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Praying for a Miracle

Praying for a Miracle

Since last week`s defeat I have been feeling semi-detached from the goings-on at Molineux, considering that nothing can save us now. Of course, TC and the players have argued that there are still thirty points on offer (now, twenty-seven) but, if we continue our current form, we are not going to pick up a single one. We are by a long way the worst team in the PL. Even Wigan picked up a point against the Baggies yesterday (and should have won).

While I had posted responses to the various threads over the course of the week, I had been operating on auto-pilot. I just about managed to summon up the energy to have a half-hearted swipe at johnwolf but that didn`t take much effort. Even the prospect of the MU match did not excite me. Having discounted the result, I did not even suffer from the usual mixture of anxiety, gloom and dry-throated anticipation.

Fortunately, I had something else to look forward to this weekend, with Wales going for the Grand Slam against France. At least one of my teams is capable of winning matches. I watched both that game and the Scotland-Italy fixture at a local pub and, while I was elated with the outcome, my Scottish friend wore the same expression as I have noticed on the face of WW supporters. Even so, as both of us had sunk a few pints by the end of the afternoon, nothing seemed to matter as we wove our way home.

Incidentally, Wales`s victory over France has ensured that the forthcoming wedding of my elder daughter to a Frenchman will be an amicable affair. I still have not forgiven Les Bleus for beating us in the semi-final of the World Cup last year and, as a result, threatened to withdraw my consent if they had won yesterday.

I would have preferred to view the MU match 'in situ' but, as it was Mother`s Day and I had rolled home rather worse for wear the previous day, there was absolutely no chance of being allowed to travel to the ground. Like the salesman selling dresses to Julia Roberts in 'Pretty Woman`, I knew that a 'major sucking-up` job was necessary (stop tittering!).

In effect, I had to act as a surrogate daughter and take my wife out for a morning stroll, followed by Sunday lunch at a nearby pub. Bolting my food, I might have managed to get back to the house for the 1.30 pm kick-off, had my wife not sussed out the reason for the speedy dispatch of the food. It took the promise of yet another expedition to find shoes to match the wedding outfit to placate her ... and a pudding, coffee and liqueur at the restaurant.

Arriving home at 2.20 pm, my wife kindly rewound the clock so that I could watch the game from the kick-off. If I had known that we were already three goals down and a man short, I don`t think I would have bothered.

Having viewed the whole game in its entirety, I find it difficult to assess our performance, given Zubar's dismissal. Sure, we got stuffed but we did not look that bad for the first 20 minutes. We started quite brightly: Zubar made a characteristic run, Jarvis looked like he meant business, Fletcher put a glancing header wide and we were closing down MU players reasonably well. Davis made a great sliding tackle in the 8th. minute. Of course, our passing was still sloppy, a weakness which the slickness of MU`s distribution of the ball brought into sharper relief.

It couldn`t last and in the 20th. minute we gave away a typically stupid goal. From a corner, no-one picked up Carrick beyond the far post and he was able to slide it through to the similarly unmarked Evans to tap home. Once again we had thrown away all the hard work with a schoolboy howler of a mistake.

If MU were dominating the play, we were keeping them out and the match was still redeemable. Then, in the 39th. minute, Zubar, who had already earned himself a yellow card for a late tackle on Rooney, repeated the trick and was immediately sent off. This was a pity. Not only did it reduce our chances of getting a result to vanishing point, it also opened up the flood-gates. And we also lost the services of Zubar and his galloping runs down the flank (and more to the point for another three games).

Now MU could cut open our defence at will and the only question was the scale of the defeat. In the 42nd. minute, a MU counter-attack caught us napping and Valencia (perhaps aided by the withdrawal of Davis through injury), drove forward before cutting in from the wing and unleashing an unstoppable shot into the far corner of the net. Three minute later he cut the ball back to the unmarked Welbeck to fire past an unsighted Hennessey.

In the second half MU relaxed and we only shipped a further two goals. In the 55th. minute woeful defending allowed Hernandes a free header, which he duly converted. Five minutes later great interplay in and around our penalty area ended with Hernandes scoring another easy goal. We couldn`t get anywhere near the players on the ball. The gulf in skill, movement and speed of thought merely underlined our technical inferiority.

We never gave up and might have scored a consolation goal from one or two chances. For a heady few minutes two-thirds of the way through the game we put MU under pressure. Kightly, who had replaced Doyle in the 56th. minute, woke up and gave us a glimpse of the flyer who used to terrorise Championship full-backs. Why do we play Doyle out of position? If he plays, he should be operating in tandem with Fletcher. Again, flick-ons went begging.

By now MU were strolling and were primarily intent on giving their younger players a bit of match practice. Smalling came on, sporting a scrum cap that made him look as if he had spent yesterday on the field at Twickenham. We withstood a couple of scares and the match quietly tip-toed to a close.

It could have been worse, given the circumstances, but it could have been a helluva lot better too. We would probably have lost, whatever happened, but we keep on making basic errors. Why can`t we defend set pieces and pick up men in the box. Why can`t we pass the ball to a team-mate? And, if a player is on a yellow, why does he not think before committing another reckless tackle? So, that`s another player out for a few games.

If I am beyond caring now, for a few minutes at the start of the match I thought that a spark of life remained in the team. I began to contemplate a miracle, daft thought it seemed, even at the time. Of course, we soon pressed the self-destruct button and I regained my now customary state of nirvana. Perhaps Championship football next season will rekindle my sense of excitement. At least, we might win some matches, that is, if we tighten up our game.

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

Date:Sunday March 18 2012
Time: 4:58PM


Our only chance is that three teams out of the five are worse than us Peter,I look at other results and it looks worse,Swansea winning 3-0 away at Fulham in particular makes us look bad. I am not a betting man but If I was I would'nt bet on us staying up but on the other hand I would,nt bet on any of the other four so we have a outside chance.
Crete Wolf
18/03/2012 17:31:00
SB60 and there lies the problem you could have driven ten double decker buses through are defence or more to the point did we have a defence. Does TC know what hes doing thats four games one point fourteen goals conceded and two scored but we have to have faith what in that shower.Every one of MU goals could have been stopped but our defence runs around like headless chickens not marking anyone in particular. And when we did have the ball it usually went back to WH or RS to hoof it up the park so MU could launch another attack what is the point we are a disgrace.And as for the players coming out and saying we have a chance then put in performances like we do who are they trying to kid.
18/03/2012 17:34:00
I'm beginning to think it would be good for us to go down, regroup under a new, young and dynamic manager and storm back into the PL. Well, one can dream.
18/03/2012 18:07:00
i watched 24000 fans concede defeat today.....Did we get angry....NO!!......Did we have a go at the players.....NO!!.......Did we have a go at the Board......Maybe just a little bit!!!. What we did was sing our hearts out for over half an hour. Remember that Southampton Game????? It was the same atmosphere. Such was the Noise that it actually stopped the Man United fans from singing. I suspect they, the players and the board were all a little perplexed but it was patently obvious what was happening......... THIS WAS 24000 WOLVES FANS SAYING "F**K YOU" to the Premier League and to the ***** we have put with over the last few months. Ironically, this might actually galvanise us as a Club and a Team. Clearly, the gulf between us and Man U is immense and down to 10 men there was only going to be one result, HOWEVER, the players actually relaxed as the game went on. Davis looks like a great young player and Kightly did at least run his heart out. After all the bad results.......we are still only 2 points off safety which considering how badly we are playing is a bloody miracle. CAN WE STAY UP???? Yes we can......WILL WE??? Anyones guess but until its not mathematically possible we have to show a bit of solidarity. We saw that in spadefuls today...even it was done in a slightly sarcastic yet amusing manner.
18/03/2012 18:08:00
If you are going to cut and paste my recent 'Do You Know Where Hell Is' article on a regular basis Banks then you may as well do the same with this match report because shipping five goals is becoming the norm. We used to be better than this- we used to give goals a two goal lead and then fight back! Today was a non starter. I spent 45 minutes trying to get a link at which point Texan Wolf advised me the third had hit the net at which point I had determined before the game would be my marker to leave the commentary on and start painting. Considering I have been doing some general construction on the apartment meant there was a hammer nearby and I did give it a stare at one point. Metaphorically someone has already picked it up and smashed our dreams to smithereens. "If you think this is bad....." etc- yes the brothers of sin, the Chorley disaster forever etched on our memo jot, whatever. Season ticket after season I watched us field a collective of past their prime donkey's with my arms folded accepting we would never grace the Premiership. We made it. Dave Jones was never given even a fighting chance. Second bite of the apple and we have *****ed it up in spectacular fashion. Anticipation- they beauty of this game that we love. It has gone. We are all resigned to relegation (anyone with rational thinking) and a point somehow, somewhere would be cause surely for wanton celebration. It will be met with mockery which is a word we can attach to our club. A Wigan fan has already dropped by the stat page to ridicule us. Can it get any worse we ask? And it does. This stems from a lack of backbone at the end of last season which became more frail as this sorry season unfolded. We know the decisions that should have been made. We can see what is wrong with the team (if you can call it that) the so called manager who still thinks it is okay to smirk after a 5-0 hammering. "We gave it everything" he says. Well if that was everything they may as well not even bother turning up next week. I would name our opponents but I don't even know who we are playing. It doesn't actually matter either. 12 games, 11 games, 10, 9.... I think I shall give the Express & Star a wide berth also because I do not want to hear bull***** comments about the spirit being in tact, the so called manager knowing what he is doing and maintaining the 'full support' he enjoys (as Mick did) from the two idiots who could not have sold the job to Groucho Marx. Forget this season> What happens next?
New York City Wolf
18/03/2012 18:39:00
Its not over yet. Still plenty of games to saty up.
18/03/2012 20:34:00
Is that you John?! Plenty of games to keep shipping five aye.
New York City Wolf
19/03/2012 03:57:00
Loved the "gallows" humour during Sundays match.The singing,and general atmosphere around Molineux was a joy to behold.This if anything, should show the board and Moxey in particular where the real Wolves DNA is,on the terraces.
19/03/2012 12:22:00
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