Archives for February 2014

Wolves Blog Postcard Stop #6 – Pissouri, Cyprus

After criss-crossing the globe from the USA(twice) to Canada, to Chile and then down under to Aussie, the Wolves postcard arrived safely in a somewhat less exotic location………. Abergavenny, South Wales, my home for the last 8 years.

Martin Pissouri

The only problem was, the postcard was there……..but I wasn’t. I was 2000 miles away in Pissouri, Cyprus escaping the awful British weather and the interminable Welsh rain.

Cue a helpful Welsh sister-in-law, and a few weeks later the postcard arrived for its own little sojourn in the sun.

Postcard drying out in Pissouri

Being born in the south of England, I never lived anywhere near Wolverhampton but my dad was born and bred there and I caught the Wolves bug from him as a young child.

I’ve remained completely besotted all my life, an infatuation I have already shared with fellow bloggers in ‘Old Gold Love Affair‘.

Living, variously, in Berkshire, Surrey, Bournemouth and now South Wales, I’ve probably watched Wolves as many times at away grounds as at the Golden Palace. And watching my team has not become any easier now I’m spending large parts of the footy season in Cyprus. All this has never stopped me thinking, reading and talking(my poor wife) about the club I love, far more than is sensible for a man of my age. Obsessed is definitely the word.

We’ve had some decent players in recent times and , of course, the legend that is Steve Bull. But for me, nothing can compare with the team of my youth…. Munro, Bailey, Hibbitt, Richards, Dougan and the rest. Those were the days!

I do feel very positive about what’s happening at the club at the moment, though, and am hopeful that good times are ahead.

Of course lapping up the sun is all very well, but I still have to get my Molineux fix from time to time. So, on the pretence of visiting the mother-in-law, me, the wife and, of course, the postcard, flew back to the freezing cold and rain of Abergavenny in January.

Postcard & the Black Mountains viewed from the Sugarloaf Mountain

The postcard went for a mercifully brief visit to the mother-in-law’s and then accompanied me and my wife, Kay, up to Wolverhampton for the Bristol City game.

Kay has no interest in football but she loves the weekends spent with the DOOGooders at our favourite Wolverhampton resort, A Parkview Hotel.

As usual, it was great fun, particularly as we were able to celebrate another win, an excellent performance and the present Mrs DOOGooder’s birthday. Perfect.

Celebrations after the match

My wife took that photo, so here’s one with her in it. The love of my life. . .

Kay with Steve Bull picture

. . . STEVE BULL!

So now it’s back to Cyprus and this had better be the last live game I see this season.

Because we’re not back until May and that’s when the play-offs start!

* Thomas: Don’t forget you can track the progress of the postcard, read previous articles and find out how to receive it yourself on the dedicated Wolves Blog Postcard section here.

Water-themed Wolves XI

In lieu of a match report and with another match falling victim to the wet weather, I thought I’d conjure up a Wolves all-time ‘water themed football XI.’

Wolves rain XI

1. Malcolm FINlayson

2. Floyd STREETE’s flooded

3. Dennis WETcott

4. Ron FLOWERS won’t need watering

5. Alun Good ‘EVANS

6. Willie CARR won’t start

7. Hugh McIlMORE rain

8. Sylvan RIVER-Banks Blake

9. Andy MUTCH too wet

10. Ted ANGRY Farmer

11. WELLIE Olofinjana

Subs:

12. Andy GREY skies

13. Colin CAMERON’S just turned up

14. Ethan RIVER BANKS Landell

Manager

MAJOR JET STREAM Buckley

Thanking you

Stevenage Vs Wolves Preview

MATCH POSTPONED

I’m really hoping this isn’t another wasted preview.

Wolves Stevenage

No official pitch inspection has been reported as I write this, but plenty of Stevenage fans have taken to Twitter to log postponement predictions.

If it does get called off, the prospect of another tricky midweek away match awaits, which is far from ideal.

There are already eight (yes eight) League One matches scheduled for March. The sort of fixture congestion the top brass love to moan about.

Stevenage

Stevenage_Football_ClubScoring goals has been Stevenage’s problem this season. Only Sheffield United (26) have scored fewer than their 27.

They remain bottom of the table, but two wins in their last three against Swindon and Gillingham have given Graham Westley’s team renewed hope of survival.

With 7 home defeats already and just 4 wins, The Lamex Stadium hasn’t been a fortress, so Wolves should (theoretically) have little to fear.

Francois Zoko is their main threat and he has 7 league goals this season. Quite how he failed to add to that tally at Molineux earlier in the season is anyone’s guess. He missed an open goal.

Wolves

Four wins in a row is exactly the type of response we needed after that disastrous loss at Gillingham. Momentum has been regained and performance levels are at a season-high.

Wolves team for Crawley

Kenny Jackett believes Wolves can get by with the striking options he has on the basis that even if he only has one fit, he can use the likes of Edwards or Evans or Jacobs tucked in behind. Recent evidence suggests he’s probably right.

But with Clarke in the team it looks a slightly more conventional 442. It will be interesting to see if KJ maintains that team or considers bringing James Henry or Lee Evans back in for more midfield support.

The odds

Wolves are strong favourites for the win at 3/4. Stevenage are 21/5 and the draw is 14/5.

If you’d taken my tip on Kevin McDonald as first scorer for the last two matches, you’d have been even more pleased with recent results than most. He’s a less profitable 8/1 this week.

All odds can be found here.

The gaffer

Predictions

71 of you thought Wolves would overcome Bradford last weekend. Well done to the 13 who also got the 2-0 scoreline to double their points tally.

Logic can only dictate that Wolves win this game. We’re in good form, we’ve got better players and Stevenage are the league’s bottom side.

Of course there’s always the nagging suspicion that on a tight pitch with the crowd close to the action an upset could be on the cards. But I think we’re good enough to overcome the situation.

2-0

Up The Wolves!

An ode to Leigh

On paper, he was here for three years. On the pitch, he was here for a mere 32 games. But in my mind, the memory of Leigh Griffiths will live forever.

Leigh Griffiths

Sure, the impudent Scotsman might have been a wee tinker at times off the pitch but I always thought he was exemplary on it – irrespective of a grossly unfair post MK Dons criticism.

And for two memorable reasons alone (not to mention 13 goals at a great rate) he will go down as a personal cult hero, joining an elite band of men including Mark Kendall (RIP), Keith Downing, Alex Rae and Big Chris Iwelumo.

Back to those two moments:

1. Whipping the South Bank up in injury time just seconds before he took the winning penalty against Crawley. It was cheeky, it was nerveless and in a Wolves shirt, it was a sight none of us manic depressive wrecks thought we’d see. Naturally, he scored.

2. Mimicking Lee Hughes’ infuriating goal celebration, before nutmegging him, before posting a #megs hashtag on twitter. I was proud to say I was there to see Griffiths rub our arch enemy’s nose in it and the vision will go down as the most instantaneously joyous, euphoric and ‘have some of that’ moment I can ever remember in 25 years.

I yearned for more moments like those and now Griffiths has departed, so too has a Wolves player with a personality to ever get close to repeating them.

Like Ronnie O’Sullivan on the green baize, Griffiths made for compulsive viewing on the green grass, with or without the Rocket’s trophy cabinet to boast. Sure, there might be more assiduous professionals out there, but none with the personality to genuinely make me smile – and make me want to come back for more.

Leigh Griffiths was a lovable one-off, with an infectious ability to play the game like all South Bankers dream of doing every Sunday morning…

…With a smile, a swagger, and a rough edge or two to drive a manager barmy.

In keeping with today’s insufferable tendency for open letters, I am going to write one to a man who wore the number 9 with distinction.

Dear Leigh

From the moment you arrived to the moment you left, you successfully achieved what hundreds of non-entities failed to do over twice the length of time. You made me smile.

You made me smile when you fell asleep in pre-season training, you made me smile when you eventually came back from Hibs, and you made me smile when sledging trolls on twitter with all the subtlety of Frankie Boyle.

You had a whopping personality to bely your 5ft 10in frame and on behalf of my adoring 5 year-old son whose shirt bears your name, you will be missed.

Thanks for the memories.

Ben

Wolves 2 Bradford City 0

If Friday was a day of change, Saturday was business as usual.

Wolves Bradford

Another home match, another convincing performance, another well-earned three points.

Another cleansheet, another McDonald masterclass, another Dicko goal.

To the uninformed looking inward, Wolves might seem weaker for the loss of those familiar Deadline Day departures.

The reality is they are infinitely better off.

Where once there were only names scribbled together on a sheet of paper, now there is a team.

A defence that can actually defend (fewest goals conceded in the football league), a midfield that can actually pass and a strikeforce that can actually score.

Add to that a manager who actually knows what he’s doing and you’re suddenly talking about a strong, formidable Wolverhampton Wanderers.

It might only be League One, it might only be Bradford City but the football is as good as it’s ever been.

For as long as time can remember, opposing managers have instructed their teams to start strongly and turn the Molineux crowd against the home side.

These days, the opposition are lucky if they get a foot on the ball for the first twenty minutes as Wolves pass, move and repeat with pleasing efficiency.

If Mick McCarthy’s brilliant 2008 team were a shot-gun to the head, Kenny Jackett’s current crop are more death by a thousand cuts.

It’s a smarter approach. More efficient, more technical, and worryingly for their promotion rivals, more sustainable.

Bradford can count themselves unlucky for two fabulous strikes that rebounded off woodwork and for a poor individual misjudgment that saw them reduced to 10 men for a significant portion of the contest.

But you sense that even had the rub of the green been more favourable to the visitors, Wolves would still have found a way to win.

Even Leon Clarke’s profligate debut couldn’t tarnish what was another measured and highly satisfactory home performance.

Nothing less was expected.

Highlights