COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY
From the off Wolves had the first chance from a cross that was side footed wide then for the next fifteen minutes it was all Everton and that period on its own should have seen us out of sight but for some poor finishing. From what was to be the best move of the game after only 5 mins Pienaar played a great one-two with Saha and got to the bye-line, looked up and picked out Osman all alone six yards from goal but instead of putting his foot through it he merely scuffed straight at the keeper.
Then the Wolves defence failed to clear a throw in properly and the ball fell to Osman who fired wide. Another good run down the right from Neville saw his cross expertly dummied by Pienaar for Saha to trickle one to the keeper. Then a move down the left saw the ball fed to Osman but his shot had all the pace taken off it from a deflection and the keeper picked up.
After this passage of play where we really should have at least been two up Wolves seemed to sense we were not in scoring mode and came more of a force going forward and had passage of play that kept our defenders on their toes but we dealt comfortably with the threats posed. Our next effort came when Osman did well down the right and his cross was headed out to Baines but from distance he did not get the power to test the keeper who gathered comfortably.
I then, for a brief moment, thought we would score when Distin strode out of defence and delivered a superb long diagonal ball that Saha controlled beautifully on his chest and turned took a couple of paces and sent a 20-yard rocket that beat the keeper but not the crossbar. Wolves came back just a little as half-time approached but with nothing more than a shot over and a tame free-kick that went straight to Howard.
Half-time and it was incredible the score line was 0-0 and many a fan thinking this may not be our day.
The second half was a bit of a scrappy affair where I thought we were too anxious and snatched at things instead of weighing up options and Arteta’s absence became more acute. We did however create some chances and early on Osman made a good run down the right after Heitinga had won the ball for him, he put in a cross right on to the head of Saha who somehow managed to miss the target maybe he was to aware of the centre-back bearing down on him.
We then got a free kick which Baines hit the wall with the ball deflecting for a corner from which Cahill headed wide. Rodwell powered into a good position for a shot, he kicked the ground as well as the ball and that trickled through to the keeper. Wolves then had another spell and twice they fired over from presentable opportunities and when the giant fullback Zubar got in down the right and cut inside Heitinga only to smash it powerfully over I started to think the unthinkable that after all our chances they might fluke it.
The game was now more end to end but in frenetic fashion and Pienaar found himself in good positions twice but first he his shot struck a defender and the next one he miss-kicked and on each occasion he had better options either side of him. Wolves attacked in numbers and deep in the box Heitinga got a foot in and then an almighty scramble took place where anything could have happened but the outcome was a Wolves player skying one over the bar much to the relief of all assembled.
With just over ten minutes to go the manager swopped Saha for Yak without any reward and just before the end Gosling and Bilyaletdinov replaced Rodwell and Osman which almost brought a reward when a cross found Gosling with just the keeper to beat but he seemed to delay long enough for the keeper to pounce on the ball and in doing so left Gosling a hobbling passenger, why he stayed on I don’t know because he looked in some pain.
Then right on the death from a melee in the box Cahill used the bicycle kick to beat the keeper but it lacked power and a defender cleared from near the line. Final whistle and the end of a most disappointing and frustrating game.
Overall I thought we played well until it came to finishing, we certainly created chances and played some good football in patches. The pitch looked bobbly which may have hampered some of the passing but it certainly was not to blame for the chances missed.
Before the game we had a young lady belting out songs via an overloud PA system and by the end of the game I wondered if her efforts had put the influence on our players shooting boots.
MotM was difficult to call as no-one played badly yet no-one really stood out and made a difference, I thought perhaps Distin and Baines were as consistent as anyone but I wouldn’t argue with anyone’s choice. Still plenty to play for as a Europa place is still achievable and with four out of the last six games at home why not?
West Ham next and providing the kit man can find shooting boots and Arteta is available we should be up and running again.
It’s a strange old game. UP THE BLUES
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 28/03/2010 at 09:13:38
2 Posted 28/03/2010 at 10:25:57
Saha always seems half-fit to me... and I think I've given up on the Yak.
3 Posted 28/03/2010 at 11:20:09
4 Posted 28/03/2010 at 16:26:19
One positive - Wolves came into the game on a surge, getting well-deserved results from good play and a positive attitude. Although it feels like a defeat, yesterday might have been a real upset. Below our best, we still were way too good for them.
Distin gets better and better doesn't he?
ps — Who was Capello looking at yesterday? Baines of course. Jagielka perhaps? Neville? Could Rodwell, even at this stage, interest him? And here's one for TW - he must have noticed Osman's work, and his skills.
5 Posted 28/03/2010 at 17:14:30
Good enough by far, but I doubt that, although from Donastia/San Sebastian, our fave Spaniard would drop his ambition for the king's shilling.
6 Posted 28/03/2010 at 20:04:02
7 Posted 28/03/2010 at 20:46:51
He's too good for them anyway!
8 Posted 29/03/2010 at 12:49:42
As the keeper was picking it up I thought to myself, I wonder if it is that type of attack which has been created for Arteta and Heitinga (both with a lovely shot on them) instead of Rodwell. The reason I say that is because I've noticed us performing the step-over routine since Arteta's return.
Capello would be looking at how Baines plays away from home, it is going to be between Baines and Warnock for the England 1st 11....
With Chelsea hammering AV 7-1, it is a shame he was at the Bridge to see Warnock and Co have a stinker!!
Up the BLUES :)
9 Posted 29/03/2010 at 14:34:26
Gareth - I think that Capello would have noticed that Osman isn't a Lampard or Gerrard. Personally, I don't mind that. I do think, however, that Leon is capable of knocking two penalties in.
Ken - thanks for the lift. I'll stop now.
10 Posted 29/03/2010 at 15:03:13
What's going on there?
11 Posted 29/03/2010 at 15:14:14
Although I wish he wouldn't add to the players who are promoting our "quiet" push for Europe. If all of our players, ex-players and websites keep shouting out how "under the radar" we are, we're not really udner the radar at all are we?!
Having said that, the Hammers can expect a proper hammering on Saturday - if we score in the first 20 mins, we could win 5 or 6.
12 Posted 29/03/2010 at 16:35:15
13 Posted 29/03/2010 at 19:38:02
14 Posted 29/03/2010 at 19:56:06
If Leon was playing for a couple of Spanish teams I can think of - not the big buyers of non-Spanish players, although the South American connection blurs that - he would be a local hero.
Don't get me wrong. You have to be muscular and strong as well as skillful to make it there. But they wouldn't believe his stamina. A regular part of the Spanish game they call "la lucha" - the fight, the battle. Ten minutes or so when you go all out to score. When a mate of mine over there asked me what it was called in English my blank stare back at him said it all "Ah, da de toda" he said. Give it all. What we are, justly, famous for.
It's no coincidence that Ossie scored as good a goal as can be scored, against Larissa. Lower level opposition for sure, but European. Wouldn't have happened against Rochdale.
15 Posted 30/03/2010 at 11:11:00
16 Posted 31/03/2010 at 04:33:30
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment to Column articles, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.