Tag Archives: Wolves

Season so far – Part Four; Sunderland, Tottenham, West Ham, Wigan and Wolves

Sunderland

 

Steve Bruce and every Sunderland fan must be pleased with the start of the season. To put everything into perspective Sunderland avoided relegation last season on the last day.

 

Sunderland have a good squad and depth in all of the key areas. Obviously Darren Bent has been the star so far and got a deserved England call up. I think that the man who has impressed me the most is Cana. His huge experience has really given the team a maturity that they were lacking last year. Watch out for his arm gestures next game; whenever a colleague has the ball he points to where it should be played.

 

In January I think that Bruce should look to sign another striker, one happy not to get a regular game but can come in and do a job. If Bent gets injured then I feel Sunderland are a bit light on striking power. Jones has not been scoring enough in the last 12 months and Campbell is just ‘potential’ at the moment.

 

Maybe Benjani on loan from Man City?

 

Tottenham

 

My favourite quote from Harry Redknapp his season was (and I paraphrase) ‘we’ll score loads of goals and win most of the time but occasionally get thumped because of the way we play’.

 

Essentially that is what has happened so far this season. Spurs are winning most of the games and aside from the performances against Sunderland, Man Utd and Arsenal Spurs have dominated the matches they have been involved in.

 

They should be a challenge for anyone on paper and, like Harry says, will win most of their games.  

 

West Ham

 

Tough times at Upton Park this season. I think that the squad has some good players (Upson, Green, Parker and Cole) and some good young players (Noble, Tomkins and Collinson). However, the rest of the squad is of a quality which is border line between Championship and Premier League.

 

When on form, e.g. Ilunga second half of last season, the players are more than capable. If the players are not on form then the lack of base quality will become more evident. It’ll be tough for Zola this season and I foresee a relegation battle.

 

The key as to what to do in January is not who to buy but keeping all of the players named above.

 

Wigan

 

I don’t really know what to say about Wigan. Having only seen them a few times and their form being so inconsistent it is difficult to provide any constructive or quality comment.

 

The only aspect of Wigan’s play that I would like to pick up on is reverse positioning of N’Zogbia and whoever is on the right of midfield. By having each player come on to their stronger foot the idea is that the ball will be used better closer to the goal, i.e. in the central channel. This seems to work against the bigger teams, those that do not load the midfield when the play Wigan. Against teams against whom points are expected to be won then it seems that by cutting inside each player gets crowded out.

 

I would have thought that Roberto Martinez could use this ploy sparingly rather than every week (from what I can see anyway).

 

Wolves

 

I am one of few impartial football fans that likes Mick McCarthy. This season is going to be a tough one for him and followers of Wolves. I have written before about what I think Wolves need to do in order to survive and having watched the game against Arsenal I still believe what in what I wrote https://thoughtsonfootball.wordpress.com/2009/10/24/kightly-the-key-to-wolves-survival-this-season/

 

Wolves need to start using their forward thinking players more intelligently in order to create the type of match which they dominate.

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Kightly – the key to Wolves’ survival this season

I started my Fantasy Football team this year with Doyle and Ebanks-Blake as two of my three strikers (the other was Torres if you were wondering). This was based on having seen Wolves play a number of times in the Championship last year. I was impressed with how they went about constructing attacks.

 

Playing a 4-4-2 with a very attacking left winger in Michael Kightly afforded Ebanks-Blake and Iwelumo the opportunities to score goals. Indeed Kightly topped the assists chart in the Championship last season. Wolves in order to get the best out of two strikers with excellent movement and ‘instinct’ need to utilise Kightly; get him running at people without fear of repercussions if he loses it.

 

It was interesting to hear in the pre-match build up that McCarthy had the pitch shortened and made narrower. The theory is presumably that space will destroy a team like Wolves, maybe not as gifted as Tottenham, Liverpool etc. However, does McCarthy really expect to get results against those teams or would the same sized pitch as last year help get results against the team he is battling with?

 

So far those matches this season the home form has seen a defeat to Pompey and draws against Hull and West Ham – not good enough. Granted the key to Wolves, Kightly, has been injured for the most part but, once he is back and firing on all cylinders, is making the pitch tighter going to help or hinder him.

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