What a difference a loan signing makes.
It really is hard to think of a player who has come into such a desperate situation and made such an immediate impact before.
After the shambolic Stearman situation and the club then contradicting themselves saying we do need an experienced defender after all, I feared the worst. Wolves record of bringing in defenders on loan is suspect at best, usually they are just plain rubbish. From the recent memory of Gorkks plodding around in the championship relegation season to the classic examples of this phenomenon in Manuel Thetis and Darren Peacock; this is an area that has never really proved successful.
So when it was rumoured on Tuesday of this week that we might have a chance of getting Mike Williamson on loan for a month i at first didn’t believe it. Here is a proven Premier League defender who at 31 is in his prime.
Yes its true certain sections of the Newcastle support don’t rate him, but those very same fans think they should be in the Champions League every season and signing players like Hazard every year. Deluded isn’t the word for them.
Considering he hasn’t played for quite a while, to get Man of the Match in his on loan debut is astonishing.
For the first time in months, Wolves actually looked solid defensively. Williamson’s communication and organisation of the defence was superb, he was commanding in the air and his overall reading of the game was brilliant.
When the starting line up was announced and Jack Price was omitted yet again, I feared the worst.
But to his credit, Jackett got this spot on with Connor Coady performing like he did in his opening couple of games for Wolves. He totally ran midfield, was disciplined and composed in the tackle and his passing and forward runs were great.
Special notes to Nathan Byrne who had his best game for Wolves so far. He looked to run with the ball and get crosses into the box at every opportunity. Indeed it was a deflection on one of these that led to the opening goal.
The ball looped up and bounced over old Wolves nemesis Robinson for Afobe to challenge former keeper Kuszczak.
It fell to Edwards just inside the area who calmly slotted the ball past 2 defenders into the net.
Byrne though outshone Gray for Birmingham who was totally nullified by Iorfa, so much so that he switched to the other side to take on Golbourne.
James Henry again was full of running and total commitment to the cause, both going forward and defensively.
The only bad point of the afternoon was Afobe looking completely out of sorts. His first touch was terrible and he repeatedly lost the ball and shot off target. Hopefully this was just a one off because with young Bright Enobakhare and 34 year old loanee Grant Holt as backup, he cant be missed.
Such was Wolves total domination of the game that Birmingham did not trouble Martinez in the Wolves goal once.
When Ojo scored the 2nd goal it was very much deserved. He had come on as sub to replace the tiring Byrne and collected a short corner from the right hand side. Cutting inside he shot low through a mountain of Birmingham defenders and somehow found the bottom corner.
A sea of blue shirts started streaming for the exits with 2 minutes of normal time remaining and a rare Derby day victory for the travelling 2000 to celebrate.