Wolves better watch out for the Berlin Wall tonight!
He originates from East Berlin, but this wall still stands. Robert Huth is the player to pay attention to tonight. Not only for the forward going players of Wolves, but especially the defenders.
Huth has scored six goals in the Premiere League for Stoke City this season and three goals in the FA-Cup. By that goal-tally he is joint top-scorer in the club so far and the best scoring defender in the league and in my – and many others – opinion the player that is the most useful for Mr Pulis at the moment.
He is still only 26 but has played in England for a decade already, being drafted by Chelsea as a teenager. But he didn’t start his scoring career there and then and didn’t get enough playing time to develop with too many top players ahead of him in ranking, so he filed in for a divorce and – with a lot of choices – opted to go to ‘Boro for £6M.
There he was paired with Jonathan Woodgate at first, but had a lousy first season with injuries troubling him. The second season went a little better and as Woodgate left for Tottenham he played with Wheater in central defence.
The third season he played many games, but Middlesboro didn’t manage to stay in the league, but that was not due to the play by the defence but more to the lack of quality elsewhere on the pitch at the club. But Huth had not started to score goals yet. Only two of them in three season with ‘Boro.
Late in August of 2009 Middlesboro came to an agreement with Stoke City to let Robert Huth leave and sign for the Potters for £5M. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wolves was one of the other clubs who wanted to sign him at that stage, there were some rumours about it in the press. In hindsight it was a bargain for the then 24-year-old tall and powerful defender with almost one hundred English league games behind him.
In fact he celebrated his 100th match in England by scoring his first goal for Stoke City against Everton in October. In fact he only scored three last season in total, two less than our own star scoring defender Jody Craddock last season.
One very important reason why the tall and powerful central defender has begun to score goals when he came to Stoke City is that manager Pulis knew exactly how to use Robert Huth. He was more than a wall and Pulis had just the man to make him a goalscorer among his ranks.
Rory Delap, the long throwing phenomenon from Sutton Coldfield, came to the Potters from Mick McCarthys Sunderland on loan in 2006 and strengthened them on set pieces from the sides. Pulis signed him permanent the next season and he has been the talk of the town ever since.
With the tall East German in the area at throw-ins Pulis doubled the possibility to score on the throw-ins by Delap and made Huth a dangerman in the penalty area of their opposition. To this season they have perfected their cooperation and they now fit like hand in glove.
How will Wolves deal with this threat, then? We did really well at home, despite Stoke having multiple throw-ins in the direction of Huth. I’m sure Berra did a good job, but can he do it again tonight away at Britannia?
Let’s hope so, but the best way to prevent the duo from scoring goals is of course not to give them any throw-ins to work with in the first place. That will depend much on our players on the wings. Don’t give away any throw-ins! In fact we have to prevent fouling on our half of the pitch too, as Huth will be a dangerman on all set pieces.
In my opinion much is won if we can accomplish that – maybe a point at least. The rest is up to our team going forward and how we deal with The Berlin Wall on that side of the pitch. Hopefully we can counter-attack fast enough so they don’t have to face him.
P.S. A clip of the Berlin Wall in action. D.S.