I’ll hazard a guess that if you’re reading this, you won’t need me to point out that Wolves played badly yesterday, and were a familiar defensive shambles for both goals. Luck happened to go against up with a blind referee who missed two clear cut penalty shouts but when you regularly hand your opponents a two goal advantage, it’s papering over the cracks to blame your defeat on luck or the referee.
West Ham won, and Wolves now sit at the bottom of the table, three points from safety, having given their nearest rivals a nice three point leg up the League. At this half way point, there are of course plenty of games left to make up the deficit, but the most worrying this about yesterday for me was that it showed how unable we are to correct past mistakes. The team are developing a fatal habit for conceded at least one, generally more, stupid goals per game.
I have regularly said after some fiasco or other that these are mistakes that the players must learn from – do that, I blithely insist, and we’ll start winning. It is now more than clear than no one is learning anything. I’ve given Stearman praise previously where it is due, he is a good footballer, but always has at least one critical lapse of attention too many in a game. If we are to stay up, we urgently need new personnel in defence. That much is unarguable with Craddock still some way off a return, and anyway with the future in mind. Who with any reliable record at this level would want to join us at this stage is a more difficult call. Lescott would have been amazing, but Manchester City seem to have cut off that avenue by vetoing any loan arrangements. The only reason we could realistically have got him was due to his existing connections with Wolves, and at the club – any player of similar calibre would have better inducements to go elsewhere. Taylor from Newcastle would be a good bit of business, but the club are going to have a difficult job ahead. We’re likely to end up taking a gamble, which is not what we need – any thing better than that and I’ll be congratulating Mick, Moxey and the team very much indeed. It’s a tough sell.
But onto the actual game. Must I remember? No? Excellent!
I’ll just pick out two points aside from the obvious about defensive concentration and lack of creativity in the midfield:
1) Steven Fletcher came on to score his 4th League goal – a good return from 14 appearances, 9 as a sub. It is frustrating that we seem to be unable to play a formation that enables him to play regularly and effectively.
2) Ebanks-Blake was not alone in producing a disappointing performance in this game, but it was especially irritating to see him showing such little effort (unusually so for this season, I must add). It’s been difficult to see Doyle producing so little in front of goal this season, but it was clear that we missed his linking play.
As I say, you don’t need me to say how bad yesterday was, so instead I’ll say that disappointing as the result was, frustrating as the performance was, Wednesday against Liverpool is another day, and we have a team who can do much better. Steve Morgan said two weeks ago that he supported Mick McCarthy. One game – quite rightly – will not change his mind so I’d prefer to support him and his team to do better that bitch about them.