Birmingham 1-1 Wolves: Don’t kick Santa in the teeth next time he comes calling

Written by World Wide Wolfie on May 1st, 2011

It’s been too long: too long since I last blogged, and too long since Wolves put in a convincing performance.  Newcastle seemed at the time like it would be an aberration, but it has proved to be the start of some serious relegation standard play.  Our away form has always been poor, and home form seems racing to catch up.  It has always been clear that Doyle was a pivotal player, but I for one have still been surprised how little we’ve been able to create in his absence.

Today could have been just the jump start we needed to launch an undeserved (on recent form) escape from relegation.  Wolves were gifted the early goal with an undeniable – and completely unnecessary – penalty conceded by Ben Foster for a foul on Ward, who was going nowhere.  Six minutes in, Fletcher slotted home confidently and Wolves had the lead.  It could have been our day for once.

Player advantage: 1.  Shots on target: 1

Player advantage: 1. Shots on target: 1

A further gift came in the form of the sending off of Craig Gardner for a second yellow.  The Birmingham fans will have been unhappy with the referee giving a second yellow for a dive, but should perhaps spare their ire for the player who sought to get an advantage by cheating, even when the advantage to be gained was not that great.

Unfortunately by this point Wolves had already surrendered the lead in an all too familiar bout of shocking defending – this time with Mancienne the guilty party (a change at least from Berra or Stearman, I suppose) and Hennessey weak in trying to atone for the midfielder’s shocking header into the path of Larsson.

It can be notoriously hard to break down 10 men (and Wolves certainly find it so – when did we last beat 10 men? Ok, Blackpool, but other than that I can only remember the failures: Man U, Gillingham off the top of my head, but they’ll be many more I forget) but we failed to create any real chance of note despite the advantage.  The replacement of Jarvis by Hunt killed what attacking threat we had carried, and a 1-1 draw was a fair result.  O’Hara continued to raise expecations only to frustrate them; Henry gave the referee every chance to level the playing field by sending him off; Hammill looked, when he first came on for the second half, a candidate to give us real attacking threat, but too soon joined in the tactic of long balls into the box.  Ultimately, there was a lot of running, too little passing, and almost no spark.

Can we stay up?  Absolutely.  By definition, the teams at the bottom of the table tend to lose games – we’re bad but not alone.  Despite picking up only two points from the last five games, we’re only one point from safety, with three games to play.

Will we stay up?  The squad’s not changing and we’re unlikely to get anyone back from injury now, so if the players we have available now can’t play better as a team (and there’s been no sign in the last month that they can), we’ll need a very healthy dose of luck to get the results we need.  We were gifted plenty of luck today, and completely failed to capitalise, so let’s hope Santa’s willing to give us a second chance.  I find it hard to be hopeful but, while there’s everything to fight for, I’ll keep believing!

Next up West Brom, and I’m sure we’ll have no problem beating them, but we have to play for a win, and we have to believe we can achieve it.  Belief is a difficult commodity for teams in our position to come by.  Mick McCarthy has a week to instill it in his team.

 

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. World Wide Wolfie says:

    And he did!

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  2. andy says:

    Steve Bruce will be Wolves new manager.

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