Match preview: Wolves (h) EFL Cup, Tue 20 Sep, K.O. 7:45pm

by • September 19, 2016 • Match previewsComments (8)1552

Well Saturday was a great big let down for us all, the manager included. Despite the shocking errors which gifted our opponents two of the softest goals going, the side lacked maturity and so did the crowd. Getting to half time level when you’re playing badly is key, yet United were done on the counter attacked (again) as there seemed to be panic in the stands and on the pitch that we weren’t three nil up. Eventually we’re going to have to win some games we don’t deserve to win and draw some games we deserve to lose.

That’s the third game we’ve come up against a side with no ambition this season and the third time we’ve lost. More attacking full backs are required against teams that get 11 behind the ball at SJP and Gayle looked lost without the space to run into in-which he thrives. The good news is we have a chance to see some of the players who may be required against negative opposition at St James’ this Tuesday, when we again host Wolves.

This competition is a great chance for Rafa to play the test fringe players like Hanley, Murphy, Gamez, Yedlin and Lazaar. Last time out we also struggled to break down a compact Cheltnham side and I’d imagine Wolves will be heading to SJP with more of the same in mind so there’s no time like the present to test out any new tactics Rafa has designed to break down this type of side. Whilst teams have no answer how to set up against us away from home – it’s becoming apparent that we’re beatable at home .

Tickets for this one are £10 for adults and £3 for kids – it would be great for the city to come out and support this side and perhaps behave a little more positively towards the team than some did on Saturday. 21k against Cheltenham was the highest in the round (I think) but I would hope for double that on Tuesday but get the feeling we’ll be a long way below that.

Two attacking full backs, at least one target man up front and patience on the pitch and in the stands would go a long way to wining this game. Wolves will make plenty of changes too but don’t expect a weakened team from them, like Rafa, Zenga loves a bit of rotation. Karl Darlow will get a chance in goal and after 8 games of Sels, I hope he keeps his place in the team.

Next week against Vile & Norwich is absolutely massive in the context of our season, so lets progress on Tuesday (with no extra time) to set us up nicely for a trip to The Worst Place in the World on Saturday tea time.

Prediction: 2 0 United.

Alex Hurst

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8 Responses to Match preview: Wolves (h) EFL Cup, Tue 20 Sep, K.O. 7:45pm

  1. Peter Ward says:

    I critized the team for last Saturdays performance and got the usual stuff about ‘winding your head in.. you’re an idiot etc’ and it was ‘just a blip’. I admit I was so disappointed at the team I was a bit over the top but it did raise (to my mind)several questions. There is a tendency from many to think we’ll walk the league and Benitez can do no wrong. Don’t get me wrong I was amazed he stayed and shudder to think who we would have got if he’d gone. It’s brilliant we’ve got him and let’s hope the party continues. Reputedly he is being paid £5 million per annum so, it isn’t such a great sacrifice on his part. Should he succeed it will enhance his reputation as well.
    After the demolition of QPR – which nobody expected – we could have made a statement against Wolves that would have frightened two thirds of the division instead we now look beatable. They should have known Wolves would respond after their midweek trouncing yet gave the most insipid display imaginable. Yes we are going to lose more matches but like This?
    You have to question the character of the team and The leadership on the pitch. Let’s hope it is a. Blip as promotion is a must!

  2. Ben says:

    I have to disagree with the ‘crowd lacked maturity’ comment regarding Saturday. I’d like to think that, rather than an immature crowd as you suggest, we’ve actually got a (mostly) very clued-up crowd who know their stuff and won’t settle for laziness or rank ineptitude regardless of the result in midweek. Everyone is entitled to an off day, but some on the field in black and white on Saturday were at best unfit (Diame) or inept (Mbemba, Sels) and at worst downright lazy (Perez). Maybe we believed our own hype after scoring 8 without reply in the last two aways, but whatever the reason it wasn’t good enough and the players needed a kick up the arse (by the way I think we still lack a vocal commanding captain presence on the field for when the going gets tough, but that’s another story). That ‘kick up the arse’ does not mean shouting abuse or booing, but it should mean giving vocal encouragement and trying to remind the players that they are in a game when things are a bit flat. In my opinion the crowd were trying to shake the lethargy out of the players and wake them up a bit which was exactly what was needed. But it seems you can’t do that without some, as Peter says, calling you an idiot, immature, or telling you to get off the players backs etc. which is unfortunate.

    Anyway, it’s not doom and gloom, far from it. We’ve got one of the best in the business in the dugout and he’ll know what he saw on Saturday and how to put it right. We’re not going to play well and win every week, but hopefully as Alex says the next time we play poorly we can pick up a point or even nick a win, as we’ve played poorly 3 times this season and lost every time. Forget the cup tomorrow night, it’s all about the league. 15pts from 8 games is still a very good start and sets us up for two of the biggest games we’ll play this season (Vile A, Norwich H). Howay the lads.

  3. Rob says:

    Think you’re right with your assessment of the crowd in the first paragraph. Some fans seem to think we should be cruising to a win in every game. The guy behind me in particular never stopped complaining – every player had some kind of criticism levelled at them.
    We’re Newcastle United. When did we EVER do anything simply? What team have these people been watching in the past?

  4. Peter Shearer says:

    I think we all believe Rafa will see what we see and be capable of putting it right. It does us no harm to have a timely reminder that this will not be a stroll in the park. I was not at the match so do not know how much booing there was, but whilst I do not think booing during the game is helpful, I see no harm with people making constructive criticism. Talking about football is what we are all interested in, so a few different views does add to the debate. I do agree it is best to air the views after the match and support the players during it.

  5. Jim Myton says:

    The Manager’s comments post-QPR, ‘There are things we can improve upon’. Obviously that didn’t happen on Saturday but my point is he didn’t try to lavish praise on his team (which is obviously a back-handed way of saying ‘didn’t I do well?’) . Neither did he dedicate that result to the owner. He gave a realistic reaction to a maybe freak result, this is a man who looks for improvement rather than rests on his laurels. That’s why he’s won trophies.

    We’ll hopefully go up, but it won’t be a stroll in the park, Hughton knew that when we were in the Championship the last time around. If we made £30 million on transfers over the summer then if Rafa is on £5 million and gains promotion then he deserves whatever bonus is in his contract, we are a better side now than last season. Sunderland’s get out of jail card of the 4-6 points they got from us is now gone and they’ll most likely go down, but if we played them tomorrow I think we’d beat them because, blips like Saturday aside, I reckon we are a better team, compared to a more expensively assembled bunch of players.

  6. Big Mikey says:

    Saturday’s performance was certainly a blip more like a total heap of shite from where I was sitting. Too many players who seem too lack confidence or maybe they had started to believe their own hype after the QPR result. If this performance was under Carver or Pardew we would all be baying for blood. Mind you thinking about it our performances under those clowns were of an equal footing. There seems to be an atmosphere of not questioning Rafa or his team selections. An old friend who incidentally is a big Liverpool fan told me that we might be successful but that he would bore you to death with his defensive team selections. It helped him get the sack at Liverpool. Don’t get me wrong Rafa is the best thing to happen at our club for decades and we are at last being run like a proper football club . He is in my eyes a total class act but let’s not go overboard and not criticise when it is deserved. The crowd mirror what happens on the pitch to a large extent and personally I don’t blame anyone for being upset after what we saw. Don’t blame the fans we aren’t on the pitch.
    Let’s hope for an attacking formation and give the wolves a good shagging (metaphorically speaking)
    Away the lads.

    • Stephen Brownlow says:

      Perez on the left, Gayle up top on his own, Sels ahead of Darlow, all very questionable in my view, still nice to put it right tonight and shut up those Wolves followers giving it the big one on saturday!

  7. Andrew Thompson says:

    Atmosphere was awful on Saturday. Think people are going a bit ott saying the crowd were giving the players too much stick. From my position in the Gallowgate people were just sat in silence neither supporting or criticising which in some ways is worse. It was absolutely dead.

    Hopefully things are better on and off the pitch tonight. I think there’ll be around 32k there which is a magnificent turnout for this stage of a poor competition that we’ve never done anything in.