Perhaps, considering the second half performance of Dean Saunders’ men, the defeatist chant was slightly harsh. However, particularly poignant was the new favourite ‘you’re nothing special. We lose every week chant today, as Wolves succumbed to yet another home defeat at the hands of top dog Cardiff.
Top dog they may be, but Cardiff’s success is a damning indictment of the strength it this Championship. As usual, it took nothing particularly special to undo Wolves defensive barrier. A hopeful long throw and a routine set piece gave the league leaders’ a 2-0 lead.
In response to the two goal deficit, Wanderers were McCarthy-esque. Saunders’ decision to introduce Doyle and Ebanks-Blake was vindicated before Cardiff doubled their advantage; Doyle denied by a fortuitous block after a stunning Sigurdason cross.
Wolves continued to press and made Cardiff look thoroughly average at times. An Ebanks-Blake sitter and a couple of bad offside decisions put pay to the fight back, but finally we saw a spark.
So, the real question is: why the hell did we start with five defenders? What exactly are we defending? Wolves are in the bottom three and need points for survival. Every time we put two up front and give defences something to think about, we look okay.
The losing mind set, I’m afraid, has taken over. The players looked devoid of quality in the first half; static off the ball and lethargic when defending space. In the second, business did pick up, but it was all still rather hopeful, aimless, not the work of a team that had much of a plan.
From the perspective of a centre midfielder – the situation is perilous. When Wolves won this league, Karl Henry saw a very different pitch to the one he sees now when he looks up to find a pass. Wingers racing into the channels, Iwelumo offering a direct approach, full backs pushed up ahead of him, fellow midfielder ten yards in advance.
Now, we see a flat four behind him, O’Hara on top of him, wingers hiding behind markers, and a striker (God knows who they will be on any given day), stood static looking for balls into feet so they can lay it off to… no one.
It’s a depressing time. At least we saw flashes of a former-self in today’s second half. That is all we have to cling onto right now.