I’ll keep this short and to the point.
A highly irritating defeat, given the overall balance of play and the chances we created but you simply can’t afford to be profligate in front of goal at Old Trafford and expect to get a result.
With that said, rather than go into detail, here are just one or two thoughts on each player’s individual performance:
Hennessy – Handled and kicked well throughout. Wasn’t at fault for any of the goals, but will be disappointed to have shipped three in the second half.
Foley – A brilliant performance both defensively and going forward, capped with a neat finish for the second goal.
Berra – You know what you get from the Scotsman. Good in the air and largely reliable but his lack of pace sometimes gets him in trouble.
Mouyokolo – Good in the air, a nice turn of pace and some clever distribution. The first time I’ve seen this guy properly and he was impressive. Could he challenge Stearman for a place on Saturday?
Elokobi – I think big George can be pretty pleased with his effort. Bebe stumbled his way passed a few times, but on the whole, our giant full-back came out on top. Timed his run perfectly to power home his first goal for Wolves and must surely be pushing Ward hard for a game at left-back.
Hunt – In his first competitive start, Hunt was pretty slow to get going and had an appalling first half hour. Looked sharper in the second half though and came close to giving us the lead, but could only hit the top of the bar from a glorious chance. Could and probably should start against City on Saturday.
Mancienne – On the huge Old Trafford pitch and with only Jones for company in the middle, the Chelsea youngster struggled to anchor the midfield as well as he has in previous games, but probably did as well as he could have under the circumstances.
Jones – Hit and miss from David Jones for me. Picked out some clever passes and was often the player giving Jarvis the ammunition to cause havoc, but he does have the tendency to dawdle on the ball and lose possession in his own half. Certainly looks more comfortable in a five man midfield than a four.
Jarvis – Man of the Match and not just for Wolves either. Easily the most dangerous looking player on the pitch and caused United all kinds of headaches with his pace and trickery. Sir Alex even sent Gary Neville on with obvious instructions to stop our winger getting in behind, but Jarvo just dropped his shoulder and sped passed the veteran without breaking sweat.
Fletcher – Sorry to say it, but Fletch really irritated me throughout this game. Aside from the intelligent flick inside for Foley’s goal, he was largely anonymous and nothing he tried seem to come off. At such an early stage, you’ve got to be willing to put it down to a bad day at the office, but for a £7 million striker, he must do better.
SEB – In stark contrast to Fletcher, SEB really impressed me. Had his work cut out against Chris Smalling but held the ball up when he could, picked out his passes and came within a whisker of finding the back of the net, first with a fierce drive that was blocked on route to goal and then with a sweetly struck effort that flew agonisingly wide with the keeper rooted to the spot.
Mick McCarthy – I applaud Mick for putting out a strong side and giving United a real game, but the substitutions towards the end defied logic. Surely Jarvis and SEB could have managed five minutes more to see if they could win us the game inside the 90 minutes. Fair enough, take them off if we’re into extra-time, but I think I speak for the overwhelming majority of Wolves supporters when I say I’d have liked to have seen those two players given the chance to finish the job.