Wolves looking to get back on the right trackBy: DJ | November 9th, 2012
Only two points from the last 5 games and Wolves will be very keen to get an overdue win and improved performance at Molineux on Saturday. Its a poor run that has seen them slip from right amongst the promotion hopefuls to the bottom half of the table and has put a dent in the optimism that came with new manager Stale Solbakken getting off to to a decent start.
After the opening day defeat at Leeds it was all going sweetly for Wolves with 6 wins and a draw coming in the next 9 league fixtures. But then after being second best away at Huddersfield there were frustrating home draws against Bolton and Derby where in both games they fell away in the second half. The away game at Burnley was a bit of a horror show with the worst performance of the season, followed by a slightly better showing at Hull on Tuesday, although another deserved defeat. As well as conceding 2 goals in 4 of the last 5 games, they have only scored 5 in 5, and its an unhealthy record to be not scoring enough and conceding too many. Over the season the goals against column compares well with the rest of the league and in fact only Leicester and Brighton have conceded fewer. But none of the top 17 teams in the table have scored less than Wolves so its the attacking that is not effective, although the defending is starting to deteriorate now too. And as a result Wolves are now 19th in the current form tables covering the last 8 games.
Its easy to look towards the strikers when the team is not scoring many but in reality, particularly in recent games, the team have not been doing well as an attacking unit and chances have been at a premium. The set up of the team has been to play Henry and Doumbia just ahead of the defence which clearly gives more assistance to the defence and the attack. And when the team try to attack, with the wide midfield players tucking in and the strikers holding a central position, there is rarely any space to be found. So although the ‘message’ is to say that the team is going through a change in style and a more passing game, in reality the change has been a simple change from an open to a tight game. And the team are scoring less and conceding less as a result.
For Saturday’s game there may be further changes to personnel with Doumbia tipped to be rested as his form has dipped after an excellent start to the season. David Edwards is likely to move from his right midfield position on Tuesday to a more central role on Saturday with either Pennant or Forde likely to play on the right. That may well be the only change with Sigurdarson having done enough at Hull to warrant another chance ahead of Ebanks Blake.
The opponents this weekend, Brighton, have the best defensive record in the division but have scored no more than Wolves. So a tight game is on the cards. The Seagulls are even lower than Wolves on the current form table and their win at home to Peterborough in the week was their first in their last 8 games. The two clubs only met for the first time in the league in 1979 and then Brighton went on to win the first nine matches and it was the 14th clash before Wolves got their first win. So this looks like a clash against a real bogey team as Wolves have only 3 successes in the 20 all time league games. But things have been looking up with two Wolves wins and two draws in the last four clashes.
So another Wolves success would go down well and will be needed for the manager to keep the supporters onside after some dull games and 5 without a win. Its a sign of the times that the two teams are managed by a Uruguayan and a Norwegian and the weather will surely favour a scandinavian approach as winter draws in, but thats maybe scrambling for some optimism as we look for 3 much needed points.