Wolves Impress. Manchester United Win
Tuesday 26th October 2010
If Wolves performance against Chelsea at the weekend was one of our best of the season, this one may come a second close but the fact remains that we walked away from The Bridge on Saturday without any points and tonight were dumped out of the League Cup.
Mick McCarthy, not for the first time, told BBC Sport that he was beginning to sound like a broken record having seen his side match one of the best sides in the country, creating enough chances to have won it, yet ultimately come away with nothing.
Poor Mick must be encountering some restless nights these days as he ponders as to how exactly he is going to fix what began as a leaky valve but which has slowly become a bubble ready to burst.
Now, I am the last person to buy into tabloid hyperbole, I understand the fact we have just given the best two teams in the division a run for their money, and I am certainly not part of the brigade who would have Mick removed tomorrow.
I think McCarthy has pulled off phenomenal feats at our club and after having him at the reign for four years and counting I truly hope he will still be with us four years from now- in the meantime, considering the fifteen 'lost' years of oblivion, spending and failing in equal measures in failed attempts to climb from the Championship, of course it is exciting to look at the fixture list and see both Manchester clubs and Arsenal ahead of us, but the way we are rolling, we will be making a shrift return to the Barnsley's and Doncasters's next year unless something changes, although this, we assume, will come later rather than sooner considering the aforementioned challenges that lay ahead.
Tonight, Wolves fielded a strong side starting with no less than five internationals, one on the brink, and two England under 21's. Whilst Mick made 7 changes, Sir Alex typically changed his entire starting line up, and whilst the quality we met was in abundance, we came 'this' close to turning over Manchester United on their own turf.
In the stark reality of morning, people will pick up the paper, see that Wolves lost, dwell on the fact we have not now won in nine games, and shrug at the sight of another Manchester United victory.
Those that were there will probably still be bringing this game up at least a couple of months down the road, for a forgettable first half and an unforgettable second.
Just as the blood and thunder contest against Newcastle still sends a slight shiver down the spine, tonight's game flared into life in the second half and produced forty five of the best minutes of football we have seen so far this season, and if not 'technically' the best, then right up there amongst the most exciting.
Few will argue that the first half was a dire affair with an odd lack of purpose or presence. Fifteen minutes later, we saw two different sides emerge.
Whilst each side set out with positive endeavor at the start of the second half if hardly came as a surprise that United would raise the bar and subsequently took the lead nine minutes after the restart when Bebe profited from a cruel deflection from the otherwise impressive Elokobi. Within four minutes however, Big George had put that behind him nodding home a corner resulting from a stunning effort from Stephen Hunt, making his full debut, which was excellently turned away from goal by Fabio, making only his second appearance himself.
The game had sprung to life and both sides pushed forward in search of a second which was converted by Ji Sung in the 70th minute. Considering the manner of the game however, and each sides attacking intent, it almost came as no surprise when a brilliant flick from record signing Stephen Fletcher was coolly slotted home by full back Kevin Foley, scoring his first of the season on the back of his best performance so far.
After Sylan Ebanks Blake had come perilously close to putting Wolves into the lead for the first time in the game with a rasping drive from the edge of the box, Wolves hearts were left broken late in the game once more, this time thanks to an excellent finish from stand out United star Javier Hernandez who crashed the ball home a minute from time off the body of a hapless Wayne Hennessey who had otherwise impressed in the Wolves goal.
It was a valiant effort from a strong visiting line up against one similar strong awaiting for them. Tonight, it was Manchester's turn to show, just like Chelsea did on Saturday, how you turn a tough game into a victory.
From nine league games and including tonight's cup game, Wolves have conceded only three first half goals, whilst conceding fourteen in the second half. It is a worrying statistic, that whether to do with concentration, strategy, fitness, or whatever we want to blame it on, the coaching staff need to address and address quickly. It's lovely to see our side playing well and competing with the best, it's never enjoyable to walk away having seen your team beaten no matter what the fashion.
Thoughts on a post card, the usual address.
Your friend, back from marriage, honeymoon and a new house, New York City Wolf.