This happened to me once before in Chang Rai in Thailand where instead of watching an FA Cup Final I ended up taking a ride on an Elephant with the wife.
Being so close to such a huge sweaty animal, farting and moaning all the time was a terrifying experience, but in her defence she’d had a bad Tom Yang Soup the night before and I thought the Elephant ride might cheer her up a bit.
So last week I managed to miss the Blackburn game. Yes, it’s difficult to accept that other people’s worlds may not revolve around the Toon. That they may not be the staunchest of supporters. That their satellite system may not actually have on it even a single channel dedicated to football.
You do come across these people now and again. Usually in the remotest areas of the Congo Basin. Anyway – enough of the whinging. Nobody forced me to visit my sister in Stocksfield.
Saturday afternoon was apparently the hottest day in a hundred years and no doubt we can blame it on global warming. It does make me wonder what they blamed that previously hottest day on a hundred years ago.
So – having just spent a week on holiday you’d think I’d be all relaxed, happy and generous with the ratings. Go figure. It aint gonna happen today.
Three points are never to be sniffed at (unless you are a cabinet minister and your license is getting full) so first of all it was a good result, and as a fan I’m happy – WOO – WOO – but it certainly wasn’t pretty.
Tim Krul – 8
Little Timmy played his cloggy heart out pulling off a number of cracking saves that kept us in the game early on. A combination of Dutch courage ensured the victory.
Without any doubt my Man Of The Match
A couple of poor punches and a dodgy kick or two kept him down to 8
Danny Simpson – 5
I’ve got him down as largely absent. Maybe it’s the system we play, maybe it’s just him, but his lack of contribution was truly “Nolanesque”.
Steven Taylor – 6
Makes an impression when you see him throwing himself around the box, but more often he was spotted running back wrong side of both the through ball and their forward. Half a dozen times we saw him out of position, pointing to either Danny Simpson or Captain Coloccini, telling them where they should be to fill in his hole. Oooerr!
Fabricio Coloccini – 7
Not sure why I’m being so generous – I just want to give him a seven. Not a good game, too many blunders, but better than the rest of the back four.
Ryan Taylor – 5
Caught a couple of times by schoolboy dummies – committing too early. He was lucky that the disallowed goal was, well, what’s the word I’m looking for……”disallowed”.
He had no idea where he was, or, more importantly , where they were.
Caught ball watching more times than George Michael.
Yohan Cabaye – 7
Had a good start to the game but tired in the second half. Is undoubtedly a quality player, just the quality could have been higher on the day.
Cheik Tiote – 7
His work rate is up there with the best and I lost count of the number of times he was the last line of defence, behind both Taylor and Colo.
Made the second goal winning two crunching tackles
He’s solid but can be a little over complicated at times – giving the ball away too often.
Spawned the laugh of the day when Trevor Francis referred to him as Toyote , as in Coyote.
Jonas Goo –Teey – Rez – 7
Only a superb goal prevented this well know Argentinian mispronunciation from getting a 6. Francis not only had difficulty with the complexities of his South American moniker but showed he has obviously never seen him play when he muttered something about a goal being the expected outcome once “Goo-Tee-Rez” got a yard of space 20 yards out.
Nice to hear Jonas has signed a new contract that will keep him with us for years to come – just like Andy Carroll.
Gabriel Hobbiton – 6
Another victim of Trevor Francis efforts, he started off well but faded. We had a host of first half heroes, but with no second coming.
Demba Ba – 7
Another one who scrapes by with a 7 courtesy of scoring a goal. A couple of weeks ago I suggested we didn’t need another Shola, but Ba has a much higher work rate and has perfected the art of standing up AND going in the same direction as the ball, at the same speed. All things Shola has difficulty with.
But unfortunately he also tired and put in a disappointing second shift.
Leon Best – 8
I’m sure there will be a few who disagree but I thought Leon had one of his better games against Wolves. OK, no goals but he moved well, got on the end of passes and fed good balls into the box. Could this be the start of a quality relationship?
Peter Lovenkrands – Came on after 70 minutes and actually got a glimpse of the ball as the ref carried it off at full time.
Danny Guthrie – Came on after 88 minutes and saw Lovenkrands get a glimpse of the ball.
Alan Pardew – 6
No matter who is in charge, or who is playing, we have a well earned reputation for not being able to defend a lead. We have seen over the years that our goalkeeping coach or our attacking coach has left or been replaced, but I suspect our “defending a lead with minutes to go” coach is probably our longest serving employee.
While everyone may be shouting about our defensive record, at 2 up they were rattling them across the goal, lobbing them into the box and pinging them over the bar near enough at will.
Our best defender by far was their inability to finish.
So why even consider defending a lead?
Short of pushing the midfield either backwards or forwards and telling everyone to “run fast” I’m still at a loss to describe our “tactics”. Feel free to chip in here boys and girls.
I suspect Best has been told to play off Ba which seems to be working well, but the apparent attempt at the occasional 2-4-4 formation just seemed to leave us short at the back.
Pardew gets a 6 only because we took 3 points.
Even if we are sitting in 4th position our defence still scares the crap out of me, though I have to say, once I’ve wiped my arse I enjoy watching our midfield, and our forwards are starting to look interesting.
It must be depressing being a Wolves supporter. Where as the Toon Army is seen as an intimidating sea of Black and White, the Wolves supporters are more akin to a puddle of puke. Probably why Wayne Hennessey, in his attempts to add a little more colour, took to the field looking like a tulip.
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