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The one weak point - Centre Midfield

Discussion in 'Molineux Mix Archive' started by sheffield wolf, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. I think most of us would agree that as a team we are performing brilliantly.

    The Goalkeepers: Ikeme, Hennessey – both have performed heroically when called upon.
    The defence: Foley, Stearman, Mancienne, Ward - have been excellent throughout.
    The wingers: Kitley and Jarvis – when fit have caused ‘havoc’ and ‘mayhem’.
    The strikers: Big Chris and Ebanks Blake – have scored goals for fun.

    However, the one position that continues to cause concern is the centre of midfield, especially in BIG games against the top sides. I’d point specifically to the Reading, Birmingham and the Sheff Utd games - in all these matches the battle ground was lost in central midfield.

    Henry is a local lad, clearly proud to wear the shirt and is a solid captain but neither is he strong enough or has the passing ability to dominate the holding midfield position. Whilst he can do a steady job against the less adventurous teams, he tends to dwell on the ball for far too long or turn into trouble against the better teams who are constantly pressing the ball.

    Similarly, David Jones is a competent player with a nice touch and he has the ability to whip in a decent corner, but again, he really struggles to dominate the midfield or be particularly creative in the opposition’s half. Is he really such a significant improvement on ‘Harry’ Potter?
    I think a few people got slightly carried away with some of his performances earlier on in the season and are perhaps beginning to take a reality check.

    Whether Mick chooses to strengthen the central midfield area in January or perhaps brings Edwards into the fold we will have to wait and see. However, what is for sure is that we will continue to struggle to dominate the centre of the pitch, particularly during big matches, when Jones and Henry are playing.
     
  2. Del Woppio

    Del Woppio Guest

    You don't accumulate the number of wins we have without a good central midfield. Henry, whilst limited, has been excellent at his job this season. Jones hasn't had quite as much space against the bigger sides/tough away days in the division, but is certainly good enough for a title winning side, despite a lack of dynamism*. I agree, he won't be good enough in the Premier League, but we're not there yet.
     
  3. Henry is good when we don't have the ball and Jones excels when we do have the ball. Both could do with improving in the other side of their respective games, but I agree that they're good enough for where we are. The prem would be too much of a step up for the two as a partnership, but I think that either could succeed next to a more complete midfielder.
     
  4. Sozzled Wolf

    Sozzled Wolf Just doesn't shut up

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    Well summarised, WYY.
     
  5. WolvesAreBoringOnCeefax

    WolvesAreBoringOnCeefax Moderator

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    I sort of agree... whilst our central midfield players on paper look good, you're right they do sometimes go missing. If we were to spend big in January, this is where I'd probably look to spend it. Or maybe Davies can FINALLY step in and fulfil his messianic potential???
     
  6. Sozzled Wolf

    Sozzled Wolf Just doesn't shut up

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    To be honest I'm now deliberately shutting Davies out of my mind, along with Gobern, and if either one eventually breaks through it'll be an unexpected bonus.

    It's got to the point where I'm too tired of waiting.
     
  7. ROVERT47

    ROVERT47 Just doesn't shut up

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    $$$$ me,i bet the rest of the Championship wished they had our "weak point"!
     
  8. Sozzled Wolf

    Sozzled Wolf Just doesn't shut up

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    I bet most teams do, ROVERT, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't continually seek to improve...
     
  9. Wolf Pack leader

    Wolf Pack leader Has a lot to say

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    The bottom line is that Henry and Jones are good Champoinship players who have both contributed fully to our success so far this season.

    However they know that if fit they will play, as M prefers them to D Edwards. They need real competition to ensure they maintain their standards for the rest of the season.

    Is we do get promoted in my opinion neither are good enough for the Prem.

    Look at Sandwell, Koren and Greening were just about the best midfielders on this league last year , and they are both struggling badly in the Prem.

    Again if we do go up, and I stress the "if" as I dont want to tempt fate, we will need to buy two players in the 26 - 30 age group who has the experience and confidence to play in the Prem.

    I do not profess to know who could do that job and am unsure if the supposed best midfield talents in the Championship are good enough .

    i.e. Watson Bodde, Elliot.

    Hull are doing Ok asthey work hard and Giovanni was a good buy. Stoke are irrelevant to this discussion as they dont use thier midfield !!
     
  10. dr cool

    dr cool Guest

    someone said that we were looking at john joe o toloe from cash strapped watford, i think it was in the sun....

    drc
     
  11. ROVERT47

    ROVERT47 Just doesn't shut up

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    That's the trouble with you,you're never $$$$ing satisfied!;)
     
  12. i also think we need a big dominant CM to flex a bit more muscle in the midfield. personally i think it would make our team even more impressive and definately more intimidating.
     
  13. purplepault69

    purplepault69 Just doesn't shut up

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    Just read it it the Sun online--Tommy Smith to Stoke for 2.5million and "promising 20 year old John-Joe O'Toole to Wolves for just 1 million"
     
  14. northnorfolkwolf

    northnorfolkwolf Just doesn't shut up

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    Sheffield, has your thread not exactly mirrored my earlier 'Promotion' thread?
     
  15. WolvesAreBoringOnCeefax

    WolvesAreBoringOnCeefax Moderator

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    Why've you highlighted 'just'? Do you not think 1mill would be good business - cos I do. Mainly based off media reports gotta admit, but he sounds like a good up and coming player.
     
  16. northnorfolkwolf

    northnorfolkwolf Just doesn't shut up

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    I think MM will have one eye on the Prem now and we have a squad full of young and hungry players. We need a couple of wise heads to guide us through the last 4 months of the season and then set us off in the Prem.
     
  17. cannockwolves

    cannockwolves Just doesn't shut up

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    I actually think John-Joe is a very good player, he is 6'2" and only 20 years old. If Mick thinks he is worth it I would take him. He may develop into a very good midfielder, and maybe even a prem quality player, but not just yet he is going to need two or three years to make that sort of step-up.

    I think we have got a few players who may develop into very good players. Neil Collins (waits outrage), Keogh, Mark Davies, Gobern, Little, Steven Ward, Friend etc. I really do think that in 3 or 4 years many of these players will be regular championship or even lower end prem players. But I also think we can't wait for them to mature.

    Just to highlight my point look at the 2006 championship team of the year

    Pos. Player Club
    GK Marcus Hahnemann Reading
    DF Gary Kelly Leeds United
    DF Ibrahima Sonko Reading
    DF Joleon Lescott Wolverhampton Wanderers
    DF Nicky Shorey Reading
    MF Ashley Young Watford
    MF Steve Sidwell Reading
    MF Phil Jagielka Sheffield United
    MF Jason Koumas West Bromwich Albion
    FW Marlon King Watford
    FW Kevin Doyle Reading

    Lescott, Shorey, Young, Sidwell, Jagielka, Koumas, and King are all playing in the prem but its taken them a good two or three years in most cases to make the step up
     
  18. Axle

    Axle Guest

    Olifijiana for centre-mid anyone?
     
  19. Atlas 1951

    Atlas 1951 Guest

    Never heard of him.
     
  20. purplepault69

    purplepault69 Just doesn't shut up

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    Wasnt a question of being good business or not but rather that a million pounds has become just a million a bit like just around the corner,just a second ie not much .Thats all.
     
  21. Dewsburywolf

    Dewsburywolf Just doesn't shut up

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    Certainly just not for the Wolves.
     
  22. i was just wandering who would dare say it first
     
  23. Deutsch Wolf

    Deutsch Wolf Just doesn't shut up

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    I have a genuine fear that we'd re-sign Olofinjana if we went up and Stoke went down.

    If it happens, I'll lump on us getting relegated.
     
  24. GoldenHorseshoe

    GoldenHorseshoe Just doesn't shut up

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    Don't worry DW, we've moved on, plus Mick has regained some of his famous common sense that appeared to have deserted him last season.
     
  25. Dorset DeWolf

    Dorset DeWolf Just doesn't shut up

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    i myself have been wondering about jones lately, think it is time to give d.edwards a run in the side alongside henry, who for me cannot be doubted, even though he does turn into trouble a bit too much for my liking
     
  26. goldeneyed

    goldeneyed Just doesn't shut up

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    O'Toole is being chased by Newcastle and several other clubs apparently. Supposed to be good athletic all-rounder and tough tackler and at 6ft 2 and well over 13 stone has plenty of physical presence and scores goals. He's only 20 so could be a useful squad addition but if we go up we will definitely need a Mr Experience in the centre of the park with the likes of Edwards/O'Toole? coming on for the final 30 minutes or whatever. Hamann perhaps, though he is already 35 and next season might be a Prem season too far even for him.

    I think most of us would agree that Henry and Jones would be good cover in a Premiership season but we need a step up in class in those first team positions if we are going to survive at that level. Finding the right players will be very tricky indeed and I'm not convinced we have the scouting network to find gems abroad.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2008
  27. Deutsch Wolf

    Deutsch Wolf Just doesn't shut up

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    I'd love Hamann down here, but I can't see it.

    O'Toole's not a bad player, but I think we have better on the books. Good price at £1m but I just can't see a use for him. He'd be back up for our back up.

    I'd like a genuine improvement on either of our first team midfielders rather than someone else who may or may not be good enough at the next level.
     
  28. duanepipe

    duanepipe Guest

    Personally I think Jones has been absolutely brilliant - the 'difference', if you will.

    Henry is playing his normal game, ball winning and passing simple. Jones is a hell of a problem if you're an opposing manager.
     
  29. goldeneyed

    goldeneyed Just doesn't shut up

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    MM does seem to like him but I think your nightmare scenario is very unlikely to happen. It would be a pity for all of us since you have been so much more cheerful since he left!
     
  30. goldeneyed

    goldeneyed Just doesn't shut up

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    If we are looking for the 'x' factor in terms of talent then Mark Davies potentially has this. But setting aside his attitude and injury problems I'm not sure he has the kind of physical presence for central midfield that you need in the Prem. It will be interesting to see if he can really do the business again at Leicester or fades into obscurity.

    Henry has already improved enormously but I'm not sure he could find the next gear he would need for the Premiership. Jones has talent but I'm not convinced he has what it takes to dominate other teams in midfield. For me he is a good Championship player but a Premiership reserve for any team that wants to survive and even prosper at that level.
     
  31. trybalwolf

    trybalwolf Groupie

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    Panic not folks upon our triumphant return to the prem Lescott will return (doesn't look happy at mo) Keane will leave Liverpool as they get owen back, we'll take a chance on Hargreaves as a crock and he will miraculously come good so problem sorted :D
     
  32. Good God, I'd never even considered that. Put my right off my dinner. And life, for that matter.
     
  33. I agree that whilst he's doing well now, Jones may not have either the guile of bite for the Prem I actually think Henry could continue doing his job effectively for us in the prem. Decent pace and height, keeps it simple and the club means a lot to him. He's a strong athlete and is still young enough to be learning.

    Campo survived in the prem as a holding midfielder looking who was out of shape and so has Andy Reid. I think Henry would be very valuable in that ugly role IF we can go up.

    However, all that said, I agree that if money is there to be spent midfield is a decent shout. A versatile, dynamic winger would be good. Maybe a 'young and hungry right back who can be Foley's protege would be a good addition to the squad too.

    I have to say though, I really hope we don't buy another striker. Last year showed that if you get too many strikers in, it's all too easy to chop and change and you end up with a bucket load of un-motivated out of form strikers. A lot of our team spirit is because most players feel directly involved in the first team. I don't want to rock the boat unless we have to.

    Stick with the four strikers we got and if someone gets crocked we'll loan Vela or someone like that ;o)
     
  34. northnorfolkwolf

    northnorfolkwolf Just doesn't shut up

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    Wouldn't that be great RK and JL back plus a young Paul Ince type midfielder!!!!!
     
  35. Chiswick_Wolf

    Chiswick_Wolf Just doesn't shut up

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    I said in a thread when Keane had moved I didn't think Liverpool's style of play would suit him. I always hoped we would one day be promoted after Keane was coming to the end of a contract or out of favour and we got him back. He knows Mick from Ireland days too...we can but dream!
     
  36. Mark Rankines Lovechild

    Mark Rankines Lovechild Just doesn't shut up

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    Not on Saturday he wasn't...personally I think he can go missing for long peiods of the game
     
  37. gornal wolf

    gornal wolf Guest

    a good signing in january would be ben watson from c palace.
     
  38. Atlas 1951

    Atlas 1951 Guest

    If we're looking for foreign talent, we could do a lot worse than take a look at Atlas' creative midfielder, Argentinian Dario Botinelli. Only twenty-one, but looks too good for Atlas, and maybe for Mexico in general, and I doubt he will stay here longer than another season (half a year). Doubt very much he'd want to move to a second division club but if we got promotion we could probably get him pretty cheap (only cost 2 million dollars in August). Young enough to adapt to the English game, and reasonably strong in terms of physique (though someone would have to cure his appalling diving instincts). Quick-thinking, with a winger-like willingness and ability to beat his man, a good range of passes and excellent deadball skills.

    1st goal and assist for second:

    [ame="http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=GKiLX4A4ZLU&feature=related"]YouTube - Atlas 2 - 0 Puebla[/ame]

    Goal from free kick:

    [ame="http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1IqWwcQ9taA&feature=related"]YouTube - Dario Bottinelli - Golazo Contra America[/ame]

    Goals from outside the area:

    [ame="http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=oOJoA652QpA&feature=related"]YouTube - Dario Bottinelli - Golazo a la U. De San Martin[/ame]

    [ame="http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-w39Q9mh_IA"]YouTube - Futbol: Dario Botinelli para la Universidad Católica[/ame]

    Weird backspin lob from distance (2nd goal).

    [ame="http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=NxR8mOdzqHc&feature=related"]YouTube - golazos de bogado y botinelli atlas vs atlante jornada 5 ape2008.wmv[/ame]
     
  39. Ulver

    Ulver Just doesn't shut up

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    The chances of Mick signing a player from Atlas? :D

    oh and how annoying are those commentators?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2008
  40. duanepipe

    duanepipe Guest

    His game is to pass the ball. Henry's is to win it. He is the player we've been crying out for since Paul Cook. Our league position and goals for column would suggest that our 'weak spot' is actually nothing of the sort. Birmingham have a sterile team based on solidity and grinding out wins. Ours has a cutting edge to it with a well balanced midfield comprised of pace on each wing, a ball winner and a ball player in the middle. I have no doubt that Jones could play in the Premiership quite comfortably.
     

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