Wolves 1 United 0 - report and pod (with Youth Cup report)

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Deadbat

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Finally, the inevitable reality of relegation was confirmed after the Blades defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday evening at Molineux. After Newcastle beat West Ham, United knew to delay the inevitable confirmation of losing their place at the top table of English fooball, they had to win at Molineux.



The Blades lost their fifth straight league game and their ninth in ten games. The Blades have only scored three goals in these games and just one in the last five. Tonight, they gave a better effort and deserved something from the game at Molineux but Jose’s close-range finish from Traore’s cross settled a really poor game of football. Ironically United had created a fantastic chance just before the goal but Stevens fluffed his lines. The Blades showed more fight and heart in this contest but still never really looked like scoring and even though the defensive line was more solid, it was another game where you felt quality wise despite some good effort shown, we could not find the important moments in a game. United became the joint earliest side to get relegated in Premier League history with 6 games still to play.



Manager Heckingbottom made two changes from the latest defeat at home to Arsenal. Out went Lundstram and Burke. In came Bryan and Brewster. Osborn moved to midfield and Stevens went to left wing back. John Fleck was deemed fit enough to start. Youngsters Gordon and Brunt were on the bench.



There were two changes to the Wolves side who beat Fulham. Midfielder Ruben Neves was out following a positive Covid-19 test, while Pedro Neto was injured and out for the rest of the season. In came Joao Moutinho and Willy Boly, who is available again after a period of self-isolation.



United wore a fetching pink shirt with white shorts combo but the old gold of Wolves settled the better. Nelson Semedo nearly got away after running almost an entire half diagonally from his right wing back position but Baldock got back to cover.



Traore then was the next to show his running power but Bryan this time made a great interception and tackle; Stevens got injured in the aftermath but was ok to carry on.



The first Blades attack saw Osborn feed Baldock but his cross was too close to Patricio who clutched the ball.



Wolves had been enjoying more of the ball and the main threat seemed to be coming from Traore who stood Stevens up and sent a cross over which Norwood cleared for a corner. The delivery was sent out for a corner on the other side and as the ball ricocheted around it went goal wards and Norwood’s header via the bar saw the ball fall into Rams dale’s hands. It was a bizarre moment but the midfielder did well to get back and make the goal line clearance.



United had their first effort but it was ambitious as Fleck fired well over from 30 yards before a few minutes later, Brewster snatched at his effort and pulled it off target.



Wolves continued to have the bulk of possession but were not really looking that threatening. United were having little of the ball and when they had it, they were not able to go forward and it was quite slow and ponderous.



Podence had a shot over after Traore headed down whilst at the other end McGoldrick had half an opening when he got in but his touch let him down.



Ampadu’s error saw Wolves have a chance and the first attempt on goal as Ait-Nouri hit an effort and Ramsdale parried it up in the air and caught at the second attempt.



Ampadu somehow then escaped a booking after he had been warned for two fouls in quick succession earlier and tripped Podence but referee Jones decided to be lenient.



If United were fortunate here, then they were very unlucky when the officials made a total hash of an incident. Firstly, Brewster’s poor touch took the ball away from him but as Ait-Nouri and him went for the tackle, the free kick was strangely given to Wolves with Brewster booked. The replays showed Ait-Nouri had gone over the ball and it was an awful tackle on Brewster and he should have been red carded. Somehow, he escaped. The commentators seemed to suggest as Brewster had been penalised and booked it could not be looked at in terms of censure for the Wolves man when replays showed he was the offender. It was a lucky let off for the Wolves player when it looked a clear red card where he was out of control and dangerous.



Saiss was then fortunate to get away with poor play as he lost it to Baldock but Jones felt the United player had fouled him. Jones poor first half continued as he let play go away after Brewster had been fouled as United broke but then gave a soft free kick on Osborn after the Blades player took too long to get his pass away with McGoldrick well placed.



The half time whistle came soon after this as a Blades attack petered out with McGoldrick once again taking too long to make a decision. It had been a poor game with little quality from either side. At least United stayed in the game and had been competitive.



The second half Ramsdale fielded a low early cross for the Blades and at the other end, some patient stuff saw the ball come over from Fleck but McGoldrick could not find Brewster. United then had an attack down the right and at least showed some intent and were putting some men forward.



Podence’s cross was aimless after Norwood had given it away. Wolves were looking pretty clueless so far and United had maybe pulled them down to their level!



Stevens did well to hold off Traore and United then went forward and created a really good chance but from the resultant miss, disaster ensued as Wolves broke to take the lead.



Brewster got away down the right and put over a cross which missed everyone but fell perfectly for Stevens. The wing back completely fluffed the chance finding neither direction or power and it was easily blocked. The ball broke and Bryan unwisely tried to nip in but could not get there and suddenly Traore was running in behind. Egan could not keep up with him and the front man sprinted down the line and put over an inviting cross which JOSE turned in for his first Wolves goal. Ampadu was not able to get back and make a challenge but it was remarkable how the Blades had gone from a golden chance to conceding at the other end in a matter of moments.



The Blades tried to respond and some decent football saw Baldock and Osborn combine to win a coner and then not long after Stevens had a much better effort as he came inside and on his right foot hit a fizzing drive which Patricio tipped over.



Podence then brought down Brewster who ran down the left and was booked but Norwood’s free kick was overhit. Vitinha came on for Podence for the home side before a double change for United with Burke and Mousset coming on for Brewster and Osborn.



Stevens went down theatrically looking for a penalty but as the ball came back, a ball through set Mousset away and his cross was hit by Norwood goal wards but after it rebounded out Burke miscued badly. The flag actually went up rendering the chances meaningless in the end.



The game approached the final 10 minutes. Stevens was yellow carded for a foul on Traore and then Saiss had a great chance to put the game away but Ramsdale smothered from close range. At the other end, Baldock’s ball was poor and overhit as Burke looked to get in.



Bogle came on for Ampadu but it was the Wolves sub Silva who had an opportunity to seal the game but his shot was straight at Ramsdale. Traore then ran through but blazed over. The game entered an additional four minutes of stoppage time but United did not threaten at all in this time and Wolves, who themselves had been quite ordinary, saw the game out to take the three points. The Blades were officially confirmed as relegated.



United – Tonight obviously confirmed things in terms of relegation and in some ways is a bit of a relief. At least it is done now and the wider football world can shut up about it now. We have been down for ages of course but seemed to quickly come up this week in terms of the mathematical probability and then it being confirmed as Brighton, Newcastle got results etc. After Newcastle won earlier you knew it would be confirmed as of course we lose every week. I am not even exaggerating. It is pretty much every week and we never score seemingly too. It is quite depressing to think your football team loses almost every game and almost never scores.



To be fair United gave a better fist of things and it was our best performance under Heckingbottom. We were unfortunate to lose and has as much or if not the better of it. First half was a non-event really. They had the one deflection that hit the bar but no other clear chances. They were lucky not to be reduced to ten men and this probably proved a key moment as the officials/VAR somehow botched it completely again. 2nd half we began well and were the team looking maybe more likely with a few moments/half chances but then when Stevens missed and we made errors in decision making (both Stevens/Bryan) they broke and scored and you knew that was it. Other than the Stevens decent effort not sure we had many chances and even though we did ok and there were definite improvements individually and collectively, not sure we really looked like scoring or creating too much.



What I would say is we looked more resolute, we competed harder and defended better. I felt Wolves were awful. They looked as slow and unadventurous as we did but give credit to United who actually played a bit more like a team. The midfield was more compact and were not ran through as easy. Brewster looked lively at times and Osborn worked hard. Not sure any of the outfield players were brilliant but none were appalling. It went from shocking to an average showing but average is a massive improvement. For once the narrative of us being on the end of a close game where fine margins decided it, was actually right (has not been for the majority of the season).



He changed the team and bit and the shape was a bit different with Osborn playing as a kind of 10 maybe McGoldrick a bit more withdrawn (so at times it looked like a 5-2-2-1 or 3-4-2-1 whichever way you look at it!) we at least did move forward and have some attacks. I still felt it was slow and ponderous and even though Wolves were poor, whenever they got it to Traore I was concerned. It shows that you just need one man with pace and a direct, positive style.



After they scored then you sensed that was it. We gave it a bit of a go but it was not wave after wave of attacks. We have scored 17 goals. That is pathetic and well on course for the fewest ever in the top flight history and one of the fewest ever in any league ever.



We just at least finished the game better than we have many others where 1-0 has recently gone to 2 or 3-0. Heckingbottom at least got a performance of respectability out of the group. Odd at the end as the players could not really look gutted as they know it has been coming. It was an almost sense of inevitability, the same as it has been for supporters. The players as weird as it sounds are probably glad it is over. I thought they looked a bit more relaxed tonight and not as anxious.



Been another odd week, we had the Wilder statement which was classy but told us nothing, two strikers ruled out for the season and then the chairman quit last night. We have no idea why and some of the stuff on social media aimed at him and his family has been disappointing (disgusting you could say). He is a young lad (26) in a foreign country and when I saw the abuse he and Abdullah got when Wilder left; I thought they probably are wondering why they are bothering. Some of it was way over the top and quite personal/racist. We will see what happens but having no manager (and no sign of this being resolved) and no chairman (even if he was not really the one making the big decisions) is not a great look and the club looks a bit of a mess and no clear direction at all. Things do seem to be unravelling somewhat on and off the pitch. We need some direction and fast really as at the moment we just seem rudderless. Big calls need to be made. Maybe the owner will just let the next 4 weeks play out and finish the final 6 meaningless games and then make the calls on the manager? (and maybe a DOF or new management structure and/or chairman) At the moment now relegation has been confirmed we just want the games done and dusted so the club can regroup and have some direction going into next season. At the moment there is no plan that makes me think we can come close to replicating what Norwich, Watford or even Bournemouth have done.
 

Deadbat

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Ratings:



Ramsdale 7/10 – First half had little to do really. They had a few shots off target and then the one off the bar. He made one good save from the shot form Ait-Nouri. Second half had a few easy-ish saves and then no chance on the goal as was exposed again. He made a few late saves and the one from Saiss was excellent at point blank range. Largely faultless again in what he did and maybe our best player yet again even though he did not have as much to do as he normally does.



Baldock 4/10 – Started the game with a good interception and ok defensively but he looked timid and scared going forward. One cross straight at the keeper. Had a lot of chances to cross or drive forward but took safe option of sideways or backwards. This continued 2nd half and I thought he was so timid it was untrue. Why he did not cross it or run at his man? He looks terrified when he gets in the last third. Defensively he was ok but as a wing back expected to offer something, he offers nothing at all. His ball to Burke which was terrible at the end when we had a decent break summed up his 2nd half of the season. I have panned Stevens a lot but I think after a fairly decent start that Baldock’s form has nose dived quite a bit. I would say Bogle has had a better season, albeit in limited games and of course it not as good a defender but he has been more impactful.



Stevens 4/10 – He was better first half with no wretched mistakes at least. Traore beat him once but he stayed with him and with help we did an ok job on him to start. I thought he was having one of his better games for some time even though he was not perfect but then he messed up the big chance when he has to do much better. He then had a decent shot with his right foot which was really good skill and our best effort. He then got booked for a foul on Traore and made a few poor choices at the end as we were chasing it.



Bryan 5/10 – Great start with an early tackle that denied Traore getting in. Really good moment for him. He was ok first half as was the whole defence restricting them. The big moment he gambled on trying to get the ball and meant we were in trouble. He needed to keep his position but him moving forward meant everyone was out of position – Egan had to go across and they had men over. After this I felt he struggled a bit and they had a few half chances as the defence became a bit more disorganised. I would not give him another contract at all. He has been here 3 seasons and not sure he is good enough to play consistently even at Championship level.



Egan 6/10 – Steady-ish first half. Wolves did not really play with an out and out striker so the ball seemed to be away from him. He kept in the middle and was solid enough but then the goal he had to go across and could not keep up with Traore. They had a few other late chances when the defence became a bit stretched.



Ampadu 5/10 – A few mistakes where he let them in (one where it went over his head and another he miskicked one) and gave away a few fouls and was lucky to be booked. He did try and get forward and the most advanced of the three centre backs to begin with. He was ok on the ball but a bit stretched when defending. 2nd half this continued and I thought he should have been more switched on when they scored as the man got across and converted too easily.



Norwood 5/10 – Cleared the one off the line and did some ok things defensively but then he played the safe or sideways pass too often when he had it. He took a bad corner to start the game which was short and then another too long 2nd half. He showed a few neat passes and crossfield balls but rarely did he pass or go forward with it. It was just all very safe. Another who did not give it away as much as he has done (once he did 2nd half) but did not make the brave passes to get us in the last third or create things.



Osborn 6/10 – Not sure he is a number 10 at all. He ran around a lot and tried to get on the ball and was involved in a few half attacks you could call them but often took too long to do things when he had it. However, he did keep going and I felt put a lot of effort into the game. He seemed the one who actually was trying to link and get in those areas to combine with wing backs or forwards. This continued 2nd half and I thought he was a bit harshly withdrawn.



Fleck 5/10 – Made a smart header back to Ramsdale and was neat and tidy I suppose but not sure he had a lot of the ball as we sat off. We at least stopped them running through us at times. Going forward saw little from him and he seemed quite stagnant with his running. He just is not in motion like he used to be. He at least tried to get involved a bit more 2nd half but not sure he created much really and then when they broke, he was struggling to get back again. He was ok but not sure he did much where I thought that was really good.



McGoldrick 4/10 – Thought he was slow and took too long to do things. Got on the ball but his touch let him down or he needed too many touches. Had one opening and mis controlled it and just came backwards too much like the rest. Just was taking too long to do things and this meant they got players back. I am not sure he affected much attacking wise. Nearly linked with Brewster once early 2nd half. Both halves ended with him dribbling nowhere and the ref just blew up (both early) as could see we were going nowhere!



Brewster 5/10 – Seems so desperate to do well and he snatched at an early chance. Wants to shoot whenever he can as he knows he won’t get many chances. He then took a bad touch and got a nasty whack which should have been a red. Seemed fired up after this and committed a foul but then a decent run where he got smashed as we broke. He then was involved in the Stevens chance with his run and cross and also won a free kick with a run. He was not great but we saw a few bits. Looks very keen to impress and almost trying too hard. Needs to relax a bit. I would have left him on personally and play him all the game till the end of the season.





Subs –



Burke – Usual headless chicken act really. Ran around but never really on the ball or affecting play. Had one run where he dribbled into someone, then a shot that was heading out for a throw (luckily for him Mousset was offside in the build-up) and then him and Baldock messed up a chance when he ran through. He is a bit of comedy act sadly when he plays. Woefully out of his depth at this level (any level?)



Mousset – Looked out of shape. Had one run and cross but was offside and the dribbled sideways once and lost it.



Bogle – Came on with 5 minutes or so to play. Only had a few touches really. Not even sure where he was playing?!





Manager Heckingbottom 6/10 – Better. He dropped Lundstram and brought in Brewster. He tried a few different things, Osborn in midfield just behind the front two although McGoldrick dropped back too so it was definitely different and I felt it was a more committed and skilled performance. We actually had some attacks, did not fold when the opposition attacked and were the better side for periods of the game. His changes did not really work but I suppose he just wanted us to try and get a goal. At least tonight the side did not go down so meekly and gave it a bit of a go.





Wolves – Last season they had a fantastic season and carried on their elevation since promotion. They finished 7th which was the same as the season before but this time missed out on Europe after they had done so well in the Europa League in the 19-20 season. Nuno Espirito Santo had done a superb job. Yes, they had been helped by Jorge Mendes the super-agent who had meant they could tap into a certain market of players with a number of the top Portuguese players arriving. Fee wise they did not spend stupid amounts but wage/contract packages will have blown clubs like the Blades away in terms of affordability. They had a solid structure with some good UK players supplanting the talents they had.



Like us they have dropped off but not as far and this season has been a struggle! They lost key men such as Doherty and Jota and then they did not properly replace them (see us O’Connell and Henderson) and suddenly they were not as consistent. They still started the season ok but Jiménez was the main man and his horrific injury and absence all season has meant they have struggled for goals. They signed a few players and a lot of young ones but not many have worked. They still have reliable players like Neves, Moutinho and Coady and the talented but frustrating Traore, who has not had the impact this season he had last year. They have been nearer the bottom than top and probably need to look at freshening things up this summer. I do like the manager and whilst some Wolves fans have been frustrated, I can see him actually going to another club at some point, whether it be UK based or on the continent – saw a link with Spurs recently. They seem a fairly well-established Premier League club though and I do not peg them as struggling any time soon. They have too much quality and investment to go down I feel. They have missed fans too like us as Molineux can be a good atmosphere and they had some impressive big wins there the previous season when it was packed.



They had struggled to have the same dominance at home so would have been glad of us coming to town! Tonight though I felt they were poor and only had maybe a handful of half chances and only the goal and maybe the Saiss chance when we were going forward late, as clear chances. I thought they looked as slow and ponderous as us. Traore is still a threat but take out some of their key men likes Neves and Jimenez and they look very ordinary and you can see why they have struggled this season. Most other sides in this league would have beaten then tonight and created and taken chances against a team that was not really showing much at all. It says something about us, that they were very average to poor and still won and the keeper maybe only had one save to make – granted ours only had 2 or 3 also. Not sure about them next season. They look a side that may need to change things up a bit even with Jimenez back. They look a bit tired and predictable and lack the dynamism and pace other sides have at this level and their way of playing maybe is a bit predictable now. They are a patient, passing side but teams know if they bottle up Traore they will not run through you or cut you apart as lack pace in how they play with a real lack of urgency.



Opponent Man of the Match – Traore was always a threat. He was held up a few times but most of the main moment came from him and he set up the goal. Moutinho is a class act in midfield and Coady has become a steady and dependable defender. Podence showed a few moments of class too in a mostly poor team showing.



Opponent Weak link – Ait Nouri should have been sent off for a horrific tackle. The way he rolled around pretending he was injured was pathetic too and he knew he was in trouble so pretended he was hurt. One of the things I will not miss about this league.



Referee/Officials – Robert Jones. Awful from start to finish. Looked very celebrity ref. Pristine with slicked back hair and quite a tight ref’s shirt. Not sure he got much right. The Brewster foul and booking were awful and he got it badly wrong and was not helped by VAR either but he did not help them by giving a free kick against the player wronged and then somehow booking him! He was just poor all night. He warned Ampadu three times but did not book him. He had no idea on advantage rules and then often gave fouls for both teams after playing it for things that were not fouls. He gave soft free kicks on Saiss (Baldock) and a few others and also let several worse fouls go than clearer fouls. Just thought he was really inconsistent and seemed behind play a lot.







Coverage – Same old cliches and discussions about us. Tonight, it was right though as it was fine margins but it is quite dull to listen to and them talking about the same things. Michael Brown was ok how he spoke about ‘us’ and ‘we’ which was nice to hear! Don Goodman is quite irritating though and condescending and talking about Wolves constantly so maybe that redressed the balance from Brown’s bias!
 

Deadbat

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Bonus report!

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Watched the u18s earlier so some quick thoughts on that...

Played at the Lane, this was the 5th Rd tie against Bristol City.

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The Blades started with Ebberson and Hackford up front supported by the Tunisian Ayari who is the leading scorer this season. Seriki started at right back after some impressive performances for the 18s and 23s. Frankie Maguire who had been in the first team squad this season started alongside skipper Arblaster.

Bristol City started well and dominated the first 5 minutes. Indeed only a few minutes in and an angled cross seemed to nick a defender and came off the far post. The visitors continued to look threatening and penned the Blades back but on 10 minutes almost with their first attack took the lead.

A ball from Anderson down the left channel saw Brooks do superbly to go around his man tight to the touchline and sent over a cross which AYARI controlled and smashed into the far corner. Real quality in the set up and final execution. The goal though had come against the run of play.

Bristol City tried to respond but Cullinan made a good tackle in a really open game.

United were now growing into the game and some decent pockets of football involving the front players and Brooks also was looking a real threat.

Good work by Jebbison and Hackford saw a chance for Ayari to net his second but he shot just wide. The same man took a knock soon after but was fit enough to carry on.

Hiddleston was well placed to save a driven shot after a spell of City pressure. Bristol City won quite a few corners and then Hackford gave a foul away in a dangerous area. Scott took the free kick and whipped it wide of the near post.

United started to see more of the ball but Anderson was booked for a bad tackle. The header from the free kick went wide. United won a free kick 30 yards out. Ayari took it and a great effort went narrowly over despite a defender only being around 5 or 6 yards from the kick when it was taken.

Anderson the shot tamely wide from a corner. Ayari gave the ball away and Henry crossed and Scott had a great chance but his finish lacked power and Hiddleston saved.

Ayari then showed lovely skill to find Seriki and his inviting cross was cut out by the keeper as Hackford closed in.

Hiddleston then had to be alert to push away another low shot and head certainly been the busier keeper.

The half time whistle came with Bristol City on the attack in a relatively even contest.


The second half saw the Blades double their lead early on. Oliver Ablaster's deep cross was a good one (Norwood-esque at his best) and JEBBISON took it first time to guide the volley into the far corner. Jebbison has scored in every round of the competition.

Cullinan had to be alert to make a tackle as Bristol City looked to respond.

Soon after a deep cross saw the Blades fail to clear and the City man got in and looped his header goal wards and Hiddleston made a spectacular save as the ball looked set to drop in, tipping it onto the bar. The visitors hit the woodwork for the 2nd time.

United then broke after good work from Williams to block a chance and then a crunching challenge from Arblaster. The Blades were on the run as Seriki sprinted away and was felled, the advantage was played but Ayari ‘s final ball was behind Hackford.

Bristol City had a spell of possession but Hiddleston's handling was sound but United were unable to clear and Brooks poor tackle was completely unnecessary as there was no immediate danger. On the hour mark SCOTT took it and sent Hiddleston the wrong way and it was game on.

Osula replaced Hackford for the Blades not long after the City goal up front.

It was mainly City now dominating on the ball and one flicked finish went wide before another header drifted wide at the far post. United were struggling to get hold of it as the game entered the final 20 minutes but Ayari's tenacity won a free kick to give the Blades a breather.

Brooks free kick was straight at the keeper but the vital two goal cushion came soon after this. Nice patient build up saw the ball moved around. Seriki got away down the right and put over an inviting cross and JEBBISON could not miss, to net his 2nd of the game.

Jebbison nearly got his hat trick but he blazed well over after good initial work in the build up.

The third goal seemed to have taken the wind out of Bristol City who made a few changes as United took control again.

Seriki shot wide at the near post after a free kick was not cleared properly. Osula then showed quick feet but the attack broke down.

The game entered the final 10 minutes and Josh Smith came on for Ayari. Cullinan's header from Maguire’s free kick drifted wide after the sub Smith had kept it alive.

Jebbison then took a heavy touch when well placed. Bristol City looked a beaten side as the game entered stoppage time with United looking more likely to score again at this stage. Brooks lung bursting run saw him gain yards and waste valuable time but his cross was over hit.

The game entered 5 minutes of additional time. There had been a few niggle challenges both way and another at the end saw treatment for a Bristol City player. Then from a free kick, Bell caught Huddleston late with a dangerous tackle on the keeper as he spread himself to make the save.

Jebbison could not get enough purchase on his shot but it was blocked for a corner and that proved to be the final chance. The final whistle came after a scrappy end to the game as the Blades deservedly advanced.

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Players (4-3-3)...not done ratings but there are three...Seriki, Arblaster and Jebbison the three who showed the most promise.

Hiddleston – Goalkeeper. Saw one hit his post and a fair bit of early pressure. Saved one low down holding it and then pushed another away before half time. He made a superb save getting to a looping header to tip on the bar after we had just gone 2-0 up. His handling was sound overall. Penalty no chance. After we went 3-1, he was protected well. One late bad tackle on him as he saved from a low ball through saw him recover after treatment.

Seraiki – Right back. Was looking forward to seeing him play. Certainly, can motor and loves to attack. A few times we saw this but he was not secure defensively. He went on one great run early in the 2nd half and then made the 3rd with a superb cross. Something we have seen sadly lacking from the first team. One to watch I would say.

Anderson – Left back. Helped set up the first goal but he looked the weak link first half as Bristol City had a fair few attacks down this side. He shanked a shot and then was booked for a poor tackle. 2nd half he was a bit more secure and got a few tackles in but felt he was the weakest defender.

Cullinan – Centre back. He was the bigger or more dominant centre back who was attacking the ball. Made s few good tackles/blocks but a few clumsy clearances too. Won a number of important headers.

Williams – Centre back. Thought both centre backs were a bit deep at times and also not tight enough. He looks quite quick and decent on the ball. Put under more pressure as the game went on. Stood up well though and was quite composed.

Arblaster – Central midfield. Centre of Three. Got stuck in. Certainly, likes a tackle and won a few loose things. Seemed to be the one driving things forward when he could. Made a good tackle in the lead up to the 2nd. Took a whack from a poor tackle with 5 mins to play but carried on. Just looked a good all round midfielder. Another to keep an eye on.

Maguire – Right hand side of midfield. Not sure either team played through the middle much and he was not on the ball that much. I thought we were a bit careless at times with give-aways but he was also neat and tidy on occasions. Put in a few decent free kicks.

Brooks – Left hand side of midfield. Our main threat to begin with. Direct with the ball and his driving run/skill and cross made the first goal. On the ball and on the front foot a fair bit. Athletic and quick. Defensively like a few of our players struggled going the other way. Silly tackle on the penalty and no need. Not as invoked 2nd half but then one mazy run at the end saw him run 30 yards but his cross went awry.

Ayari – Number 10 role behind the front two. Certainly, always involved! Some lovely skill and bits of individual play mixed with some frustrating stuff. Scored a lovely taken goal, shot just wide and had a great free kick that was just over. He also nearly set them up a few times! As the game went on his influence lessened but sort of a luxury player you feel but one that can do things out of nothing. Replaced with just under 10 to go.

Hackford – Centre forward. Not really in the game to begin with and gave a few silly fouls away but started to link with above and below. Not sure he has quite kicked on from early season and maybe Ayari/Jebbison have done better in recent months but only 17 so still has time. He was relatively quiet and was subbed after it became 2-1.

Jebbison – Centre forward. Very tall. Must be 6’5’’ or 6’6’’. Very rangy runner. One or two neat touches but also looks a bit clumsy at times. Scored a superb finish at the far post which was only a half chance really. It was really well taken. Then tapped in the third. He worked really hard. Few finishes went awry but he kept chasing and being an outlet. Probably the Man of the Match. Raw but there is something there as an athlete, quick and tall. Another one to watch.

Subs:

Osula – Replaced Hackford on 65 mins. Showed a few decent bits of running/skill.

Smith – Replaced Ayari on 82 mins. Involved instantly in a half chance.

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The Blades now go to Ipswich Town on the 1st May for the Quarter Finals. The only two teams left who are not Category One Academies.

The other QFs are:

Newcastle v Villa
Liverpool v Arsenal
West Brom v Everton
 

FredZeppelin

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Thanks mate. Thought you were pretty good on the whole, again, apart from George. I like Baldock a lot as he always gives 100%. He's been completely 'different class' to the hopeless Stevens all season. Not a great game tonight but he's one of 3 or 4 I'd give some slack to this season.
I thought the Mousset 'cameo' tonight was akin to a Benny Hill sketch in terms of positioning, desire, and footballing ability. What a complete tosser! He has a career that most lads would kill for and tosses it off like this.
Roll on next season when (hopefully) we've got rid of the weak-minded shit of the likes of Mousset, McBurnie, Lundstram, etc.
Hopefully, we get 'our' team back.
utb
 

robbiez666

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Ramsdale 7/10 – First half had little to do really. They had a few shots off target and then the one off the bar. He made one good save from the shot form Ait-Nouri. Second half had a few easy-ish saves and then no chance on the goal as was exposed again. He made a few late saves and the one from Saiss was excellent at point blank range. Largely faultless again in what he did and maybe our best player yet again even though he did not have as much to do as he normally does.



Baldock 4/10 – Started the game with a good interception and ok defensively but he looked timid and scared going forward. One cross straight at the keeper. Had a lot of chances to cross or drive forward but took safe option of sideways or backwards. This continued 2nd half and I thought he was so timid it was untrue. Why he did not cross it or run at his man? He looks terrified when he gets in the last third. Defensively he was ok but as a wing back expected to offer something, he offers nothing at all. His ball to Burke which was terrible at the end when we had a decent break summed up his 2nd half of the season. I have panned Stevens a lot but I think after a fairly decent start that Baldock’s form has nose dived quite a bit. I would say Bogle has had a better season, albeit in limited games and of course it not as good a defender but he has been more impactful.



Stevens 4/10 – He was better first half with no wretched mistakes at least. Traore beat him once but he stayed with him and with help we did an ok job on him to start. I thought he was having one of his better games for some time even though he was not perfect but then he messed up the big chance when he has to do much better. He then had a decent shot with his right foot which was really good skill and our best effort. He then got booked for a foul on Traore and made a few poor choices at the end as we were chasing it.



Bryan 5/10 – Great start with an early tackle that denied Traore getting in. Really good moment for him. He was ok first half as was the whole defence restricting them. The big moment he gambled on trying to get the ball and meant we were in trouble. He needed to keep his position but him moving forward meant everyone was out of position – Egan had to go across and they had men over. After this I felt he struggled a bit and they had a few half chances as the defence became a bit more disorganised. I would not give him another contract at all. He has been here 3 seasons and not sure he is good enough to play consistently even at Championship level.



Egan 6/10 – Steady-ish first half. Wolves did not really play with an out and out striker so the ball seemed to be away from him. He kept in the middle and was solid enough but then the goal he had to go across and could not keep up with Traore. They had a few other late chances when the defence became a bit stretched.



Ampadu 5/10 – A few mistakes where he let them in (one where it went over his head and another he miskicked one) and gave away a few fouls and was lucky to be booked. He did try and get forward and the most advanced of the three centre backs to begin with. He was ok on the ball but a bit stretched when defending. 2nd half this continued and I thought he should have been more switched on when they scored as the man got across and converted too easily.



Norwood 5/10 – Cleared the one off the line and did some ok things defensively but then he played the safe or sideways pass too often when he had it. He took a bad corner to start the game which was short and then another too long 2nd half. He showed a few neat passes and crossfield balls but rarely did he pass or go forward with it. It was just all very safe. Another who did not give it away as much as he has done (once he did 2nd half) but did not make the brave passes to get us in the last third or create things.



Osborn 6/10 – Not sure he is a number 10 at all. He ran around a lot and tried to get on the ball and was involved in a few half attacks you could call them but often took too long to do things when he had it. However, he did keep going and I felt put a lot of effort into the game. He seemed the one who actually was trying to link and get in those areas to combine with wing backs or forwards. This continued 2nd half and I thought he was a bit harshly withdrawn.



Fleck 5/10 – Made a smart header back to Ramsdale and was neat and tidy I suppose but not sure he had a lot of the ball as we sat off. We at least stopped them running through us at times. Going forward saw little from him and he seemed quite stagnant with his running. He just is not in motion like he used to be. He at least tried to get involved a bit more 2nd half but not sure he created much really and then when they broke, he was struggling to get back again. He was ok but not sure he did much where I thought that was really good.



McGoldrick 4/10 – Thought he was slow and took too long to do things. Got on the ball but his touch let him down or he needed too many touches. Had one opening and mis controlled it and just came backwards too much like the rest. Just was taking too long to do things and this meant they got players back. I am not sure he affected much attacking wise. Nearly linked with Brewster once early 2nd half. Both halves ended with him dribbling nowhere and the ref just blew up (both early) as could see we were going nowhere!



Brewster 5/10 – Seems so desperate to do well and he snatched at an early chance. Wants to shoot whenever he can as he knows he won’t get many chances. He then took a bad touch and got a nasty whack which should have been a red. Seemed fired up after this and committed a foul but then a decent run where he got smashed as we broke. He then was involved in the Stevens chance with his run and cross and also won a free kick with a run. He was not great but we saw a few bits. Looks very keen to impress and almost trying too hard. Needs to relax a bit. I would have left him on personally and play him all the game till the end of the season.





Subs –



Burke – Usual headless chicken act really. Ran around but never really on the ball or affecting play. Had one run where he dribbled into someone, then a shot that was heading out for a throw (luckily for him Mousset was offside in the build-up) and then him and Baldock messed up a chance when he ran through. He is a bit of comedy act sadly when he plays. Woefully out of his depth at this level (any level?)



Mousset – Looked out of shape. Had one run and cross but was offside and the dribbled sideways once and lost it.



Bogle – Came on with 5 minutes or so to play. Only had a few touches really. Not even sure where he was playing?!





Manager Heckingbottom 6/10 – Better. He dropped Lundstram and brought in Brewster. He tried a few different things, Osborn in midfield just behind the front two although McGoldrick dropped back too so it was definitely different and I felt it was a more committed and skilled performance. We actually had some attacks, did not fold when the opposition attacked and were the better side for periods of the game. His changes did not really work but I suppose he just wanted us to try and get a goal. At least tonight the side did not go down so meekly and gave it a bit of a go.





Wolves – Last season they had a fantastic season and carried on their elevation since promotion. They finished 7th which was the same as the season before but this time missed out on Europe after they had done so well in the Europa League in the 19-20 season. Nuno Espirito Santo had done a superb job. Yes, they had been helped by Jorge Mendes the super-agent who had meant they could tap into a certain market of players with a number of the top Portuguese players arriving. Fee wise they did not spend stupid amounts but wage/contract packages will have blown clubs like the Blades away in terms of affordability. They had a solid structure with some good UK players supplanting the talents they had.



Like us they have dropped off but not as far and this season has been a struggle! They lost key men such as Doherty and Jota and then they did not properly replace them (see us O’Connell and Henderson) and suddenly they were not as consistent. They still started the season ok but Jiménez was the main man and his horrific injury and absence all season has meant they have struggled for goals. They signed a few players and a lot of young ones but not many have worked. They still have reliable players like Neves, Moutinho and Coady and the talented but frustrating Traore, who has not had the impact this season he had last year. They have been nearer the bottom than top and probably need to look at freshening things up this summer. I do like the manager and whilst some Wolves fans have been frustrated, I can see him actually going to another club at some point, whether it be UK based or on the continent – saw a link with Spurs recently. They seem a fairly well-established Premier League club though and I do not peg them as struggling any time soon. They have too much quality and investment to go down I feel. They have missed fans too like us as Molineux can be a good atmosphere and they had some impressive big wins there the previous season when it was packed.



They had struggled to have the same dominance at home so would have been glad of us coming to town! Tonight though I felt they were poor and only had maybe a handful of half chances and only the goal and maybe the Saiss chance when we were going forward late, as clear chances. I thought they looked as slow and ponderous as us. Traore is still a threat but take out some of their key men likes Neves and Jimenez and they look very ordinary and you can see why they have struggled this season. Most other sides in this league would have beaten then tonight and created and taken chances against a team that was not really showing much at all. It says something about us, that they were very average to poor and still won and the keeper maybe only had one save to make – granted ours only had 2 or 3 also. Not sure about them next season. They look a side that may need to change things up a bit even with Jimenez back. They look a bit tired and predictable and lack the dynamism and pace other sides have at this level and their way of playing maybe is a bit predictable now. They are a patient, passing side but teams know if they bottle up Traore they will not run through you or cut you apart as lack pace in how they play with a real lack of urgency.



Opponent Man of the Match – Traore was always a threat. He was held up a few times but most of the main moment came from him and he set up the goal. Moutinho is a class act in midfield and Coady has become a steady and dependable defender. Podence showed a few moments of class too in a mostly poor team showing.



Opponent Weak link – Ait Nouri should have been sent off for a horrific tackle. The way he rolled around pretending he was injured was pathetic too and he knew he was in trouble so pretended he was hurt. One of the things I will not miss about this league.



Referee/Officials – Robert Jones. Awful from start to finish. Looked very celebrity ref. Pristine with slicked back hair and quite a tight ref’s shirt. Not sure he got much right. The Brewster foul and booking were awful and he got it badly wrong and was not helped by VAR either but he did not help them by giving a free kick against the player wronged and then somehow booking him! He was just poor all night. He warned Ampadu three times but did not book him. He had no idea on advantage rules and then often gave fouls for both teams after playing it for things that were not fouls. He gave soft free kicks on Saiss (Baldock) and a few others and also let several worse fouls go than clearer fouls. Just thought he was really inconsistent and seemed behind play a lot.







Coverage – Same old cliches and discussions about us. Tonight, it was right though as it was fine margins but it is quite dull to listen to and them talking about the same things. Michael Brown was ok how he spoke about ‘us’ and ‘we’ which was nice to hear! Don Goodman is quite irritating though and condescending and talking about Wolves constantly so maybe that redressed the balance from Brown’s bias!
Bit harsh on Stevens. I thought it was one of his better performances this season. Should have done bettet with the first shot but the turn and shot from the right were the highlight of the game. Bit harsh to be overly critical given he's a left wingback and our strikers and midfielders are no better at shooting! He seemed to be everywhere and we were most dangerous down the left. At the same time trying to deal with Traore. He gave 110% and you could see how much effort he was putting in.
 

Webding

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Bit harsh on Stevens. I thought it was one of his better performances this season. Should have done bettet with the first shot but the turn and shot from the right were the highlight of the game. Bit harsh to be overly critical given he's a left wingback and our strikers and midfielders are no better at shooting! He seemed to be everywhere and we were most dangerous down the left. At the same time trying to deal with Traore. He gave 110% and you could see how much effort he was putting in.
Stevens was actually a lot more confident and assured last night and was an improvement on recent games. But when you consider the absolute zero of the level he was improving on, 4 or 5 out of 10 is a huge jump... and about fair when you consider how crap Wolves were, yet how involved Traore was. And that’s before you mention the goal.
 

bakeblade

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Ramsdale 7/10 – First half had little to do really. They had a few shots off target and then the one off the bar. He made one good save from the shot form Ait-Nouri. Second half had a few easy-ish saves and then no chance on the goal as was exposed again. He made a few late saves and the one from Saiss was excellent at point blank range. Largely faultless again in what he did and maybe our best player yet again even though he did not have as much to do as he normally does.



Baldock 4/10 – Started the game with a good interception and ok defensively but he looked timid and scared going forward. One cross straight at the keeper. Had a lot of chances to cross or drive forward but took safe option of sideways or backwards. This continued 2nd half and I thought he was so timid it was untrue. Why he did not cross it or run at his man? He looks terrified when he gets in the last third. Defensively he was ok but as a wing back expected to offer something, he offers nothing at all. His ball to Burke which was terrible at the end when we had a decent break summed up his 2nd half of the season. I have panned Stevens a lot but I think after a fairly decent start that Baldock’s form has nose dived quite a bit. I would say Bogle has had a better season, albeit in limited games and of course it not as good a defender but he has been more impactful.



Stevens 4/10 – He was better first half with no wretched mistakes at least. Traore beat him once but he stayed with him and with help we did an ok job on him to start. I thought he was having one of his better games for some time even though he was not perfect but then he messed up the big chance when he has to do much better. He then had a decent shot with his right foot which was really good skill and our best effort. He then got booked for a foul on Traore and made a few poor choices at the end as we were chasing it.



Bryan 5/10 – Great start with an early tackle that denied Traore getting in. Really good moment for him. He was ok first half as was the whole defence restricting them. The big moment he gambled on trying to get the ball and meant we were in trouble. He needed to keep his position but him moving forward meant everyone was out of position – Egan had to go across and they had men over. After this I felt he struggled a bit and they had a few half chances as the defence became a bit more disorganised. I would not give him another contract at all. He has been here 3 seasons and not sure he is good enough to play consistently even at Championship level.



Egan 6/10 – Steady-ish first half. Wolves did not really play with an out and out striker so the ball seemed to be away from him. He kept in the middle and was solid enough but then the goal he had to go across and could not keep up with Traore. They had a few other late chances when the defence became a bit stretched.



Ampadu 5/10 – A few mistakes where he let them in (one where it went over his head and another he miskicked one) and gave away a few fouls and was lucky to be booked. He did try and get forward and the most advanced of the three centre backs to begin with. He was ok on the ball but a bit stretched when defending. 2nd half this continued and I thought he should have been more switched on when they scored as the man got across and converted too easily.



Norwood 5/10 – Cleared the one off the line and did some ok things defensively but then he played the safe or sideways pass too often when he had it. He took a bad corner to start the game which was short and then another too long 2nd half. He showed a few neat passes and crossfield balls but rarely did he pass or go forward with it. It was just all very safe. Another who did not give it away as much as he has done (once he did 2nd half) but did not make the brave passes to get us in the last third or create things.



Osborn 6/10 – Not sure he is a number 10 at all. He ran around a lot and tried to get on the ball and was involved in a few half attacks you could call them but often took too long to do things when he had it. However, he did keep going and I felt put a lot of effort into the game. He seemed the one who actually was trying to link and get in those areas to combine with wing backs or forwards. This continued 2nd half and I thought he was a bit harshly withdrawn.



Fleck 5/10 – Made a smart header back to Ramsdale and was neat and tidy I suppose but not sure he had a lot of the ball as we sat off. We at least stopped them running through us at times. Going forward saw little from him and he seemed quite stagnant with his running. He just is not in motion like he used to be. He at least tried to get involved a bit more 2nd half but not sure he created much really and then when they broke, he was struggling to get back again. He was ok but not sure he did much where I thought that was really good.



McGoldrick 4/10 – Thought he was slow and took too long to do things. Got on the ball but his touch let him down or he needed too many touches. Had one opening and mis controlled it and just came backwards too much like the rest. Just was taking too long to do things and this meant they got players back. I am not sure he affected much attacking wise. Nearly linked with Brewster once early 2nd half. Both halves ended with him dribbling nowhere and the ref just blew up (both early) as could see we were going nowhere!



Brewster 5/10 – Seems so desperate to do well and he snatched at an early chance. Wants to shoot whenever he can as he knows he won’t get many chances. He then took a bad touch and got a nasty whack which should have been a red. Seemed fired up after this and committed a foul but then a decent run where he got smashed as we broke. He then was involved in the Stevens chance with his run and cross and also won a free kick with a run. He was not great but we saw a few bits. Looks very keen to impress and almost trying too hard. Needs to relax a bit. I would have left him on personally and play him all the game till the end of the season.





Subs –



Burke – Usual headless chicken act really. Ran around but never really on the ball or affecting play. Had one run where he dribbled into someone, then a shot that was heading out for a throw (luckily for him Mousset was offside in the build-up) and then him and Baldock messed up a chance when he ran through. He is a bit of comedy act sadly when he plays. Woefully out of his depth at this level (any level?)



Mousset – Looked out of shape. Had one run and cross but was offside and the dribbled sideways once and lost it.



Bogle – Came on with 5 minutes or so to play. Only had a few touches really. Not even sure where he was playing?!





Manager Heckingbottom 6/10 – Better. He dropped Lundstram and brought in Brewster. He tried a few different things, Osborn in midfield just behind the front two although McGoldrick dropped back too so it was definitely different and I felt it was a more committed and skilled performance. We actually had some attacks, did not fold when the opposition attacked and were the better side for periods of the game. His changes did not really work but I suppose he just wanted us to try and get a goal. At least tonight the side did not go down so meekly and gave it a bit of a go.





Wolves – Last season they had a fantastic season and carried on their elevation since promotion. They finished 7th which was the same as the season before but this time missed out on Europe after they had done so well in the Europa League in the 19-20 season. Nuno Espirito Santo had done a superb job. Yes, they had been helped by Jorge Mendes the super-agent who had meant they could tap into a certain market of players with a number of the top Portuguese players arriving. Fee wise they did not spend stupid amounts but wage/contract packages will have blown clubs like the Blades away in terms of affordability. They had a solid structure with some good UK players supplanting the talents they had.



Like us they have dropped off but not as far and this season has been a struggle! They lost key men such as Doherty and Jota and then they did not properly replace them (see us O’Connell and Henderson) and suddenly they were not as consistent. They still started the season ok but Jiménez was the main man and his horrific injury and absence all season has meant they have struggled for goals. They signed a few players and a lot of young ones but not many have worked. They still have reliable players like Neves, Moutinho and Coady and the talented but frustrating Traore, who has not had the impact this season he had last year. They have been nearer the bottom than top and probably need to look at freshening things up this summer. I do like the manager and whilst some Wolves fans have been frustrated, I can see him actually going to another club at some point, whether it be UK based or on the continent – saw a link with Spurs recently. They seem a fairly well-established Premier League club though and I do not peg them as struggling any time soon. They have too much quality and investment to go down I feel. They have missed fans too like us as Molineux can be a good atmosphere and they had some impressive big wins there the previous season when it was packed.



They had struggled to have the same dominance at home so would have been glad of us coming to town! Tonight though I felt they were poor and only had maybe a handful of half chances and only the goal and maybe the Saiss chance when we were going forward late, as clear chances. I thought they looked as slow and ponderous as us. Traore is still a threat but take out some of their key men likes Neves and Jimenez and they look very ordinary and you can see why they have struggled this season. Most other sides in this league would have beaten then tonight and created and taken chances against a team that was not really showing much at all. It says something about us, that they were very average to poor and still won and the keeper maybe only had one save to make – granted ours only had 2 or 3 also. Not sure about them next season. They look a side that may need to change things up a bit even with Jimenez back. They look a bit tired and predictable and lack the dynamism and pace other sides have at this level and their way of playing maybe is a bit predictable now. They are a patient, passing side but teams know if they bottle up Traore they will not run through you or cut you apart as lack pace in how they play with a real lack of urgency.



Opponent Man of the Match – Traore was always a threat. He was held up a few times but most of the main moment came from him and he set up the goal. Moutinho is a class act in midfield and Coady has become a steady and dependable defender. Podence showed a few moments of class too in a mostly poor team showing.



Opponent Weak link – Ait Nouri should have been sent off for a horrific tackle. The way he rolled around pretending he was injured was pathetic too and he knew he was in trouble so pretended he was hurt. One of the things I will not miss about this league.



Referee/Officials – Robert Jones. Awful from start to finish. Looked very celebrity ref. Pristine with slicked back hair and quite a tight ref’s shirt. Not sure he got much right. The Brewster foul and booking were awful and he got it badly wrong and was not helped by VAR either but he did not help them by giving a free kick against the player wronged and then somehow booking him! He was just poor all night. He warned Ampadu three times but did not book him. He had no idea on advantage rules and then often gave fouls for both teams after playing it for things that were not fouls. He gave soft free kicks on Saiss (Baldock) and a few others and also let several worse fouls go than clearer fouls. Just thought he was really inconsistent and seemed behind play a lot.







Coverage – Same old cliches and discussions about us. Tonight, it was right though as it was fine margins but it is quite dull to listen to and them talking about the same things. Michael Brown was ok how he spoke about ‘us’ and ‘we’ which was nice to hear! Don Goodman is quite irritating though and condescending and talking about Wolves constantly so maybe that redressed the balance from Brown’s bias!
Good report as always, you really deserve some sort of award for continuing to do these reports. Marks are just about as I saw it, although I would give George a point or 2 more. He put the effort in and looked angry as usual- he definitely cares. The problem when he gets forward is that there's no one to cross to, so rather than putting in a pointless cross, he has to dally about.
Very disappointed with Ampadu on the goal, he just switched off again and allowed their player to get in front of him.
 

Blade59

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Think if we had won 1 0 as we could have done the marks may have been a point or two higher for some. As you say though it was an average performance against an average side and again we did not have the quality to tilt the balance in our favour. Norwood and Fleck for example I thought played better last night but when you look back did not impact the game positively so you cannot argue with the marks really.

For the rest of the season I would start with Bogle and Lowe in the wingback positions. We have bought them for the future and as we are now relegated the future starts now so we may as well have a proper look at them for the last 6 games. Likewise Brewster, play him for the full 90 minutes and try and get some confidence in him for next season. Could say the same about Burke but not sure he is actually a footballer but might as well see one way or the other. No harm either in giving some of the under 23's some time off the bench. Relegation is done and time to look forward ideally with a new manager in place for the last few games. Be nice to get over 20 points but not that important in the grand scheme of things.
 

crucialkneeligaman

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Our points tally tells that we are a better team than the Derby team who hold the record. How bad was that Derby side ????!!!!!!!!
 

bakeblade

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Thanks mate. Thought you were pretty good on the whole, again, apart from George. I like Baldock a lot as he always gives 100%. He's been completely 'different class' to the hopeless Stevens all season. Not a great game tonight but he's one of 3 or 4 I'd give some slack to this season.
I thought the Mousset 'cameo' tonight was akin to a Benny Hill sketch in terms of positioning, desire, and footballing ability. What a complete tosser! He has a career that most lads would kill for and tosses it off like this.
Roll on next season when (hopefully) we've got rid of the weak-minded shit of the likes of Mousset, McBurnie, Lundstram, etc.
Hopefully, we get 'our' team back.
utb
I agree on Mousset, what a disgrace he is for a professional sportsman. I can't understand why Hecky keeps giving him game time, I wouldn't even bother having him on the bench.
 

Espania blade

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Great stuff DB, what an effort that must have been, well done.

I thought Osborn looked promising, Ramm'y looking like a quality signing.

The only reason we looked like we were making an effort is because Wolves were so bad.

Other than that it was the usual fare, although i did wonder if the new manager was watching as some players looked as though they were playing for a place next season, one of the commentators alluded to it as well.

Maybe the young pretender (Prince) just can't live in Sheffield, maybe he just wants to go home - just a thought, I do agree though that the abuse on Twitter was a disgrace to our fan base, nobody deserves that, I always thought the good people of Sheffield were better than that!!
 

Webding

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Thanks for the report Deadbat

Probably time to change from "The Tufty Club" though.

Maybe the Titanic Club? (rudderless and going down)
Yeah, it’ll probably get changed before next season. We’ve got a bigger summer than the club.

or "Terry's Assortment" ?

(if he gets the job)
Let’s hope he doesn’t, since I’m guessing Terry’s Chocolate Fireguard would be more in line with his management skills.
 

ChrisDysonHT

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Ramsdale 7/10 – First half had little to do really. They had a few shots off target and then the one off the bar. He made one good save from the shot form Ait-Nouri. Second half had a few easy-ish saves and then no chance on the goal as was exposed again. He made a few late saves and the one from Saiss was excellent at point blank range. Largely faultless again in what he did and maybe our best player yet again even though he did not have as much to do as he normally does.



Baldock 4/10 – Started the game with a good interception and ok defensively but he looked timid and scared going forward. One cross straight at the keeper. Had a lot of chances to cross or drive forward but took safe option of sideways or backwards. This continued 2nd half and I thought he was so timid it was untrue. Why he did not cross it or run at his man? He looks terrified when he gets in the last third. Defensively he was ok but as a wing back expected to offer something, he offers nothing at all. His ball to Burke which was terrible at the end when we had a decent break summed up his 2nd half of the season. I have panned Stevens a lot but I think after a fairly decent start that Baldock’s form has nose dived quite a bit. I would say Bogle has had a better season, albeit in limited games and of course it not as good a defender but he has been more impactful.



Stevens 4/10 – He was better first half with no wretched mistakes at least. Traore beat him once but he stayed with him and with help we did an ok job on him to start. I thought he was having one of his better games for some time even though he was not perfect but then he messed up the big chance when he has to do much better. He then had a decent shot with his right foot which was really good skill and our best effort. He then got booked for a foul on Traore and made a few poor choices at the end as we were chasing it.



Bryan 5/10 – Great start with an early tackle that denied Traore getting in. Really good moment for him. He was ok first half as was the whole defence restricting them. The big moment he gambled on trying to get the ball and meant we were in trouble. He needed to keep his position but him moving forward meant everyone was out of position – Egan had to go across and they had men over. After this I felt he struggled a bit and they had a few half chances as the defence became a bit more disorganised. I would not give him another contract at all. He has been here 3 seasons and not sure he is good enough to play consistently even at Championship level.



Egan 6/10 – Steady-ish first half. Wolves did not really play with an out and out striker so the ball seemed to be away from him. He kept in the middle and was solid enough but then the goal he had to go across and could not keep up with Traore. They had a few other late chances when the defence became a bit stretched.



Ampadu 5/10 – A few mistakes where he let them in (one where it went over his head and another he miskicked one) and gave away a few fouls and was lucky to be booked. He did try and get forward and the most advanced of the three centre backs to begin with. He was ok on the ball but a bit stretched when defending. 2nd half this continued and I thought he should have been more switched on when they scored as the man got across and converted too easily.



Norwood 5/10 – Cleared the one off the line and did some ok things defensively but then he played the safe or sideways pass too often when he had it. He took a bad corner to start the game which was short and then another too long 2nd half. He showed a few neat passes and crossfield balls but rarely did he pass or go forward with it. It was just all very safe. Another who did not give it away as much as he has done (once he did 2nd half) but did not make the brave passes to get us in the last third or create things.



Osborn 6/10 – Not sure he is a number 10 at all. He ran around a lot and tried to get on the ball and was involved in a few half attacks you could call them but often took too long to do things when he had it. However, he did keep going and I felt put a lot of effort into the game. He seemed the one who actually was trying to link and get in those areas to combine with wing backs or forwards. This continued 2nd half and I thought he was a bit harshly withdrawn.



Fleck 5/10 – Made a smart header back to Ramsdale and was neat and tidy I suppose but not sure he had a lot of the ball as we sat off. We at least stopped them running through us at times. Going forward saw little from him and he seemed quite stagnant with his running. He just is not in motion like he used to be. He at least tried to get involved a bit more 2nd half but not sure he created much really and then when they broke, he was struggling to get back again. He was ok but not sure he did much where I thought that was really good.



McGoldrick 4/10 – Thought he was slow and took too long to do things. Got on the ball but his touch let him down or he needed too many touches. Had one opening and mis controlled it and just came backwards too much like the rest. Just was taking too long to do things and this meant they got players back. I am not sure he affected much attacking wise. Nearly linked with Brewster once early 2nd half. Both halves ended with him dribbling nowhere and the ref just blew up (both early) as could see we were going nowhere!



Brewster 5/10 – Seems so desperate to do well and he snatched at an early chance. Wants to shoot whenever he can as he knows he won’t get many chances. He then took a bad touch and got a nasty whack which should have been a red. Seemed fired up after this and committed a foul but then a decent run where he got smashed as we broke. He then was involved in the Stevens chance with his run and cross and also won a free kick with a run. He was not great but we saw a few bits. Looks very keen to impress and almost trying too hard. Needs to relax a bit. I would have left him on personally and play him all the game till the end of the season.





Subs –



Burke – Usual headless chicken act really. Ran around but never really on the ball or affecting play. Had one run where he dribbled into someone, then a shot that was heading out for a throw (luckily for him Mousset was offside in the build-up) and then him and Baldock messed up a chance when he ran through. He is a bit of comedy act sadly when he plays. Woefully out of his depth at this level (any level?)



Mousset – Looked out of shape. Had one run and cross but was offside and the dribbled sideways once and lost it.



Bogle – Came on with 5 minutes or so to play. Only had a few touches really. Not even sure where he was playing?!





Manager Heckingbottom 6/10 – Better. He dropped Lundstram and brought in Brewster. He tried a few different things, Osborn in midfield just behind the front two although McGoldrick dropped back too so it was definitely different and I felt it was a more committed and skilled performance. We actually had some attacks, did not fold when the opposition attacked and were the better side for periods of the game. His changes did not really work but I suppose he just wanted us to try and get a goal. At least tonight the side did not go down so meekly and gave it a bit of a go.





Wolves – Last season they had a fantastic season and carried on their elevation since promotion. They finished 7th which was the same as the season before but this time missed out on Europe after they had done so well in the Europa League in the 19-20 season. Nuno Espirito Santo had done a superb job. Yes, they had been helped by Jorge Mendes the super-agent who had meant they could tap into a certain market of players with a number of the top Portuguese players arriving. Fee wise they did not spend stupid amounts but wage/contract packages will have blown clubs like the Blades away in terms of affordability. They had a solid structure with some good UK players supplanting the talents they had.



Like us they have dropped off but not as far and this season has been a struggle! They lost key men such as Doherty and Jota and then they did not properly replace them (see us O’Connell and Henderson) and suddenly they were not as consistent. They still started the season ok but Jiménez was the main man and his horrific injury and absence all season has meant they have struggled for goals. They signed a few players and a lot of young ones but not many have worked. They still have reliable players like Neves, Moutinho and Coady and the talented but frustrating Traore, who has not had the impact this season he had last year. They have been nearer the bottom than top and probably need to look at freshening things up this summer. I do like the manager and whilst some Wolves fans have been frustrated, I can see him actually going to another club at some point, whether it be UK based or on the continent – saw a link with Spurs recently. They seem a fairly well-established Premier League club though and I do not peg them as struggling any time soon. They have too much quality and investment to go down I feel. They have missed fans too like us as Molineux can be a good atmosphere and they had some impressive big wins there the previous season when it was packed.



They had struggled to have the same dominance at home so would have been glad of us coming to town! Tonight though I felt they were poor and only had maybe a handful of half chances and only the goal and maybe the Saiss chance when we were going forward late, as clear chances. I thought they looked as slow and ponderous as us. Traore is still a threat but take out some of their key men likes Neves and Jimenez and they look very ordinary and you can see why they have struggled this season. Most other sides in this league would have beaten then tonight and created and taken chances against a team that was not really showing much at all. It says something about us, that they were very average to poor and still won and the keeper maybe only had one save to make – granted ours only had 2 or 3 also. Not sure about them next season. They look a side that may need to change things up a bit even with Jimenez back. They look a bit tired and predictable and lack the dynamism and pace other sides have at this level and their way of playing maybe is a bit predictable now. They are a patient, passing side but teams know if they bottle up Traore they will not run through you or cut you apart as lack pace in how they play with a real lack of urgency.



Opponent Man of the Match – Traore was always a threat. He was held up a few times but most of the main moment came from him and he set up the goal. Moutinho is a class act in midfield and Coady has become a steady and dependable defender. Podence showed a few moments of class too in a mostly poor team showing.



Opponent Weak link – Ait Nouri should have been sent off for a horrific tackle. The way he rolled around pretending he was injured was pathetic too and he knew he was in trouble so pretended he was hurt. One of the things I will not miss about this league.



Referee/Officials – Robert Jones. Awful from start to finish. Looked very celebrity ref. Pristine with slicked back hair and quite a tight ref’s shirt. Not sure he got much right. The Brewster foul and booking were awful and he got it badly wrong and was not helped by VAR either but he did not help them by giving a free kick against the player wronged and then somehow booking him! He was just poor all night. He warned Ampadu three times but did not book him. He had no idea on advantage rules and then often gave fouls for both teams after playing it for things that were not fouls. He gave soft free kicks on Saiss (Baldock) and a few others and also let several worse fouls go than clearer fouls. Just thought he was really inconsistent and seemed behind play a lot.







Coverage – Same old cliches and discussions about us. Tonight, it was right though as it was fine margins but it is quite dull to listen to and them talking about the same things. Michael Brown was ok how he spoke about ‘us’ and ‘we’ which was nice to hear! Don Goodman is quite irritating though and condescending and talking about Wolves constantly so maybe that redressed the balance from Brown’s bias!
Cheers again - have a great week
 

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