Archives for February 2014

Wolves 2 Notts County 0

Notts County striker Jimmy Spencer gave his local rag the kind of sparkling soundbite every journalist dreams about last week.

Wovles Notts County

When asked about his side’s prospects ahead of their visit to Molineux, he nonchalantly replied ‘It’s a harder game this week, but Wolves aren’t Real Madrid, are they?’

I wonder if he thought about the comment yesterday as he exited the field after being substituted on the hour mark?

By that time Michael Jacobs had deservedly steered another game in the home side’s favour with two goals fit for Bernabeu consumption.

The first, a rising header after a slick passing move that resulted in Scott Golbourne lifting a perfectly weighted cross into his path.

The second, a thunderous low drive that exploited the tightest of spaces between goalkeeper and post following a brilliant interception and forward dash from Richard Stearman.

And two should really have been four or five.

The resurgent Bakary Sako twice channeled Roberto Carlos with missiles that only instinctive saves from the County keeper could repel.

Nouha Dicko, again impressive as the lone forward, was uncharacteristically wasteful when presented with a tap-in by his French compatriot.

James Henry too, intelligently darting in behind a static County defence couldn’t find the finish his smart run warranted.

All afternoon the chances flowed like Sangria as Wolves showed the far greater attacking menace in a match that wasn’t always one-way traffic.

Shaun Derry’s side took an equal share of the possession and spent the last twenty minutes camped inside the opposition’s half.

But whilst the hosts peppered the County goal with 18 shots, the away team could only muster one effort on target all afternoon.

And that’s the difference.

Kenny Jackett has cleverly engineered a Wolves side that play with both precision and purpose. It’s lovely to watch.

Still, Callum McGrefgor and Jack Grealish could have spoiled the party had either managed to hit the target with glorious chances in either half.

It’s unlikely Brentford will be as forgiving next week. But with Wolves playing their best football of the season, the Bees will have just as much to fear.

And it’s not like they’re Bayern Munich is it?

Highlights

Football Aid 2014 – Play at Molineux

How would you like to Live Your Dream of running out at Molineux alongside a Wolves Legend before taking part in a 90 minute match on the hallowed turf?

Football aid 2014

Well now’s your chance as Wolverhampton Wanderers FC have once again joined forces with Football Aid – www.footballaid.com – to give fans the opportunity to play at Molineux in 2014 and raise valuable funds for charity at the same time.

Football Aid offers Wolves fans the unique opportunity to experience a matchday in the same way the likes of Danny Batth, Bakary Sako and Samuel Ricketts and co do every other week. Players will gain exclusive access to the pitch and tunnel areas, pull on their own personalised shirt in the official changing rooms, walk down the tunnel to the sound of a cheering crowd and step out on the pitch and represent Wolves in a never to be forgotten 90 minutes of football!

To add to that, the matches at Molineux have also been supported by a host of fantastic Wolves legends in recent years, with the likes Matt Murray, Jody Craddock, Lee Naylor, Rob Edwards, Don Goodman, Andy Mutch, Robbie Dennison, David Kelly, Jon Purdie (and many more) all lending their extra special support by playing alongside or managing the fans on their big day.

Football aid Don

Positions are now available in our Auction Bidding and securing a position couldn’t be easier, just visit www.footballaid.com and choose the Wolverhampton Wanderers game and then you’ll have two options: Option 1: Bid to Play – Enter your Maximum Bid and if you’re the highest bidder when the position closes you’ll win your place on your Field of Dreams, or Option 2: Buy Now – Close the auction early and secure your place with a one off payment online. Positions close at regular intervals until Tue 12th March and opening Bids start from just £170.

Wolves fan Gary Brazier played in a game at Molineux and told Football Aid about his experience after last year’s event:

Football aid 3“Would just like to thank you and the rest of the football aid team for what was a fantastic experience at Molineux last night. From the minute we arrived to the minute we left, my family and I had a truly wonderful evening. And to top it all, getting 6 ex Wolves players to turn up is remarkable. Once again, thank you”

So if you’re keen to secure a place on your Field of Dreams this season, why not visit www.footballaid.com and sign up today! Alternatively if you’d like any additional information, you can call Football Aid on tel: 0131 220 5999, e-mail: info@footballaid.com, post on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/footballaid or send a tweet to @FootballAid.

Since forming in 2001 Football Aid have allowed over 14,000 football fans the chance to Live the Dream in 535 charity matches all over the UK. The unique concept was the brainchild of businessman and Football Aid Chairman Craig Paterson and funds raised from this year’s events will benefit the work of a charitable project nominated by Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, as well as projects nominated by Football Aid’s parent charity Field of Dreams.

Wolves Vs Notts County Preview

I was at Meadow Lane back in November to see Wolves secure a narrow 1-0 victory.

Wolves Notts County

That was a period in the season when the performances weren’t particularly inspiring, but the results were still coming.

But it was actually a 20-minute spell in the second half of that game that I first started to feel truly encouraged about what Kenny Jackett was building.

McDonald started to get on the ball and dictate play,  Golbourne was bombing forward and the likes of Sako and Henry were creating chances for the forwards.

It certainly wasn’t a complete performance, but you could clearly see the intention for neat, possession-based football. We were just a few players short of doing it efficiently.

Fast forward to now and we have filled the holes and look a very good team, by League One standards at least.

Notts County

Notts_County_LogoFortunately, I didn’t go to the other fixture between these two sides, which was the Johnstones Paint Trophy stalemate at Molineux that ended in penalty shootout win for County.

Wolves were woeful that evening and would have lost the game in regulation time had it not been for a string of Carl Ikeme saves.

But that victory for County was a rare highlight of a disappointing first half of the season. They’ve changed manager since, brought in a shed load of loan signings and are now a completely different proposition.

Result have been mixed of late, including a 5-1 home defeat to Walsall, a narrow 4-3 loss against Peterborough, but most recently a solid 3-0 victory over Coventry.

The Magpies easily have the worst away record, with 12 defeats from 16 games to date and only 2 wins. They have firepower though, in the shape of midfielder and Wolves-target Callum McGregor, currently on loan from Celtic.

Wolves

Carl Ikeme could feature tomorrow after returning from injury. I’d be happy to see him back between the sticks, but equally have confidence in Aaron McCarey, whose done little wrong in his clutch of appearances.

Wolves team for Crawley

Others that could come into contention for a start are James Henry, Lee Evans and Matt Doherty (I think he’s back in the squad). But I don’t the above eleven will be far off.

With so many games to come in March, the strength of the squad will be severely tested. Although we have the above options waiting in the wings, I’d worry if we lost the likes of McDonald and Dicko for any period of time. I’m sure KJ will be dipping into the loan market.

The gaffer

The odds

Wolves are strong favourites for the win at 9/20. County are a favourable 15/2. A £1 bet on any County win returns £8.50, so if you’re feeling pessimistic, this is a good game to put that insurance policy in place.

Nouha Dicko is the most likely first goalscorer at 15/4. The prolific (of late) Kevin McDonald is 7/1, while Callum McGregor is 11/1.

All odds are available from here.

Predictions

No game last weekend so no PL points. I’ve updated the table so please do make sure you have the points you think you should have. Email me any errors via the contact page.

I don’t think County are as bad a team now as their overall position suggests. As Kenny said in his pre-match interview, they’ve used the loan market well and have some useful players.

Still, I think if Wolves play well, as they have been of late, I can only see one outcome.

3-1

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