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Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 v 1 Southampton
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 19th October 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Saints At Wolverhampton Wanderers The Verdict
Sunday, 20th Oct 2019 10:15

A hard fought point, but it told us nothing that we didn't already know, this was one of those games that we got away with it.

I have said from the beginning of the season that with our centre of defence there will be some games we will get mauled and others that we will get away with it and the game up at Molyneux was one of the latter.

In the build up I said that Ralph Hasenhuttl should make some brave changes, he chose not to and kept with basically what is fast becoming his first XI changed only if he wants to go 2 or 3 in the centre of the back..

He went for three central defenders in this version but for the first 10 minutes or so we looked a shambles, Wolves piled forward and we barely had a kick, the only good thing though was that the home side for all their possession lacked innovation and the spark to break us down.

As the game progressed we found our feet a little and got back into it, but we still looked like we could shoot us in the foot at any time.

We seemed to have realised that we needed to sit back a little against Wolves and not give them the chance to go on the break, in the main we stuck to that, but there were moments that we lost our composure and discipline.

Two of those moments saw the ball in the net and us relying on our best defender this season in terms of goals prevented and that is VAR.

The first saw Raul handle the ball and even the lines man flagged that one with VAR just needing to confirm it.

The second just before the break saw another bout of Captain Chaos defending, a long high ball was not dealt with by Yoshida and suddenly Wolves saw their moment and broke with numbers, we were at sixes and sevens and none of our central three seemed to have a clue who they were meant to be marking and we were in disarray, luckily a Wolves leg had strayed offside and VAR pulled this up as Saints kicked off the restart.

So we got away with it this time.

Ironically throughout all this we seemed to be the only side who got shots on target, Danny Ings ploughed a lone furrow and got in some shots, some better than others, but early in the second half he capitalised on a mistake in the home defence to get through on goal, he did everything right, crossed the defenders path inviting him to bring him down and not only concede a penalty but get a red card and then he finished with aplomb.

But the lead would not last long, again it was defensive frailties, we really should have cleared the ball several times as Wolves attacked and to be blunt VAR did us no favours on the penalty shout, it was a clear dive. the angle of his body was not of a man being tripped but of one diving into a swimming pool.

But with half an hour to go the onslaught never came, it fell back into the first half pattern with Wolves huffing and puffing and like their namesake in the Fairy Tale being unable to blow our house down.

Even a strange couple of substitutions near the end when firstly Boufal came on for Valery causing us to lose our shape as he seemed to think he had a free reign not have to do a job.

Match Gallery: 8 photos

This was a major problem and Wolves saw this and poured down our right flank, but we managed to dig in, just !

Danso coming on was good to see but again he was played completely out of position and looked vunerable out wide.

At the end of the day though this was a good point well won given Wolves form of late, the problems are still there and as I said there will be some games we get punished for our shortcomings at the back and others less so and this was one of those games.

The plus points were that we had a spirit about us and Danny Ings is clearly a man in form and he offers us a goal scoring threat that we have lacked in the past few seasons.

We now have to build on this and Ralph needs to get his selections right and more importantly his substitutions back on track, the downside of this game was that I felt he did not use those on the bench to the best of their abilities, Boufal is a flare player, but he was a liablity in the position we were in on Saturday, Armstrong would have been a better bet to come on in this situation.

Danny Ings had run himself into the ground, we had Long and Adams on the bench, fresh legs up front would not be amiss.

Again Hasenhuttl cut a lone figure on the bench, he is lacking a tight hand man, he has too many on his bench who do not have enough experience and are not tactically aware enough to help him make the right decisions.

Ralph is a great manager, but every great manager needs the right sidemen, sorry Kelvin Davis, Craig Fleming and David Watson, but at the moment you are none of those, perhaps in the future with time you will be, we cannot afford to have three men all trying to get that experience at the same time, the balance is not right and that is part of the problem.

We can go into the Leicester game with some confidence, but lets make sure that the VAR system is up and ready to go, it is fast becoming a contender for player of the season.

Photo: Action Images

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underweststand added 10:35 - Oct 20
One point is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, especially considering our recent poor form. Danny Ings might have had two with more luck, but our best luck was having VAR on our side. In any previous season we might have lost that game 1- 3.
People complain about the waiting time for a decision, but sometimes there are longer delays for injuries to players and at least we get a correct decision and it might even things out when playing the top six sides who always seem to get refs. who look the other way in controversial situations.

Less possession (44%) but 14 shots against their 4 shows we need to sharpen up our shooting skills and attack more instead of playing keep-ball on the halfway line.
Bit clumsy PEH giving away penalty, but good showings from Valery, Yoshida and Romeo.

If we can perform like that against Leicester on Friday then even one point at home would cheer the faithful at St.Mary's.

aceofthebase added 10:57 - Oct 20
Congrats Nick you managed to sneak in an anti-Yosh comment, yawn!
OK VAR did its job and saved us but the first half I thought we did ok, there seemed to be oodles of space in the Wolves defence and if only we had Boufal on the pitch to exploit this.
I thought i would keep an eye on JWP midway thru' the first half, in one minute I counted four times that he demanded the ball and immediately passed the ball backwards, I didn't bother to continue. We must have a more attacking midfielder.
RH seems to be a bit slow to make subs decisions and then they are questionable. Danso to replace Valery, just what was that about? JWP and Hojb were achieving vey little but Romeo is removed. Armstrong not getting a look in.
I thought we had a chance to win this game after the first half, with earlier and better subs, so in my opinion, we threw away another two points.

HythePeer added 11:21 - Oct 20
How can he be a "great manager" who just needs better assistants when you can point out the mistakes he makes even though you have no assistants? Surely that makes him terrible?

saintmark1976 added 11:50 - Oct 20
On the match itself, I didn't watch it but I'm happy with a point and what appears to have been a resolute performance. With our current squad we will need many more identical performances just to survive in the Premiership this season.

RH "a great manager" Nick? Said with tounge in cheek or do you genuinely believe it? If the latter I would respectfully remind you that we've won two out of the last fourteen Premiership fixtures. If that makes him great then I would hate to see what you regard as failure.

I_would added 11:55 - Oct 20
Hassen-in-the-Headlights picks the wrong starting 11, the wrong subs and puts them on at the wrong time. Apart from that, oh and dubious tactics, he's a great manager. By the way Yoshy was no worse than any other of the defensive clowns.

vanmans added 13:02 - Oct 20
Ralph is a great manager are you sure? When he started he looked as if he was going to be a good manager but that has long gone. He now looks like he has lost the plot which coincides with Danny Rohl leaving. The team he put out yesterday was the same as always with the same underachievers like Prowse, Redmond and Hojbjerg. How bad has Prowse got to be to get dropped? What has Armstrong and Danso got to do to get a start? Why oh why has Boufal been dropped when he has been our best player when he has started? If Ralph does not improve with Team selections, Subs and Results I fear he will be gone by Christmas.

SanMarco added 13:51 - Oct 20
Ralph is as good as we can hope for and he is better than his three immediate predecessors. Does this make him 'great'? No - he showed potential greatness last season but the slip back to near Hughes levels of points-per-game has, surely, brought us all down to earth. We need to be patient - we all moan about certain players but there are not obvious and better quality replacements in most cases. Ralph has to work with what he has got and although it is oft repeated by Nick it is, indeed, true - our central defence is very poor.

As for Danso - remember that Bednarek, now considered our best CB by many, took a long while to bed in. Playing Danso in every position other than CB is odd though.

As for the match I didn't see it so all I will say is a draw at Wolves is a decent result, fullstop. It is shaping up to be a season where our away form is going to be crucial.

landsdownsaint added 16:15 - Oct 20
Not sure about the great manager comment? You’ve just said yourself about Boufal & Danso substitutions & that’s every week !Danso must be thinking what’s going on? He’s a likeable manager . Thank gawd we got Danny Ings because apart from him theirs not a goal in this side at the moment , apart from a brief spell last season I can’t see much difference between RH & the managers before, not RK or MP,

saintlee added 17:44 - Oct 20
If I'm completely honest, I don't really worry about us away from home. We seem to be set up in a way that suits us by playing on the break.
At home is the main concern for me. When we are invited onto teams we seem to run out of ideas very quickly and teams with any quality at all play us at our own game with quite a few individual errors chucked in for good measure. This is a recipe for disaster. We seem to get punished for every single mistake we make at the moment when we are at home. We are severely lacking confidence at St Mary's so a good result against that arrogant pr*** on Friday night may go someway to restoring some. Just need to stop the calamities at the back and we may just get it !!!

TimSaint added 19:11 - Oct 20
Bizarre that this verdict focuses on how bad our defence was and how lucky we were with 2 VAR decisions.
The reality is that yes, we didn't play that well, we looked at bit at sea defensively and VAR helped us, but we took a deserved point away to a team that finished 7th last year, were on a 3 game winning streak and had just won away to City. Not only that, we restricted them to just 4 shots all game and created 14 chances of our own in the process.

The errors referred to for the var goals didn't matter - the goals didn't count. VAR is there to help the ref, not to make luck for teams. Bit harsh to single out Yoshi for criticism, as Valerie should have cleared it to start with, yes Yoshi should have done better, but so should have Bednarek and Gunn.

Ironic then that our goal came from a defensive error. Ings took it well, but imagine the comments if it had been Vest or Yosh making that mistake :-)

VAR didn't help us with the pen - it was a Vardy style dive and the var man bought it.. There was a similar 1 on MOTD that got confirmed as no pen, but looked more a pen than the Wolves one. Can't remember who it was, de Bryne perhaps ? Surely the result should be consistent and the same for both - not 1 given and 1 not given ?

Lastly, it is fair to criticise where criticism is due, like our defence as usual, but I feel that some of the others should not escape Scot free. If we had got more of our 14 shots on target (5), we may have scored more and to be fair, we had some good chances. Ings, Redmond, PEH and JWP should all perhaps have scored and as we all know too well, goals change games.

1970 added 19:37 - Oct 20
We are fast becoming a poor team with a manager devoid of ideas,Ings is quality but totally isolated with no support,
getting the odd point here and there will not keep us up
the reason the defence gets a slating every week is firstly collectively and individually they are poor and secondly to make a successful football team at any level you build from the back
i hope we get some new players in jan

AmericanSaint added 21:19 - Oct 20
Some valid points being made here. I think the criticism of Yoshi is way off the mark. Their goal occurred because Vestagaard didnt take the runner and was sucked-in to the man on the ball, who was already being covered by Berty. Vestagaard needs sit as he doesnt seem to want to keep the line and is always sucked-out of position by the opposing forward coming back for the ball. New back three needs to be Danos (right) Yoshi (center) Benerack (left) - this will allow for coverage for any speed on the wings. Next, JWP needs to sit. Sorry but the one set piece at the end does not make up for his lack of hustle at times and his CONSTANT back-passing. As I was watching this game, I was wondering when the subs were coming. The gaffer waited way too long. He should have made changes right after they scored. He waits too long. To win the game, which was there for either side to take, we should have gone to a 4-3-3. Armstrong should have come in for JWP. Pull vestagaard and put in Boufal up front and had Che come in for a tired Ings. This would have changed the tactics to put Wolves on the back foot again. My MOTM for us was Inga and because he scored. He ran his socks off and was always pressing up on the defense when they had the ball. This caused them problems and it wasnt until he was out of gas, did Wolves start to boss the midfield as we were sitting back and our midfielders were nowhere to be seen (once Romeou was taken off). Finally, I know we are sitting above Relegation but our real chance for changes only comes on Nov 8/9 weekend when we have a run of 5 winnable games. That is when we need to have all this sorted by, so that we can put some wins together. COYR.

codge added 22:49 - Oct 20
I often wonder if RH ever reads these comments, if he does obviously he doesn't take any of them seriously why should he we don't have a clue and they have got it right for the last 3 years 😀🤡

IanRC added 17:42 - Oct 21
TimSaint I think the similar MOTD incident you refer to related to Vertonghan, as those who remember his unpunished head height challenge on Sims last season will know, he can do anything and get away with it. Thought Romeu had his worst game in a while, looked tired and gave the ball away in bad positions a number of times. Would feel a lot better about Ings as our main strike threat if he hadn’t missed those sitters against Liverpool (cost us a point) and MUFC (cost us two).

I agree that we need to give Adams time but if he never gets on the field he won’t be breaking his duck anytime soon. Baffled by the constant playing of Danso out of position would like to see him with Bednarek who I do rate. I have long supported JWP but I have to admit it may be time for a change with Armstrong.

At the outset I would have taken a point on Saturday but felt somewhat disappointed that we didnt take three by the end.

landerwal added 11:57 - Oct 22
I do agree that RH could do with a good right hand man. Even the most successful managers had valued assistants eg Clough/Taylor, Shankley/Paisley, Ferguson/numerous. As has been commented on RH cuts a lonely figure and really does look like needs someone to confide in.

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