Archives for April 2017

Derby County 3 Wolves 1

Quite a few people pointed out I’d incorrectly named Andreas Weimann in my preferred XI to this game, despite the fact he was ineligible against his parent club.

Fair enough.

Just as well as he couldn’t play though, as we might not have seen Nouha Dicko’s best performance of the season.

For the first time in a long time our once prolific striker was barreling towards defenders and making things happen with powerful, direct running. That bodes well for next season.

Despite not being rewarded with a goal for himself, he did lay one on a plate for Ben Marshall in a rare moment of cohesion from Wolves on an otherwise poor afternoon.

You can point to Cavaleiro’s stupid sending off as a key moment, but Derby were coasting it well before lapping up the benefits of numerical advantage.

If you look at the goals, discounting the countless opportunities they created besides, it’s clear an inability to defend down our right was targeted and exploited.

David Nugent was all alone at the back post for his opener and Conor Coady himself was then skinned far too easily for the second.

I talked a lot in the preview about getting the balance in central midfield right, but starting next season with two specialist full backs must also be high on the agenda for Paul Lambert.

Don’t get me wrong, Coady has played superbly on several occasions in the back four, but he’s doing a job not mastering the art.

Midfield was again a problem though. You need only look down the Derby teamsheet to see the gulf in class between two sides pursuing the same goal.

Bryson, Butterfield, Johnson and Ince would all walk straight into our eleven and that sort of disparity simply can’t exist next season.

OK, we’re without two of our best outfield players (Costa and Doherty) as well as our first choice goalkeeper, but this was yet another reminder of just how much work there is to do over the summer.

It can’t come soon enough.

Derby County Vs Wolves Preview

Central midfield is the issue.

I know we’ve all got opinions on individuals operating in different areas of the pitch, but I’m convinced if Paul Lambert can address this one deficiency, we’ll do good things next season.

Against Blackburn and again on Tuesday in the defeat to Huddersfield, there was no attacking impetus from central areas, other than the times Ben Marshall stepped inside to make something happen.

Lambert’s got seven first team midfielders on the books (Edwards, Coady, Price, Evans, Saville, Saiss and Oniangue) and no combination is good enough in possession to consistently do what’s required.

If you want willing runners, closing down and all the ugly stuff then the above will do that (hence why we’ve taken some big away wins this season). You might keep two or three of them for this purpose.

But get rid of four or five of the above, bring in two better technicians and also look to extract the most from the likes of Enobakhare and Ronan who also have the necessary skillset.

Derby

If one team have underwhelmed more than Wolves this season, it’s got to be Derby. Cash was splashed again to help Nigel Pearson reconfigure an already capable squad to his liking.

Vydra and Anya arrived from Watford with lots of Championship pedigree and with others already there like Ince, Johnson and Butterfield, it seemed inconceivable they wouldn’t make the play-offs.

But looking at the table with two games to go, it’s clear they’re nowhere near. The higher powers at the club have to take responsibility for bad appointments and/or not showing enough patience.

It did look at one stage that Steve McLaren was going to get it going again, but after a good run of victories it was back to inconsistency and he also bit the bullet.

Gary Rowett seems like a very good manager, but you wonder how much time he’ll be given at Pride Park if they don’t get out the traps quickly next season?

Wolves

It would be pretty handy to have Helder Costa fit again. I really hope this injury is serious enough to be keeping him out and it’s nothing to do with his imminent departure. Sadly, I’m not convinced.

If he is able to make it back, the above is the team I’d play. Burgoyne might be our only fit keeper but I’d persevere with him anyway, despite letting in a soft goal in midweek. Incidentally, I was surprised Lambert chose to throw him under the bus for that in his post-match summary.

Both Silvio and Iorfa are playing for their futures so let them carry on I say. Despite a few wobbly moments I thought Silvio did some good things and showed strong positional play. We’ll be in the market for at least one full back in the summer and if he can convince over his fitness, he could be like a new signing.

My instinct is that Price, Coady and Edwards are the three to keep. Price because we know he can perform when partnered with better technical players. Coady because he can occupy different positions and Edwards for goals and impact.

But none should be nailed on starters next term and to compensate for what we lack moving going forwards in midfield tomorrow, I’d play an attacking trio behind Weimann who still looks like he’s got the bounce in his step to do something.

Predictions

I don’t think we’ll see anything like my proposed lineup tomorrow, but this could be a decent game for our try-hards to camp out and spring on the break as they did at Elland Road.

Derby have good quality though and I’m expecting them to ultimately put us to the sword at a ground where we’ve struggled to compete in recent years.

2-1 to the Rams.

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Up the Wolves!

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Bloggers Ball 2017 – Final Update

A final update on the Bloggers Ballbash on Saturday 6th May and Sunday 7th May.

Daytime Activity

Whilst we are gathering in A Park View Hotel on the Saturday 6th I am aware that some of you bloggers may not intend to arrive until Sunday to take in the match. We will still be there in the morning prior to leaving to meet the 12.00 kick off, so please pop in for a quick pint or coffee or whatever on the Sunday if you wish. It will be great to see you all.

Saturday is purely to get as many of us together as possible and if past gatherings are anything to go by I am sure you will all enjoy a good day, even if you intend to be there for just a short time, or if you intend to “hang one on”.

Come along and get involved. Many discussions on the Blog have been interesting to say the least and this season has not been what we expected or wanted – it would be great to discuss your views in person.

Evening Meal

I have received all menu choices and confirmed these with Sat at APV. She is looking forward to receiving us and has ordered in the Limoncello.

We have a total of 27 diners as shown:

Mark G Davies & Rona Davies
StuWolf & Jenny
Steve and Lyn Daley
Willie and Tess Carr
Phil Parkes
Mike & Trish Bird
Bedford Wolf
Bedford Old Gold
Brompton Wolf
Twixfix and Lilian
The DOOGooder and Sue
Witley Wanderer & Shaun
Clive from Houston
Exiled Wolf & Barbara
London Wolves Loyal & Elaine
Wolfstroker & Jayney

Sat has advised me that any food cancelled with less than 72 hours’ notice would be fully charged. Should any guest be unable to attend, please let me know and I can advise Sat accordingly. All meal charges will be placed on resident’s room bills, less those non- residents who will be asked to clear their bill that evening.

We now have the entire main dining area to ourselves. There is no set formal seating plan but I will provide you all with name cards when you sit down, the reverse of which will show the meal you have chosen. It is also intended to provide you all with some light entertainment, courtesy of theDOOGooder and Bedford Wolf which I am sure you will all enjoy.

The “dress code” for the evening meal will be smart casual.

Everything is now sorted and I look forward to seeing you all over that weekend. Come along and enjoy the day.

Brompton Wolf

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