Thursday, May 19, 2011

90 minutes to go...

Wolves season concludes on Sunday with the bottom five teams in the Premiership separated by a point. In theory Wolves are well placed to survive, but knowing that it’s Wolves means that they’ll inevitably be the usual ups and downs and nail biting situations.

It’s been a strange 2nd season for Wolves in the ‘big time’. We’ve already got 2 points more than last year, but the competition at the bottom of the league has been ferocious and (although I’m biased), far more interesting than the procession at the top of the league.

In Wolves first season back in the top division (2009/10) Mick McCarthy (the Wolves manager) made it his stated ambition to beat clubs who were ‘around us’. It was a tactic which worked (Wolves finished in 15th place) and he put out an infamous weakened side at Old Trafford (which lost) then beat Burnley the following week. Burnley went down. Wolves survived.

This season though it’s been different Wolves have slipped up to Wigan (lost home and away) and West Ham (lost and drew) but in the meantime have managed to defeat big spending Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Man United.

Now we’re 90 minutes away from elation or desperation. Worryingly Wolves have to beat Blackburn to ensure survival and they were thrashed when the two teams last met at Ewood Park earlier this season.

I also remember the long trip north to watch them play in Blackburn in 2003 (when Wolves were beaten off the park 5-1 in their first game back in the Premiership). In fact you have to go back to 1999 (something I’m sure the TV pundits will dig up) to the last time that Wolves did beat Blackburn (2-1).

Watching the games in Australia is always entertaining. There’s a local pub/club nearby which is open almost 24 hours, who have a big screen and can usually be persuaded to put on the football (although strangely there’s only ever me watching the game).

The alternative (because I’m too mean to buy Foxtel) is to watch it on a dodgy (usually Indian) website on the computer. Sometimes you get near perfect pictures, sometimes it’s a bit jerky, sometimes there’s no synch at all between the sound and the pictures, which can be variously frustrating/amusing. Either way I’ll be watching in the early hours of Monday morning hoping that 10,000 miles away Wolves can beat Blackburn and ensure the relegation battle continues for another season.

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