Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Fulham
At the same time they were not effective going forward. Thank God for that! With Craddock pairing with Berra in the middle and Stearman and Ward on the full-back positions we also looked stronger than previous and on most occasions could fend off the Fulham attacks with ease.
The Wolves goal came as a wonderful surprise when Guédioura forced himself through on the right and passed Henry who crossed and found the head of Fletcher in the area.
After that Fulham continued to play well but the last quarter of an hour of the first half Wolves was the team most likely to score and we had a couple of counter attacks that could have taken us two up, but we couldn’t find that last ball.
I think Fletch and O’Hara had something very interesting going on and the tactics of playing O’Hara just behind Fletcher could have been very fruitful indeed.
The second half opened up with Hennessey fumbling with the ball, but thankfully Henry was in the vicinity with his long leg sorting it out. Fulham still dominated the game in possession and territorial advantage, but Wolves seemed to get more chances to counter.
I find it a little curious that we did not win the midfield with three against two in the middle and also Guédioura playing inside much of the time. Sidwell and Murphy were able to control the game without very much of opposition from our men on the field.
Not many of our players seemed to be friends with the ball in this game, perhaps because of no match-play for some time.
With so much ball in our part of the playing field it came as no surprise to me that Fulham could get it in before the 90 had passed. It was a scrappy coincidental goal, things that happens after 80 minutes of pressure.
At the same time we have some positives to take out of this game, though. One point that can be crucial for survival and the co-op between O’Hara and Fletch. The back four also functioned better with Craddock in the middle and Ward was on fire on the left.
We got to play better than this to take the points necessary in the upcoming games, though. To the ratings.
Stearman – 5 – Not good enough in his new role at right back. His passing use to be much better, but perhaps it takes a game to get used to this position?
Craddock – 7 – It takes a lot to just step in and do an almost perfect game in this position after being out of playing for so long. But Jody’s got it!
Berra – 6 – A rock in defence if it was not for that one incidence when he headed the ball right to the incoming Johnson. Otherwise a very good performance by the Scot defending, but as always his passing of the ball is awful and he should only take the easy ones and let other play the ball up the field.
Milijas – 5 – Did not perform up to his level at all and MM was right to take him off before the hour.
Mancienne – 7 – Performed much better than Milijas after coming on in the defensive midfield role and had the best passing accuracy of all (90%). Should start against Stoke.
Guédioura – 6 – Still not friends with the ball and has a lack of precision in his shots. But he was a force going forward before the goal and is a potential danger to opposition defences. But he’s got to up his passing game.
Henry – 8 – An assist to the goal and his long leg saved us from a certain goal in the back. In play though, he could have done better and his passing game was not on top. But he has earned himself the little star.
Jarvis – 6 – They were doubling up against Jarvo and his tricks didn’t work to get round the Fulham defence to get crosses in. But he worked back well most of the time. Is he out of form?
O’Hara – 6 – Worked well together with Fletcher upfront and was very close to break through on a couple of occasions and some inches from getting a goal from a nice curl. But like many others on the day he missed some crucial passes and was second to the ball in midfield too many times.
Fletcher – 8 – A very well taken goal gives him an extra point and he had a couple of other chances and showed the Fulham defence that they could not relax when he was around. Worked very well together with O’Hara and we may have found the right formation for the rest of season. Fletch is Paddytheflea’s Star Man!