Archives for January 2012

Wolves 0 Liverpool 3

As time waited for no man in the countdown to the transfer deadline, all clocks stopped at Molineux.

Like a bored, bemused child in the backseat of the family estate, a fan cried out for help: “Is it nearly full time yet?”

Another asked if there was still time left in the window to sign Mark Fotheringham, while the rest pursued a conversation away from the scene – a sea of faded orange seats telling its own story.

And amid it all, that gargantuan North Bank monstrosity yawned over the remaining few, in Steve Morgan’s tribute to Dr Frankenstein.

At least the spin might just subside for a day or two after this latest Molineux horror show.

Who would have possibly predicted a goal for this lump?

No more spiel about Frimpong the saviour, with Mick McCarthy putting pay to our one final flickering hope of the season by playing him deeper than a sweeper and nullifying youthful exuberance.

The 18 year-old’s verve and attacking vigour dispensed with, as our boss ordered him to stay away from Liverpool’s half at all costs. ‘Defensive midfield signing’ Eggert Jonsson was instead employed further up the pitch, but lacked an ounce of attacking ability to make a difference anyway.

Michael Kightly, our other last lingering hope, was nowhere near his Villa vintage, and so Mick McCarthy’s best laid plan was out the window.

In the absence of 2008 Championship winning influence, we hoofed the ball long, and gave the ball away.

With tactics like that, it made no difference that we’d had 12 days off and Liverpool barely any, as we were more jaded, lethargic and listless having chased the ball in a style that’s known as ‘commitment.’

Aside from a great early Edwards opening that he really should have done better with, Pepe Reina may as well pictured Sky Sports News on one of our seamless video walls. Not that they work either.

The entire course of the game would be decided on whether Liverpool were good enough in the final third.

In the first half they weren’t. In the second half, they were.

Gal shy Andy Carroll scored the most inevitable goal ever, thanks to a great assist from our ball boy who threw Craig Bellamy the ball like a love sick puppy.

With everyone still up the other end of the pitch seconds after our corner, the ball boy should now be loaned out to Nottingham Forest forthwith as punishment, for not leaving it where it was.

Hennessey, having repelled every other effort on goal before all this, then morphed into Wolfie the Wolf, doing what our furry friend did for 10 minutes at half time when faced with a clutch of six year-olds…Dive over the ball in slow motion.

Not that Wayne could be blamed. He was the only player on the pitch who could hold his head up, having made numerous saves.

Roger Johnson then got a bit angry with those hardcore, vigilante thugs in the Billy Wright family enclosure, pointing and glaring at all those ‘mindless idiots’ who were clearly to blame for the entire fiasco.

Kuyt then scored a third to give the scoreline the reflection it deserved, before Sylvan smashed the post from 30 yards to prompt the first genuine cheer of the night.

And that was that.

Wolves Vs Liverpool Preview

Mick McCarthy has made his feelings perfectly clear about ‘heroic failures’, which is just as well because I think we’ve all had our fill.

Just win.

However you need to do it, whatever it takes – just win.

Not this time mate

I don’t care that we were thwarted by decisions against Stoke and Chelsea. I don’t care that we probably deserved more against Villa.

Whatever the excuse is, there seems to be just one consistency – Wolves losing.

And if we’re not losing, we certainly aren’t winning. Yes, there’s a lot to be said for grinding out valuable points, but we need to register a maximum sooner rather than later or we’ll be deep, deep in the brown stuff.

I don’t think you could ever describe a Liverpool visit to Molineux as a home-banker, but we’ve certainly been given every advantage possible to get the job done tomorrow night.

Best player ruled out – check.

Three games in a week – check.

Lost as many games as they’ve won away from Anfield – check.

The Team

If Mick McCarthy doesn’t go 4-5-1 in this game and we lose it, I think his head should be firmly on the chopping block.

We employed the shape perfectly against Villa and but for sloppy mistakes, wonder goals and silly behaviour, we probably would have taken a point at the very least.

Yes, Henry is suspended, but it should just be Milijas or Jonnson in and as you were.

So, that’s a team of:

Hennessey, Foley, Berra, Johnson, Ward, Milijas, Frimpong, Edwards, Kightly, Jarvis, Fletcher

If we go 442 and start slinging balls forward for strikers to chase, I might just lose the will to live.

I’m all for positivity, but after the signs of progress in that first half against Villa, I’d hate to see that immediately undone simply because Karl Henry got himself sent off.

Prediction League

8 people correctly predicted doom against our claret and blue neighbours last weekend, but none got the scoreline.

So it’s a single point each for josh, Jed, Haywood Wolf, robin, Clive from Houston, The Wanderer, garby and Stourbridge Wolf.

I think we’ll take 4 points from the next three matches against Liverpool, QPR and WBA.

So lets go for a defeat in this one, leaving me a draw and a win to play with in the other two.

2-1 Liverpool.

If you’re at Molineux tomorrow, get right behind the lads as you always do. It’s a special atmosphere under the floodlights so hopefully the team will respond.

Up The Wolves.

* An apology to Martin who also correctly predicted the outcome of the Villa match and was rudely overlooked as I totted up the scores. If you spot an error or see that I haven’t awarded you the points you deserve in the Prediction League, please do get in touch.

Transfer deadline derangement

As the cold winds chasten a lifeless Molineux, the smoking transfer deadline day should be every Wolves fan’s rescue remedy.

But in keeping with every other facet of this miserable season, our club is at its comatose worst, flipping over the ‘closed’ sign, switching off the lights and imploring those clocks to strike 12.

Wolves' transfer strategy in two words: Mark Fotheringham

Such a strategy underpins a stadium ‘redevelopment’ and an inexorable plummet to the Premier League basement, so is anyone remotely surprised that we’re not even shopping in it?

Some might call it spin, but after delving a little deeper, the spin appears to have eat itself entirely when dissecting our pitiful transfer policy, which ranks as one of the most insular in living memory.

According to Mick McCarthy himself, players will not be approached or even considered if:

1. They are on more money than current squad members. Source: E & S; 27.01.12: ‘McCarthy believes Wolves are unlikely to have a situation where a new signing is on far more money than the rest of the dressing room.’

2. They are foreign. Source: Mick McCarthy direct quote; 25.01.12: “If you take anyone from abroad, you really are taking a chance on them because they don’t settle in straightaway.”

3. They are early to mid 30 year-olds. Source: E & S; 26.01.12: ‘But at 34, his (Kevin Davies) age and his £35,000-a-week wages count heavily against him fitting into Wolves’ long-established ‘young and hungry’ policy.’

4. Mick can’t get rid of current deadwood in his squad. Source: E & S; 27.01.12: ‘McCarthy can’t guarantee him (Mame Diouf) regular football with three senior strikers and Sam Vokes on the books.’

With all of these quite preposterous reasons for not entertaining the notion of purchasing any player with a modicum of Premier League skill, I trawled the official Fantasy Football League to dream an impossible dream.

It was there that I saw the endless list of player names, in much the same way I see a Thomas Cook holiday brochure or the latest issue of Autosport.

Around 95 per cent of players literally unattainable for those four points above, which are absurdly inapplicable to Pardew, Rogers, Lambert, Hodgson, Pulis, Hughes, Coyle, O’Neill, Jol and co and solely plausible to Mick McCarthy.

Hypothetically, had our scouts actually identified Vorm, Krul, Assou-Ekotto, Kompany, Skrtel, Vermaelen, Cabaye, Tiote, Silva, Djeko, Nani, Sessegnon, Odemwingie (etc, etc, etc, etc) at their native clubs before moving to England, we would consider NONE of them for the idiocy already outlined.

The only players we could be linked with, taking those four points into consideration, might be Steve Morison, Danny Graham and one or two others.

But they would never consider leaving Millwall and Watford for us these days, when the far more progressive cities of Norwich and Swansea lie in wait.

To hamstring our survival chances yet further – in another self imposed brainwave – no youth players from our own academy will be considered either (see Elliot Bennett and Mark Davies, not to mention Danny Batth, Scott Malone and David Davis.)

With strategic thinking like this, is it any wonder the Sky Sports presenters are boycotting the WV1 region on transfer deadline day?

And is it any wonder we are taking SPL and Cypriot league journeyman Mark Fotheringham on trial and an alleged interest in some Fleetwood Town striker that nobody else has heard of?

With the senseless, skewed spin that is reserved solely for our club, I’d literally expect nothing less.