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Back to the Drawing Board

Back to the Drawing Board

Forbidden to do anything because of the operation, I have moped around the house for the past nine days, existing on a diet of novels, rock CDs and crosswords. I cannot ride my bike, drive the car or go to work. Hey! My wife even refuses to allow me to go shopping or visiting DIY stores or garden centres with her. I am in a bad way.

I haven`t had a WW game to occupy my thoughts either and, judging from the lack of activity on the site, other members have been feeling equally bored. Even so, to show that every cloud has a silver lining, I have been allowed to view a lot of T.V. footie.

As a result, I watched the internationals, which gave me another opportunity to assess the form of some of our players. Of our ROI representatives, Doyle performed the best, if as an advanced midfielder rather than as a striker. Of course, had Keane passed to him instead of shooting wide in the second Estonian match, he would have scored. Nice to see Ward get a goal but, like Hunt, he was inconsistent.

As a Welshman, I enjoyed Wales`s match against Norway ... but it did have its bizarre moments, though perhaps we should now get used to WH making uncustomary slips! It`s worrying. Even stranger, was the form of Vokes, who scored two great goals.

Having finally discovered the location of the opposition`s net, his form would have created an even greater headache for MM today, had the manager not ducked the issue by loaning him out to Burnley. Now, Mick only had to decide on the formation: 4-4-1-1 with Doyle or Fletcher upfront (a dilemma in itself) or 4-5-1 with Doyle and Fletcher as dual strikers. He chose the former, which I agreed with at the time. I have more doubts now.

I have to be particularly careful what I write this week. I am not worried about annoying MM or other fans with my honestly expressed views but rather I have to avoid antagonising my wife, who is typing this report (Wife: he`s done that. I was happily shopping online for clothes at the time). I have found out to my cost that I cannot type more than a few lines on the keyboard before my shoulders seize up.

Then I almost blew it. My suggestion that I could dictate notes to her while we watched the match, was met with a snort of derision and the threat to withhold the car-keys from me on my projected return to Molineux on 3 December (she`s hidden them, along with the keys to the bike-shed).

This report is therefore largely based upon my memory of the match, which unfortunately has not seriously taxed my recall faculties. Simply put, Everton deserved to win because they controlled the midfield, turned us at will on our right flank and pumped loads of crosses into our box. WW, on the other hand, made errors in defence, gave away the ball in midfield and dithered in front of goal.

If WH had not been on top form, we would have shipped a few more goals. Berra also saved a certain score when he sprinted across the box and executed a perfectly timed tackle. He actually played one of his best games for us and was far more solid than RJ. Indeed, Johnson had to resort to pushing, a fault which led to Everton`s equalizing goal.

Ward, on the other hand, continues to impress at LB, while showing his versatility by playing equally as well at RB (and as an overlapping winger). The move, prompted by Stearman`s injury, led to George`s appearance of the pitch. Had MM not heeded my warning made in a previous post that he should never play George at full back again? To prove my point, his winger immediately turned him with ease. Everton would have scored had Ward not flung his body in the way. George also gave away the penalty (though it has had Berra`s name on it for weeks).

Whereas the return of Foley and Zubar will ease our problem at right back, we desperately need cover for Ward at LB, another CD and an enforcer in midfield. Henry has improved over the past few games but he still makes mistakes. His passing is poor and he gets caught on the ball.

There`s too much sloppy play elsewhere in midfield as well. JOH was not as effective as he had been against Wigan, whether as a playmaker or as an offensive force. Milijas did not impose himself on the game either. Edwards was full of honest endeavour but lacked sharpness in the box ... that is, except for his reaction to the brush from Felliani. Hunt buzzed around but to no great effect. Jarvis, with something to prove, only once tried to round his man.

Upfront, Doyle ran gamely but never had a chance to score. When Fletcher came on it was too late. We have to improve our service to our front runners. On this showing we cannot provide adequate crosses from out wide or thread balls through the middle. After the Wigan match I had hoped for a better cutting edge but all it did was prove the existence of an even worse team than us in the PL.

Fortunately, results elsewhere went our way (thank you, WBA) but we have a tough time ahead. It`s not that our lads cannot play well enough, it`s just that they lack consistency. They are still too prone to error: they tend to dither on the ball, are often incapable of effective movement off it and regularly make wild passes. They`ll have to take another dose of the back to basics medicine that they admitted they needed last year. Where`s the progress?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Saturday November 19 2011
Time: 6:05PM


SB nice to see you back well once again reality strikes it says something when your first shot on goal is a penalty.When will MM realise we do not have enough quality the defence just leaks goals the midfield just gives the ball away to often and when Doyle is up front on his own will he ever score.But in an article MM said he had his favorites and 8-9 of them will always start which is WH in goal the back 4 KH JOH AND Doyle so where does that leave Fletcher Jarvis Zubar of whom all three should walk into the team and if that is the case what about the rest. They must be over the moon knowing what ever they do they will not get a start unless injuries or suspensions. Must be really good for their confidence and how can he be happy with the back 4 when they have only kept 1 clean sheet out of 12 games yet he is confident we will finish in the top ten please tell me what year and what league lol.
19/11/2011 19:44:00
Hope your on the mend Banksy,left my thoughts in the video section!!!UTW.
Crete Wolf
19/11/2011 21:25:00
Report hits the nail on the head as always and actually helps me put things in perspective. Just finished speaking to my Dad on the phone and whilst he had a torrid time just listening to the game I said that for the main part I was oddly enjoying it- thanks to work I have been starved of football over the past two weeks in particular and found myself enjoying the pace of the game if nothing else- it had the feel of an old fashioned game of football about it for a while, then I realized it actually reminded me of when I used to play for a Sunday Pub team. The win over the mighty Wigan had not papered over the cracks, but I maintained a sense of vague optimism which was enforced when we took the lead. The equalizer came as no surprise in any shape or form but I did spend most of the second half thinking we would leave with a point. Despite some results going our way, we are indeed back to where we were before the Wigan game with another two games beyond us. This and the Sunderland game were the stand out fixtures for taking points from our upcoming games and once again we are on the end of a defeat. Mick has argued the penalty was 'soft' then followed up with immediate honesty to point out Henry should have conceded a penalty earlier- the old line about balancing things out makes any complaint void. We have conceded a goal from a basic free kick again to give up a lead. Despite the excellent tackle from Berra we continue to look a defensive frailty. They lack stability and until someone, a former defender perhaps, can figure out how to organize a back four the mistakes will continue. Points well raised for the rest of the line up- much the same can be said about our midfield; there was a general lack of creativity today combined with the usual sloppy passing. You can see there is a greater emphasis on Henry to run forward the same as you can see his general inability to do it. Of greater concern is his continuing to give the ball away and in dangerous positions. A system that once worked so well for us has become so reliant upon Kevin Doyle that it has practically killed off his likelihood of scoring. With trips to Chelsea and Manchester United coming up the emphasis falls flat at the feet of our home game against Sunderland and our chances of beating them is anyone's guess. Let's face it- our chances of picking anything up from our next two away games is particularly slim, so even if we do manage to beat Sunderland we most likely will find ourselves on 14 points from 15 games. The commentator said today that Mick has gradually added to our squad during our time in the PL and that he will be able to do so again in January- he pointed out that we are not a club that splashes ten or fifteen million pound on a player and that our team development will follow in such a measured fashion. We may not have spent vast sums on individuals but as time has gone by we have been able to bring in better players- my main concern is that Roger the Johnson and Jamie O'Hara, two very good players, have quickly come to look average. These are players held in high regard who have done the business everywhere else so what has happened. It does not matter to me who we bring in in January. Mick has recently underlined his determination to regularly pick the same 8 or 9 he trusts in which as is mentioned above is hardly encouragement for those not in the team. Banks statement, where is the progress, rather than a question does underline my relative boredom in my resignation that there is no progress, and has not been progress since we completed the admirable task of finishing 15th in our first season back. This player or that, brought in to 'freshen things up' or supposedly improve us won't; I love the club and my support does not flag- off the field the stadium development, new academy and financial stability are all huge positives. I also think we have a very good squad. Unfortunately I can not describe us even as an average Premiership side. We have finished 15th & 17th and a dozen games into the season are two points above the worst of three poor teams. We are a struggling Premiership side and have been since promotion.
New York City Wolf
20/11/2011 00:36:00
CITY WOLF well said if you cansee it and me and everyone else why cant MM its just the same thing time and time again silly mistakes or bad defending. This is are third season in the PL yet we do not seem to have learnt anything i think RJ and joh are very good players but are getting dragged down by the medioca in the team which lets be honest their is plenty. Just hope we have enough to still be there next season or everything will come tumbling down.
20/11/2011 08:22:00
What is so annoying is to recall the missed opportunity of the summer transfer window. In that respect our opening victories against two poor sides did us a disservice because it lulled us into a false sense of the true worth of our team ... that is, if MM and the blinkered management ever wanted to spend more money. We could have obtained Dann, for instance. Now it's too late and at best we can only look forward to panic buying in January. I doubt that we will do much business then,though, with MM once again putting his trust in crossed fingers and empty platitudes. Of course, we will be accused of relishing our defeats so that we can pour scorn on MM and the lads. That's hugely insulting: I don't pay large sums of money for a season ticket and for travel to matches merely to gloat over my team's demise. I would love to be upbeat but at the moment there's little for me to praise. And we are struggling because of the repetition of basic errors, mistakes that I would be ashamed of committing. Unless we sort these out, we will never make progress. Where does the blame lie? I've paid my dues but what about the people who could really make a difference?
20/11/2011 10:09:00
A truly awful match, between two embarrassingly bad teams.I watched it on a stream and obviously had the same coverage as NY judging by the commentators quoted comments. The myth about the PL being the 'best league in the world' will no doubt perpetuate, regardless of the insipid nothingness on display yesterday. 'Sunday league', 'schoolboy',' amateurish' all cover it. The usual suspects (all amongst MM's 'chosen' eight) were given opportunity to show us how they are so very short of the required standard to make this season anything other than another desperate fight for survival.Berra again looked berra than Johnson, with Stearman having to break something before being saved the skinning he'd received the whole match. Moxey has gone public with confirmation that MM was 'under budget' in the summer, therefore placing any 'blame' on his team manager for the glaringly obvious lack of skill within the squad. Hats off to those that argued that was the case. I was of the belief that no manager in MM's position would hesitate in taking advantage of the whole kitty available to him.When the debate over his future inevitably flared up, i'd used the argument that he'd had to operate within a restrictive budget, whilst attempting to strenghten a weak squad.That would clearly appear not to have been the case, however. There has been plenty of mention on here of MM being 'deluded' regarding the quality of his band of championship tryers;an argument i'd countered by placing the blame on SM for not making sufficient funds available.Again I concede that I appear to have been wrong there, too; deluded it is, then, Mick.As SB so rightly points out, it is an insult to suggest that we wish to see Wolves do badly, so as to be able to say: 'told you so'.Much more a case of 'what did you expect?'It wasn't those of us who thought we'd under cooked it in the summer who were predicting ridiculously high finishes in the table.Our point was the squad wasn't good enough and wouldn't miraculously improve over the close season.I have an overwhelming desire for them to prove me wrong but that does not include ignoring what i'm seeing week after week. Nice to see you back,SB. I take it the closing question in your report was rhetorical.
20/11/2011 12:26:00
A4D: no, I really would like MM and the management to give us an honest assessment of our plight and provide an indication of what they are going to do to redeem the situation. If it is true that MM rejected transfer money in the summer, he was either seriously deluded or deliberately ignored the best interests of the club. Is this the moment to trot out quotes like: 'I select KH then ten others', 'George Elokobi is a PL class left back' and 'we can achieve a top ten finish'. At the moment, writing more than a few lines causes me pain but not as much as the sight of our team, one that I have supported for over 60 years, struggling through penny-pinching and poor management. Of course, we are no longer the club I grew up with but, given our resources, we could do so much better than this. So, who is to blame?
20/11/2011 13:19:00
SB I blame MM for his ineptitude to realise the players we have are not good enough.But then you have to ask yourself what rolewas Moxey playing in this do we have the money to spend or not. Third i blame MORGAN more than any one he bought the club for 10 quid with a promise to put 30million in yes he has done that but where is the rest.All right having state of art academy and 50thousand seater stadium but not so good if your playing Scunthorpe. I thought MORGAN had some idea about football being a Liverpool fan you can not get sucsess with out investment which so far their does not seem to be alot. Saying that is it his or is it right MM who said the squad was good enough if so who is the most (deluded )becuase we do not have a squad good enough and that is fact.
20/11/2011 20:24:00
ā€œI was delighted. Maybe a few weeks ago I might have been frustrated at some of the things we were doing but we played well as an away team.ā€ So says MM regarding the teams performance at Everton, as quoted in the E&S. There doesn't seem to be any answers to your questions forthcoming,SB.On the grounds that 'management' aren't acknowledging there's anything to answer.'Delighted' with the performance. We obviously expect far too much,SB.You know how you'd already lowered your sights for this season? Lower them again.
21/11/2011 11:22:00
I am glad the ordeal is over - I mean your one, SB, for WW's certainly is not. Started out by riding the wave, now it's back into troubled water. The Bridge over that on Saturday, or over Chelsea's own troubled water? They will desperate for a win after the L'pool defeat, so they may leave gaps at the back, only we will need the men to put any chances away. Whether it be fact or not, I would not be at all surprised if MM did actually refuse transfer money. One did not need to read too much into his statements to make out that he was quite satisfied with the players he had back in August. And I tended to agree with that then as I do now, for I am still of the opinion that the problem is principally one of selections, tactics and attitude rather of competence of the players. I see your point about George, I agree too, but I have learned to hold back on commenting, even more so on passing judgement, on the poor showings of individual players....remember Ward ? All of us, including myself, were saying he was not PL class, and look at his performances for both Club and country now. Of course, all are entitled to voice their opinions, why not? But to what avail? And was it a wonder that MM did not heed your advice? In the end it all boils down to whether one has trust in the manager or not. As long as the Chairman does, MM will be manager. That is all that really counts.
22/11/2011 13:53:00
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