Wolves More Athletic Than Bilbao

Wolves today played their penultimate pre season game before Premiere League starts next Saturday. It was against the Spanish side Atletic Bilbao and it went very well.

The Bilbao side missed their two Internationals Lloriente and Martinez, but they are still a very good team.

Wolves started with this team:

—— Hahnemann ——-
Foley – Craddock – Berra – VanDamme
Jarvis – Henry – Jones – Ward
— Fletcher – Ebanks-Blake —

A bit of a surprise to play Ward, but smart to shift Jarvis from left to right in my opinion. Ebanks-Blake has played very well in pre-season, so it’s no surprise to see him starting up front.

And Doyler will be playing against Argentina on Wednesday, so three games in a week can be a little too much for the Irish ace. Foley on the right back is no surprise as Zubar got a niggle.

After a quarter of an hour of the game Jones came forwards and passed the ball to Jarvis. He made a clever pass to Fletcher who played a fantastic one-two with Ebanks-Blake and finally Fletcher tucked it calmly behind the Spanish keeper. Very beautiful!

A few minutes later Wolves came close when Fletcher nodded the ball down for Ebanks-Blake to fire just over the crossbar.

But six minutes after the half hour Bilbao got on level terms as a cross from the right was converted at the far post by their most lively player throughout the match, David Lopez. It was 1-1 in halftime. There are 17.502 on the stands and about 70 of them comes from Bilbao.

In the second half Elokobi came in for Ward and Van Damme pushed up to left midfield. Ward probably injured, here’s hoping it will not be serious.

Wolves started the second half very well indeed and after a Jarvis free-kick Ebanks-Blake almost got a goal with his head and Craddock was at the far post on the same occasion, also trying to get the damn ball in, but unlucky.

A minute later Fletcher was the unlucky fella when he provided space for himself and launched a good shot that almost resulted. Just three minutes later he was there again after a corner with his head. And Jarvis had a nice shot aswell.

On the hour Fletcher and Jarvis went out and Halford and Keogh came on.

Wolves played very well in the first half hour of the second half and in the end it resulted. It was after a Henry pass that Ebanks-Blake first was denied by the keeper, but the ball came out in the area again and Keogh picked it up and found Henry again, who crossed it in low from the right for Ebanks-Blake to score. 2-1 to Wolves after 65 minutes of play.

In the 70th minute it was time for another change of players. This time Edwards came on for Jones and a few minutes later Stearman came on for Foley and Milijas for Ebanks-Blake – after applause and singing, of course.

The game became a tad less intensive after the changes, but Bilbao didn’t look as scoring. Halford almost did for Wolves, though. This time he was at the other end of an Elokobi long-throw, but the ball went into the sidenet after his effort.

With fifteen minutes to go Mouyokolo came on for Craddock. With ten minutes left Mujangi Bia and Guédioura came on with Henry and Van Damme leaving the pitch and finally Ikeme came on for Hahnemann in the last minute. Probably to make a few seconds go so that Wolves could secure their well deserved victory.

And Wolves did! Big applause from the audience as the referee ended the match and big applause from me aswell! Especially to our goalscorers Fletcher and Ebanks-Blake. And Jarvis did a very good game at right wing as long as he was on. I think the boys are ready for the big show now!

(Link with highlights now available in the right margin if you scroll down a bit.)


TEAM: Hahnemann, Foley, Craddock, Berra, Van Damme, Jarvis, Henry, Jones, Ward, Ebanks-Blake, Fletcher. SUBS: Ikeme, Guedioura, Edwards, Halford, Stearman, Keogh, Elokobi, Doyle, Hill, Mouyokolo, Milijaš, Mujangi.


~ by paddytheflea on August 7, 2010.

2 Responses to “Wolves More Athletic Than Bilbao”

  1. Thanks for the heads up Paddy – appreciated.

    I take it you are reasonably optimistic for our season??

    I just have a feeling that even with our new players we will find ourselves facing another fight for our survival.

    I expect us to stay up but only just – unlike many other of our supporters who seem to think we will finish higher than last season!!

    • I think we can finish anywhere between 12th and 17th, astraltrader. I believe we have three excellent strikers today and together they will score much more goals than last season. And our defence is strengthened aswell with Mouyokolo and Van Damme joining in. But most of all there are signs that Wolves will play with two out-and-out wingers – at least in some games and when everybody is injury-free. That will make us fly. And make us a better team than last season, but our final position depends on so many factors. The other teams for one. And the injury situation through out the season. It’s not hard to guess, but it is very hard to guess right. 😆

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