CRAIG HICKEY SHARES HIS PLAYER RATINGS FOR WOLVES 3-0 VISTORY AGAINST EVERTON
A tough game today, Everton should not be underestimated after taking a 10 point hit, they’ve really pushed on. The boys need to push on again today and get some good ratings and a win, here’s how they performed.
Jose Sa – 8
Jose was positioned well for any Everton breaks, one in particular saw Calvert- Lewis in a one on one which he saved well, driving the striker wide. His kicking off the floor wasn’t accurate enough in my opinion, always to their defenders to head away freely. Apart from some poor kicking/short goal kicks off the floor he had a quiet game. One particular spectacular effort from McNeill smashed off the corner of the post and the bar, I’m not entirely sure whether Jose got a fingertip to it, if he did, it was a great stop.
Nelson Semedo -9
A strong start from him and he made some probing runs down the flanks, pegging back their left back. Good solid defensive duties, deft touches to evade tackles and breaks forward, he was a constant threat down the right. He seems to thrive with Sarabia down that right side and really played his part today, they created some excellent opportunities and crosses.
Rayan Ait Nouri – 9
Showed a lot of good tricky runs, he showed some sublime twinkle toes at times, how he got himself out of some tight places was a joy to watch. A silly booking for his kicking away of the ball. As with Semedo, he really is thriving down the left side, worked excellently with Cunha today. Looked tired in the last 15 mins and was disappointed to be replaced on late on but it was the right decision.
Craig Dawson – 9
Straight back into the starting line up, Santi has acquitted himself well in his absence. Big, strong, commanding and physical, always in the right place. Simple passing again from the beast and a typical crunching tackle in the first half got us all on our feet. He got himself a goal to cap a great performance, diverting Cunha’s cross/shot past a hapless Pickford. It showed how important he is to the team as he was engulfed by virtually the whole team.
Max Kilman – 9
Solid from the Captain, simple passes and strong leadership. Took his goal well after a mix up in the Everton defence, a tap in that the team dedicated to Lemina with his shirt shown in the celebrations, a touch of class from the team. Max has really embraced his captain’s role, he went on surging runs in the first half that we all know he can do. Solid in defence within a back 3 that kept a clean sheet, the third of the season.
Toti Gomes – 9
He looked solid again today, won plenty of headers, always available for a pass and worked well with Ait Nouri. He never really looked troubled by Harrison on the right side, a tricky player with an aggressive attitude. Toti is another player who is cemented into our back three, he deserved to be in a defence with a clean sheet, simple performance with no frills
Tommy Doyle – 9
The sad news about Lemina’s father gives Tommy a chance to showcase his quality today. Performed well, used the ball well, no frills just solid short passing and using the pitch wisely. He is still only 22 years old but played like a seasoned pro today, he shows such calmness and maturity. If there wasn’t a pass on, he would look around and choose another option, not a big tackling player but effective in closing down the Everton midfield in the middle/final 3rd.
Joao Gomes – 9
He is such a nuisance in midfield, did the ugly work but also got up the pitch to try to influence attacks. Joao for me is a very underrated midfield workhorse, he got in Everton’s face all afternoon and would not let anyone create themselves any room. What an engine this young lad has, another 22 year old in the centre of the park. We are blessed to have him here at Wolves, gave his all again today and was unlucky not to get my man of the match.
Pablo Sarabia – 9
Pablo has a wonderful left foot and he showed signs of it during our attacks. If I had a negative to say, it’s his challenges in the air and on the floor, not strong enough but he used his possession well. He made a superb reverse pass to Hwang in the build up to the 2nd goal. It took him about 20 minutes to get fully into the game and then produce some lovely touches and passes, it was as if he was working out what the opposition would do in certain situations. A pivotal figure in our 3 out of 3, Xmas run.
Hee Chan Hwang – 9
Two chances in the first 10 mins, the second was a three on one break and after a pass from Cunha, he should have scored but he dwelled on it and couldn’t get a shot away. A first half ball over the top nearly caught out Everton but Pickford was half yard to the good coming of his line. In the 2nd half, he really shone and made some superb runs inside the centre backs, he was a yard offside for a goal he beautifully curled with his left foot into the bottom corner. He got an assist for the 2nd goal, squaring the ball to Cunha after a Sarabia reverse pass. He would have got another assist if only he hadn’t strayed offside, Neto finishing off his slide rule pass.
Matheus Cunha – 9.5 MAN OF THE MATCH
Great skills, always running, really caused Everton some problems with his running. One shot just went wide after another driving run, a focal point for us in the first half. Add to that his incessant running at the Everton defence, ghosting past players and always choosing the right option, for me he was unplayable. A low driven cross into the box that caused havoc for the 1st goal, a lung busting run into the box for his own well-deserved goal, sliding Hwang’s square ball into the net for the 2nd. He then to added to his assist stats with a shot/cross that Dawson diverted in for the 3rd. Matheus Cunha has been a revelation this season, today he showed plenty of class, skills and goal poaching instinct to bury Everton. Wow, what a player he has turned out to be, my man of the match today after his contribution, the only way I’d give him a 10 is if he got a hat-trick. It was a sublime performance though.
Neto – Who would have thought when we lost him 9 games ago that we would have coped without him. He wasn’t on long but he did show us that he is back. Some bursts of pace and a superb finish for a goal ruled out for offside. Pedro is back and he will need some more cotton wool days yet, watch out.. 7
Bellegarde – Not on for too long but for the time he did was on he showed good awareness of his defensive duties, tackled well and used the ball well. 7
Bueno – Had to defend for his time on the pitch but got forward well and caused problems as a wingback when breaking forward, a few dangerous balls into the area could have provided a chance on goal. 7
Traore – Looked composed on the ball, tackled well, broke play up and always looked to set up attacks on the break. Seemed assured in his cameo role but looks to have improved on giving away niggling fouls. 7
Doherty – He did the simple things right for the short time he had on the pitch today, along with the other subs, he came on and did his job 7
What a festive period Wolves have given us, if I was being honest, I would have expected 3 – 5 points from the 3 games, given the opposition, to get 9 points and be on 28 points is fantastic. If you add to that the fact we don’t have a recognised striker, as such and the injuries/suspensions/absences we have had to soak up, Gary O’Neil and the players have been exceptional. Keep us up they said to Gary, stuff that now, why can’t we go for Europe…..Happy New Year All!!!
ARTICLE BY CRAIG HICKEY
A 53 year old season ticket holder in the Steve Bull stand. Go along with my two young lads who love the Wolves and so far, the positive times. Long may it continue.