Analysis & Ratings: Everton v Wolves

A crappy game with a lousy ending. If it had been a film I would have left before the end or possibly fallen asleep, but too much was at stake for both Wolves and Everton to open up or give anything away defensively to the opposition. The fact that all three goals came after dead-ball situations underlines that.

Wolves sacrificed their offensive qualities to gain defensive power in the middle and for a very long time it looked to be a successful tactics, but McCarthy failed to reach the target, at least one point, with about seven minutes. The question he must ask himself is if it’s not possible to keep a threat going forward and still be solid in midfield and at the back? Other teams has that app, why not we? 😆

The stats speaks with clear voice. We had only one shot on goal all game, and that was the Hunt penalty, very well taken, that he scored after Edwards stumbled upon the outstretched leg of Fellaini in the 36th minute.

Wolves had been pressed back by the Toffees before that, but now we gained momentum and almost snatched a second a couple of minutes later.

Just when I thought that we had a golden chance to get at least one point, maybe three from this encounter if we just could hold on in the lead until half time, Everton got a free-kick 30 yards out and Jagielka nodded the ball past Hennessey for the equaliser.

Our advantage was gone and I knew the break would give Moyes the opportunity to gather his troops and take control of the game. I rate his tactical skills very high and am sorry I can’t say the same about our manager.

The second half was characterised by a home team that tried to up the tempo and stretch Wolves defence out in length and width. Wolves tried to make that tactic a failure by keeping the team together, keep possession of the ball and slow the tempo down. Most important for both teams was though to keep defending well and destroy the opponents play rather then coming up with something constructive self. Security before anything else.

Because of that it was not a nice game to watch. No entertaining value at all if you’re not into S&M or something like that. 😆 Almost without wingplay Wolves didn’t know how to break through the Everton defence and because of Wolves strong defensive play the Everton crosses into the penalty area caused almost no damage to the away team. A stalemate of sorts and I was probably not the only person that put my money on the game ending with a 1-1 draw.

Sadly, though, the referee wanted another result so he intervened and decided the game for the Toffees. Maybe he called Ladbrokes at halftime?! Louis Saha felt the hands of Ward on his back after a corner and took his chances and dived with arms wavering and a ghastly kind of scream and the unexperienced man in black fell for it.

As against Manchester City we had a couple of half chances to equalise after that, but nothing much. Back to my question then; is it possible to be strong defensively and to create chances going forward both for Wolves? Nine corners from Everton and only one for Wolves and 41 crosses by them against 11 by us says to me that our wing play was nonexistent.

If we’re looking back at this season and the last we are one of the teams that are given most corners and have the most crosses in the league. That is because of our wingplay and this game perfectly illustrated that without that weapon we have nothing else going forward. Our inner midfield does not seem to possess the strength or skills to penetrate the Everton defence.

Jarvis changed the game when he came on against Wigan and he did not weaken our defensive play. I had hoped that he would play from start against Everton and I was very disappointed he did not. The combination of Ward and Jarvo on the left would have given us chances from corners, free-kicks and crosses from the left, I’m sure, and even if this would not result in goals directly it would have forced Everton to back down and Wolves would be given more territorial advantage by that and more chances on shots if nothing else.

Now Everton had the territorial advantage of 58% against 42%, that’s something else unusual to Wolves and it shows that we crippled our chances of getting something out of the game. So even if the tactics of playing a very defensive game nearly became a success, we could, in my humble opinion have done better with an out-and-out winger in the team. Actually I would say our formation yesterday was 4-2-4-0, with Doyler also being in on crowding the midfield and it’s very hard if not impossible to get a goal in play from that. To the ratings.

Hennessey – 8 – The song “If not for you” by Bob Dylan comes to mind when thinking about Wayne’s match-decisive save in the 16th minute of the game. He made other great saves aswell and I believe that I can conclude that his weakness when coming out from the goal line that was most noticeable a couple of years ago now has turned into a strength.

Or I should rather say that HE has turned it into a strength of course. In every other game he is the one that saves us from goals in the back and I saw some stats saying that he is in top three of the keepers on amount of saves in the Premiership. I wouldn’t change him for anybody in the world and he is Paddytheflea’s Star Man!

Stearman – 7 – A fighting display by Stears as usual and it’s a pity he should pay for it by a probable broken wrist. I hope he will be back from his injury soon, because I believe he was going somewhere and we don’t see him making the same mistakes anymore that he made a couple of times last season and the season before.

Stears actually had a couple of good runs going forward aswell as playing well in defense today. He is young and he learns and he will come back stronger, probably taking his place back from Foley or Zubar who thankfully are back from injury and can serve as his replacement.

Johnson – 6 – Had a descent run today, but made the usual mistake almost causing a goal in the back. He looks to have a bad temper aswell and I don’t know if that’s because his play is not on top or if it’s his usual mode when playing.

Berra – 7 – One of the best in a very good back four on the day. He took the threat of incoming balls away at numerous times and helped Wardy and later Elokobi out a lot at the left. Berra has been one of our most consistent players this season and he deserves the smiley!

Ward – 8 – It was not his fault that the referee decided to point at the penalty spot after his perfectly normal defending on the corner. The same defending made him a hero minutes earlier when he stopped Cahill from scoring two yards out from the goal line.

Stephen Ward has gone from one of our most inconsistent to our most consistent player in a year and his working rate is fantastic. Yesterday he had to take yet another role when Stears got injured and he excelled in the right back position aswell. He made more accurate passes than anybody else and he is more than worthy to get my little star.

Henry – 6 – Helped out well in the back and tried to go forward without success. Got the ball on the wrong foot a couple of minutes after the first goal otherwise we may have gone out of sight for Everton. With such a crowded midfield he finds a role and performs it well.

Milijas – 6 – Mostly defensive shores for Milijas in this game and he looks a little slow and rusty in his moves. For me it was a surprise that he did play today, but with Guédioura out on international duties the week before and not playing well against Wigan he got a chance. I would also chose him before Guédi, but the question is if he did enough to convince Mick that he should start in the future. He will probably get another chance against Chelsea, though, as both O’Hara and Hunt are out because of five yellow cards.

Edwards – 6 – Still looks a little awkward at times and situations, but does a lot of good both going forward and defending. He ran in possession in the box forcing Fellaini to react in the wrong way which was the best Dave could have done apart from scoring himself. Because of injury he has not played that much in the Premiership, so I believe that we have more to look forward to coming from him.

Hunt – 6 – A well taken penalty and a couple of good runs, one of them rendering O’Hara a free in the latter stages of the game. He doesn’t seem to have the impact on the game now that he had towards the end of last season, though, and I’m waiting for that.

O’Hara – 6 – Was well watched by Everton players today and that gave him short of time to work his magic. There were little place for creativeness in this game, but he kept on trying and had a couple of long crosses that could have opened the game up if we had a winger on the pitch. His accuracy in passes was very good – 44 out of 48.

Doyle – 5 – As I said he worked mostly in midfield in this game, but had a couple of runs forward in counter attacks. One in which Stears followed him up, but sadly Doyle didn’t reach him with his pass. Not a single shot on or at goal from Doyle and because of that I will take a point away. Fletcher came on with four minutes left and had a shot at goal.



~ by paddytheflea on November 20, 2011.

13 Responses to “Analysis & Ratings: Everton v Wolves”

  1. Hi Paddy – couldn’t agree with you more. Far too negative. Watched game on line and they showed the Everton penalty being for Elokobi pulling back a player. Only when I saw report that i realised it was given against Ward. Looks like ref had two options. Henry got luckly at end of first half for his foul on Cahill. Must start with Jarvis , Hammill and Fletcher next week. Milijas has now lost the plot and should move on in January.

  2. One of the most inept performances I have ever seen!!! Watched it in the pub and that was hard work even with the added benefits of 6 pints of Bathams. I seriously would not pay to watch this rubbish and I have been to a fair few 4th div grounds to watch Wolves in the past.
    Tim Howard touched the ball twice with his gloves all match, once to get the ball out of the net and took 1 low cross in 2nd half. Everton are a poor team so why did we not try too win this game?? We had no attacking intent whatsoever. I fear the worst this season as it is clear that M.M is like a drowning man desperately trying to draw breath, he simply is not good enough at this level. And to moan about their soft penalty after the match is clutching at straws and an attempt to paper over the cracks. Unfortunately us Numpties (as you think of us)can see through you and your tactical ineptitude is blatant for all to see!!

  3. I agree with your ratings and comments. Puzzled by MM’s not making any changes when we doesn’t create anything forward. Where was plan B? When Doyle has a day off, why don’t throw in Fletcher earlier in the game?

    Note: One of the transfer prospects for january, Shelvey (on loand for Blackpool), scored for Blackpool against Middlesbrough. Although he’s a good player I’m not quite happy with MM transfer targeting a midfielder.
    Hasn’t Wolves enough of midfielders? If we’re targeting two players in january, unproven premiership players, both should – in my opinon – be forwards.

  4. Once again McStubborn has given away at least 1 if not all 3 points. This really pisses me off as I think we had it in us to go out and win that game but even if we didn’t at least we would have played a game of football rather than that.. I don’t know what you would call it?! It certainly isn’t what WWFC are all about.

    1-1 at half time should have seen Jarvo on and Hunt off and Hammill on and Milijas off… but hang on Hammill wasn’t even on the bench-Go figure???

    From there it get much much worse bad luck on plucky Stearman who has been steadily improving all season but is too slow at this level ends up with a broken wrist and then woe of woe Elokobi comes on why not Craddock?????

    Within minutes he is being skinned and shown as the statue we all know him to be..Bet McStubborn wishes that he took notice of all the numpties and got another defender now!!

    I can only assume that Fletcher is still not fit as giving the bloke 4 minutes of normal time to do anything is imbicile. When will our lumbering manager learn to act with decision and not stand there rubbing his chin pondering us being over run. No excuses he’s had loads more money than Moyes and it simply doesn’t show.

    It is patently clear that we need to score some goals as we all know our defense will ship at least 2 every game.

    Chelsea next!!

  5. Hey! I don’t think we can blame Elokobi for the goals we conceded. One goal was the result of a dubious penalty, another was a result of a well taken free kick. It was the lack of creative play and lack of chances in our attacking play that should be an object of criticism.

  6. Wrong tacktics by Mick McCarthy. We cant play a 4-5-1(4-6-0) away to a team that is in a simular position as us. And if we are, we need a striker that can score goals and wingers that are more treathning going forward.

    Did we have a shoot on goal apart from our goal? I dont think so im afraid. That tells something about how defensive we played. But I got to give som praise to Dave Edwards. His passing is great and he comes forward so well! And I feel that Hunt is a bit to slow and Jarvis should have started and not Hunt. Then we would have had a bit more pace and threathened a bit more going forward. And am I the only one that does not understand why Doyle still is a wolves player when we could have had 11 mill for him in the summer? Doyle has scored two goals this season. Two goals. I understand that Fletcher didnt start since he isnt matchfit, but remember a striker that was very effective when he got the chance last season. His name is Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. A goalscorer that played so well in the 4-5-1 formation at Anfield last season. And why , why is Sam Vokes loaned to burnley when he finally has comed into form?!
    One good thing happened for us at Goodison though! Richard Stearman will probably not be able to play for a while. Finally its time for Ronald Zubar to get a chance ! Yes I remember the back pass vs Bolton but remember all the great games he has played. Victory vs united and chelsea a couple of them. And since O hara cant play the next game because of 5 yellow cards, Nenad MIlijas has to start again! He didnt really get the chance to impress at everton since wolves were so defensive, but next time out he has a chance! And JODY CRADDOCK! remember him? of course we all do since he saved us at the end of last season. But it looks like McCarthy has forgotten him! We concides sloppy goals game after game. isnt it time for our favourite to get the chance? I believe it is.

    I hope this is the wolves team that faces chelsea next week:
    Hennesseey- Zubar,Craddock,Johnson,Ward-Edwards,Milijas,Henry,Jarvis-Fletcher,Ebanks-Blake.

    Hope im not the only one that believe that McCarthys tactics is to defensive?

    • I don’t have the same faith in Zubar as you, wolvesforever, but he will be welcome to prove me wrong. And why would you like to put Berra to rest when he has been one of our best so far this season? I’m not for changing to a 4-4-2-formation again and defnitely not against Chelsea away. An inner midfield with only Henry and Milijas will be totally run over, but I agree on playing Jarvo from start.

  7. The saying “Attack is the best form of defence” is obviously not in MM’s book of tactics!

  8. Never mind we will have the best stadium and training grounds in the Blue Square soon!

  9. We need someone in there with more counter attacking pace Micks continual rotation of the fringe players just demonstrates they probably arent good enough. He has got to put his loyalty to one side and work harder to find or bring through players of greater potential eg look at Elliot Bennett now at Norwich.Colin.

  10. Having watched a buttload of games so far this season, I just cant believe how terrible it is to watch the Wolves play in comparison to the rest of the league. There just seems to be a gulf in class between us and even the promoted sides.

    I know mcClueless sets us up to close teams down and stifle play, and our woeful defence requires us to swell the midfield, leaving us only 1 up front, but its still dire to watch – AND CLEARLY STILL INEFFECTIVE as we teeter just above the bottom 3

    For the first time in my life I find myself able to get up during a Wolves game to go to the loo, fetch a beer, gouge my eyes out with a teaspoon… Our game plan appears to be Pass to Henry, who passes back Wayne who hoofs it up… and repeat ad infinitum

    Ward and Hennessey have been the only shining lights in what, so far, is the weakest looking Wolves team since we were playing in the championship.

    • How is it possible for us to pay millions and head backwards?
    • Why cant we get Johnson playing like he played for Brum ?
    • Where is the old Milijas?
    • Why cant we find anybody better than Stearman ?
    • Why cant Henry pass forwards?
    • Why cant OHara shoot straight?

    We can expect the promoted 3 to loose steam, sure, but we need to hope we arent cut adrift at the foot of the table by then.

    Even the faithful are starting to admit the only reason for keeping Mick is there is no one better out there. What a reason. What ambition our board have. Someone said it already – we will have the best stadium outside the premiership if something isnt done soon.


  11. KFK said it all: It was the lack of creative play and lack of chances in our attacking play that should be an object of criticism.
    It seems to me that this results less from Mick having a stupid mind and more from his having a miserable attitude. As ChrisR said, the saying attack is the best form of defence doesn’t seem to exist in Mick’s book of tactics, indeed, it seems a totally foreign concept that he’s never heard of.
    I’m a mindless idiot, I’m not intelligent enough to call Mick a mindless idiot––to me he is just a miserable git. Not Thick Mick, but Mad Mick! A total nutter who can’t live with success or high expectations. Compared with him Jana Novotna, the pro tennis player who for a decade nearly always bottled it when she was in a winning position against a top-class player, was a model of a positive athlete. Mick’s only happy when his back is up against the wall and he is playing defensive football. The oft-quoted stats in this thread just confirm what we could all see while we were watching the game. Boring and losing––the hallmark of Mick McCarthy. I want to watch good football, so I’m going to switch to Hednesford next season!

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