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!


~ by paddytheflea on April 10, 2011.

13 Responses to “Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Everton”

  1. I couldn’t agree more with all the above, before the match I actually thort we would get a comtable result from this game and sat in the steve bull asking myself why I fool myself thinking everything had changed and we could defend with ease and comfort. How wrong I was!

    • Yes, about the same with me, but the defence had not been tested yet by then and at the first test they failed. Gets you down to earth or below it real quick, eh?!

  2. Morgan needs to make a deal with Craddock. Get in and marshal our shambolic defense into some sort of shape for the last few games and he’ll buy his entire collection of artwork and fund him for the future!
    What a time to unravel eh. Defense pourous, Fletchers confidence non existent (I wonder why(!) and the realisation that without Doyle doing his stuff we look toothless and panic stricken.
    So where are the points gonna come from. Last summers lack of transfer activity needed to strengthen our lightweight defense is now coming how to haunt us.
    Get it together Mick, get it together boys, get some belief back or get ready for the fizzy pop league and prepare yourself for the our talent heading for the exit.
    But hey, don’t worry Mick, your job is safe….

  3. Our setup surprised me.

    Guedioura impressed. The reason he started the saturday’s match was that he covered one and a half position, a centered winger. I would use him in the centre with Karl Henry, O’Hara. He wants the ball all the time and has an reasonable amount of pace to advance towards the opposition’s box and has a good shot. After he left the field we weren’t dangerous at all.

    I would also play Hammill on the right wing, because his form has been astonishing lately. As I see it, we have nothing to lose in going back to 4-5-1. And Fletcher? I wouldn’t continue to play him this season.

  4. How do you rate Aliadere by the way? Is he worth a shot, could he be our saviour?

    • I don’t rate him, but you never know. I find it very possible that MM will bring some striker in for the rest of the season if he gets a negative report about the Sylvan injury on Monday. I’ve heard that Adriano wants to play in England again. A million for rest of season perhaps? Could be worth it!

  5. I never understood why press outfits always use the word talismanic to describe Doyle, but I think I do now. I don’t think you can attribute either heavy defeat to the loss of Doyle, but it’s certainly knocked our composure at times, and his pace and threat has been missed.

    Again, we’re not good at finishing and I think the commentators were right when they said we should have scored in that 20 minute spell of pressure.

    I was really depressed after just hearing the score line, but going back and watching it, for the first half we did play well apart from the defensive mistakes. Our defence was literally taken off-guard, with a good delay in realising what was happening, until it was too late. The marking is something that McCarthy will surely point out.

    Fletcher is pretty deadly aerially, just unfortunately his balls have been cleared off the line. He did look as if he was missing that touch that comes from game time. Ebanks-Blake looked good, and I have to say that’s my biggest concern right now, I hope he’ll be okay for two-weeks time.

    Guedioura was magnificent and was a real stand-out performer, for me, along with O’Hara’s quick thinking.

    I think 4-4-2 was a success, despite the defeat. What I don’t think is good is to chop and change too much. On the other hand, we do have more midfielders that are fit than strikers, and I don’t think Fletcher could perform too well in the 4-5-1 role.

    If the teams around us get defeated this Sunday, then it’ll be no great loss except to our goal-difference and we may still have a chance, if we can shrug this off for two weeks time: Fulham are not push overs though, and we need to learn the lessons about taking your chances when you’ve got them.

  6. not enough quality. not enough effort made to bring any in. All sides incur injuries, Mick you are entirely to blame for not making contiongencies. Please Leave

  7. Disagree with Jarvis’ star man rating – he was appalling & was certanly no better than the rest of the dross in gold shirts. I think Hammill could become a far better wide player than Jarvis. The main culprit of our rank bad amateurish performances is the manager who cannot find a suitable system to hide our obvious quality deficiences.

    • We could have been two up with two assists by Jarvis after twenty minutes, k-toke. I doubt that Everton would have had the strength to come back after such a start. The final results in a football game are often decided by small individual errors at the flick of an eye. The result yesterday was no different. With just a bit of luck we could have been the team winning that game with 3-0.

      So don’t give up just yet. We have as good a chance as Blackpool or West Ham to stay up and a better chance than Wigan. I still believe that Wolves have a better team than we have had in 30 years. A team that – in this season – have beaten Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool. A historical team!

  8. I like Mick McCarthy but he has to take the blame for failing to appreciate that good Premiership sides build from the back. His reluctance to invest in decent defenders will be the reason the club is relegated. I like the look of Hammill and O’Hara, though ordinary with the rest on Saturday, could be a useful long term addition but all four defenders were exposed by their inadequacies again and again by a side boasting one out and out attacker. Conceding ten goals in three games tells you all you need to know about our defence. We are not a side that can win games by scoring more goals than the opposition as the recent 4 goals for and 10 against shows. Unless MM addresses both the personnel and the formation from the back forwards the team will struggle to get our of their current mess.

    • I partly agree, Bill. But don’t forget he tried to bring in defenders when Wolves signed Van Damme and Mouyokolo, but they didn’t measure up to expectations, and Craddock has been long term injured. That shows an awareness of the problem and that they have focused on it and tried to solve it, but not with success, I’m afraid. When it was clear that Van Damme should leave they should have tried to find a replacement.

  9. The problem is that he bought in two midlfielders during the ‘window’ when he needed to prioritise the defence. I have no problem with either O’Hara or Hammill but I don’t believe their positions were the priority especially after van Damme’s departure and Mouyokolo’s failure to cut it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: