Not getting any better for WolvesBy: DJ | November 24th, 2012
Wolves suffered a second half fade out against Forest at Molineux and sunk to 8 games without a win and have now captured only three points from the last 24 avaialble. They never seriously looked like troubling the scorers after the break and have now sunk to a highly disappointing 17th place in the Championship.
There was just one change to their starting line up with Foley recalled at the expense of Stearman at Right Back, and it was Doyle instead of Ward as captain;
Foley, Johnson, Berra, Ward
Pennant, Edwards, Doumbia, Sako
The game started at a lively pace with Wolves in the ascendancy and after Sako and Doyle had early shots straight at Forest keeper Camp and the keeper had also tipped away an inswinging corner from Sako, Wolves took the lead after only 6 minutes. Pennant’s through ball found Sigurdarson who swept the ball into the net confidently from 10 yards out. And when Sigurdarson showed his pace on the right his cross found Doyle who should have done better with his shot that had no power.
It had been a good start by Wolves but midway through the half Forest drew level when a through ball picked out Sharp who finished well with Wolves appealing for offside and Foley in particular seeming to be more focused on waiting for the whistle than challenging the scorer. The away team are lifted by the goal and had chances to go ahead as Cox and then Lansbury shoot wide from good positions. And as the half moves on it turns into an end to end and entertaining game with further goals looking certain but at which end?
Sako was inevitably at the centre of most of Wolves threats when he shot over and was not far away when trying to curl a corner in to the net and then was close to setting up Sigurdarson. But Forest were having their moments too and Cox should have scored from a Sharp cross.
If the first half was decent to watch the second half started much duller and from Wolves perspective rarely improved. Edwards and Doumbia were ineffective in midfield, Pennant and Sako were tucking more in from the wings and not finding space and the supply to the front men died completely. And to make matters worse the defenders were getting guilty of giving the ball away. Johnson played a free kick straight to former wolf Guedioura who wasted the chance. Doyle should have done better when sent through by Edwards but Forest were looking the more likely now and it was par for the course that it was Guedioura who put the visitors ahead. He broke away from Edwards and hit an excellent shot into net from 25 yards.
Forest lost Cox who went off on a stretcher after a Foley challenge and Wolves were close to having a man sent off for the third successive game when Doyle, who had been booked in the first half, booted the ball away when a decision went against him and its fair to say he would have been booked had he not seen yellow already. Forest sat back late on but Wolves did not have the game to threaten them and there were boos from their fans at the closing whistle although many of their supporters were already on their way home by then.
Ikeme – not a busy afternoon and no chance with the goals
Foley – along with Zubar and Stearman Solbakken appeared to have plenty of options at Right Back but none have done well and Foley looks a pale shadow of the player that won player of the season when Wolves were last at this level
Johnson – generally sound but a couple of complete aberrations when he gave the ball away in dangerous positions
Berra – probably the steadiest of the defenders
Ward – made some good runs forward first half but another to play some misplaced passes after the break
Pennant – did well when on the ball but Wolves didnt get him in the game enough and played injured for a while before being taken off
Edwards – one good through ball to Doyle apart made little impact
Doumbia – the early season star player looks in need of a rest to recharge the batteries and has been disappointing for a few weeks now
Sako – took Hutton apart at times first half and looked the most likely to make something happen before fading after the break and wasting a few opportunities
Sigurdarson – as lively as anyone on the Wolves team and certainly worth a run in the team now and took his goal well
Doyle – patchy performance with some good runs but lost possession a few times and lacking the strikers instincts when half chances came his way
Davis – did little to further his claims for a starting place with this sub appearance where he gave the ball away on a number of occasions
SEB and Forde – late subs that made little impact
Solbakken is at the moment sticking with a similar game plan and largely sticking with the same players and its not working for him. There does not appear to be many players in the wider squad that are going to come in and make a big improvement. When an in form Millwall come to Molineux on Tuesday Wolves will still be without Henry, Peszko and Boukari as well as long term injury absentees Hennessey, O’Hara and Mouyokolo. And Pennant limped out of this game to add to the problems. But three points are now needed badly.
At the end of a week where we heard Solbakken say he thought Wolves were close to turning the corner, and some players talking about Wolves being well capable of emulating Reading’s promotion run from a similarly poor position last season, what we saw today in the second half was a performance that fully justified a league position of 17th. And unless some results come along soon its going to be a relegation rather than a promotion battle that Wolves will find themselves in and Solbakken will struggle to keep the masses behind him even though they have bought into his philosophy which sounds good but isnt looking good right now.