Archives for November 2012

Bristol City Vs Wolves Preview

Given the intolerable misery of recent times, it’s hard to believe there are teams in this league who are doing worse than Wolves.

Undone by Brighton in midweek

On current form of course, no other team is doing worse. But Bristol City do have 7 fewer points overall, which is a considerable buffer.

Ashton Gate has hardly been a fortress this season either with only 2 wins and 5 defeats already.

21 goals conceded too, which is the highest of any club in the division on their own ground.

I thought Derek Mcinnes might get them moving in the right direction, but that doesn’t appear to have happened. They struggled last year and it looks like being the same again this time.

That said, they’ve scored some big wins this season when they have performed, sinking Cardiff, Middlesbrough and Palace. Yet another sign that any game is winnable in this league with a decent performance.

Wolves

Surely this is an opportunity for Wolves to start clawing their way back then?

Karl Henry returns after suspension and must go straight back into the starting lineup. Until we find a more creative midfielder partnership that can operate successfully together for 90 minutes in a 442, the skipper remains our linchpin.

And it will almost certainly be 442 again tomorrow. However, just because I’m tired of mocking up the same eleven, this for the record would be the team I’d send out tomorrow:

I’d pack out the midfield and give Sako more license to get forward and do damage.

There’s more chance of me playing tomorrow than Zubar, but I’d pick the Frenchman at center half, just as a radical alternative. As far as I can understand, he’s been completely frozen out after a couple of gaffes at Cardiff.

Given that we turned down £2 million for him in the summer, I think the manager should be getting him more involved. On his day, he was one of our best players, in the Premier League. And it’s not like the others don’t make mistakes.

Opposition view

Here are a couple of different quotes from a Bristol City Forum:

“Think we have a good chance to win. They are in a very bad run and their confidence is not strong. Their manager Solbakken is on his way out if they lose the next 2 games. Its gonn be a good chanse for City toake all 3 points. Come on you reds!”

“We’ve played several sides this season that have been in horrendous form and lost to the lot I think – apart from Peterborough? Fact is we’ve got our wins against three of supposedly the best teams in the league – Cardiff, Palace and Middlesbrough. So can’t get too excited about Wolves being one of the league’s poorer teams at the mo. That said with Danns in the team we have a chance and I do fancy us to pick up a point at least.”

“Should be a very interesting game, with the likes of sako and Ebanks-Blake we will have to defend very well because they have a real goal threat. But I also feel we won’t have too much problems in scoring goals ourselves with the confidence back in the side. COYR”

Predictions

23 people correctly predicted defeat against Millwall. 3 of those got the scoreline spot on in addition.

Well done to Haywood Wolf, Morph and Dave h for doubling up. A single for the other 20.

Hoping and expecting an improvement tomorrow. Henry will play and strengthen the midfield, from a defensive standpoint at least.

They’re conceding goals for fun so hopefully this can be a game for our attacking players to have a say.

I’ll be foolishly optimistic – 2-1 to the old gold.

Up The Wolves.

Blog Statement

Disgusted and ashamed to hear the news today that Ståle Solbakken’s car has been vandalised.

Deserves more respect

If that was the act of an upset supporter, which is still just an assumption (albeit a fairly safe one) then that’s completely out of order.

Nobody should have to tolerate that.

It’s a shame for the rest of us supporters too, as we’ll no doubt be tarred with the same toxic brush for years to come.

Not long after I heard about this incident, I received a message from a contributor.

He’d read a comment on the Express and Star site in reply to a post about the new Wolves Museum.

He thought this deserved it’s own blog and on the day that the club (justifiably) felt they had to make a statement, I think this makes an equally valid point.

See if you agree:

I’m sure it (the new Museum) is an impressive experience (accept my congratulations for having such foresight, Wolves). However, I stand by my previous comments that charging £7 per head is out of order -at least in my opinion. Many key items have been donated or loaned in goodwill, and that has cost our club nothing but a polite ‘thank you’ in return. The actual cost of bringing the project to reality is directly due to our lucrative, Premier League excursion.

On several occasions in years gone by, I’ve nipped through the main entrance at Molineux to take a visiting friend to see the glittering array of silverware on display in those impressive glass cases -and not all, it must be said, were supporters of Wolves. However, everybody I’ve taken were highly impressed and enthralled with the sheer historical significance of everything they had witnessed. The reverence and aura experienced by my visitors was more akin to that to be found when visiting a famous cathedral. You could almost ‘touch’ the atmosphere. Unsurprising, really, because Wolves were, and are, a very special club. However, such trips cost my visitors nothing. Not one penny. Zilch. Gratis. And that’s the difference between Sir Jack Hayward’s Wolves and the present-day set-up.

The new museum undoubtedly showcases the club’s rich history and achievements in majestic style. It will, most assuredly, highlight nearly every significant person that helped make Wolves great and become such a renowned name -and that’s exactly as it should be, of course. How ironic it is, then, that Wolves’ glorious, innocent ‘past’ meets the exploitational ‘present’ in the form of that contentious £7 admission fee. It’s as if financial greed and rampant commercialism (the pervading force so prevalent and destructive in today’s game) has to raise its ugly head even where CELEBRATION and TRIBUTE are the order of the day. These are austere times that the average fan is now living in, yet it seems hard-pressed fans can’t even bask in their beloved club’s memories for free. No, there has to be a price to be paid -and that’s sad.

More affluent fans should spare a thought for the disadvantaged; the elderly; the infirm; those who have lost their jobs and therefore their income; those that have been priced out of the game through sheer economic pressure, etc. Many of these will be life-long, loyal fans who, through no fault of their own, are simply unable to afford the £7 entrance fee; a charge which the club casually dismisses as comparable to a “cinema ticket” in its efforts to justify its decision. Yes, £7 may be loose change to some, but it’s a whole day’s meals to another.

I truly believe Wolves should have thrown open the doors to not only its loyal fanbase, but the whole City, too. Every proud Wulfrunian has a ‘share’, as I see it, in something that historically, and intrinsically, already belongs to our people. This is our City, our Club and our legacy -not yours, Mr. Morgan. You’re a mere caretaker of something much greater than any individual.

At a time when many fans are turning their backs on the club through disillusionment on the pitch (and ineptitude in Molineux’s ivory towers), here was your chance to give the spirit of Wolves’ history back to the very people who helped create a legend. Who knows, you may have recouped some support from those who felt their pride rekindled. You may have acquired new young fans, too. Instead, as is the way these days with the club that’s slowly lost its heart, you categorised it as a commercial investment. That says everything to me.

For a footballing institution that’s always been the very fabric of Wolverhampton itself, I find it all so very disappointing. No, you can count me out, Wolves. I think us fans already pay more than enough into the club coffers as it is -I know I have! I’m no more special than any other Wolf and I’d certainly never claim to be. I’m just a middle-aged bloke in his 50’s with around 45 years’ (mostly paying) support behind me. My views won’t reflect those of everyone else -that I know. I just feel so let down by a club that never seems to pass-up any money-making opportunity, even when it’s essentially an affair of the heart, such as this.

The question is: I’ve still got my heart, but has the club? On second thoughts, don’t answer, Wolves…..there may be a fee incurred.

Thanks to Ye Olde South Bank who left this comment on the E&S website.

Wolves 0 Millwall 1

Andy Keogh’s name was already etched into Molineux folklore long before last night.

Keeping his shirt on

His golden goal at Pride Park in 2009 is widely considered to be the moment that Wolves all but secured promotion.

A banner is even draped from the Billy Wright commemorating the raucous celebrations that followed.

I wonder if Keogh took a moment to drink that image in, before hopping onto the team bus and thanking his lucky stars he wasn’t hanging around?

The poignancy of his latest strike should not be overlooked.

This was not a Guedioura or a Davies situation. This was not a player that was moved on prematurely.

This was someone we’d outgrown and who’d become achingly surplus to requirements. A substitute that was himself substituted in his final Premier League outing for the club.

Yet there he was, lashing home to take his side fifth as Wolves sank to all new depths of despair.

A sign ladies and gentleman, of the times.

The game itself was familiar territory.

A promising start, Wolves on the front foot. Happy days are here again.

We should have had a penalty, no doubting that. Danny Shittu cleverly bounced Doyle so far away from the penalty area, that the referee simply couldn’t believe that first contact had been in the box. It was.

But when the breakthrough didn’t come, we lost our way and never found a way back.

Millwall dictated the second half. The football was turgid from both sides and chances were at a premium, but you always sensed the moment was building for them.

And so it was, in another moment of comical defending (as three defenders all got sucked towards the ball) that Andy was left all alone in the middle of goal to do the necessary.

The fans applauded, Solbakken slunk back into the dugout and somewhere high up in the executive boxes, men in suits were looking at each other wondering what to do next.