Wolves 2 Barnet 1

When a League Cup performance is as fizzy and crisp as this one at Molineux, it’s a shame the sponsors are no longer Carling…

Wolves Barnet

…Admission was roughly the same price as a cheap round of beer and the experience was way more palatable, just when we we’d become parched for a positive to get stuck into.

Forget the scoreline, (and the opposition for that matter).

This really was a pleasant performance from a youthful looking side against Barnet, which should have yielded five or six goals minimum on another night.

It certainly went some way in washing away that bitter, gassy aftertaste of the Cardiff defeat, which can only be a good thing.

The system looked more like a 4-2-3-1 with Adam Le Fondre up top and Bright Enobokhare in behind.

Sheyi Ojo and Jed Wallace occupied the other advanced positions with Jack Price and George Saville anchoring.

At the back, the positively gargantuan four of Ebanks-Landell, Hause, Deslandes and Doherty were rarely troubled, with the full backs offering the requisite levels of mobility to befit a Kenny Jackett side.

Ojo, a clear man-of-the-match contender, offered more in these 90 minutes than we’ve seen before, while Deslandes looked at home at left back, if not lacking in composure here and there.

In short, it was a raw performance, full of young raw players with a heck of a lot going for them.

Bright Enobakhare was a shining example of this, scoring a well worked opener following a defensive lapse and showing positional maturity in a number 10 role, with one or two bustling runs at full throttle.

It was a performance that underlined the ‘DNA’ of a typical Wolves player these days and boy weren’t we a big, physical unit with no shortage of ability on the ball!

But for some ice cool instinct and this could have been a landslide.

Which brings us back to the bigger picture and the need for some experience who these lads can really learn from.

Throw in this missing ingredient and we really would be salivating.

Five things we learned from this game:

1. There has to be a place for Jack Price in our first team.

The lad oozes class and composure on the ball and we must find a way to accommodate him in that holding role. He was excellent and we know he brings the best out of McDonald. He outshone George Saville, who was neat and tidy enough.

2. We still need a target man.

Ok, so this might seem churlish to say when we could have won by 5 or 6 and Le Fondre did pretty well, but when there is such pace and mobility buzzing around the final third, a big man to be their focal point seems a no brainer. Le Fondre did ok up top, but there’s still little to suggest he’s any different to what we have. The possibilities are endless with a proven Plan B.

3. Don’t expect too much from Jed Wallace.

It was a competent showing from the ex-Pompey man but I saw little to suggest he’ll be challenging for the first team any time soon. It’s his first game back so a long way to go for him, but that explosive pace and power was to be seen elsewhere.

4. Sheyi Ojo is some prospect

On this performance, you’d have to say he is above van la Parra in the pecking order of wingmen, if not James Henry.

As Andy Gray said about Bully way back when: ‘He’s got rough edges! (But I like rough edges!)

He will infuriate at times but he will occupy defenders and give them some real headaches on this showing. Add in Dicko and Afobe to the mix and we really have the potential to hurt teams.

5. Experience needed!

For all of our impressive build-up play and explosive attacks, we were still hanging on a wee bit at the end and should never have been defending a one goal lead at that point. It was crazy.

So here’s a thought…

…Get on the phone to Tony Pulis for Lescott and while you’re at it, have a word with Tim Sherwood for Libor Kozak (who Villa don’t want!).

We’d get an instant fix of grizzled wherewithal to replace a lingering sense of naivety.

Comments

  1. Lingy says:

    Ben,

    You’re normally a man who doesn’t pass up an opportunity for a good cliche.

    I was expecting to read, “The Future’s Bright” at least somewhere in this report!

    Lingy

       1 likes

    • theDOOGooder says:

      How dare you accuse Ben of using cliches!

      As a man who also earns his living by writing I have to correct you.

      We call it journalese.

      It sounds much posher.

         5 likes

      • Vladimir says:

        Express and Star 5 talking points is Pulitzer worthy then: “The Price is right” and “The future is Bright.” Or did they narrowly missed that not coming up with a line that combines “fond of” and “Le Fondre”? Damn!

           2 likes

  2. Ben,

    I was sitting a few seats from you last night and to be honest I saw a different Ojo, right up until the point he scored the goal he looked in the same mold as RVLP, if he was such an incrediblre find why can’t he take people on. Yes true, after the goal he was going past people Iike they were standing still (at last) but up to that point he looked like a first team player, (didn’t want the ball).
    So I do hope he’s now over his nerves and we see a gem develop, Kenny has seen something but up to last nights goal I was not impressed, so fingers crossed that it was nerves.
    One thing I did see was, at half time when Enobokhare came off James Henry came on and the game changed dramatically, he ran at and teased the Barnet lads and was all over the pitch, if he hadn’t been so keen to help the newbies out he could have had a hatful, but instead he was trying to bring the new lads into it with RVLP chances of last year. Your lad would have scored some of those and we as pointed out should have won by a Country mile.
    Two unfortunate injuries in the second half prevented Kenny from perhaps trying something a little different which at that point may have produced. But we won, it was certainly better, they were younger inexperienced lads and so we take hope from that.
    If the first team can step up and the numskies at the top can get the cheque book out we may stand a chance this year.

    Living in hope.

       5 likes

  3. robin says:

    Agree Jack Price MUST be in the first team.

       0 likes

  4. Karlir-Johanarnt Kristjanson says:

    Afobe is going to be sold before the window closes. Wolves price tag is 14 million: http://www.norwich.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=410985

    With teams like A.Villa and Newcastle, teams with money, I don’t believe he’s staying at Molineux, at least not for the whole season. I think he’s getting sold in this window or in january. Nice to know we have such talents as Bright ready to step in and replace him.

       0 likes

    • Thomas says:

      Afobe isn’t going anywhere mate in this window. I’d stake my house on it.

         4 likes

      • Karlir-Johanarnt Kristjanson says:

        I hope you are right. 14 miilons doesn’t sound right for a talented player of Afobe’s calibre. I’ve also read that Hause is attracting attention from Aston Villa and Everton. I really hope we manage to hold on to our biggest talents, but money talks. We can cope with losing Hause – Afobe on the other hand is difficult to replace.

           1 likes

      • admant says:

        I agree not this window. waive anywhere near 14 mil at beetroot in 5 months time and he’ll be gone. Then 1-2mil will be spunked on 3 or 4 debutantes and 10-12mil kerrrching into Beetroots Bank.

        aint it fun wathcin’ others get rich. like a car crash we continue to watch even though its horrific

           3 likes

      • Clive from Houston says:

        Is your house worth 14 million?

           0 likes

        • Karlir-Johanarnt Kristjanson says:

          Sorry, I belive it’s quite inncommensurable to compare a football player to a house now a days. How many houses are Messi worth? :=)

          If the club wants to generate money they should sell Hause not Afobe – it’s as simple as that.

             1 likes

  5. Thomas says:

    Great write up mate.

    Particularly nice to hear Ojo had a good game. I thought he was feeble against Cardiff and definitely not someone we could rely on to win us a game. Hopefully this confidence booster will do the trick and he can transfer into league form.

    Bright seems to be steaming towards the first team. I wonder if Kenny withdrew him with Saturday in mind? A few people suggested it was because he was on a booking but surely that wouldn’t matter if he wasn’t being considered for first team football? Definitely seems like he’s got the stuff to be an impact player from the bench.

    My old man has been banging on about getting Price into the team for weeks and I’m leaning towards agreeing. That’s going to be at the expense of Coady one would assume, unless McDonald is a candidate for the chop? Kenny was talking about his bad back so he could be rested I suppose.

    Deslandes is an intriguing one. Our options at left back seem to be Golbourne who is good on the ball but physically weak or Hause who is the exact opposite. Maybe the young lad can be the combination we’ve been looking for? Maybe not now, but later in the season or next year for sure.

    Didn’t sound like Wallance pulled up any trees but there’s surely more to come? You don’t score as many goals from midfield as he did last year, albeit in League Two, if you don’t have something about you. Will be interesting to see if he and/or Saville are involved at the weekend.

    What a shame that our reward for progressing is a stinky old tie at Middlesbrough. I hope we give a good account of ourselves there and go through. A Wembley trip in any shape or form would constitute an acceptable season for me.

       2 likes

  6. theDOOGooder says:

    Bugger!

    The first time I get the score right this season and it doesn’t count in the prediction league.

    Sounds like a pretty upbeat performance by the lads.

    It’s times like this that I yearn for the old days.

    I used to have a flat at 102, Compton Road (I’m surprised they haven’t put a blue plaque up) and the Molineux was just a stroll away.

    Get back home from work, a quick bite,”Shall we go to the match? Yeah! Let’s do it!”.
    Then a short trudge to the Golden Palace and pay at the turnstile.

    Those were the days.

    And it only cost 3s 6d to get in.

       3 likes

  7. Going back to Jed Wallace.

    Seems to be a perfect candidate for the first teams, I was texting jerryd at halftime and saying how he’d had quite a decent showing first half, then he came out second half and disappeared somewhere, I don’t recall seeing him do anything after that? But in all fairness I was engrossed with Henry’s sterling performance wodering what a dilemma Kenny has for Saturday.
    I would love to see Deslandes replace Hause who to me is off the game a little compared with last season.

    🙂

       0 likes

  8. Steve showcase says:

    Thx Ben for the ‘it was crazy’comment re us hanging on to a one goal lead..

    The Alamo at the back is our forte at the moment and Lescot or Kozak has to be better or at least build the defence round a new man as we are doing with Afobe up front..he ain’t going anywhere..

    For the record I now rest my case with the defence I’m now being joined by pundits far better than me..and
    I feel this is going to happen now with DB joining a new regime as a no 2 to ???

    I am confused currently by our midfield we have support for Price Macdonald Edwards Coady Wallace Henry …chew the pips out of that lot..

    Good result ..draw beckoning at Boro with a return..

    We now need a run of undefeated games like there is no tomorrow…. starting this Saterday with Charlton..
    COYW

       0 likes

  9. Brompton Wolf says:

    I responded after the match on the other thread so I will copy and paste it here too as I am idle:

    “Well done young lads. Shame about the goal conceded, you are all going to get a bollocking from Steve Showcase now.

    Waiting for the penalty shoot-outs to finish so I can find out who we have next”

    “We got Boro. Happy with that as it is only 20 mins up the road from my tent. Any bloggers need an overnight stop, let me know”.

    “Wolves will not sell Afobe for anything less than £14m” Hmmmmmm, so whilst the Norwich bid of an alleged £8m has been turned down, my view is that we WILL sell him if a club wants to pay £14m. With Moxey’s eyes gleaming and his mouth salivating over a possible £12m profit, what are the odds on him leaving us? That will certainly show the true intentions of the club wont it?”

    Anyway – bring on Charlton, Afobe will want to show he is worth lots more and will want to score loads (hopefully).

       0 likes

  10. Bilstonian says:

    I very much agree with Ben about Lescott and Kozak. I’d love to see Joleon back at the Molineux and he could be the complete answer to our defensive problems. A friend of mine who supports his present team reckons he’ll go to Villa.

    As for Kozak, I was impressed with him in the pre-season friendly, particularly as he had been out of the game for so long. He may not be Premier League material but he could definitely do a job for us.

    But with both players I fear that the wages may be too much.

       1 likes

    • Lingy says:

      Both are probably on £50k+. Part of the reason they are no longer required at their current clubs as they bring no value for money.

      If we could get either for even half those wages, there’s still no saying they would perform.

      Lescott probably would, given his history with the club but has his heart set on his home-town club Villa anyway.

      It’s better for the club trying to unearth young and hungry talent with a sell on value, than repeating the ‘hire a tired old pro on huge wages’ approach of the 90’s.

         5 likes

  11. Gold Wolf Sven says:

    My concern is the amount of times we’ve said on another day we could of been out of site, I hope it doesn’t become a trend.

       1 likes

  12. Dear Alex Neil (Norwich)

    Which part of “He is not for sale” do you fail to understand you moron.

    Now Feck off and disrupt some other club, preferably the twots down the road with the stripey carrier bags.

    Wolves Blogger StuWolf

       7 likes

    • Alex Neil (Norwich) says:

      Dear StuWolf

      I’m only doing it to piss you Wolves fans off.

      That’s the sort of money you can flash around when you get into the Premier League.

      It’s amazing that your owner and CEO haven’t cottoned on to that fact and made an effort to get you lot up here with us.

      Must go now, I’ve got a bath of Champagne waiting for me and my diamond studded canary needs feeding.

      “Delia, where’s me caviar sandwich?”.

      Yours, rolling in it.

      PS. How about £15 million?

      Alex

         3 likes

  13. Steve showcase says:

    Can’t believe it Norwich 3rd bid £10m..
    Can we all stand by KJ and warn off Moxey ..sell at your peril..
    But more to the point his is capable to get us to the promised land AND £120M..
    IMO ..For Christ sake buy a defender and get the job done..
    I fear another bid coming…

       7 likes

    • Twixfix says:

      If Moxey or Morgan sell …. They’ll be hounded out of town ……
      By ME !!!

         3 likes

      • Wokingham Welsh Wolf says:

        And me mate, plus all the other bloggers and 20,000 other WWFC fans.

        They wouldn’t dare sell would they?

        Stupid question really, ‘cos Morgan and Moxey worship money and wouldn’t reinvest it in the team.

        UTW!

           2 likes

  14. robin says:

    The thing is does Afobe want to stay?
    He scored a lot of goals with Sako in the team.
    During the Cardiff game when ‘dangerous’ Dave ran in and put the pass Ojo made to Afobe into the stands, Afobe was really pissed off…
    He looked frustrated and fed up the whole match.
    Am sure he told his agent!
    The problem is we should have strengthened at the beginning of the transfer window.
    Another couple of ‘midfielders’, a couple of loan signings, but nothing that indicates we have rebalanced the team enough to be as good as we were last year….

       5 likes

  15. Johnok53 says:

    Didn’t go to the match last night,but listened to rad and by all accounts we should have been 5 up by halftime.
    That tells a story we still can’t score at present which is a worry for me in case we have injuries to our strikers,it seems to me its all a gamble and you can’t gamble on football in the championship.
    Some of our second string played well and can only get better with more games under their belts.
    So come Saturday afternoon will KJ bite the bullet and choose the players who played well enough in this game or revert back to his tried and not so good first steamer’s interesting question. UTW.who ever he chooses.
    I wish Morgan would stump up some money to buy a striker and another experienced defender then we willbe oOK.

       2 likes

  16. Danny Velinski says:

    I was pleased to see that Martin Allen had adopted a more relaxed fit in his trousers of choice especially as I was in the Billy Wright and could not avoid seeing the expressions of anger despair and dismay that Allen can display as he clenches his buttocks and waves his arms like a fat Jagger on amphetamines. Agree with many of points made here. Henry really improved the players around him which is a great talent. Maybe he should play in the middle. Price is a Dyson of a player (he cleans up well.) I also thought Le Fondre played with cunning and guile not that Barnet looked too difficult to outfox. Saville got a bit of a kicking but was energetic in the first half. Kenny seems to have plenty of ingredients and still time to go the shops. But as Jimmy Webb might have sung last night as they played the karaoke version of High Ho Silver Lining. “Don’t take too long to bake it cos you might not have this recipe again.”

       3 likes

    • Clive from Houston says:

      We bought into the Dyson hype a couple of years ago.
      As a vacuum cleaner , it sucked, or didn’t.
      Should re brand it as The Greasel, over rated, over priced piece of useless shit.
      Took it back and got a refund, which is what we all need from that fat fuck.

      A win in any competition is wonderful, so bring on the next round.

      I went to Middlesbro once….it was closed.

      You will all be pleased to know my knives are sharp enough to slice through rhino hide, so, greasel and blob, you have one week to do what is right for the club. Get some strengthening in, or meet that famous Japanese second world war hero, Hari Kari.
      FOwb, g and b/b

         2 likes

  17. Johnok53 says:

    Sorry Ben,forgot to say another great post.
    UTW.

       1 likes

  18. Ben Rasmin says:

    Great to read a positive review after the debacle that was last Saturday’s performance.

    Fully agree that KJ needs to find room for Price in our midfield, he’s a top player who does a lot of unnoticed work that aids those around him.

    Can’t endorse a move for Kozak though. My old man is a season ticket holder at Villa and knows a player when he sees one – Kozak ain’t one. I know he put two past us in pre-season but he benefited from some slack defending. If we went into the market for a target man then I’d look no further than Kenwyne Jones, who terrorised us in our last league outing and is up for grabs (according to the Sky commentators on Saturday).

    Think we’ve got an interesting week or so ahead, though I hope it’s got little to do with Afobe! UTW.

       1 likes

  19. Steve showcase says:

    It seems we are standing ground by saying we would review offers for Afobe after this season..

    So if we don’t strengthen our defence and give our goal scorers a chance to win it for us….I reluctantly accept he’s probably going to go..

    That would be 2 superb players..and it will be all down to wages and in Afobe’s case a lump sum as well..
    We’ve simply got to start winning and claiming our top six position.

    Over to you KJ to make sure..no pressure..

       1 likes

  20. colin says:

    Good to read some positivity well done Ben. After the bad day at the orifice, you know where, comes as some relief. Still broadly behind young and hungry strategy. Dont want to go too far down the ‘journeyman’ road doesnt lead anywhere. Also just helps rival clubs with good housekeeping.

    I like Jack Price and the way he is always in the game and ties things together. The jury is still out on too many of the midfield players bought. Bit of a problem here.

       3 likes

  21. theDOOGooder says:

    The most frustrating and annoying thing about the Benik Afobe soap opera is that if he scores thirty goals this season and we win the league at a canter it will make it even more likely that he will be poached by a big club.

    And when I say ‘big club’ I don’t mean the likes of Newcastle, Norwich, sandwell or some other has been or never will be.

    I mean a BIG club.

    What footballer in his right mind is going to turn down the chance to play in such vaunted company, earning barrow loads of cash and competing at the very top level against the best teams in Europe – Apart from Steve Bull, of course.

    And if he doesn’t do the business, we won’t get promoted and we’ll offload him to one of the sides I’ve just listed – always supposing they don’t get relegated.

    So, either way, we could be stuffed.

    But M&M owe it to the fans, and Kenny, to hold on to him this season so at least we get a fair crack of the whip at going up.

       1 likes

  22. Steve showcase says:

    I agree Doog we probably can’t win with him either way…unless we can sell him the club and pay proper wages ..
    Sako could of been resolved IMO by changing the wage structure to an additional end of season bonus ..
    It’s just so tragic that when we do get a decent player and Afobe’s value to us is prob more even than Sako we just can’t make them I to an icon..

    The PL does give us a chance though because of the dough so I can’t see why we are not hell bent to get there..

       1 likes

  23. colin says:

    I agree with Steve agreeing with Doog. Thats football these days. Careful how you choose your heroes and no one is bigger than the club !

       0 likes

  24. Brompton Wolf says:

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Norwich’s third bid of around £10m has been rejected and it is now being touted that they are going to place a fourth bid. That, coupled with Le Fondre stating that he is not here to sit on the bench makes me wonder ………..

    Just thinking out loud!!!

       0 likes

  25. trenchmanmick says:

    While all the talk is rightly concerning Afobe,lurking quietly in the background is an almost certain star of the future,Enobakhare. Went to the Bees game with a mate and his words were ‘we’ll see and hear a lot more of that kid’. I was shocked to learn he’s 17.He’s got lots of rough edges but they’ll hopefully get polished out and if he can progress he’ll be some player.

       3 likes

  26. jerryd says:

    Great article, Ben. If Afobe wants to stay, he will. If he requests a transfer to force the issue, he’s gone. I think he will stay at least until Jan. M&M can’t be that keen to sell him, otherwise they would have taken 10 mil. It seems unlikely that anyone will offer 14 mil at the moment. Everything hinges on how many goals he bags before Jan.

    I agree that the wage structure is a bar to getting/keeping the best available players, just like Sako, or Sami Ameobi. M&M should re-think this point. One for the parliamentary questions methinks.

    As for me, I am back to a more optimistic frame of mind. Whether I will feel the same on my way back to the station after the match on Saturday remains to be seen. There’s a good chance that I will be happy, one has to keep the faith.

       2 likes

  27. Steve Showcase says:

    Good points jerryd..I think we will have to pay the going rate but I reckon with some sort of get out clause if we drop..the PL is our destiny and we could buy like all the clubs have to strengthen.

    With your current optimistic thoughts
    What do we do with our defence at the moment? DB is very absent..do we buy or loan in?

       0 likes

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