Analysis & Ratings: Manchester United v Wolves
I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to function after Wolves losing a game like they did yesterday. I tend to lose faith – not in Wolves – in the world and the laws of cause and effect.
When even the Beeb commentator said that Wolves outplayed United at Old Trafford the Wolves team did of course perform very well against Manchester United.
But we did not get the goals early on that we needed to back up a win with a comfortable lead in the later stages of the game, and when they put Scholes on they got the leader and organisator on the pitch that could sort their attacking play out and score.
Following that, it was in the first half we lost the game by not scoring. Wolves did not lack chances. I counted to five and there were some half chances aswell. And they didn’t have many more than the one Park – their best player for the day – scored on.
I’ve seen a re-run of the match now and there was a little change of the intensity of Wolves play without the ball in the second half.
That resulted in United being allowed more possession without being as much hunted as in the first. But second half didn’t lack chances for Wolves taking the lead either. If only Fletcher had been as clinical as Ebanks-Blake in front of goal we could have taken three points.
The latter should get more time to play if we want to get more goals – and I really think we want! Perhaps he could play in ‘the hole’ instead of Edwards or instead of Doyle up front, but he should play from start, Mr McCarthy!
We still suffer some problems on the left side of the defence. I don’t believe it is all because of one player, as most of the fans on the boards seem to think. It is the interplay between Ward – Jarvis (or Hunt) and Berra that got to be sorted out. Ward often played very high up the pitch yesterday and had problems getting back in time.
As a whole we did not play as good as against City. We did not manage to keep the ball in the team quite as well and – as I said above – we didn’t press the holder and mark them out as well as last weekend.
But we are nevertheless playing more than at the same level away against one of the best teams in the world. That’s something to tell your grandchildren about when sitting in your best chair in front of the fireplace. But it doesn’t give any comfort today.
To the individual ratings:
Hahnemann – 6 – Was on the wrong foot because of following Park sideway move for the second goal and couldn’t be blamed for that. His distribution was o-k. An average performance.
Foley – 7 – Not as much involved as against City. Maybe because Jarvis operated mostly on the other wing. Did his part of the defensive work and proved again that he is a good passer of the ball (88%).
Stearman – 9 – How lucky we are to have a man to step in when Craddock is out injured and do such an excellent job! He even copies Jody when it comes to using his head to knock into other heads. But he seem to have a thicker skin. 😆
Not a step wrong from what I could see and he is king in the air and the 2nd best passer (89%). Stearman also seem to be a natural leader of the back four, taking the Craddock role in that aswell. If he could get a goal with that well functioning head of his on a corner he would get a tenner. Richard Stearman is of course Paddytheflea’s Man Of The Match!
Berra – 7 – Berra does more than his part in defending in the middle, but as I said above he should help out on the left flank more. He should have got an eight if he took more of that responsability.
Ward – 6 – He played much of the time high up the pitch. I believe that is because our full backs now work as wing-backs, allowing our wingers to cut deep into the opposition defence. But that could misfire if they don’t make it back when play turns. It did on a couple of times and Ward was over-run.
Henry – 6 – For some reason Henry is always the hardest for me to rate. When I saw the match live I thought that he played too negative – sideways and back to the defence – but on the rerun I recognised his hard work and determination. And – of course – he seldom misses a pass (92%) and he saved us from a goal in the back at one time.
Milijas – 7 – He keeps on playing with confidence and this was another good performance. Very close to score on two occasions and only luck saved United from plucking out a first half goal from inside the net. It could have been a mistake to take him out of the game as he is a creator with a good left foot and an eye for a well placed deep pass when the opposition is on the wrong foot.
Hunt – 6 – He created a couple of chances and he almost took a chance on a Jarvis cross in the first half. He also defended well, but still seem to lack in strength and form. His passing of the ball must get better (58%) or he will not be the key player in the Wolves team we all want him to become. Was rightly so replaced after the hour.
Edwards – 6 – He didn’t look as sharp as against City, but he was in the right spot on a couple of times when the crosses came into the area. He could have done better when he breasted out a cross instead of taking it with him going for goal. Seemed to lose steam in the second half and was replaced.
Jarvis – 7 – The United players were warned about Jarvis, but he still did cause some upset amongst their back four going forward. And Capello was watching. Will he get a call up now? A couple of good crosses aswell and he keeps his form. But he seem not to work back as frequent as earlier and left Ward alone a couple of times. How is this suppose to work, Mick?
Doyle – 6 – We all want him to get some, but even if he tries hard he seem to be far from scoring. We all know and acknowledge his hard work at holding the ball up and he also passes it well (85%) but it is goals and assists to them that we need from Doyle. It is time for McCarthy to ask himself if Ebanks-Blake can do a better job in that department from up front from start.
Links to Highlights from the match in the right margin and the Vodpod gizmo at the bottom.