Clarets Fail to Turn Up at Molineux
Sunday 20th December 2009 @1:30pm Kick-Off
This was an awful day out for Clarets fans in fact Sunday Bloody Sunday! I was already freezing my nads off before the game even started on a bitterly cold icy day and then found I had to sit in a seat clearly made for midgets with two foot long legs. I just got kind of comfortable perched to one side when some woman with an arse the size of Wales decided to sit next to me which even made my Isle of Man one look small! Great start surely things could only get better? Er nope. The Clarets then decided to play one of their worst games of the season. At least I think it was the Clarets because the team I know simply didn`t turn up.
The Clarets went down 2-0 to a less than impressive Wolves side. Burnley were truly awful in every department especially in defence and both Wolves goals were down to school boy errors in the back four. The defence though was not the only problem area, we were lacklustre in midfield and clueless in attack with only Chris Eagles looking like he meant business.
Clarke Carlisle was at fault for Wolves first goal in the 15th minute allowing Doyle to easily nick the ball off him to neatly pass to Matt Jarvis. Jensen saved his low shot but the ball went straight to the feet of Milijas who scored from ten yards out.
We did not seem to have any answers and looked drained after our fantastic performance in midweek against Arsenal at Turf Moor. A brief opening spell in the second half looked promising before another defensive blunder allowed Wolves to get their second after 50 minutes. It was Doyle again who this time got the better of both Caldwell and Duff before beating Jensen from close range.
Coyle wrung the changes after 52 minutes bringing on Nugent for a woeful Bikey and for a time we looked a bit brighter in attack with two up front as we tried to reduce the arrears. Time and time again though the attacks broke down or went astray and even Fletcher had an off day unable to hit the target. In all honesty it just seemed to be one of those days where we simply never turned up.
There will also be concern for Coyle with both our centre backs limping off during the game. Carlisle injured himself early in the game and was eventually replaced by Duff after 34 minutes giving the Northern Ireland international his first taste of Premier League football. Caldwell also picked up a groin strain in the first half but soldiered on before eventually being replaced by Gudjonsson on 67 minutes.
I wanted three points from this game so badly not just because it would have been our first win away on the road, ease our relegation concerns and set up Christmas nicely but because I wanted to see McCarthy get his comeuppance for his unsporting antics against Manchester United at Old Trafford in midweek when he 'chucked one in` and fielded ten reserves.
We were absolutely fantastic against Arsenal at Turf Moor in midweek and all we had to do was play like that again and it would have been 'Simples` to beat Wolves at Molineux. Of course they are now saying McCarthy was vindicated for fielding a weakened side in midweek but they are missing one salient point. We were so bad; Wolves third-string team could have beaten us. I just hope Wolves get relegated now by one goal on goal difference or by a point. McCarthy might then rue what he has done and reflect on whether a full strength side could have got something at Old Trafford against a side clearly struggling with no central defenders. What he did was plain wrong, totally outside the spirit of the game and I hope he gets punished for it. If we all behaved like that, the Premier League would be a bigger joke than it is already!
Molineux has been one of those bogey grounds for us over the years and coupled with the fact the Clarets always seem to go on a traditional Christmas slump, I guess this result was predictable. I am just so disappointed we played so badly. I certainly want to forget this match as soon as possible and would have already if I didn`t have to write this article.
The defeat leaves us perilous close to the drop zone; we are now in 14th place just three points clear of Bolton who are third from bottom with two games in hand and the team we face next in a crucial six pointer at Turf Moor on Boxing Day. West Ham are four points behind us and Portsmouth five points behind with both these bottom two clubs having played the same number of games as the Clarets.
We just have to hope and pray that we don`t embark on the traditional Clarets Christmas slump after a poor start to the festive season. We have to dig deep and how! Come on you Clarets!
Oh well at least I avoided slipping on my arse in the snow and ice going back to the car. Everything else had gone tits up so I was amazed I aint got a bruised bum this morning! I assume that woman with the big arse didn`t fall on it either since there are no reports of an earthquake in Wolverhampton this morning! Merry f****** Christmas!
The Clarets Team Sheet
With no new injury concerns or suspensions, Owen Coyle selected the same starting eleven that had done so well against Arsenal at Turf Moor on Wednesday night. There was just one change on the subs bench with Duff replacing Kalvenes.
Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, Eagles, Bikey, McDonald, Elliott, Fletcher
Subs: Penny, Duff, Gudjonsson, Blake, Guerrero, Nugent, Thompson
The Full Match Report
On a bitterly cold day with snow and ice around the ground, Leeds referee Martin Atkinson got the match underway.
It was a slow start by both sides but it was the Clarets who got the first chance when Bikey passed the ball to Mears on the overlap. He put in a deep cross that was slightly over hit; enough for Fletcher to be unable to get enough purchase on his header with Hahnemann snuffing out the danger.
Wolves however took the lead on 15 minutes after a shocking defensive blunder by Clarke Carlisle. He was too slow to prevent Doyle snatching the ball off his toe and Doyle`s pass found Jarvis. Jensen initially saved his low shot but the ball fell nicely to Milijas who thumped the ball home from ten yards out to put Wolves 1-0 up.
The Clarets responded quickly and nearly got an equaliser in the best move of the half after Fletcher linked well with Eagles to set McDonald free. His left foot shot though was just wide.
Jensen had to be on his guard to prevent Doyle doubling Wolves lead following a move that looked suspiciously offside after the Irish man got in behind the Clarets defence. Jensen managed to get his outstretched leg to the ball and save.
The Clarets though by now were simply not at the races and effectively the same team that had done so well against Arsenal in midweek now looked clueless and lacklustre.
Things got worse for the Clarets when Carlisle had to limp off injured after 30 minutes. He was replaced by Michael Duff who must have been delighted to be given his first opportunity to play in the Premier League.
No further incidents of note really though after the substitution so Burnley went in 1-0 down at half-time and in need of some stern words from the gaffer.
Despite the poor performance no substitutions were made for the start of the second half and for the first few minutes from the re-start we seemed to have found our mojo again. At long last we were putting balls across into the danger area and Duff came close with an effort in the box that he put wide of the far post.
With just five minutes of the second half played though, disaster struck again for the Clarets after another defensive lapse this time by both Caldwell and Duff let in Doyle who had a simple job beating Jensen from close range.
Coyle tried to get his side back into this game by bringing on more strike power up front with Nugent coming on to replace Bikey after 52 minutes but it was all a little too late and in the end even 4-4-2 turned out to be ineffective with the strikers simply not at the top of their game.
It looked for a time though that we might get one back with possession moving our way and our attacks increasing. Eagles was doing most of the damage with his crosses. Both Fletcher and Duff had chances to get a goal back but were just a few inches away from connecting after an Eagles free-kick came over into the danger area.
Caldwell then got on the end of another Eagles cross this time from a corner but the header was cleared off the line by Foley.
The chances did keep coming in this spell but when Fletcher missed a sitter from six yards out after a cross by Elliott you just knew the writing was on the wall. Fletcher seemed to be shocked he got the ball expecting it to be cleared by Barre who had made a hash of it. He lost his composure and could only fire way over.
Wolves though on the break always looked the most likely to score the next goal and but for Jensen probably would have. Ebanks-Blake in acres of space came close with a header but Jensen pulled off an excellent save to deny the former Plymouth striker.
The Clarets day was complete when the referee failed to spot a foul in the penalty area on Fletcher with 11 minutes to go. Henry clearly pulled him to the ground but to be honest we never deserved anything from this match and we now really need a Plan B on our travels because one point from 27 possible and still no win is clearly not good enough.
Wolves: Hahnemann, Stearman, Craddock, Henry, Ebanks-Blake, Ward, Berra, Jarvis (Iwelumo 87), Milijas (Mancienne 69) Doyle (Elokobi 90), Foley.
Subs Not Used: Hennessey, Surman, Maierhofer, Castillo,
Goals: Milijas (15), Doyle (50)
Booked: Yellow Cards for Henry and Doyle
Burnley: Jensen, Mears,,Carlisle (Duff 34), Caldwell (Gudjonsson 69), Jordan Alexander, Bikey (Nugent 54), McDonald, Elliott, Eagles, Fletcher.
Subs Not Used: Penny, Blake, Thompson Guerrero
Booked: Yellow Card for Gudjonsson
Referee: Martin Atkinson (Leeds)