With just six more games to play the season’s end is fast approaching, our current third place is not looking too bad when the awful start to the campaign is taken into account. There are some tough games coming up and tonight’s trip to Molineux is a potential stumbling block which deserves to be taken just as seriously as Saturday’s win over the Manchester Oilers.
Although Wolves are rock-bottom, in the Premiership and relegation is a distinct possibility, this is going to be no easy game. Under their previous manager, Mick McCarthy, they could be relied upon to produce a robust brand of football that was capable of upsetting the best of teams. However, they have not yet managed to win a single point under new manager Terry Connor and let’s hope that run continues at least until Thursday.
Wolves’ top scorer is Steven Fletcher with ten goals, Kevin Doyle has most assists with six and Jamie O’Hara has the most shots with fifty-seven although how many of those were on target or resulted in goals is unclear. One player to watch out for is Christophe Berra who has most fouls to his name, thirty-three.
To get a Wolves supporters views I contacted Tom at wolvesblog.com and he was kind enough to answer my questions.
What were your expectations at the start of the season?
Still survival, but was hoping to be a little more comfortable than previous seasons. Sadly, it’s been anything but. In fact, it’s gone worse than anyone at the club could probably have imagined, particularly after taking 7 points from the first 3 matches.
How did you feel about the sacking of Mick McCarthy and the appointment of Terry Connor?
I agreed with the sacking of McCarthy at the time, but that was under the assumption we’d go out and get someone with a bit more tactical nous. If I’d known there and then, they’d just promote his assistant I’d have begged and pleaded for them to stick with Mick.
Has the style of football changed with the appointment of the new manager?
Not really. We don’t really have a style and that’s a major problem. Some games we’ll get it down on the deck and pass, others we’ll hoof long and attempt to press teams further up the pitch. I think this confusion has ultimately cost us. We’ve never really known what the best approach is for us, and after 3 seasons in the Premiership, that’s appalling. We deserve to go down.
Are you happy with the way the club is run?
Yes and no. Yes because we don’t overspend and risk heading towards Portsmouth territory. Relegation won’t hurt us like it would the likes of Bolton and QPR. And no because of the farcical manner we’ve unravelled this season. We shouldn’t be where we are, but a string of poor decisions on and off the pitch have cost us dearly.
With relegation a distinct prospect, do you think it can still be avoided?
No. Terrible fixtures, no leadership and a team in complete disarray.
We’ve always been a little short on quality but made up for it with effort and spirit. We’re now a shambles from top to bottom.
That said, a new manager and some good work in the summer should see us competing for an immediate return.
Finally would you care to risk a prediction for the match result?
I fear a demolition job. Depends on how long we can hold out for the first goal I suppose. 4-0 Arsenal and that’s being optimistic.
Thanks for inviting me John and good luck for the rest of the season.
Our problems in defence are once again causing concern with Laurent Koscielny set to miss the next two games, through suspension, having collected ten yellow cards for the season. Kieran Gibbs could also miss out having been subbed on Saturday. At least we will still have Sagna and Song fit despite the reckless assaults on both players by “Mad Mario”.
Despite one or two “moments” Wojciech Szczesny will again be between the posts and deservedly so. I guess Johan Djourou will come in for Koscielny and Andre Santos for Gibbs if he’s unable to play.
Any changes to the rest of the team will probably be down to tiredness although, the players should be on a high following the win over the other Manchester outfit.
Rosicky, Benayoun and particularly Arteta were immense in the last game and should start again tonight, Vermaelen, Song, Walcott and van Persie of course. Gervinho seems to have dropped out of the reckoning lately and will join Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey on the bench where there are good options if needed.
Sagna Djourou Vermaelen Santos
Walcott Rosicky Benayoun
The Travelling Gooners will, as ever, make themselves heard and cheer The Glorious Gunners on to another victory. I hope!
With the Oilers in meltdown, is second place an impossible dream?