Archives for September 2012

Wolves 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0

What impressed me at Peterborough last week was the same thing that impressed me today – control.

Second time lucky

Yes, it was only one goal and in truth not much else created aside.

But when you use the ball so intelligently and control the rhythm and tempo of the game for such long periods, one goal is often all it takes.

For all the champagne football we saw under McCarthy in the Championship winning campaign, I don’t remember many comfortable 1-0’s.

But as narrow victories go, Wolves made this look pretty straightforward.

The second half became a procession as we strangled the life out of the opposition, reducing them to a handful of breakaways and long balls into the box.

However, the first 45 was anything but a stroll. As they have been too often, Wolves were slow out of the blocks and very nearly punished. Wednesday created openings and had a decent shout for a penalty. On another day we would have been chasing the game.

But the longer it went on, the more authority Wolves exerted and after taking the lead, they rarely looked troubled.

It was another fierce strike and telling contribution from the languid Sako who can seemingly go from ‘unbothered’ to ‘unplayable’ in seconds. I’m enjoying his performances.

Doumbia and Henry can consider this another midfield battle won. Their dominance was probably the main factor that swung it our way.

A third consecutive clean sheet in the league and a first of the season at home was pleasing. Ikeme didn’t have a save to make all game.

Berra and Johnson weren’t asked many questions either, whilst Foley and Ward were untroubled after that lacklustre start.

Foley in particular impressed, using all his composure and intelligence. Perhaps more than anyone else, the full back is benefiting from Solbakken’s preference for neat possession football.

Doyle too continued his resurgence, albeit still without a goal. Equally, Ebanks-Blake didn’t get a sniff throughout to add to his 3 league goals. He’ll enjoy better days.

Peszko impressed me today after coming on early for the unfortunate Boukari. The Pole was heavily involved throughout and always causing the opposition headaches.

He occupied those pockets of space behind the forwards well and made intelligent runs. After a few anonymous outings, it was pleasing to see him have an influence.

But as this new Wolves team continues to strengthen and rack up the points in the process, it’s clear that the biggest influence of all is coming from one place only.

The dugout.

Wolves Vs Sheffield Wednesday Preview

When Mick McCarthy fielded a weakened team at Old Trafford in 2009, he would reportedly have been sacked had he not delivered victory against Burnley the following weekend.

Sheffield Wednesday

Edged out by Bolton

Ståle Solbakken certainly shouldn’t fear such severe repercussions tomorrow, but I’m sure he’ll be relieved all the same should we collect maximum points.

A 6-0 defeat is always a tough pill to swallow, regardless of the circumstances. But like many others have said already, a decent return from the next two home games and the massacre of Stamford Bridge will be a distant memory.

Wednesday are equally in need of the points after a run of 5 successive defeats if you include their midweek League Cup loss to Southampton.

Their problem is obvious given the fact they’ve conceded at least 2 goals in all 7 of their Championship fixtures to date.

Jay Bothroyd is a player we know well and will certainly be a threat if he starts. They also have young Everton prodigy Ross Barkley on loan, as well as striker Rodri from Barcelona B.

Wolves

The team should really pick itself for this game after last week’s comfortable win at Peterborough. I’m not sure anyone really showered themselves in glory in midweek to put themselves into contention.

The only two players from that eleven who might not make it are probably Foley and Peszko wih Stearman and Boukari the likely replacements. But I’d like to see if last weekend’s team could repeat the performance against better opposition.

What’s obvious is that we need to get at Wednesday as there are goals to be had. That said, I’m confident our forwards will do the business at the minute so it will probably come down to keeping the back door shut. Three consecutive clean sheets in the league? It’s been a while. I can’t even say how long. Anyone?

Opposition view

Thanks to Richard Fidler, Sports writer at The Star in Sheffield, for his take on the game:

Important for Wednesday to stop the rot and show they can keep a clean sheet. Not yet crisis time for the club but it’s a very bad run of results.

Jones has had to bring in new faces but they’re taking their time to gel. Some fans thought the good times would carry on after last season so they’re getting a bit of an awakening of how tough the Championship is. Not losing at Wolves would be an excellent outcome at the moment.

Wolves will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. Still have good quality in their squad. I see a 1-1 draw.

Predictions

48 people said we’d get the win at London Road and a stonking 12 of those also got the 2-0 scoreline.

Well done to wolves4ever, johnok, robc306, slider, steppenwolfe, these are the days, vladamir, wight wolf, hamlet, rob in london, mark and woody wolf. They all take the maximum 2 points on offer.

Logically we should win tomorrow, but I’ve yet to be convinced about us at home, which is strange given that we’re undefeated. Perhaps that’s a positive thing?

Despite a nagging doubt telling me to go for a draw, I’ll back us to come through comfortably.

3-1.

Up The Wolves.

Ben’s ticket up for grabs

Forget all this ‘South Bank (North Bank)’ posturing and the vocal banter that accompanies it.

When it comes to the number one vantage point to watch us play Sheffield Wednesday, there really is only one place to sit……Ben’s seat in the Billy Quiet upper.

Unfortunately, Benny boy is cursing his sister for arranging her wedding on the very day we play the Owls so he’s had to give up his ticket.

Such are his levels of chivalry that he’s offering it to one of you lucky blogger friends.

If you want it, just leave a comment below laying claim. The first person to ask for it gets it.

Thomas will meet to deliver, under the Billy Wright statue at 2.30pm tomorrow.

Chelsea 6 Wolves 0

Is this going to psychologically damage us? Have we got any regrets? Will those involved be scarred for life?

With questions like these, it’s a wonder we’re not talking about an impromptu French holiday with our favourite maths teacher instead of a 6-0 drubbing at Chelsea.

At least Zele Ismail made an appearance near the end and Stale Solbakken has more evidence that our fringe players should not be trusted with first team shirts.

Maybe the Norwegian got it wrong by naming his squad so soon before this clash, giving Di Matteo too much food for thought beforehand.

But against a Chelsea team laden with quality and panache, the cold fact is that we would have, in all probability, lost this game whoever we fielded.

Nobody came out of this game with any credit, not least Peszko who missed two sitters when it sounded easier to score.

Obvious questions to present themselves from this complete spanking are:

  1. What is the point in Frank Nouble?
  2. How undercooked is George Margrietter?
  3. Is Stephen Hunt a complete spent force?
  4. Are we going to get a left back in with Elokobi rumoured to be off on loan to Bristol City?

And finally…

…Should Stale Solbakken be roundly criticised for selecting the team we saw this evening?

The good old days of Needham and Shilton getting muddled up are sadly long gone.

So too Kenny Hibbitt shinned shots and Gary Pierce heroics.

It’s doubtful Stale ever saw DVDs of those past glories.

In a sad commentary on Capital One, its historic three-handled cup and the ever consuming power of the ‘leccy league’, nobody will care if we win on Saturday. Or will they?