ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - wolves
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Wolverhampton Wanderers
Posted by Daniel Pountney on 11/28/2011

Well, we got beat soundly at the weekend but I don’t think we should be reading too much in to that. Chelsea haven’t been at their best in recent weeks but they are still Chelsea. Instead I want to look at what I think is a new thing at Wolves – possession football.

Barcelona and Spain are the masters of keeping the ball. They never hoof it forward but instead keep playing to feet at a slow pace until they find an opening. It’s devastatingly effective and I think a few English clubs have taken a look at it and tried to adapt the way they play.

Manchester United have certainly changed their tactics in recent seasons in a bid to re-capture European glory. And a lot of other teams are abandoning the traditional system of 4-4-2, a big man and a little man up front and two wingers. Is Mick McCarthy trying to do the same with Wolves?

Now I’m not for a minute suggesting that he’s trying to get us playing like Barcelona. I love O’Hara and Fletcher but they’re no Xavi and Messi. But perhaps Mick, like a lot of managers, thinks keeping the ball in a European style may be more effective than the traditional English high-tempo game.

Unfortunately I can’t find the official stats for passing because I would be really interested to see how many Karl Henry in particular is making in each game this season compared to last. He seems to be dropping back and offering himself as an option to the back five every time we get possession.

I’m certain that last season Hennessey was booting the ball forward much more regularly than he has been recently. It seems like there is a conscious effort to keep the ball to feet in our own half and play it out by finding space.

This is fine by me but I think it’s going wrong in the opposition half. Here we’re still relying on the wingers to beat a man and get a cross in. The possession game is going out of the window. To be fair, I don’t think our players have the ball skills to consistently open up defences with movement and skill. When attacking we need to rely on pace and strength.

I’m not sure if the possession game at the back is helping or hindering us really but it is slowing the game down and perhaps that’s not ideal when we rely on speed in the attacking third.

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Posted by Liam on 11/28/2011

Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass it back to Wayne, HOOF!

Posted by Giovanni on 12/02/2011

I agree with you. Wolves cannot play keeping ball for a long time. As I posted last summer we have very poor in quality in the half. The only way we can paly at this moment is getting long the ball as the old-English way.

Posted by Harry on 12/03/2011

Well it is ok to keep the ball and try to keep possession. I think the team should be lauded for the effort. But seriously, these guys would seem unable to hit a barn even though they were standing in the barn door. There are some serious shortcomings in our team. And worst of all, I do not see the fighting spirit that has kept us up for the last two seasons. I fear that we will drop unless they lads are tought that the ball should go in the box with the lots of ropey things that kind of make up a lots of rectangular shapes. Shooting practice called for maybe ?
Sorry for the sarcasm - go wolves

Posted by Martin Walter on 12/18/2011

The dismal record of the Wolves club tells us something about management. This manager/coach is uninspired and uninspiring. His early-season pronouncement of ending up in the Top Ten was plain silly. Terminate him now and aim to stay one above relegation by providing motivation and good use of existing players so that new player resources, solid direction and management may achieve lasting improvement next season. The current path is folly and inexcusable.

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