Stu Hall gives us his thought on Wolves late defeat to West Ham in the FA Cup third round.
F.A. Cup 3rd round day is the highlight of the year for me.
Even though Wolves have been pretty pathetic in cup competitions in the vast majority of my 21 years as a supporter, i’m just young enough to remember a time when this competition still mattered.
Before the draw happened i wanted to go to either a small club i’d never been to, or West Ham away.
One last chance to visit an atmospheric famous old ground before it is vacated and destroyed forever.
Well I got 2 parts of that with.
The one that was absent was the atmosphere sadly.
Certainly not from the Wolves supporters though, who to a man were excellent from start to finish.
West Ham’s sell out crowd sounded as if there were only 5 people occupying the rest of the stadium.
You could literally hear a bubble burst.
Now was that level of vocal support deserved? On this occasion i’d have to say yes.
Whereas it wasn’t a free flowing feast of football, it was an improvement on the dire nonsense we have had to endure over the last few weeks.
There was more of a willingness to go forward, especially in the second half.
And whilst this wasn’t exactly fruitful it was encouraging.
West Ham fielded a very strong team, no surprise given Bilic’s comments about winning trophies during the week.
But Wolves matched them well and the first half was a stalemate as a result of this.
Bar Ikeme tipping one long range effort over and another wide, he had nothing more to do other than gather shots that were straight at him.
The second half followed much of the same pattern and it wasn’t until Payet and Carroll were introduced that West Ham started to get hold of the game.
It was to be one moment of brilliance though that ultimately decided the game.
A long ball upfield which Batth did not deal with properly, heading his clearance up rather than away.
Carroll then slipped in Jelavic who hit the ball true first time past Ikeme.
It was a brilliant finish but at the same time a defensive mistake.
Le Fondre though had a great chance at the end to snatch a point for Wolves when he was found by Graham on the edge of the box.
Unfortunately he got his feet all wrong and ended up toe poking it wide.
He had only been introduced at all because of a freak injury to Sigurdarson, who fell down in a heap with no-one around him and had to be stretchered off.
It was disappointing as he had had a decent game up to that point, he’d ran the channels and held the ball up when needed.
As impressive as his cameo at Brighton last week in act.
The Afobe sale now leaves Le Fondre as the only fit senior striker at the club and without throwing even more young players such as Ennis or Enobakhare into an already inexperienced side, Jackett could be looking to a false 9 kind of scenario which wouldn’t surprise me at all.
The only problem with this being that of the players who could possibly play that position, none of them are in any kind of form at all.
Edwards may be pushed up there but he has been so utterly useless for a month now in his supposed best position that that won’t work.
Byrne is the only one who could play that role but he himself has vanished into obscurity or no reason whatsoever, to be replaced at Upton Park by Van La Parra who was terrible.
What of Zyro though? Well he stated in his signing video that he sees himself as a winger and hasn’t played through the middle before, even if he does have the physical attributes to do so.
He did have a decent debut though and reminded me of the last Polish winger we had in Peszko in terms of his workrate and willing to get stuck in when needed.
Overall it was a good afternoon despite the result, what happens next however is anyone’s guess.
The odds on a bad atmosphere on Tuesday night though have to be pretty slim.