We’re no further up the table, but a little pride and confidence has been restored after recent results. Watching the Wolves today I was delighted not to have chosen to watch the overpaid mercenaries in blue every week, for all the wins I’d get to see.
It may have ended as a routine win for Chelsea, but Wolves gave them a good game, and created their own chances along the way. Most significantly, we continued to attack and put players in the box right up to the end of the game. In a game of plenty of positives, there are however, two glaring negatives: 1) no points; 2) if we’d shown this belief against West Ham, we’d have won the game.
All credit, however, to McCarthy and the team for not only recovering from last week’s self-inflicted disappointment by looking to the take the game to the champions, but also trying to play a bit of football for a change.
Wolves ultimately were punished by a skillful counter attack on 20 minutes, after their best patch of play, but didn’t use this as a excuse to stop trying for a goal. With more clinical finishing and a bit of luck we might even have got a goal of our own: Edwards, Van Damme and Doyle all had decent headed chances, and it was good to see Milijas with the confidence to go for goal (would have been even better to see him hit them anywhere other than at the keeper). Chelsea it was who got the next goal, however; finally killing the game off in the 80th minute. Wolves played at the top of their game, but Chelsea always had the class to punish even the smallest mistake, without really breaking a sweat.
In the centre of defence, Stearman and Berra both didn’t get too much wrong, and were beaten by two very slick Chelsea moves. Ward wasn’t too bad, but Foley was excellent, linking very well with Jarvis going forward.
The enforced changes in the midfield worked out very well. Jones gave a generally assured performance, and played a good passing game, with Milijas also looking comfortable on his return to the team. Edwards worked as hard as ever and was involved in some good attacking play. I’ve always liked Jarvis, but he’s rapidly becoming my favourite player.
Van Damme was decent in the first half, but it was a big boost to the team to see Hunt come into the team in the second half. Despite a predictably hostile reception from the home fans, he looked sharp in the attack, and made a couple of important defensive interventions.
At the front, Kevin Doyle looked sharp, lively and much more the player of last season.
Chelsea were better, but the Wolves team did us proud today. Keep it up and we can dig ourselves out of this hole. The season starts here…