Late Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Blackpool
When many already have started to count Wolves out from having a chance to stay up we had the pleasure to watch the team in our hearts perform excellently.
We could witness the biggest victory ever for Wolves in the Premier League and all four of the goals came from open play.
I don’t have the stats about it but I’m pretty sure that most of our goals before this game have been scored after or directly from set pieces. Nothing wrong about that, but scoring in open play shows that we are a team who can play ourselves into the situations needed to score. That the team can work together in a free-flowing play and outsmart opponents defences. That’s one of the main things that constitutes a quality team in my book.
Just look at the first one. A beautiful goal where we started the build up from our own half and dragged the Blackpool defence apart. Edwards played Hammill who smacked the last nail into their coffin by playing Jarvo on his left and Matt just had to close the lid by curling the ball into the net whilst the Seasiders back four and keeper Kingson went lost in the water.
Of course it was a decisive moment in the game to score a goal after only two minutes gone, but it was surely not undeserved. And the Wolves eleven proved to everybody that they were in command of the game for the rest of the first half. And for the game for that matter.
Adam Hammill probably got a knock some time after the half hour mark and had to go off (a light calf injury). It was a pity as he had started the game so well and he was a handful for the Pool defence on his wing.
Apart from his assist he actually went very close to score after about twenty minutes into the game when – after a pass from Zubar – his shot at goal was blocked and the second attempt went just inches too high. But Kevin Foley came on and took his place and did a good job of it and hopefully Adam is not seriously injured.
Then – late into the first half – the other big decisive moment of the game was handed to us. Stearman and Campbell had a little row on the Wolves half of the pitch after DJ elbowed Stears who pushed DJ away without much force when suddenly Campbell hit Stears in the face. The referee was close to the incident and could do nothing else but to send Campbell off.
Somehow I doubt that Blackpool would have taken any points from Wolves this afternoon even if they would have had a full team, but with only ten players available everything of course got much harder for them.
But I don’t feel sorry for manager Holloway and his team. Far from. It’s part of the game, such things happen and I do understand that forwards from the teams we meet can get frustrated and angry from not been given a chance to get through a Wolves defence that was tight as a pair of jeans from the sixties for the day. 😆 One shot on and one off target was all that Blackpool managed to get from the game and that signals a very good Wolves defence.
Before the game some of my friends were a little worried about Milijas being left out of the starting eleven and Edwards brought on. Maybe McCarthy would play O’Hara as a defensive midfielder and not use him in his best position?
But the worries were ungrounded. O’Hara was very much going forward – in fact he seemed to be everywhere where the action took place, a playmaker, something we’ve needed for ages – and after the break he also showed all how dangerous he becomes in the vicinity of the opposite box.
Very close of scoring just a minute earlier he took advantage of a mistake by Blackpool trying to get forward and scored Wolves second from just outside the box. With half an hour left, two up and only ten men on the other side, things were really looking up.
Just before the hour Zubar was substituted too – for Ebanks-Blake – and Foley dropped to right back while I believe Sylvan played on the right wing for a while. But only some ten minutes later Ward came on for Edwards and Ebanks-Blake seemed to take on the central attacking position while Doyler moved to the right wing.
I’m impressed that the lads are so well-drilled now that they can change positions like that while a game is rolling. McCarthy and the rest of the management have sure got them well-educated by now.
And the last change of positions bore fruit. A beautiful cross by Kevin Doyle from the right found Ebanks-Blake at the far post and the game was practically over. It looks soo easy when he scores. He is a natural goalscorer and he showed that again towards the end of the game.
On that occasion it was Ward who made a deep, very sensitive pass from the middle that was tailor-made for Sylvan who again looked soo comfortable when turning his defender and scoring in one movement. Two shots, two shots on goal and two goals. Simple as that, mr 100%! And he only played for 38 minutes. He must feature from start, mr McCarthy!
Wolves formula against Blackpool was – and this is a signum for all games the team has played well in this season – to pressure and mark the opposition minutely high up the pitch when not in possession of the ball and to go forward while passing the ball when in possession. That’s how Wolves should go about their business for the rest of the season to get results.
It’s now a pleasure for me to present for you the ratings from the Paddytheflea jurors. 😆
Hennessey – 6 – Not many saves to make if any, but keeping a clean sheet aint bad and I like the fact that he used long throws more than usual. A safer way to get the ball to the right address. But he made a couple of doubtful interceptions in the first half, but, hey, they didn’t lead to anything nasty.
Zubar – 6 – Went off early and I’m not totally sure why. But he completed his defensive shores well and got forward on several occasions almost gaining an assist out of it and he was close to score himself aswell.
Stearman – 8 – One of the heroes of the game and I believe he’s got the hang of it now. No way that Craddock will take his place for the forseeable future when he plays like this. He cooperates well with O’Hara where the main part of his passes ended up. An extra point for not losing his temper when DJ hit him in the face. We could easily been ten against ten.
Berra – 7 – Not as good a passer of the ball as Stears but he play at his strengths and has a good short passing co-op with Elokobi. But Berra and Stears helped our fullbacks out a lot in this game. With a clean sheet and only one shot at goal our central defenders were excellent.
Elokobi – 8 – Another hero. Maybe a more silent one. But very much of the action came from Elokobi and he passed the ball around with precision this time. Only one player had more ball and better precision than Big George (90% correct).
Henry – 7 – Only one tackle against the small club down the road in the derby and now five and way better passes, break-ups and over all play. Covered our back four, singlehandedly prevented a goal and was terrific in many ways. I want to see this kind of performance from our captain in every game from now on. If so I’m not worried about us staying in this division.
Edwards – 8 – Fed Hammill with a lot of great passes and worked hard as usual. Came very close to scoring early on in the game and later on. Only a phantom save from Kingson hindered him. Worked as a dog. Ward replaced him with fresh legs after the hour and will therefore not be rated, but he was very good aswell.
Hammill – 7 – One of the best on the pitch as long as he was on. Close to score himself and instrumental in his assist to the first goal. I had hoped for him to play from start because of his ability to penetrate deep and take on his defender, and that was just what he did. And his crosses are often excellent. Came off injured after 37 minutes.
Foley – 7 – Came on for Hammill. Maybe the team lost a little of the abilities going forward with speed, but he offers something else. Also a good crosser and an excellent passer of the ball. And he works very well with Zubar and O’Hara and often finds Doyle with his passes. When he dropped to right back he was even better, coordinating actions with Doyler on the wing. Even came close to scoring.
O’Hara – 8 – He was all over the pitch and the main engine for Wolves going forward, and we did a lot of that in this game. Passed the ball more times and more correct than anybody else and his passes are often very clever. He is the playmaker we have needed for years to get some action and forward movement in the team. Took his goal very well and was close to score on a couple of other occasions. Start negotiations, Moxey! I’ll give him my little player to show my love for his work. 😆
Jarvis – 8 – Looks like Matt from before Christmas again. And this time he did no mistake when almost alone with the keeper in the box after two minutes. Had a couple of other chances and created loads of them to others.
The Blackpool full-backs didn’t stand a chance of catching up with his pace and he was like that rabbit you can wind up with a key in the back. He just kept running and running. Some very good crosses, but he could be better at that and he also could have taken a couple of shots better, but all and all he was the best player on the pitch and Matt Jarvis is Paddytheflea’s Star Man.
Doyle – 7 – Worked hard and had more space than against the better teams. And he created much space for the others to use. Worked well together with Jarvo and O’Hara and his cross to Ebanks-Blake was spot on. When he played on the wing after Ebanks-Blake came on he was at his best in this game. Do you here that, Mick McCarthy?!
Ebanks-Blake – 8 – Another hero, of course. With two goals to secure Wolves victory and take the club over the relegation line he is our best goalscorer this season so far. Despite playing only half the amount of minutes that Doyle have this season he has the double goal tally. A natural without a doubt. It doesn’t matter if we play 4-5-1 or 4-4-2, Sylvan has to be in the starting eleven from now on. Do you hear me Mick? I’ll give him the little star. I feel very generous tonight 😆
Up The Wolves!