Vito Mannone – 6
Oddly, wasn’t really tested that much considering how much power Wolves had going forward. Left on his backside for Wolves’ excellent first and ruefully exposed by the AWOL defence for the second. Otherwise, Vito being Vito.
Chris Gunter – 6
Did relatively well considering he’s ahead in the pecking order over two other players who could also play left-back. Playing off his wrong foot, he still puts in the same effort regardless of flank. Looked so much more comfortable when moved over to the right. That said, if he is to gain more confidence, he really does need to return to right back on a more regular basis.
Leandro Bacuna – 5
The one where Leandro ‘phoned it in’ for the first time in a Royals shirt. Looked quite disinterested at right back and even more so at left back. I can sympathise in way as his best position is in the middle – ironically where we really needed him today. This one is on Stam, I’m afraid.
Paul McShane – 5
A more energetic performance from the Irishman, but often left chasing pace as the attacks kept coming. When you’re outshone by a midfielder masquerading as a centre back, you can’t help but feel that time is catching up with Macca a tad. Still reliable, but doubts creep in.
Liam Moore – 7
In the week where Liam has courted attention North of the Border in an attempt to lure him into retire early as a professional footballer, Moore did his very best to quell the marauding forwards of the opposition. Did well moving further forward in the second half especially to inject some life into midfield.
Tiago Ilori – 5
Strangely, but somewhat boldly removed by Stam around the half hour mark. Didn’t appear to do an awful lot wrong yet was pulled from the fray. Maybe he was still suffering from his head injury yet this seemed to be not the case from Stam’s post match interview.
Joey van den Berg – 7
A few weeks ago, I disparaged Joey for a woeful performance but today I can gladly say that he stepped up where others failed to do so. One of the few to try and match Wolves’ power and physique with any kind of success. Actually performed better as a centre-half than in midfield. Bizarre!
John Swift – 7
John just about edges it for Man of The Match of The Hooped Variety. Inventive, bold, tireless and often at the core of our best moves. Unlucky in the very first minute to hit the post which could have changed the game completely. Often at the core of everything that was good about our performance. Viva Le Swift.
Mo Barrow – 6
A decent showing from Mo without ever really doing anything stellar. Is he still not quite at full speed? I’m not certain. At times he looks like he cannot run another step, but then lurches forward on a lung busting run. Often outgunned against the huge behemoths at the back for Wolves – something Stam often fails to acknowledge exists.
Roy Beerens – 4
According to the manager being able to run for 90 plus minutes and able to put in a shift is good enough for a Championship footballer. We just have to forego any quality or threat of any kind. Bullied by Boly in the first half, Roy failed to inspire any faith in the decision to start him in every fixture, whilst others wonder why on earth they are dropped. We all know the answer (it rhymes with Flap). (I’m being polite).
Yann Kermorgant – 6
A whole lot of effort with little to work with. Excellent defensive work, as ever, but never had a clear chance at the business end. Obviously, still finding his fitness again but glimpses of the Yann we know and love were there to see.
Dave Edwards – 6
Inexplicably dropped in a game where he should have started against his former employers. Once again he must be shaking his head at how he is in the team one day, performs well, then dropped for the next game. Baffling.
Sone Aluko – 6
Brought on to replace Kermorgant, but did not play up front – that was the gift bestowed on the giant that is Beerens. Yeah, go figure. A few nice touches here and there, but found it difficult to be at the centre of many moves.
Jon Dadi Böðvarsson – N/A
Had little time to be involved, truth be told.
Manager – 5
The stat that was doing the rounds before kick-off was that we have failed to submit the same side in 21 fixtures this season. A lot of the decisions appear to be so haphazard that it’s a wonder if they are called in via Ouija board. Why play one player out of position when three could do? Sure, let’s play a right back at left back, a right back out of position and a central midfield with more holes than a red light district.
It is no wonder we were totally out-powered by a rampant Wolves outfit that were well worth their position in the table. Yes, we had our chances, some should have been taken – but so many times Stam instructs players to possess the football with their back to the goal for pointless (backward) passes in and around midfield instead of playing with invention and drive to trouble the opposition – a preserve only John Swift could lay claim to.
It seemed that because Aluko couldn’t play 90 minutes, then Edwards couldn’t start, Richards was surplus to requirements (despite a very decent debut), Bacuna was bored to death and Gunter kept out two other natural left-backs. It’s wonder if some of the XI’s are just a toss of a coin whilst holding a rabbits foot and looking into a mug of tea for inspiration. We need more stability instead of relying on miracles to find consistency as chopping and changing so drastically for little effect is wearing thin.