Archives for August 2014

Wolves 3 Blackburn Rovers 1

From ‘The Wonder of You’ as we arrived to Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ as we left…

Wolves celebrate blackburn

…Feel-good anthems are in plentiful supply at Molineux right now and after another hugely encouraging Championship performance, they’d rarely sounded so good.

Those miserable days, when we’d shuffle off home to that morbid Groundhog instrumental are but a distant memory, with every passing performance like this doing so much to change the record.

Progressive, passing football for those stymied stodge-fests of yesteryear and if music be the food of love, then let us jolly well eat.

A 3-1 triumph over a hugely impressive Blackburn Rovers possibly represents our best win of the season, as the men from Ewood Park looked easily the best team to play at Molineux this season.

Without testing Ikeme in the first half too often, there only looked to be one winner at 2-1 in the second, at the time Jordan Rhodes reduced arrears from a dubious looking penalty.

With the impressive Ben Marshall and the imperious Craig Conway weaving patterns around our penalty area, we were chasing shadows right up until the moment Bakary Sako converted Dicko’s cross to restore our two goal advantage.

From then on in, the Wolves side we’ve all taken to our hearts – that wonderful Wolves side – began to keep the ball in the same virtuous way we’ve been seeing since a January 3 away trip to Gillingham.

Batth and Stearman were typically assured against Blackburn’s blatant goal threat Rhodes and with Doherty and Golbourne alongside, we surely boast two of the most mobile full-backs in the division.

Behind Dave Edward’s lungbusting display of distinction, Lee Evans was only a tad less impressive than his Cardiff masterclass, with McDonald finishing the game like the Rolls Royce we’ve somehow purchased for the price of a Ford Focus.

Bakary Sako was undoubtedly man-of-the-match for his sumptuous first half free-kick, assist for Dicko’s opener and all-important killer goal in the second half.

Nouha Dicko meanwhile gave Grant Hanley and Jason Lowe more work than they probably thought possible from a lone man.

Finally, James Henry eased into his right midfield berth when replacing the booked van La Parra at half time, reminding us all what a safe pair of feet he represents.

And two new faces in Saville and Rowe suggests that this squad isn’t as light as we sometimes think.

With Blackburn nominally 14th in this embryonic league, it’s easy to see why it’s so bloody tough.

So with that in mind, we really shouldn’t expect Elvis on the tannoy every single week, however joyously indefinite it currently sounds.

But because I can’t help falling in love with what Kenny Jackett has created, expect me to sing along regardless.

Highlights

Wolves Vs Blackburn Rovers Preview

I don’t recall many home wins over Blackburn.

rhodes

The most recent clash, an agricultural 1-1 in Dean Saunders’ first game in charge, won’t last long in the memory banks either.

Before that there was a horrid 2-0 defeat in a season that saw both clubs fall through the Premier League trapdoor.

A year earlier Rovers triumphed again in a famous 3-2 where Stephen Hunt scored that goal. A glorious defeat I’ll grant you, but defeat all the same.

It’s about time then we had some joy out of this bogey fixture.

Blackburn

Blackburn-Rovers-iconLike Wolves, a significant reduction in off the field drama at Ewood Park has brought about an upturn in fortunes on it.

Gary Bowyer looks like a safe pair of hands and after narrowly missing out on the playoffs last time out, Rovers look well equipped to sustain a challenge this season.

They’ve got goals in their team and are playing hardball to keep them. A rebuffed £12 million offer from Hull for Jordan Rhodes was a strong statement of intent. Whether or not he’ll still be hanging around come September is another question completely.

But they’re not all about Rhodes. Rudy Gestede is finding the net regularly and there’s quality throughout the spine of their team from Paul Robinson in goal, big Grant Hanley at the back and young midfielder Tom Cairney looking to fulfill his much talked about potential.

Wolves

It says a lot that Wolves are currently playing the best passing football they’ve arguably ever managed, yet still decided to add another midfielder. George Saville will have a scrap on his hands to even make the bench at present.

Wolves Blackburn

Tommy Rowe should also be back in contention and with Lee Evans doing a stellar job alongside big Mac, there are options galore for Kenny.

I’m not expecting any changes to the side from last weekend but there are a wealth of options for the manager to explore should he so choose.

It’s exciting times at Molineux and the biggest challenge will almost certainly be keeping all of these talented, ambitious players happy.

The gaffer

Predictions

Well done to everyone who predicted victory over Cardiff.

There were 11 who bagged a maximum with the correct scoreline: MrAussieWolf, Mosman wolf, DCWolves, trenchmanmick, Twixfix, Dave h, Ed Farley, ManxWolf91, Benny, Sutton Wolf and Man in Sherpa Van.

Undoubtedly another tough game in prospect. Blackburn are an experienced and settled Championship unit. They also have the individuals to hurt us.

However I simply can’t predict anything other than a Wolves victory based on what I’ve seen so far this season, which in short is a pleasing continuation of our League One form against better opposition.

Confidence is high, Molineux expects and I back this team to deliver.

2-1

Up The Wolves

Wolves 1 Cardiff City 0

You don’t always get what you deserve.

Wolves Cardiff

Just ask Mark Hudson.

The big centre half manfully repelled everything a dominant Wolves side had to offer in the regulation ninety.

But a tired injury time slip and slice later, he’d denied his side what would have been a hard earned point.

It was cruel on the Cardiff skipper yet there can be no doubt Wolves merited the fortune.

For 45 glorious Molineux minutes, the home side subjected the Bluebirds to wave after wave of unrewarded bombardment.

Sako hit the inside of the post from the corner flag, van La Parra headed wide and Doherty could only graze the side netting but the crowd purred at the prowess of Wolves’ zip-zapping possession football.

And whilst yes, conversion rate remains a significant concern, nobody can deny this is a wonderful team playing some of the best football we’ve seen in decades.

Team is the crucial word. This isn’t about a few talented individuals carrying the weak links. This is one to eleven operating as a fluid and cohesive unit. It’s fantastic to watch.

Kenny’s boys didn’t have it all their own way of course and when Cardiff got their act together after the break, it could be argued they carried the greater threat.

They definitely created the clearest chance of the game with Kenywe Jones only able to fire straight at Carl Ikeme from point blank distance. The keeper did well to stand up strong.

Wolves were huffing and puffing by that stage but dutifully stuck to their passing principles and forced the all important mistake.

The finish might have owed much to lady luck, but they again shuffled the ball smartly to McDonald in the crossing position and the law of averages did the rest.

With a whopping 67% share of possession yesterday (incidentally Chelsea only managed 63% against Leicester) it’s clear Wolves always had an element of control.

And any team will do well to get anything at Molineux this season if the home side can replicate that type of ball retention on a consistent basis.

Consistency will perhaps be the greatest challenge of all over a grueling 46 game season.

But nothing we’ve seen so far suggests Wolves won’t continue to get what their performances deserve.

The gaffer