Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Swansea City

The average reporter focuses on the fantastic rescue of a point and points out the role that our manager played in that. I would rather send my respect and love to some of the players for not giving up, despite the faulty tactics and formation applied by Mick McCarthy which crippled them in this game.

What was he thinking when he gave away the midfield to Swansea by deciding that Wolves should play with one man less against a very good footballing team like Swansea? By that decision he condemned the team to lose out and were not giving them equal terms in the fight. It’s like the manager would tie up one arm of his boxer behind the back before a boxing game. Ever heard of a boxing manager doing that?

What really annoy me is that our manager gets credits from some pundits for rescuing a point. Mr McCarthy’s contribution to this game was not rescuing a point, it was giving away two and nearly three points by his formation of the team. The result does not say that our manager is fit to lead our beloved team to glory, on the contrary it now stands very clear to me – and I hope many others – that he does not at all possess the tactical skills necessary to take Wolves forward, despite his accomplishments for the club in the past.

With five in the middle for Wolves, Swansea had not been able to play their usual game and been given the room and time to build up their attacking play without much interference from our players. With five in the middle we  would also have been stronger going forward, as was shown when Milijas came on, all too late, in the second half.

It’s easy to write this on the wall and on the managers nose with the game played, you say? Those who are following my blog knows that I wrote it already before the game, but thought that McCarthy wouldn’t be enough of a fool to play a 4-4-2 in this game. I was wrong.

Add to that the fact that O’Hara is not at his best playing a defensive role in the middle as we saw him do (and have seen him do all too often this season and the last) the first 68 minutes of the game And we all know that the footballing skills of Henry unfortunately can’t be trusted, especially not when it comes to taking the ball forward.

Our wing-play – one of the best weapons in our arsenal for many seasons – has not been successful so far this season. Jarvo and Hammill were not able to penetrate into positions to threaten the Swans defence many times, although Hammill had a good chance to score at one point. Their success in play, however, is also dependent on a working inner midfield (and back-line) so everything really falls back on that. Faulting tactics, Mr McCarthy. Big time!

I hope that Mr Morgan and Mr Moxey does not look at the ‘rescued’ point when they evaluate the performance of our manager in this game. The fact that he didn’t have a clue about how best to form the team before the game, and probably not even after it, to get a result yesterday should matter a lot in that evaluation and I hope their conclusion is that McCarthy does not have the skills to take the club forward, securing play in the Premier League.

That was my rating of our manager. Let’s go to the players then, but bear in mind that they were crippled and back-bound in this game.

Hennessey – 6 – Made many saves and looked good most of the time, but he could have imposed himself on Graham more before the first goal. He hesitated for a fraction of a second and gets a point drawn off his rating because of that

Stearman – 4 – Outplayed. It’s a pity that both Zubar and especially Foley are out injured. Stears is still young and Sinclair is close to world-class at his best, so it’s understandable, but Stears didn’t have a good game.

Johnson – 3 – Should have been replaced by Craddock in this game, something I pointed out after his under par performance against the baggies. I hope that it’s ‘just’ a dip in form, but I’m not so certain of it. Totally lost in defence and he does not know how to head the ball in a straight line into an open  net.

Berra – 5 – The positioning was not the best and he was partly to blame for the second goal, going forward when still under attack. He rescued us on a couple of occasions aswell, though. Hopefully he will play better with another partner to his right.

Ward – 6 – Not as his best on the day and had great problems with stopping lively Dyer early on in the game. After Jarvo was substituted and Milijas came on, however, Ward even found the courage to go forward, and his play was one of the reasons for the come-back of Wolves late on. Stephen Ward gets the little star in this game.

Henry – 5 – Hard to rate as the formation made Wolves lose midfield from start. A hard shot on goal early on and he tried a lot against the odds. Looks to be out of the big dip he’s had, but he is not comfortable playing 4-4-2.

O’Hara – 6 – Didn’t seem to find the right ways going forward the first 68 minutes, but you can not blame that on him. Both he and Henry were forced back into a defensive role in this game and that is not the best side of Mr O’Hara. When Milijas came on and took care of the defensive shores O’Hara was given the chance to show what he’s about, and he took it with both feet, resulting in a goal and the little bouncy smiley.

Hammill – 6 – The shot on goal gives him an extra point. As with the inner midfielders the wingers play was hampered by the formation. I thought that our manager had learned already last season that we cannot play two out-and-out wingers with only two inner midfielders. Hammill is a coming man, but yesterday he was given a role too hard to perform well in, but he was better than many others. Made place for Guédioura who maybe inspired the rest of the team to go forward, but he was not succesful himself.

Jarvis – 5 – No change in form for Jarvo, I’m afraid. I expect much more from him than this. Should have been substituted much earlier in the game or not played at all. Does he need a rest or some psychological help to raise his confidence. We all know what you can do, Jarvo, get it together! His replacement with Milijas was the key to the change of the game. That made it possible for O’Hara and Ward to go forward with cover at the back, resulting in two goals.

Doyle – 7 – As I wrote after last game I will be harder in my ratings of Doyler from then on. And it worked! Didn’t look good for the first hour, but that was because of the outnumbered midfield and the wingers not performing well.

When the changes were made he both created and got chances and he took them. A poachers goal after a rebounce from the keeper on Vokes shot and a very nice cross from the left perfectly placed for O’Hara to score. Thanx for the respons Doyler, and you are Paddytheflea’s Star Man!

Ebanks-Blake – 5 – Not at all in form, unfortunately, but with the Fletcher injury and not enough accomplished strikers signed for this season, he had to play before he is really fit and ready for Premier League. This game, as I’ve said to you time and time again in this article, he should have been left out from start, playing Milijas instead.

The only positive leaving Milijas out is that he probably will play against the Manchester City second team in the cup on Wednesday. Due to our managers picking of our first team I rate that the second team have a good chance to win.



~ by paddytheflea on October 23, 2011.

12 Responses to “Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Swansea City”

  1. What a comedown after our flying start. We were awful for 80 minutes. Surprised you never mentioned the fans’ all-out insurrection towards MM! Part of me feels that such abuse just hinders our team and helps opponents but the jeers seemed justified as we capitulated so feebly. And you could see Mick was shell-shocked after game. Something has to change and, given our limited squad options, that may have to be the boss – look what Hodgson has done down the road – but I wonder if Mr Moxey/Morgan see it like that!

  2. well, I must say that if We have not played 4-4-2 in this game, the critics of MM has been much harder. The biggest problem in this match were problems in both boxes. Johnsen and SEB. We can NOT be outplayed like Johnsen in the first goal he gave away. Second O,Hara was too late.
    When Johnson find his form, Wolves will look much tighter and better.

  3. One of the worst performances I have ever seen from a Wolves team. We were so lucky to get a point out of this game, we did not deserve to. Swansea played us off the park. I dont doubt the players committment but they obviously are very low in confidence and that showed yesterday. Nobody wanted to take responsibility when they had the ball. O’Hara was played in a defensive midfield role – that is not is best position – he needs to be used just behind the strikers not sitting holding hand with Henry. It was obvious to me to after 25 mins we should have brought Milijas on but what do i know? MM should have stuck to 4-5-1 and we should have the full backs pushing forward more, they were far too static until the changes in the send half then we saw Ward pressing forward , though Stearman was not as effective doing this. Fast frontmen = massive problems for our defence. I dont know what MM can do to change this with who is available defence wise.

  4. I’m not sure if O’Hara has the capacity to play as a box to box player. Everyone is moaning about Johnson’s involvement when the Swans scored, but one goal came as a consequence of O’Hara. He didn’t track back in time. When the centre midfield don’t functioning, as paddy mentions, other areas are affected too. What I can’t understand is why the manager don’t reacted earlier.

    • O’Hara not tracking back? If our defence was any good he would not need to.

      • ..and he made our 2nd goal, starting it and finishing it because he was in a position best suited to his skills

  5. Add this performance to the QPR one, at least McDonut had the common sense not to say we played well enough this time! Don’t be fooled into the last minute repreive this says more about a novice Swansea than anything we did although full marks to the few players who did show spirit, sadly up to that point it was all rather mechanical and lacked any of the usual Wolves tenacity.

    Team choice incomprehensible, main issues:

    1. When he’s fit Blake is not Premier League standard and when he’s unfit he’s not even Championship. Total waste of a position should have played Milijas from the off.

    2. Love Jarvo but he should have come off for Guedi earlier as Swansea went to pieces when actually pushed and run at in the last 10. He is a loose canon which may costs the odd goal but he gets the whole thing moving which is desperately needed.

    3. Should have left Hammil on

    4. Shouldn’t have bigged Johnson up so much, made him capt etc as now he is unable to sub our worst defender without looking a charlie!

    5. Jury is out on O’hara not sure if he can play in a Wolves 4 4 2 without a much better defence. Better passing this time but still too long on the ball and much diectionless play.

    Given the above changes I still think we are going to be very very lucky to stay out the bottom 3 this season. January spend should be being planned now to land the 4-5 players we need to succeed.

    I know I will be leaving my season ticket seat empty for the Wigan game as that’s the only way Morgan will understand the consequences of further inaction. I urge others to do the same!

    • Agree with you re most of what you have said, though staying away from the Wigan when Wolves need all the support they can get is wrong in my opinion. SEB has been a big dissapointment to me. I thought he would be able to step up to this level but he has not. That may be due to the fact that I dont believe he has every been 100% fit. Without Fletcher leading the line we look toothless and we desperately need to bring in a quality striker in January but from where I dont know.

      • You may be right but I do believe a businessman like Morgan will understand that better than the horrible jeering, booing etc which is far more damaging to the team playing. Plus it is a one off, normal support will be resumed irrespective of where we are in the League, how we play etc following that game. That’s my protest and I think it is better than the booing etc heard on Saturday.

  6. MM through the fog of his persecution complex actually believes he pulled off a tactical mastespiece. That seems to be supported by a number of pundids. Personnally i believe like Match of thr Day a great deal of time or thought was given to there views they have bigger fish to fry. If he did why did he not start with that line up or change it earlier. i personally believe the addition of Sam Vokes had more to do wth the changes in the game in the later stages. Prior to the turn and shot from Vokes that led to the first goal, Jarvis and Blake had failed from similar positions to turn and get a shot on goal and his involvement in the second goal was evident, not only in the exchange of passes but also his run to the six yard box that made the space for o’hara to explight. MM has taken us as far as he can with the meagre tools he inhertited trom Mr Hoddle and for that we should all be eternally gratefull, but he has been paid well for those efforts and now is the time to act (like sandwell town last season) not when it is too late and the new North Bank becomes a bigger embarrasment than the John Ireland stand of the eighties.
    Mike (Halesowen)

  7. Wolves are presently a mess. We can`t defend. We can`t score goals. We can`t compete in the middle of the park, even against modest opposition. We are very poorly coached, seeming to be clueless as to how we should be playing. Worse, we have grossly underperforming players in key positions, with a manager who appears unwilling to make essential changes, and who believes that effort, team spirit and determination will compensate for lack of quality.

    At the back Johnson is a major disappointment, Berra is at best modest and inconsistent, whilst Stearman must be the worst full back ever to represent us. Why not recall Craddock, bring back Danny Baath from Sheff Wed. where apparently he has been playing outstandingly well, and put in Doherty at full back,. This young and rapidly improving full back has been outstanding every time every time he has been selected. What have we to lose ?

    Up front Seb quite clearly is not Premiership class. Overweight, clearly unfit and seemingly disinterested, he is just a waste of space. Surely we must revert to 4-5-1 so that we can at least compete in the middle of the park. Milijas and Adlene must be worth a decent run at this stage.

    In the past, I`ve always been a strong supporter of MM, in that I believe he has done much for our club, but I have to say that it is now increasingly clear that he has taken us as far as he is able. It must be time for a change if we are to have any real chance of consolidating our position in the Premiership. Perhaps a defeat by Swansea would have been the best result for us in the longer term, since this would probably have forced decisive action on the part of the Chairman. Now, we are likely faced with yet more dithering, and further decline.

    In summary very sad times for us, with little prospect of any forthcoming improvement.

  8. Roger J. calls Molin hostile. Shut up Roger.
    It is however MM`s responsibility when he don`t let Craddock come on, and let the central midfield play on and on and on….backwards and sideways.
    Many fans feel MM is insulting them by his stubborness.
    We have seen it many times before. But the club is bigger than him ! And the fans is the club.

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