Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Tottenham
It was great entertainment from both teams at the Mol tonight, that’s for sure. I only wished that the referee wouldn’t have been a joke, though.
On two occasions he did match decisive errors to Wolves disadvantage. First when not showing the red card when Milijas was free with the ball a yard from the goal line and brought down by Hutton. Wolves got a penalty, sure, but according to the book of rules there should be a sending off aswell.
The second time came when Stearman challenged Gomez perfectly without any elbows or tackles and the Tottenham keeper came late to the ball and seem to have thrown it into his own goal. I’ve watched these moments again and again and I know I’m right.
Of the above you can understand that I’m not totally pleased with the point we got from the game. With one more goal and a ten men Tottenham team in the second half, I believe we would have come up with three.
Wolves started with the team I predicted with Tottenham surprisingly leaving their in form winger Lennon on the bench. I guess that Redknapp wanted to preserve the strength of the in form winger for the Milan clash, but that may have been an error in judgement by the colorful manager.
After a slow start with many errors in delivery from both teams Milijas took a free-kick from the right side and Doyle was well placed by the first upright and jumped the highest to head in the lead for Wolves past Gomez – after Wolves were pressuring Tottenham hard – in the 21st minute of the game.
But the Wolves lead would only stand for less than ten minutes as Defoe could stand with some free space just outside the box and bend the ball round Berra and into the net behind Hennessey – who reacted too slow – his view being partly blocked out by Berra.
Only five minutes later Defoe does about the same number again after getting the ball from a freak deflection, but this time it is Stearman that fails to block the ball, but blocks the view of Hennessey.
I’ve noticed before that Wolves often leave these areas mainly unprotected, but usually the opponents don’t have the clinical finishers to take advantage of them. Tottenham unfortunately had and that’s why they were able to take the lead. It’s the job of the inner midfielders to protect from out there – mainly the defensive one (s) – and I hope that they and McCarthy will notice that.
Fortunately though, Wolves got a quick equaliser before half-time when Doyle launched a shot that deflected and reached Milijas who was brought down. A well taken penalty from Doyler. Ned Milijas went very close from a good pass by Henry to take us to the lead in the last minute, but he was out of balance and was not able to hit it right, but it was not an easy shot to take.
It was a total shock to see Tottenham in the shape of Pavluychenko score their third before many of the spectators were seated in the beginning of the second half. He too fired his shot from an area similar to Defoe, but it looked too easy for my liking. You just can’t give these top-strikers free space in and around the box.
After that the game went a little quiet or att least not as intense as it had been until then. Maybe the troops on both sides were catching their breaths for the final battle? But things started to happen again after Ebanks-Blake came on just before the hour.
After the hour Wolves started to push on again and Milijas had a good chance to give Wolves an equaliser with a low shot that Gomez saved with the tips of his fingers, diving down by his left post.
A couple of minutes later Hennessey made a good save on a Defoe shot. Then Jarvis reached Sylvan – totally free in the box – with a cross, but the golden clad striker sadly for some reason couldn’t get his feet around the ball to direct his shot at goal.
A couple of minutes later it was Milijas chance to miss a good chance from a Doyle pass. Then – after an incident with a possible handball by Hutton in the area – Henry almost gifted Tottenham with a goal at the other end.
A minute later – in the 79th – Stears scored that perfectly legitimate goal from a Gomez error, but it was wrongly ruled out as a foul on Gomez. A couple of minutes later Henry had a shot, but unfortunately it went straight on Hutton. Then Milijas made a defensive error when chasing back on Bale.
Thankfully, though, Wolves got the long-awaited for and deserved equaliser when Jarvis – excellent on his wing – crossed one in to Fletcher – who came on for Hammill – who scored a header from just outside the far post with three minutes left of normal time.
Both teams tried to get in a winner in a very intense, well-played and entertaining game, but it ended a 3-3 draw, a result both team may suffer from at the end of season. There is of course no telling if Wolves would have won it if we had got the right decisions from the referee regarding the sending off and the Stears goal, but it sure would have made it much more possible.
To the world famous Paddytheflea ratings, then. 😆
Hennessey – 7 – Didn’t have an easy day with two very good strikers who knows how to block the view of the keeper when striking. Did a very well-timed run out which will earn him an extra point.
Foley – 6 – His delivery was not as good as it use to be, but he feels more secure to have in defence than Zubar as he makes no fatal errors.
Stearman – 7 – I have him down for one error, bit it was not a fatal one. Maybe he could have been closer to Defoe on his goal, but that’s just a maybe. Went forward a couple of times and in my mind he scored one. It was only the referee who made a wrong judgement. Good delivery most of the time.
Berra – 6 – Was as steady in defence as Stears but his passing is awful sometimes.
Elokobi – 7 – He is in form now and handled Hutton and Pienaar well. But his passing game was not too good either and one could see a little insecurity and that time shortage is stressing him to commit to errors at times. When Bale came on his pace was not good enough to stop the Tottenham and international speed-ball. But Big George has grown to one of our most useful players and he has a lot of ball and much more often than not he handles it well.
Henry – 6 – Blew hot and cold for the day. Could have had an assist and could have caused a couple of goals in the back. And – as I said above – it is partly his job to cover the area where the Tottenham goals came from. Plus the usual complaints about his passing and here one could really talk about getting into time shortages because of indecisiveness of what to do with the ball. Hopefully he will be given more time to make decisions against the lesser teams, though.
Hammill – 6 – Some excellent crosses into the area and an offensive weapon on the wing. But he made some bad decisions aswell and looks a little weak sometimes. Not yet fully used to the tempo and the brute force of the Premier League. But it will come.
Ward – 5 – Not at all the same impact as he had against Blackpool. Had an attempt with a header in the beginning of the second half, but it went wide. Made a defensive error that almost costed us a goal and was somehow never in the game. Looking forward to see O’Hara together with Milijas in the inner midfield, but Ward is a very good utility player who can play in many positions.
Milijas – 8 – Was terrific, especially in the first half. His free-kicks and clever delivery with his sensitive left foot are priceless and in this game he also came very close to score on several occasions. And he got an assist and was quick enough to take advantage of the Doyle deflective shot and fix Wolves a penalty. With a little more luck and precision he could have been our match winner. He will get the little ball for the day.
Jarvis – 8 – I had hoped to see a duel between two very good wingers in this game, but Redknapp chose to leave Lennon on the bench from start. But Jarvis made havoc on his wing and went past Hutton time after time. His crosses are not top of the art, but when he hits them right they are very dangerous to any defence and he did that more than usual today. He could have more than the one assist he finally got and it is a joy to watch an in form Jarvis go about his game. I wonder how much Wolves would get for him if he should be sold in summer. But I really hope that I will have to keep on wondering that for years to come. Matthew Jarvis is – again – Paddytheflea’s Star Man.
Doyle – 8 – Two goals against Tottenham is not something one does every day – not even in ones dreams – but Kevin Doyle now knows how that feels. The first one was very well taken, but it should come as no surprise, as he was the Premier Leagues best scorer with his head on his first outing in the division with Reading.
He also took the penalty very well and deservedly so, as it was his shot that opened up for it. Doyler was excellent in the first half and hard to stop for the Tottenham defence. He got a couple of frees in good areas, something we can take good advantage of with a man like Milijas in the team. I will hand over my little star to Kevin Doyle!
Ebanks-Blake – 5 – Was just on for a little more than half an hour and had very little time on the ball. But he should have scored on Jarvis excellent cross. He usually does in that position and with free space and some time at hand. Better luck next time, Sylvan, we know you have goals in you.
UP THE WOLVES!!!
Links to Highlights in the right margin or on my Vodpod account as usual