Analysis: Wolves v Aston Villa

For the third match in two weeks Wolves lost all three points in the dying minutes of a game.  And every time Wolves have looked the better team and the team most likely to score the decisive goal of the game. Coincidence? I think not.

The thing is that the team in our hearts are not able enough to convert their opportunities nor create enough clear-cut chances to get that well deserved goal. I believe we had the same problem last season – especially in the beginning of it.

With the experience the players now have required of Premier League football – and the new signings this summer – many thought that the problem was solved. But it seems like the lack of precision – or maybe creativity and fantasy – in attacking still haunts us.

Let’s do a fast forward recall of the game in the angle of Wolves.

The first ten minutes of the game Wolves were at least at par with Villa, and Edwards had a great chance to score when coming through at the right side. But he was split of a second to slow to shoot and a toe from a defender came in-between.

But after that Aston Villa took the game to our side of the pitch and they had most of possession and preferred to break through from their right side – terrorising Ward in their paced attacks. Especially the speed and technique of Marc Albrighton was a bit too much for our left back to handle.

In my opinion not Jarvis nor Berra or Jones helped Ward in the task to stop the young starlet Albrighton (I’ve portrayed him HERE before the game)  and he was really the Dangerman of the first half.

So it was no surprise that it was his cross in the 25th minute that Downing converted. And if I recollect it was after Jones lost the ball on midfield that Villa could counter attack. The marking by Foley of Downing was not up to par either.

Aston Villa was the better team for the rest of the first half aswell, no doubt about it, but the light came back when Fletcher had a technically advanced shot at goal and when Elokobi came in for Ward – who received a knock – and stopped Albrighton completely from coming through on that wing.

The second half belonged to Wolves, no doubt about that either. There were clearly instructions handed out about moving the team up the pitch to create pressure and hinder Villa from making their build up play. I wished that they would have made that change earlier on in the game.

In the first half Villa owned the midfield and could launch attack after attack without lending the ball out to Jones or Henry. That ended now and so did the attacks. And Wolves started to pressure Villa hard. The set pieces were part of it, but even without them Wolves were going for goal.

But despite a triple chance for Berra and a lot of other chances their seemed to be something missing in the repertoire of the old gold and black. The Villa defence – best in the Premier last season – were well assembled and though opportunity was at hand, nothing came through the wall of Villa players.

Well. At least not until Jarvis Crossed in after the hour mark and Edwards – without luck – tried to nod the ball in. But because of the angle of the cross and the threat Friedel found from Edwards, the ball went in the net all by itself and Wolves had leveled the score. Nice!

And I thought it was very nice too that Wolves continued to pressure Villa even after the equaliser. I hate teams that back down to rescue a point and it felt that we had the momentum to take the lead.

And that feeling remained until the 88th minute, really, when Heskey headed a Downing cross into the low right corner of the Hahnemann goal – while Berra watched the ball instead of taking on the player and getting him out of balance like Craddock did a quarter of an hour earlier in a similar situation.

Already before that Stearman and Guédioura had entered play instead of Foley and Edwards, but they made little difference going forward, well maybe two fresh pair of legs.

Stearman maybe could have done a better job in stopping Downing from getting the cross in to Heskey, but a couple of these always tends to gets through in a game.

Wolves continued to pressure, but the efforts were now stressful and lacked even more of precision. Guédioura was one of the more active of the players after he came on, but he was horribly brought down when going forward and was carried out on a stretcher.I really hope that he’s not seriously injured.

Nothing more of note happened after that and Wolves lost three points in the dying minutes of the match for the third time in a row. What a drag!


P.S. I’ll be back with the ratings and probably a link to the highlights, hopefully later tonight.

~ by paddytheflea on September 26, 2010.

21 Responses to “Analysis: Wolves v Aston Villa”

  1. Good summary Paddy, spot on.

  2. As a life long South African Aston Villa supporter I thought I would read your blog , having just watched the game live .Very accurate and fair summing up . Wolves pretty unlucky to lose , wish you better fortune for rest of season.

    • Thanks, howard!
      Always nice to hear from the fans of the other side – at least when they are not being abusive. 😆
      I hope you read my Marc Albrighton presentation.
      Good luck to you aswell. I think Houllier will turn out to be a good manager for your team.

  3. have to disagree with you on the stearman and downing situation. he was absolutely at fault for not stopping the attack by backing off then falling over to allow downing to run unchecked.
    the biggest mistake was the ref’s in not sending off warnock, a mistake compounded by his assist for the winner. he did not turn up to play football today, and produced only fouls until halsey gave him a talking to instead of a second yellow. warnock then toned it down, and managed to stay on the pitch long enough to put the ball in for heskey.
    berra must also share some of the blame. whatever he was thinking about when that ball came in, it wasn’t winning headers and his failure to act decisively invited the header from the ex-england man.
    edwards should have come off much earlier, guediora is more powerful, more direct and stronger in the tackle. the only reason i can think for mick not starting him is his decision making, he will loses possession with bad passes and premature shots too frequently. i would at least bring him on with more than 10 mins to go if not start him as he brings a lot to the table.
    sidwell’s tackle on him was disgusting and cynical as he knew he was beaten and took the man instead.
    we HAVE to get 6 points from the next 2 games.

    • I was a little hesitant on how much blaim I would put on Stearman and how much on Berra. Think I’ve got to see that situation again.

      The referee should have sent Downing off – I agree. And he didn’t give anything at all to Doyler when they brought him down or did hold him on several occasions.

      Sidwell is a total wanker (it’s my blog I can write that straight out) 😆

      I believe you are correct about why McCarthy’s not playing Guédioura more. But when he becomes better at keeping possession of the ball he will get more playing time. But he tends to over-rate Edwards. I believe that Van Damme is best at the wing if Jarvis play the other one.

      • correction, he didn’t fall over but he might as well have.

        also forgot quite how malicious warnock’s booking was before the foul on doyle. if words like wanker are being thrown around it would be a shame to miss him out.

        if zubes comes back soon do u reckon foles might pop up right wing again?

  4. Yeah!! We lacked creativity in our midfield today. Jones didn’t play as good as usual, and I really expected Milijas to enter the pitch at some point. The same goes for Edwards. Besides not creating enough chances we played well in periods. Elokobi probably played himself into the starting eleven next time and was terrific. I really would consider to play Milijas on the left wing and Jarvis on the right as an alternative, If I was MM. There was unusual few attempts from distance today. Doyle was better than Fletcher up front today, and Ebanks would have replaced him if we haven’t substituted two defenders.

    • Yes! I hope that Elokobi will take the left back position from now on, Karl.
      Ward has done mistake on mistake now and he is a liability. If Jones play as bad as today I would consider playing a 4-2-3-1 with Milijas in the hole behind Doyle and Van Damme on the left and Jarvis on the right. At least when we meet the better teams in October.

  5. the team just looked wrong today, let’s be honest. They lacked the usual hunger and seemed lethargic, even in the second half, sorry! This Villa side was there for the taking. They did nothing special today, sorry, and we should have been capable of beating them. Edwards on the wing just didnt work, did it. Let’s stop this banale pretending and experimenting. We were missing a natural right winger. There was nothing from the right. The passing for this level is just not good enough. Midfield not connecting with front two. Jones’s crosses and freekicks were rubbish today. Reason we keep losing in last minutes is that if we cannot win it in 88 minutes then eventually they will. We need to get our act together and quick. I dont see the hunger from last year. Today they looked like they all had a pint with Matt Murray before the game. Sorry, but you have to say it how it is: they were just not good enough for the EPL today. Mediocre and disappointing. Get a grip Wolves! I’m p***ed off!

    • I don’t agree with you, GoWolves. I think the hunger and the energy was there, alright, but maybe not the inventiveness and creativity at all times.

      Of course we miss a natural winger. In fact we miss two – Hunt and Kightly – but at least one of them will be fit soon. And the passing. Well, 61% of Edwards were accurate – a not so good percentage, but only 56% of the ones by Albrighton were correct – as an example.

      When you cool down a bit and perhaps look at a rerun of the game you will notice that Wolves were the better team in the second half and that we were equal to Villa the first ten minutes. that makes us the better team over all, mate.

      When the injured players are back – especially Hunt, Kights, Zubar and Van Damme – Wolves could beat any team in this league. But the PL has become more equal this season. Look at shits beating Arsenal away. That says something. There will be ups and downs and in the end we will stay up. I’m sure!

      • Thanks for your words of perspective PaddyTF. You were right, I was a little miffed when I wrote, as us passionate wolves fans can be, I agree with part of what you say, but still think there was no fluidity today in the system. I think Wolves need to remember how hard they had to work last year, and not sure I agree they worked as hard as that. Still, it matters not. What’s is past is past. You are right that we have a lot more quality in store. Thought we missed Van Damme today, and would love to see him as left back with Hunt on left wing. I think they will kick A. Foley and Kights on the right, or Jarvis would be good. You’re right, we have potential. Let’s hope we start realizing it soon!

  6. You are spot on! almost everything came from our right side, yes. Hunt and Kightly are on their way, can’t wait to have them back

  7. almost

  8. Notice you didn’t mention the penalty shout we had – looked to me even after seeing the replays that the Villa defender moved his arm/elbow towards the ball which was heading goalwards. Had it been at one of the top four what’s the chances it would have been given!

    • Yes. I saw it on a replay aswell. Should have been a penalty without doubt. As you say he moved the elbow to stop the ball – and it looked like the ball was going in the net.

      But It was a fast ball and very hard to spot for the referee or the linesmen.

  9. i ve been to all the games and the 3 common denominators in the fulham spurs and villa games are no width on the right , poor substitutions and richard stearman

    • Stearman sat on the bench all match against Fulham. Did he do something there that made us lose? 😆

      And Elokobi was an excellent sub for Ward against Villa. As was Guédioura for Edwards.

      Crash goes the common demoninators.

  10. I thought we played ok. certainly good enough for a draw. But We are hopeless at the back, absolutely hopeless. The 451 took some of the pressure off the defence last season and Im am still sat in disbelief that we’re trying to stay in the premiership with championship defenders.

    difficult to find positives especially with them creeps down the road destroying the gunners… bah humbug

  11. Although we were a bit unlucky against Villa, I have real concerns about our lack of creativity in the middle of the park and our inability to connect midfield with the boys up front in an inventive way from this area. I admire the skills of Milijas, but feel his lack of pace potentially counts against him too much. Jones is just too inconsistent. Being realistic, who else is available with the necessary quality to be a potential game-changer?

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