Player Ratings and Analysis: Tottenham v Wolves (video)

One could say that Wolves lost because of individual errors in the match against Champions League team Tottenham Hotspur.

One could also say that the Spurs manager Harry Redknapp coached his team to a victory by a clever use of substitutions.

A third way of explaining the final result is to  look at the injury of our greatest threat to Spurs in going forward –  winger Matt Jarvis – as a decisive moment in the game.

I believe that all three of the above factors had something to do with the result. Wolves started the game very well. The first 25 minutes or so we stood up to the CL-team and had much more ball than last season in the same game.

Then Spurs had a few chances with crosses searching Crouch, but our central defenders – both Craddock and Stearman – did a very good job at fending them off and marking the big man, and when they missed out on it Hahnemann was the wall between the posts that we all have gotten used to from last season.

On a counter-attack in the last minute of the first half Foley and Jones with a nice one-two got passed their left back and Foley managed to find Steven Fletcher between their central defenders with a low cross. He made no mistake with punching the ball past Cudicini. A beautiful goal! (see video below)

At half time Spurs made a change taking on Hutton for Kaboul.  That proved to be a smart move by Mr Redknapp. Kaboul had played very well defensively, but didn’t help his team much in going forward.

Wolves started the second half as they started the first – standing up to Tottenham and passing the ball very well between themselves.

But after a few minutes gone first Fletcher – who now had moved more to the left wing – and then Jarvis got a knock. I guess that the original plan by McCarthy was to only bring on Van Damme for Fletch, but now he had to substitute Jarvis as well – with Edwards.

With Jarvis out, our possibility to threaten the Spurs defence and hold the ball up vanished. But at first wolves looked to defend very well all over the pitch and Spurs found no way to get forward.

But Hutton was very lively on his right wing and as there were close to no threat of Wolves going forward he could concentrate on advancing. And he did.

And having fresher legs than Van Damme and Ward he managed to press forward into the edge of the penalty area, where Ward made an individual error and fouled him instead of just following him and close him out. Probably his error was due to both tired legs and head. (see clip below)

Van der Vaart did of course no mistake taking the penalty and Tottenham got their equaliser with fifteen minutes left.

Both teams seemed to get energized by the goal and the standings after that. Wolves pushed forward to regain the lead and Spurs also tried a couple of attacks.

When Wolves actually looked to have a hold on the game and pressed Spurs with a corner and a couple of  throw-ins to the area Ward – as next to a last outpost in the team – missed a pass and Spurs could launch a counter-attack.

Just when the Wolves defence looked assembled again in the Wolves area, the ball took a deflection and Pavluychenko was at the right place in the right time and could easily give Tottenham the lead. This was in the 87th minute and each and every Wolves supporter had a drooping mouth. (see clip below, not of drooping mouths, idiot!)

Wolves tried to come back after that blow, but Spurs played safe and could hold the ball in the team a little too easy. But the Wolves agony was not to be over yet.

In the 92nd minute Hutton – who else? – ran forward against Hahnemann, chasing a ball together with Stearman. The central defender had been excellent fending off Spurs attacks all through the game, but although first to the ball he hesitated about kicking the ball to Hahnemann and Hutton could kick it instead – making it deflecting on Hahnemann and into the back of the net. Why? (see clip below)

I actually have the answer to that. Stearman wanted Hahnemann to grab the ball without him kicking it so that USA could make a fast kick-out giving Wolves a chance to attack and possibly gain an equaliser. But that’s just an explanation of course. It was a big misjudgment by Stears and the end of the game.

Instead of occupying fourth position in the tables – if we had managed to hold on to the lead – we now find Wolves on 15th. But as a team we are playing very well – better than last season – and I have no doubt that Wolves has the strength to advance and take points – even against the best teams in this league.

To the ratings:

Hahnemann – 8 – A terrific match by our keeper. I counted to three world class saves and he kept us in the game in the first half.

He was outstanding in Wolves for the day and seem to be back in top shape after a little dip in the beginning of the season.

Marcus Hahnemann is Paddythefleas Man Of  The Match!

Foley – 7 – Had of course a handful with Spurs prolific and pacy winger Bale. But he managed to close him up better than could be expected with a good sense of positioning. Made a couple of mistakes in the first half, though. But the foreplay to the goal renders him an extra point.

Craddock – 7 – Despite his normal height he uses his physique and good sense of positioning excellently to take down all opposition coming in his way. It looks like we can look forward to another season of Jody magic in leading by example.

Stearman – 6 – Fitted in just well beside Craddock and took charge over the left middle like he had done nothing but that for years. With two third of the match gone by I said to myself that he has just played Berra to the bench for the season, but then came the error explained above. Without that his play had rendered him a seven.

Ward – 5 – After half an hour he was – together with Jarvis and Hahnemann – our best player. He is better at passing the ball than any other in our back line and he makes fantastic tackles – most of the time. He also cooperates well with the winger – both Jarvis, Fletcher and Van Damme.

But with two match decisive individual errors his actions were – together with a couple of other (see above) – a big reason for Wolves losing all three points in this game. I have drawn off two points from his ratings because of that.

Jarvis – 7 – As always he was a big threat to Spurs going forward. I hope Capello noticed him, watching the match at White Hart Lane. He should probably have had a penalty being brought down in the area. Got a knock early on in the second half which in my opinion made Wolves less dangerous for the Spurs defence and was one of the reasons that we lost the game.

Mancienne – 7 – Helped up the back four and took a great deal of defensive responsibility by tracking down forward moving Spurs players. Passed the ball much better than against Fulham (89%). With a more crowded midfield he performs very well.

Henry – 6 – Much less aggressive in this game than the two preceeding it. If it’s due to the media, orders from Mick or own judgment I don’t know. The most probable answer is that it was not necessary against Spurs, as their inner midfield does not go forward that much.

Jones – 7 – Linked well with Doyle and Van Damme and is our best passer of the ball (89%). He is in my opinion our best offensive midfielder and one of his excellent corners or free-kicks could have made a difference.

Van Damme – 7 – Came on for Jarvis but took the left wing. McCarthy told the media in the week that he was in special training to gain strength to play for the ninety. Now he played only for forty, but energized the team when coming on. Very much involved in such a short time. I like to see him perform the whole game next.

Edwards – 5 – Came on for Fletcher, but took the right wing. Played four minutes less than Van Damme, but were very much less involved. Maybe he need to play in the Reserves or at least in the League Cup game coming up against Notts County, to gain match fitness.

Doyle – 6 – Always very much involved in play and yesterday maybe more than usual. Played almost a similar role to Jones from start – high up the (right) midfield rather than as a striker. I believe Hahnemann reached him with his kick-outs six times during the game and he is excellent at taking control of the ball, but usually with his back to the goal. Had a shot at goal in the first half, but it was blocked. As a midfielder he was a seven, but as a striker a five.

Fletcher – 6 – Not much involved in play, being the most forwarded player in Wolves in the first half. But it paid off with a fantastic goal and he showed that he is a sniper, capable of penetrating a Champions League defence.

Took a more laid back role in the second half – playing mostly on the left wing – before getting a knock and being substituted. The well taken goal rendered him an extra point.

Ooh what a long article. I hope someone takes the time to read it – and I love comments! 😆

And here’s a link to a video with the Highlights I’ve found somewhere.

Vodpod videos no longer available.



~ by paddytheflea on September 19, 2010.

18 Responses to “Player Ratings and Analysis: Tottenham v Wolves (video)”

  1. From a spurs perspective I thought the score flattered us but we just about did enough to win (although it didn’t look like it after 77 mins!). One thing is for sure you were a lot better with the ball then you were last year and although we were fairly comfortable at the back we had to work very hard to get it back again and even harder to break you down. A good write up and good luck for the rest of the season

  2. cant argue too much with your ratings though i think you’ve been too kind with stearman and ward… their combined blunders cost us all 3 goals… kinda not what we need from defensive players.

    We HAVENT got the defence to play with 2 strikers… until such an event happens (and I’d prefer to see Van Damme on a wing) we have to revert to 451 with DOYLE leading the way.

    We didnt expect 3 points, but its still soul destroying to thro waway the lead, and then to see us plummet to just abpove the relegation – especially with WBA’s and Newcastle’s fantasic showings.

    grumble grumble

  3. I think Hutton made a big difference for Spurs.
    We played well, but i expected at least a point 😦

  4. Agree with the ratings.

    Had we not lost Flether and Jarvis I think we may have held on for the win, and definitely at least a point. Can’t wait to have Jarvis and Hunt fit and flying down the wings.

    We played far too deep and defensive in the second half, which was very disappointing. And what Ward was thinking with that tackle in the area, I will never know. He is great at going forwards and whipping crosses in, but he often costs us points, which we can’t afford. I hope we learn some lessons from this game.

    The 4-5-1 suits us when we have the players, we are very solid and nice passing triangles – I’d like to see us try it as an attacking formation with Guedioura and Jones attacking in the middle and Mancienne or Henry in the hole (not that Mick would ever drop Henry), with flying wingers. Hopefully when everyone is fit! UTW

  5. May be if you hadn’t of been cheating and time wasting you might of grabbed another goal and made it harder for us,but when you’ve got players like van der Vaart you just couldn’t handle him.

  6. I was very worried when i tuned in to find my team 1-0 down. Thankfully we came through. I did find it very strange that MM did not play his best striker – SEB on the bench WTF?

    • I must say that I was a bit surprised as well, Mac, but on the other hand Fletcher scored and Doyler is very useful to hold up the ball. We have three good strikers and if we don’t keep them on their toes and fit by playing them regularly they will grow moss under their feet. 😆

  7. Hi Paddy. Agree with all you say except I think Ward is being singled out (a bit) too harshly for the defensive failings. His foul for the penalty was ridiculous but Hutton should have been stopped some distance up the pitch. Equally, he gave away the ball for the second, but he’s not alone in his disasterous inconsistency.

    • After looking at the highlights I can see your point, Wolfie, but as the last outpost he has the final responsibility to take the player out in the right manner. I agree that there were others making mistakes, of course, but they were not final and resulted in goals in the back (except Stearman, of course).

      And I do recognise that Ward was one of our best players before his mistakes – and so were Stearman. Most Wolves fans posting on the net do not. They verbally beheads Stearman and Ward and want them out of the team. But you got to understand the feelings among fans as we lost when playing so well and having a good chance to win.

  8. Shelf side yid i couldnt agree more,their timewasting was a joke & they got what they deserved.

  9. Henry a 6 ? You still are not keen on him are you 🙂
    I watched the 90 mins on Sky football first and Henry can have an 8 from me 😛
    Suprised that Fletcher was in place of SEB, maybe SEB has a slight injury? Doyle put in another excellent shift – so 8 from me.

    I am away on holiday for 2 weeks and of course there are 2 televised Wolves games on 😦
    Catch you when I get back Paddy

    • Henry is always a hard one to rate, sevlow. But I’m not convinced that he is the bees knees, no.

      I think the reason for SEB not starting is that he is an out and out striker and can’t play in any other role. And Doyler is much better than him as a target man alone up front. Fletcher played effectively as a left winger during much of the game – a role he didn’t do that well, but much better than SEB would have done, for sure.

      I believe that SEB should play against the teams below the Champions League teams when we can afford two strikers. Let’s see if he will play against Notts County tomorrow. I believe so. And let’s hope he will do a hat-trick! 😆

      Have a nice holiday, and remember, Paddytheflea can be reached from all over the world! Im a global menace. 😆

  10. Best striker SEB..? ROFL…

  11. i agree with worldwidewolfie, you can’t blame wardy alone for the pen. it was a daft challenge, but he should never have been put in that situation. hutton strolled through our midfield, where were JVD, Mance and Henry with the challenges?
    And yes Stears should have put his laces through that ball and kicked it into the moaning cockneys on the shelf (cheating, time wasting my arse) but he hasn’t played in about 6 months so cut him some slack.
    I would have preferred Guedioura to Edwards, more hustle and bustle, a shot like a cannon, and is it just me or does edwards wear eye liner? after signing his contract i suppose mick wanted to reward the loyalty or something.
    Vile, Wigan RFC and the bubble blowers should yield 5-7 points i reckon before the month of death in my opinion

  12. Can anyone please tell me why Guerdioura does not play ?! He has been exel in every match he has got the chance. Let Henry rest and Edwards ?…

    • I believe it’s about safety first, Dag. And I believe that Mick is right to put on Jones, Henry and Mancienne before Guédioura, but I would have put on Guédi before Edwards.

      Edwards is injured again, by the way. The ankle again. In traning. Bad luck or on to soon?

  13. Our left and right backs are our biggest weaknesses defensively. I belive Zubar is a better right back than Foley because of his pace, even though Foley is quality also, and Van Damme will replace Ward when our star players returns from injury. With these two changes im pretty sure we would have had tree points in our pockets. Their wide players won the game.

    • For what I’ve seen so far Van Damme is excellent as a wide midfielder, Karl.
      You could be right about Zubar, though, and I would like to see Foley and Henry playing side by side against the real tough opposition in this League in a 4-2-3-1-formation.

      Ward made a couple of decisive mistakes, yes, but that does not make him a bad footballer. In some games this season he has been one of our best out there. And if Van Damme has shown something it is that he is not a left back.

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