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Wolves 2 - Sunderland 1

Premier League

Molineux

4th December

Attendance: 25,145

Referee: Phil Dowd

Wolves
2 - 1
Sunderland
Steven Fletcher 73, 81
 
Kieran Richardson 52
 
Venue: Molineux
 
Attendance: 25,145
The Teams
Wayne Hennessey
 
 
 
Keiren Westwood
 
 
Ronald Zubar
 
 
 
Phillip Bardsley
 
 
Jody Craddock
 
 
74
 
John O'Shea
 
 
Christophe Berra
 
 
 
Wes Brown
 
 
Stephen Ward
 
 
 
Kieran Richardson
 
 
Matthew Jarvis
 
 
 
Sebastian Larsson
 
 
David Edwards
 
 
 
Lee Cattermole
 
 
Jamie O'Hara
 
 
 
Jack Colback
 
 
Stephen Hunt
 
 
66
 
Stephane Sessegnon
 
 
87
Kevin Doyle
 
 
66
 
Dong-Won Ji
 
 
70
Steven Fletcher
 
 
 
Nicklas Bendtner
 
 
Substitutes
Dorus De Vries
 
 
 
Trevor Carson
 
 
George Elokobi
 
 
 
Craig Gardner
 
 
Richard Stearman
 
 
 
David Vaughan
 
 
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
 
 
66
 
Titus Bramble
 
 
Roger Johnson
 
 
74
 
James McClean
 
 
Adam Hammill
 
 
66
 
Ahmed Elmohamady
 
 
70
Nenad Milijas
 
 
 
Ryan Noble
 
 
87
Game Statistics
15
Goal Attempts
18
10
On Target
12
8
Corners
3
9
Fouls
12
2
Yellow Cards
3
0
Red Cards
0
51
%
49




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The Journalist

Writer: Akela Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday December 4 2011

Time: 5:57PM

Your Comments

It was a much better performance from the lads today. I was also pleased to see MM display a little more flexibility and thought in his team selection. Dropping Johnson, though necessary, must have been painful. Craddock, I thought, brought greater poise and solidity to the defence. MM also resisted the temptation to bring back Stearman. Zubar was far more effective this week and in spite of a couple of errors further strengthened our defence. With him and Ward overlapping up the wings, we suddenly look a more potent force going forward. Ward was impressive and not merely because he stopped a certain goal. He looked calm and confident on the ball and, as captain for the day, led by example. Jarvis, too, played well, his cross being headed in by Fletcher for the first goal. Fletcher, like the team in general, sharpened up in the second half and he will score many more if he gets pinpoint passes like that one. Even so, MJ still tends to overhit the ball, whereas Hunt, who had an unconvincing game, kept firing it short. He should have buried his chance in the first half too. The return of O'Hara livened up our midfield and ensured that we achieved parity (at least) in this area. What we don't do as well as the opposition is break quackly from defence. We are also vulnerable to the counter-attack, as the Sunderland goal proved. WH should have guarded his near post but who can criticise the man who kept us in the game. Of course, it shouldn't have been a penalty: Craddock did not touch Larsson and it was outside the box anyway. This result willl lift the spirits of the players as well as giving us momentary relief in the survival stakes. We should not kid ourselves that we are 'out of the wood' yet. We should be putting away more of our chances, while tightening up further at the back. Had Larsson scored from the spot, we would not have come back. But, hey, let's enjoy the moment and congratulate MM and the lads for a great, hard fought victory ... even though it's going to be somewhat more difficult next week.
Southbank60
I thought we were outstanding second half Zubar brings so much more going forward and may be RJ has had the kick up the backside he needed because when he came on Sunderland didnt do to much.I said in another report about trying to sign Craig Gardener of Sunderland hope we can i think him and Ohara will be good in midfield scores goals and competition for Henry.Overall well pleased with the performance and the scoreline hope MM still trys to brings 2 or 3 players in Jan as he said we have alot of fight and grit but need more quality. If carry on playing like that especially second half hopefully will be safe from the trap door.
kiawolves
We might not break 'quackly' from defence but we did break our 'duck'.
Southbank60
Much better performance from the Wolves boys yesterday. As mentioned on MOTD2, momentum had a huge impact on the game and crowd. Agree with the comments on Zubar, thought he gave us pace and width going forward though he got caught flat footed once or twice; but he's been injured for ages and we haven't seen him playing regularly and in form for a long time, so a positive there to see him getting chance. Craddock is a rock at the back, I'd like to see him and Johnson playing together at the back, I don't think Berra is Prem quality, week in week out he is seen holding onto players both in and out of the box as soon as they get past him, he's going to bring us trouble at some point from it. Johnson hasn't been playing well, but I think Craddock beside him he'd find his form again. Nice to see Fletch and Doyle upfront again, my worry is that when we switch back to our away formation Doyle is played as the lone striker again. His work rate is great, but we play a team with wingers who deliver a lot of balls into the box and Fletch is always in the right place, right time and great with his head. Fletch's record speaks for itself. Looking forward to our duel with the big boys next week. Hopefully Hunt will be back to his terrorising ways!
HiHoWolverhampton
Berra has received a good press for the way he controlled Bentner but, as you rightly point out, HHW, he often has to resort to ... er ... underhand means. He will lose us matches if he persists in holding on. Redknapp and Phillips highlighted an example in the box that should have resulted in a penalty. You make a good point about pairing Johnson with Craddock, though it might depend on the state of Jodie's hamstring. We have to play Fletcher up front and, I would argue, with Doyle just behind him. However, the wingers have to deliver consistently good crosses into the box. When Jarvis managed to cue it up properly, Fletcher scored.
Southbank60
We looked a much better outfit than we have recently. Mick is often at his best when forced into changes. For once I could not argue with his team selection or substitutes. Well done boys. More of the same please
OLDGOLD
OLDGOLD, that mirrors my view as well, and perfectly, were it not for the word 'much' in the opener. More of the same will be forthcoming, but not all the time, make no mistake about it, we are not exempt from those 'bad days at the office. I have come to accept that both good and bad performances 'fall from the sky'. And MM had stated something to that effect last season. Were it otherwise, could it be managed, we would invariably play like this week in week out.
lovesW
I've been waiting for an Akela thread on the statement that 3m is being made available to MM to spend on new players. As it hasn't materialised, I am introducing the issue here. I don't think it is enough - even if we bring in one or two loanees as well - but what does anyone else think? And who should we buy or 'rent'?
southbank60
As to that, Southbank....on the lines of my closing point in my last comment, no new additions are necessary IF one could get the lot we have already to play well consistently. It seemed at first RJ had settled matters at the back, you will recall. Now it is back to Craddock, who did superbly well. I did mention once legislation should be passed to deny JC retirement. Incidentally, I have heard two versions of a saying by two English blokes, and it was with reference to RJ: one said he was a g*y as a 10 note, the other said as a 9 bob note. Admittedly, the two chaps come from different areas in the UK.
lovesW
LovesW: all players in PL squads are reasonable footballers and are capable of executing the basic skills of kicking a ball and running about. According to function, they might even manage the more exotic feats of catching, tackling, heading, crossing, shooting and finding space. Our lads are versed in at least two of these soccerly arts. The problem, as you point out, is that they cannot carry them out on a regular enough basis that is consistent with PL survival. Even when they upped their game, as on Sunday, they still committed simple errors (and, admittedly, some deft touches). So, we know the sort of people we want to attract in January but are the ones out there going to come to Molineux? And will the purse-strings be drawn back far enough to accommodate them?
southbank60
Here's the thing: With Henry available again and Craddock injured does mick throw them both back in after what we have witnessed? We were so much more fluid and attack minded in midifeld without "backpass" Henry repeat, and as mentioned looked a helluva lot more resolute at the back with Jody. Zubar is a million times better than stearman, who it must be said, is NOT a premiership defender, nice guy im sure, but not for the prem. We do need strengthening, atleast 1 defender and another striker, SEB is another championship at best player, and we need more ooomph up front... It was an improved performance, and seeing mick drop one of his (underperforming) favourites was a welcome sight, but i fear Henry and Johnson will be straight back in ... (Agreed Johnson has to come back in as Jody is injured - but this just emphasizes the lack of depth in our squad)
AdMant
What about Vokes as a back up striker? The vision of his miss against MU still haunts me but the images of his two goals against Norway are now appearing alongside it. He is also scoring goals for Burnley. It's a pity that Craddock's hamstrings are 36 years old otherwise I would have liked to see him retain his place but at least Johnson now knows that he is not undroppable ... unlike Henry. This season Stearman has gained access to that charmed circle so it will be interesting to see if MM selects him and his supporting cast over Zubar. Zubes will be a week stronger and 90 more minutes match fitter and will therefore play even better on Saturday. He will be awesome by the time of the Stoke and Norwich matches.
southbank60
I agree, it was a MUCH better performance than the last two. Obviously that's not saying a lot, the performances against Everton and Chelsea were awful. The thing is, MM thought the performance at Everton was 'brilliant', so he probably was unable to articulate how good we played against Sunderland.It was on a par with the wins over Blackburn and Fulham and the first half against Spurs i.e. we played as well over 90mins as we are capable of. There's no 'kicking on from here' to come. There's the probability of no points from OT which makes the Stoke game the latest in the list of 'massive' games for us. Johnson now has to come back in due to Jody's ol' 'strings.The fact that three seasons in there's a debate as to whether he should play if fit, sums up our progress perfectly, I feel.It was good to see Doyle come off on sunday. He's turned himself ( or others have) into one of those CF's who relinquish all responsibility for scoring goals, replacing the irreplaceable (goals!) with running (and diving) aroung a lot. The thing is, it isn't him that's setting up our only goalscorer with chances. He's not scoring nor assisting Fletch to.Our no10 HAS to start regardless of formation or fixture.
all4divisions
SB dont no where 3million comes from as we offered 4.5 million for Craig Gardener last season but he decided to join Sunderland in stead so all of a sudden we have lost 1.5 million some where so i dont believe we only have 3mill. As for new signings MM is a big fan of Gardener who i think would be a big hit at Wolves if MM can get him on loan with a view to a permenant deal in the summer as it was Oneill who let him go from AV to the Brums in the first place scored 10 goals last season from midfield and can play the holding role as well. Would also take a chance on Nedum Onuoha from MC 3-4 MILL can play CH or LB which would solve 1 or 2 problems as in not relying on Elokobi Diame of Wigan is some one else who has been mentioned was one of Wigans better players and out of contract at end of season get him on cheap. As i have said before dont think NM or AG will be here after Jan NM is out of contract in summer and AG only has one more season and after some of his performances would not be suprised to see him go that would just leave a striker who can score goals because we only have Fletcher.
kiawolves
I wouldn't take to much notice of any reported figures,SB. There's money available, it appears but as Kia points out, there's probably players on the way out, too. Let's not forget that those leaving maye well be e.g. a proven PL scorer. Someone who has a knack of scoring even in a struggling team, playing knackers.We would definitely fall into the bracket of clubs who are susceptible to 'hostile' transfers from more established, wealthier clubs.Having an out-and-out CF scoring at the rate he is, in the mould of our former greats is exciting, of course and vital to us. I'm just pointing out the possibility that Fletch's antics are being monitored very closely.
all4divisions
Aarrgghh!! I hadn't thought of that, A4D. Moreover, given his treatment at WW, he can hardly feel that much loyalty to the club. We should be able to make a bit of money on other players: I am sure that Milijas will go and haunt us thereafter when he plays against us in a team that can showcase his talents. Leeds might buy Keogh, though I wouldn't want to lose Vokes to Burnley (or any other team) because he's beginning to realise his potential. I am not certain about AG because he is the sort of player who would do well with us once he ceases to adopt a puppy-like approach to the game.
southbank60
I should imagine O'Neill will be given a few bob in Jan. So there's one competitor for players we may be interested in, or for players whom we currently employ.Sunderland are having trouble scoring goals, I hear. I agree with your assessment of AG's match 'maturity', SB, and i'd like to see him stay. It may well be that he's already received the instructions we'd like to give him ourselves and hasn't played to them, though. It's quite frustrating because, as Hansen would put it:"there's a player in there somewhere"...it's a case of tapping into the potential.
all4divisions
 

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