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The Stephen Ward Question

Discussion in 'Molineux Mix Archive' started by Very Proud (AKA Still Proud), Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Very Proud (AKA Still Proud)

    Very Proud (AKA Still Proud) Prouder than a proud thing in Proudville

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    No one can doubt that Stephen Ward has been a quiet revelation at left back and has played the best football of his Molineux career so far in that position. However the introduction of Matt Hill last night went well and actually reminded us of the value of a defender in that slot.

    It beggars the question that if Hill now comes in and claims the position and with Jarvis on the comeback trail (though in 8 minutes on the pitch last night he didn’t get a single touch) what next for Wardy?

    Unfair as it seems he seems destined for a place on the bench as his versatility offers cover on the left and up front if needed.

    I think the reaction to him when subbed towards the end last night shows he’s overcome the cynics and is now considered a real first team player.

    He’s done really well however his reward seems destined to be a sub’s shirt.
     
  2. Akaman

    Akaman Just doesn't shut up

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    I think that when Jarvis is back and running, Ward will have the left back slot and be in a fight with Hill to keep it. Injuries or suspensions may be a deciding factor in who claims the place for the remainder of the season. Hill played well last night though, and I'd say Ward is a better LB than LM
     
  3. WestChiltingtonwolf

    WestChiltingtonwolf Just doesn't shut up

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    I'd say its Wards shirt to lose now.
     
  4. WATERLOO WOLF

    WATERLOO WOLF Senior Member

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    And what happens when Big George is fit and ready to come back ?

    It's going to be a real dog fight getting (and keeping) that LB position
     
  5. WolvesAreBoringOnCeefax

    WolvesAreBoringOnCeefax Moderator

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    Can't afford sentimentality. If Hill and Jarvis is the best combination, play them. Ward has made a good account of himself however, and will either take a place or push them very hard.
     
  6. ROVERT47

    ROVERT47 Just doesn't shut up

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    Exactly,a possibilty of three players vying for the same shirt sounds good to me.
     
  7. goldeneyed

    goldeneyed Just doesn't shut up

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    Don't forget Friend who may turn out to be the most talented of the lot.
     
  8. cannockwolves

    cannockwolves Just doesn't shut up

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    I know it was Hill's first game and he is an experienced pro, but I did not think he was that good to be honest.

    He looked hesitant at times, Manciene had to cover for him quite a few times. He is small, he did not look that strong, and I never saw much overlapping. OK Mick has given him a run and maybe he will get better, but I think Ward has been twice the player Hill looks to me.
     
  9. Uncle Festa

    Uncle Festa Just doesn't shut up

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    Your joking arn't you Cannock. Hill was superb and his positional sense was, dare I say it, even better than Foleys. Excellent debut and he can only get better. Ward has done tremendous, but Hill looked like a proper fullback.
     
  10. Adrian_Monk

    Adrian_Monk Just doesn't shut up

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    Can you blame him for being hesitant? First game for a new club months after joining, first game back from injury, written off by many as 'potentially never to start a game for wolves', it's no surprise he kept it simple.

    But I agree, I think Ward is a better player and will be back in when Jarvis is fit.
     
  11. Wulfhere

    Wulfhere Guest

    I agree with you, got in really close to the wide man and snuffed him out, looked tough and no nonesense type of full back. Considering it was his first competitive match this season I thought it was an excellent debut.
     
  12. Wulfhere

    Wulfhere Guest

    I have said this before, McCarthy plays Ward on the left when Keogh plays to give us an option in the air. It is about balance. If Iwelumo plays Jarvis will play and Hill and Ward will have to battle it out for the LB spot.
     
  13. goldfish

    goldfish Just doesn't shut up

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    Hill's positional sense was odd, I thought. At times he tucked in as a third centre back with Ward operating as a wing back. The right side was like a conventional 4-4-2 right side but the left was like a 5-3-2 (with wingbacks).
     
  14. fullmoon

    fullmoon Guest

    There seems to be conflicting views on Hill. I did not witnessed the match.
    So,i cant comment much. But what is good to see is that MM is giving the others a run out. Hopefully in due time we can see a healthy competitions among players for the first eleven slot.

    What can i say? It will only get better:).
    Cheers!;)
     
  15. Clifton Wolf

    Clifton Wolf Just doesn't shut up

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    Seconded, couldn't agree more. From what i saw last night Ward looks twice the player and is far more dominant in the air.
     
  16. This is what you get as you start to build a succesful squad. We have high quality competition for places at GK, LB & CF. It's a nice problem to have. Hopefully other positions can be similarly strengthened in Jan and in May-Aug.
     
  17. Bend It Like Dennison

    Bend It Like Dennison Just doesn't shut up

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    The left back slot is very much up for grabs.

    The left wing slot is as much Jarvis's as the right wing is Kightly's. Not even a debate that one.
     
  18. WestChiltingtonwolf

    WestChiltingtonwolf Just doesn't shut up

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    Agree if he were not so (so far at least) injury prone. Hopefully we will get AN other in not just as back up, but to compete.
     
  19. Wolv3nsam

    Wolv3nsam Just doesn't shut up

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    I'd personally play Ward at LB, if we have Jarvis and Hill both down the left hand side there'd be a serious lack of height and aerial dominance. None of our back four last night were particularly 'dominant' in the air, they won aerial balls but not dominant in a say.. Collins or Shackell way.
     
  20. wallace

    wallace Just doesn't shut up

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    the defence looks more solid with a quality left-back in place and it showed last night, although im not knocking ward who has shown he can be relied on to give us a performance anywhere we ask. it was also good to see keogh play so well and show what hes about, which is the best way to answer his critics. loved the way we had the old kites back in spells. blakeys forward play with keogh was different class. great team ethic once again, well done the wolves. the crowd though was too quite for a top of the league team. must do better.
     
  21. Dewsburywolf

    Dewsburywolf Just doesn't shut up

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    Don't you reckon that's what the "experiment" with Foley being pushed further upfield when Kites went off was about?

    That way we have Stearman, Collins and even possibly Henry & Little to cover the right back position.
     
  22. northnorfolkwolf

    northnorfolkwolf Just doesn't shut up

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    An example of us discussing a player issue on here - Hill, will he play for Wolves?, and then mysteriously he gets a game. I'm convinced MM or someone comes on here and reads the 'voice of the fans' which helps him when having to make difficult decisions. Or perhaps I'm just talking $$$$$$$$!
     
  23. Exile Wolf

    Exile Wolf Guest

    I think Hill got better as the game wore on. He started to overlap in the second half and made some very good clearances from our box. For me Ward will be the one struggling to keep the shirt
     
  24. goldeneyed

    goldeneyed Just doesn't shut up

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    So noone believes Friend might have a say. Hill is fine as stopgap at this level but would struggle in the Premiership imv. Friend is raw and inexperienced but I could see him developing fast. Not sure how he is going to get a game at the moment however. And when Elokobi comes back something will have to give. That's probably when Hill may move on.

    I'm not sure about Ward he looked like a forward playing out of position at QPR although I know he has performed wonders at other times. Again you wonder whether his inexperience in the position would be fully exposed in the glare of the Premiership. If Elokobi is fully fit again I reckon he would be better suited for the long term with Friend as back up.
     
  25. sussexwolf

    sussexwolf Guest

    You have to admire Mick as a manager. Against the Blues would you have taken your leading stricker off for an 18 year old? Not so long ago most of the people, on this forum, were moaning about Ward. Put him at full back and he's contender for player of the season. Then when he is settled there bring in hill for his debut and put Ward to wide/left midfield.

    Mick seems to be swopping the pack to keep em sharp, but keeping the spine of the side quite settled.

    I once saw Brighton play Millwall. 2-0 down at home at halftime. Alan Mullery sent the team straight back out onto the pitch telling them that they'd played rubish and he'd nothing to say. Went on to win 3-2. The next time he tried the tactic it failed.

    The moral is that you have to keep one step ahead. Sometimes do the unexpected. Keep the players on their toes. Mick seems to to be doing this quite well at the moment.
     
  26. Adrian_Monk

    Adrian_Monk Just doesn't shut up

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    The great Alan Mullery....has a million and one opinions on everything you could think of except why he was a total failure as a manager.
     
  27. ErnieTheMilk

    ErnieTheMilk Guest

    I think Ward is a better bet at Left back than at Left Mid.... is he better than Matt Hill? Well, personally I think he tends to bomb on a bit more than Hill did last night ;)

    At least its nice to see competition for places :)
     
  28. astraltrader

    astraltrader Just doesn't shut up

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    He will be in two seasons time.
     
  29. dazmanwolf

    dazmanwolf Guest

    Ward has been known to play in goal when he was back in Ireland....the ultimate multi-tasking super-sub!
     
  30. Didn't Graham Taylor do something similar when we were 2-0 down in the cup against Mansfield? I remember reading he walked into the dressing room at half time, said 'You've got yourselves into this mess - get yourselves out of it!' and walked out again!!
     
  31. Taffywolf

    Taffywolf Just doesn't shut up

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    I think what you have to consider is that when we went 1 Nil up so early, There is no point in Hill Bombing forward and leaving us short at the back. It is very likely He was told to hold his position by McCarthy.
    Ward has done well at left back BUT I do think you can tell He is not a natural Left back. He gets caught out of position and doesn't cover as well as Foley..
     
  32. Wolves in Limerick

    Wolves in Limerick Just doesn't shut up

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    I wonder if he would be worth a run in the centre of midfield with Karl Henry.
     
  33. andy-in-seat-190

    andy-in-seat-190 Moderator

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    Watching Hill the other night - it struck me how quick he is. I personally think a Hill / Jarvis combination could (and should) scare the $$$$ out of the oppositions right side!
     
  34. Sozzled Wolf

    Sozzled Wolf Just doesn't shut up

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    I didn't notice his pace that much, personally.

    A worry I have is that a combination of Hill & Jarvis would be susceptible to constantly losing out in the air.

    On Ward's side I think he's been nothing short of a revelation at LB and he deserves to keep his place. And when he does venture forward he's been quite productive of late. Hill would have to go some way to better Ward's effectiveness.
     
  35. Uncle Festa

    Uncle Festa Just doesn't shut up

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    Andy - you make a good point. He did look exceptionally quick. The reason most didn't notice it was because his positional sense was exceptional and he didn't need to turn the turbo on too often. Play same combination against Barnsley and get him more match fit and we have an exceptional left back on our hands.
     
  36. Mark Rankines Lovechild

    Mark Rankines Lovechild Just doesn't shut up

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    If Hill is so "exceptional" all I ask is how come he was second choice for a Preston defence shipping goals?

    I think Ward has been great at full back, hasn't been embarrassed, looks good going forward, I see no reason to drop him. Not sure about him playing centre midfield, if you read the posts on other threads we could have a centre midfield of Stephen Ward and Andy Keogh!
     
  37. Dewsburywolf

    Dewsburywolf Just doesn't shut up

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    Or indeed including Kevin Foley (or is he Kightly's replacement/back up?)
     

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