Archives for January 2013

Leicester City Vs Wolves Preview

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy a Thursday evening, Sky come along and spoil the party.

Wolves Leicester

On the plus side, if Wolves do slip to another traumatising nil-pwa we should all have sufficient recovery time to enjoy the weekend.

That’s something right?

I don’t need to tell you Leicester are flying high and after a few seasons of steady building, now look well set for promotion.

Much like Cardiff, they’ve suffered enough Championship football to warrant a crack at the Premiership. Good luck to them I say.

It’s tight for second place, with the likes of Hull, Palace and Middlesborough refusing to go away and Watford sneaking up on the rails.

So they need the points.

Fortunately for the Foxes, they boast a formidable home record with 10 wins from 14 matches and only 2 defeats.

An already strong squad has been further bolstered by the acquisition of Albion forward Chris Wood. He’s hit the ground running and poses a real threat.

Wolves

I’m hoping that by the time Wolves come out the tunnel at the Walkers Stadium, my preferred lineup will have been rendered obsolete by a flurry of new signings.

Or is that foolishly optimistic?

It’s not surprising that Richard Stearman has packed his bags for Ipswich, but should we really be loaning a player to a relegation rival? Selling him to get some cash maybe, but a loan? I’m not sure what that achieves.

Anyway, assuming we have the same pool of players to choose from as Blackpool minus Roger Johnson, this would be my team:

Wolves team for Leicester

Batth should be given his chance if Johnson’s ban isn’t overturned. I remain unconvinced from the glimpses I’ve seen that he’s significantly better than what we’ve got, but he deserves a proper run in the side to prove he can be.

If Zubar isn’t crocked, he must play right-back and it’s a toss-up between Foley and Ward on the opposite side. No real preference for me. That would be an area we’ll almost certainly see filled by a new arrival (you would hope).

It’s got to be five across the midfield.

Doyle was a passenger against Blackpool, so by dropping him and bringing in Davis, we can free up Sako, O’Hara and Peszko to get forward and support a lone forward.

That lone forward should be Siggy for me. He’s yet to enjoy an extended run in the side and what do we have to lose by giving him a chance?

Predictions

15 people correctly predicted doom against Blackpool.

The following 6 of those got the scoreline too for maximum points, so well done to: westozwolf, ash k, timberwolf, MrAussieWolf, Old Goldy and me.

It’s a single for the other 9.

Against all my better judgment I think we might take something from this game. Not confident enough to go all out though.

1-1

Up The Wolves.

Wolves1 Blackpool 2

If only our hopeless, fraudulent players could be replaced as regularly as the yardstick I use to measure this season of despair.

Blackpool wolves

At the start of the campaign it would be the levels of nausea associated with that wretched violin track that accompanies our journey to the exits at full time.

You know the one. It’s the soundtrack beneath the ‘defeat’ button on the PA system, second only to the ‘drugs don’t work’ for soul destroying misery. I hate it.

By October the yardstick had shifted to my levels of repulsion towards David Dickinson’s Money Shop loan ad where a ‘seamless’ video wall once lived.

It keeps catching my eye as I look anywhere other than the football pitch for salvation and again, it defies my DNA.

But today, as I sit here contemplating yet another defeat with a shrieking violin in my ears, my yardstick has again been upgraded to cope with a new found low.

It arrives in the shape of my Bradford City supporting friend, who sat with me yesterday after I sat with him at Villa Park four days before.

One team, full of pride, passion and no little pace, reducing a grown man to tears and briefly rekindling all those emotions I’ve not felt for Wolves in years.

A law defying, humble team, more lovable than Charlotte Jackson in a swimming costume.

If there was a more deflated, dejected Villa fan than me at full time then I’d have been surprised, notwithstanding my delight for a good pal that has suffered more than most.

As we walked down Waterloo Road for the ‘return’ experience yesterday, I reminisced about the days when I could aspire for something special.

‘Ben, we’ve had 12 years of misery so it’s been a long time coming,’ he said at 2.55pm.

At 4.55pm, he’d changed his tune…

‘I feel genuinely sad for you. And I can’t see where you go from here,’ he consoled, as that blasted soundtrack violated my eardrums again.

A perennial League Two sufferer, supporting a once bankrupt-threatened club feeling genuinely concerned for a Wolves fan.

And the most sobering, upgraded yardstick to measure this season of unprecedented misery?

I genuinely feel envious of him.

*For a summary of the game: Zubar offered a refreshing alternative, set one up. Then Johnson cocked up. Then we were as crap as ever. Then Johnson cocked up again. Slow, ponderous shite.

Wolves Vs Blackpool Preview

After we beat Blackpool prior to Christmas I foolishly thought things would get better.

Blackpool Wolves

Yes, Wolves were lucky to get the win, but the result made it 9 points from 12, with two favourable home fixtures to come.

Limp to January and sort it out, I hoped.

Well, we haven’t won since. The 4 consecutive defeats that followed were enough to account for Ståle Solbakken and Dean Saunders has yet to arrest the slide.

Two scruffy draws mean the Welshman remains undefeated, but the mood around Molineux remains downcast.

Blackpool too are struggling.

The Tangerines haven’t won either since that pre-Christmas dust up and Michael Appleton’s shock departure has left them managerless.

Funny to think then that the last time this fixture was contested was in the Premier League.

Wolves

I wasn’t upset by the result at Hillsborough, but the performance was dire and we should have been beaten.

Saunders deployed the same passive, non-midfield we saw against Blackburn. We’ve got players sitting on the sidelines who can do better and create more. He needs to be braver and use them.

It’s understandable that he wants to shut the back door, but the side needs some balance and we need to be more adventurous at home. Something like:

Blackpool preview

I’d like to see what the Sigurdarson/Ebanks-Blake partnership could do with some forward thinking midfielders to supply them.

Blake has been pulverised and written-off this season, but he’s a finisher in a team that never gives him service. His all-round game has always been poor.

I find stories that Zubar could be sold strange, given that the new manager obviously identified him as an important player. We should keep him for the remainder of the season because for all his gaffes, he brings pace and athleticism, two commodities we’re desperately short on.

Predictions

14 people correctly predicted a draw after I pointed out that ‘hardly anyone predicts a draw’ in the Sheffield Wednesday preview.

So well done to all of you. Nobody said 0-0 though, so it’s singles all round.

I suspect Saunders will field a similarly negative team for the third consecutive game.

And based on that logic, I think we might get found out against a Blackpool team with some decent attacking talent.

2-1 loss I’m afraid.

Hope I’m wrong about the team and the result.

Up The Wolves.

A travesty and an insult

Billy Wright’s omission from the Football Association’s 150 year commemorative crest is an insult to one of the all time greats of our national game.

Billy Wright

Naturally I, like every other Wolves supporter, am heavily biased towards an icon of our club’s proud history.

But when you strip away the emotion and leave only the facts, I’m confident every football fan would agree that Wright’s exclusion from the crest is abhorrent.

These are some of those facts:

BillyPictured: Portsmouth win the FA Cup in 2008 with a team that subsequently leads them towards financial ruin.

Not pictured: Billy Wright becomes the first player in the entire world to win 100 caps for his country.

Pictured: Howard Wilkinson joins the FA.

Not pictured: Billy Wright leads his country out as captain for the 90th time, a record that has never been surpassed and only equalled by the great Bobby Moore.

Pictured: Don Revie becomes England manager. He fails to qualify the national side for a single major tournament, a feat only matched by Steve McClaren.

Not pictured: Billy Wright captains his country in three consecutive World Cup finals (1950, 1954 and 1958).

I could go on.

I haven’t even mentioned that Wright made 650 appearances for club and country and was never once sent off or even cautioned by a referee.

Surely then, in an era when the FA are struggling to clean up our game, he should be carried front and center, not shoved to one side?

If you agree, please do take a moment to add your name to the online petition started by Wolves supporter Chris Ward. You can go there directly by clicking here. There’s also a dedicated Facebook page that’s been setup here.

In addition I’ll be putting this article out on Facebook and Twitter, so if you’d like to support the petition, please do share it with your respective networks.

Wolves Blog Postcard Stop #2 – Edmonton, Alberta

After it’s second journey, the postcard landed in Alberta Canada, experiencing generous hospitality from Wolves Blog regular Jed. Massive thanks to him for the following.

jed postcard

Being born and raised in Stoke, I spent the majority of my life as the only Wolves fan that I knew of, so I was happy to continue that when I moved to sunny St. Albert, Alberta, Canada in 2007.

Little did I know that a small group of expats and a lone Canadian (who thinks he’s English), that all share the same passion that is Wolverhampton Wanderers, would soon be forming the now famous Edmonton Wolves Supporters Club.

This is a beautiful part of the world. This picture is taken on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River which flows right through the city:

Joel

My lad Joel is proudly holding the postcard. I took it earlier today when we reached the daytime temperature high, a balmy -25C! We have snow here from October to April, fortunately it’s followed by a hot and sunny summer.

When I first came over I went to one of the local football matches, Edmonton FC v some other team I’d never heard of, eager to continue my love of watching live games, and still reeling from having to give up my Wolves season ticket.

As I walked up to my seat, proudly displaying my Wolves shirt, I heard this broad Cannock accent shout ‘Bloody hell didn’t think I’d see another Wolves shirt over here!’. That accent belonged to little Jimbo and our friendship began.

A few months later I was taking my lad Joel to play in his U6 football game and he shouted ‘Dad there’s a bloke over there in a Wolves shirt’. Replying ‘Yeah okay’ and thinking it was something to do with his over active imagination, I looked up to see Pete who was striding towards me with a big daft smile on his dimpled face.

Pete then introduced us to our lone Canadian friend Burnie, who was keen to add Wolves to his numerous favourite teams (Canadians change teams more times than they change their under crackers!). The Edmonton Wolves Supporters club was formed!

The main purpose if our club is to sit in the pub and moan about how crap we are and when will they sack fat Jez.

Canada is a country that is hockey crazy, ice hockey not the ladies game that few of us played back at school. I keep trying to tell my Canadian friends that it’s a girls game but it’s difficult to convince them when most hockey players are 8’10” and built like the proverbial brick structures found in the back yards of terraced houses. They can’t compete with the song singing as all North American teams have one song ‘Lets go [insert any team name] Lets Go!’ and repeat. YAWN!

This picture was taken last night in the basement of Jimbo’s house, known as Jimbo’s Man Cave where he has kindly installed a bar, pool table and dart board for us to abuse:

Edmonton Wolves

From left to right – Pete, Jimbo (standing on a box), Burnie and me. Interesting that the Canadian is the only one wearing a Wolves shirt!

Thomas: You can follow the progress of the Wolves Blog Postcard on a new section of the site I’ve created specifically for it. And if you’re interested in adding your name to the list of people who’d like to receive the card, contact me.

Sheffield Wednesday 0 Wolves 0

Becoming a millionaire, travelling the world and being mortgage free…

Wolves Wednesday

…They are just three of 50 things we all dream about but rarely ever achieve, according to the Daily Express.

If they’d have conducted the poll in the WV1 postcode, the wish-list might have featured less materialism and more modesty.

A vision of a few weathered souls springs to mind, who plead for their football club to be resuscitated from its interminable state of unconsciousness.

Foley losing possession; Doyle treading on the ball; Berra getting caught; Ward giving possession away; Ebanks-Blake isolated.

The same old losers, making the same old errors, failing to register a meaningful shot on goal all game.

If there’s even a molecule of energy left in a poor supporter’s soul to scratch his/her head, Jez Moxey will soon take aim with his tranquiliser gun of soundbites to force them back to sleep.

Hillsborough

In every way, this soporific, pathetic football team is the very epitome of a club that makes absurdity an art form.

On the pitch we have a right back playing right midfield.

Off the pitch we have no money to strengthen despite an embarrassment of riches (and a fabled treasure chest).

On the pitch we have two immobile, wretched strikers incapable of fashioning a single chance.

Off the pitch Dean Saunders says they’re the best in the league.

On the pitch we have no discernible quality anywhere across it.

Off the pitch we need to offload a drove of donkeys – who nobody wants – to ‘bring a couple in.’

And if all that wasn’t enough, one manager is sacked after six months in place of another who needs two years.

If nothing in black and white makes sense, then what rationality for black and gold, against a team who are supposedly poor?

If Steve Morgan’s boundless levels of idiocy are anything to go by, then don’t expect it to change either. If you’re not already unconscious, then don’t even dream.

Picture becoming a millionaire, travelling the world and being mortgage free instead.