Probable Team Lineups: Wolves v Manchester United
Manchester United has no weaknesses, says our manager Terry Connor, but how come they get beaten twice by a middle of the league team like Athletic Bilbao, then? When reading about the Basque team, ran by former Argentina and Chile coach Bielsa, I noticed this statement from him:
“Our simple ethos is this: we try and win the ball back as quickly as possible from our opponents as far up the field as we can, and by that I mean everyone is involved in regaining the ball, from the forwards through to anyone else. Then once we have the ball, we try and find a way of getting forward as quickly as possible, in a vertical direction if you like.”
Simple as that! It didn’t look simple last night when I saw them play against United, though. They were a very technical bunch, from their forwards down to their excellent right back. Wolves cannot match their technical skills, but we sure can use the same tactics as Bielsa so eloquent and succesful used to win against Manchester United both at home and away.
The frequent reader of this blog knows that the tactics Bilbao used is exactly the one I’ve proposed again and again that Wolves must apply to gain success. Especially against the better teams in the league, which are most of them seen from our at present in the gutter perspective. There has been no TC-effect yet, if not counting the draw against Newcastle, and it’s time for an upset and a three-pointer to lift us up in our spirits aswell as in our mini-league.
THE PREMIER MINI-LEAGUE
|TEAM AND POSITION||MATCHES||GOAL DIFF.||POINTS|
|1. Blackburn FC||28||– 20||25|
|2. Bolton Wanderers FC||28||– 26||23|
|3. Queens Park Rangers FC||28||– 19||22|
|4. Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||28||– 28||22|
|5. Wigan FC||28||– 29||21|
I hope that the squad of Wolves watched the Athletic Bilbao-United game and now are convinced that it is fully possible to slay the giant and how to go about it. The Manchester team will still be affected, not only in their minds by the loss, but also in their bodies as it will be only two days and three nights of rest for them before they visit us. Let’s give them a warm welcome. Out of the Spanish paella pan and into the fire of The Black Country!
Karl Henry will probably, as a precaution, rest for another week before he will try his wings (?) again in the team. Maybe he will try to play for half an hour or so from the bench. That would suit our young midfielder well to be able to go out after an hour in the high tempo that United probably will set up in this game. When I looked at Davis play last weekend I believe he comes closer to a vertical game a la Bilbao than Henry anyway.
Manchester United have a doubt about Jones as he has the flu and Rooney is said to have had a knock against Bilbao, but otherwise they have a very fine squad to choose among and Sir Alex Ferguson is usually very good at picking the ones most up for it for the day and Wolves will meet a team steaming with revenge from the Basque adventure that went wrong. They will no doubt play 4-4-2 against us and not the 4-5-1 that they tried to stop Bilbao with.
Will we mirror that? I doubt it. We don’t have the strength to meet them on equal terms formation-wise and we should be better off playing 4-5-1, but still trying to catch them high up and press forward.
Before I line up the probable starting lines, what is the probable result. All but defeat is of course good for Wolves, but there’s nothing at all that points to any points gained for Wolves in this game. To hope for is that we can hold the numbers down, that’s all. 0-2 is a probable and secure result for United, though Wolves will not of course go down without a fight.
UP THE WOLVES!!!
P.S. Just as I finished the line-up below there are reports from TC that both O’Hara and Milijas are doubts. We can count on Hunt to replace one of them, but what about the other if not able to play? It will probably be a surprise start for Eggert or to play Foley in an inner midfield role. It sure is a substantial weakening of the team if both of them are out anyway. D.S.