Forest mauled by the Wolves..

Wolverhampton Wanderers – 5
Nottingham Forest – 1

A scoreline that by no means flatters the hosts today, with two (rightly) disallowed goals for offside, decent saves by Paul Smith and a thunderous strike off the crossbar, as well as chances wide, the home side could easily have probably set a new record for a scoreline at this level of football.  This was a bloody good performance by Wolves, compounded by a particularly poor showing from Forest in the majority of areas of the pitch.

Call me crazy, but it was almost as though they had scouted Forest and spotted their weaknesses – the very things that I certainly prattle on about endlessly.  We have no width in midfield – I would have expected Smoulds to adjust his tactics to allow for the fact that Chambers having Jarvis to deal with, and Bennett with Kightly with no wide midfielder covering them.  He did tweak his tactics, but it was in a way that made the side seem more out of sorts with Tyson up front with Earnshaw, and Martin sometimes joining them.

Tiredness from the excesses of the Sunderland match were also a factor, I think – but none of these things are really suitable excuses for such an abject showing.  It’s far too early to panic, so the non-abusive reception the team got at the end of the game from the Reds fans should show them that we can accept off days – but not too many of them.  We’ve only played away twice, but have been disappointing in both fixtures – on the back of impressive performances at home – but this was beyond disappointing, it was a complete collapse.

I normally try to keep a few notes of things to write about, funnily enough, little of the match made it into them this time – instead I have documented the amusing Proclaimers-a-like Wolves fan to our left, the rather disappointing manufactured atmosphere at the start of the game.  Wolves fans make a fair bit of noise at home, so to see them dutifully clapping along to ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ like a bunch of automatons before the kick off was, to be honest, a pretty sad sight.  Similarly the goal music, I loathe goal music.

Part of the half time entertainment involved a couple of Honda cars driving around the perimeter of the pitch – perhaps that counts as entertainment in the Black Country; and thankfully Forest were spared a day of complete failure by the youngsters taking part in the half time challenge beating the local kids.  Small victories, eh?  The Wolves fans also chant their stand names at one another, which I found quite interesting – they seem to have a bit of good-natured banter between one another.

So yes, the game.  Amusingly, we had a great chance to start with – Tyson and Martin combined to give the loanee a chance to shoot, and he really should have given Hennessey more of a challenge.  From then it was all Wolves, initially playing direct to Iwelumo the home side played a combination of effective long-balls as well as decent wingplay that frequently left Forest at sixes and sevens.  The first goal came from Iwelumo setting up David Jones to curl the ball in from 20 yards, with very little Smith could do.  It was almost two as Iwelumo headed over, and again it looked like Chambers had put it into his own net – luckily it was just wide.

The second goal was unfortunate – Smith came out to punch, but it was a poor punch with no height, hitting what I thought was either Wes or the Moose on the head and ending up in the net.  The Wolves announcer gave it a home player, though.  Forest couldn’t keep the ball, nor win it back from from Wolves, and Kightly was increasingly menacing – unleashing a thunderbolt from 20 yards with nobody closing down, and striking the crossbar before reaching safety, another shot was blocked by Bennett.

Jarvis made a monkey out of Chambers for the umpteenth time and brought a good save from Smith, fortunately Ebanks-Blake was offside when he put in rebound.  The goal had to come though, and what a goal from Kightly – again, he wasn’t closed down at all – but couldn’t have hoped for a sweeter finish from around 25 yards into the top corner of the goal to give the home side a pretty much unassailable lead.  The fourth goal came when once again, Wolves attacked down the left through Jarvis who teed up Iwelumo to spanner the ball into the goal from close range.

Half time saw Smoulders make no changes at all, which was surprising – although with only three substitutions allowed, I suppose it did rather limit his options.  The second half began as we’d ended the first, with Wolves attacking and Iwelumo somehow missing.  Forest did come into the game, but you have to ask yourself how hard the home side were trying when they were already four goals to the good.  The goal, predictably, was an own goal – because if we were still playing now I don’t think we’d have scored ourselves!  A cross from Martin was flapped at by Hennessey and it ended up in the net off a Wolves defender.

However, for all that Forest showed they hadn’t learned anything – Kightly was again left free whilst Bennett, Breckin and Morgan rolled out the red carpet for him – as he strolled past the hapless Forest defence before deftly curling the ball beyond Smith from 18 yards.  Wilson, McCleary and Cole were introduced for Chambers, Perch and Tyson, but frankly, aside from a few runs from McCleary didn’t make a fat lot of difference.  To compound matters, Earnie went off injured leaving us with ten men.  Joy.

Contrary to what the official site says, there were plenty of Forest fans left in the ground at the end, and they gave the lads a muted but well meant (and ill-deserved!) round of applause.  I don’t think it’s panic stations just yet – but lessons need to be learned.  I’m not a fan of creating scapegoats – and I don’t blame the player as he’s doing what he’s asked – but it becomes spectacularly apparent that Luke Chambers, nice lad though he is, does not look capable of operating as a right back at this level.

We have a break now thanks to Internationals to regroup and welcome Burnley to the City Ground.  Hopefully we will see a marked improvement on this showing.

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10 Responses

  1. Listening to the game, I got the impression that we had ourselves a reality check today and against a side that on current performances could easily win promotion, we got a right royal spanking. It’s funny last year when we played away, Calderwood went for a five man defence since the teams would be coming at us a lot more when we were away from home. In the Championship they come at you when you are playing at home, so why did he go for such an attacking formation when we were away. I guess Calderwood still has some naivety and can be forgiven as this is his first taste of football at Championship level. But no excuses, the defence were poor and with little to no support from the midfield (as Mr’s Fray and McGovern explained again and again) we were often exposed and as you said NFFC, it could have been a lot worse. For their part, Wolves look very good and anyone will struggle against them this year. I guess the manner is the most disappointing but it is early days and the pressure is off as we are not the “Team to Beat” anymore. So a lose, even of this magnitude can be forgiven. Just as long as the boys learn from it, and go back to how they played against Reading, Watford and Sunderland I think we will still be alright and do well this year (though promotion was always a long shot and something I personally don’t expect). On a light note, at least we are not bottom (have a look who is, I’m sure all you Trickies will have little smile)! Uuuu rrreeeddsssss!!!!!!!!!

  2. Let´s hope the manager and players all learn from today and come back to do to burnley what wolves did to us today. We need to give someone a thrashing to get our goal difference back and we do have the forwards who can score goals.
    We never before seemed to play well at wolves and I suppose the team are allowed one bad performance for the season ,so lets hope that´s it !!
    It could have been worse…..We could have been beaten by bottom team barnsley…. Well done to the supporters who went and applauded at the end. I´m sure that will have some effect on the players response for the next game. Alan http://www.website.ws/alansand

  3. Oh well. At least the sheep are bottom. 🙂

  4. You undoubtedly caught us on a good day, but Calderwood played right into our hands by giving Jarvis and Kightly the freedom of Wolverhampton. As you’ve seen, you can’t give these boys an inch, especially with big Chris in the middle and SEB waiting for scraps. Anyway, I wish you well for the rest of the season. Unsurprisingly, I’ve got a lot of time for sleeping giants.

  5. Cheers, Mick.. unfortunately Smoulderwood is fond of giving any wingers freedom of the park with his tactics. Alas, it’s been some time since we encountered any quite so devastating as yours today!

    He’s young, hopefully he’ll learn. Good luck to you too, certainly on that showing promotion seems a realistic ambition. Just make sure you stick six or more past Derby!

  6. Im actually not surprised about the scoreline. We are way too slack at the back and from what used to a really tight defence, has, overnight, become a very poor one.

    10 goals leaked in 4 league games?

    Now is this due to the higher league in which we find ourselves playing, or has CC suddenly gone gung ho?? Now Im no master tactician but this season, does he appear to be asking the full backs to push higher up the pitch??

    Which brings us back to actually playing a standard 4-4-2 formation, where the wide midfield players actually provide some cover to the full backs.

    Can someone check CC’s copy of the FA Coaching Manual because it would appear that page is missing from his edition!!

  7. Forest were not at the races, but it was not totally abject – but Wolves were as good a team as I have seen in many years.

  8. How long have we been saying that about Chambers? Why can’t CC see it when 20k Forest fans can?

    And how long have we been complaining about the inflexibility of our formation?
    Look at what Harry Redknapp did this week. He changed the formation of his team, spent a week working on it on the training ground and won 3 – 0 at Blue Scouse.

    Why can’t CC show a bit of initiative like that? Incidentally, the 3-5-2 that Pompey played might just suit us.

  9. Oh dear, reading the reports we didn’t show up. Good results/games previously undone by the Wolves.

    It’s this away form which bugs me – 8 goals in 2 games – & that should be 10 in 3 games as we drew 0-0 1st game of the season. Swansea & Doncaster both won which ain;t too good in respect to us either.

    Yes, me thinks Derby likes that spot. they were there most of last season – & they are still there this…

  10. Well, I believe such a spanking at this early stage can do us only good. But again, what can you expect from an optimism freak.
    I have to agree about Chambers, though…

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