he would have liked and wasn’t the best at the other end of the field either. We know he is capable of better though so hopefully just a blip.

14. Ryan Ledson

Last year’s Player of the Season put in a performance very much unlike him. He couldn’t get his foot in to defend much and as for getting the ball forward, he also lacked that creative touch he has often had since Ben Pearson left in getting the ball forward. Also finds himself further down the pecking order here for THAT tackle.

15. Jordan Storey

The youngster certainly has potential and promise but he was another to struggle to contain Hull and their attack in this game. He managed to put in a decent enough tackle here and there and looked brighter in the first half but as the goals flew in, he struggled more and more in the game.

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