Archives for November 2009

Pathetic: Wolves 0 Birmingham City 1

Pathetic Wolves. Absolutely pathetic.

I’m so completely and utterly incensed by such a weak, spineless, uninspired, disgusting performance, that I don’t particularly want to talk about it.

McCarthy has big questions to answer

McCarthy has big questions to answer

Losing this match would always be gut-wrenchingly painful to take, but going down without a fight is just unacceptable.

I’m afraid the blame has to lie at the feet of the manager today. The team selection was wrong, the shape of the side gave us nothing going forward or defensively and any tactics we might or might not have had didn’t work. Nobody had a clue.

Mick McCarthy has absolutely no idea what his best team is at the moment, which quite frankly, 14 games in, is terrifying. I mean, even I went to the game today knowing exactly what the Birmingham side would be, which I think speaks volumes about where the two sides are. While Blues looked a compact unit, all comfortable in the positions they’re playing and working coherently together, Wolves were the complete opposite. How can that be?

I’ll tell you how. The shape and balance of this side has been completely torn out. Gone are the attacking full-backs who offered us an extra dimension going forward. Gone is the target man who fed our talented striker and allowed him to run riot. Gone is the skillful passer in the middle of the park, who would sit nicely alongside Henry and find people’s feet with clever touches. Gone. Gone. Gone.

You see, for all the defensive shortcomings of last season’s side, they bloody well knew how to play football and score goals. This side still has all of those defensive frailties, but no longer has the bite to even compete at the other end of the pitch.

Now, injuries prevented the likes of Foley, Jones, Iwelumo, etc to figure today, I can see that. But we need like-for-like players that can come in and fill those gaps. And we don’t got ’em.

But the real kick in the teeth today was that Wolves didn’t even compete. If we lose, but leave everything on the pitch, I can accept that and move on. But to limp off, having practically surrendered in a local derby, is disgraceful.

The fans deserve better. Much better.

Wolves Vs Birmingham City Preview

Birmingham visit Molineux on Sunday with Wolves very much needing a win to kick-start their faltering season.

Defeats against Arsenal and Chelsea were expected and have left us languishing in the bottom three, with very little to be positive about. But we all know the real damage was done weeks ago, after only mustering a point from three winnable home games against West Ham, Hull and Pompey. We’ve got three more coming up now and a similar meager return will see Wolves teetering right on the edge of a swift return to the Championship.

Failing to beat sides like Hull at Molineux has cost Wolves so far

Failing to beat sides like Hull at Molineux has cost Wolves so far

Blues have had a pretty decent start to the campaign, picking up good home wins against Pompey, Sunderland and Fulham, while also taking the maximum away from their visit to Hull. Credit to for good performances at Man Utd, Spurs and Liverpool, which have shown they’re not going to roll over anywhere without a scrap.

However, there seem to be an awful lot of people writing Wolves off at the moment, while suggesting everything’s rosy down at St. Andrews. Let’s remember there’s only five points between the two sides and two thirds of the season still to play.

Make no bones about it though, Wolves are desperate for the win on Sunday, while Blues would probably be content with a point. So the emphasis is very much on us to take the game to our neighbours.

Mick has already publicly stated that we’ll be back to 4-4-2 for this crunch match, which I’m delighted to hear. I just hope the good news continues with his team selection. I have absolutely no clue about the side he’s going to pick,  but I’ll take a stab at it anyway:

Hennessy

Halford
Berra
Craddock
Ward

Edwards
Henry
Milijas
Jarvis

Doyle
SEB

I think Zubar’s out of the match on Sunday and it’s probably too soon for Foley, so I’m guessing Halford might get the nod at right back. I think he might gamble on Ward though. Henry and Jarvis should definitely play in midfield, but I’m not sure about the others. I’d like to see Milijas come in and give us an extra creative dimension. Could be Castillo instead though. Your guess is as good as mine really.

We know Blues are tight defensively and in Roger Johnson and Scott Dann, they’ve got two center-halves with growing reputations. That being said, I’ve personally watched SEB give both of them the runaround before (can you ever remember SEB not scoring against Cardiff?), so I’m confident we can cause them problems going forward. Hart is a good keeper as well, but hasn’t look particularly convincing from set-pieces, so that’s another reason I hope Milijas finds his way into the side.

Is a cleansheet out of the question? Evidence suggests yes, but if we’re going to keep any team out, you’d think it would be Blues, given that they’re a tighter, more defensive outfit. Hennessy will rightly keep his place (in my opinion) and we need him at his best. Whatever back four takes to the field, we’re desperate for a good performance and no sloppy mistakes. Giving away goals (as we did against both Arsenal and Chelsea) would be criminal in a match of such importance.

Despite all the negativity of late, I do think Wolves will win this match. Call it blind faith if you like, but we’re long overdue a home win, a derby win and something to generally be positive about. We need that first goal and I’m backing our number 9 to get it in a 2-1 win.

If you’re going to the match, have a great time and roar the lads on to victory.

Up The Wolves.

Q&A With a Blues Fan

I got an email yesterday from a Blues fan called Kev, asking if I’d write a few words for his blog, Joys And Sorrows.

Naturally, I was only too happy to oblige, but not before asking him a few questions of my own for Wolves Blog.

If you want to read the answers I gave for Joys And Sorrows, click here.

Kev’s a top bloke, even if he is a bluenose, and I think he gives some very interesting answers. Here’s the interview:

1. What is your view of how things are going on the pitch at the Wolves?

I thought last year, Wolves looked full of pace going forward and seemed to create lots of chances – but always looked a bit vulnerable at the back. From what I have seen of you this year, the latter is still the case but you seem to have lost the former. I know you have had lots of injuries, and that can’t have helped. You need to get your creative midfield going again – but Mick HAS to sort your defence.

2. Where do you think we need to strengthen?

As mentioned above, definitely your defence. It has been a problem for 2 seasons now really, and although you can get away with it more in the Championship – I don’t think you can in the Premier League. I’m not sure of your financial situation, but a couple of defenders have to be on your Christmas list!

Doyle - Caused Blues problems last season

Doyle - Caused Blues problems last season

3. Do you think we will survive the drop?

I genuinely hope you do, but it will be tough. (For both of our sides in truth!) Pompey, Hull, West Ham, Wigan, Bolton etc have all survived before – and I think knowing they can actually helps. If I’m right, I don’t think Wolves have maintained their top flight status in recent times, so that must play on minds. At the moment it doesn’t look too good – but a couple of wins can make a difference, (starting NEXT week of course!)

4. Which player(s) do you think are our danger man/men in regard of Sunday’s game?

This is a struggle for me because I haven’t seen much of your games this year. The names that you listed in your response to my questions would have to be there I guess – Kightly and Ebanks-Blake. (Is Iwelumo still injured?) Doyle is a decent player and I’m surprised he hasn’t made more of an impact. He destroyed us early last season!

5. Blues fans must be quite pleased with the start to the season so far – what are you doing right?

The defence looks well organised. Johnson is an absolutely superb signing. He and Dann look really solid in the middle of defence. Carr also looks like a player re-born. Hart is also looking a lot more confident and in charge after a couple of iffy performances. We’ve only conceded 4 goals at home and 10 away – much better than most of the sides down at the bottom. That HAS to be good.

6. Do you think Mcleish is the right man for the job, reason why yes or no.

There are STILL a few critics, but I think he is. The side he inherited from Bruce wasn’t fantastic IMO. He has built his own squad, and when we want to – we play much better football than we did under Brucie. I just wished we’d do that more often! I’ve already mentioned Johnson and Dann, I think the players he has bought in have been fine. Yeah, I’m hopeful he can take us on.

7. Do you think the side is stronger than the last time you were in the Prem?

McLeish took over mid season, and I felt that the side we had then was no where near as strong as the previous time we went down – so for me, we are quite a way ahead this season with our existing squad. It is difficult to measure this though I guess, (says he who set the question to you originally!), each year teams change – so you can have a good squad and go down because everyone else is strong – or stay up in a weak league. I think this year the league is more the latter than the former.

8. What should I have asked and what is your answer?

Ha ha, well obviously, (as you did), what was your favourite game v Wolves.If I can have two! The 2-2 game at St Andrews, 2001/2 after we were 2-0 down, because that was the catalyst that took us into a solid play off place and final glory! (I was there for that one). I did enjoy the 3-2 win at your place 2006/7 with the penalty save in the last minute, because that also gave us a boost towards promotion that season. I had to watch that on TV, but my son and I were leaping around after the penalty save!

9. What do you think the result will be on Sunday?

Difficult. Wolves really HAVE to win this, where as we would take a draw. I think a draw is the most likely. 1-1.

10. Tell me a little bit about yourself Kev, what do you do and how long have you been running your blog?

I am 47 and a Training and Development consultant, mainly working with first line management. I have followed the Blues since the Freddie Goodwin promotion season. As I live in the South West, I don’t get to as many games as I’d like. I took over running Joys and Sorrows in January from my mate who emigrated. I am supported by a colleague who is also an exile.