Bloggers Ball 2017 – Final Update

A final update on the Bloggers Ballbash on Saturday 6th May and Sunday 7th May.

Daytime Activity

Whilst we are gathering in A Park View Hotel on the Saturday 6th I am aware that some of you bloggers may not intend to arrive until Sunday to take in the match. We will still be there in the morning prior to leaving to meet the 12.00 kick off, so please pop in for a quick pint or coffee or whatever on the Sunday if you wish. It will be great to see you all.

Saturday is purely to get as many of us together as possible and if past gatherings are anything to go by I am sure you will all enjoy a good day, even if you intend to be there for just a short time, or if you intend to “hang one on”.

Come along and get involved. Many discussions on the Blog have been interesting to say the least and this season has not been what we expected or wanted – it would be great to discuss your views in person.

Evening Meal

I have received all menu choices and confirmed these with Sat at APV. She is looking forward to receiving us and has ordered in the Limoncello.

We have a total of 27 diners as shown:

Mark G Davies & Rona Davies
StuWolf & Jenny
Steve and Lyn Daley
Willie and Tess Carr
Phil Parkes
Mike & Trish Bird
Bedford Wolf
Bedford Old Gold
Brompton Wolf
Twixfix and Lilian
The DOOGooder and Sue
Witley Wanderer & Shaun
Clive from Houston
Exiled Wolf & Barbara
London Wolves Loyal & Elaine
Wolfstroker & Jayney

Sat has advised me that any food cancelled with less than 72 hours’ notice would be fully charged. Should any guest be unable to attend, please let me know and I can advise Sat accordingly. All meal charges will be placed on resident’s room bills, less those non- residents who will be asked to clear their bill that evening.

We now have the entire main dining area to ourselves. There is no set formal seating plan but I will provide you all with name cards when you sit down, the reverse of which will show the meal you have chosen. It is also intended to provide you all with some light entertainment, courtesy of theDOOGooder and Bedford Wolf which I am sure you will all enjoy.

The “dress code” for the evening meal will be smart casual.

Everything is now sorted and I look forward to seeing you all over that weekend. Come along and enjoy the day.

Brompton Wolf

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Wolves 0 Huddersfield Town 1

Since their jubilant arrival in sunny Wolverhampton last summer, our Chinese owners have often spoke about the size and potential of the club and the importance of returning it to the Premier League sooner rather than later.

And yet a glance up the Championship table sees Barnsley, Cardiff, Brentford, Reading, Huddersfield and Brighton sitting comfortably above us.

All due respect to these clubs – they’ve more than earned their respective standings – but none bare anything resembling our history.

This isn’t delusions of grandeur on my part, it’s fact.

But under the bumbling premiership of Fosun, Kevin Thelwell and to a lesser extent Laurie Dalrymple – because, contrary to popular opinion, we can’t blame Morgan and Moxey for everything – we’re now in a position where opposition as modest in stature as tonight’s can turn up at Molineux and claim three points without breaking sweat.

Paul Lambert made six tactical changes to his team but on recent evidence it’s apparent that there’s no winning formula to be found in the current side.

Truthfully, the blame for this can be afforded to every outfield department but having watched the ease with which two of this season’s success stories, Brighton and Huddersfield, passed circles around us it’s hard to argue against the notion that the midfield is our Achilles heel.

Sure, our strikers are laughably impotent but they might have mustered a few more goals if we had some vision in the middle of the park.

Be honest, who doesn’t see the sale of Kevin McDonald as anything other than scandalous?

God may love a trier but as professional as Dave Edwards may be I’d be thankful if I never had to endure another 90 minutes of him hiding behind opposition midfielders whilst we’re in possession.

No manager can legislate selecting any midfielder at this level that is not comfortable with the ball at his feet – the ever increasing standard of the league won’t allow it.

Though it’s a deficiency that is symptomatic of all our midfielders (except perhaps Saiss) the fact that Edwards is picked week in, week out regardless of form means he deservingly bears the brunt of most fans’ criticism.

Don’t let 10 goals fool you, we’ll never get promoted playing this guy every week.

Of course, ‘Deadly’ wasn’t alone when underperforming tonight. His bearded counterpart churned out one of his worst performances in a Wolves shirt and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson continued his excellent impression of Tomasz Frankowski with aplomb.

Crumbs of comfort could be found in Silvio’s solidity, Morgan Gibbs-White’s youthful endeavour and the long awaited return of Jordan Graham but, truth be told, this was a damp squib not dissimilar to the dross served up on Saturday.

I’m yet to be convinced that Lambert possesses the ruthless streak that is needed to arrest this malaise but the efficiency of Andi Weimann and Ben Marshall since their arrival in January, coupled with his feats at Norwich in years gone by, suggest he knows enough about the Championship to at least engineer some improvement on this term.

Whether that faith is misguided is a question that won’t be answered for some time so perhaps it’s wise that for the time being we relish the prospect of a Molineux free summer.

Wolves Vs Huddersfield Town Preview

The good news is this can’t possibly be any worse than Saturday.

Even if we get well and truly roasted the entertainment value alone will make it a marked improvement on the weekend’s atrocities.

The bad news is it could be pretty unpleasant if Wolves don’t find their mojo.

Huddersfield still need one more victory to be mathematically certain of a play-off position and after getting blasted by fellow promotion chasers Fulham they’ll want to get that monkey off their back sooner rather than later.

Perversely though, their eagerness could play into our hands.

Huddersfield

I’m looking forward to seeing David Wagner’s team up close and personal. I didn’t go to the reverse fixture earlier in the season but I’ve seen them a few times on the TV and been impressed.

They’ve got good energy, bundles of creativity and that all important explosive pace in the final third.

Wagner has made folly of the idea you need experience to be successful in the Championship. Both he and most of his players are learning on the job and going along nicely.

The German has coaxed something like consistency out of Rajiv van La Parra, which itself is commendable. How he acquits himself tomorrow will be very interesting. I always thought he was useful despite blowing hot and cold.

Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy has also been getting rave reviews and he’s another I’ll be keeping a watchful eye on. He’s currently on loan from Manchester City and a host of clubs will be sniffing around in the summer.

Wolves

Paul Lambert has already declared his intention to ring the changes so who knows what that might mean for the starting lineup?

The above is just one idea based on the assumption that Costa and Doherty are out injured and Enobakhare is back in contention.

Now Dominic Iorfa has had a stretch on the sidelines, maybe he can come back in and show some of the form that made him a standout in his early appearances for the club?

I’d play him and Marshall as the full-backs to give us some proper width and allow Weimann and Cavaleiro to drift inside. Price and Coady holding.

I don’t remember reading about an injury to Bright but I think he’s the exact type of player we missed on Saturday. Someone who can introduce fluidity to an otherwise pedestrian performance.

Prediction

I predict defeat, but hopefully one that offers glimpses of individual potential for next season.

Like it or not, we will still have this nucleus of players to work with, so Paul Lambert has to find winning combinations and players who can step up and perform consistently next time.

2-1 Huddersfield.

Up The Wolves!

* For the latest odds and football betting information visit online-betting.org today.

Wolves 0 Blackburn Rovers 0

I said to Paul Lambert back in November that we should adopt Jurgen Klopp’s ‘entertainment first’ philosophy.

Serve up something exciting and win, lose or draw the fans will come back desperate for more.

Given the nature of this unspeakably grim affair, it will take a seismic effort for even the most optimistic to summon the strength to reconvene on Tuesday.

Nobody expected total football but I’m sorry Paul, it should never have been this bad.

Sure, Blackburn played three at the back, swamped the midfield and tried to eek out an ugly win to preserve their Championship status.

But their situation is understandable.

Wolves in contrast should have been able to play with freedom and adventure having escaped the shackles of responsibility.

Instead they were leaden footed and lacking ideas throughout in one of the most inept outings of the season to date – and that’s saying something.

The team selection set the tone.

Sure you can argue it’s the same eleven that saw off Leeds, but going to Elland Road and setting up camp is a much different proposition to breaking down a side on the cusp of relegation – at home.

George Saville playing left midfield at Molineux should be forbidden. I feel genuine sympathy for him being deployed in a position to which he patently isn’t suited.

And when Matt Doherty limped off with a hamstring injury in the first half, good old George was shunted into the back four.

That meant no width being offered on either flank with neither Coady or Saville comfortable getting forward to expose Blackburn’s defensive shape.

In a repeat of that desperately poor showing against Rotherham, it was then left to everyone else to flap about hoping that something would magically happen.

Saiss lashed cross field balls out of play, Edwards ran around in no particular direction and Cavaleiro repeatedly fell over.

A total shambles.

It would be unfair not to mention back-to-back cleansheets, which is a grain of comfort. I thought Conor Coady in particular put in some wonderful tackles and clearances.

But we needed grit and effort two months ago when things were going south.

With nothing left to play for there is only value in entertainment.

And we are not entertained.

Wolves Vs Blackburn Rovers Preview

Be honest, would you take a defeat to see Blues sucked into the bottom three?

Now we’re out of the brown stuff ourselves, what else is there to play for?

For the third preview straight I’ll mention beating last season’s 58 point tally. That would be nice. We’re on 54 with four games left to play so should be doable.

Maybe if we can string a couple more wins together a top half finish? Villa are on 58 points in 12th but we’ve got a game in hand.

That one might be ambitious but something to strive for rather than just getting the deck chairs out.

Blackburn

It’s Wolves away, Villa at home and Brenford away that will decide Blackburn’s fate. They’re a point behind Forest in 21st and three points behind Blues with a better goal difference.

I think they need two wins and that’s probably achievable when you consider none of their opponents have anything left to play for.

Getting rid of Owen Coyle in favour of bringing in Tony Mowbray seemed like a sidewards step and he hasn’t been able to steer them clear of trouble as yet.

Sam Gallagher looked quite useful in our match up at Ewood Park earlier in the season. He’s bagged 12 goals in a struggling team and could be a viable summer target for Wolves when he returns to parent club Southampton in May.

Rovers have one of the worst away records in the league with just 3 wins and 12 defeats in their 21 matches to date. That ratio needs improving in their final two matches if they’re to survive.

Wolves

Fair play to Paul Lambert and Wolves for seeing out a very good win at Elland Road on Monday. An unexpected bonus after the previous two performances.

It would be nice to see two up front for this one to put real pressure on a team who need a result. The pace of Dicko and Weimann should ask a lot of questions.

I’d bring Hause back in alongside Williamson because I think he’s worth persevering with in favour of Stearman who I think will leave.

Saiss is a player yet to convince me that he’s got the all round game to be considered a nailed on starter. Yes he can spray a few passes around but he loses possession too frequently and seems to be overrun by stronger opposition.

Will Costa play? Probably not, but I remain optimistic of seeing him at least once more in a gold shirt.

Predictions

I think we might win this one. Marshall will probably do something significant against his former employers and now the pressure is off, Molineux can relax a bit.

3-1.

Up The Wolves!

* Betting on the Championship and on Wolves can be tough sometimes however if you looking for betting tips there are a number of top resources available in the UK. Betting Tips 4 You is one of the best out there as they cover every single game and have writers that provide full match previews and rationales.

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Leeds United 0 Wolves 1

If you can’t have your own party, you might as well ruin someone else’s.

‘You’re going nowhere, we’ll see you next year’ was the gleeful chorus emanating from the away end as Wolves helped ensure Leeds ended the bank holiday outside the play-off places.

Thanks to Nouha Dicko’s well constructed first half strike and favourable results elsewhere, we will indeed be here next year.

Phew.

As for Leeds, they’ve got three games to scramble back into the top six and escape the same fate.

This match was a painful reminder for them about how unforgiving this division is and just how difficult it is to forge an escape.

Wolves, hopeless in their last two outings, carved Leeds open for fun in the first half and could easily have been over the hills and far away before the home side bothered turning up.

But with just a one goal deficit to overturn, they made it an uncomfortable finale, launching high balls for their giants to attack.

Jansson, Doukara and Wood could all have done better with good headed chances, while we have Kortney Hause to thank for keeping Kemar Roofe’s late effort out.

The recalled Stearman and Williamson mopped up the rest in highly accomplished outings. Will either earn a new deal I wonder?

Andi Weimann seems certain to sign up on a permanent basis and he looks a good addition for second tier football – full of energy and commitment with enough quality to hold his own.

The Austrian played through the middle alongside Nouha Dicko and should have added his name to the scoresheet, but his smart runs in behind remain a good option.

As for fellow January recruit Ben Marshall, the former Blackburn man continues to go from strength to strength.

He’ll be an important player next season and more additions of his Championship-proven pedigree should be the first order of business for Thelwell and co.

The mere fact that Paul Lambert used the term ‘bare bones’ in his post match interview when describing his bloated squad shows how little he thinks of much of the supporting cast.

Summer starts now.