McCarthy explains the experimental tactics against Chelsea

McCarthy explained to the official site that he had changed the tactics against Chelsea to try to get a goal by having more wide players running forward trying to get behind the Chelsea full backs.

Wolves started with a 3-5-2 formation with three centre backs (Berra, Craddock and Stearman). That did actually work initially, but the Chelsea goals stopped the experiment and the team eventually went back to a more ‘normal’ formation.

Mick upholds the view that this change of tactics was not the reason for Wolves conceding two goals in the beginning of the match.

The thinking behind changing the formation was that it might have been a good way to play against them. We played three centre halves but had two up front and that could have been of benefit. But now we’ll never know.


Their first goal doesn’t come because of any formation change and neither does the second goal and so we’re 2-0 down after 12 minutes. We made a mistake for the first goal, letting the ball bounce and not clearing it, and then don’t defend properly for the second and by that time it’s almost game, set and match. Perhaps we could try and shut up shop and keep a clean sheet but we’ll never know tactically what would have happened.

I’m not so sure that the first goal was not to blame on the change of tactics. With one more in the back line Wolves might have repaired the mistake in clearing the ball.

At the same time I’m perfectly alright with our manager trying to find a way to tactically outsmart other teams. McCarthy is however not known to be a tactical genius. In fact many of my supporter friends holds the view that tactical dispositions is a weak point in McCarthy’s skills.

However this experiment does not prove anything one way or another about our managers tactical know-how. But it raises the question. I hope, though, that Mick will not try this type of experimental tactics against our upcoming opposition. There is always the possibility that the tactics looks alright on paper, but that the players only gets confused in practice. Wolves have had some experience of that with former managers (no names).



~ by paddytheflea on November 23, 2009.

10 Responses to “McCarthy explains the experimental tactics against Chelsea”

  1. Sorry but I cannot see how Halford could ever pose a threat on the wings. Why wasn’t Kightly in the starting line up then? Perhaps he was out of form????? Keep it simple I think would have been safer. Play both Jarvis and Kightly on the wings. You just need to play Kightly back into form. Afterall he is the only quality winger we have at the moment.

    • Kightly has played many matches now and he has been lousy in most – including when he came on against Chelsea. We suffer with only one natural winger, I agree, But Kightly is no alternative at the moment. How many minutes more does Kightly need to get in form? Will he ever make it in the PL. I don’t know. Perhaps Jarvis on one wing and Milijas on the other side is the best formation we can put up at the moment. But that would of course not be two wingers.

      • I think Mick was right to try something different. I have seen Chelsea many times this season and they are very narrow in attack, hence the attempt to crowd the centre of the park and catch them with speed on the break. Unfortunately the players were not able to execute the plan, but that does not mean that the plan itself was flawed. If your centre half clears the ball five yards and then runs away from it then it doesn’t matter what formation you are planning.

      • I agree. Some of the players does not measure up to standards and in some cases we see a somewhat peculiar choice of the starting eleven. Hopefully we will get a couple of players back (Zubar, Foley, Mancienne) who can do a better job.
        But at the same time it’s of course up to the manager to apply a tactics that all players can follow.

  2. Hennesey

    Stearman Zubar/craddock Mancienne Elokobi

    Edwards Henry Miljas/Keough

    Jarvis/Doyle Kightly/Miljas


    We should go for a 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 (in attack) against the best teams, and attack on the wings, try reach Maierhofer in the box. Few defenders will stand a chance if the passing accuracy of the wings improve. If i remember right, Jarvis had more crossings than any other player in premier league in the preliminary stages of the season. But then Maierhofer wasn’t in our team.

    • The problem is if Maierhofer is good enough. But I agree in principal that crosses from the wings to the penalty area should be our main weapon. It’s a pity that Iwelumo is injured again. He would have been needed. I rate him higher then the Hoff, but maybe Hoff will get better once he realises and meets up to the demands of the PL. But the problem is that time is running out now. We cannot spend half the season nursing players to form and fitness. We need full strength NOW.

  3. No no no no if that was 3-5-2 how come all the goals were score OUTSIDE of the penalty box ?? Where were the 5 in midfield to stifle Chelsea? You don’t take on Chelsea with a team that is NOT capable of doing just that. The best you can hope for is to stifle their play.
    We are not good enough to take on such team what is MM thinking !!!

  4. What I can’t understand is why Mick narrowed our pitch at home, in his own words, “why give these good teams extra space to play in?” That’s back-fired on us. It’s us who needs the space, to get the ball wide to Jarvo, Kites etc – Arsenal & Chelsea don’t use width – they just play through you with nice little triangles and one-two’s. We need to get the pitch back to how it was, get a big man in up front and play to our strengths – that’s all that Stoke do and it works for them. (I don’t mean play the long ball, I mean get it wide and get round the back of teams – particularly in the next 3 home games).

    • Agree on that, but I don’t think the pitch width is such an important issue. The winger (s) can get forward anyway. The only big man available is the Hoff. He is playing in the reserves tonight (see article). I don’t know if he is good enough for the PL. My believe is that Doyle and Keogh are our best choice as forwards.

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