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Reality Check


Forced to listen to the Beacon broadcast, I could still tell that we were being comprehensively outplayed by Arsenal. Viewing the highlights on Football First confirmed that impression. Only Hennessey saved us from a cricket score.

Van Persie`s second goal looked suspiciously offside and at 0-1 we might have retrieved something from the game, but that would have done a grave injustice to a dominant Arsenal side. What the match did reveal was the enormous gulf between the teams situated at opposite ends of the table, occasional upsets notwithstanding.

It disproved the nonsensical argument that we should play more of the top teams if we wish to survive. We cannot compete with them when they are operating at the top of their game. To have a chance we might as well adopt an aggressive 4-4-2 formation, hoping to score an early goal and put the opposition off-balance. Arsenal made a mockery of our 4-5-1 set-up, opening us up at will.

Clearly, to contain such teams we need to improve our defence, but that option has now disappeared. The players we do possess are improving and, as the matches against Chelsea and Manchester United have shown, are capable of resisting determined pressure. We therefore ought to be able to hold out against lesser teams, the ones we now have to beat in order to avoid relegation.

However, to do so we have to stop making silly errors of the kind I have highlighted in a recent report. We also have to score goals and that means going into games with a positive 4-4-2 formation. Tightening up all round must be the order of the day. Hold the line at the back and take our chances at the other end.

At least we have emerged from the month from hell still in contention. We have not been cut adrift and, should we defeat WBA on 20 February, we could be out of the bottom three. Now, that would be a result and a basis for survival.




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The Journalist

Writer: southbank60 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 13 2011

Time: 8:45AM

Your Comments

Yes,well with 12 games to go Banksy its 'game on' as they say.No more time,no more excuses no more chances to make a comeback.It simply has to happen from this point on,Blues are clawing out results and pulling clear we simply have to start winning,the WBA games will be huge.UTW.By the way Banksy,what an awful game of rugby at Murrayfield,worst I've seen in a long time.
Crete Wolf
But at least Wales won ... but that's the reason why the Wolves lost!
Southbank60
check your mail Banksy.
Crete Wolf
Indeed. No match this season has better reflected standings. With the big wins in mind, United, Chelsea, City and Liverpool, we were within our rights to sit back and expect the unexpected. The stark reality was an awful record against Arsenal, and I had lost count of our dire away record, we have lost every away game bar the trips to Liverpool and Everton. The four wins mentioned above account for exactly half of our points, which 26 games into the season is frigthening. Birmingham and Villa are already showing signs of improvement as mentioned, and it is no great mystery, they signed well in the transfer window. We may prop up the table, but again, as mentioned we have come through a shocking fixture list still in touch- beating Albion could well see us climb right out of the bottom three. Despite their improvementm, we have a game in hand on Villa so whilst six points ahead in 15th, this position is not on paper that far from us. It looked for a while that Blackpool had already done enough, and I repeatedly asserted there would be no implosion as they kept tacking points on the board, but how things change over the course of a month, Blackpool and Albion have slid down the table with spectacular fashion. Over the course of their last 6 games, Blackpool are shipping 2.83 goals per game, Albion 2.5 and ourselves 2. Sadly we have scored 6 in 6, 3 of those coming at Manchester City. Keep the likes of the City and Sunderland games in mind, and there is proof that we score when we play a very attacking 4-4-2 and we will surely go at these two games with that formation- he really can't play anything else can he? We are down to the pure and simples now- we are bottom and the teams we are about to play are those directly above us. Beat them and we swap places, lose, and we will launch them away from us- if we can't beat these two sides then the writing will be on the wall. The Hodgson effect comes into play and I expect us to meet a very different Albion to the one everyone has watched this season. Expect a pragmatic approach based on simple structure and stability. All good in theory but he only has the same players to work with and he is not going to transform them in the space of a week. 4 points is a more than fair and reasonable expectation but knowing the Wolves we are, we can win both of these games and I want to see 6 points.
New York City Wolf
I think it's a minimum of six points from the two games, NYCW!
Southbank60
Cant see us staying up since we threw 2 points away at the Hawthorns. Micks substitutions were cack and we continue to be unable to close matches successfully.
astraltrader
 

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