Archives for October 2011

Man City 3 Wolves 1

Well the positives were that we played a lot better, we won a penalty and we even went and scored it.

The one big negative – apart from the result – was that we have wasted way too many games to stumble upon such encouragement when most fans were screaming for this formation for weeks.

Three for City, one for Mancini no doubt

With last season’s painful 4-4-2 home experiences to Liverpool, Everton, Wigan, Bolton and Blackburn still fresh in the memory, many have been screaming for us to pack up the midfield since 2.30pm on Saturday September 17.

Forty-two days later and Mick thinks likewise after being so bafflingly frivolous in lost games we can’t retrieve.

This was Mick’s seventh consecutive change to the league starting XI, in a curious statistic that demands closer scrutiny.

Why, for example, did Nenad Milijas play in (what I regard as) the biggest fixture of the season away at West Bromwich Albion, if he is not going to even make the final 16 man squad at Manchester City?

Which game was our manager less bothered about?

What did he see in Michael Kightly at Compton to play him against QPR and Spurs that he then felt compelled to loan out to Championship strugglers Watford?

And what did David Edwards do to warrant selection at Anfield on September 24 after nine months out injured, only to be shunned from our entire squad (Newcastle aside) for 35 days until his Eastlands recall.

Forgive me for sounding like a mindless idiot, but such selection indiscrepancies are driving me barmy in the absence of any meaningful justification.

All I’ve been after for 42 days is a 4-5-1 system that is difficult to play against and preferably features Guedioura in the middle.*

I got my wish yesterday and for the first time in six games, Charlie Nicholas and co said we were difficult to play against.

Maybe if the otherwise faultless Hennessey hadn’t have dithered in the second half, we could have been celebrating an unlikely point.

And what bile would the manager have in store for the mindless idiots if we had of, despite most of them calling for this very formation?

It’s no wonder Mick used his programme notes from Wednesday night to justify his credentials to us all.

He said: “I’ve got all the coaching qualifications I can own, I’ve won the championship with two different teams and I took the Republic of Ireland to the last 16 of the World Cup finals.”

As we all tremble for the gargantuan-sized fixture with Wigan on Sunday, let us all hope we see those virtues for ourselves.

And that we don’t play 4-4-2.

*He did use this formation at WBA for 45 mins with Milijas, only to scrap it at half time with the score at 0-1.

Man City Vs Wolves Preview

On the surface, a 20-1 bet on a 16th placed Premier League team in a two horse race should represent fantastic value for money.

However, anyone who has seen the two teams play of late will tell Victor Chandler and co that they are probably being a bit generous with their odds, not least when City’s reserves have just spanked us 5-2.

The two sides played out a 7 goal thriller last season

And if Mick obdurately sticks with his preferred 4-4-2 system that guarantees a two goal deficit at half time, the bookies may as well stick a nought on our end.

Even a mindless idiot can see that.

The Team

Our battle hardened manager will surely go 4-5-1 for a game that nobody has us down to get anything from, and a game where many pundits believe the pressure is off completely.

Whether the expected system change has more to do with the class of opposition rather than lessons learnt is up for conjecture, however.

The big question is, who will play in midfield for this one, as it is unlikely Mick will drop the leaden footed Berra or Johnson, despite leaking goals like a sieve during this painful winless run.

If he opts for David Edwards, many fans will be annoyed, bearing in mind Guedioura and Milijas have offered far, far more on Carling Cup showings alone.

That doesn’t make them numpties mind. They probably just remember Anfield like me.

If he does pick one of Guedioura or Milijas to go alongside O’Hara and Henry, most supporters will be supportive, no matter the result. It’s what many have been demanding all season. I go for Guedioura, as he has the better engine and we’ll be doing a hell of a lot of chasing.

As for the wingers, you’ve got to presume that Jarvis will play, being as he is the only player in the entire squad with any pace to trouble any team, despite his poor delivery of late.

I hope Hunt plays on the other flank, even if I am one of Hammill’s biggest advocates. My reasoning for this? That we are going to have to work damn hard on Saturday and a feral-type performance from the Irishman will have the potential to break up the Poznan.

Doyle will plough a lone furrow in a formation where he has always played his best football for Wolves.

The only other change might just be Zubar for Stearman, if the Frenchman is fit. If he is, I’d play him.

The team I expect Mick to play:

Hennessey, Stearman, Berra, Johnson, Ward, Henry, O'Hara, Milijas, Hunt, Jarvis, Doyle

Prediction League

A handful of people predicted a draw against Swansea last time out but only Baltimore Wolves got the scoreline spot on.

Congratulations on a well-earned 3 points.

In all my years of supporting Wolves, this past week has been the most divisive, upsetting and downright painful that I can ever remember.

Feeling marginalised is one thing. Feeling like a lost child stuck between warring parents is quite another.

With that in mind I will utter the words I hope to never utter again.

Forget the result and let us all hope for a performance to take genuine heart from.

The daft thing is that we’ll probably get one, and Mick will then stick with the team that most mindless idiots have been crying out for for weeks.

The even dafter thing is that we might just pull out a freakish result. It has been known.

Come on you Wolves!

Double trouble?

I don’t know about you, but I’m ecstatic there’s a match tonight.

Even if it is the League Cup. Even if it is against a side that disposed of Man Utd 6-1.

Bring it on.

I can jabber on about even the most mundane Wolves-related issue with the best of them, but there comes a time – usually when the football itself is no longer the focus – that you have to ask yourself ‘what’s the point?’.

I think we’re at that stage now.

Happy memories from the last home match against City

The fans, as is their right, will continue to probe and debate, but I don’t see what good the players and particularly the manager speaking out can do.

Just get on with it.

Never has the phrase ‘let the football do the talking’ seemed so pertinent.

Of course that’s no easy task with back-to-back matches against the best team in the league. Yikes.

But despite many saying the fixtures couldn’t have worked out worse, I’d argue they couldn’t have been better.

For starters, Molineux will hardly be a cauldron of bitter disgust tonight. Less than 8,000 turned up for the Millwall game in the previous round and that wasn’t even on the box.

So with Jez hiking the prices and the Sky cameras rolling, I’ll be staggered if the ground is anywhere near half-full, despite the illustrious opposition.

What’s more nobody expects us to overcome Man City’s second string and only a scant few are bothered about a place in the quarter-final of the cup with our league form in such alarming disarray.

In fact, I’d wager every single Wolves fan would swap a loss tonight for a win on Saturday (most would probably make the same exchange for a draw).

By my reckoning that means Mick and the players have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I hope they make the most of this.

The same logic applies to Saturday.

Sure we’re desperate for Premier League points but the pressure is well and truly off, particularly with the match taking place in Manchester.

Anything gained, other than a good hiding, will be a welcome bonus and provide a timely boost ahead of a gargantuan fixture at home to Wigan the following week.

Personally, I wouldn’t want another match against a side around us immediately after the debacle of Swansea.

I’m positive Mick feels the same.

Here’s hoping for better times and better football.

Up The Wolves.