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.