Stu Hall gives us this thoughts on Wolves 3-0 win against Fulham
After the last 2 depressing away adventures, this fixture certainly wasn’t on many people’s lists of guaranteed entertainment.
The fact that this game had its fixture changed twice, the incredibly poor run of form and not one decent performance of note so far this season, it really is truly astonishing that the away following clocked in at over 1,300.
And how they were rewarded for their patience and dedication.
From beneath the cloud of uncertainty of the club being put up for sale and form table, came a quite brilliant performance out of nowhere.
I myself in recent weeks have slagged off Kenny Jackett something rotten and with good reason, we have been awful.
But at Fulham, it was like the last few months hadn’t even happened, the free flowing attacking intent of last season was back.
At Preston the formation was back to how it should be with this group of players, but the performance and threat really wasn’t there.
This time both were out in full force.
Now I’m sure people will look at the result and think it’s a decent return against 10 men but in truth, Fulham should have been dead and buried way before Cairney’s ridiculous 2 footed lunge got him rightfully sent off.
Afobe could have had 2 himself, one where he received the ball with his back to goal just inside the area and turned to get his shot away. unfortunately it wasn’t hit with enough power and it went straight at the keeper.
The other chance came from a brilliant cross by Byrne to Afobe on the penalty spot but instead of trying a header instead attempted a bicycle kick which went horribly wrong.
When Afobe was beaten in the air from a cross Fredericks nearly headed one into his own net but the keeper was alert to the danger to palm it away.
He could only divert it so far though, and the onrushing Byrne should have scored from 6 yards out had he been more composed when the ball came to him off balance on the edge of the area.
The keeper also made a smart save from James Henry from 20 yards out after he’d cut inside from the left. The ball was going in the bottom corner but the keeper got down well.
Martinez didn’t really have a shot to save apart from routine balls straight at him, as was the extent of Wolves dominance.
At half time Jackett took off Byrne who I thought had played well and replaced him with Ojo.
I have to admit I thought it was a stupid thing to do unless Byrne was injured as he hadn’t done much wrong but I was wrong. Ojo was excellent.
Somehow he has gone from being a stringy looking teenager into a player with upper body strength and close control.
And it was Ojo who was the source of Wolves attack that led to the first 2 goals.
The first he had a crack from just outside the edge of the box which was curling into the bottom corner. Le Fondre got the slightest of slight touches to it with his head but he deserved the goal.
The second was ridiculous.
A speculative shot at the keeper’s near post which somehow he managed to fall over and let the ball through his legs to trickle into the net.
That was pretty much game over as a contest and when Henry curled the ball into the top corner from a free kick on the edge of the box with 12 minutes left, the end of the game turned into passing practice.
Fulham had given up and Wolves had no need to push on for more considering the early kick off on Saturday.
Now this may surprise a few but the undoubted man of the match for me was Kevin McDonald.
Having Jack Price back next to him certainly helps things but he absolutely ran the midfield.
His passing was accurate and with pace and purpose and when he ran at people he wasn’t bullied off the ball.
It’s almost as if he’s signed a new contract or something.
Special praise also for the entire defence who were sturdy and actually looked like a unit again.
Byrne played well in the first half, Ojo in the second and James Henry is in the form of his Wolves career on either wing.
Afobe played as a 10 and this time it worked with him linking off Le Fondre and later on Enobakhare.
The euphoria of the win from the players at the end was like a cup win and it was brilliant to see.
Hopefully this is now a stepping stone and not an isolated incident.