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Will Internationals Hinder Relegation Scramble?

Recently, Wolves fans were buoyed by news that our flying winger, Matt Jarvis, had finally made the England squad after previously struggling to break the provisional barrier.

I was elated for Jarvis; it's absolutely everything he deserves. He looks set to start in Capello's new 4-3-3 formation against Ghana tomorrow.

But is this really what we want when Wolves scrap admirably for their premiership lives?

The benefits of Jarvis competing with England are plentiful; after all it's sure to boost his confidence, and he can only improve by training with the national team, but do I really want to see Wolves chances of survival hindered by an injury to any of our key players in an International friendly?

Don't get me wrong, I'm English and proud, but my support for the national side has somewhat waned over the past few years after putting myself through tedious football, with overpaid ego's holding my optimistic spirit in their palms, before crushing it every few summers with a series of lacklustre displays, and a show of minimal passion.

At Wolves the passion is there for all to see, in every player. I do walk away sometimes deflated by the loss of points, particularly with last minute blunders, but on the whole I am very happy watching the thrills and spills of those games at Molineux.

For this reason I will always support club over country!

I have a passion for Wolves that, as hard as I try, I just cannot muster up for England.

Trapattoni's comments concern me in response to the injury of Kevin Doyle playing in Irelands 2-1 Euro Qualifier win over Macedonia: 'One of the doubts I had coming into the match having watched Doyle in matches and in training was that he was a little tired and not on top of his game,' he said. 'Players who play all the time in England run the risk of getting to June and being empty.'

As ROI manager, Trapattoni has a responsibility to field his strongest team and win an important qualifier. However, if he has noticed that Doyle is tired, and is completely unsurprised that he suffered injury as a result of being over exerted, why on earth did he play him?

Surely, it is a manager's responsibility to look after the fitness of his players too?

Doyle is our first choice striker, but I do not think that our survival hangs on his fitness.

I believe Ebanks-Blake, and Fletcher will provide the goals we need to keep Wolves in the premier league so that we can beat the likes of Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Man City all over again.

I am concerned though if we lose Jarvis. Hammill has looked a great signing so far, and his delivery looks to be better than Jarvis' but Wolves have threatened going forward because we have TWO pacey wide men who bombard the opposition 18 yard area with cluster bombs. They create countless chances. With Hammill and Jarvis lining our wings, and O'Hara spraying the ball from one side to the other Wolves have an attacking prowess that we have not seen so far in the Premiership in Old Gold and Black.

Ebanks-Blake and Fletcher have done well to score 11 league goals between them, plus of course Doyle's contribution of 5.

If we lose Jarvis, I fear we lose the edge we have on our wings, because although Hunt has put in some good performances, his touch and lack of pace in comparison to our dynamic duo will ultimately weaken the strength of our attack and we are yet to see how Kightly can contribute at this level.

Of course, this is all hypothetical, and I will have my fingers crossed that Jarvis returns from international duty full of confidence and raring to go against Newcastle, but I will watch England with one eye closed, and a long held breath to see Jarvis take on the physical Ghanians.

With the loss of Doyle, I do hope that McCarthy turns to his proven strikers, and only uses Ward sparingly as we try to grind results.

Despite Doyle's absence, we WILL be celebrating overturning 'second-season syndrome' come May 22nd, and will push on next season!

UTW

Article suggestion from member hyett5

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The Journalist

Writer: hyett5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 28 2011

Time: 2:00PM

Your Comments

Let me state from the outset that I am not an England fan at all, nor an Ireland one, for that matter, so my perspective will be exclusively that of a Wolves fan. It was compulsion that had me wait for the Wales-England kick-off, the wait was to see whether Jarvis was at least on the bench. On finding out that he was not, all interest in the game was lost. The loss of Doyle may be a blessing in disguise, and that is not meant to detract from the player's ability or his value to the team, certainly not from his utility as one who can hold the ball and score goals as well.The role of a striker is a secondary one for Doyle, his main one being more that of a winger....granted, one who can score when the chance is presented. But his absence will now force MM to abandon the lone-striker formation (?), for neither SEB nor Fletch can play that role. Hopefully, we will see, from the kick-off, either - preferably both! - in the centre up front ready to meet the crosses from the likes of Jarvis, Hammill and Kights. Two strikers, do I say? I have come to see what MM stands for, and that is: Moderation Matters. Still, he will do it his way, and he will succeed in keeping Wolves up, his way, injuries or no injuries, with whatever he has at his disposal.
lovesW
Nice article Hyett,it dragged LovesW out of hibernation again!,It make you wonder what it must be like for the top clubs?we moan about losing one player when some of the big sides have nearly their whole teams out all at once on International duty!.
Crete Wolf
Great article and I agree whole-heartedly with the arguments presented. As I said in a response somewhere or other, I would like SEB and Fletcher to play together upfront. If we do play 4-5-1, SEB will probably get the nod as he replicates Doyle's role better than Fletcher does. What I don't want to see is Ward occupying that position. With Hammill and Jarvis booming the ball in to twin strikers we could score a bucketful on Saturday. Of course, we hope that they are fit enough to play in the game. Not too happy about the result of the England match either.
Southbank60
Thanks for your comments. I agree Crete Wolf, regarding how other clubs have to cope. I did want to make comparisons to Aston Villa in particular and West Ham but had to make cuts to fit the character count. Southbank60, Regarding the 4-5-1, with O'Hara dropping behind hopefully SEB I still think that's a good solid formation that will provide goals and maximise our use of the wingers but certainly agree that Ward does not make the cut. The lad works hard but he doesn't possess the quality to make an impact.
hyett5
Very well. I will confess that it has proved impossible for me to dwell in hibernation for, what was it?, 2 weeks? You have succeeded. It was more the urge to comment on the comments about what is going on rather than on what is going on. About O'Hara - I hope MM has had more than a cordial word with him about going for glory himself when Jarvis was totally free to his left when already 1-0 up against Villa. Had Villa eventually drawn level...... and I read that there is a kind of 'friendly competition' about who of the two scores the more goals. That is no good at all, quite the contrary, as I see, and, moreover, as evidence has shown. The exchanges between the two should be of the ball on the field of play, not verbal ones off it.
lovesW
Going off subject here,but would it be possible once an article has been read to move it to the top of the board?In other words the popular articles stay at the top for easy access?Just a thiught,thats one for the admin boys.
Crete Wolf
I forgot Hunt. No, I am not saying all four should start; I will be happy to see any two of them on the wings, but I am with SB60 regarding Ward.
lovesW
Great article Hyett- first thigns first, as for the word count if you send it directly to Akela he will most likely lob off, so to speak the word count and let you write at will. Great article as I say, but I am surprised by some of the responses which are somewhat muted in response to the news of the Doyle injury as you will see if you read the article above this one (Crete- there is a way for admin to 'stick' a story so if it is popular and worthy it continues to maintain pole position for a while, again, I would contact Akela on that one). W- I have always appreciated your contributions, always, but how Doyle getting injured can prove a blessing in disguise is beyond me. We are on the best run we have had in our Premiership history, we are taking nearly two per points game, scoring almost two per game, and taking the Spurs result out conceding such a few, I forget the ratio but it was little more than one. Such disruption to what was working is nothing short of a nightmare and at the worst possible time. I have championed Blakey and Fletcher to the bitter end but neither of them can play the game Doyle can, few in the country can, and what that means when it becomes plainly obvious is that we have to change. And change means changing something that was working so well. I'd love to get all excited and whoopee now we are going to have to ruin a winning formula by being forced to go 4-4-2 so we can now enjoy two flying wingers and scoring 5 a game because we have SEB and Fletch in the middle? What formation dominated the first half of the season? What has dominated the second half? I'm as thrilled as anyone that Kightly is back in the squad but the mention of him bombing down the wing- I wish to see nothing more but he has not played for a year and a half and the memory of Tony Daley sprinting onto the field after a similar amount of time to to wild applause soon fell short when he pulled a hamstring before he reached the wing and took position. I might avoid the site tomorrow because my opinion seems to be going against all the joy surrounding some wild abandon and attacking menace that if employed will see us fall flat on our arse and secure relegation. My dog ate my homework yesterday. I made him write it again. He got an A. Maybe Doyle's torn ligaments will see us finish 10th. Grumble, grumble.
New York City Wolf
Brilliant article hyett5 and I hope to read more of your contributions to Vital Wolves in the future.
Akela
NYCW, I would not say that things were working so well. They were working just about satisfactorily, and only in the most recent of games, at that. The Blackpool game aside, the wins secured have always been with the narrowest of margins. And - I said, the absence of Doyle MAY prove to be a blessing in disguise. The Doyle tactic is one aimed at securing a one-goal advantage and keeping it - alas, the defence saw to the failure of that on more than one occasion. Now, as things stand, I say it would be a mistake to retain what you call ' a winning formula'( even granted that it be a winning formula), substituting the pin round which that formula revolves with another player, be it SEB or Fletch or any other,who admittedly cannot be Doyle's match at it. The question that would arise would be who of the two approaches Doyle's function better. So, I say, accept facts as they area and change tactics, if tactics require to be changed by force of circumstance. True, I am one who would have changed tactics without being forced by circumstance. Rather, there would have been no need for me to change tactics at all, for I would be playing with two wide men and two strikers all along, and with four stikers and four wingers on the books, it is difficult to imagine having to change tactics for lack of availability of players who can fulfill the roles. With Doyle, i.e. with a plan revolving around a single man, the possibility is ever 'in the air'. Now it is a reality. I see this as a chance for MM to put the 2W2S formation to the test, be it grudgingly. 2W2S stands for 2 wingers and 2strikers, I just made that up. I appreciate your comments too ,NYCW, as I do everyone's on here. It is just that I look upon this one-up-front formation as a restriction on the attacking potential of the team, and, moreover, as a sheer wastage of the strikers, sitting on the bench, when they should be out there at the end of the crosses supplied from quality wingers, most of whom, too, are relegated to the bench by the Wards and the Foleys.
lovesW
Yorkie: in my more lucid moments I share your concern and I am certainly worried about the absence of Doyle. However- and I do keep harking back to it - I remember the promise shown by SEB and Fletcher in the first half of the Stoke match. Moreover, we are stronger at the back now and that allows a greater degree of flexibility upfront. With a 4-4-2 system we could exploit our strengths on the wing to a far greater extent. Watching games, I have lost count of the number of chances we have squandered because there is no-one in the box to pur the ball in the net.
Southbank60
Some very good points made. We as a team have been more successful, in the latter end of last season, and this season by employing the 4-5-1. However, I do agree that there have been far too many occasions when we have put balls into the box and there has been nobody there to meet it. I still edge towards 4-5-1, however, because I fear we may lose control of possession a little too frequently if we don't stick with 3 in the middle. If we have the ball, our opponents can't score (or so I would like to think). Perhaps our formation would be better referred to as a 4-3-3 with Jarvis and Hammil flanking, much like Chelsea. If our full backs can get on the overlap, which is much less frequent without Zubar, we should be able to get more bodies into the danger area. I just fear with 4-4-2 we won't have a say on the ball, and even though our defence is much improved, they will not have enough protection from the midfield.
hyett5
Hyett, granted that 4-5-1 is safer than 4-4-2. But, as SB60 and yourself have remarked, what use is all the toil of creating chances for them to go begging. MM had replied to 'accusations' of fiieding a too-defensive formation some weeks ago by pointing out that Wolves did play an attacking game. And they did, in actual fact. When the necessity of attacking arises, he employs the players in that formation in an attacking role. This makes for attack all right, but it does not turn defenders and defensive midfielders into strikers. I would have it the other way round: field an offensive formation, one with the fluidity that allows the men up front. particularly the ones on the flanks, to cover in midfield. I think it will be appreciated that, with the current position in the table, and given that points are necessary, a considerable number of them, to alone keep up with the other teams, let alone surpass them, a degree of risk has become indispensable. And it is no Doomsday 2-3-5 I am advocating (not any longer, anway!!), just an orthodox 4-4-2, a formation quite possible, ideal even, with the players available, and less risky than a 4-5-1 constantly in jeopardy because of fears for the fitness of THE one up front. Here it is where the major risk actually was, and now, what was possible to happen - probable to happen, taking into account the extra international matches - has in fact happened.
lovesW
lovesW is right to point out the problems of playing a 4-5-1 system. It makes scoring more difficult, and relies upon the team managing to hold on to a 1-0 lead if we succeed in sticking one in the net. That's a dangerous ploy and it should have come unstuck at Villa Park. On several occasions during the season it has come unstuck, even resulting in a loss rather than a draw.
Southbank60
I argued that we were going to have to change what was a winning formula- people argued we did not have one. I sat down and let the stats back up what we already knew, or should have at least noticed. I can not see how anyone can say we had not found a formation that was reaping great returns, a formation Mick had masterminded and one the players were able to execute with great effect pretty much game after game. We have played a nice round 30 games now and here are the returns breaking them down in to three parts of our season thus far. First ten games: W 2 D 3 L 5 = 9 points For 10 Against 16 = .9 per game points ratio. Second ten games: W 3 D 0 L 7 = 9 points For 10 Against 18 = .9 points per game ratio Our Last ten games: W 4 D 2 L 4 = 14 points For 15 Against 15 = 1.4 points per game ratio Usually a point per game will see you safe; last season we took a point per game and were 8 points clear of relegation. This season of course is its own story. The point per game will not prove anywhere near enough, over the course of our first 20 games we were not even hitting a point per game. 2 points per game is likely to win the title; Manchester United have more than this, 5 clear of Arsenal (who have a game in hand.) So, over the course of the last ten games we have scored more than at any time during the season, and have coneded less. Our points return over ten games is 5 more than we were taking from the same amount of games at any other time during the season. We have lost one from our last 6, so how can anyone suggest we had not found a winning formula? If we were Manchester United then it would not prove a winning formula. Our aim is survival and it was working out well. I remain confident that we will not be beaten on Saturday regardless and have every faith we will be in the Premiership next year.
New York City Wolf
I had worked this out exactly as you have right after the Villa game, NYCW. It HAS BEEN a winning formula, by Wolves' standards and expectations, at any rate, surpassing that even: in a table based on the last 6 games Wolves position is 5th!! So I think all would agree that that is beyond dispute. Since last season it has seemed to me that this lone-striker formation is a dangerous one to adopt because of the Achilles heel of the eventuality of injury to or suspension of the pin around which it revolves. No player fulfills a role, moreover, not so common and easy a one as Doyle's and as pivotal to the success or failure of the tactic, exactly as another would. As such, while in operation, as long as it can be put into effect, it HAS been a good one; but I cannot say it IS a good, that is, a good one to bank on, despite its proven benefits, for the reasons already mentioned, while with 4-4-2, and with practically all other formations BUT 4-5-1, there is no dependancy on any one player for the system to function. This is the point I have been trying to make. Now, if MM persists and brings in Fletch or SEB to replicate Dolyle's role and it works, I will only be too glad for that. In the article 'Opportunity Knocks' on the official site, it is stated that he is 'keeping his options open'.
lovesW
LovesW's point about the success we have been having with the 4-5-1 system has depended upon the brilliance of Doyle in the role is one I have made in another thread.
Southbank60
Nods all around. I think we were muddling our points from our approaching angles perhaps. Thanks W for researching that- I figured the points per game etc would have us near challenging for Europe but yes, I do understand your point more now. I do think Mick will stick with the system however- I hate to fall into the 'Why Does He Insist On Playing Ward Club?' but I have signed up and will flash my membership card with pride. Ward has taken so much stick from the fans, most of which has come not from his level of performance but from the fact he always gets a game, and let's face it- HE DOES. It is becoming almost obsessive that his mush gets to grace the greens and whilst I have always said that he is a great asset to the squad, I shook my head when Mick, discussing what he will do next, said he has three great strikers to choose from "which is great." It's not feerrcking great it's *********. He scored the goal that won us the game at Liverpool so have a gold star. I think he can do a reasonable job left back. I stress the word reasonable. Same applies for left side of midfield. A striker, a forward, you name it, he is not. I really don't think it will happen for a minute but if he was to be chosen ahead of Blakey or Fletch it would prove little short of criminal for no other reason than it would be setting the player up for failure. One of the other two maybe have something along the lines of what Doyle can do, as in less than half (regarding the role Doyle plays) but both are more likely to score. I think he will stick with the one up front, play Blake from the start, it won't work, and then bring on the Fletch. If this unfolds I'll start selling Chris Tarrot cards to Brooklyn natives. Urgh-huuuhhhh.
New York City Wolf
Getting confirmation on Saturday that MM does not have the b*lls to field 2 strikers from the start will be no surprise, but this talk of Ward as a striker may be meant to prepare us to see no striker at all! As it was, Doyle was at least half a striker. Taking into account the fact that Wolves' luck has turned somewhat for the better recently, MM may be pondering pushing it still by hoping to get an early break, or one at whaetver stage of the game; then he will have that extra defender to see the game out. And I sincerely hope THIS does not work - rather 0-2 down inside 15', then, THEN.......it has come to the point where I have have come think that only force can bring those strikers on.
lovesW
You can't be serious, lovesW! The trouble is, now that you mention it, it could be on MM's mind. If he does, I'll swap my ticket for the Everton game for one at wherever WBA are playing.
Southbank60
You can't be serious, lovesW! The trouble is, now that you mention it, it could be on MM's mind. If he does, I'll swap my ticket for the Everton game for one at wherever WBA are playing.
Southbank60
The thought of it so enraged me that I repeated my threat.
Southbank60
I AM serious, SB60. It's British Intelligence at work here! But I have learned to see through that. Nevertheless, it is still my intention to be there for the WBA fixture - and that I refer to that game in that way is not unintentional. Unlike yourself, I will not have to change my travel arrangements. After all, I will be able to repel charges of 'high' treason by stating that the Baggies are my second team. 'Low' treason I will accept.
lovesW
Amusing suggestion considering Fletcher won't play for Scotland due to the 4-6-0 formation that used all that time ago (I don't have time to research it!). Minds at rest. I am pretty certain we will see one striker on the field :) If Pardew has any sense he will say, whoever plays the Doyle role get two players on him every time they put the ball forward because it won't stick, and they will break things up. We have absolutely nothing to fear going to Newcastle and the mood around the players does not seem to have been fazed. Let's face it, whilst no one at the club will be happy Doyle got injured as pro's Blake and Fletch will be ready and snapping at the leash because as they know only too well- one mistake and Mr. Ward is hovering around, or warming up from the start. If he does not start. If that makes sense. Ah, anyways, back to work it is.
New York City Wolf
!!!!!!!!! Gued is 100% fit, played 90' in the reserves. Good news. Or is it? - I mean, he scored as well! He, at least, is 25 per cent of a striker, and a real battler in midfield. But let us not give the gaffer more ideas. It is the first time I am refering to the manager with that word. Anyone ever gave a thought to the root of the word?
lovesW
I think it's an abbreviation of 'Gaddafi'.
Southbank60
Tapes things together? There is a site actually that breaks down all those 'Chip off the old block' type comments and explained where they started. Now if only I could remember the name of it. If New Bloke as he was previously known walks in after a broken leg and a reserve game I will be amazed. I did mention that I think he can score 2 or 3 goals that can determine this season, but of Henry, Jarvis, Hammill, Kightly, O'Hara, Ward and Milijias are all so good how on earth will he get a game!!!!!>>>???????
New York City Wolf
Not necessarily, and most probably not, tomorrow; yet, more than most probably, at a later date. I, for one, prefer him to O'Hara; Jarvis, Hammil and Kights are poor at defending, not their role at all, Milijas is class and silky touches, King Henry is a banker, justifiably so or not, and Ward is out of the reckoning, for me, that is, in that role. When you do remember the name of that site, SB60, will you please check whether the word is a derivative of 'gaffe'. I would say not. Not yet. If it does come to be used in that sense too, though, I wonder who in football will have to ward off the pointed fingers!
lovesW
...'Gaddafi' stuck, so I addressed SB60 by mistake. Sorry about that, NYCW.
lovesW
I prefer my definition, with its connotations of absolutism, a failure to listen to advice and an unshakeable belief in one's opinions, whatever the outcome.
Southbank60
:) ah it is a good morning read to hit the site before work. Makes for a chipper mood. Hyatt we shall be looking forward to your next post sir because it has been a while since one has earned so many replies. Nice work once again. Absolutism- indeed. Word reminds me of a Muse record. Or perhaps just Muse. Turns out Doyle got a grass burn and is playing after all.
New York City Wolf
 

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