Player Ratings: Wolves vs Blackburn
Wolves are now guaranteed to stay up in the Premier League next season and I’m a very happy little flea. The team – and of course manager Mick McCarthy and everybody in the club behind him – are to congratulate for a very well performed season.
As I said before Wolves have managed to keep a very high standard and take points from some very good teams, without strengthening the team much from last season. Most of our players took the step up to Premier League standard with grace, but it was not until McCarthy changed the formation to 4-5-1 that the team could cope defensively and stop us from leaking goals.
That was of course something we should thank Mick McCarthy for. He is a stubborn man, but he changed from his favorite 4-4-2 when necessary and that was – in my opinion – the main reason for the success in the second half of this season.
But it is also the constant evolution of the players. They are now seasoned Premier League players and know how to play in the best league in the world. And they are still young and will get even better next season. With a few quality signings Wolves will be ready to take the next step up the ladder next season. To become a stable team in the middle of the league.
The match against Blackburn was not the best performance Wolves have made this season. Far from it. Actually Blackburn was the best team for the day, but we defended well as usual and we looked much better going forward when Mick changed to 4-4-2. But it was taking a chance, as Rovers were very dangerous going forward. But being one goal behind it was the right thing to do and it finally paid off. To the ratings! But first – have a cigar.
Hahnemann – 7 – Another good performance. He saved us on many occasions – just like in many games this season. But he must take some responsibility for the Blackburn goal as he should and could have stopped the ball from reaching Nelsen. If he had he would have been given an 8 from me.
Zubar – 6 – Did not move forward as much as he usually does, but he had a lot to do in defence and he did that satisfactory.
Craddock – 6 – Not one of his better performances and he was partly responsible for the Nelsen goal. And please let someone else take care of playing the ball up the pitch. He misses to many passes.
Berra – 7 – He is on a high at the moment and it is not until the last couple of matches that he has proved to me that he has what it takes to be a central defender in the Premier League. Well done!
Elokobi – 8 – A superb match again! Nobody worked as hard as George Elokobi – in both directions. Many a fan has expressed doubts that Elokobi would make it in the Premier League. He has proved the doubters totally wrong. He is the player in Wolves that has evolved the most. With 46 correct passes he was the most active in the team against Blackburn and he showed a very high 87% accuracy in his passes. Fantastic! George Elokobi is Paddytheflea’s Man Of The Match for the second game in sequence!
Mancienne – 6 – Did what could be expected of him, but not one of his better matches. Was substituted after 66 minutes.
Foley – 6 - As usual he worked all over the pitch and was very accurate in his passes. But he looked a number to small against the Blackburn defence. Was substituted in the 79th minute.
Edwards – 6 – Much better than last and with a little luck he could have had scored on the prefect cross from Doyle. Was tactically substituted in the 37th minute for Chris Iwelumo.
Jones – 7 – Created several scoring attempts and had a couple of his own. Worked in the Henry role but goes forward much more. Wolves looks more vulnarable in defending without Henry, but we seem to go forward more. Hard working over great distances as usual. Quality!
Ward – 7 – Jarvis was injured so he took on his old position as a winger. And he did well, assisting to the Ebanks-Blake goal. But he is not at all the same class as Jarvis, but perhaps the latter has something to learn from him when it comes to crosses?!
Doyle – 6 - He seem to work better on the flanks than in the middle. If Mick want go to 4-4-2 in the last games I want him to take a wing position while Ebanks-Blake is positioned in the middle. With Jarvis and Doyle on the wings and SEB in the middle Wolves could create havoc in the Pompey and Black Cat defences.
Iwelumo – 6 – Played for nearly an hour when Mick changed to 4-4-2 after the Rovers goal. He had an on goal attempt and created a couple for others. Wolves became better going forward when he came on. His height is needed against teams like Blackburn and if Elokobi had found his head more times Wolves could have scored more goals. But I am not totally convinced that Big Chris has what it takes to be a regular Premier League striker.
A special mentioning goes to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. He was in for eleven minutes and he did well. Apart from scoring the beautiful goal (see link below highlights in right margin) – his first for Wolves in open play in the Premier League – he had another good attempt. Put him on from start against Pompey!