Date:Friday August 23 2013
No longer a season ticket holder, televised games help eke out the meagre diet of WW matches that I can watch. Unfortunately, for the sake of my nerves it would have been better had I not tuned in to the two that have been screened. Losing to a Division 2 side in the cup and scoring a fluky win against a newly promoted team have given me palpitations. So what`s new? Well, now we are getting the 'rub of the green`.
But the Crawley 'minows` gave us a reality check. We might be favourites for promotion but we have to play a lot better than we did tonight, especially in defence and in front of goal. We engineered a well-worked goal in six minutes and then sat back. Having initially treated us with too much respect, Crawley came back into the game because of our casual approach. Indeed, they were the better side for much of the match and had they not squandered clear-cut chances in front of goal, they would have been out of sight before their injury-time equaliser. You would have thought that a team which could afford to keep Rooney and Torres on the bench would have possessed more deadly strikers.
Naturally, we wasted a few chances ourselves. In the 40th. minute
Sako dithered in front of an open goal from a Doyle cross, while Siggy missed several opportunities, most notably from an Ismail cross in the 61st. minute. If Griffiths had started the game, he would have scored a hat-trick, thanks to the service that Doyle was providing. Siggy scored a good goal in the 6th. minute though, having already missed one chance.
Once again, Doyle was our MOTM. He might not score many goals but he is indispensable as the link between midfield and attack, receiving the ball, moving it forward and bringing others into play. Never mind his wages, we should forget about selling him as he is too valuable to lose. We could cope without Sako but not KD. Without him this evening, we would not have won.
Of the two wide men, Ismail looked the more lively and dangerous. He had the beating of his man and this enabled him to cut inside or choose his spot for the cross. He cannot be left out. Sako, on the other hand, often over-elaborated, hit the ball too long or ran into trouble. I would stick Siggy out there.
In midfield Davis had another solid game. He is emerging as a quality enforcer, one who can run with the ball and distribute it accurately as well. Evans continues to play in patches, sending over exquisite passes one moment only to disappear from sight the next one. I was therefore pleased to see McDonald come on in the 71st. minute, giving him a chance to have an influence on the outcome of the game denied him by his 3 minute cameo role at Bristol. And he did alter the result. His run and cross led to the penalty and the winning goal. He looks classy.
To be fair to Davis and Evans a lot is expected of them, especially as our current wingers do not track back as eagerly as Hunt and Jarvis used to do. Even so, I am not certain that asking Sako to defend is a good thing, given his penchant for giving away free kicks in dangerous positions! It's not surprising that Evans finds it difficult to maintain the pace and periodically 'takes a breather'. He'll get fitter.
The back four started well, marking their opponents tightly and not allowing them much space. But, like the rest of the team, they relaxed and allowed Crawley more space. With space in midfield (see above) they began to run at us, driving into the danger zone as we backed off. Their passing was slick, accurate and positive, creating space with their neat one-twos. Conversely, we were often wayward with our passing, that is, if we had not been dispossessed because of our casualness on the ball.
Kenny Jackett admitted as much after the match. Clearly relieved to have bagged the three points in such a dramatic fashion, he still had the sense to note that we needed to improve. The players do possess the requisite skills to the requisite standard, as has been proved against Gillingham, in the first half against Bristol City and in the first fifteen minutes against Crawley this evening, but the problem now is to ensure that they perform at that level throughout the entire match.
Ironically for a team that has spent the last couple of years losing matches through a lack of confidence, they might fail to convert their superiority into points because of the opposite attitude. In this league teams under-estimate the opposition at their peril, even sides that were not even in the Football League when we were playing in the PL.
Still, three points are three points, however, gained, and we are top of the league.
Date:Friday August 23 2013
Ipswich join chase for Ebanks-Blake (Friday December 13 2013)
Forest back in for Sako (Friday December 13 2013)
McDonald living up to expectations (Thursday December 12 2013)
Christmas Present (Wednesday December 11 2013)
Championship clubs line up for Ebanks-Blake (Wednesday December 11 2013)
Wolves holding talks with Stearman (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Wolves tie named in spot-fixing scandal (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Jackett praise for Morgan (Monday December 9 2013)
McAlinden recalled from loan spell (Sunday December 8 2013)
Morgan building a lasting legacy at Wolves (Saturday December 7 2013)
|1. Leyton Orient||19||13||4||2||+25||43|
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