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Wolves 1-1 Ipswich Town

By Tom Bason
April 18 2015

Wolves’ playoff hopes took another dent today with a 1-1 draw at home to Ipswich Town. A Richard Stearman own goal gave Ipswich a first half lead, before Benik Afobe poked home his 31st goal of the season to split the points.

- Kenny Jackett made two changes to the side that lost to Middlesbrough in the week; arriving at Molineux, I was aware that Nouha Dicko and Scott Golbourne were recalled to the side, and assumed this was for David Edwards and Kortney Hause. I was extremely surprised when I saw the starting line-up, and Jack Price was left out. For me (Clive), Price should win our young player of the year; I think he has made himself integral to the side alongside Kevin McDonald in the centre of the park. So I was quite disappointed we'd gone for the energy of Edwards ahead of the diligent passing and sweeping up of Price. I do feel that Price's defensive qualities often go unnoticed; he's not going to win the ball back in a crunching tackle à la Paul Ince, instead relying on clever positioning to intercept passes. But, despite my frequent criticism of Edwards, central midfield is a position I don't mind him in. If he has to be in the team, alongside McDonald would be the position I'd pick for him. 

- Most of you reading this will have seen the game on TV, and gained a better view of the key incidents than I have from the back of the Steve Bull upper. From my angle, and the reactions of the players, it looked like a Stearman own goal for the opener, that a yellow card for the Jay Tabb reducer of Dicko was about right, and that Dicko himself could also have seen a red card late on for a raised boot. So instead, I guess I'll try and give more of my views on the way the game went. 

- Ipswich lined up 4-4-2, meaning that there were effectively 10 1v1 battles all over the pitch, with neither side dominating enough of these to get control of the game. Ipswich arrived at Molineux for a point, playing a workmanlike and defensive midfield. Jonathan Parr, who has played more as a defender this season, was on the right hand side of midfield, and Jay Tabb, normally a central midfielder on the left. With Cole Skuse rarely moving from his position in front of the defence, there was a lot of emphasis on 18-year old Teddy Bishop to supply a front pairing of Freddy Sears and the division's leading scorer, Darryl Murphy. Aside from an early Murphy half chance, and a long range Sears effort that went wide, I'm struggling to remember either really being in the game, as they were cut off in the way that a defensive minded 4-4-2 often does. Considering the form of the two forwards, Danny Batth and Richard Stearman did a reasonable job, but Ipswich's tactics made it relatively easy. 

- While I was as frustrated as anyone else at Nouha Dicko being left on the bench against Middlesbrough, it could have worked beautifully as I thought he had his best game for ages. The Ipswich central defensive pairing of Christophe Berra and Tommy Smith seemed scared to death of Dicko's pace, and it was a constant source of frustration that we couldn't isolate Dicko against one of them on enough occasions. McDonald would often get the ball in midfield and turn to look for an early ball forward. But too many times there was little movement, except for Benik Afobe dropping off to receive the ball into feet. But when we did get the ball to Dicko, especially in the first half he looked our most likely route to score. His hold up play is still poor, and he could easily have received a couple of yellow cards for throwing himself to the floor (I'm amazed one second half flop didn't earn him a caution) but his direct running often seemed our best opportunity of scoring. 

- Once we had equalised, as Afobe poked in a half blocked Rajiv van La Parra shot, we lacked the real urgency to go on and get the winner. Ipswich was clearly happy with the point, which should have been an indication to Wolves that a draw wasn't enough. I don't really see much difference between a draw and a loss today - the three-point swing that a winner would have meant would have had more impact than Ipswich winning the game. A draw just wasn't enough. And so I was incredibly disappointed by our lack of adventure in the second half. Once Kenny Jackett had made his customary James Henry for van La Parra substitution (the sixth time in the last seven games one has been substituted for the other), he did very little to change anything. Did we need to keep both Dominic Iorfa and Scott Golbourne on, for example? Could we have introduced a more attacking presence for one of these, and perhaps played Henry as right back, or even gone three at the back with seven looking to attack? It was the second Saturday in a row when we needed a goal, and effectively had most of the second half against a team who were concentrating on holding what they had. I'm not expecting Kenny Jackett to be Pep Guardiola (apart from the rash of defensive mistakes from both sides in the last couple of weeks), but why couldn't he have tried something?

- I bang the Michael Jacobs drum too often, and I didn't see his brief cameo against Middlesbrough, but at the moment I can't think of any circumstances in which he's going to play another minute for the club. If he's not going to be our wildcard on the bench, then why the hell recall him from Blackpool? Especially as Blackpool only narrowly lost to Ipswich last week, and then played Derby on Tuesday. Could Jacobs have helped Blackpool take points off either of those teams? We'll never know, but he'd have been contributing a lot more to our playoff hopes than being sat on the bench. 

- While most of my gripes today are with Kenny Jackett's stubborn refusal (or inability?) to try something new, referee Stuart Attwell had an interesting game. While he appeared to get most of the decisions correct from my perspective (those who watched on TV will have a better idea), his inconsistency regarding playing advantage was extremely frustrating. Twice in the first half Wolves players were fouled, only for the ball to work its way to another Wolves player in a decent position. Both times, Attwell brought the game back for a free kick, frustrating Wolves players. Then, Afobe was fouled about 25 yards from the Ipswich goal, in what should have been a prime position for Bakery Sako (although having seen his free kick later on in the game, perhaps not). The ball found its way back to McDonald, barely in the Ipswich half. On this occasion, advantage was given. Finally, in the second half, Attwell got one right; trying to play advantage then bringing the game back for a free kick when the ball was lost. 

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Wolves 1-1 Ipswich Town
Wolves (IP Logged)
18/04/2015 16:17
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015:04:29:10:31:22 by toomb.

Re: Wolves 1-1 Ipswich Town
petewolf (IP Logged)
18/04/2015 22:53
we looked very nervous today and dident really get going, ipswich were there for the taking,but we dident take it

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