Player Ratings: Birmingham City vs Wolves

I have deliberately waited to have my say about this game.  I was too down and upset for a couple of hours afterwards and the words I would have written you would not have liked to read.

The Wolves match at St Andrews against Birmingham City started with a fierce attacking Birmingham side launching in ball after ball inside the Wolves penalty area. Wolves looked forlorn, but after some ten minutes the Birmingham attacks faded and Wolves could slowly work themselves into the game. But it was only luck and maybe angels watch that protected Wolves from getting a goal down in these early minutes of the game.

The play evened up and the teams – with the players that paddytheflea predicted would start – had some chances but nothing with a bite. But Wolves got an award at the end of the first half when several players pressured the Birmingham defence. a flick by a defender from a Jarvis shot made the ball bounce back from the post and Doyle was in the right spot to score in an open goal.

In the second half Wolves continued to play well and they were defending high up the pitch. The second half of the first half and the first half of the second half was Wolves best periods of the match, if you follow me.

But after a couple of changes from McLeish – with first Phillips then Fahey and Gardner coming on – the initiative turned to Birmingham. In the 78th minute Jerome almost scored and a couple of minutes later came the equalizer I had feared for some time.

Fahey crossed the ball to Gardner who delivered it to Phillips who could score with not too much attention from the Wolves defence.

The Birmingham winner came five minutes later when Ward let Mr Carr run free on the left side as he had done so many times before in the game. But this time Carr had Phillips to aim at in the penalty area and he did no mistakes as nobody was following his steps this time either (I know. I’m still a bit upset).

To the ratings. I think that McCarthy did make the right choice for starting eleven. We have to play with five in the middle and we don’t have any natural winger on the right. So get off Foley’s back, will you.

But McCarthy should have made changes and rested a couple of players earlier than he did. And he rested the wrong players when he finally made changes. So McCarthy gets five points from me.

Hahnemann – 5 – Did a couple of mistakes in this match. It was his worst match since he became a regular starter. Was lucky not to let a couple of more goals in, but couldn’t be blamed for any of the goals.

Zubar – 6 – Had three goalchances and was very fired up. Combined well with Foley. But shows some weaknesses working back (but did a good last second clearance at one time). But one point less because of making the same mistake as last game. Two hands on the back of an opponent that dropped like a dead bird in the penalty area. Learn quicker, Zubar!

Craddock – 6 – With 17 clearances I can’t give him less. But he stood watching backing up in Hahnemans lap when Phillips scored his second.

Berra – 5 – Still not as good as he was before the knock. Is often out of position and had a hard time defending today. At the moment I can’t see any alternative to our central defenders, so please shape up.

Ward – 5 – Had a hard time on his side. Looks to be out of form. Maybe Stearman should play instead?!

Mancienne – 6 – Worked hard all over the pitch. I’m not sure if McCarthy is doing the right thing by playing all three of the inner midfielders everywhere. Wouldn’t it be better if they each had one zone to cover?

Foley – 6 – Had two shots on goal, but unfortunately right on mr Hart. Didn’t create much else going forward, but with a little luck he could have scored a second for us when needed.

Henry – 6 – Had a more forward positioned role today, but worked in the defence as well. Too much to cover? Tired at the end? Looked tired when he watched Phillips score from up close without thinking about marking somebody.

Jones – 5 – As the other two inner midfielders he covered a lot of ground all over the pitch. Caused many fouls. Had a couple of tries at goal as well. Need more matches to get good. But will he get it with the new guy looking good?

Jarvis – 6 – Not one of his finest, but quick as always and a threat.  I looked at some stats from when he was really on fire in the  beginning of the season. He worked a much larger part of the pitch then. Now he only runs the wing all the time and tries to get a cross in. Too predictable?

Doyle – 8 – Way better than anybody else in Wolves. Poor man. What is he doing in our second grade outfit? Glad that he scored today. It will probably mean a lot to him. But in this match – as in the match against Hull – he actually had some help from midfielders and defenders coming up. But sadly they don’t have the same precision as Doyle when it comes to putting the ball in the net. He is of course Paddytheflea’s Man Of The Match.

I want to give a special mentioning to Guedioura. He did make a good impression with one shot on goal and one screamer just outside and over. Maybe he can take one of the inner midfield positions that is out for grabs.


P.S. Video Highlights way down the right margin as always.D.S.


~ by paddytheflea on February 7, 2010.

9 Responses to “Player Ratings: Birmingham City vs Wolves”

  1. Mostly agree with ratings, where is Milijas?

    without him we are doomed 😦

    • There’s real competition for the inner midfield now with the new guy doing well too. Milijas didn’t play well against Palace, but the cup is not his game. Hopefully he will play against Tottenham. But I think the new guy will play as well. Perhaps from start?! It depends if he has got it in him to last the whole 90 in PL tempo. I doubt it.

  2. I miss Bia because his a real winger, fast and good skills, can challenge the oppositions defenders. Last time he played for 5 minutes and created one chance, or was it two, a distance shot. What have we to lose by playing him. Why go for Foley. He’s a good defender, and combines ok with Zubar, playing mostly one touch football.
    We could even play Milijas on the left and Jarvis on the right.

  3. Hearing from Mick, it seems that it gets harder to bring the morale of the players up after this defeat. I am worried but we can only pray and hope that we will pick up soon after February (which we often do) during which we will also see Edwards and Kightly coming back from their injuries.

  4. I feel sick as a pig after yesterdays game, we did not deserve that and controlled large portions of the game.Definately our best performance with the new system and it was pleasing to see the midfield bombing forward to support the outstanding Kevin Doyle.Sadly losing after playing well hurts more than the same outcome after playing badly and although there are plenty of positives to take from the game you would have an hard job taking any comfort from them. No doubt about it we should have signed Kevin Phillips years ago and kept him here, thereby savings us all a great deal of heartache over the years.

    • It was a hard loss to take, mike p, but still a fall forward in some ways as we created many chances, as against Hull. We are getting there and I think we could nick a few points against the very good teams we are about to meet now. There is still some hope left!

  5. I think some of your ratings are a bit harsh, in my view the only player that should get a 5 was Ward, he looked poor and his distribution/passing was very poor. Doyle was outstanding yet again, Jarvis was lacking in confidence, at times I thought he should have skinned the right back but he came infield for crosses too much. Jones did ok in my eyes and the free kick was excellent. I did not expect Milijas to play today as I dont beleive his style of play fits in with all the kick and rush of a local derby. I also liked the look of Guedioura and expect him to start v Spurs instead of Jones/Foley. All in all a very dissapointing result.

    • I am a little undecided about Jones. Maybe he deserved a better rating. As I mentioned I am surprised of the way MM uses the midfielders in the middle. All three of them runs all over the pitch. That must be very tiring for them. And completely idiotic in my opinion. He should use them in dífferent zones of the pitch and they will last the whole game. both Mancienne and Henry were very tired at the end of the game now and that may very well be one of the reasons for us defending badly the last ten minutes of the game and losing the match. That is why Mancienne and Henry gets low ratings, but it is a management error behind it.

  6. I left work with Wolves one-nil up and arrived home ten minutes later to find them two-one down – just gutted. Whilst I can see the benefits of the formation we seem to have recently settled on, I’m just not sure our defenders our good enough to protect our low scoring efforts at the other end. Doyle is just fantastic, but unless somebody else can start scoring, the poor guy is going to keel over. I still feel that SEB has a role to play – I hope he can regain his confidence. I’m sure things will seem brighter with a fully fit Kightly & Edwards, but suspect it might all come a little too late. Agree with you that Mick made a few mistakes, but still believe he is the best man for the job.

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