Five talking points from Wolves 4 Fulham 4

Wolves and Fulham shared a point apiece after a remarkable game at Molineux.

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Paul Lambert's team were 3-1 down and recovered to lead 4-3 but blew it in injury time.

It was one of the most entertaining matches seen at Molineux in recent years.

But was it a point gained or two points dropped? Wolves correspondent Tim Spiers picks out five talking points.

Molineux madness

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Fulham
David Edwards scored his fourth goal in five games

Just the 46 shots in this one. Plus eight goals, an endless succession of chances, some great football, a stirring comeback and plenty of late drama. What a match.

At half time you feared for Wolves. The way they were defending - and the way Fulham were burying their chances - made you wonder if a rout was on the cards.

But full credit to Lambert's team - they steamrollered the Cottagers in a fantastic 25-minute spell while hanging on for dear life at the other end.

That comeback showed real character.

And the moment when David Edwards made it 4-3 sparked the most incredible scenes at Molineux, the kind that remind us why we love the game.

The place probably hasn’t felt like that since the Leeds 4-3 game more than 18 months ago. The celebrations were spine-tingling. What a damn shame it wasn’t the winning goal.

Defensive woes

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Fulham
Wolves left the field dejected after conceding a fourth goal

The point may have ended Wolves' run of four successive home defeats but elsewhere Rotherham's victory over QPR means Wolves now possess the worst home record in the Championship.

Only Barnsley (19) have conceded more than Wolves' 18 goals at Molineux.

Owing to the back five having an average age of 22, it was no surprise that Wolves struggled defensively, although the two centre halves and the goalkeeper behind them weren't to blame.

Tom Cairney's wonderstrike couldn't be accounted for but otherwise Wolves yet again didn't help themselves - Ivan Cavaleiro did nothing to stop Ryan Fredericks cutting the ball back for Fuham's first, Dominic Iorfa was caught in no man's land for Floyd Ayite's headed second and then no one has attacked the ball in the box for that last-gasp equaliser.

Richard Stearman's experience was missed. Paul Lambert was unfortunate in that after an improved defensive display at QPR he had to make two changes to his back five.

The sooner January comes along, the better, as far as Wolves' defensive fragility is concerned.

Striking wrong note

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Fulham

Despite the scoreline there's a gripe up front too. Yes Wolves scored four times, but again their strikers couldn't make in onto the scoresheet.

The last time a striker scored a goal for Wolves the date was August 20, the location St Andrew's, when Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Joe Mason netted in a 3-1 win.

Bodvarsson has since gone 16 appearances without a goal, while Mason went eight without scoring before picking up the hernia injury that has seen him sidelined for almost two months now.

Nouha Dicko last scored in August 2015. This was his ninth appearance since making his comeback from injury and boy does he need a goal.

He's certainly contributing to his team's attacking efforts - chasing and harassing defenders, linking up nicely with the two wide men and generally making a nuisance of himself. But he's desperate to score, just as much as the fans are desperate for him to score.

The way he scuffed that shot after Fulham keeper Button had spilled the ball with the scoreline at 1-0 showed he's lacking a clinical touch. For Wolves' sake let's hope he rediscovers it soon. When he does there won't be a more popular goalscorer.

For now Wolves are relying on others to score their goals, usually Edwards and Helder Costa.

In fact this game was the first since the September 27 defeat at Wigan when someone other than Edwards and Costa have found the net.

Cavaleiro's goal was the particularly impressive and capped off the Portuguese winger's best performance in a Wolves shirt so far. His work ethic was far better than in recent weeks and he was a menace down that left flank.

He looks set for a run in the team now, giving him the perfect opportunity to show just why Wolves broke their transfer record to sign him from Monaco.

Boos for Lambert's sub
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While Bodvarsson's goal drought continued, it was his introduction (and the change of shape it led to) on 59 minutes with Wolves then 3-1 down which sparked the dramatic comeback - 15 minutes later the scores were level.

However the boos for that substitution, which saw Romain Saiss withdrawn, were puzzling. The supporters presumably wanted Conor Coady (who set up a goal six minutes later) or David Edwards (who scored Wolves' fourth) withdrawn instead.

However Saiss, the most defensive of the three, was sacrificed, which in itself wasn't a big shock seen as he'd exerted little influence on proceedings up to that point.

In truth any of the trio could have been withdrawn after being outplayed by Fulham's slick passing midfield, with Kevin McDonald inevitably at the heart of proceedings as well as the excellent Stefan Johansen and Tom Cairney.

To boo the new boss' call was harsh. Lambert has only been in charge for four games but endured plenty of criticism after the Sheffield Wednesday defeat and there was no patience for his substitution here.

If he was called Paulo Lamberto it no doubt would have been perceived as a bold attacking move and a moment of tactical genius.

Handy Harry

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Fulham

Talk about a baptism of fire for Harry Burgoyne.

Last season the teenager was turning out for Lowestoft Town in the National League North. Yesterday he was played in front of 19,010 at Molineux, facing a team that had scored five goals a week earlier who would rain in 26 shots on his goal.

Wolves have a fine recent tradition of producing first-team goalkeepers from their academy, with Matt Murray, Wayne Hennessey and Carl Ikeme all serving the club with distinction.

Burgoyne is the latest in that line and on this showing he could have a long first-team career ahead of him.

He handled the pressure with aplomb and made a superb double save with the score at 3-1, as well as several other solid stops.

None of the goals could be attributed to mistakes on his part and there was nothing at all wrong with his kicking.

How heartwarming it was to hear the South Bank singing his name on a number of occasions. Carl Ikeme will more than likely reclaim the jersey, possibly as early as Tuesday, but Lambert knows he can count on Burgoyne should he need him.

A word for Jon Flatt though who has been third choice this season but paid for the unsatisfactory manner in which he's been carted around travelling with the first-team squad this season but still playing next-to-no Under-23s football, meaning Burgoyne got the nod because he was more 'match-ready', especially after his Checkatrade Trophy exploits on Monday.

It was harsh on Flatt, but Burgoyne took his chance. Who'd be goalkeeper eh?

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Comments for: "Five talking points from Wolves 4 Fulham 4"

WV1.Dylanwolf

"If he was called Paulo Lamberto it no doubt would have been perceived as a bold attacking move and a moment of tactical genius."

Vile comment by Tim Spiers and the Express and Star.

WV1.Dylanwolf

"If he was called Paulo Lamberto it no doubt would have been perceived as a bold attacking move and a moment of tactical genius."

Vile comment from Paul Spiers and the Express and Star.

Wolvereeeen

Vile? What are you, a wallflower?

If such an opinion had been written by various faceless posters, such as yourself and I, on here it would be perceived as visionary and/or witty by many.

Perhaps you should boycott the articles?

WV1.Dylanwolf

It's a typical xenophobic comment, verging on racist. The kind of comment that has normalised the hatred and fear of foreigners that has fuelled the Brexit vote. It's as disgusting as the words for which Ron Atkinson was so rightly excoriated.

Wolves squad of players, like the City of Wolverhampton, is proudly multicultural. The Express and Star seemingly has a policy to ignore our large Wulfrunian Sikh community for example and to continually have digs at immigrants and foreigners.

I'll be no wallflower on this subject matey. Nor will I stop complaining about the Express and Star's apparently relentless campaign to nudge their readers towards hatred and fear of everybody but Aynuk and Ayli.

This isn't the 1930s anymore. It's the 21st century. Wulfrunians come from a multitude of races and religions, it's about time the Express and Star started reflecting that fact and both promoted and celebrated the diversity of culture in our fabulous city.

Tellitasitis

"Vile"? Dylanwolf,

"You ain't no moderate liberalist, bruv".

Sounds as xenophobic as those you attempt to denigrate.

Lighten up, for goodness sake, or you'll be wanting us to revert to the rule of Oliver Cromwell, banning singing and dancing around the maypole next.

geoff.wakelam

He took off someone who's popular and he got boos. He put on some more attacking. When Zenga did it, you all hailed it as an attacking master stroke. Turn it round. If he'd been named Walter Stringer or Smith, he too would have fallen foul of the boo boys. He was not being racist, just critical of the infantile idiots who pretend to support us but just want to moan. Nobody knew what Lambert was thinking so the booing started. But we came back from two down to finish level, and almost won. A master stroke. So we can no longer criticise Lambert's decisions. But we can still criticise the journalist who made a valid point about the idiots who purport to support us. There was no xenophobia in the point he made. But I guess, if you've just learnt how to spell 'xenophobic' go ahead and use it. It's a big word and will deflect criticism and your embarrassment away from the fact you and your mates were probably those who booed the decision that turned the game around..

And for your information, many of those who I know to have voted Brexit are mixed race, or married to foreigners. They voted as they did to escape what they saw as a corrupt, undemocratic institution to bring legislative powers back to our own parliament which democratically, we can get rid of every five years. So again, a Wolves fan is criticising a decision without knowing or caring why people actually did vote that way and just assuming it was racism. Feel free to boo that one too.

Cookley Wolf

Sorry Dylan, but you are simply missing the very gentle humour in what was said. How on earth can this be in any way offensive, let alone 'vile' or 'xenophobic'?

It was a simple joke based on the fact that in Britain we tend to give a little too much credit to the technical expertise of managers coming from backgrounds in the Italian/Spanish/Portugese leagues.

Tim Spiers was making the point that whilst some of the crowd booed Lambert's substitution decision, they almost certainly wouldn't have booed if the same decision had been made by someone with supposedly greater tactical knowledge of the game, like Mourhino or Guardiola.

Getting back to football - which should be the only reason we are all here - it turned out to be a great substitution, so well done to Lambert (or Lamberto).

geoff.wakelam

Sorry Cookly, you've got to let him use the word xenophobic. He's only just heard it in the referendum coverage and has only had time to learn to spell it. 2017 will, in its entirety, be dedicated to learning its meaning. In 2018, he hopes to use it in context.

WV1.Dylanwolf

WolfieP - Grow up.

Tellitasitis - The fact that a xenophobic comment like that is normalised shows how far this kind of insidious propaganda has been effective.

Geoff.Wakelam - You missed the point entirely. I'm not commenting on the booing. I'm not expressing any kind of opinion on whether I agreed or disagreed with substitution. For your information I didn't boo. Personally I'd rather have sacrificed Coady rather than Saiss because I thought that would have been less risky. But Lambert's choice paid off so great.

I do think Zenga should have been given longer, I enjoyed his enthusiasm and rather miss him now. However I accept he's gone and of the managers available at the time I thought Lambert was the best choice. He now also needs time.

-----

It certainly is a vile comment. The implication of it is that foreigners are favourably lauded in comparison to British people (clearly not true). That liberal views demand that foreigners are indulged to the disadvantage of British people (clearly not true). And further that we should still laugh at and allow 1970's style racial stereotyping (Paulo Lamberto).

chris h

Geoff, I read some statistics this week: of all graduates that voted, 67% voted REMAIN and of all the regular subscribers to the SUN some 76% voted to LEAVE. Given your premise who would have thought SUN readers are so smart and graduates are so dim. Or perhaps there is more to it than that. Maybe graduates understood the risks to future prosperity and our economic well being posed by leaving the biggest free trade area in the World. Maybe SUN readers as Dylan says were more concerned with immigration issues. I also saw some stats saying 90% plus that voted to LEAVE didn't vote to be financially poorer. If we don't get a decent deal in the next two years I think a lot of people are in for a big surprise at the size of their ever diminishing pockets.

WV1.Dylanwolf

The thing is too that Wolves fans commenting here show no such xenophobia.

Every member of the squad gets praise or brickbats depending on their performances and that particular fans view of their performance.

No one cares if a Wolves player or the manager is British or foreign.

Often fans comment about players from abroad, coming from other leagues where the pace of a game may be slower, not adapting to the relentless physicality of the Championship. This isn't xenophobia. Some players do adapt, others don't. Some win our hearts, some don't. Same thing applies to British players.

That's why Tim Spiers' comment is appalling as well as vile. He implies that Wolves fans are Little Englanders, when the reality is that we'll cheer and support any player that gives their all for the shirt, no matter where they are from.

Tellitasitis

Dylan, 'Insidious propaganda'? You cannot be serious, mate. If you believe that, you are in danger of becoming as extreme as the extremists.

Chris, The 67% of graduates equates to the numbers of Corbinisters and 'Momentum' members from the colleges and universities. I wouldn't read too much into those stats.

P.S. Disclaimer. Both these comments are not to be taken seriously. Otherwise, I will have to change my pseudonym into the Chinese translation for, "to tell it as it is", "Shi Hua Shi Shuo". I might just do that anyway, in honour of Jeff.

WV1.Dylanwolf

I'm very serious, tellitasitis. It's the drip, drip of this kind of low-level stuff which erodes the decency of a law-abiding community. The sneering, snidy pokes at "the outsider" that the Express and Star frames so much of its reporting and commenting is the constant aggravation of a nastiness that undermines our city and its citizens.

Let me ask this question. How much does the Express and Star support the safety of a female Muslim Wulfrunian out shopping while wearing a hijab?

Tellitasitis

Is it banned in Wolverhampton then? or are they allowed the freedom to wear it in public, which France and Germany seek to ban?

Are our liberties not in fact precious, and as manifest here as anywhere in the world? but not surely to the detriment of citizens rights to safety and security.

We should laud our freedoms for all races and faiths.

I am proud to be a Brit, and proud of what we offer to genuine refugees.

We should be able to joke with our fellow citizens from other countries without fear of them taking silly offence, and vice versa.

Have a listen to Henning Wehn telling some jokes about his own German nationality, and British sterotypical view of Germans, and vice versa, and tell me you cannot relate to it. It is fun. It is not insidious propaganda.

WV1.Dylanwolf

I pretty much agree with you, tellitasitis. But nevertheless I do perceive Spier's comment as vile and recognise it as complementary to the general tone of the Express and Star, which is one which continually attempts to undermine the multicultural nature of Wolverhampton and espouses regressive views.

jezmox

We were 3-1 down! What was he supposed to do? Some of our boo boys are just thick! 4-4 was a fair result both sides had loads of chances but it would be nice to go one week and see us not concede a wonder goal. Seem to be getting them every home game lately

WV1.Dylanwolf

Absolutely. Lambert gambled by going short at the back. Given our recent home form this was a risky ploy. Had it not paid off and we'd lost 1-5 say, the fat would really have been in the fire.

After Bodvarsson came on whenever Fulham raced forward they seemed to have a free player, but as our fully-manned defence had proved equally porous maybe it wasn't so chancey a move.

Certainly playing two upfront suddenly made us more potent, even though no striker has scored a goal for us since Bodvarsson's late effort at Birmingham on the 20th of August.

Perhaps the majority would have pulled Coady, rather than Saiss, but as it turned out the substitution worked.

I was really gutted, though hardly surprised when we conceded the equaliser deep into injury time. We hit the panic button at QPR after they pulled a scrappy goal back and it was all too predictable that we were unable to close the game down after incredibly taking the lead in the 90th minute.

An exhilarating and breathless game, but also one that demonstrates just how much work is still ahead of us.

Capelwolf

Five talking points:

1. Fight. The boys from the Black Country rediscovered the will to fight, instead of the la,e surrenders of recent games. When you are 1-3 the hosre has bolted and the best you can hope for is 4-3. They did that.

2. Defence. Woefully and repeatedly inadequate. We need experience and decisive defenders. Has Williamson resumed training with the first team?

3. Wingers. PL's influence on the performance of Cav and Costa was there to see with the amount of chasing they got through. It blunted Costa's attacking threat but Cav gave a MOM performance and capped it with a superb goal.

4. Ball retention. Yet again a team came to Molineux and outpassed Wolves. We have to face facts that opposition squads are better players than ours at the moment.

5. Burgoyne. Please don't overhype this kid. He has conceded four on his debut. Let him grow without hysterical overreaction.

Keep going and keep fighting Wolves

yorkypud

Think I saw a pic of Williamson training with first team. We missed Stearman yesterday. It's not technical ability or effort that we get punished for in defence it's lack of experience. Lads are young and learning but you need someone to teach them and guide them through the game. The great thing about yesterday was the passion. It's a long 120 mile drive home for me each match in the dark on a wet day but I was still buzzing when I got home. I was proud to be a wolves fan yesterday. Think the report should be edited though as it does say Burgoyne "got the nob" and with all that's kicking off....

Stafford_DeWolf

A flattering 4-4 scoreline.

Absolutely no control of the game at any stage by Wolves; not even in the 5 minutes added on.

Wolves surrendered possession of the ball from the off, affording Fulham an avalanche of goal chances. So much for fortress Molineux.

Great second half spirit but major problems with the balance of the squad, with big changes needed in January to avoid an absolute disaster.

Pablo

The substitution of Saiss created a mixed response where I was sitting but as many others have pointed out it wasn't the tactic of throwing on another forward but the choice of the player taken off which raised a few eyebrows. I thought Saiss had a reasonable game and was our only midfielder who looked anywhere capable of matching Fulham's control, movement and passing of the ball. Soon after the change Burgoyne made a great double save - otherwise, probably, no way back. As it was we showed a lot of spirit which lifted the crowd as did the flashes of good football such as Cavaleiro's run and strike and Edwards' finish. But that's all they are at the moment - flashes. We need spirit but, if we're going to improve long-term, we desperately need footballers who can control the ball, pass with either foot and put pressure on the opposition by running at them with pace. Roll on January.

Realistic Wolf

Totally agree Pablo. I was getting worried it was only me who didn't see it through rose tinted specs. Am concerned what we actually do in training as defending is still dire and we totally lack shape. IMO it was as has been suggested, hoof and hope to Bod.

Albrightondek

The first thing to say is that this was a hugely entertaining game, and quite different to what we've had to endure over the past few weeks - if not months now.

The turning point in the game from a Wolves perspective, was the substitution of Saiss. Quite why there were boo's I don't know but it was an obvious call by Lambert as Saiss's contribution in the match was negligible. He was touted as being a defensive midfield player who would help protect the back four. Well I for one saw little evidence of that. In days of old people were shot for dereliction of duty on the field of battle - Saiss can think himself fortunate to only suffer the indignity of being withdrawn from the field of play. Pre Saiss withdrawal Wolves were losing 3 -1. Post Saiss withdrawal, Wolves won the remaining minutes 3-1. Spot the Difference!

One other thing that I noticed, was the amount of space Fulham's left back was getting particularly in the first half. Costa's a wonderful young footballer, but he needs to learn to help out his full back when the opposition are attacking on that side of the pitch. It reminded me of the situation when Sako first played for Wolves and left Ward exposed in those early matches. Admittedly Iorfa didn't have the best of games, but he was caught at times trying to cover both Fulham's winger and full back.

I suppose I left the stadium like many others a tad disappointed at not winning all three points. But later on reflection I thought there were grounds to be a little more optimistic. We're scoring goals again. The fighting comeback shows there's no lack spirit in the side, perhaps best exemplified by Edwards. Lambert will continue to rotate, tinker or tweak (whichever takes your fancy) the team selection between now and the end of the year, until he knows for sure who should be retain and who should get the boot.

Yesterdays result against a decent Fulham side was, in my opinion, better than the 2-0 victory against a 10 man QPR team. We're slowly but surely improving.

Oh, and well done Harry.

jezmox

Generally agree mate. Especially about Stearman. I was gobsmacked when Jackett let him go in the first place. Costa worries me though. Great going forward but clueless at the back. The opposition bypass him far too easily and whenever he loses the ball hes always crying to the ref rather than trying to win it back. James Henry had half his talent but twice the workrate. I think a lot of Iorfas problems are down to him trying to cover for Costa. He could bomb forward knowing Henry would cover for him . He hasnt got tha with Costa

Pablo

Albrightondek - agree with the comment about entertainment but felt I had to question your assessment of Saiss. Surely, when the opposition has the ball, the whole side should be defensive. I actually think he was partly to blame for their first goal but not sure why Doherty was nowhere to be seen and Cavaleiro is still learning what the word defend means. But the second and third Fulham goals? His fault? No way. Next thing we'll be blaming him for the fourth because he wasn't on the pitch. Saiss is a better footballer than Coady or Edwards or Saville or Price or Evans. Not sure about Oniangue - haven't seen enough of him. We need to increase the level of skill in the side. Build around Saiss, don't knock him down. My opinion, that's all.

The Flying Winger

Pablo, he is always criticising Saiss along with some others, I would like to see him with another midfielder alongside him as Edwards and Coady are not the answer, the reason we had a better second half was 2 up front.

Sharmwolf

Thousands of words here. Keep it simple people.

DREADFUL DEFENCE

WV1.Dylanwolf

Possibly it's only me, but I'd rather see a really dreary match that we won 1-0. Lots of goals usually mean pathetic defending; OK, it makes for a dramatic spectacle, but is it really good football?

Football is a low scoring sport. Between two and three goals is the average for a single match. Eight goals in one game is exceptional in that it is toward the maximum end of a normal distribution curve. It does not signify a game of exceptional football.

On Saturday we gambled against suffering a fifth consecutive home defeat when 1-3 down and it paid off. Kudos to Paul Lambert for doing so. But usually the odds are against that happening. We must be able to restrict the number of opportunities our opponents have to score in a match. At the moment in every game it is far too many.

OK, I got excited during the game; it was an exhilarating spectacle to witness our unexpected fightback and the team spirit it demonstrates is a positive to carry forward.. But I'm walking home in the pouring rain thinking we still look a poor side, considering the investment in players and the, probably over-hyped, expectation for this season.

As others have pointed out, yet another team have come to Molineux and looked significantly the better side. Once more it's been a false dawn and we must be patient while we start to build again.

Jamwolfer

Give me a 4-4 draw from 1-3 down over a dreary 1-0 win anyday. Yes, we all want promotion, but we want entertainment too. Exciting football is underrated. I'd rather watch it live at the Mol than on edited highlights of the Premiership.

My theory is that if you can't occasionally give an opponent a 5-0 drubbing, you won't go up. So to score 4 is at least a start on that route.

Andy35

Although it was disappointing to draw the game in the end, it was an excellent turnaround from being 3-1 down at half time. At least we have developed a fighting spirit instead of the surrender we showed against Sheffield Wednesday and just giving up against Leeds. It's given us a platform from which to build and hopefully we can start shooting on sight from now on. If only we had a striker who could score goals.

As for the poster on here, WV1.Dylanwolf, it's because of people like him and the views he holds, that 17.4 million people voted to Leave the EU, because we are sick to death of hearing such rubbish.