Everton 1-1 Wolves: Analysis

23 08 2010

A strange game this one..

Everton completely outplayed Wolves for the first half and were looking like the side many people expected them to be this season. The hallmarks of a typical Everton performance were there – fiercely competitive, high tempo football with Mikel Arteta pulling the strings. For their part, Wolves had decided to stick with the 4-4-2 that secured an opening day victory over Stoke. The  problem for them at Goodison was that the combative Tim Cahill dropped into the midfield where appropriate as the home side’s 4-4-1-1 swamped Karl Henry and David Jones leaving the visitors unable to get hold of the ball for any length of time. Jones in particular could not get the time he needed to bring Wolves’ wide men into the game and the result was that Matt Jarvis – often the side’s major threat – was simply not involved in the game:

Matt Jarvis, right-winger. Passes up until 53rd minute when he was switched to the left.

McCarthy changes it

The key moment that changed the course of the contest was the arrival of Algerian midfielder Adlene Guedioura to play on the right side of midfield. McCarthy withdrew left-back George Elokobi, moving Stephen Ward from left-midfield and switching Jarvis to his favoured left-wing. Thereafter, the game swung in Wolves favour and this is shown bluntly by the shots on goal:

1st Half: Everton 11, Wolves 1
2nd Half: Everton 4, Wolves 9

The substitutions were clearly a major factor in this. The 2nd change came in the 71st minute when Greg Halford came on to play down the right flank with Guedioura replacing Jones in the centre of midfield. The Algerian’s busier approach helped wrestle control of the game and his dubious tackle on Heitinga set up the attack for the equaliser. Another key advantage was that Ward’s superior passing ability at left-back could now bring Jarvis, playing ahead of him, into the game. The speedy winger had the run on Tony Hibbert and his increased influence is shown on the chalkboards:

Matt Jarvis, left-winger. He enjoyed much more of the ball in the 2nd half

Conclusions

It was hard to see anything other than 3 points for Everton at the half-time interval. However, a couple of substitutions by Mick McCarthy emphatically changed the pattern of play and this was reflected in the scoreline. Perhaps David Moyes could have done more as he made only like-for-like changes. Perhaps McCarthy got it wrong initially. Whatever your view, this game showed that even those games in which the gulf in quality seems all too apparent can be altered by seemingly innocuous rejigging.

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2 responses

26 08 2010
Olympus

What does ghost goal make of the departure of Andrew Keogh from Molineux?

27 08 2010
GhostGoal

Pretty pleased to be honest. Keogh out and Mancienne in was a good day’s work. I’d actually be surprised if Keogh gets much of a look in at Cardiff to be honest.

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