Wolves continued their dismal run of results with a disappointing defeat at Cardiff on Friday night. This result and the one against Huddersfield last week have brought supporters down to earth with a bump and punctured the positive vibes established by the club over the last 18 months. Getting no points from these two games was certainly not expected and the club are in urgent need of a win to get their season back on track.
Wolves had got themselves in front against Cardiff with a Matt Doherty finish after an excellent Jiminez header was pushed out by the home keeper. And although the first half performance was not great, it was better than against Huddersfield, and the home team only looked capable of getting back into the game from dead ball situations. But Wolves inability to pick up on the second ball from those deliveries into the box was to cost them dear with Cardiff hitting the post once, having a number of shots blocked, and then both goals coming from those situations. And we are now arriving at a situation where there are shortcomings all over the park as confidence dips.
Patricio 5 – at fault for the first goal when he ran into a Cardiff player when he tried to come out for a cross and left himself in no man’s land as the ball fell to the scorer Gunnarsson.
Saiss 6 – did ok on his surprise return to the team at Bennett’s expense. But looked vulnerable at times when attacked on his right and tried to tackle with his left. Not sure the right side of defence is the best place for him.
Coady 6 – not able to impose himself as much as usual as the defence were often forced to defend very deep by the high balls into the area.
Boly 8 – Wolves best player on the day after a poor game against Huddersfield. Stood up well to the physical threat and high balls thrown in by the hosts.
Doherty 6 – popped up for a well taken goal but found himself mostly defending, and Wolves missed his forays up the wing.
Neves 7 – much better then against Huddersfield and made a number of good passes that the front three didn’t make the most of on the day.
Moutinho 6 – worked hard but Wolves have found it hard in these last two games against teams that are in the face and denying space.
Vinagre 6 – played better than against Huddersfield but will be seen to greater effect in games where he can get forward more.
Traore 5 – had some good moments but so often runs into blind channels and loses possession and Wolves have not yet seen him at his best.
Jiminez 5 – got another assist after his header was well saved, but his hold up play was poor on the day and is suffering from lack of support.
Costa 5 – in many ways he epitomises why Wolves are looking better against good teams than they are against teams that set up to stifle their game and close down the spaces. Against good teams that play more openly he has often looked a good player, but against more physical teams that get in his face he regularly looks lightweight and ineffective.
Jota – came on when Cardiff scored their first and there have been a few occasions recently when Wolves have conceded just as a tactical change is about to be made. Everyone will have their opinion on who they would like to see in Wolves front line but the facts are that when it was Costa, Jiminez and Jota, Wolves got up to 7th in the league. Since that trio have been broken up, Wolves haven’t won a game.
Gibbs White – made a positive impact when he came on, as he usually does, and may get his starting chance against Chelsea on Wednesday with Neves suspended after picking up his 5th booking of the season here.
Cavaleiro – missed Wolves best opportunity but did look lively. Like Traore his inconsistency gives the impression that impact sub may be his best position.
It’s not an easy December for Wolves to get many points in the bag. Chelsea at home on Wednesday and matches against Liverpool and Spurs later in the month. Although they have been playing at their best against those top teams. There are also games against Newcastle, Bournemouth and Fulham that supporters will be hoping Wolves can outplay on the day.
Feels like there is a bit of doom and gloom in the air right now, but the league position remains higher in the top flight than Wolves have finished in any season since 1980. So it can hardly be considered a disaster.
Writer: DJ Wolves