Archives for November 2015

Wolves 0 MK Dons 0

When the winter freeze sets in, you always hope that a game of football can warm the cockles.

MK Dons Edwards

There was no chance of that Saturday. Instead we were made to endure one of the most laborious outings in recent Molineux history.

For weeks we’ve been telling ourselves that this Wolves team are too good to go down.

Unfortunately, I think it’s time for us to collectively take our heads out of the sand and accept that there is a real chance we could spend the second half of the season attempting to stave off relegation.

As defeatist as that sounds, it’s hard to argue against when you consider just how bad the opposition were at the weekend.

With all due respect to the MK Dons, I can’t recall seeing a team worse than them for some time. Slicing an improbable number of passes out of play and failing to muster a meaningful attempt on goal until the final throes of the game, they were inept at best.

Unfortunately, we were only marginally better. Whilst we dominated possession and got plenty of balls into the box, we never really looked like scoring. And, with almost half of the season gone, that’s a real cause for concern.

Our cause isn’t being helped by Benik Afobe’s perplexing insistence on dropping deep. Whilst I appreciate he got a goal at Ipswich last week, his influence on the team has waned considerably.

He was so ineffective today that I was actually hoping Grant Holt would be bought on (If anyone can shed any light on why we’ve signed him then I’m all ears).

Admittedly, he was one of many players guilty of wastefulness today. The key difference between Afobe and the rest of our attacking contingent, however, is that we naturally expect so much more from a player who was attracting Premier League interest not too long ago. If he can’t turn his meandering form around soon then it’s hard to see where the goals are going to come from.

Questions must of course be asked of our manager, who is looking more beleaguered by the week. His decision to haul the impressive Jordan Graham off after an hour was as frustrating for both its predictably and lack of sense.

Kenny is beginning to resemble a manager bereft of ideas and, given the considerable amount of good he has done over his tenure, we can only hope that changes sooner rather than later.

There’s still plenty of time for our team of fledglings to put an end to this malaise but this result certainly raises doubts about their ability to do so.

Anything other than victory at Rotherham next week should not – and most likely will not – be tolerated.

Wolves Vs MK Dons Preview

If you were looking for a run of fixtures to help you start a winning run, you’d probably hand pick most of our upcoming opponents.

Mk Dons

MK Dons and Rotherham have both beaten us in recent years, but currently make up two thirds of the relegation zone.

Then there’s back-to-back home games against indifferent Forest and Leeds outfits, who like us have failed to discover any sort of consistency.

None will be easy but this is a pivotal fortnight and points must be accumulated to at the very least put distance between ourselves and those below us.

It’s now or never lads.

MK Dons

MK_DonsA lack of goals and a dismal away record are systematic of a struggling team and that reflects the Dons’ season to date.

They’ve lost five of their eight matches on the road, winning just once and with only 15 goals registered, they’re among the lowest scorers in the division.

After making a solid start it’s been a slippery slope ever since and with four defeats from their last six, Karl Robinson is finding it difficult to halt the slide.

In fairness, getting promoted and losing your best player is never a good combination and that’s exactly what happened with Dele Alli.

The manager said from the outset they’d be operating with one of the lowest budgets in the league and looking at their squad, that’s clearly the case.

There are familiar names like Church, Maynard and Potter, who’ve all played at this level but are either bang average or past their best. It looks like being a tough season.


I can’t really find too much fault with Kenny’s team selections in recent weeks. I think he’s putting out more or less the best XI he’s got.

Team for MK Dons

Although there are definite areas for improvement, those are all players I would trust to go out and do a decent job in this division.

I’m looking forward to getting a good look at Jordan Graham so hopefully Kenny retains faith with him after impressing at Portman Road.

There will be a temptation to restore the 442 after Adam Le Fondre’s cameo helped save a point, but hopefully that’s resisted. I think the 451 (or 4231 if you prefer) remains the best option.

The gaffer


I went to both League One games against MK Dons a few years back and although the away match will live long in the memory for all the right reasons, they well and truly tonked us at Molineux.

They’re one of those teams who have a habit of suddenly coming up with a performance, so if we’re not at the races it could be a long afternoon.

That said, they’re naff away from home so I would back us to get a long overdue Molineux victory if we play halfway decent.


Up The Wolves!

Have you seen this shirt?

I get quite a lot of messages from programme collectors, autograph hunters and people looking for various odds and ends relating to our great club.

Manhattan shirt

Most of the time, I invite them to use the open forum and post comments to see if anyone can help. But when I received this message from Craig, I felt it warranted a post.

So hideous is the shirt he wishes to add to his personal collection, I feel compelled to aid him in his quest. Here’s Craig’s note:

The reason I’m contacting you is that I’m a bit of a collector of Wolves shirts and my pride and joy is my original Scoreline 1989 home shirt (the year and season I was born). But I have nearly every seasons home kit from then onwards to 2015.

However, I’ve found a shirt that’s from the early 90’s, it’s not a kit but a lesiure shirt made by Bukta. It’s the Manhatan Skyline Shirt and for some reason I’ve fallen in love with it and would really like to purchase an original one.

You don’t know anyone who might have one and are willing to sell? I’ll give it a proper good home and will of course wear it with absolute pride. Just really struggling to find one for sale.

If you’re prepared to admit you have this garment hanging in your wardrobe and are willing to sell, leave a comment below or contact me directly and I’ll put you in touch with Craig.

Ipswich Town 2 Wolves 2

Well, that’s one point we didn’t get last season.

Afobe Ipswich celebration

And perhaps we should accentuate the positives after twice fighting back to dig out a credible result.

History nearly repeated itself with Daryl Murphy putting them 2-1 ahead after a James Henry equaliser, but thankfully Benik Afobe rewrote the script.

It was good to see our talisman back on the scoresheet, particularly as we head into a run of winnable fixtures. He needed that shot of confidence.

Jordan Graham finally got his long overdue run out and was arguably Wolves’ best player and most potent attacking threat.

After seeing Sheyi Ojo and Nathan Byrne fail to consistently impress, he took his chance and must be a dead cert to continue against MK Dons next weekend.

Carl Ikeme was back between the sticks and it’s up for debate whether his odd positioning allowed them to score a soft looking second.

Adam Le Fondre emerged from the bench to give his team a much needed lift, causing problems with incisive runs. It was his inch perfect cross that allowed Afobe to nod in the equaliser.

Despite his contribution, 451 (without Le Fondre) reverting to 442 when needed seems like the best formula for consistently accruing points.

Kenny Jackett must also feel much better about his options from the bench these days, with two very different options in attack to choose from, a couple of wingers and suitable cover at the back.

With two games to come against teams inside the bottom three, it’s now or never for this squad to prove they belong higher up the ladder.

Many will recall a similar run of games in the season we were banished to League One. Peterborough and Ipwich were the opponents that year and both beat us to set the alarm bells ringing.

Something tells me we don’t have to worry about that type of pain and suffering, but if we can’t win either of these matches serious questions must be asked.

But while I’m accentuating positives, that’s something I simply refuse to contemplate.

Ipswich Town Vs Wolves Preview

The worst thing about being midtable is your outlook changes with each and every result.


Win and you’re suddenly dreaming about a run of positive form to get you back in the play-off picture.

Lose and you’re left wondering how many points are needed for safety.

But something about this team makes me think we needn’t stress about either. I think we’re about where we should be.

Whatever is on the horzion though, a long overdue victory against Mick McCarthy would certainly go down nicely.


Ipswich logoLove or loathe him, there’s no denying good old MM can build a Championship team. They’re no doubt disappointed to be down in 10th after last season, but that’s probably about par.

With the possible exception of Birmingham, the Tractor Boys simply don’t have anywhere near the spending power of the teams above them.

Recent form is solid with two wins preceded by two draws so they’re building up a nice head of steam heading into December.

Daryl Murphy finally started scoring again at Rotherham, but he’s an injury doubt of this one. He scored twice in this fixture last season so his absence would be no bad thing.

They’re more vulnerable defensively this season having already conceded 23 goals, which is two more than their opponents tomorrow.


The performance was solid against Burnley so it’s difficult to envisage wholesale changes to the team. But Kenny has proved me wrong many times before.

Wolves Ipswich

With Martinez struggling, Carl Ikeme may get his recall. I can’t foresee any other changes at the back, but it’s good to have reinforcements to call upon all the same.

Further forward it wouldn’t surprise me to see Price hooked in favour of Coady if Kenny wants more bite against a battling Ipswich side and I don’t think Ojo did enough last time to justify his place.

There are all sorts of options for the manager to explore and no excuse for a repeat of the non-performance we saw at Ashton Gate.

The gaffer


All three times we’ve played McCarthy’s Ipswich they’ve strangled the game and muscled us out. Are we any better equipped to cope this time?

The best case scenario is probably a smash and grab, but I suspect our inconsistency will likely rear it’s ugly head once more.

My head says defeat, but I’ll be positive and opt for a score draw – 1-1

Up the Wolves!

Fans’ Parliament – any questions?

December 1 isn’t just a day to mark the countdown to Christmas, but also a date in the diary for the next Wolves Fans’ Parliament meeting, which I will be attending (work commitments permitting).

Ben at fans parliament

Not so much the first choccie of the advent calendar being opened, but more the scab of a great big wound that refuses to heal, I would suggest.

I am invited to submit any questions by November 23 and if they’re any more to the point than the following one already submitted by a fellow FP member, then I’d be impressed:

‘Is the doctor that performed the ‘full heart and body transplant to Wolverhampton’ on Steve Morgan (Express and Star 4 August 2015) going to be reported to the British Medical Council?’

Anyway, do you have any that you would like to be posed? I will do my best to ask them all, time permitting.