Guedioura’s hope of a recall

8 04 2010

Guedioura has not featured for the last three games after a half-time substitution at Aston Villa.

Wolves midfielder Adlene Guedioura has admitted that even if he is not picked to replace Karl Henry he will still cheer on whoever takes the captain’s place against Stoke City at Molineux on Sunday.

Henry starts a three-match-ban this weekend after being sent off against Arsenal last weekend and Guedioura says Henry’s absence is not good news for the team.

The French-Algerian said: “It is an opportunity for someone to come in but the decision is up to the gaffer. All of us will want to play but will also support whoever it is that does play. It’s not good news for Karl or for the team.

“We have lost our captain and a good player for three games. It happens in football and we all have to work hard to replace this kind of player and still get a result. A season is very long and you get injuries and suspensions. It’s a squad effort and we all have to be ready to play a part. That’s the way I look at it – I have to be ready for each of these last games if I am called upon to play.”

Guedioura has also praised the Wolves coaching staff for helping him to adapt to the Premier League quicklyand says he just wants to be involved in every match.

He said: “It’s also because the gaffer and the coaches worked with me and the players helped me adapt quickly and accepted me into the team. It’s a good challenge to play in the Premier League and I’m hoping to do more of what I did when I came into the team.

“Now I’ve come out of the team it’s the same as for everyone else in that I have to show every day in training that I can get back into the team. Like every player I want to be involved in every match and so I have to work again to prove to the gaffer that I can be in the starting line-up.

“I enjoyed coming on against Everton and getting involved. Whether the gaffer gives us two, or five or 20 minutes it’s up to us to use that time to show what we can do. Every minute on the pitch is important when you’re in this situation. The gaffer is putting you on the pitch for a reason and you have to do what you can for the team.”


Jody Craddock insists morale is still high in Wolves’ squad

7 04 2010

Craddock was loaned to Stoke City and looked set to leave Wolves last season before coming back and cementing his place in the team at Molineux.

 Wolves defender Jody Craddock has labelled Saturday’s narrow defeat to Champions League flops Arsenal as the “hardest defeat to take this season”. 

Craddock is set to make his 500th league appearance against former loan club Stoke City on Sunday but the defeat to the Gunners was a sickener for the 34-year-old. 

Craddock said: “It was bitterly disappointing – for me, it was the hardest defeat to take this season because we’d done so well. Yes, we were under the cosh and they’d had some chances, but we’d done brilliantly to hang on in there, especially with 10 men. 

“You get to 90 then almost 94 minutes and you think that should be the end of the game and we’d held them. So to lose it so late on was horrible. 

“But that’s why they are where they are and we took it on the chin and we’ll get on with it – I don’t think that will affect confidence. To have held them for so long at the Emirates shows how far we’ve come but it also shows how a game can change in a split second.” 

My verdict: It was horrible to see Wolves lost the game in that way but as Craddock points out the players have taken it on the chin and will get on with it. Let’s hope it’s the only time a late winning goal is conceded this season. 

*Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was on target for Wolves reserves in a 1-1 draw with Fulham last night. 

What do you think about Jody Craddock’s performance this season? Leave your thoughts and comments below!

Karl Henry launches stinging attack on Arsenal’s theatrics

5 04 2010

Karl Henry has played all but one of Wolves' games this season.

Wolves captain Karl Henry has heavily criticised Arsenal’s players, claiming they all go down like a “sack of spuds when challenged”.

Skipper Henry was dismissed with 25 minutes to go at the Emirates stadium on Saturday as Wolves lost 1-0 to title-challengers Arsenal. It is fair to say Henry was far from happy with his dismissal.

He said: “I would have been screaming at the referee had I got even a yellow card for that tackle so to get a red card for it is an absolute disgrace.

“I’ve nicked the ball cleanly. One of their players – Vermaelen I think it was – has then come flying in trying to get me sent off. Rosicky is rolling around but two minutes later he is up running around and absolutely fine. That’s what they do here. Their players moan when they get tackled, when they get hit hard, and so does Arsene Wenger.

“Their players go down like a sack of spuds. They get hit hard, like players at other clubs do, but with them we hear about it for weeks and weeks. We love Arsenal’s great football but when they are rolling around getting people sent off, it makes you not want to see them do so well.”

Wolves have until Tuesday lunchtime to decide whether they are to appeal the three match ban handed to Henry. If they opt to, Wednesday lunchtime is the deadline to provide relevant video evidence to support their case.

Mick McCarthy took plenty of stick from the Arsenal fans after he appeared to applaud Henry’s challenge on Tomas Rosicky. However, according to McCarthy that was not the case.

He said: “I’ve applauded Karl Henry off because he didn’t kick him. I felt bad for him so I ushered him off and congratulated him on his performance. The fans may have thought I was congratulating him on kicking one of their players but I don’t advocate that. I don’t ask anyone to kick anyone.

“I became the pantomime villain, but is that not part of the Premier League? They booed me off because my team actually gave them a fright. Maybe I should have set the team up 4-4-2 and attacked them and got beat by seven goals.”

My verdict: Couldn’t have put it better myself Karl!

Arsenal’s 95th minute goal vs Wolves

4 04 2010

This is a video of Arsenal’s stoppage-time goal from the heartbreaking defeat at the Emirates.

My hatred for the elitist feel in the Barclays Premier League

4 04 2010

It was Wolves' first visit to the Emirates after Arsenal moved there in the summer of 2006.

Despite the huge disappointment at yesterday’s result, the overriding feeling about the whole away day at the Emirates was the elitist feel it oozed.   

The official coaches rolled up to the backstreets of Holloway at 12.30 leaving about 500 Wolves fans who travelled on them with at least an hour to fill before the turnstiles opened.

The choices were limited; you could either go and venture into the ghetto of Holloway which didn’t look desirable or head towards Arsenal’s old Highbury ground to find somewhere to watch the crunch game between Manchester United and Chelsea.

So over the white bridge we went and after a five minute walk we reached a pub but they announced it was only for over 21s. One man even had quite a heated altercation with the cocky stewards who wouldn’t let his daughter in.

After that, due to our lack of local knowledge we headed back to the area surrounding the stadium to find some grub. Now, don’t get me wrong I don’t mind spending big amounts of money on occasion but £6.90 for a frankfurter hotdog and a medium coke is insane.

At any other ground, you would go to another burger van to find something cheaper, but that was the problem. Unless you went to an official Arsenal refreshment bar you could have nothing else. Obviously they are trying to quell all other competition but it offered no choice. I mean who really goes to a football match to buy a salmon bagel???

Half the food advertised they didn’t even have ready to serve. From outside the stadium you could see inside the immaculately polished glass windows to where all Arsenal’s corporate customers were being served a buffet lunch. To the naked eye it almost seems as though Arsenal have disregarded their standard fans and just put all their effort into caring for the prawn sandwich brigade.

Anyway…we went inside and it was everything you could ask of a modern stadium, potentially the best i’ve been to (i.e. better than Wembley). Large concourse, several HD plasma screens showing both Soccer Saturday and Man Utd vs Chelsea and each and every seat was padded with plenty of leg room.

But it’s just not real in my view. Yeah fair play, Arsenal can now fill their ground with 60,000 people each week but it’s the same experience as I’ve had at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford this season, the fans are turning up and just expecting their team to pick up three points. The place is soulless and lacks atmosphere to a worse extent than Highbury did when I visited a few years ago.

Don’t get me wrong I love going to the big cities like Liverpool and Manchester every other week for away games. It beats going to Scunthorpe and Blackpool but there’s something about those clubs that’s just more welcoming. Yesterday the Londoners just seemed so arrogant about everything that it really annoyed me. They felt they could just turn up each week and just sit there expecting something to happen from their team. They have got into a comfort zone which now with a new ground they cannot get back out of. In stark contrast, Wolves fans were relishing their first ever trip to the Emirates and stood singing all game. Furthermore, an appearance from striking legend Steve Bull in the away end prompted numerous old school chants much to the delight of the 3,000 travelling fans.

Undoubtedly Arsenal have got a hardcore following – evident by the fact they filled their allocation at Molineux in November but you could tell just walking away from the stadium that day trippers and tourists made up a fair percentage of the crowd. Loads of people (mainly foreigners from the accents I could hear) were having their picture taken in front of one of the Arsenal banners plastered on the stadium.

It may seem like me along with other Wolves are a bit hypocritical  after moaning that we should be in England’s top league for so long but I just prefer the down to earth feel of going to places like Barnsley, Sheffield and Nottingham where you are always received well by the locals. Everyone loves having a bit of banter with the opposition fans but on the three occassions I have visited the capital this season, home fans have talked to Wolves fans as though we are scum of the earth. Almost with the view of why should anyone come inside the London bubble! Idiots!

Anyway not a bad result for Wolves and my rant about the elitism of the Premier League is now officially over.

*I don’t think I can let the weekend pass without mentioning the on loan Stefan Maierhofer. The giant Austrian had to go in goal for ten minutes during Bristol City’s match with Nottingham Forest yesterday. Afterwards he was quoted as saying that he was ready to take over from Edwin Van der Sar at Old Trafford.

*Lastly one small note – I’m going to put it out there that Burnley are the worst team in Premier League history (yes that’s right – worse than Derby a couple of years ago).

Do you agree or disagree with what I’ve said – leave your comments below.

Wolves lose to Arsenal after a 95th minute winner from Nicklas Bendtner

3 04 2010

Arsenal have scored at least once in the last 20 minutes in each of their last 11 Premier League games at the Emirates.

Wolves lost by a Nicklas Bendtner goal to nil after having captain Karl Henry wrongly sent off midway through the second half.

Bendtner struck in the fifth minute of injury time to break Wolves’ hearts and deny them a fifth consecutive game unbeaten.

Karl Henry was dismissed midway through the second half for a challenge from behind on Tomas Rosicky. As per usual, Arsene Wenger went mad on the touchline. Mick McCarthy applauded Henry off the field much to the disgust of the Arsenal fans.

In truth, Wolves were battered for most of the game and rarely troubled Almunia in the Arsenal goal. Never mind, Burnley lost 6-1 and Hull lost 2-0. We are still five points clear of the drop zone.

My verdict: Wolves were so unlucky to come away with nothing from the Emirates after defending for their lives for 94 minutes of the game. It was annoying to see Wolves concede from a cross after we had dominated in the air all day in our own box. I’m not going to cry myself to sleep though as Arsenal’s squad is probably worth £150million more than ours is. Next week’s game against Stoke will be hard for different reasons and we will do well to pick up points there.

Man of the match: Marcus Hahnemann – Wolves were getting dominated from start to finish today and the only thing stopping them from scoring was the American stopper. Time after time Hahnemann came to pluck crosses out of the air. He also did well to react to some shots that came through a lot of bodies. Top stuff from the man who I never thought would be any good.

Flop of the match: Theo Walcott  Arsenal relied on the England international to put some telling crosses into the Wolves area but the £14million winger’s final ball was rubbish. I hope Fabio Capello was there to see it because he was dreadful.

Referee: Andre Marriner – I haven’t seen the red card tackle yet but according to Mick McCarthy and most of the nations media, Marriner got the big decision wrong and Karl Henry should have been cautioned at most.

Weekly poll

2 04 2010

Click here to view highlights from when Wolves faced Arsenal at Molineux in November.