Henry Is Unapologetic For Wolves Approach
Just four games into the new season, Wolves are dangerously close to being cast as the black sheep of the Premier League for their supposedly 'aggressive' tactics.
n Saturday at Craven Cottage, home supporters described Wolves as 'a disgrace to the Premier League', one would assume, based on the free flowing football they are used to seeing.
Skipper Karl Henry in particular has come in for special treatment from opposition fans and the media following his 'treatment' of Joey Barton, and now for his completely fair tackle on Bobby Zamora at the weekend.
Despite the abuse, Henry has encouraged the whiners to pipe down.
Speaking to The Express & Star, Henry said "It`s within the rules of the game to tackle and people need to stop moaning about it. It`s a side of the game people don`t want to see any more.'. He went on to add that "Since we got promoted, it seems players in the Premier League don`t expect to be get tackled and have people 'ratting` around them all the time...
They want a nice game of football."
In all reality, Wolves ranked 11th last season on the Fair Play listings and after the tough battle against Newcastle it appeared almost inevitable that on Saturday the referee would crumble under the pressure of home support, and ultimately succumb to throwing yellow cards around (against Wolves players) for the fun of it, following any tackle.
Whilst there can be no argument over Berra's silly sending off, making the same mistake within the space of minutes, half the cards could be argued as unjust.
Despite the media backlash, Wolves, from management and coaching staff, to the squad, appear relentless in their intent to continue to compete at the same level.
Henry pointed out that he has known Zamora for many years and said that "I know Bobby - we`ve got the same agent and we were with the England under-21s together. I`d never go out to hurt anyone, let alone him, I felt it was a good tackle.'
Those who have bothered to watch the incident would be hard pushed to disagree.
Last season, Wolves tended to show too many sides too much respect and appeared to concentrate on playing 'nice' football, for the first half of the season at least- the second was a, 'every point counts affair' yet we battled bravely and fairly.
This season, the side appear to have more bottle about them, and perhaps it that after last years survival, they feel at home in the Premier League and are prepared to take no prisoners.
The players appear to fear no one and it shows in their competitive approach. The label, we can only hope, will not continue to influence referees into quickly brandishing cards, which has already happened and seen the club face a 75,000 fine for racking up 7 bookings in consecutive games.
The cards shown on Saturday was excessive, so we can only hope that this is not a picture of the future.
There appears no fear amongst the players and we can expect the same battling qualities.
Henry was particularly upset by Clint Dempsey who claimed he had deliberately gone out to injure Zamora.
enry firmly insisted, "It was a load of rubbish. I didn`t do anything deliberately and I would never try to do anything deliberately to hurt anyone.'
If the media wishes to continue to play the same tune that it has thus far, then allow it to run like water off a duck's back. All we can hope is that the ref's are less inclined to buckle to the propaganda over our upcoming games and the season ahead.
New York City Wolf.