Who should partner Craddock and what formation is the best?

Firstly. With Chris Berra out because of a red card there will be a selection problem. Who should we play beside Craddock?

There are several players that could play at centre-back. We have many players who could do a job there. MouyokoloStearman, Van Damme, Batth, Zubar and even Elokobi. I believe that McCarthy will go with Stearman, but I’m not totally happy with that choice.

I would let Development team player Danny Batth make his debut in the Premier League. He showed everybody that he can do it on this level when he played so well in the League Cup. Stearman would be more of a liability than Danny as a next to last outpost in the team in my opinion.

But Elokobi wouldn’t be a bad choice either. He has helped the mid two on several occasions when playing on the right back. And I believe he even looks better playing on the inside.

Van Damme has played some games as a central defender in his career and he has looked impressive in every position he has played in so far, but can we afford not to play him as a midfielder, whilst being so impressive in that role? I think not.

If Zubar had the match fitness needed he would be a given in the contention for playing at central defence. I will wait and see if McCarthy will give him that role in the Reserves game tonight. Then we will know what the boss has on his mind.

Mouyokolo? Well, he played with the Reserves against Liverpool. Playing for the Reserves 90 minutes the week before a Premier League game usually rules the player out for the weekend in Mick’s book, so my guess is that he will not play.

The above was written before McCarthy said this on the official Wolves site:

I think it would be too soon for Danny considering we’ve got Stears and Mancienne who were the partnership for quite a few games when we won the Championship. Stears would be ready. I would say from the Hearts game in pre-season, this is the best he’s trained and the best he’s looked in a long time. He was disappointed at being out and you can lose your focus and your sharpness but he’s been terrific. Him and Mancienne played there at the back comfortably for quite a few matches in the Championship.

He says it very clear. It will be Stearman. He has been a favorite of Mick’s for a long time. If I were a psychologist I would say that Mick sees himself as a young footballer in him.

But there is a reason why Stearman has not played as a central defender for Wolves for a while and the fans of Leicester were very surprised that we played him at that position when he came to Wolves.

But let’s hope that he has evolved and is capable of doing a better job now.

What about the formation and the starting eleven against Spurs, then?

Will this be the first game this season when McCarthy opts to start with a 4-5-1-formation? Well, I wouldn’t be too shure of that.

I believed he would try it against Newcastle away and against Everton aswell, but he didn’t. But Spurs is a CL team this season and they have a very impressive squad. Maybe he will try to go a middle way playing a 4-2-3-1-formation at least? That is what I hope, anyway.

I would like to see two of our strikers on at the same time, but not in a 4-4-2, because that weakens our midfield too much and we would pay for that against a team like Spurs at the Lane. They have an inner midfield that is stronger than anything Wolves have encountered so far this season and we need cover for our back four.

Doyler played on the right wing for about fifteen minutes against Fulham before he was substituted (I’ve still got no idea why he was). I thought he played well there and when playing in that position opened up for attacks and crosses from both the wings with Jarvis on the other side.

According to the reasoning above MY formation and starting eleven against Tottenham on Saturday would therefore look like below. But this will probably not be the choice of McCarthy. I believe he will continue to play 4-4-2.

———- Hahnemann ———

Foley – Craddock – Batth – Ward
—-Henry —– Van Damme —-
Doyle —– Jones —– Jarvis
——– Ebanks-Blake ——–

Sylvan could be substituted with Steven Fletcher if he doesn’t perform or if fresh legs are needed and Guédioura could come on for Doyle for the same reasons. Mancienne could sub for both Batth and Van Damme if needed and Milijas could substitute Jones.

I believe that Fletcher could sub for Jones as well. And Doyle and Jarvis could change wings on occasions. With both Henry and Van Damme protecting our back four we should do just fine in defence and with Doyler, SEB and Jarvis going forward with the backing of Jones we could score a couple.

What do you reckon? Am I right or am I right?



~ by paddytheflea on September 16, 2010.

13 Responses to “Who should partner Craddock and what formation is the best?”

  1. as far as i can see it the following names are certainly in the following positions

    foley craddock ? ward
    jarvis henry ? van damme
    doyle seb

    mancienne will take one of the ? positions, and either stearman, guedioura or jones the other (depending on where he plays mancienne)

    I’m not saying that would be my choice, but i think that’s how mick will line up. what do you think?

    • I believe that you are right about the 9 you have named, but I’m not at all sure that Mancienne will figure in the starting eleven. His stats against Fulham were not good and McCarthy would realise that. As I said I’ts almost a certain that Mick will play Stearman as a replacement for Berra and I believe Jones will play beside Henry. But I really hope that Mick would listen to me instead and play 4-2-3-1. 😆

  2. hahnemann zubar craddock stearman elokobi
    foley mancienne
    doyle henry jarvis
    i would’nt play seb in this formation because he never seems to do much as a lone striker.

    • To leave SEB out could ruin his self confidence in my opinion. I see your point, but in a 4-2-3-1 he wouldn’t be so alone. The wingers can push up in attack. Foley could certainly play a defensive role at midfield, I agree.

      Zubar has still got a problem with his ancle and could not play in the reserves. He will not be ready for Saturday and he will probably need a run in the reserves before he is match fit and ready for Premier League again.

  3. SEB’s finish against Newcastle was brilliant- Jermaine Defoe would have been happy with that! I am wondering if you lot reckon he really has the quality to put last season behind him and notch up 12+ goals this year?

    • I would like to think that it’s fully possible, Arun. if he gets enough playing time. Hunt will be coming back in about a month to support our strikers with crosses. Then we will have two wingers and we will be a complete team going forward. That will help our strikers to score. What do you others think?

  4. Back to topic I feel that Stears has earnt his chance for a start and I also feel he is far too good a player not play a part for us this season.
    I appreciate that many will not agree with me but I remain convinced that Stearman will eventually develop into a fine player and I hope and pray that he does this with us.

    • I have supporter friends who also hold him in high esteem, astraltrader. But I tend to get nervous every time when he gets the ball and also tend to compare him to Collins – who really was (and is) a descent player. Despite that he scored an own goal for Leeds a couple of days ago. 😆

  5. Understood Paddy but I do think with due respect that Stears is a far better player than Collins!

    • I hope so, astraltrader. I’m not so sure that he is a better central defender, though. But I believe he has the potential to become.

  6. How can Stearman be a liability when he’s had good Premier League experience, yet Batth hasn’t even been on the bench in a PL match and you’ve got him down as the next John Terry? I’m all for giving young players a go, but don’t think that dropping them in for their first match on an away-day to a Champions League club is such a great idea

    • I know that my opinion about Stearman is a subjective one and maybe a bit controvercial, Owen.

      I really hope that I’m underestimating his skills and talents and that he will prove me wrong.
      But I believe that you are overestimating the players in the teams that play in the CL. And maybe the gap between our Academy graduates and the players outside of the starting eleven aren’t that great?!

      Danny Batth has played many games for Colchester and trained and traveled with the Wolves first team. To take the next step in his development he need to get a chance playing in the first team. And in my opinion there are a couple of graduated Academy players who are ready to take that step this season and Batth is one of them. And with Berra out this could have been a chance for him to prove himself. I still have hopes that he will be on the bench and maybe he will come on as a sub.

  7. My other concern about Stearman is that if he is not given a fair chance to start this season we might well end up losing him.

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