Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Queen Park Rangers
Two goals down after ten minutes and Wolves performed the worst football I’ve seen them do for a long, long time. How come?
For me this was a test if the team are able to become a mid-team in the Premier League this season or if we will struggle to stay up like last season and the season before. I’m afraid the latter will come true.
I picked Mick McCarthy’s mind for the right starting XI in my pre-match article, but I’m not proud of it, and nor should our manager be. He picked the wrong team against QPR and today he nose it.
Wolves were outplayed in the midfield with O’Hara and Henry against three competitive inner midfielders. We should have matched them with the equal numbers of players, something I also mentioned before the game. What has Mick against Nenad Milijas, I wonder?
To play Elokobi against fast runner Wright-Phillips was the second big mistake by our manager, a mistake he rectified before the second half, but then it was to little and to late. (That was, by the way, something I also mentioned in my pre-match article.)
The scene was, in other words, set for disaster. One could see that from the first minutes of play and it only got worse. Apart from the formation and player choices the whole team looked paralysed for some reason and QPR could play out their whole register without Wolves doing anything about it, but that could also be because they did not find themselves comfortable with the set-up.
The prelude to the first goal in the back involved Elokobi failing to confront Wright-Phillips twice which resulted in an assisting cross to Barton who, from inept marking by Johnson, could shovel the ball into the net beside a wrong-footed Hennessey.
Only a couple of minutes later, with the QPR pressure continuing, Stearman headed the ball straight out from the penalty area, which resulted in the second goal for QPR, now from Faurlin. Two goals in the back are usually a death penalty in the Premier League and with the way Wolves performed today there was no points in sight. The goals were not conceded because of individual errors, the underlying reason were the errors made by McCarthy mentioned above. I have absolutely no doubts about that.
As I also mentioned in my pre-match article McCarthy was at the QPR game against Newcastle. It’s obvious he learned nothing from that. Yes. I’m very angry at him today, because of his errors I have to give the players low ratings, but everybody should know that the catastrophe yesterday was McCarthy’s wrongdoing firsthand and he has also taken some responsability for it. To the ratings then.
Hennessey – 8 – McCarthy said afterwards that he was the only player playing up to normal standard and in that he was right. A beating with three goals in the back and the keeper gets the highest rating of all.
Says it all about the game and how lousy the team was, really. Wayne Hennessey is Paddytheflea’s Star Man!
Stearman – 5 – The error leading to the second goal takes a point away from him. Otherwise he was one of the better in defence, but that says nothing on a day like this. At least he tried and never gave up, though.
Johnson – 4 – Having doubts about his capacity to captain the team and also on his skills as a defender after this game. I have raised some doubts after previous games when everybody else has praised him too. He was lousy in the first half, but became a little better in the second.
Berra – 5 – Another slip and he nearly caused another goal in the back. I don’t think it’s a freak accident, but due to bad technical skills from the defender, but he repaired it himself and together with Stears he was our best defender first half.
Elokobi – 1 – Mick McCarthy should never have put him on. I don’t want to say anymore. Still too angry to watch my language and if I use the words I want to this will not be published according to the rules of NewsNow. Was substituted in the second half.
Ward – 5 – Played for Elokobi at left back in the second half. I suspect we would have seen another two or three in the back if not. Upfront in the first half he could do nothing to hurt the QPR defence. Created absolutely nothing.
Henry – 4 – People close to me say that I should look more at his defensive play without ball to appreciate him more. I tried to do that yesterday but still don’t get it. But on the other hand they were one short in the inner midfield, thanks to MM. 92% correct passes according to stats, though, many of them to defenders of course.
Kightly – 4 – Nowhere to be seen and he was rightly substituted at halftime. Six accurate passes in 45 minutes (55%). What did he do the rest of the time? But the inner midfielders and the back four didn’t manage to get the ball out to our wingers, so it’s not just his fault.
Guédioura – 6 – Came on for Kights in the second half and was clearly the better player of the two. Six scoring attempts, but sadly five of them went far off target. With a 91% passing success he shows me and hopefully our manager that he should have a role in the team from start sooner rather than later. Adlène Guédioura gets my little Star for his fresh performance from the bench!
O’Hara – 5 – Tried to go forward but was overhanded most of the time. Created a couple of chances, though, and had one himself. Had a lot of ball but his passes was not up to par (72%).
Jarvis – 5 – A shadow of his usual self but not many balls to work on. Didn’t do his job defensively like he uses to do and didn’t possess the power to penetrate the QPR defence many times. Horrible crosses a couple of times. Was substituted by Hunt late on in the game.
Doyle – 5 – Like Jarvis he has not shown form for a long time now. Didnt manage to hold up the ball, but created a couple of half chances by coming from behind. Worked more than many others in midfield, but hes passing success was very low (62%).
Vokes – 6 – Came on in the second half when Ward took the left back position. Had a couple of headers and shots, but off target. I’m not ready to write him off yet, but the absence of Fletcher and Ebanks-Blake makes us much weaker up front. He is not ready for the big times yet, but as a comfort he will get the bouncy smiley thingy.