Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Tottenham

What went wrong? Many Wolves supporters probably asks themselves this question today, but it is the wrong question.

Wolverhampton Wanderers played very good football yesterday, probably the best they’ve played this season. Only the result and some individual errors and shortcomings says otherwise, but of course the result is the first concern in the Premier League.

We did meet a Tottenham team full to the brim with skills in every position and we managed to be their equals almost all through the game. Before the first goal – or at least in the first half – Wolves in my opinion even played better than Spurs. We should be very proud of our team!

How come then that we lost the game with two goals against nothing? Pure chance? No. Firstly we didn’t score on the chances we had (Henry, Johnson a.o.) but Spurs did on theirs. They did that because they have more players in their team that have the ability to decide a game and they have paid loads of pounds for them.

A very generalised analysis, perhaps, but none the less very true. Players like Adebayor and Defoe don’t grow on trees and they are highly paid for a reason. They are the difference between the top six teams in the league and the rest for their teams, because of their ability to take their chances and score and also to create chances out of nothing.

When it comes to composition of the team, team-work, strategy and tactics I believe we matched them well. Our ability to keep the ball and go to attack was as good as theirs and we also defended well. In fact I rate one of our defenders as the best player on the pitch.

To make it all work our forwards has to work hard defending, though, and that takes its toll physically. Plus they may not be in position right away when we take over possession and go to attack.

I had hopes that Wolves would counter-attack with pace in my pre-match article. In some extent they did, but more from the middle than the flanks. O’Hara, and Kights and others, did well going forward in the deep or center the ball up the pitch.

The lack of clear-cut chances from the Wolves forwards tells me that they are not in top form yet and that the Tottenham defence did very well. Both Doyle and Fletcher can and will do better as the season get more mature.

Despite letting in two goals our defence looks our best unit at the moment. Johnson works hard and commands the back four and is an impressive figure in the middle and Berra looks more and more like his perfect partner in battle.

The best part of the back four was our players on the flanks, though. Ward was a pillar both in defending and going forward in the first half and Stearman… Let’s just say I’m deeply impressed before going to the ratings.

The bottom line is that Wolves did very well against a very good Tottenham team and if we instead of them had got the first goal the outcome would have been different. That’s how little it was between the teams, but Tottenham had the players to decide the game and they took their chances.

Hennessey – 6 – Actually had very little to do saving-vise but did no errors.  Could do nothing about the goals. Maybe one could question if kicking the ball high up so often are the right tactics. It seems to me that the opponents gets possession more than Wolves, but that’s no critique of Hens. The tactics comes from management.

Stearman – 9 – Wow! Didn’t put a foot wrong all game defending. That deserves high praise in a match where so many world stars are involved in the other side. His quota of successful passes was also very high (84%). He played it simple and often back to Hens, but it’s more than allowed for a defender to do that. Security comes first.

He snatched the ball from attacking forwards at least five times and he also made five succesful tackles. With no close competition he was the best player on the pitch and I’m delighted to name him Paddytheflea’s Star Man!

Johnson – 8 – Has in a very short time become a hero on the Molineux and he was impressive again against Spurs. Headed the ball away on numerous occasions and went very close to score. Kept world stars at bay and was always in their backs when the ball was kicked up the pitch from the Spurs defence.

The only question-mark I have is about his dealing with the goal situations. I’m not sure, but at least at one of them he could have taken a step forward to trap the opponent offside. So it looked to me anyway, but I have to take a closer look on a video to be sure. Anyway. Johnson deserves the jumpy smiley thing!

Berra – 6 – Did very well throughout the game, but slipped at one of the goals in the back. Can happen to anybody. goes together well with Johnson and the others. Close to a seven.

Ward – 7 – Maybe our best player in first half. Both going forward and defending. Now I can see why McCarthy didn’t find it necessary to go out on the market for a left back, something everybody thought he would do first thing. Stephen Ward was a bargain when he signed from the Bohemians and his strength seems to grow for every day now. Ward can collect the little star in my office!

Henry – 5 – Every family has a child that seem to cause a lot of trouble. At the start of the game it didn’t look like it was to be Karl Henry this day. He almost scored in one of his first touches of the ball in the game. If he had he would have one more point from me, but not more.

He looks uncomfortable and nervy when he has possession and many times when opponents attack him he loses faith in himself and sometimes also posession. I counted to three times in this game and at every time Spurs could go to attack and cause problems to our defence. That’s not the way to cover for our back four. Harsh words, I know, but we got better alternatives on the bench.

Kightly – 6 – Doesn’t look to be totally comfortable with the tempo and in possession yet, but he’s getting better with every game he play. There were glimpses of the old Kights yesterday and I for one want to see more!

O’Hara – 7 – After the three in the back line already praised Jamie was our best player. Very nice crosses to Fletcher and Hunt that was worth a better destiny than to come to nothing. Got a very good engine and runs for miles in a game. The only reason he’s not one of the specially mentioned today is that he lost possession to Adebayor in the first half, almost causing a goal in the back from that sloppy error that gives him a lower rating.

Hunt – 5 – Almost came through to goal on his own early on in the game, but otherwise he was not the energetic player we are used to love watching by now. Very little possession and apart from that occasion and a couple of runs when he didn’t catch the cross from O’Hara he made no real impact. He can do much better!

Doyle – 6 – Very good at helping defending from midfield, surely an important task against a Spurs team with Modric and Parker in the middle, but totally lacked chances on goal. Very good in the first half, but faded in the second. Almost a seven.

Fletcher – 5 – Loses too many battles against defence players. Why? Is it just lack of form or lack of skills? Or does he need to go more often to the gym lifting weights? Hopefully he’ll improve as the season comes along and give us the goals we know he can manufacture.

Jarvis and Hammill came in for Kightly and Hunt the last 15 minutes, but had no impact on the game. Vokes came in for Fletcher the last ten, but was invisible.



Link to highlights in the right margin as usual (as long as it works) 😆


~ by paddytheflea on September 11, 2011.

12 Responses to “Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Tottenham”

  1. If by lots of pounds you mean. Nothing for Ade(on loan), £10 for Defoe(which we sold him for), 8m for Bale, 2m for Niko, 5m for parker, leaving only Modric at 16m. i dont think we have spent that much on players. You played well, but I believe we always had another couple of gears to step up. The annoying thing with Spurs is, they never seen to step up them when they can. To go for the throat. You need someone that can make the most of O’Hara’s quality passes.

    • Is that so!
      Well. they have weekly wages that probably are four times our players anyway and your team are out in Europe so star players goes to you instead of to us.

      I agree that our players (Fletcher, Hunt) were under par taking care of O’Hara’s passes, Morgan. Jarvis often play on the left wing from start and I believe he would have taken better care of them, but he had a knock and was only a sub yesterday.

      • I wondered why he wasnt playing. And quite pleased he wasnt. Good little player. I wasnt having a dig. (well maybe a little) Its just everyone thinks we go spending a shit load of money. In two transfer windows we have spend 13m. That is VDV and Parker. Our top wage is 70k which, yes is prob higher than your lads but not many of the team on Sat are on that figure. O’Hara is a great player and Id have wanted him to stay at Spurs. If the likes of Jarvis, Hunt can feed off him the way you would expect. You will have a good season. Its never an easy team to play.

  2. This is a myth about Spurs Players and the reason we where losing Modric was because of wages. The lad above was right we have bought cheap and brought them on Utd have bought ready made and City and still use false Tempo trust me work rate in the premiership does not impress me International Tempo does. Wolves where beat by Spurs playing 442 because if Van was fit we would have lost this game 4411 its our worst system one Harry keeps playing. The first two games we had players who knew they where being sold or loaned and one whose head was on backwards and it showed Utd and City are playing in there own gear and trust me it will slow and already injuries are mounting Clevely Welbeck the saying fools rush in is true Just like Fletcher illness will strike using energy that cause you to lose weight like Toure used. Wolves just like Spurs will need to do is up the tempo or get beat or draw and be sucked into a long relegation battle well played and hard luck.

  3. Glad to see Jamie get a regular start, and genuinely sorry he wasn’t quite up to the grade at Spurs. An honest player with a “Never say die” attitude and plenty of heart.

  4. £10 million for defoe? sure it wasn’t £15! £16.6 for Modric, £7 for Bale and Pav on the bench £13.8. cheap! yer ok, has paddy said we played very well and at times outplayed spurs, second half spurs got the rub of the green, Parker should have been red carded for persistant cheating – pity because he is a good player, Adebayor should have been given a yellow in the first few minutes for trying to handball a goal – in my book that’s called cheating.
    Spurs first half were lucky to have all 11 on the pitch and less than five bookings, second half has I said they had the rub of the green and the ref in their back pocket, they will probably fininsh higher than us (I wouldn’t put my house on it) but at the end will win the same as us – SFA! (there again I wouldn’t bet on it – has we are due a cup win)
    I for one was very disappointed that we got nowt, but we move on to next week then after Liverpool away and Newcastle at home it’s you know who!

    We are Wolves………….

    by the way paddy good blog/report….but what was your view on the penelty shout for the foul on Hunty?

    • Thanks, Johnwolf!
      Following the rules strictly he may have had a call for it, johnwolf, but very few referees would give it so we would have to be very lucky to get it.

  5. I am just disappointed at the speed of our passes in our build ups and lacking the penetrating passes to open up the defences. There is a fear among our players to make a bad pass which meant that the pass goes mainly sideways and back. As a result very few chances are created. We have improved from last season but we need that extra creativity to make that telling pass. Both of our goals conceded was a result of inteliigent passes from their midfield which opened our defence. That is I am afraid the difference between both teams yesterday; otherwise we matched them for most part of the game.

  6. I’m a Spurs fan and I thought you did play well up until the point when we scored. I felt comfortable after that but before I’d spent the whole game ranting about how crap we were. I don’t know why we sold Jamie O’Hara either?

    ps What happened to Peter Knowles? I always think of him when I think of Cyril?

    • In my opinion Knowles was brainwashed to think that playing football was not in gods liking by religious secteristic fanatics, Dave. Billy Bragg made a tribute to him called ‘Gods footballer’. Bragg is more sympathetic to Knowles ‘choice’ than me, but then I’m an atheist and pissed that he didn’t continue to play for Wolves instead of knocking doors for an organisation of lunatics. He could have been one of our and Englands greatest of all times. Here’s the tribute by Billy Bragg:

  7. Fully agree with your analysis Paddy – Stearman was immense.

    Its funny how quickly things can change so quickly in football – now it seems that the major factor stopping us from making further progression might well be a lack of quality strikers!

  8. Ooops – one quickly too many!!!

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