Shropshire Star

Wolves Fans' Verdict v Leeds: Wolves have themselves to blame for defeat

Our Wolves fans have their say after the defeat to Leeds.


Clive Smith

Our word of the season raised its head again. Frustration. The list of reasons is long and familiar. Our crosses, our finishing, our passing, our defending, the officiating.

Six minutes in and the third cross from Semedo’s flank found a man and we were behind. From that moment Leeds managed the game and the ref, while for us it was a match to forget in a hurry.

Although we had some good moments in the half it says something when our best cross was put in by Kilman while our best dribble in their box was by the same player!

We had just got going after the break, won our first corner, only to find a way of conceding a second goal within five minutes. How we could leave a man unmarked two yards out from the far post for a free header was hugely disappointing.

More dreadful defending, this time by Jonny, on the hour, allowed a third goal from their third shot on target. The game was certainly lost then – or was it? We found some inertia after Jonny hit a volley the like of which we have not seen since Neves v Derby. Such a shame the memory will be lost because of the overall outcome.

Our second goal arrived within five minutes and with 20 minutes to go the game was back on. Traore was proving a breath of fresh air and he could easily have had three assists inside 10 minutes.

Not for the first on the day Lopetegui surprised me with his team rotation. The crowd had finally woken up, the team likewise and Leeds looked under pressure. Yet our playmaker, who was pulling all the strings, was taken off. Protecting MOTM Neves from a 10th booking is one thing, but it was still a ridiculous decision given how he was giving a passing masterclass. Our momentum was lost, Jonny then saw red and, yes, that feeling of frustration suddenly became overwhelming.

Their fourth goal was the final nail in our coffin. Rightly or wrongly, the lack of VAR intervention left a bitterness that spilled over in our dugout and our suspicion and feeling that there is an agenda working against us (for the second game running) is difficult to handle.

Adam Virgo

A really disappointing defeat full of so many errors on our behalf. Every goal we conceded was so avoidable but shocking defending and not being ruthless enough in attack has cost us massively.

It baffles me how we can keep a clean sheet against Spurs and Liverpool but concede four to a Leeds side that hadn’t won away in the league since October. The second and third goals especially were a disgrace from our point of view and we need to majorly fix up in both boxes if we want to give ourselves the best chance of staying up.

In terms of creating chances, there was lots of positives to take from that but we sadly don’t score enough goals which has been a problem for us all season and it’s something that needs to be addressed in the summer.

I know Dawson was on a yellow card but him coming off at half time affected us defensively. Kilman and Collins as a partnership hasn’t worked all season and once again it proved to be a disaster, conceding three in the second half.

The officiating once again was beyond ridiculous, we should have had a penalty when Semedo got fouled by Junior Firpo but the ref doesn’t get told to go to the monitor for whatever reason. Their fourth goal was a clear foul on Adama and Meslier not being punished for time wasting was also laughable. The Nunes red card, after seeing it back, was also mind-blowing. The linesman walks into him and he gets sent off like it just feels as though every decision goes against us.

There was no debate about Jonny’s red card, he was unlucky in the sense it was a complete accident but he needed to judge the situation better and his touch to get to that position was horrific. Even with all the joke decisions from the officials, we still only have ourselves to blame for defending like clowns and missing so many good opportunities.

Adama and Joao Gomes were the stand-out players for us, both of them offering a lot in different situations. Just a shame no one finished the chances Adama was creating. Good to see Cunha get on the scoresheet, albeit a deflection, but hopefully he can get some confidence from it.

I didn’t agree with some of the subs at all, especially Neves. I understand he’s one yellow off a ban but we’re worrying about future games when we haven’t even finished the one we’re playing. If we’re winning comfortably then it’s all good but at 3-2 when we were on top and pushing for an equaliser, he should be staying on.

The Nottingham Forest game was huge regardless of this result but it feels even bigger now. If we had beaten Leeds, a point at Forest wouldn’t even be the worst but we need to be winning it after this result. With a lot of the other teams below us having games in hand, we need to be beating the other teams around us from now until the end of the season.

Rob Cartwright

No doubt about it, Wolves should have won this game with ease.

Such was their level of domination, in the first half, the game should have been already won.

Unfortunately, a few issues that we have witnessed all through this season came together in one game and horribly unfolded before us. It was like having a nightmare; a real life horror story.

First and foremost, we play some great football, but we are incompetent in our own box and completely impotent in the opposition box.

The defending was awful, for all four goals. Semedo, Jonny, Kilman and Sa should all hold their heads in shame. At the other end, some fabulous crosses were put in, but all to no avail. Neto, Podence and Sarabia all had shots; all could have scored. I don’t recall Jimenez having any opportunity.

The goals we did score were a “worldy” from over 40 yards and a Cunha goal courtesy of a deflection. He probably deserved that. Lemina had a goal disallowed for offside, from a corner! I still don’t understand how that can happen, but we’ve had the same call twice this season.

There’s a clear need to learn from our mistakes, but this leads me nicely into the other challenge we face.

The referee, who I refuse to name, delivered a performance that surely achieved a new low of incompetence for officials in a Premier League game. He was admirably supported by VAR.

I have no issue with the Jonny red card. I could see it was studs up, from behind the goal, but the referee only produced a yellow. He was 12 or so yards away! VAR got this one right.

However, the Semedo penalty?

The foul on Traore?

The Nunes red card?

All highly dubious.

Even worse, in my mind, was the continual time wasting by Leeds, especially their goalkeeper who started it after just 12 minutes of the game. The referee did warn him, not once, not twice but three times during the first half alone. He continued throughout the game with it getting longer and longer as the game went on. A yellow card in the first half would have stopped it in an instant. Of course, he did not add sufficient time on to compensate. Woeful by this ref.

The result was awful, but our performance wasn’t. We dominated possession and had 23 shots on goal. Gomes had a good full debut and Neves was my pick of the pack. I understand he is one booking away from a ban, but I think we needed him on the pitch for the final 20 minutes as he had provided the impetus to get it back to 2-3. Just one more strange decision on a day which was full of them!

John Lalley

This wretched season goes from bad to worse and unless Wolves inject a more pragmatic and professional edge to their game, and very quickly, then we are in absolutely dire straits.

Hard as it is to take yet more hapless officiating into the mix, and again it was routinely appalling, we really must address the glaring deficiencies that led to this pitiful result.

We handed Bournemouth the points a few weeks back and presented a flawed Leeds outfit with the easiest three points imaginable. Inevitably, at some stage this chronic inability of ours to create chances was bound to cause massive repercussions.

A front three of a statuesque Jimenez and a lightweight pairing of Neto and Podence was never likely to address the problem and when Sarabia arrived after the interval, he was similarly unimpressive.

It defeats me in trying to recall any Wolves’ outfit in living memory who were as equally inept in the striking department as this current team. Bruno Lage insisted that he would solve the conundrum and Julen Lopetegui has said likewise, but after months of monotonous failure, the problem might finally be on the verge of burying us.

Worse still, we have chosen the most depressingly possible time to capitulate defensively and the goals conceded here were from our perspective, absolutely lamentable.

Gnonto completely kippered Semedo for the opener; he had already waltzed past the right-back twice in as many minutes, but the warnings went unheeded.

The acres of room afforded to Luke Ayling for the second simply beggared belief; a Sunday League rag-bag outfit scuffling in the mud of Heath Town Park couldn’t have scaled the heights of insipid incompetence with such effect. And when a fumbling Jonny presented Leeds with a third, our exasperation was complete.

His next careless loss of possession saw him red-carded. One magnificent save by Jose Sa when our defences disintegrated yet again prevented even more humiliation.

By then, we were a total mess; complete implosion and like Bournemouth before them, Leeds must have been staggered by the scale of the charitable generosity we had doled out.

To expect to compete at this level given such a charge-sheet, is pink elephant territory. We were hopelessly dysfunctional at both ends of the pitch and the partial comeback spirited as it was, cannot mask the scale of our self-inflicted failure.

Traore injected some much-needed positivity after replacing Neto and yet again, amidst this shambles, Neves remained classily outstanding. When he was substituted regardless of the reason why, our last chance went with him.

The burden he is expected to carry is disproportionate and seemingly increasing almost on a match-by-match basis. Sadly, some of the players we are relying on are not delivering and have not for a long time; they have seen their best days at Molineux and need replacing.

Similarly, some newcomers recruited very expensively have singularly failed to make a significant impact. This dual deficiency is crippling us; we’re lopsided and short of impetus and very much in the cart.

The hope is that somehow, we can muddle through, nick an unlikely result or two and trust to luck that ultimately three teams might just end up worse than we are. A decent result can change the whole complexion of course but the major concern right now is that of all the teams struggling to survive, Wolves appear the most brittle. And that really is a worry.

Fraser Bishop

This was a six pointer between two struggling teams, and for the second time in a row at home we have lost against a relegation rival. It feels as though every week the referees and officials seem to make the headlines for all the wrong reasons, however I am quite torn on where to put the blame for Saturday’s defeat.

Firstly, I think we should have had a penalty after Semedo was fouled, and that their fourth goal should not have stood for a foul on Adama. However, Dawson was perhaps lucky to have stayed on the pitch and Jonny’s red was blatant whilst Nunes’ will surely be rescinded. Surely?

While we can moan about officials and feel hard done by, we also have to look a lot closer to home because the dreadful defending was as much to blame as anything else. I get that the two aren’t mutually exclusive; you can feel hard done by when it comes to decisions but also bemoan the poor defending but we definitely don’t help ourselves.

The second and third goals in particular were particularly poor. To concede from a set piece is always disappointing, but Ayling had the freedom of the city to head into an open goal with Sa in no man’s land as no one picked him up. Then the third, is just an individual error and the kind of mistake that has happened too frequently. Jonny has ample opportunity to clear the danger but tries to shield his man to no avail and Kilman doesn’t cover himself in glory. The fact Leeds scored with all four of their attempts on target sums it up.

In an attacking sense, I thought we got into some good positions, but the final ball let us down again, with Podence being particularly frustrating. At the very least, we showed some desire to get back into the game and made a fight of it, but I suppose it’s easy to have a go when you’re 3-0 down and have nothing to lose at that point.

Any late comeback or nervy finish went out the window after Jonny’s red card. While he took his goal well, given it was from long range, it was a day to forget for him after being at fault for the third and getting sent off – he is one of many who look a shadow of their former selves.

I would also point out maybe it was a mistake subbing Dawson off? I know he was on a booking and that is why he was hooked at half time, but surely he is experienced enough to have walked a tight rope because we have seen that Kilman and Collins as a duo aren’t ready at the moment.

Cunha’s goal was fortunate but at least he is up and running now, I know he isn’t 100 per cent fit but I would definitely give him as many minutes as possible.

Overall, a shambolic afternoon that started and finished poorly. While we can feel aggrieved at some of the decisions we have had, we need to be a lot more disciplined going forwards and do a lot more ourselves, because when you conceded four at home regardless of any circumstances (red card, pushing for equaliser etc.) you don’t deserve anything out the game.