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Clutching at Straws: A Win at Eastlands?

Although you might have expected me to pedal round to view the glum faces at Chelsea`s training ground the morning after the match on 5 January, today was the first time since that glorious evening that I have ventured that way on the bike.

As I passed the entrance (only one forlorn fan there), I wondered whether we could do the same against Manchester City this weekend. Of course, it could be construed as an exercise in clutching at straws, if only because a direct comparison would result in a 1-3 defeat. Moreover, Manchester City`s team has overcome a blip in perfomance, having won four and drawn one of the last five PL games.

However, the statistics also indicate that Wolves will win their next match, having failed to secure a victory in the previous one. It`s MM`s winter plan, a bit of magic from Merlin. More realistically (if still an abstraction), the victory over Chelsea must have boosted the self-belief of our players enormously. As long as they are aware that a lack of confidence among the Chelsea players contributed to the victory and do not become complacent (a worrying habit), they should be able to lift their game and compete effectively.

More prosaically, the manager has, for the first time in ages, a choice to make in most positions, though unfortunately not at left back. Henry and Craddock might feature in the game, which will respectively toughen our midfield and concentrate the minds of Stearman and Berra. Up front the partnership between Doyle and Fletcher is shaping up nicely, though it`s doubtful whether MM will go for a 4-4-2 formation at Eastlands. Similarly, as the second half against Doncaster proved, the whole unit is beginning to gel. In particular, Milijas continues to impress with his reading of the game ... and his newly found defensive steel. And, what a strike!

Much depends upon the first ten minutes, the time when the Wolves traditionally like to extend the hand of friendship to their opponents. At least, Henry will be on hand to squash such misplaced acts of bonhomie. I suspect that MC will not approach the game in the same flippant mood, as at Molineux, but it could work to our advantage. Their players will be determined to win, but the memory of the defeat could engender tightness and the seeds of doubt.

As we can no longer count on Blackpool imploding (I gave that up long ago) or even WHU or Wigan shedding points every game, we have to take points from whomever we are playing, no matter what their status or their position in the league. The plan insists on it. It`s not much of a comfort to note that we have teams like Liverpool as relegation rivals either. Surely, Kenny will soon begin to cast his spell but not, I hope, before Merlin can work his magic. I shall be at Molineux to see the outcome. In the meantime a point at least at MC would be a nice belated Christmas present, the one the team forgot to post on Boxing Day.




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The Journalist

Writer: southbank60 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 13 2011

Time: 4:55PM

Your Comments

A win at Eastlands and a win to do the double over Liverpool!!!,that would lift us up nicely in the table Banksy.Clutching at straws is a good title,can we do it?its not impossible but not likely,Liverpool maybe if as you say King Kenny has'nt got them going by then and I think?still without Gerrard?.Its on live over here so I will be in a local bar watching it with a Man City fan!.Funny you should mention Blackpool,have'nt they done really well?,I would give Holloway the manager of the year award now,and all that with more or less the same players as sneaking into the playoffs last year (6th)Charlie Adam being the pick 3-4 million looks a good buy if you can get him.Hope you enjoy Liverpool game and the Banks Mild which will surely be taken beforehand.UTW.
Crete Wolf
Another splendid article Banksy. Dare we believe? It seems we do, and why the flip not? I use flip because I tried to reference the main character who owns a chocolate factory and it changed it to here we go, Willy Wonder- sounds like a very poor porn name to me, yet our pal Crete types feck off and it gets printed! Well, on screens at least. Yes, New York is losing his point. Points, that's the one, and how well one would do to earn just the won. Or eleven, as in players, not points :) I think it may be apparent that my articles are written in the morning and my responses to articles usually beyond midnight. Tired chap here. What do I expect? Well, with City all gusto with the crown of temperage upon a platter, have a funny feeling things might just go bump for City on a Saturday and if not even a draw we may just take the feature highlight on Match of The Day- record it film it whatever you need to do. I shall myself be sat glued to the computer with coffee and cigarettes, with beer in the fridge which I will crack open at noon dependent upon result. If we have been slapped I shall resist the first can, I wish for a productive day and a moody drinker is never fun to be with. Bright thoughts bright thoughts. I think there is a surprise install this weekend- beat these, the form team as pointed out, tonk Doncaster, well, I wish Kenny all the very best but it's gonna take time, and a whole lot of spending money for Kenny to get it right, it's grass is just growing back under his toes and I think anything other than defeat on Saturday will take us into the Liverpool game with enough talent, enough determination to beat them again. These are the days my friends...........
New York City Wolf
These are the days Wolf??what are you on?can you send me some to sprinkle on my crunchy nut cornflakes?.God forbid if we ever win anything!!you'll end up in ER,LOL.Hope you are right and we get something from Eastlands,I am however more to thinking the Liverpool game will be the one to take points,the way our season is going though will probably beat City and lose at home to Liverpool!!!!UTW.End of Wolf Transmission.
Crete Wolf
NYCW: apart from the fags, you perfectly descibe my Wolves viewing habits, though I clearly do not watch with as much gusto as you. Personally, I would be more than satisfied with a draw. I am a little buoyed by the statistics which indicate that over the last five games (FAC- can I write that?- and PL) MC have won only two, including a drawer against a lower division side (like us).
Southbank60
WE ARE WOLVES ! and this season has been one of the craziest ever! No one can fault the commitment of the squad, however I cant help but feel we are being let down by the board as others around us strengthen their squads and we - seemingly - not prepared to spend a penny. We need a bit more quality, especially at the back, hopefully there is someone in the pipeline, and Im not sure how Fletch is supposed to get match sharp if he never gets a run out. Still, we are playing the best football Ive ever seen from Wolves, good passing, chasing down every ball, and it really is wonderful to watch, lets hope we can get the results our performance deserves. WE LOVE YOU WANDERERS WE DO.
Ad Mant
Indeed Crete! I think I let my optimism get the better of me, must have something to do with reading the Wigan interview. But I'm fully awake now and I am sat here still thinking we can cause an upset. It doesn't matter who we play anymore, we need to maintain- we are finally on the point per game ratio, a trend which if it continues 'should' see us stay up, and a point at City will indeed maintain- to then go and beat Liverpool things would suddenly be looking much brighter indeed. I think City will be buzzing tomorrow and our lot must have been preparing all week for the first ten minutes. I shall be very interested to see the formation.
New York City Wolf
Ad Mant: we pass well and chase everything and everyone in one game out of two. The trick Merlin has to perform is to get the team to do it in every game.
Southbank60
 

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