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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

A Flying Start

Well, it`s Sunday evening and the only comments on the match on the site are the responses to Akela`s stats . By now, I have usually written a report but felt coy about doing so today. I did not have access to any freeview sites and am still unable to listen to the Beacon broadcast (in spite of paying for it). Naturally, I followed the WW blog and watched Football First last night and early this morning, as well as reading all the reports on NewsNow Wolves. So here goes.

In spite of a hangover (see below) I felt really chirpy this morning. All three of my teams won yesterday, an outcome that hardly seemed possible at the beginning of the day (with the exception of the cricket match, of course). Although my wife is not interested in cricket and would have preferred an English victory in rugby, she is a Wolverhampton girl and was quite happy to sup a glass or two of wine with our evening curry, while I celebrated with a few glasses of beer.

This morning I celebrated again, watching a replay of the match with a glass of beer for company (and the T.V. down low to avoid waking the wife). A little later I set off on the bike to follow the cyclists competing in the test race on the Olympic circuit. It wasn`t as impressive a feat as it sounds as I was able to keep up by taking a series of short cuts. To pass the time I thought about the match ... and had a few beers when I accidently bumped into some friends at a pub en route ('bumped into` in the metaphorical sense, that is).

I might have written a report when I arrived home but for some reason my wife had determined that the afternoon`s business would be to fill in my income tax form, which was probably an ill-advised exercise under the circumstances. It always leads to rows, even when I am sober, because she thinks I should be more involved and should certainly not mislay vital pieces of documentation! At least, she opened a bottle of white wine to ease the tension.

When we finished it was dinner time but, as neither of us wanted to cook it, we had a take away instead ... and another bottle of wine (I probably drank most of the two bottles). Then we sat through a couple of romcoms on Sky TV ('You Again` and 'Love Actually`). As a result, I have earned a few brownie points today, which will help ease the wife in to my alternative Saturdays away over the course of the next nine months.

Soppy romantic that I am, watching 'Love Actually` put me in a warm frame of mind when it came to writing the report. After my initial pleasure at the victory yesterday, I had begun to have my doubts. I thought about the opening day of last year`s competition when the promise of the victory against Stoke soon turned sour. Is this season going to fall apart in a similar fashion, even if redeemed by salvation less than three minutes from oblivion? After all, Blackburn had fielded a weakened side and had had their chances (Hoilett`s shot in the first few minutes and Nzonzi`s header in the second half, for instance).

Even so, I am feeling cautiously optimistic. Hennessey`s sharp reactions prevented us from going behind in the first few minutes and in general he seemed more secure under crosses than he had been last year (though I recall one bad fluff). His kicking was immaculate too. RJ has certainly strengthened the defence, exhibiting the same air of authority as Craddock but with better legs and a more powerful motor. He is already imposing greater discipline on the players around him. Berra, in particular, looked more composed and had a good game. Henry, too, benefited, his game improving without the onus of captaincy. Ward also impressed; if his superbly taken goal indicated that he is wasted at full back, I thought he coped well with the tricky Hoilett. He certainly outshone Elokobi at LB, just as Foley did in comparison with Stearman at RB.

WW looked a rejuvenated side going forward as well. JOH worked tirelessly and intelligently, though his failed back heel in the penalty area was an aberration of Stearmanesque proportions. Hunt was a human dynamo, carrying on from where he had left off at the end of the season. Only his showing against the Baggies in May surpassed his performance yesterday. He both strengthened the midfield and added urgency to the attack. While Jarvis was not as prominent, he looked more composed, purposeful and in control. He provided the exquisite cross which Fletcher headed home and won the penalty which indirectly led to Ward`s clincher.

Upfront, worries about Doyle`s knee thankfully proved groundless (were there genuinely any grounds at all?). He was as industrious as ever, and worked well with Fletcher without reaching the heights which we know he is capable of. Pity about the penalty, though! Fletcher scored a great goal and, like Hunt, is continuing the rich vein of form he was showing in the spring. With our wingers on song he is going to score a bucketful of goals this year.

Reviewing my comments, it is clear that I feel that we are better placed to survive this season ... and even to push on up the table. We are not going to leak as many goals, though much depends upon RJ avoiding injury and others around him playing consistently well. The two points, I feel, go hand in hand. In the same way, we rely on JOH in midfield, though I am aware of Milijas`s obvious class as a playmaker. In this respect, we could still do with a CB, LB and inner midfielder.

Going forward, we looked far more direct and decisive, counter-attacking with speed and purpose. The move, which led to the equalizer is a case in point, fine interplay putting Jarvis in the clear and giving him ample time to place his cross on Fletcher`s head. We are going to score more goals than before. If, at the same time, we cut out some of the errors at the back , we will not ship as many. If, moreover, we did give away an avoidable goal yesterday, we did at least close out the game at the end, a feat we found difficult to achieve last season. And yet ... I would like to wait until after my visit to Molineux next Sunday before considering whether the single swallow has any mates.




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The Journalist

Writer: southbank60 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday August 14 2011

Time: 11:59PM

Your Comments

Hi guys :) The stream on saturday was terrible, most of the game was like a picture slide show for me.... But still, very nice performance from Wolves. A deserved victory. These were not the shaky Wolves from last season. On the contrary, I had a very good feeling about the team :) Keep it on Wolves !
PanFiluta
Hi guys :) The stream on saturday was terrible, most of the game was like a picture slide show for me.... But still, very nice performance from Wolves. A deserved victory. These were not the shaky Wolves from last season. On the contrary, I had a very good feeling about the team :) Keep it on Wolves !
PanFiluta
Great start to the season! I have to say it was a great day for sport for me. England thumped India again to become world number 1 at the cricket. Wales beat England at the Rugby (I am Welsh BTW). And then Wolves win away first game of the season. I have to say that it looked like the enjoyed the game, and showed real spirit after going 1 down. Great result now lets keep it going Fulham at home on sunday, another 3 points would be very nice! UTW
SUPERSPARKES
Great start to the season! I have to say it was a great day for sport for me. England thumped India again to become world number 1 at the cricket. Wales beat England at the Rugby (I am Welsh BTW). And then Wolves win away first game of the season. I have to say that it looked like the enjoyed the game, and showed real spirit after going 1 down. Great result now lets keep it going Fulham at home on sunday, another 3 points would be very nice! UTW
SUPERSPARKES
All the players played well. Link-up play between Doyler & Fletch was superb, they're going to be a real handfull for any defence this season. Very happy to see Henry have a good game too, showed some nice composed touches and sensible play. When Zubes is fit I expect him to add that extra width to our play and sure up the defence a bit more (providing he doesn't make any more passbacks). Good for Wardy to get a decent goal too. Very very happy overall, hope we can keep the momentum going against Fulham. UTW!!
Big Tasty
All the players played well. Link-up play between Doyler & Fletch was superb, they're going to be a real handfull for any defence this season. Very happy to see Henry have a good game too, showed some nice composed touches and sensible play. When Zubes is fit I expect him to add that extra width to our play and sure up the defence a bit more (providing he doesn't make any more passbacks). Good for Wardy to get a decent goal too. Very very happy overall, hope we can keep the momentum going against Fulham. UTW!!
Big Tasty
Hi Guys; I'm a Rovers fan and am trying to get hold of a Wolves fan who would be willing to give a match report from your teams perspective for my rovers blog. Check it out www.spiritof1875.com Please PM me if you wish to do this for me. I of course will return the favour. Thanks,
st_jimmy_77
Hi Guys; I'm a Rovers fan and am trying to get hold of a Wolves fan who would be willing to give a match report from your teams perspective for my rovers blog. Check it out www.spiritof1875.com Please PM me if you wish to do this for me. I of course will return the favour. Thanks,
st_jimmy_77
Yes,a pleasing start and without knocking the lads to much I was a little worried over the way we dealt with the ball which led to them scoring.Would still be happier with one more centre back????UTW.
Crete Wolf
Yes,a pleasing start and without knocking the lads to much I was a little worried over the way we dealt with the ball which led to them scoring.Would still be happier with one more centre back????UTW.
Crete Wolf
Yes, Berra's slip let Roberts in but fair play to our CD, apart from that he had a solid game. As Oddjob would point out, Doyle missed a penalty and we tend not to criticize him.
Southbank60
Yes, Berra's slip let Roberts in but fair play to our CD, apart from that he had a solid game. As Oddjob would point out, Doyle missed a penalty and we tend not to criticize him.
Southbank60
Doyle did miss a pen but wow....did the much maligned Mr Ward make the most of it. I agree with MM. Wardy is so underated. The utility tag is the thing that holds him back. Many teams wish they had a player that could slot in comfortably like he does. He may not be the best but he can do a job. PSV used to train their players to play every role. Nowadays its all about pigeonholing a player into a position. About time Wolves fans recognised what Wardy actually gives us....he really does epitomise GOLD & BLACK. Go on...ya know ya wanna luv him really :P
Rustmonkey
Doyle did miss a pen but wow....did the much maligned Mr Ward make the most of it. I agree with MM. Wardy is so underated. The utility tag is the thing that holds him back. Many teams wish they had a player that could slot in comfortably like he does. He may not be the best but he can do a job. PSV used to train their players to play every role. Nowadays its all about pigeonholing a player into a position. About time Wolves fans recognised what Wardy actually gives us....he really does epitomise GOLD & BLACK. Go on...ya know ya wanna luv him really :P
Rustmonkey
Here we go. Result apart, this is the kind of play I like to watch. A foretaste of it was in a starting line-up and on the bench with a preponderance of creative and offensive players. It is good that Maierhofer will be making the 25. Over the last two years, through defensive blunders and 4-5-1, I sensed it was all working up to this, or that eventually it would come to this. Am I speaking too soon? However that may turn out to be, we are on the way, this is the way, otherwise I would have begun: here we are.
lovesW
Here we go. Result apart, this is the kind of play I like to watch. A foretaste of it was in a starting line-up and on the bench with a preponderance of creative and offensive players. It is good that Maierhofer will be making the 25. Over the last two years, through defensive blunders and 4-5-1, I sensed it was all working up to this, or that eventually it would come to this. Am I speaking too soon? However that may turn out to be, we are on the way, this is the way, otherwise I would have begun: here we are.
lovesW
I was wondering when your post would arrive, lovesW. On Saturday your beloved 4-4-2 system worked a treat so you are entitled to point it out to the doubters, even if we might have moved on from last season.
Southbank60
I was wondering when your post would arrive, lovesW. On Saturday your beloved 4-4-2 system worked a treat so you are entitled to point it out to the doubters, even if we might have moved on from last season.
Southbank60
A good performance and a great result. What a start to the season!
astraltrader
A good performance and a great result. What a start to the season!
astraltrader
Well to start off i was always split on wardy, I did nt hate him but yet I always felt there was something lacking, but now i see that he has good technique(the volley and he can defend. I thought he played quite well at LB. He should definately be first-choice LB as Georgie was so bad wen he came on IMO. Although I feel we are strong enough I would still like for us to bring in Bertrand on loan from chelsea with an option to buy aand hitzelspelger in the middle. I feel these two would provide us with the cover we need if injuries arise. With these new arrivals i feel we would be ready to push onto midtable. UTW
superwwfc
Well to start off i was always split on wardy, I did nt hate him but yet I always felt there was something lacking, but now i see that he has good technique(the volley and he can defend. I thought he played quite well at LB. He should definately be first-choice LB as Georgie was so bad wen he came on IMO. Although I feel we are strong enough I would still like for us to bring in Bertrand on loan from chelsea with an option to buy aand hitzelspelger in the middle. I feel these two would provide us with the cover we need if injuries arise. With these new arrivals i feel we would be ready to push onto midtable. UTW
superwwfc
Cannot help but admit, Southbank, that it is only now that I have read your article. I was taken by Saturday's performance so much......you will excuse me for it. I do not think a LB and CB are essential, as far as new recruitment goes; some discipline and hard work, overseen by RJ, will do the trick, to some extent at least, at cutting out the mistakes, because it is not that the players in hand lack ability....and I must here take back all my slating of Ward. From me, that comes on the evidence of this one performance, true, but MM knew better all the time. The position of inner midfielder is the one I agree with you on. Hitzlperger fits the bill perfectly - strong, agile, a runner, a good tackler and a more than a decent shot, but the hurdle here is the 'London lure'.
lovesW
Cannot help but admit, Southbank, that it is only now that I have read your article. I was taken by Saturday's performance so much......you will excuse me for it. I do not think a LB and CB are essential, as far as new recruitment goes; some discipline and hard work, overseen by RJ, will do the trick, to some extent at least, at cutting out the mistakes, because it is not that the players in hand lack ability....and I must here take back all my slating of Ward. From me, that comes on the evidence of this one performance, true, but MM knew better all the time. The position of inner midfielder is the one I agree with you on. Hitzlperger fits the bill perfectly - strong, agile, a runner, a good tackler and a more than a decent shot, but the hurdle here is the 'London lure'.
lovesW
Hats off Banksy for putting this together despite clearing out half your wine collection :) Of course the game was kicking off at 10 in the morning here- it would have been rude not to have a pre match beer, 6 or 7 and a return to jumping around shouting duly followed before falling into some form of slumber- there would be no match report from me that day. I have been scribbling away my thoughts however and shall post them up tonight when I get home. I had said before the game I would have been happy with a point so to take three was fantastic; better still we deserved it and whilst there is a long, long way to go we achieved the best we could by coming away from all three points.
New York City Wolf
Hats off Banksy for putting this together despite clearing out half your wine collection :) Of course the game was kicking off at 10 in the morning here- it would have been rude not to have a pre match beer, 6 or 7 and a return to jumping around shouting duly followed before falling into some form of slumber- there would be no match report from me that day. I have been scribbling away my thoughts however and shall post them up tonight when I get home. I had said before the game I would have been happy with a point so to take three was fantastic; better still we deserved it and whilst there is a long, long way to go we achieved the best we could by coming away from all three points.
New York City Wolf
 

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