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Is it right to single out players for criticism?

As the Head Coach of Wolverhampton Wanderers with the one aim of achieving promotion next season, Kenny Jackett has a task on his hands.

Despite our vast budget in comparison to the teams we are competing with, escaping the third tier of English football is not easy, just ask Sheffield United.

In fact, there is always the risk of slipping down to the fourth tier, something that Bradford have spent the best part of a decade recovering from.

To get out of the division you need your best players to be performing each week, especially when you have some star players who could walk into a whole host of teams in the division above.

We are of course referring to the 'slackers' as Express & Star have dubbed them, although we will go by their full names of Bakary Sako and Leigh Griffiths.

The duo have scored half of the club's 36 goals this season, but the goals have dried up in recent weeks for Bakary Sako.

Sako, who is once again being linked with a move to Nottingham Forest has scored once in eleven appearances and whilst Leigh Griffiths is still regularly scoring, Jackett publicly criticised their performance against MK Dons.

"There was a basic lack of desire and enthusiasm and the opposition wanted it more and we didn`t match that from start to finish," said Jackett to the E&S after the game adding "I didn`t feel they were closing down enough or that their workrate was enough.

"The changes were needed in a front-line that was labouring and wanted some fresh impetus. They just needed to work harder and show an appetite and a workrate to close down and try to win the ball back and make runs in behind defenders.'

Both were hauled off at half time to be replaced by Michael Jacobs and Liam McAlinden and if the 'slackers' don't buck their ideas up they could be spending even longer on the sidelines.

"Sako and Griffiths have got to respond in the right way, They can`t put in a first 45 minutes like they did because it wasn`t enough.' he told the press this week.

He continued: "They have to work harder because I was disappointed in what they did and they know their standards have to be kept up.

"But I`m sure they`ll get another chance."

Vital Wolves Comment: We of course need and require our best players to play to their best each and every week. They're certainly paid enough.

But is rinsing them in public the best way to man manage them? What's wrong with doing this behind closed doors?

We need everyone on the same page pulling together, this club for too long has seen everyone battling against each other.

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The Journalist

Writer: Akela Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 17 2013

Time: 11:00AM

Your Comments

I was going to write a follow-up article to the one I posted before the MK match but the points I would have stressed there are relevant here. Clearly, I was over-optimistic about the progress we have made and that at least two of our units are misfiring. While KJ is right to be concerned about the lack of goals scored by Sako and Griffiths, is it solely due to a lack of effort? Of course, Sako can do it all by himself if he wants to and he might be distracted because of uncertainty about his future but Griffiths needs a better service than he is getting at the moment. The problem still lies in midfield and I am not certain that we can solve it with the players we have at our disposal. When I wrote my last blog I thought that McDonald and Edwards might be the answer- a playmaker and a all-action box-to-box player- but in fact our decline seems to have begun with the reappearance of Edwards in the team. Because KJ is giving him freedom to get forward, McDonald is playing more deeply than he ought to be doing. It's stifling our forwards, even if it slightly improves our control of midfield. Every combination of KM, DE, JP, LE, DD and SG have been tried and been found wanting. The only other possibility is to convert Doyle into a proper midfielder, perhaps in combination with McDonald. He would be a superior Edwards-type of player rather than a provider of long, raking killer-passes. Moreover, moving him back would provide an opening for a big target man upfront to partner Griffiths. I am not certain that either McAlinden or Cassidy are good enough at the moment (though I think McAlinden will improve by the end of the season with regular game-time) so it would mean bringing someone in when the January window opens. Of course, our ability to attract a good player depends on us remaining in an automatic promotion place - or very near it- so the next few games are crucial not only in the short-term but over the course of the season and beyond.
Southbank60
Not the signs of a good manager slanging players off in public! Why did we play one up front at home against a team that cwas on a bad run. KJ constantly takes players off when he doesn't need to, on saturday we were 1.0 at half time and yet kj takes our top scorer off? Sako was playing like Sako but as we all know can win a match with one touch of brilliance. How can kj expect the players to respond by chopping and changing, we had plenty of time to turn it around in the second half if he had only put another player upfront like siggy, to do this he could have replaced edwards or mac with Doyle. My team for Saturday would be:4.4.2 ikeme, stears, db, ricketts, goldy, henry, mac, doyle, jacobs, griff, siggy. and unless a player is injured stick with them. L
johnwolf
Johnwolf: nice to see that you support my idea of putting Doyle in midfield. Your line-up adds strength in that area, giving us attacking options as well as cover in defence. However, is Siggy the target man to accompany Griffiths? He's better running with the ball from a deeper position. And what about Doherty? When fit, his overlapping runs pose a real threat. And his positional sense and tackling in defence have improved. Regarding a manager slagging off his players in public, there's a fine line to be drawn. MM's pronouncements after yet another defeat were pure moonshine and made him look silly. But, as the team is patently able to play better than they have been doing recently, a lack of effort is an obvious reason for the poor results. Of course, KJ should be aware of damaging the delicate minds of his players but they get paid a lot of money for doing a job and they owe to the fans to do their best. It's good to know that KJ is not happy with them either. The question is can he motivate them and solve the conundrum of our misfiring midfield? Oh, that's two questions!
Southbank60
 

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