10 Takeaways From The Wolves Game

7 Apr, 2024
written by AD Hammer

 

 

Yesterday was a must win game and thankfully we managed to get the job done with a little help from VAR at the end. A controversial and confusing game of two halves that leaves us with as many questions as answers. In an attempt to help make some sense of it all, here are ten takeaways from the game.

1 – Passive Football Is For Fools.

We watched a first-half where West Ham sat mostly in their low-block and made little or no attempt to win the ball or influence the game. We trailed at half-time 1-0 and quite frankly it could easily have been more, especially if Wolves had some of their more attacking players fit. Then, in the second-half Wolves did the same, in what looked like an attempt to hold on to a 1-0 lead, it didn’t work and it definitely doesn’t entertain.

2  – Moyes Changes Worked.

I dont hide the fact that I don’t want Moyes as manager anymore, but I do feel this is one of very few games he deserves a lot of credit. His early changes, for once, helped sway the game in our favour. When Cresswell came on for Bowen I just laughed at the negativity of it, but I hadn’t realised he was changing shape to a 3-5-2. For me, this shape enabled us to dominate the second half, releasing Emerson and Johnson to both have a major impact on proceedings. Under Moyes, this is probably our best formation, and I do remember him using it for a few games during Covid, when we had a run of beating Leicester 3-1 away, Wolves 4-0 at home, followed by the Lanzini 3-3 draw at Spurs.

3 – Gary O’Neill Must Not Be Our Next Manager.

I dont get why some fans want O’Neill as our next manager and hopefully yesterday has put that to bed. Not only was he outmaneuvered by Moyes during the game, which I can’t remember happening for months, but he proved to be just as negative by trying to low block his way through that second half.

4 – VAR Decisions Still Questionable

Technically, they may have got the Wolves decision right, although many fans can see that Fabianski was not really obstructed by the offside player and he would never have got to it anyway. However, I believe two VAR decisions still went against us. I think Emerson got the ball first for the penalty and to disallow a goal because of the slightest step on someone’s foot, when the ball wasn’t even there, was a terrible decision in my view.

5 – VAR Deciding Too Many Games

Sorry, more on VAR. There has to be a shake-up of how this is implemented at the end of the season. It currently feels like more games are definitively being decided by VAR than not, and surely that was not the intended purpose.

6 – Ben Johnson Is Not A Full Back

We’ve seen plenty of Ben Johnson at right or left back over the last 3-4 seasons and for me he is simply not good enough for a top half Premier League team. However, he has been getting chances in more advanced positions recently, and in some games this has really suited him. He was excellent as an attacking right wing back yesterday, although the minute he dropped into our box he fluffed a clearance to give them a corner, which led immediately to their disallowed goal. Contractually, we may have discovered he’s half-decent playing further forward too late.

7 – Paqueta Is Out Of Form or Out Of Position

Paqueta may have been our worst player in the first half, and to be honest hasn’t really got going since he returned from injury. Yesterday, he started on the left, then played centre forward and finished back as a number ten. I think he had done really well at covering the left sided position before his injury, but there is no doubt he is better in the centre, either as an AMC or an MC. It’s no coincidence that he impacted the game much more in the second half from his more natural position.

8 – We May Have Seen The End Of Moyes Love For Phillips

I fully expected to see Phillips make an appearance yesterday. We all know he isn’t as bad as his appearances have suggested. But that’s now two games in a row that Moyes hasn’t brought him on, even though he demanded Phillips and the excessive cost of the short-term loan is very much on him. If he isn’t going to use him to give others a rest, ahead of a massive game like Leverkusen, then when is he going to use him?

9 – Our Season Is Very Much Back On

A defeat against Wolves would have effectively ended our Premier League chase for Europe and the rest of the games would have become almost meaningless. As much as we still have the Europa League, we may have to pass Leverkusen, AC MIlan and Liverpool, which on the face of it is highly improbable. But winning the Wolves game has kept our hopes alive, and put us in with a great chance if we go on to beat Fulham and Palace in our next two games.

10 – It’s Easier To Watch Other Games When We Win

I don’t know about others, but I cannot watch Match Of The Day when we lose, and rarely do when we get a draw. But when we win, I can’t wait to see it. The same goes for live games. I was happy to watch Brighton v Arsenal and am looking forward to Man United v Liverpool (Hopefully the scousers win by three goals and we go sixth), as it is soooo much easier to watch other games when we have won!

 

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2 Comments

  1. I’m chuffed about number ten. Me too. After a loss I won’t even use my West Ham coffee mugs or wear my Prague stuff. Watch other games? Not a chance. I’m glad you’re just as much of a maniac as me. I feel so much better.

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