Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Manchester United
I really hate this! It’s like it comes true when I write the analysis and ratings down and is still undecided before I do. Silly, I know, after all it’s been days since the game and a new is coming up soon.
No surprise that we lost to the magnificent league leaders, of course. We didn’t have to make it so easy for them though. Zubar didn’t have to slide into a United player soles first twice. Both times the referee got it right. Why did Zubes do that, I mean it wasn’t like they would have a clear-cut goal opportunity if coming round him?
Ronnie Zubar has not got the pace and the technique for the game he is trying to play. It was obvious when he came through going forward himself aswell. He had no control over his crosses and they sailed wide and far. Maybe if he had some more games in his belt this season, but now he will not have the opportunity to get that this season. A sad story.
Wolves did fight well against the odds the first twenty minutes or so before their first goal. They could have got a couple before that but we went close too. We were still not getting forward with pace vertically, though. Still that balling around at lower midfield without a compass set at their goal area. A surprise to me that TC used Doyle again from start as Kightly really looked fresher when coming on against Fulham and I believe he proved himself as a sub again Saturday. And Kights always have been one of those players with his compass directed at goal. A strength of his for sure.
Otherwise it was the left side of our forward going play that functioned as usual. Ward and Jarvo knows each others moves inside out. A big loss was of course that Davis had to leave stretching some muscle in his abdomen as it looked on field. I haven’t visited the official site to find out the last couple of days, I must confess. Too fed up.
The defence and defending set pieces. As usual. Were we this bad at it last season or the season before? I don’t recall that. So we’re going backwards when it comes to defending. Why? There seem to be no player taking charge over the defending on set pieces or no one at all ever really. No strong, experienced man in the team that the others listen to and who knows how to set up a defence. It’s not enough if TC tells them before the game and at half-time and they train it in the week before. There’s got to be someone out there, adjusting play to circumstances. A strong wise voice. A leader. It is as McCarthy didn’t want to share power by employing such a player and we suffer from that and I believe we always have the last five years or so. Maybe he saw Johnson as such a man, but he doesn’t seem to have that kind of authority, not wise enough and with enough knowledge.
Perhaps Craddock would make a difference in defence. And remember he is good at scoring aswell, but with only one game played in the league this season he sure is a long shot. So we’re in deep trouble both in defence and in the inner midfield. At least we cannot sink deeper tha our current bottom placeing in the league and looking at play it is well deserved. Depressing!
The mini-league still lives, or does it? Blackburn looks to be on secure ground soon after two back-to-back victories and QPR can make a Houdini escape despite having a difficult run-in. And then we will be three and it will be decided. Noooo! There must be a way to escape this, but it will not be easy and most of the players have to hit form and find a way to play together with guts and efficiency. After Darkness…
About the ratings. The game got distorted after the sending off and it’s really hard to give the players fair ratings when they play with ten men. You might say that I give too high ratings in general, but I rate the individual players here, not the final result or how Wolves stood up against United as a ten man team.
Hennessey – 5 - Seems to have lost his magic and looks nervous at times. Doesn’t command his area like he still did a couple of games ago. Even the kick-outs sometimes fails, but with the defending by his peers out in the field any goalie would get nervy.
Zubar – 2 – Disgusting! Came through a couple of times on his flank, but when crossing everything went terribly wrong. At defending he was a security risk with bad timing as long as he was on. TC should have gone with Foley from start, as I expected after Zubars game against Fulham. I’m still behind TC, but he got to show what he’s got in his pocket and brains now or I will accuse him of not being any better than his predecessor, as many other fans do already. Time flies and I’m afraid neither TC nor Zubar does so far.
Stearman – 5 – Managed to stop attacks on many occasions but also looked slow, clumsy and misplaced many times against fast running opponents. Is Johnson a better choice? Or Craddock? We will soon find out, but I’m not too convinced about that. Feel free to surprise me!
Bassong – 4 – Thought he was a class player when we signed him on loan from Tottenham. Now I would prefer Berra.
Ward – 6 – Not good enough at defending and together with Bassong he did not accomplish his task at defending his side of the pitch well at all. His rating goes up by his excellent job going forward, though, and he always fights and gives everything for the team. He is the right man to hold the captains badge at the moment and I will give him the little star, because there frankly were very few players to choose among in this game.
Davis – 5 – Did an ok job until injured, but his weaknesses defending the back four against the fast United players were more obvious in this game than the previous. We need hm back in shape, though. Good at tackling and wins more balls in midfield than any other in the team. Close to a six.
Jonsson – 6 – Came on for Davis and did remarkably well. I had no high thoughts about his abilities before, but perhaps I have misjudged the Iceland International. Missed only one pass all game and actually went forward and created a chance. Actually prefered him to Edwards in this game. Maybe he can play a role already this season.
Foley – 6 – Showed that he was a better choice than Zubar on right back and did a better job in the middle than last game. A loss to the inner midfield when he had to move to right back after Zubar saw red and there were not a chance that we would catch up after that. I awaited more goals in the back and they came until United decided to concentrate on all being behind the ball and defending the clean sheet.
Edwards -5 – He blows hot and cold. I’m not sure he is the kind of player Wolves need on inner midfield, but he battles hard and runs like a dog and we hadn’t many to choose from in this game. Hard to rate as the inner midfield suffered the hardest after the red card on Zubar.
Doyle – 5 – Uncomfortable on the wing, would maybe have been a choice if we play a 4-3-3, but with the team being pressed back by United he didn’t fit in at all. He always get chances at the start of each game and then he disappears somewhere. Why? Is he a show-off without guts or just easy to read? Too many bad games this season to be starting. The players that TC has shown more confidence in than McCarthy did has not repaid him by performing well enough. Sad.
Jarvis – 7 – The only player in the team to play up to his abilities in game after game. Shows great character and morals to perform under these difficult circumstances. With the constant backing and support of Ward he goes forward but as the others are not of the same high quality they can’t make his gifts into goals so at the end it all comes to nothing. Sad, but Matt is not to blame for it and he of course gets Paddytheflea’s Big Star.
Kightly – 6 - Came on for Doyler with only 33 minutes left to play but showed a drive going forward despite that all was lost by then. Should play from start now and Doyle should be the one to come on from the bench. Gets my smiley and I expect him to be a star player against Norwich. Time to show what you really can do and offer us fans hope now, Kightly!
Fletcher – 5 – It’s so easy for a team to defend against only one danger-man, but despite that Fletcher got a couple of chances and he should have scored on at least one of them. It’s not easy for him and he of course suffered too with only ten on the pitch. Hope he haven’t lost his scoring-ability, though, we will need it. Very soon!