Archives for February 2017

Wolves 1 Birmingham City 2

I’m still trying to land on the most disappointing thing about this poxy defeat.

It might have been Carl Ikeme’s butter fingers that presented another toothless away side with a precious lead to cling onto.

Or it could be allowing David Davis the freedom of Molineux to spank in a second and mercilessly taunt the South Bank.

Or simply our one-paced midfield making David Davis look like Roy Keane.

Then again maybe it was our meagre attempts to cash in against ten men after Paul Robinson was rightly dismissed for being Paul Robinson.

Or perhaps our distribution out of defence and Danny Batth’s endless hoofs forward to nobody in particular.

It’s difficult to overlook Helder Costa’s repeatedly over hit crosses that robbed Wolves of any momentum in the early exchanges or his subsequent hour long vanishing act.

And we mustn’t forget yet another goalless game for Bodvarsson whose beginning to make Bjorn Sigurdarson look prolific by comparison.

How about Nouha Dicko, who did finally score, but still looks bored, uninterested and five yards off the pace?

Maybe it’s the manager, who promised so much in January but has delivered literally nothing in February.

Yes, it could be the naked statistics that show five defeats in a row for the month with just two goals scored in the process.

And the fact three of those defeats came against three of the worst teams in the division.

Actually, it’s probably none of those things.

It’s more the realisation that we’ve relinquished ¬£25 million in transfer fees and ended up with a worse team than we had last season.

All this made worse still knowing that the owners, the academy, the stadium, the fan base and everything else you need to be successful are all there and it’s simply the case that the people in power are demonstrating a gross inability to just connect the dots.

I’m not stupid enough to expect instant success in such a competitive environment, but surely – surely – we can expect better than this?

Disappointing would be an understatement.

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Wolves Vs Birmingham City Preview

15 games to go and we probably need to win at least a third of them.

That takes us up to 50 points and then a handful of draws should see us safe from total catastrophe.

Molineux holds the key with winnable matches against Blues, Rotherham, Forest, Blackburn and Preston still to come.

I think we’ll just about get there but panic will really set in if we don’t start putting points on the board soon.

Looking at how things are going for Birmingham and Gianfranco Zola this has the feeling of a must-win.

Blues

After we brushed them aside at the start of the season I couldn’t believe¬† Gary Rowett managed to get Blues right up towards the top six again.

I was even more staggered that the club then decided to dispense with his services for seemingly no good reason at all.

They’ve been sinking like a stone ever since and come into this game (like Wolves) on the back of three straight losses.

Zola has only managed one win in 14 matches and suffered 9 defeats in a thus far traumatic return to management.

I always thought Rowett was getting the maximum out of a very average group of players, so it’s no great surprise the Italian has fallen short.

He’s started to bring in his own players and adjust the way they play, but that transition will never happen quickly so regardless of what happens in this game, I think they’re in for a bumpy ride between now and May.

Wolves

It’s disappointing that Connor Ronan has been all but ruled out for the remainder of the season. He’s been consistently very good.

The above is what I reckon the starting lineup might be if Joe Mason is fit enough to play.

He is the only striker / number 10 who seems to consistently get into good positions to score so has to play.

I like Enobakhare but end product has been in short supply despite some good runs and link up play.

Paul Lambert

Predictions

We’ve lost four games in a row and only scored one goal in that time, so we’re not in a good place.

The performances against Newcastle and Chelsea weren’t too bad, but Burton and Wigan were as bad as it gets.

My concern is that this game pans out more like the latter and we’re frustrated by another team who can’t buy a win.

I think we should win but I don’t have a lot of confidence so I’m climbing on the fence.

1-1.

Up The Wolves!

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Save

Wolves 0 Chelsea 2

There was as much to lament as admire about this gutsy performance against the best team in the land.

The Premier League leaders were pushed and pulled for an hour, but as great teams do they absorbed the punishment and ultimately cantered over the finish line.

George Saville could have altered the course but squandered the game’s clearest opportunity to give Wolves an invaluable foothold.

The former Chelsea man typified the collective efforts of his side – industrious and committed but wasteful and ultimately found lacking in the end.

Paul Lambert set Wolves up bravely, playing a high line and keeping their illustrious opponents boxed in for much of the first half.

He’ll be disappointed that the quality of the balls into the box were repeatedly so poor with Costa and Coady in particular often failing to beat the first man.

Equally the wide players might point the finger at those in the middle for not making the runs or finding enough space to make the most of the opportunities.

That’s three home defeats in a row in which Wolves haven’t even managed to score, again begging the question why we didn’t recruit a striker last month?

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson was much improved yesterday, making the ball stick effectively and finding those pockets of space to turn and run.

But he didn’t get on the end of a single cross and that must be a concern for both Lambert and the big forward himself.

It’s always said strikers shouldn’t worry about not scoring if they’re getting in the positions to miss chances but the Icelander is failing on both counts.

Diego Costa barely touched the ball but still found himself ideally positioned to sweep home a loose ball to kill the game. That’s what goalscorers do.

Chelsea’s opener was more skilfully worked with Pedro smelling blood after Coady was caught downfield, timing his run beautifully to head home a perfectly weighted cross.

Much has been made of their wing back system and in that instance it worked beautifully, pulling the Wolves defence in and leaving oceans of space at the back post.

Victor Moses continually profited too with inch perfect balls pinged out wide from Cesc Fabregas who was probably the standout performer for the Champions-elect.

Credit to Batth and in particular Hause who were both faultless for the defeat. The latter must surely be in line for a more regular start?

It’s Birmingham next as the focus of the season shifts back to one crystal clear objective – staying up.

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