Writer: New York City Wolf
Date:Thursday September 30 2010
In the wake of the demoralizing defeat against Aston Ville, Mick McCarthy and his troops have come out fighting this week, insisting that it has still been a good start to the season and that a change in, if not in fortune, then results, is just around the corner.
Wolves fans, buzzing from last season's survival and the club's biggest ever summer outlay were enjoying the rewards through our first three games as we kicked off with a victory over Stoke, took a point again away at Everton, and reveled in an old school battle with Newcastle that had hearts beating that we had both the style and bottle to battle with the best.
Three games later, three consecutive defeats and the inevitable frowns have returned in certain quarters, so let's begin to put things into perspective.
As far as starts go, Wolves' has been fine, albeit (in my opinion) tactical blunders throwing the game away at Fulham, losing to a Champions League side on their own turf, and succumbing to an undeserved defeat in our first derby of the season, despite looking likely to win the game (this of course, coming against another side that have finished in the top six for the past three years.)
Whilst some, or most, felt we had thrown three points away at Spurs, the simple matter of the fact is that we were beyond lucky to go in at half time one ahead, completely against the run of play, and the better side, who had twenty efforts on goal, were the better side throughout. Aside from the Spurs game however, we have at least matched, or looked better than the other five teams we have played which have included, to revisit- an established Premiership side (Stoke- like it or not, they are), Everton (Top Six), a spirited Newcastle, last season's Europa Cup finalists (Fulham), Champions League Spurs and another top six side in Villa.
Whilst some appeared to give up the ghost five games into the season and assume Chelsea would win the league, the first real test they faced, they lost.
Okay, so Wolves have looked good, without Doyle or Fletcher, a thirteen million pound strike force not being fully fit for even half of our games. In the meantime, new signings Van Dammme and Mouyoloko have not been fit, another signing, Hunt, is has not featured and is sure to make a huge impact, whilst we are still missing Michael Kightly and Nenad Milijias who is enduring his own fitness program in order to get up to speed. Right there we are missing full fitness from seven players who will help shape our season.
In the meantime, let's study the league table- whilst it was nice to see Wolves bobbing around 4th or 6th, it was three games into the season and one or two defeats separated almost every side apart from the top two and the bottom two from a place in Europe or the relegation zone.
Today, Wolves, to the pessimist 'languish' in 17th place- look harder and you will notice that both Mersey clubs, according to crisis' theory, are in as much trouble as Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Everton sit at the bottom of the table with just 3 points from 6 games- relegation certainties based on those stats- Liverpool sit one place above Wolves with 6 points from the same amount of games, and the same as Wolves.
Anyone who believes that Everton will finish bottom of the Premiership, or that Liverpool will finish in the bottom five might want to get their heads checked out- I would underline that anyone who thinks Wolves will finish any lower than they did last season should do the same.
A few interesting facts to spice the proof of the pudding- Wolves have scored more goals (7) than both Everton (4) and Liverpool (5). Defensively, whilst conceding no more than one goal a game during our first three, Wolves have now shipped 10, Liverpool 8, and Everton 7. Of the three sides, Wolves and Everton are separated by 3 points, with Wolves and Liverpool level. Of further interest, all three, as of today, have a goal difference of -3.
Anyone who would like to place their bets on this three going down, I have my wallet ready.
Answers on a post card, the usual address.
New York City Wolf
Date:Thursday September 30 2010
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