Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Everton
So I guess it’s hell then?! A BIG disappointment, of course. Wolves didn’t stand the test and manage to bounce back. The frailty and weakness of our defence came to the fore once again and the mistakes may very well have costed us a Premiere League spot next season.
Mick McCarthy has now proved to himself and everybody else that the young and hungry concept doesn’t work when it comes to building a defence. Soldiers have to spend a lot of time in war to get battle-hardened and to know what to do and when and not to be overcome by an attack. And mistakes costs dearly.
Last season our defence had that battle-hardened individual to lean on and the season before that everything cooled down and our troops came to order after Jody Craddock was brought home to stabilise our defensive forces. It’s high time to take him back from the bench to the trenches now.
Wolves started the game splendidly. We pushed on and nailed Everton to their trenches for the first twenty minutes of the game. With a row of corners and free-kicks we created chance upon chance and came very close to score on a number of occasions.
Guédioura had a shot blocked in the second minute and O’Hara followed up with an effort that went over after the corner-kick resulting. In the sixth minute a header by Fletcher was saved on the line and in the seventh another shot over by O’Hara.
A goal on any of those chances and the rest of the match would have unfolded completely differently, I’m sure. But we´ve seen and heard that before. When looking at many of the other teams goalscoring in this league we can conclude that most of them are better at taking their chances.
Yesterday we could only glance at the other team on the pitch to get a lesson in how it should be done. Five chances and three goals in less than half an hour. Clinical. But our defence was far to easy to penetrate. Elokobi opened the door for the first and Osman walked in and the rear guards – our tall soldiers watching the treasure – didn’t catch the enemy in time despite being two against one.
A couple of minutes after that big blow against play, Guédioura had a beautiful curl that went a few inches on the outside of the right post. With a better aim there we could have had an immediate leveler and – again – the match would have looked different. Small differences, but it’s about better defending and better precision when attacking.
After 35 minutes Jarvis had a corner-kick and the ball dropped down and both Fletcher and Sylvan went very close to score in the scramble, but Osman somehow managed to block both their efforts.
Instead Everton could score after a goal scramble when Hennessey made a magnificent save when a ball deflected from the back on Elokobi. But it was an Everton man who got hold on the rebounce from Hens and he could pass it back to Neville who – with a bit of luck and a deflection on Fletch, I believe – could net it behind a blinded Hennessey.
Wolves were clearly on their knees after that one. Realising they were once again two behind, despite playing well in attack. The panic or at least stress in the back-line seemed to spread to the midfield and a mistake between O’Hara, Elokobi and another player gave fast Russian forward Biljaletdinov the chance he had waited for. With only a backing Stearman to worry about he moved forward and launched a fierce shot to the roof of the net and killed the game off.
Wolves came on for the second half without striker Ebanks-Blake. Substituted by Kightly because of a hamstring injury it signaled that even McCarthy looked upon this as a lost game. Three goals in the back and changing a striker for a midfielder is not a plausible tactic to gain goals and, partly as a consequence, nothing much worth mentioning happened in the second half. Or was I not bothered anymore?
- “The Huddle” by the artist Jody Craddock. Website, click HERE
If Arsenal do their job and takes an away win today against Blackpool we still have a good chance to stay in this league, but then we have to better our play, both in defence and attack. The shots has to be on target and the passes better and we need a father figure with battle experience in defence. His name is Craddock. Paint Wolves future in bright colors, Jody! To the ratings.
Hennessey – 6 – Maybe he could have been more active on the first goal, but it was really the central defenders task to take Beckford. Otherwise he saved Wolves from a bigger defeat in numbers.
Foley – 5 – We actually laughed at him when he – for what that seemed like the umpteenth time – missed a simple cross. What has happened to his play? He seem to have suddenly lost all confidence and skills both going forward and defending and his passing is well below his normal standard (67% accurate).
Stearman – 5 – Time to replace him with Craddock. ‘nough said! But maybe he can take the right back position from Foley for a while?
Berra – 5 – No better than Stears and he was far to easily fooled by Osman and others. Would replace him instead of Stears, but Craddock play right central.
Elokobi – 4 – Only passes as a Premier League player when in top form and he is far from that now. Every team now know that his side is the gate to goal. Come and score! I’m fed up! Mancienne? We have a shortage of strikers at the moment or Ward would have come in for him for sure.
Guédioura – 7 – A surprise to me, but a pleasant one (I managed to pick 21 of the 22 playing from start beforehand). He is of course not an out and out winger, but has more power than Hammill and is not afraid of taking a shot at it. Was very dominant the first twenty and his curled effort went very close and had a touch of class. Sometimes to easy to take off the ball, but with some more match-fitness gained he could be crucial for the Wolves run in. Adlène Guédioura did a brilliant come back from injury and I’ll give him the smiley thingy.
Henry – 6 – In my opinion not enough involved in defending. Not the ‘in yer face’ inner midfielder we need when fighting for our existence in this league. Had a good shot at goal, though that could have resulted, which I’ll give an extra point for.
O’Hara – 6 – Has a lot of ball and in a 4-4-2 he plays the length of the pitch, which prevents him from coming close himself. But he passed the ball around and many times to Jarvis when in good positions. His overall play in this game was good, but his shooting aim awful. All of them went over, and not by inches, which means a point drawn off.
Jarvis – 7 – Played more in his traditional role as an out-and-out winger in this game, and he did it very well. All of his crosses didn’t reach their aim – far from it – but his crosses and corners gives Wolves better chances than anything else in Wolves play and a couple of them could have resulted if our strikers would have had more precisionl and perhaps luck. Matt Jarvis is once again Paddytheflea’s Star Man.
Fletcher – 6 – In my opinion he is not good enough with the ball. He lacks the quality of Doyle and Ebanks-Blake to shelter it and he is not good enough at taking it down. But he has a good head and came close to score on a couple of occasions and we desperately need a goalscorer. Came off earlier because of a knock. A precaution by Mick, so I’m positive that he will be starting again against Fulham next.
Ebanks-Blake – 7 – He was very much involved in the first twenty and had a couple of chances. Maybe he should have had a penalty aswell, but looking at the reruns it could have gone either way. Made a great number showing off his skills when with great skills taking control of the ball between two Everton defenders and moving forward, but sadly that attack didn’t result in a chance on goal. He had to rest in the second half due to a hamstring injury, maybe another precaution from McCarthy, being three goals behind. Ebanks-Blake’s efforts in the first half gives him the little star.
Kightly – 6 – Came on for Sylvan, but played on the wing as Guédioura moved to strengthen the middle of midfield. The game was over by then. Did no mistakes and nothing special. A good run out which will do him just fine. Two weeks until the next game which will fit him and probably Ebanks-Blake very well. And me as a matter of fact!