Saints At Wolverhampton Wanderers The Verdict
Monday, 23rd Nov 2020 22:38
A tough game for Saints and a test of character, yes we had to rely on some stout defending and goalkeeping, but that is what they are paid to do, this was a good point, a year ago we would have lost this game.
There was disappointment for Saints in that they gave away a goal from a winning position and missed the chance to really make our mark and go third, but the real plus point from this game is that we went into it without our top goal scorer and came though it without being defeated, as I mentioned above a year ago we would have been carved apart.
This was always going to be a difficult game, Wolves are exactly the type of side who can rip us apart on the break as they did at St Mary's earlier this year, all the TV talk was about Wolves having to change their formation due to the absence of Conor Coady, but truth was we were the team who were having to change the way we played to ensure that we didn't let Wolves play their usual game.
Although we still attacked quickly on the break, our pressing game was a little more subdued, we knew that this was what the home side wanted, the chance to catch us on the break as they did with such devastating results when they came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 last season at St Mary's
We knew that Traore was the danger man that he was fast and physical and we matched the home side for battle.
In truth although we battled hard as a team, I thought that this was far from our best performance, early on we looked lethargic, nothing seemed to be going right for us. we battled hard for the ball but gave it away too easily at times through slack play.
The second half started well, we won the ball and went at the Wolves defence, it looked like the home defence had nullified the danger and were seeing the ball out for a corner, but Che Adams didn't give the ball up and crossed it for Theo Walcott to fire home.
It could have been two shortly after when Adams again put a slide rule ball for Wallcott to leave him one on one with the keeper, but the striker didn't seem to be able to set himself up properly and fired wide when he should really have scored.
The price was paid with 15 minutes left when we gave the ball away in midfield and Wolves poured forward Raul hit the post but Neto was there to put it away.
Could Saints hold out with the home side now pouring forward, yes they needed Alex McCarthy to make a few good saves and some good blocks, but it was nothing that a Premier League side with aspirations of a top 7 finish should not be able to do.
So a big test passed and passed well, we end the weekend in 5th place only 3 points behind leader Tottenham Hotspur, a side whom all the pundits are now salivating over due to their 2-0 win over Manchester City, where the result did not reflect the chances each side had.
It keeps us in touch with the top 3, it left Wolves a side who will be a main rival for a top 7 finish still 3 points behind rather than level, it left us unbeaten in the last 7 Premier League games, but more importantly it showed that even without Danny Ings we can get results against good sides and we have a team spirit second to none.
Man of the match is hard, in goal Alex McCarthy had one of his best performances for the club, Vestergaard & Bednarek have a central defensive partnership that is getting better and better, James Ward Prowse was immense in the way he battled in midfield when he had to and used the ball well. Kyle Walker Peters barely lost the ball except once in the second half, it was truly a team display.
It was certainly the most satisfying performance of the 7 game unbeaten run in that we knew we had a game on our hands, we took a big step forward tonight.
Photo: Action Images
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|WestSussexSaint added 23:16 - Nov 23|
I think the change of formation for Wolves also threw Saints as presumably they had planned to try and exploit the width that would normally be available from Wolves wingbacks being up the pitch.
Great to see Theo get his goal, just the 15 years after the last Saints goal!
You say that even without Ings we can get good results and it was a decent point but I can’t help thinking that if Danny had been through on the keeper instead of Theo we would have been 2-0 up and sitting pretty in 3rd tonight.
|SaintNick added 23:43 - Nov 23|
I take your point, but even Danny Ings doesn't score with every chance he gets
|SonicBoom added 23:48 - Nov 23|
Theo scoring at the same rate as Shane Long. Once every 15 years...
|ElijahK added 23:55 - Nov 23|
I mean it was a decent point with lots of positives, I mean MacCarthy was excellent in goal, but the only things I’d say on the negative side is that Vestagaard and Romeu kept giving the ball away for too much with the sloppy passing. I mean I feel that, that was as much of a point earnt, as two points dropped. I mean in the end they’re a hard team to beat away and we are 5th, so I can’t complain too much though I do think we need to stop passing back down the pitch so much when we have the opportunities to attack as all it did was create them opportunities and made us loose them. But let’s try and get some points against Man U and get back up that table!
|SaintNick added 00:06 - Nov 24|
elijahk, I agree with you we were a bit sloppy at times, for the goal Armstrong tried to take on a man too many and they caught us napping at times I thought we were a little bit the architects of our own downfall.
It shows that we are still a work in progress, but our spirit can get us through
|SanMarco added 01:00 - Nov 24|
Nice one Sonic.
I thought we got a bit sloppy due to the greatly increased Wolves pressing as the game went on. The turning point was the Walcott miss - 2-0 and I think we would have won. I suppose the point is that Ings would score that more 'times out of ten' than Walcott would. Still, a very good point. Adams is improving by the game and praise where it is due to McCarthy.
"A year ago we would have been carved apart" is an interesting comment as on 19th October last year we led 1-0 at Wolves and the equaliser came earlier in the match than today. We held on to draw 1-1. Alright it is 13 months but just saying...
|Peterx added 05:34 - Nov 24|
Spot on that we have developed and would have lost this type of game a year ago, a testament to how far we have come.
We also obviously need Danny and Redmond back and from that point of view it really looks like our squad is light.
Djenepo played well but Redmond or Djenepo coming off the bench with 20 to go would have helped.
McCarthy to me was our Man of the Match with other standouts being Walker Peters , Ward Prowse and Bertrand who just about kept Traore as quiet as you come keep someone like that.
|davidargyll added 07:23 - Nov 24|
Alex McCarthy no doubt was MOM. We could so easily have been two or three down without him. He seems to have come on in leaps and bounds in the last few months, so well done him. But I am sure he is helped by the confidence of having a well-drilled back line who now know what they’re doing.
I know though what you mean about us being subdued up front; I put that down to the international break when the momentum we’d built up in the season so far had to go on hold. It was interesting though that we were still able to play with a decent tempo until well into H2. It just seemed we ran out of steam for a few minutes and sadly paid for it with what was a well-taken Wolves goal - the sort ironically that Danny would probably have converted but Theo may well not have done. But I’m not taking anything away from Theo’s performance. Drawing opponents with his speed is his real skill and I’m sure he wants to score a zillion more goals. But hey, against Newcastle he had a fantastic assist for Che and last night it was the other way round so what’s there to complain about? In other words, like Wolves last night, if changes are forced on you, you have to play a different way. Both teams did that last night, both showed they weren’t one trick ponies, both play entertaining football and I can see both competing for a European place come the end of the season.
Now Man U really is going to be a game to look forward to...
|SaintNick added 08:10 - Nov 24|
San Marco I take your point that a year ago we did actually draw 1-1, but the two games were actually different in several respects.
Back then the following game was Leicester at home, in the draw last season we actually played better than we did this season, aside from possession where we had 57% this season (45% last) we had 2 shots on target (5 last) Wolves had 9 (1 last), off target it was 3 this ( 5 last) Wolves had 1 on target and 3 off and scored only from a very dubious penalty.
Last season we actually threw Wolves out of their shape more, my point was that if a year ago they or for that matter any team had had as many chances as last night then we would have been beaten.
|Nomaesaints added 08:32 - Nov 24|
Overall a good point earned. However only for McCarthy it could have been 3 or 4 one.
Walker Peters going forward is good but defensively he is poor particularly his defensive positioning. He seems to wander towards the CB's and forgets the winger.
We are taking far too much time to get the ball forward to the front men. We are passing the ball around the backs far too much, many times not getting anywhere. The play needs to be varied as Wolves were able to second quess what Saints were going to do with ball.
As I said before the more times we get the ball in the box the more chances we have to score.
|davidargyll added 09:26 - Nov 24|
I must reply to Nomaesaints about passing the ball around many times, as he says, and getting nowhere.
The key to Saints play now is probing probing probing. If it doesn’t seem like there’s a way through then pass it sideways or back. Hold hold hold, and then break...fast. The difference to what used to happen is that now the players are always looking forward and looking to play someone else forward. If they can’t see that then they play holding football.
I think that’s a sign of a really good plan - everyone now knows what to do and importantly how to do it - and not one of “not getting anywhere”.
Of course you need to get the ball in to the box as often as you can but you can’t do that all the time, it’s an impossibility and you’d very soon get taken apart on the counter and/or when you run out of puff.
|halftimeorange added 10:14 - Nov 24|
At first I was disappointed with the result but, in hindsight I see that a point at Wolves is a very good result as they are a well-organised team and should challenge again for Europe. It was a shame that some of our regular solid performers - Romeu, Walker-Peters, Armstrong - were not quite at their best and were rather bullied, similar to Wolves second-half comeback at St Marys. Vestergaard was top-notch (looked like Van Dijk at times), McCarthy was at the very peak of his game and one mustn't forget Djenepo. It was his efforts against Traore as much as anything which kept that man relatively quiet.
|MRHALL93 added 10:41 - Nov 24|
Before a ball was kicked I would've taken a draw. After watching the full 90, I will still take the draw. I didn't particularly think got into the game, we looked sloppy throughout the game and didn't really look like controlling the game as we did against Newcastle and Everton.
Our defence has come on so well, McCarty looks solid as does Vestergaard. We did get in behind the Wolves defence a few times. Kilman probably did enough with Armstong's chance to put him off. I thought we were fortunate with our goal, it was a nice ball by Djenpo and Adam's did will to get into space but his first touch goes hits Kilman which helps him out because he gets the ball back then plays a great ball into Walcott at the back stick. Then Walcott misses a great chance, which he should've put away or at least worked the GK, not sure whether he should've taken another touch to settle himself and try to move Patricio out of position.
One of my biggest concern's is that we looked like we keep playing to win a freekick in dangerous positions, we did the same thing in the Villa game. It looks like our midfield tries to occasionally hold the ball up in our own half to win a foul, which is just a big no. KWP did this, he ran the ball forward and could've played an easy pass back to Romeu/JWP but instead loses the ball.
|schatfield added 13:03 - Nov 24|
Good game vs a very solid Wolves team, who clearly know their job with the ball. No complaints against their goal, I thought it was class, although watching the match on tv, the very awful pundit Michael Owen said it happened because of Vestergaard being sloppy. I am not sure thats fair though.
I do think if we had Ings in this match instead of Walcott, we would have won. His shot taking accuracy just seems far better. But if my aunt had balls she would have been my uncle..
McCarthy was outstanding.
|TeamCortese added 13:57 - Nov 24|
This is the type of performance that indicates we're European contenders (top 7 finish). I'm so proud of how far the lads have come.
I know I shouldn't bring it up because it's often parroted by people in the media who (in most cases) don't know anything about our club but we've really come a long, long way from the Leicester defeat.
My goodness, if I was a neutral and saw how we played yesterday I'd say we're actually a really solid decent team. JWP and Romeu in the centre were just solid and assured in dictating play.
Our only undoing is the depth of the squad. I felt like we didn't have much to offer from the bench. Bless Shane Long for his work rate and service to the club but he's nowhere near as good as he was 4-5 years ago. Hopefully, this will be addressed in future transfer windows with a new owner and a more stable post-Covid transfer market.
MOTM for me was definitely McCarthy followed by Big Jannick.
Che Adams is quietly becoming one of my favourite attackers. He was immense and really dangerous yesterday. If he keeps on improving we better tie him down to a new contract in case Liverpool want to replace Firmino!
Theo was very good too be definitely needs to improve his finishing. I think this will come as he builds up his confidence.
Lastly, can't wait to smash Man Utd this Sunday. We're overdue a win to avenge the League Cup final defeat. The lads have to do it for Gabbiadini!
Come On You Saints!
|SaintPaulVW added 16:23 - Nov 24|
Good game to watch. Both sides played through each other and had their periods of dominance. Traore and Podence were pretty scary at times but we had 3 really good chances Adams off a superb cross from Bertrand, Armstrong and Walcott and we should have had a penalty for handball.
Overall a draw felt about right as McCarthy made several outstanding saves and we seemed to just be hanging on at the end.
|AmericanSaint added 19:09 - Nov 24|
Good entertaining game. We are definitely getting better at moving the ball around. I notices that both JWP and OR are now turniggi upfield almost every time they get the ball. Last year, they would pass back first. I think many people dont credit Wolves enough as they packed their side of pitch and made passing in the lanes a lot harder. One thing i don;t understand is that their are Saints fans blasting Djennepo. He did his job yesterday and was always the first one to go at Trioure. The helped RB a lot on that side. What I am happy about it that we are still scoring and creating chances without Ingsy. That bodes well for us going forward. Some simple mistakes in the midfield (again) could have cost us, but AM was upto the task and I think having FF pushing him in practice is bringing out the best in AM. He no longer doddles on the ball and passes or launches it up field to avoid any potential issues. MU will definitely show us where we are in the league and when we win, then people will start taking us seriously. COYR
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