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Wolves & Bolton: The Alternative View

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AKA: Lessons in finishing and how not to defend set plays

Derby County v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Following on from two stunning wins, Reading returned to the Mad Stad to face arguably one of the form teams of the season. Transfer fees have dominated the landscape this season, and whilst the Wolves faithful will point to spending around £19m this season compared to Reading’s £14m, we also have to take into account last season’s spend, with Wolves spending £27m, opposed to Reading’s £6.5m. What showed on Saturday, is the difference between buying players of high quality against low value players. If we’re being honest the main difference between the sides was clinical finishing and a excellent goal keeping display (after the first 10 minutes).

There is no shame in being beaten by a better team, and we have to be fair in that Reading didn’t actually play that poorly on Saturday. However, we need to temper that with Tuesday night’s display. By all accounts the first 70 minutes, Reading slipped back to the early seasons display producing 70 minutes of possession with little attacking prowess.

Looking at the Twittersphere, and the difference between the Wolves and Bolton fans is marked. Obviously the Wolves fans are high on expectation, whereas the Bolton fans where left wondering how they managed to lose the game.

Wolves:

TwitterSphere

Your good, but not that good!

£14m-rated player to a £7m buy...

There is an argument

To be fair the man is a beast.....

Probably the most sensible view of the game

Stunning save but should Barrow have done better?

Media

Shockingly given the form that Wolves are in there is low coverage again of the game, probably as they were playing us, but also most likely down to a heavy of sporting weekend.

At the Express & Star, they actually pay us a number of compliments, saying that not all Wolves wins will be dominant displays and also that Santo’s would have learnt that his Wolves side have managed to do what all good teams do – win when you’re not playing well!

From the children’s blog, Football League World, they carry a comment from Matt Doherty saying that this was one of the hardest games that Wolves had faced this season, especially after Sheffield United’s win the previous night. They go on to mention that in their eyes, Reading really deserved something out of the game and pushed Wolves for the win.

The BBC make a point of saying that this was Wolves first win at the Madjeski since 2005, and despite some sustained late pressure, and the early let offs for Wolves that they managed to return to the summit. They also carry a quote from a rather disillusioned Stam, who clearly felt we deserved at least a point.

We all love a good football highlight and watching Sky’s video of the game you have to wonder actually how did we lose it. Reading created enough chances to win the game, and it doesn’t show what should have been a penalty for Reading and also Swifts strike in the first 50 seconds!

Now then, down at GetReading as well as the normal match report, they also carry the viewpoint of Chris Iwelumo slamming the Reading defence and Ilori in particular. Now ok, Ilori may not have had the best 30 minutes of his career, but really you have to say that it was a well worked goal. I would love to know how Iwelumo can say “that’s the reason why Stam dragged him off” when in reality it was more that we were starting to get overrun in midfield. Don’t you just love criticisms from average players...

Back onto the game and Jonathan Low’s report actually is fairly realistic and honest about the game. He gets it right by saying it was a hard-fought victory and that we spurned enough chances to win the game.

Bolton

Twittersphere

Happens to us all!

Pretty sure we play better footie than Fleetwood...

Promoted to a higher league and your manager is now rubbish..?

Try being 2-0 up in a playoff final, pfft

Pretty much the same for every club

Media

Really not shocked to see next to nothing in the media around the Bolton game. Two teams at the bottom-end of the league hardly inspires column inches and really the game didn’t either.

Do you really want to watch the highlights? If so then Sky Sports is your place. It baffles me that with the experience we have in the defence with Gunter, Moore and Mcshane to allow TWO free headers for goals is inexcusable. You can tell that Sky struggled to get decent clips for this, as there is an unusual amount of build up play in the highlights!

Down at the BBC and they have a summary of the game, basically saying that Bolton threw it away, and also carry an interview with Stam where he gets the award for stating the obvious: “We need to defend set pieces better.”

The contrast between the Wolves report and the Bolton one is immense at GetReading. I almost am at the point where I feel the apathy that the Reading players had spilt into this report and something along the lines of, if the players can’t be bothered why should I? Anyway they rightly call it a disastrous first-half where the Royals crumbled followed by a decent fightback.


Summary

It’s fair to say that most of the comments on social media have been around team selection, with a lot of head scratching as to how Beerens still gets a starting birth amongst the majority of the comments.

There is no doubt that this season is bordering on disastrous, and any hopes of a top six finish are most likely well and truly out the window. What should have been a run of three winnable games starting with Bolton has now turned into a run of pressurised games where in reality we have to get a win.

The debate around Stam in/Stam out is now well and truly raging. However is it the answer to sack him? Modern football is all about instant response and winning, however maybe there is an argument that says stability is actually worth a lot.

Yes we might get relegated but in recent times there has been five recent Ppremiership teams having a trip in League 1 and Wolves were there as recently as 2014. If we go, then it’s not the end of the world. Disappointing, yes, but recoverable. Hopefully it won’t come to that and Reading will put on a nice Xmas run and give us all some football cheer, playing to the potential we know they have.

As fans we have little choice but to turn up and support the team. Yes, it’s an entertainment and should we shout and cheer when we get served up dross? But it’s also in our soul and no one wants to turn up and be disappointed - it tends to ruin a decent weekend - but we do need to believe that the team is trying. Yes, Stam will infuriate the hell out of us with team selection, Beerens will probably get hammered by the fans week in, week out and we will probably pass the life out of people. But it’s still our team, and it will still be here long into the future, to quote Take That - just have a little patience...