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Wolves 2-3 Bolton

Going Down Fighting

By Tom Bason
March 31 2012

 Wolves today slipped one step closer to the relegation zone with a 3-2 defeat at home to Bolton Wanderers. Michael Kightly had given Wolves the lead, before Bolton hit back through Martin Petrov, Marcos Alonso and Kevin Davies. Matt Jarvis did score a late consolation goal, but it wasn’t enough. 

- When I saw the line-up, I didn't really know what to think. It was obviously a game we needed to win, so I understood the decision to pick Sylvan Ebanks-Blake ahead of Kevin Doyle. Given we were playing two forwards and two wingers, I would have liked to have seen Nenad Milijaš selected ahead of Dave Edwards. I'm still a big Milijaš fan - I think he's been criminally underused over the past 30 months, and think he offers more both going forward and defensively than most of our midfielders - Edwards especially.

- Overall, the match reminded me of the game at home to Aston Villa. Dominate the first half but fail to put away the chances, with Michael Kightly at the heart of everything good. Then, a decision from the referee swings the game away from us. Against Villa, it was Karl Henry's red card, today it was the decision to award Bolton a penalty, but more on that later.

- The first half saw as good a performance as I've seen from Wolves in one hell of a long time. I've no idea how we went in at 0-0 at halftime. Chances fell to both Ebanks-Blake and Steven Fletcher, but neither could score - Fletcher's header that hit the bar was probably the pick of them. Yet, there was no way we could expect to replicate that performance in the second half - I advised my friend against betting on Wolves at halftime as the pattern of play would surely change in the second half. He didn't listen to me. Idiot.

- Saying that, the text I sent to him was about 15 seconds before Kightly gave us the lead, so I'd like to take full credit for that goal. Kightly played well today, and will surely be a big player for us next season, which ever league we're in. It must be nice for Jarvis as well, to finally have someone on the opposite flank who may just divert the defence's attention slightly. I think Kightly's time with us in the Premier League will rank alongside Matt Murray's and Joleon Lescott's 03/04 seasons. Obviously he's not as good as those two, but he's basically lost three years of his career at exactly the wrong time.

- Perhaps I was wrong earlier when I said the decision by the ref was the turning point of the match. Well, in a way I was right, but it was the decision to blow the half time whistle that turned the tide. Bolton came out in the second half with a renewed purpose and vigour. There was no inspired tactical change by Owen Coyle, but instead Nigel Reo-Coker started to control the midfield. I wouldn't go as far as to say that Kightly's goal was against the run of play, but Bolton were starting to exert some control of the game even by that stage.

- It was the midfield battle that changed - in the first half, the energy of Edwards and David Davis were enough to snuff out Reo-Coker and the returning Mark Davies, but Reo-Coker especially started getting more into the game. He appeared to be dropping deeper to collect the ball, and generally upped his performance. This gave Davies a little more space to move in, and just before he 'won' the penalty, I tweeted "Mark Davies starting (to) find space in midfield. Need to shut him down earlier". It was of no surprise that the penalty was won in the way it was - Davies finding space to run into, causing a defensive error.

- I've only seen the penalty decision once - live at Molineux, so I'll see whether it was a good decision or not tonight on Match of the Day. My initial reaction was that the defender (I'm unsure who it was) got a touch of the ball. Strangely, no part of me initially thought he'd dived, and so, if there was no contact with the ball, I can't blame the ref at all for the decision. Instead, it was a poor piece of defending, and the warning signs were there a couple of minutes earlier when he danced through a couple of challenges and slipped the ball to Ivan Klasnić in the penalty area.

- I mentioned the battle between Davies/Reo Coker and Davis/Edwards swinging away from us in the first half, and the big upshot of this was we failed to get the ball to the wings enough in the second half. I tweeted in the first half that there were acres of space in behind Ryo Miachi and Petrov for Jarvis and Kightly to attack, and both had the beating of their fullbacks. Unfortunately (or perhaps credit should be given to Coyle for this), Bolton managed to deprive them of service, and so out main attacking threats were gone.

- Once again, it was the goals conceded that killed us. The first was an avoidable penalty, and I'll forgive the third - we had three players on the halfway line - as soon as you start chasing an equaliser, it's going to leave gaps at the back. But the second was awful, again. Don't our coaching team work with the team to defend set pieces during the week? Yet again, we've shot ourselves in the foot. That's the third time in recent weeks we've gone behind to a poorly defended set piece - both Fulham and Manchester United's opening goals were from corners. This is unacceptable at any level, never mind in the Premier League. Either the coaches are inept, or the players are too thick to listen to basic instructions. It is just not good enough and something needs to be done.

- I'm guessing most people are accepting we're now down? Should next season's planning start now? Or should everyone be playing for pride, even if they're definitely going in the summer? Perhaps one of the advantages of still having most of the team who were promoted is that not many of them will be banging on the manager's door looking to leave. Or maybe, if we didn't have so many of those players still in the first team, we wouldn't be in the position we're in? We are six points behind 19th - I'm not sure I can see us gaining six points the rest of the season.

- One player who will surely be off is Fletcher. As long as he handles it properly, I don't think any fan will begrudge him the chance to stay in the Premier League. I think his first touch is the best I've seen from any Wolves player. The way he caresses the ball as it drops out of the sky is something to behold. In fact, I'm fairly certain my Player of the Year vote will be going to Steven Fletcher's First Touch.

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Wolves 2-3 Bolton
Wolves (IP Logged)
31/03/2012 18:52
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Re: Wolves 2-3 Bolton
barmy army wolf (IP Logged)
31/03/2012 19:19
The penalty should never had been, it was roger that was near him, but never touch him... Mark Davies knew exsatly what he was doing and shame on him!!

Can't blaime anyone that leaves wolves, the way it is being run... The players should flee and soon as they get the chance!!

Re: Wolves 2-3 Bolton
Stourport Wolf (IP Logged)
31/03/2012 20:03
Should there even be a player of the season this season? And how are we going to vote with these smartcards?

Hennessey will be my choice for player of the season but Fletcher would be 2nd choice. I think Jarvis has done OK and had his moments and Kights is pretty blameless for our problems.

Re: Wolves 2-3 Bolton
ernesto hunt (IP Logged)
31/03/2012 20:25
Barmy - you need have no fears on players leaving the Mol. These two, if run in the same vein as this season, will be having a fire sale.

What an absolute disaster. Can't even face coming near the Mol I'm so sad. Don't think I can while these criminals look down from their box.

Why would anyone try to hold sway over someone in such a small way . . .

apt words from Mannassas

Re: Wolves 2-3 Bolton
Meditate today (IP Logged)
31/03/2012 23:42
Ernesto we willsee but becos they have been so tight with money ironically they dont need a fire sale. i am not gonna go over old ground but didn the pen just sum up our season

1. it wasnt a pen - and its true smaller sides esp at the bottom dont get a fair shake from the officials whereas top teams get awaywith murder

2. davies cheated and paid the club back big time for mick not giving him a decent chance - okay he was a mouthy young git with big ears but mick should have been able to handle that. Silly hennessey shows how much he cares by having a chat with big ears

3. johnson gives away the pen - what a disastrous signing he was and thenwe compound it my making him captain which clearly upset most of the squad eg hennesseys reaction today and doylescomments about living right . Message to the new manager get rid asap


Re: Wolves 2-3 Bolton
ernesto hunt (IP Logged)
01/04/2012 00:25
I began a while back to think about just how much MM had to do with any of the shite thats gone on.

Was Johnson a MM signing or a gift from 'the management' like blondie was from the Russian at Chelskie.

How 'thick as thieves' is Moxey with these agents? He was one himself.

Funny how we managed to get Prim and Bassong when MM speaks directly and can't get players half as good when Moxey does the talking. Still say Moxey is a Uriah Heap personality!

Re: Wolves 2-3 Bolton
oldngold (IP Logged)
01/04/2012 00:40
I think we've been certainties for the drop for a while. And given the Morgan fiasco there will be few people showing much sympathy. I think we're in for a very difficult few seasons.

Morgan is going to get the other side of football. And I hope he gets lots of abuse because his performance over the last 18 months has been appalling.

Now we'll see how good our Scouse supporting property developer really is?

I think our first priority should not be to get relegated to League 1 next season. Without MM, I think our team is actually close to collapse

I don't think we really know how bad things really are in the dressing room. But Johnson's argument with Henners shows what a dreadful impact that man has had on the team. The portents are ominous.

For all you youngsters who think things cannot get anyway worse well let me tell you, I saw this club in the Uefa Cup Final in 72 and I was also there the day we lost 3-0 to Chorley in the FA cup when we were also struggling in the old 4th division. There is no pit and low point that has not been thoroughly explored.

Re: Wolves 2-3 Bolton
wolverina (IP Logged)
01/04/2012 09:13
Oldngold - I remember those days too - think you and I have seen it all. I presume he gave Johnson the armband to give him a boost - TC was expecting a bad reaction from the fans. However, It was a mistake - can only presume Craddock is unfit because I would have played him instead. Yes, it was a dubious penalty, but we're used to that - it's not an excuse to roll over. That Kevin Davies goal was our usual backpedalling performance - even I could have put that one in. Jarvis's goal was good - but we still suffer from that "too little, too late" syndrome.

My shirt and scarf are in the drawer with all my other Wolves shirts - I'd like to sleep now until the end of the season! When does the Championship kick off?

Re: Wolves 2-3 Bolton
Alkaponewolf (IP Logged)
01/04/2012 09:19
And still you defend McCarthy EH....


Re: Wolves 2-3 Bolton
ernesto hunt (IP Logged)
01/04/2012 10:55
No I don't and never did as a so-called happy clapper - but, and I thought you would have know this, more damaging than a poor manager is no manager at all - a vacuum.

And when that releases - into the front line - two even more incompetent managers then you have a recipe for disaster. My whole approach was stability, which I have posted several times, which meant keeping MM to a more appropriate time.

Yours was to sack MM and b*gger the consequences. Suppose your going to come back with the 'Law of Un-Intended Consequences' - well, thats just an excuse for not having thought it out far enough.

What I think I do know is that, on the basis of being the lowest payers since arrival in the Prem, we should have been down the first season, then last season and certainly this season. Check out the stats of the bottom payers and those relegated - it almost matches perfectly. Now that is mathematics!

For the future - if this club intends to be run on the lowest wage budget then it will only recruit the lowest of players - Oh, you might motivate them in occassional matches, but over 38 games?

Up the Wolves - but only after Morgan and his ridiculus 'can do' time scales have departed . . . and his 'yes' man Moxey.

Re: Wolves 2-3 Bolton
Meditate today (IP Logged)
01/04/2012 11:11
On the other hand oldngold they have never let us down on the big occasion - three visits to wembley and one to cardiff and four wins - didnt quite make it to the 60 cup final but saw that on the tele - all great days . There is no club in this country that has risen so high and fallen so low - its never dull.

Re: Wolves 2-3 Bolton
ernesto hunt (IP Logged)
01/04/2012 11:21
And, FBBY, had there been no embargo on us playing in the European Cup, there would have been more silverware in our cabinet and those heights would have been even higher!

Up the Wolves

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