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Attack is the Best Form of Defence

Attack is the Best Form of Defence

This was the proverbial game of two halves. Birmingham dominated the first one and Wolves went in at the break lucky not to be a couple of goals down never mind a fluky goal up. This time, however, our team did not switch off in the second half and, upping the tempo, continuously had the opposition on the back foot. We could have won by two or three goals.

Watching a recording of the post-match interviews it was nice to see an opposition manager complaining that his team didn`t deserve to lose. Sure, if referees awarded points but WW got the goal, held resolutely on to the lead and ended up the dominant side by far.And, as I continuously pointed out when we were failing to hold on to one goal leads (or a draw), attack is the best form of defence. So, instead of defending ever more deeply as BC sought an equaliser, we kept our formation and put them under constant pressure.

Even so, unlike last week, we need to impose our ourselves on the match from the start: we never looked like scoring in the first half. Thankfully, our defenders collectively played well and somehow managed to prevent Birmingham from getting through. When Caddis did get off a clear strike on goal, Ikeme, at full stretch, was up to the task. Fortuitously, we also benefited from an eagle-eyed linesman, who throughout the game judged all the close offside decisions in our favour.

It does help to have Henry in midfield too as we do not get overrun so easily with him on the pitch. And, in spite of some characteristic poor passes, his glorious through ball to SEB led directly to our goal. A quickly taken Birmingham free kick sent the ball deep into our half: a short pass forward from Ward to Henry and in a trice the ball was at SEB`s feet on the BC by-line at the edge of the penalty area.

A soft push by Caldwell allowed SEB to fall over and we had the free kick from which we scored. Sako drove the ball low and hard into the goal area, hoping to get a ricochet, and it worked! Sako was rightly awarded the man of the match award because of the constant threat he posed. However, he has his weakness: he tries to do too much on his own; loses the ball (I counted three occasions in the first 23 minutes) and is becoming a little wayward with his deadball kicks. But he is a magnificent player moving forward. In the second half he turned Caddis at will and, if only we had a Fletcher to finish off his crosses, we would score bucketloads of goals.

That`s not to say that we are not improving on that front because Doyle, SEB and Siggy are beginning to gel as an attacking force. Doyle had an excellent game, while Siggy has now adapted to the demands of the Championship. SEB played alright but did not take his chances. He will be the one, whom Cassidy displaces, should he prove his worth when he returns in January.

So, it`s back-to-back victories and, if the players gain encouragement from their second half performance, they should go into the Middlesbrough match next Saturday with considerable optimism. After all, Birmingham beat them last week. There`s still a long way to go but if we can hold our nerve, we should make steady progress. Much depends on action in the transfer window, of course but, who knows, we may do a Reading!

Apart from Cardiff, no other team is dominating the division and why shouldn`t a resurgent Wolves be up there in the mix? But, let`s play hard for the entire 90 minutes (plus, extra times, of course). OK, lads?

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

Date:Sunday December 9 2012
Time: 7:56AM

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I agree that we should play across the 90 minutes but from what I witnessed yesterday it is clear that we are struggling to do this. I wonder whether the first half was tactical i.e. SS asked for a containment half knowing that he wanted us to press in the second half? Sako, Siggy and Doyle worked well together. Doumbia showed some of his class but something is not quite right there so I was pleased to see Davies come on as he is more than happy to sit in front of the back four and clear up. RJ was like a man possessed....wonder why??, lol. He mopped up most of what was thrown at him and lead the line well......he's now starting to justify his price tag and with a decent RB and a better CB he will be a rock. My biggest frustration is the pointless passing about that goes on. I know SS wants possession football, fine; but to make 10 passes only to then pass to the goalkeeper who launches it up the field seems meaningless. If you are gonna retain the ball....then retain it and play it out of our area and keep the momentum up. The other issue is the backing off when th e opposition is in possession. My theory is that you retain the ball and move it forward but if you lose the ball then you need to pressure them into making a mistake. If you stand off then as was witnessed yesterday at times....they pass it around you....DANGEROUS. BC definitely had the first half even if we did go in 1-0 up through a fortuitous goal but second half we completely dominated. Role on well as the players hat will be returning from injury we will hopefully get some new recruits. Assuming They are of the same calibre as Sako, Siggy and Doumbia then hopefully we can make a real push. Personally, I am not convinced going up this season would do us any favours but I'll take what I'm given. UP THE WOLVES!!!!
09/12/2012 09:35:00
I agree Rustmonkey. Indeed, I noted at the time that we still back off, allowing the opposition to advance up to the PB. Thankfully, as you say, RJ had a good game. His tackle in our box was crucial (after he had fluffed the ball). I also noted that we still have not completely cracked SS's passing game. On the other hand, there was plenty of forward momentum in the second half. At times we literally mounted wave after wave of attack. Keep this up and we will progress ... and with added confidence we will knock the ball around to greater effect.
09/12/2012 09:50:00
Back to back wins are greatly appreciated, even if against decidedly poor opposition. I think we are seeing flashes of what Stale is up to, and it looks promising, lets hope he can bring in a couple of quality recruits next month and we can keep climbing the table. Promotion this year isnt as crucial as building a team capable of competing at the top level. WE ARE WOLVES !
10/12/2012 10:20:00
Agreed admant, towards the end of the game I noticed we seemed to have an ability to slow the game down, trying to keep the ball and control the game. I would perfer it we could convert a few chances as there was some really good ones that could have put the game to rest.
10/12/2012 10:36:00
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