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Groundhog Day again for Wolves

Oh dear! It`s Groundhog Day again. I`ve just woken up to the sound of our manager repeating the same old hard luck story. Let`s hope that after Wednesday`s match against Arsenal Mick gets to sleep with Andie MacDowell!

And we were so close on Saturday. To count down the extra minutes I always set my watch to timer mode ... and the seconds were ticking away nicely, even though I had no idea why the referee had added so many of them in the first place. Then, I heard Jeff say, 'Now, over to Charlie Nicholas`. My heart sank because I knew what was coming.

I was so disappointed that even my wife sympathised with me and let me finish the bottle of wine with my curry. Indeed, she said I could watch Football First at 8.25 p.m. I declined her kind offer; I needed another couple of hours - and even more beers -to compose myself. Even Cheryl Cole couldn`t comfort me. I bet Robert Plant, whose concert I viewed later that night, would not have sung so well had he performed live.

How many times have we thrown points away at the end of a match (or in this case at the end of each half)? In spite of protestations to the contrary, certain players never seem to learn the importance of concentration for the full ninety minutes ... ah! ... I have just realized the problem. They might focus for the allotted span: it`s the extra few minutes they haven`t sussed out yet. It`s got to stop. Good goal though it was, Park should never have scored it. He waltzed past several of our statues without anyone offering a challenge of any description, let alone a credible one. Ward missed him twice and Fletcher bought the dummy. Mick looked shell-shocked. We gifted Park his first goal too.

MM couldn`t even console us with his customary mantra of focusing on the positives. Manchester United put out a severely weakened side, including players, who were still suffering from the effects of a virus. It`s a pity that Park wasn`t one of them! That is not to say that we can`t put a positive spin on the match. We continue to make progress and create chances. Fletcher should have buried the one handed to him on a plate late on in the game. This is not the first time that he has ballooned the ball miles over the bar and he is clearly lacking match sharpness. He needs to feature in the starting line-up and get a few games in before he can function properly. Even so, dare we change such a promising formation?

Unfortunately, to accommodate Fletcher, we would have to sacrifice a midfielder. As it`s impossible to discard Milijas, such a move would leave us exposed defensively, emphasizing the crucial importance of fielding a solid back four. Ward should go, perhaps to be replaced by Foley when Zubar regains his fitness. Ward should have prevented Park`s second goal. Earlier in the match he could have given away a penalty, if not a goal; having carelessly allowed Bébé to dispossess him in the box, only his inability bodily to haul him back enabled him to get away with it (that, and the joint action of Berra and Stearman). If Milijas is a luxury we have to afford, Ward isn`t. Roll on January.

Wednesday`s match will therefore be interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, I think that the last-gasp defeat may finally have convinced MM of the need to act and to jettison all 'passengers`. Secondly, it will provide a test of our resolve, as well as a genuine indication of our ability to compete with the best. If we can, we should be able to beat the lesser teams. Thirdly, it will allow me to check on the state of my pact with the soccer gods. I have honoured my side of the bargain; on Saturday, the Welsh R.U. team lost to Australia so it`s only fair that the Wolves win in mid-week. Don`t bet on it though!

Southbank60

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The Journalist

Writer: Southbank60 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 8 2010

Time: 12:00PM

Your Comments

I hear ya. im sick of the "great performance but no points" speach. The concentration thing is defiantely a big issue. we lost concentration at the end of the 1st half and the 2nd half. stephen ward & steven fletcher both let us down big time. and is it just me or is Hahnemann starting to look a bit shaky in goal?? ive heard rumours this morning that he is off to america at the end of the season too?? and i really hope liverpool dont come sniffing around jarvo like ive read in the papers this morning. would be good for wolves or jarvo in my opinion! i think Ward had to make way for Elokobi sooner rather than later because teams are exploiting him as a major weakness. the though of theo walcatt running at him on wednesday night scares me a lot!
SmithyWolves
Correction, "WOULDNT be good for wolves or jarvo" Correction, "ward HAS to make way for elokobi"
SmithyWolves
Yep Smithy me too - sick as a dog!! And I fear that it will all come apart against Arsenal on Weds (they'll be smarting from the defeat to Newcastle). Personally i'd like to see 'dirty wolves' on Weds. Arsenal hate being roughed up, if we can do this and maintain a high attacking tempo then we may have a chance. If we sit back, offer too much respect, let them run at us or settle on the ball to pick their passes we'll be cut apart. RE: Jarvo, would be a crime if we sell him to Liverpool. Although I can't see Mick letting our best player go in Jan, especially at such a crucial time. Possibly at the end of season if we are... relegated (shudder)!! RE: Wardy - Ok he's not a natural left back, we know this. But i'm relecutant to criticise him, or make him a scapegoat because he's an honest hardworking player (that goes for most of the team infact). The whole team must take responsibilty for poor defending. We win together, we lose together. UTW!!
BIG TASTY
I agree with both comments (and the correction too) but I hope you (Big Tasty) advisedly put the word dirty in inverted commas. Hard: yes; dirty: no. I hate to criticize Ward too even if sounds like hubris to think that, as a mere blogger, I can influence opinion: his or MM's. Rerunning the first goal, Henry and others were at fault. Ward had to stay wide to mark Bebe. Even so, Ward has lost us points and his limitations are patently obvious. It's not entirely his fault: he has been pushed into the position. George isn't the answer either, though a better one at the moment. I certainly to left back, once Zubar is fit, but I noticed on another WWFC website this morning that the name of Mancienne was being touted. That's a good idea and worth a try. He is fit, fast and a capable defender (though not in central defence). And, what about Mouyokolo as a stop-gap until he takes Berra's place. I know Berra has played OK in the last two games but and giving away fould in dangerous positions. Wednesday is going to be a nervous night.
Southbank60
Oh yes absolutely I mean 'clean dirty'. Well....maybe the odd 'mistimed' tackle just so Mr Wenger has something to moan about. Oh sorry I forgot, he's French (doesn't need a reason). Scrap that thought then. UTW!!
BIG TASTY
i wouldnt agree with us being dirty as i think arsenal get almost special treatment from referees sometimes. and remember karl henry last year? i wouldnt be surprised if chamakh wins them penalty on wednesday night. he dives more than anyone ive seen. i think if we do the same things we've done against chelsea, city & utd we have just as much chance of a result. there will be a lot more pressure on them to win after their defeat to newcastle on saturday so i think that will be in our favour. whats it going to take for mouyokolo to get a start though. surely he is our best centreback right? and then it should be 1 from berra, craddock and stearman to play alongside him.
SmithyWolves
I agree, Smithy: more of the same. I clearly think that Mouyokolo is our best centre back too, though I am aware that they come in pairs. It takes time to achieve an understanding and I suspect that is the reason why Berra stayed in as a partner for Craddock. Craddock's injury changed the situation. Mouyokolo might have got the nod when Craddock was injured but MM probably thought that Stearman had played with Berra before. This year Mouyoko will probably have to wait until injury forces MM to put him on from the kick-off. Afterwards, if MM is to be believed, he will take a more even-handed view, according to who plays well in training and in the friendlies. P.S. Sorry about the omissions in my last response: my computer is playing up.
Southbank60
The defensive argument is a good one as to me there isn't a huge different in quality between a lot of our options, so as Southbank60 suggests it then all comes down to partnerships, which take time to forge together and the more often they are paired together the better that understanding becomes.
akela
I don't think he's our best centre back. Why? Because I've not really seen him play (except for watching the reserves & a few sub appearences). Stearman deserves his chance, he's playing ok. Would like to see Mouyo get a run-out at some stage tho.
BIG TASTY
Sorry, Big Tasty, I should have said POTENTIALLY our best centre back. Even so, the reviews of his performances at Hull were good, as were the comments of their fans.
Southbank60
 

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