Archives for September 2013

Shrewsbury Town 0 Wolves 1

Football matches are so often decided by the finest of margins.

Wolves Shrewsbury

And with the exception of Tuesday night’s defeat, Wolves have developed the rather useful knack of gaining the edge.

Shrewsbury must wonder quite how Curtis Main failed to convert from underneath the crossbar as the home side seemed destined to break the deadlock.

Had the on loan Middlesbrough striker been less charitable, Wolves would almost certainly be nursing morale-sapping, back-to-back defeats.

But where Main failed from a yard, Sako succeeded from 12 to ensure his side continued to hang on the coattails of the early pacesetters.

Was it a penalty?

Without the benefit of Sky technology, only Jon Taylor probably knows. He remains defiant (via Twitter):

Jon Taylor Tweet

Correct or not though, it’s pleasing that Wolves were able to force the decision by continuing to push forward late on.

Matt Doherty deserves the plaudits for his powerful, goal-bound header that forced Taylor into action. He’s deceptively strong in the air and always shows an appetite to get on the end of things.

Bjorn Sigurdarson is another aerial threat and he was unlucky to see a smart header come back off the post from an inch perfect Scott Golbourne cross.

Sako too was unlucky, forcing a smart save with an instinctive shot from the edge of the area to once again demonstrate the importance of getting him into the right areas.

The confident manner in which he dispatched the spot-kick shouldn’t be ignored either. Unlike many, I find it impossible to be critical of a player that always tries to make something happen, even when it goes spectacularly wrong.

Carl Ikeme was again central to the action with a succession of smart saves and neat handling to earn his third cleansheet of the season.

Given Shrewsbury’s dominance in periods, some would call this ‘smash and grab’ while others might suggest it was the perfect away performance.

Me? I’m just happy with the result, regardless of the margin.

Video highlights

Shrewsbury Town Vs Wolves Preview

Tuesday wasn’t a pleasant experience.

Shrewsbury

And the most disappointing aspect was that Walsall didn’t have to play particularly well for the win.

A home defeat had been coming but to lose without creating a single chance from open play was very poor.

But we move on and it will be fascinating to see how both Kenny Jackett and his young team respond to the first major setback of the season.

When you’re chasing promotion the key is to not let one bad result become the start of a run. We know from last season how quickly things can turn sour.

Shrewsbury

Graham Turner will be satisfied with his team’s start to the season, sitting comfortably in midtable on eight points.

The Shrews finished 16th last season, but comfortably avoided the drop. I wonder if their ambitions stretch further this season?

They’re yet to lose at the New Meadow in the league with a win and two draws from their three homes matches.

I’ll hold my hand up and admit complete ignorance on their playing squad. Looking down their teamsheets I don’t spot any immediately familiar names.

But young forward Tom Bradshaw has three goals to his name so far and will definitely be one to watch out for.

I do know that they’re a very young, inexperienced side, so it’s important Wolves get on top of them early and ask questions.

Wolves

I’d like to see a return to 442 for this one. I think KJ has over complicated matters of late, trying to find a solution to our gaping midfield. But with two strikers and two proper wide men we’ve already seen we can put teams on the back foot. This would be my XI:

Wolves team for Shrewsbury

That team solves a major problem we encountered on Tuesday, namely: a chronic lack of width.

I’d like to see Sako playing properly in front of Golbourne, not tucked inside. The full back seemed reluctant to try and make a yard for a cross so we can’t rely on him to put decent balls into the box. I also don’t want to see Sako playing all his football on the halfway line. We want him in the final third.

Ismail must play. Yes, he’s lightweight and gets caught in possession, but every other option has so far failed. I also believe that with an investment of games, Zeli will rapidly improve.

Two strikers please Kenny. Any two will do from Doyle/Griffiths/Siggy but play them both properly up front.

The odds

I guess Wolves will be favourites in most games this season and theme continues in this time. They’re at evens to get a win.

Shrewsbury are 3/1 and the draw is available at 13/5.

Kevin McDonald is decent odds for the first goal at 14/1. He’s a lovely footballer to watch and I’d love to see him getting forward more. I could not believe he was taken off against Walsall. Lunacy.

All odds are available from here.

Predictions

Walsall winning on Tuesday made my life a lot easier, as only 5 people scored points in the PL.

Tettenhall Wolf, BobbaWolf, TwixFix, AmberWolf and Rich all thought Wolves would come a cropper, but none got the scoreline correct, so it’s singles all round.

I’ll sit on the fence and plump for a draw this time. I’d like to see us bounce back with a convincing win, but I just wonder how much confidence has been shaken of late.

2-2.

Up The Wolves.

Wolves Blog Postcard Stop #4 – Santiago, Chile

Just when I’d given up hope, the Wolves Blog Postcard has resurfaced. Colm in Santiago, Chile sent me the following:

colm santiago

Apologies, apologies, apologies! I have the post card. I received the card shortly before we left Chile as we are now back in the UK and the move has meant it slipped off MY personal radar.

Wolves Blog Chile 2

The two pictures on the rugby field are taken in the grounds of The Grange School, which is the poshest school in Santiago where I was the Principal of the Prep School and my two boys Fintan and Cormac attended. The blondest boy is one of their friends, Jose Miguel.

Wolves Blog postcard Chile

Although cloudy you can just make out the Andes mountains in the background. The other photo which has the card silhouetted is Cormac from the top floor of a hotel. You get a better view of the mountains in this one.

Chile postcardI am from the Dougan, Richards, Wagstaffe, Hibbitt & Munro era. My first game was in in 1973 – a home defeat to Ipswich Town.

Richards scored our goal and whilst we were pretty poor that day it wasn’t nearly as bad as the dismal 0-2 defeat by Ipswich last season which was my last live game and possibly one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen.

I live in Yorkshire at the moment but will hope to get to some games this season. In the middle of 2014 we are moving to South Korea and perhaps if I promise not to hide the card for several months like this time, you might let me take some photos from the Far East!

You can track the progress of the Wolves Blog Postcard and register your interest in receiving it on the dedicated section here.