I decided against posting anything whilst sitting in traffic attempting to get out of Deykin Avenue or immediately after I got home, as I genuinely don’t think I could have posted with it not coming across as the rantings of an angry lunatic. So a few hours later, I’ll try to sum up my thoughts as calmly as possible.
Firstly I still don’t like the three at the back. It’s fine as a stopgap whilst we’ve injuries but we need to ditch it ASAP. We’re appallingly predictable in what we’re going to do most of the time and the Ings/Watkins partnership isn’t clicking. It’s also obvious that Targett is not at all suited to it and it’s killing any move down our left instantly. Today we shoehorned Buendia into the midfield three, not a role he’s played before as whenever I’ve seen him for Norwich he’s either been as the “10” or out wide cutting in. We need to go back to the 4-3-3 or try a 4-2-3-1 with Buendia behind the striker.
Selection. I was worried about Doug starting after all the travelling but I actually thought he did well and we surrendered control of the midfield after he went off. Tuanzebe should never have started. Hause has been playing well and Axel tried to give them a goal twice first half but did get better, till he, and everyone else lost their heads, obviously.
Up until the last 15 minutes of normal time we were by far the better team. They were only going to score if we gave them the ball, which we tried twice first half, good block by Mings and then a save by Emi1 saved us thankfully. McGinn was excellent, Doug very good, Cash excellent. Buendia is not a central midfielder, in the McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey way anyway. He just doesn’t fit into that formation. He tried a few things that didn’t come off but played well enough that I’ve hope that when Smith sees the light and ditches the three at the back, Emi2 will be a big player for us. Also he worked his backside off and made a good few tackles himself. Something you don’t get sometimes from the flair players.
The last 15 minutes. There’s a function on the FIFA games where you can set your team to “ultra attacking” and your players hurl themselves forward with abandon and pile into the box. The Wolves manager basically did that. Now normally what happens is you get picked off on the break which is what should have happened today. You could see the panic in our team. Panicky tackles. Clearances and messing about. Epitomised by the equaliser. Absolutely pathetic all round.
I was honestly so angry after this game. I still am. Can’t remember the last time I was this furious about a loss. To so completely throw away a game we were so in control of is almost criminal. Every player on that pitch in the last 15 minutes needs to take a long hard look at themselves.