Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Stoke City

Oh, that futile concept of hope! There it was, showing at least the shadow of itself to me after a first half when Wolves played close to a perfect game to their abilities, just to be shredded into pieces in a second half when the ugly heads of doubt and despair grew more and more as the game went on.

Mr McCarthy played the team from start that I had anticipated he would, and it worked very well as Henry and Milijas really were up to it and the threesome to the left between Wardy, Milijas and Jarvo was the road from defence to attack and gave Wolves the edge over the Staffordshire team from start of the game.

It was not a well played game when looking at passing, technical skills or tempo. Not from Stoke, nor from Wolves, but it was very competitive in an English old-school way, if you know what I mean. The game could have been played some 40 years ago, if not for the much better pitch than what was available winter-time in the sixties and seventies.

The fact that the Potters didn’t manage one single shot at goal for the first half speaks words about our defensive skills at this point in the game. The lads defended all over the pitch and were really in their faces, and Stoke played in the same way against us, really.

They didn’t have a player that could equal Jarvis’s skills in first half, though, even if Pennant showed some very good moves at times. The movement of Matt Jarvis on the left flank was superb and the Stoke defence didn’t have any legal weapons to stop him. That paid off before the half hour as the referee stopped the game and, rightly so, pointed at the spot after Jarvo being brought down in the area.

Hunty was as cool as a cucumber when he took the penalty and I propose that he will take all of them in the future if he is on. After this brilliant play by Wolves, all faithful watching wanted more goals, of course. We had the advantage, the initiative and the necessary weapons, so why not?

Well, you probably got to ask Mr McCarthy that question, as he chooses to change positions between Hunty and Jarvo shortly after Wolves taking the lead in the game. As I said in my pre-match article, that’s the negative when starting with Hunt and Jarvis. They both prefer to operate on the left side and at least Jarvo is not at all the skilful speedball when he resides on the right-hand side of the pitch as he is on the left.

So why did McCarthy disarm the team going forward? Wardy and Milijas had a very fruitful cooperation that made the team able to step up a few yards on the pitch and by that having an advantage to Stoke in midfield aswell as going forward and defending. I can imagine a few reasons to this behaviour, but no-one of them are sufficient,  but then again I’m not a psychologist.

Maybe he noticed that the Stoke defence doubled up on Jarvo and wanted to make it easier for him going forward, having him switch sides? Maybe he was afraid that our gem would get injured by the rough defenders of Stoke?

Maybe he wanted to hold on to the lead and somehow thought that our only sharp weapon going forward should be turned to a defensive arm om the other side? Or maybe he didn’t want him to show up too much of his skills if an offer Wolves can’t refuse would be in the mailbox in January?

As I said, I don’t believe any of those reasons stand up to close scrutiny. Having Jarvis continuing his run on the left would have lifted our game for the last ten minutes of the first half and the remaining of the game. The Stoke defenders would not have been able to stop him legally from going forward and we would have seen either another goal, a red card, a free-kick in a lethal position for Milijas or Hunt to score on, or another penalty. What did McCarthy trade that in for? Thin air!

Just a couple of comments about their goals. A deflection in the wall leading to a goal is always hard for a keeper to defend from. Hennessey can NOT be responsible for that goal, but the defending wall can. Often, though, it is s*it that happens and in this case the free was also a wrong decision by the referee.

The other goal was due to bad defending from Wardy and probably Zubar, who should have been in the face of (was it?) Etherington on the other side, not giving him time to aim at Crouch. To the ratings, then. Maybe for the last time. I’m considering only to rate the parts of the team in the future, like defence, midfield and forwards (and the manager) and how they together carry out their tasks. After all that’s what the game is all about.

Hennessey – 7 – Not much to do in the first half, and actually not so much in the second either, but he did a crucial save when he tipped a shot over the crossbar and his kick- and throw-outs are very good as usual nowadays.

Zubar – 6 – A positive surprise both going forward and defending, but he didn’t defend well on the second goal and it’s a point off for that, I’m afraid. His play over all makes me want to see more of him and what he can do in the future, though.

Johnson – 6 – Finally a decent game from our new star in defence, but not more.

Berra – 8 – He was a giant in defence today and I bet Mr Pulis looked twice at him, despite them having a very good defensive part of their team already. Berra is one of a few players who has bettered his play this season.

When he gets it right on set pieces in the opposition defensive area he will be a complete PL central defender. I hope he practise that in training. Christophe Berra is Paddytheflea’s Star Man!

Ward – 6 – He had a hard time in defense with Pennant and Crouch lurking about, but managed very well until he blinked and Crouch went one step further from him. One point off for that, I’m afraid. Going forward he was a driving force, especially in the first half and towards the end of the game.

Henry – 7 – Much better, Carl! His best game this season as he hindered the Stoke players forward moves on several occasions, especially in the first half. A couple of bad passes, though, but that is forgiven when he performs this good all round. I wish he performs this good in every game, and not only against his former team. I would like to give him the bouncy smiley, but keep it up now, Carl!

Milijas – 6 – Being in the ice-box for the first part of the season has not made him a better player, but most of the first half he was excellent, both going forward and defending. Maybe he should have been replaced earlier, though, because he looked tired and made mistakes.

Hunt – 7 – Close to breaking through on a couple of occasions and a very useful player in games like this. Especially when we play with four in the middle. He looks in form now and I hope that will last for the rest of season.

Jarvis – 8 – As I said above he was displaced late on on the first half and played at the right side most of the second. When playing on the left, though, he was highest PL class and the only man that could stop him – Mick McCarthy – sadly enough did. He gets the little star as a comfort and because he is star quality. It’s a pity he didn’t get the chance to prove that in action all game.

Doyle – 6 – I believe Kevin was a tad better in this game than the previous ones, but it can depend on the opposition. Hopefully he is on his way to form, though, and/or realises that his position in the team from start is at stake. Still to few attacks on goal, though, and close to a fiver. As I thought SEB came on for Doyler when 15 minutes was left, too few minutes to make an impact and he never looked like scoring, I’m afraid.

Fletcher – 5 – Well watched by the Stoke defence and he didn’t get the crosses he wanted in this game. He looks a little weak on the ball still and the over all play doesn’t impress much. But we all know what he can do when getting the opportunity, and maybe he would have, if only Jarvo had continued to play on the left wing.

Paddytheflu (old gold running from my nose as I write) 😆

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~ by paddytheflea on December 18, 2011.

13 Responses to “Analysis & Ratings: Wolves v Stoke City”

  1. Why do we bother Paddy… Supporting the Wolves is not optional, but I certainly dont have to support a bumbling idiot who’s taking us straight back down to the Championship. Mick Out !!

  2. We MUST sort out that defence – two goals a game conceded is giving us no chance!

  3. sorry but i can’t see the point in sacking mick as there is nowone out the any better

    • In my mind this is the year Wolves should take the step out from relegation battles and up to be a secure middle of the league team, Mark. Mick has had the time and the means to accomplish that, but I begin to realise more and more that he has not got the skills, and it hurts like hell, because I’ve really believed in him being the manager who can do it for the club, but now I must say that I am in disbelief.

      For those who still believe in him taking us to that level I can only say I hope you’re right and that we will get the answer at the end of this season, because I don’t see McCarthy going anywhere.

  4. Can anyone please explain what EBanks Blake was supposed to bring to the team in those last 15 minutes. Can he jump and head the ball ? Can he run at defenders ? Can he hold the ball up and use his strength to ward off defenders ? Is he a goal threat with lightening quick reactions ?
    At 2-1 down I have never witnessed such a futile waste. Should have left the inept Doyle on. Very depressing afternoon and probably more to come on Tuesday evening. See you all there again.

  5. Dismal!

    No rambling analysis required-simply not good enough at this level against a woeful Stoke performance we should have absolutely mullered them. Only one to blame here McStubborn -again. Hammil should have been on at 45 or even the start but in reality the unforgivable happened and we went to sleep and were rightly punished. I really don’t mind losing, I cheered most of last season even when we lost as we displayed grit and superlative team spirit. What I saw yesterday was not the Wolves I know and love and I can only look to one man for that.

    This was made all the more sour after coming straight from the London Wolves Xmas dinner with Waggy and John Richards. How we ALL remembered and wished for the clinical precision and incison of Waggy tearing open a defence and the elegant finish of a true gentlemen of the sport in John Richards. Yes pure nostalgia but why can’t we do it again as we have far far more resources at our disposal now compared to then.

    A telling response to the question posed to Waggy “would you have started the stadium development or spent the money on the team” was the response…”no question the team”, which I only partially agreed with at the time. Standing in Molineux 2 hours later with the concrete frame of the North Bank looming large like some forboding underworld beast that response made absolute sense…..But who will come now??

  6. hunt 7? Hunt did mistake after mistake. And im sick of Doyle. Time for Hunty and Doyle to leave wolves. Zubar blamed for the second goal? it was henry that was at the right back position as the cross came in, not zubar because he was marking a man in the center. Agreed with everything else, and i believe that you are doing an excelent job, paddytheflea! 🙂

  7. We paid the price for an inept ref “AGAIN”, mind you I don’t think the rantings of an idiot like ad mant help! why can’t he just go and support his true love….Tesco Town.
    Mick will get us out of this has he as done before, anyway who are we going to have in his place-hughes! who walks out on his clubs? and if he is so good how come he is still out of work???????

  8. As long as we play as positive as against Stoke we can’t complain, not as long as we lost a point because of a wrong referee decision.

    It was an entertaining game!

    I just want to say that we all should look forward to the new year, what ever it brings. And with a couple of new players maybe Lady Fortuna will smile to us once again! Merry football christmas everybody!

  9. Can’t be bothered to go & see them or watch them on the telly now at best we will be a Coventry remember them perpetually fighting relegation in this league?
    Just not good enough and no MM will not get the sack.
    It is all disheartening and us wolves fans at work don’t talk about them any more.

  10. Firstly just like to get the Woody thing out the way,he should have been sent off simple as.He just couldn’t handle Jarvis,Pulis saved him any further imbarrassment by subbing him(rightly so).
    We did our usual dissapearing act in the first half,but haveing Pennant come on helps the balance of the team no end .Huths goal was fortunate to say the least,but by that stage in the game you could see it comming.Crouchies header was well taken have to say.
    Well I got the score right ,but I’m not here to gloat.I reckon Wolves have enough about them to stay up,O’Hara’s return(whenever that may be) will be a big boost for you,but I think Fletcher needs someone to help him out(can’t do it all on his own).
    All the best for the rest of the season 😉

  11. Usual fair rating comments Paddy, but Stoke is not in God’s county of Shropshire.

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