Post Match Ramble: Wednesday v Wolves

Post Match Ramble: Wednesday v Wolves

I should have been singing ‘All by myself’ as I got into the car today, it was a lonesome footy day. Yeah I know, Billy Nomates…but the Young Un was working, it was too cold for grandchildren to come out and play and no one else likes me so I did it alone…

I perked up a bit as I was driving and the radio had a special about the making of the fillum ‘Brassed Off’. One of my all time favourite fillums. It had interviews with the cast and people from where it was filmed and miners , the whole lot…a great bit of radio but it was enhanced by a bit of brass band music from the fillum score and there are some great bits of music in that fillum….

A perfect moment of clarity

As I drove up the motorway there’s a long sweeping climb towards junction 34…you go under bridges and past rows of trees and as I did so the low winter sun shone through the trees and created a beautiful winter haze and it happened just as they reached the solo bit of Rodrigro’s Concierto D’Orange Juice…

That was a moving moment right there…I was basking in the essence of Yorkshire for a moment and I was loving it…you don’t need company when you have a moment like that and I took it as a sign that this was going to be a great day…

It must be my age because every time they played a bit of brass all the way to the ground I kept having ‘moments’…I’ve heard about this sort of stuff when you reach a certain age…I always thought it was a bit later in life…unless ‘later in life’ has snook up on me already.

Because I had no distractions to make me late I arrived in plenty of time and I sat in the car park for a while to compose myself…and eat my burger…not sure which was most important but when I got out of the car I was beginning to think I’d made a mistake…CHUFF ME! IT WAS COWD!

Feeling the cold, that’s another sign that you’ve reached ‘later in life’…When you live Up North, way past of the great wall and you start to feel the cold like I do, you know things are changing….gone are the days of going outside in my vest and undercrackers to get a bucket of coal for t’fire and then nipping back across t’yard to t’outside toilet, only to find there were no paper but just a couple of pages of Grattan’s catalogue….I hated that shiny stuff….I could sit there for hours, int cold and not feel any on it…not anymore….them days are gone…I might have to start and bring a blanket and flask and complete the cycle of being elderly now.

Get down your own end!

I trudged across the road and round to the turnstile….hardly any queue…a sell out game and no queuing…the other week we missed 20 minutes of the game due to queuing and that wasn’t anywhere near full…sommat else for me to moan about…chuff me, this old age really is kicking in….

Just get inside the ground and squeeze ya fat arse into ya seat Beastie and stop moaning…another sign…talking to yaself.

THE MATCH

I could spend the whole of this Ramble giving you a blow by blow account of the game and recalling every one of the 90 adrenaline fuelled minutes…I could.

I ought to be able to tell you that on the back of a good yield of points from recent games that we built on that and took the game to a less than impressive Wolverhampton team…I ought

I should however tell you that the game was a truly awful game if you were Wednesday fan and if you follow Wolves then you will feel slightly aggrieved not to be taking home 3 points and a convincing win…I will.

There seems to be a pattern these days to Wednesday games, certainly home games…and away games that don’t involve Newcastle…you get 10 minutes of decent play from the Wednesday players…usually the first 10 minutes which is quite good of the players to be fair as it means a lot of folk feel confident in leaving early for the bus or to get out of the car park and avoid the rush…sometimes though…even more testament to our lack of consistency…that ten minutes can be at the end of the game, which makes everyone forget the previous 80…crafty eh? Or just to mix it up…you get 10 separate minutes dotted through the game…we got a bit of a combo today…nice enough little start, then a couple of minutes dotted into the second half…

In the last game at Preston apparently we didn’t have a shot on target until the goal we scored in the 847th minute…

We didn’t have to wait that long in this game as the Wolves keeper was forced into a save around the 10 minute mark and that’s the real killer for footy fans…things like that, especially early in the game give you hope…it’s false hope but it IS hope…. it keeps you onside…it keeps the luuurrv going…or more importantly…it keeps the moaning at bay…

There were 30 thousand people in the ground today and some big hopes and expectations for this game and having seen us go close in those opening minutes you would think we would all be on

Big crowd, high hopes

the same wavelength….that the fans would raise the roof…the players would raise their game…and we would rise up the league table…over the next 35 minutes none of that happened…

We didn’t build on that promising start…we didn’t take the game to them…the crowd didn’t raise the roof and lift the players, in fact it was Wanderers that played like so many have done against us, taking whatever sting we had out of the game and simply taking their time to work themselves into the game and as the half wore on you could feel it coming…it had all the hallmarks of a sucker punch …several times they got round the back of our defence and several times they let us off the hook…

At the end of the first half we had the biggest let off of them all as the ball goes deep into out box, almost over the by line…Westwood comes out and goes to ground, getting to the ball but very close to the opposition player…the Wolves player goes over…all the Wolves players shout for a penalty…to me, and we did have a good view of it…it didn’t look like a penalty but I looked straight at the ref, then the linesman, as I was sure it would be given…the other way round and I would have been shouting for it too…in fact, the other way round I’d have been livid we hadn’t been given it.

Understandably the Wolves players felt hard done by and a group of them followed the ref upfield, remonstrating with him at every opportunity…they didn’t have to wait long before getting a better chance to open the scoring…

Bodvarsson hits a perfect shot with Westwood nowhere…we held our breath as we watched  the ball fly through the air towards goal…and hit the bar…

We breathed a sigh of relief….

CLEAR IT!
FOR CHUFF’S SAKE CLEAR THE CHUFFIN BALL!

We didn’t and we were nowhere near it….

The ball drops to a totally unmarked Joe Mason a couple of yards out and Westwood is still nowhere to be seen…a tap in to go a goal up….

Instead, good old Joe went for the less obvious option, No. 43. The shot over the bar.

Fair play to him, not many in the ground will have seen that option but every single Wednesday fan in the ground applauded his decision to make that choice.

We had been so very poor in this half and we had got away with murder…any team with a bit of confidence or a little more skill…even luck, would have put us to the sword in the first 45.

The biggest talking point of the half for Wednesday fans was the blammer of a ball that hit Sammy Hutchinson square in the face.

Maximum velocity…BLAM!

Right in the kisser!

I’m fine ref

A few seconds of teetering and….down he goes…

The ref and Bannan wave frantically for the physio to come on and as they do so, Sammy jumps to his feet as though nothing had happened…then he teaters again…

They look at him like they’ve seen something that isn’t where it’s supposed to be…the power on the ball must have given him a proper flat owl face…and down he goes again…

He sat for a while to get his composure back…a quick smell of the physios sock and he was groggily back on his feet…the Wednesday fans loved it of course….he is, in the essence of great football, what every football fan loves to see… a hard, physical player who gives his all…he is all of that and more.

They had worked hard through that half had Wolves….they’d been patient and worked their way into the game…they coulda/shoulda/orta have had a penalty and but for the quick thinking of Joe Mason aiming outside the goals they should have gone in at least a goal to the good.

Half time came and time for Carlos to work some magic and get them back out and playing something like…maybe start simple and get things like 5 yard passes right…maybe anticipate a bit more and make a run or two…just your normal stuff that we expect from players, nothing too taxing…

We even had a bit of Thunder (The Rock band, not the naturally occurring storm warning) over the PA system singing Resurrection Day…how appropriate….we need some resurrecting in the second half, that was for sure.

Work your magic

Here we were then…second half underway…a bit of uplifting music…a pep talk from the manager and GET READY WOLVES! YOU ARE ABOUT TO –Chuff me…

…the couple next to me hadn’t returned from their pie jaunt yet and Joe Mason had hit the post with his shot…ANOTHER great chance for the visitors to go ahead and we had survived again…barely two minutes into the second half, our Wednesday hearts once again full of hope and we have to rely on Joe Mason choosing the less obvious option on goal.

I would love to say that we were galvanised by that near miss and all that rousing half time stuff and I would love to say that we went on to take the game by the scruff of the neck and put Wolves in their place, but we didn’t…once again we looked average at best and piss poor at worst.

We were second to everything. Our passing was woeful. We struggled to find our own players with short passes, our long passes were gobbled up by the Wolves players easily and we never looked comfortable on the ball…

I tell a lie…we DID look comfortable on the ball…

We looked comfortable when we were passing across our back line. Sometimes we had the ball in the final third and passed it all the way back to our defence, obviously just to maintain that comfortable feeling. We gave the ball away cheaply and invited Wolves on at, maybe not every opportunity, but far too many for comfort. We looked sluggish and unwilling to take chances.

Where has our spark gone?
Where is our endeavour?
Where is our team spirit and love of the game?
Where is our ability to run at players, to make runs and take players with us when our team mates have to ball?
We have no one with a bit of Maverick in them….it doesn’t seem too long ago that we had a team of Mavericks.
We are capable…THESE players ARE capable of playing a very high standard of football but for whatever reason, we are not seeing that at the moment…or not often enough. Though, we’ll always

and Michael…remember Newcastle?

have Newcastle to remember…

I don’t think I’ve seen us clear so many chances for the opposition either off the line or close to it and with our keeper out of position so many times.

We spent those last few minutes hoping for another late unjustified goal…urging our players forward when we had the ball and urgung the ref to blow for full time when Wolves had the ball….

The only team on the pitch that had truly looked like they wanted to win this game, or for the majority of it anyway, were the visitors and they can feel more than a little aggrieved at not taking the spoils home here as once again we saw the game out by the skin of our teeth and came away with a point we didn’t truly deserve.

The excusinistas will be out in force after this game….they will make excuse after excuse for why we should tolerate a performance like this….Hooper is out….Forestieri isn’t fully fit…Lee isn’t match fit…and of course there’s always the great sewing circle discussion ‘We were great against Newcastle so we can’t be that bad’. Conveniently forgetting just how bad we were against Barnsley, Rotherham Preston…and Reading…they will point to points not performance…and I get that to be honest…I’ve been part of the excusinista club…always looking for the positive….overlooking the odd blip…the odd bit of bad play….the odd dull moment…looking forward and thinking of the bigger picture…putting points on the board above all else but this is different…something isn’t right here…

We are not playing well. No two ways about this. We are not playing well. If you genuinely think we are then I would like to suggest a trip to Specsavers.

For my money we were starting to be sussed out by the opposition at the end of last season and to these tired old eyes that has continued into this season. Not only have they worked out how to play us, they do it with alarming regularity and ease.

I don’t have lofty expectations if I’m honest with you…I don’t still hanker back to the play off final and think, well we should be pushing on from that…to me that has no bearing on this season at all. For my money we over achieved last season if anything and we should consolidate now, continue to build without raising our expectation levels to ridiculous heights.

So why are you moaning then Beastie?

That game wasn’t half bad…it was all bad.

Well, I’m old for one thing and for another I think we SHOULD have learned from our experiences last season and that play off final too. We should have learned how to use a bit of nous, how to control a game, make it go our way, make the opposition play our way, not let them dictate it to us…we’ve brought players in, supposedly to improve our squad…we should have learned that hard work and TEAM work counts for a lot….we should have learned that.

Our players know to make runs…they know to anticipate….they know to take the odd chance….but we just aren’t seeing it.

I am going out on a limb here…I know a lot will disagree with me but there ya go…this is my opinion.
If we want to compete properly at the top of this division then we need to make some hard decisions and get shut of some of the squad…they are either surplus to requirements, not up to the standard required or both.

Let’s clear the decks and get some chuffing quality in…

We need a striker who knows where the net is…someone that can get past players.
We need a bit of strength and creativity in midfield.
We have McManaman out wide now and he looked promising so it’s a start but the other two positions are vital in my opinion.

I feel cheated today by our team…I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels that way too. They didn’t turn up and they need to deliver a proper performance and deliver it soon…if only to get my belief back

I hated today….it was a game on my own, so I was alone in my misery…it was chuffing cold and we get a performance like that…English footy in the winter….there’s a great case for summer football if ever there was one. At least I could go home and have a BBQ after a game like that.

Christmas is well and truly over and 2017 can only get better after that…it had chuffing better do.
Apologies to Wolves fans for stealing a point, we used to wear masks when we robbed folk, now apparently we don’t care…have a great 2017….I’m gonna mutter and mumble meself into the distance and into old age….

Steve:Beastie
Owls Alive
Email: admin@owlsalive.com
Titter: @owlsalive @beastie_

8 Comments

  1. Totally agree.
    Rhodes in …. Jaeo and Nuhu out……But we are restricted because of transfer rules?
    Thought Sasso was ok today….
    Sammy and Westwood are hero’s!

  2. Bang on!….keep them coming

  3. Great stuff Beastie – old age [? – at your age ! ] brings mature reflection .Best ramble we’ve had all season and the only thing of quality to come out of the game . Lets have more – Happy New Year to you and yours .

    • Thanks Al…same to you and yours mate, have a safe and healthy 2017.

      I know it must have been bad if you’re agreeing with me as it usually takes a lot to make us think like this

  4. Great piece, sums it up. Why is it when expectations are raised, big crowd etc. it is so often a flop. Perhaps we should acknowledge that players are not automatons and form , teamwork , commitment fluctuates. They are human despite inhuman wages.

    Yes we need a bit more physicality in midfield a pace up front.
    Got a good feeling about Macmannaman. very tricky !

  5. That’s a really good report, not the pap we get served up by Howsom and co. But teams do have bad days and at least we didn’t lose!

  6. Shame we don’t hear from you more – entertaining and uncannily accurate. Couldn’t disagree with a word of it. I was thoroughly depressed after the match which wasn’t helped by having endured the astonishingly poor performance at Preston. Three successive abysmal performances at home… starting to look like the old days!

    However, I have an enduring belief that it will all click soon. Maybe it’s the drugs.

    • Exactly my thoughts Paul….I do think we will click, eventually, and when we do it will be a thing to behold but chuff me, it’s hard work waiting for a clicking moment isn’t it.

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