Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Liverpool
Typical! First time I took a victory out in advance and Wolves reverted back to bad defending and an inability to score. Why?
Some friends say it’s because they had the wrong shirt or hat on or some other ‘Wear Wolves’ item – as they so canny are called now – but I believe it’s more about the player and the manager – and the opponent, of course. 😆
Wolves played with the team Paddytheflea had predicted, but that doesn’t comfort me much, as I thought they would play much better and grab three vital points from the former top club in our effort to stay in the league.
Fair play to Liverpool under ‘King Kenny’, they took the fight all over the pitch and out-tackled us, really. They were in our faces and seemed to be number one on each and every ball in the first half – especially those in the air, and there were many of them. Too many in my opinion.
Before the Liverpool goal it could have gone anywhere, but Liverpool had a little edge and with Wolves pushing on high up with many players, they created clear-cut chances.
Hennessey saved one, but with a defence unable to keep together and arrange an offside trap and mark Torres who could run in smack in the middle all by himself, there are no cures that Wayne could put in.
To be one down at half time against a team who knows how to counter attack and have the players to do it – and now also the confidence to perform – is not an ideal position. The inability to defend would also continue.
Meireles did have five free shots at goal from the 18-yard-line for a pound in the first half and Wolves gave him the pleasure in the second aswell. We’ve defended that area badly before – in the beginning of the season – and I’ve got a slight suspicion that the come back of Henry as our defensive middle-man has something to do with it.
That Meireles guy came close in the first half and it was obvious that Wolves had to do something about it, but we didn’t. Did not Mick have something to say about that at tea time? Unmarked he could fire a volley at goal – quite a number – but an act he should have been prevented from performing by closer marking.
After that Wolves played very well and pressured Liverpool onto their own area, but we were impotent in front of their goal and the crosses and passes too often came to a Liverpool player.
The third goal came late, when Wolves were desperate and pushed on hard, but it was another goal when the offside-tactics didn’t work – one of many defensive errors by Berra, but luckily the only one that resulted in a Liverpool goal.
Liverpool took us on in our own game in the first half and because of giving them too many chances and sloppy defending we lost this game. To the ratings.
Hennessey – 7 – One fantastic save in the first half and hone in the second gives him two extra points. But he needs to be better at distribution. Only 13 out of 43 (!) kick-outs reached the right addresses. Not at all good enough and maybe the wrong tactics to apply. Perhaps we should have played the ball up on the ground instead of giving Liverpool the ball? But that’s a management decision.
Zubar – 6 – Is often playing well going forward, but sometimes I wonder if we can afford to play him as a defender. His passes were good yesterday and that renders him an extra point.
Stearman – 7 – One of his better performances and our best defender on the day. Handled Torres well most of the time and did no big defensive errors.
Berra – 5 – I counted to four defensive errors that could have resulted in Liverpool goals, and that’s simply not good enough. With Craddock ready to play my first thought was that it will be with Christophe, but after the Donny game and this one I would leave Berra on the bench instead of Stears.
Ward – 6 – How many players have played as a forward in the first game against an opponent and as full-back in the second? And he did very well in both positions. But his – as many others – crosses must become better.
Jarvis – 6 – Created a couple of attempts and had a couple of decent crosses in and a chance at goal. But he also miss to get the ball into the right places. Was better on the left than on the right, but often well taken care of by the Liverpool defence.
Henry – 5 – As always with Henry he passes the ball well, but always looks for the easy pass and not to go forward. I think I will call him ‘Play-Back Henry’ from now on. As I said above it should be partly his job to take care of the players using the 18-yard-line for shooting practise. We lost the midfield in this game and in part I blame Henry for it.
Milijas – 5 – But Milijas didn’t play much better. With Henry in a more defensive position he should have created more going forward. We didn’t see his left foot yesterday not on set pieces nor in play.
Hunt – 7 – Despite some misplaced passes Hunty was one of our best players yesterday. He fought well and was very successful in defensive positions on both flanks – helping Zubar and Ward out when they were put on the test with two forwards coming at them. Our by far best tackler and he won four balls – that’s very good.
He was substituted with twenty minutes left – not because of his play, but to give the new guy Hammill a chance to turn the game and play with two out-and-out wingers. Hammill did well, but Stephen Hunt was the most useful and hard working player at Molineux yesterday and fully deserves to be Paddytheflea’s Star Man.
Doyle – 5 – A little low? I don’t think so. Doyler didn’t have a good day today and his key passes frequently went wrong. We couldn’t depend on him holding the ball up as we use to, so our spells in the vicinity of the Liverpool goal area were short-lived. Only one scoring attempt and it was not even on target. Not good enough!
Fletcher – 7 – By far the better of our two forwards yesterday. Had one attempt on target in the first half and one in the second. Two attempts off target in the last ten minutes of the game. Ran a lot and helped out defending high up Actually he was more active than Doyle in this aswell. With a goal he would have been my star man.