Wolves slump continuesBy: DJ | November 7th, 2012
Wolves defeat at Hull on Tuesday made it just two points from the last five game. It’s a run that has seen them slip from well inside the play off positions to the bottom half of the table And it has been a string of performances that have certainly belonged in the lower half of the table and the honeymoon period is well and truly over for new manager Stale Solbakken. We had suggested that after the poor showing at Burnley on Saturday that the places of Foley, Johnson, Pennant and Ebanks Blake’s places were under threat and only Johnson of those four retained their place;
Stearman, Johnson, Berra, Ward
Edwards, Henry, Doumbia, Sako
The first half was another episode of dull uninventive football by Wolves who seemed to spend most of the half passing the ball sideways and backwards in their own half and then hoofing the ball aimlessly upfield when finally closed down by the home players. The home team were not doing much better as an attacking force so it made for pretty insipid entertainment until Hull scored out of the blue just before the half hour. Aluko scored direct from a free kick 25 yards out that Ikeme will be disappointed not to have stopped. It was a goal that did nothing to change the Wolves routine as they continued passing amongst themselves in their own half with Hull quite happy to let them get on with it.
Hull pretty well wrapped things up five minutes into the second half when Simpson scored from a very narrow angle with Ikeme unable to cut the ball out on his near post. There looked no way back for Wolves and although they were getting more possession in the Hull half there were no real signs of a goal. But midway through the half the ineffective Doumbia was replaced by Forde who made an immediate impact. He got through on the right wing and whipped in a low cross which caused confusion in the home defence with McShane missing the ball and then Chester, under pressure from Doyle, put the ball into his own net.
Finally Wolves were getting territorial superiority and Forde was causing problems on the right wing but surprisingly when Pennant replaced Stearman, Forde was asked to move to Right Back. Wolves failed to find the equaliser they didn’t really deserve but at least in the final quarter of the game they did show more attacking intent than in the previous game and three quarters.
Ikeme – not too busy but would have to accept some blame for both goals conceded
Stearman – steady enough return to the defence
Johnson – much better than on Saturday and warranted retainng his place
Berra – steady game against a Hull team that didn’t carry a great attacking threat
Ward – didnt see much of him on the overlap but defended ok
Edwards – usual hard working performance and one of the better players on the night
Henry – steady enough but the away fans were not impressed by the number of backwards passes from him and the defenders on the night
Doumbia – pretty ineffective and is becoming disappointing after his excellent start to the season
Sako – probably his least effective performance of the season
Doyle – got little change out of the defence
Sigurdarson – certainly some promising signs despite getting poor service
Forde – a lively cameo and gaining some confidence in the first team now
Ebanks Blake and Pennant were second half subs that made little impact
Its difficult to see where Wolves go from here. The threats of a modern passing game being introduced by Solbakken are barely evident now and the entertainment value is close to zero with the game being played at a ponderous pace and so much more emphasis being put on controlling the defensive end of the field rather then on producing an attacking threat. The defensive central midfield partnership of Henry and Doumbia are doing what they are being asked to do quite well and the defensive record is not bad as a result but only 4 teams in the division have scored fewer than Wolves and with poor results now adding to the dire quality of entertainment on offer, its not fun watching Wolves at the moment. And it was difficult not to reflect on the home team’s delight with their manager Steve Bruce having secured 5 wins from the last 6 games and taken Hull to 4th in the league, with most Wolves fans saying last spring that he would not be someone they wanted in the hot seat at Molineux. Maybe Solbakken will prove to be the better long term choice and it remains early days for him, but Wolves fans going to the Brighton game at Molineux on Saturday will be hoping for a much brighter performance from his team than they have seen in recent weeks.