Unprofessional Foul


December 20, 2009

Sunday Live Blogestry: Wolves v Burnley

The view from my bedroom window this morning.

The view from my bedroom window this morning.

Morning blog fiends! Well, well, well… Aren’t you a lucky bunch today? I believe you are getting TWO live blogs (Wet Spam and Chelsea). It’s been snowing for 12 hours solidly at my gaff and I have two options this early; one: Watch Wolves v Burnley or two: Shovel the driveway.

Now, I lnow what you are thinking, considering whats on offer the latter DOES seem like and option right? Could be more entertaining for sure, but hey, I’ve watched these two teams in the Colaship for years and quite frankly, if it involves a ball, then I love it.

Wolves v Burnley.

Burnley may be a tough cookie at home where they have lost just once, humbling some big visitors but… On the road they are absolute poop, the only team in the EPL without an away win this season. In fact they’ve lost  7 road games and picked the ball out of the net 27 times away from Turf Moor.

Wolves have only won twice and home and while Burnley are Jekyll and Hyde (Hyde being rubbish), Wolves are just plain pants. Pants or not, there are 6 teams in the EPL who have let in more goals at home and while the EPL’s established teams are too much for the Molineaux outfit, Burnley away are right up their alley.

Come on, join me after the jump for some more news and some early morning football from the midlands…

Today’s  game is a must win for Wolves manager Mick McCarthy. He put the reserves out in midweek at Old Trafford and drew the wrath of the traveling fans, the press and opposition managers like Arsene Wenger. MM declared his team were tired but we all know that he had bugger all chance of leaving OT with anything so he decided to rest his team for today where 3 valuable Premier League points could realistically be picked up, lifting Wolves out of the bottom 3.

Influential pair Andy Keogh and Michael Kightly are still out with ankle injuries and Ronald Zubar has a thigh injury. Burnley have no new injury worries.

I could tell you who has won the most from the 116 times these teams have previously met, but that would be pointless.  Its all about the here and now and both teams will see this game as one of the most important this season. Its a real 6 pointer and that’s why it should be a good game.

Kick off is at 8.30 so I’ll be back then, time for a cup of coffee…

The teams…

Wolves: Hahnermann, Stearman, Craddock, Ward, Berra, Foley, Henry, Jarvis, Milijas, Ebanks-Blake, Doyle. Subs: Hennessey, Elokobi, Mancienne, Surman, Castillo, Iwelumo, Maierhofer.

Burnley: Beast, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Mears, Bikey, Jordan, McDonald, Elliot, Eagles, Fletcher. Subs: Penny, Duff, Gudjonsson, Guerrero, Blake, Nugent, Thompson.

Not long now folks, I’m back in bed for this one as some ‘Tinkerbell’ movie is dominating my living room.

Hi-Ho Silver playing at Molineaux and Burnley are playing their 4-1-4-1 ‘lets sit behind the ball’ formation.

Hahnermann is having some contact lens trouble, lets hope he sorts it out…Back in his peepers in time for the Wolves huddle at the half way line. We are ready, Martin Atkinson has the whistle…And we’re off.

2: Wolves look up for this one, chasing down Burnley’s first possession and probing the Burnley defense. A Burnley free kick 30 yards out fizzles wide of the Wolves goal. Chris Eagles the culprit.

6: This one needs to settle down. The ball is spending a lot of time in the air. Burnley enjoying a little possession now. Some good work sees Fletcher and Eagles share passes before Fletcher crosses straight to the Wolves keeper.

8: Game opening up a little now, Bikey plays a nice pass wide and the cross was a little early with Fetcher alone in the box, he heads straight to Hahnermann.

11: Both teams looking like they want to keep the ball on the floor now. A Wolves free kick is completely wasted by Millias as he sends his ball into the stands.

14: Wolves staring to take over, working wide and getting the ball into the box a couple of times from the left. Ebanks-Blake fails to meet a cross and Burnley clear.


Milljas!!!! Great work down the left, Doyle find the space, draws his man and then passes inside to Jarvis, he shoots from 15 yards and Jensen parries the ball straight to Milljas who finds the net past the floored Jensen. Burnley should have done better in marking the free Milljas as he arrived in the box and had a free shot. Jarvis also had a free shot as Burnley players stood still and watched Wolves work.

19: All Wolves now, a clever little ball from Milljas over the defense finds Doyle who has his shot saved from Jensen, offside anyway but Wolves seeing a lot of the ball now.

24: Boy, Hahnermann has a long kick. His efforts reach the opposition box every time. At the other end, Jensen chases a ball across his box and looks as if he needs a rest half way. Not the fastest/ fittest keeper. Wolves enjoying possession still as Burnley seem happy to sit back and wait for the ball to break.

@Reasonable Doubt. Turf Moor is a small place and jammed full of fans near the pitch. They play a large part in unsettling the opposition and driving their team on.

28: Burnley just can’t keep the ball for long enough to create anything. Wolves make sure they close down fast and force the early ball.

31: Cynical foul on Milljas and Wolves are probing for a second. Nothing comes from the free-kick but more good work ends with a corner to Wolves as Ebanks-Blake looks to cross. Burnley clear the danger.

35: Carlisle has a knock and is replaced by Duff.

39: Burnley enjoying more of the ball over the last couple of minutes, first Mears probes the right side and then Jordan finds space on the left. Both final balls were crap and Hahnerman deals with ease. Burnley only have Fletcher as a target in the box and the Wolves center backs are easily dealing with his runs.

42: Owen Coyle is remonstrating with the 4th official like he has any power to change the refs decisions on the pitch.  Pace of the game has slowed as both teams are aware that the half time whistle nears.

44: Burnley really have nothing in the final third. Their crosses suck and no one wants to find any space through the middle.

45: Burnley are terrible right now, they are passing the ball with absolutely NO confidence and none of them actually wants the ball.

HT: Not a great game by any means and there were only a few spells of ‘football’ . Wolves enjoyed most of the ball and really should have created more chances and be up by more against a woeful Burnley who have nothing in attack outside of set pieces.

17096 goals. WOW. That, as the Setanta pod tells me, is the number of Premier league goals scored so far. Oop, make that 17097 it definitely does not include Millijas’ effort from this game.

I hope the second half is better. Burnley had nothing, just a couple of crosses from wide and from set pieces. No one wants to find space in the middle or become a passing option to support the wide players, all they can do is launch balls to the lonely Fletcher as Wolves close them down.

HT stats, 55% possession to Wolves with 6 attempts on goal to Burnley’s 1, a weak header by Fletcher straight to Hahnermann. Burnley had just 2 shots off target, both from set pieces.

46: Okay, Burnley are making a change. The deadly, useful expensive David Nugent is on to join Fletcher up front. Lets see if Burnley can get any thing going once he gets on, hes warming up actually, poised to share his talents sometime soon…

48: Burnley starting a little brighter, Bikey is player up behind Fletcher at the moment and the Clarets first attack of the new half leads to a corner. Cleared by Wolves, but better by Burnley, they actually look interested.


A long ball from Craddock finds Doyle who is allowed to control the ball under pressure in the box and bring the ball down before adjusting past one more defender and slamming home past Jensen who failed to come out. Awful defending there, Doyle had his way and the ball should have been headed away, instead its 2-0.

Caldwell and Duff were the embarrassed Burnley defenders as Doyle made them look amateur. Doyle was booked after the goal for removing his shirt.

54: Bikey is off and Nugent is on. Burnley now playing a 4-4-2.

59: All Wolves now, they look to be finding more space as Burnley change shape.

60: Better by Burnley, the change in shape is allowing them to move the ball a little. They are enjoying a spell of possession. A free kick is fizzed across the goal from wide right but Burnley fail to get anyone on the end of the cross.

64: Burnley, Burnley, Burnley, they are ALIVE! A cross from the right finds Caldwell and his shot is cleared off the line by Foley of Wolves. The last 4 minutes or so has been all Burnley.

66: End to end stuff now, Foley finds Blake in the box and the target mans header is saved by Jensen. The resulting corner is claimed by Jensen and away come Burnley.

67: Burnley sub. Gudjonson is on for Caldwell. And for Wolves, Millijas is off for Mancienne. Midfielder for a defender. Wolves are now going to try and shut this game down as Burnley are starting to threaten.

71: Good work by Ebanks-Blake down the right but he is forced to pass back as Burnley are not dead yet. Ebanks-Blake gets the ball in the box as Wolves come forward again but Jensen closes him down and saves well. The resulting corner is claimed by the beast. Straight done the other end and Elliot receives the ball wide right, his cross beats every one and finds a free Fletcher. He misses from 8 yards, an absolute sitter and that should have been 2-1. The keeper was beaten.

74: Jarvis is afforded to much room to work on the left for Wolves and he sends his low ball into the box only to find a Burnley defender. The ball is cleared.

77: Burnley’s intent to attack has seen them completely disband their midfield. They bring it forward from the back and look to find their team mates racing forward.

Oh lord, that was a penalty. Fletcher is yanked down in the box, stopping him from gettng to Elliot’s cross from the right and that’s clear cut. Mr Atkinson however sees it differently.

81: Burnley are still looking for a goal as it’s Wolves doing the defending now, sitting back and hitting Burnley only the break.

84: Wolves are being forced to play the ball back and Burnley pressure. Too little too late, had Burnley started with some attacking intent they certainly wouldn’t be 2 down. Burnley corner. Elliot finds Fletcher who heads across the box, Wolves can’t clear and the ball falls for Eagles, Hahnermann saves the former Man U mans shot through a crowd of bodies.

87: All Burnley now as Wolves try to shut up shop. Mancienne fouls Nugent but Burnley are forced to wait with this one as Jordan goes off to be replaced by Iwelumo.

Eagles free kick is awful and cleared away by Mancienne.

89: More Burnley pressure but a low cross is cleared away. Unlucky there, had the ball have broken slightly differently Nugent would have had a free shot.

92: Doyle off and Elokobi on as Wolves waste time.

95: Full time. Wolves 2 Burnley 0

Summary: Burnley’s negative attitude to this game cost them big. They sat back and failed to play any football in the Wolves half and paid the price for it. Once they switched to a 4-4-2 in the second, the chances came and Burnley looked half decent. Too little too late.

Stick around as JT is live blogging Chelsea at Wet Spam. I’m off to build a snowman. Laters!

About the Author

Norfolk Ned
I like football. What else is there to say?


  1. Let’s get this started!

    I’m early, aren’t I?

  2. James T

    I am oddly excited about this one. Have a feeling there will be a few goals

  3. James T

    Celtic already 1-0 up on Hearts, nearing the half-hour mark.

    A few postponements in Serie A, too:
    Bologna v. Atalanta
    Genoa v. Bari
    Udinese v. Cagliari

  4. Norfolk Ned

    A little early sunshine. 30 minutes or so.

  5. James T

    1-1 in Scotland! Caldwell sent off, and Hearts convert the penalty.

  6. The Italians have canceled the rest of the season because of 2 inches of snow yesterday.

  7. Reasonable Doubt

    Morning, gents! It’s 42 degrees here this morning! Brrrrrr! Cold, right??


  8. Norfolk Ned

    @Reasonable dout…Lucky you!!! Thats a heatwave.

  9. Norfolk Ned


  10. Reasonable Doubt

    @Ned, Tampa is certainly a weather upgrade from London. Culture/Intelligence/Class/Women, however….bit of a downgrade.

  11. Norfolk Ned

    @RD Don’t ask em any hard questions….

  12. James T

    ReasonableDoubt! Good to see you, sir. Know that I’ll take great care in providing a partisan liveblog for West Ham/Chelsea in a couple of hours.

    Meanwhile, Newcastle up 1-0 at home to Middlesbrough

  13. James T

    And surprise! All 10 who were held out of the Old Trafford sacrifice have recovered from their crushing fatigue, muscle injuries and bone breaks.

    I’m openly rooting for a crushing Burnley victory

  14. Reasonable Doubt

    @JT, I’ll be here through the late game. Considered going to the pub, but since I’m the only one in the family with a fireplace and chimney, I got nominated to host Christmas morning for the wee ones in the family. So I’m decorating and hanging stockings and whatnot. Am wearing my new white third kit though. It’s 1-0 so far. Much better than the blue/neon yellow away kit this year.

  15. Norfolk Ned

    @JT, will need to be their first away win this year. Crushing? No chance.

  16. James T

    Excellent, great to hear! It’ll be a cakewalk for your boys today, no doubt. However, I was surprised to see how uncertain the CFC midfield looks without Essien.

  17. James T

    @Ned: I know, I know. Isn’t going to stop me rooting against Mick McCarthy though. What he did midweek was spineless and abominable.

  18. James T

    Considering Burnley managed a point at Eastlands, there is hope. Though it seems like any old club can take points off Manchester City at the moment.

  19. some “Tinkerbell” movie = home movies of Ned as a child

  20. Reasonable Doubt

    @JT, Hopefully Terry and Lamps will make it through the day without getting hit in the head with things. Last year was a bit of a warzone, if I recall.

    I’m expecting a close game, West Ham is always a tough go of things. Maybe a 2-1 win. Zola likes to get the guys pumped up to beat Chelsea.

    That midfield will look much better with Aguero at the front of it in two weeks. Without looking at the lineup, I would expect Bollocks, Lampard, Obi, and Cole, with Deco coming on for Cole at about the 66th minute.

  21. Tampa is certainly a weather upgrade from London. Culture/Intelligence/Class/Women, however….bit of a downgrade.
    I call bulls**t on you, sir.

  22. Reasonable Doubt

    @u75, sad but true, my friend. Sad but true.

  23. Reasonable Doubt

    What the hell goes on in the Turf Moor locker room that makes Burnley such studs at home, if they’re this awkward on the road?

  24. @RD – half-time donkey shows

  25. Tuffy

    I heard there was something involving a ball here and am disappointed to not find John Kruk.

    Also, disappointed to find Wolves/Burnley.

  26. Reasonable Doubt

    @NYK – Having dated a Burnley girl for nearly five years, I already know the answer to what tires them out. Just making sure there wasn’t an actual football-related reason.

  27. Tuffy

    How do I tell all the football Duffs apart? Is there a chart of mediocrity I can start with?

  28. @Tuffy – the list begins and ends with Hillary

  29. James T

    Tuffy: Damien Duff was phenomenal yesterday, though normally you’d find him towards the bottom of the Duff hierarchy.

  30. Reasonable Doubt

    For the record, War, Inc. gave me a higher appreciation for Hillary Duff.

  31. James T

    Duff Goldman, with his baked cake art, is comfortably mid-table

  32. Tuffy

    Not sure what it says about me, but I salivate for Strongbow when I hear the Setanta hold music.

  33. Tuffy

    And now one set of nipples rubbed. Congrats, Premiership!

  34. James T

    So disappointed that McCarthy’s about 20 minutes away from boastful press-conference vindication for his gutlessness against Manchester United.

  35. phil

    Footy threads filled with talk of cider, nipples and teen starlets is what keeps me coming back to UF.

    Well, that and stories about Ned as a child.

    And puppie pics.

  36. Tuffy

    Who was the assmunch color commentator during yesterday’s ESPN2 tilt and who’s the quality fellow doing Wolves/Burnley?

  37. James T

    no clue, Tuffy. Maybe Jon Champion today? Yesterday’s ESPN2 game I think was Pleat. Or maybe I’m huffing gas

  38. phil

    Gas is a hell of a drug.

  39. James T

    Bildinny scores for Everton early… 1-0 over Birmingham after 15.

    The Serie A action, however, is far more interesting: Juventus still trailing 1-0 at home to Catania… 30 mins left. Sampdoria down 2-1 to Livorno.

    Oh, and Hamburg beating Werder Bremen 2-0 at halftime!

    And Hearts beat 10-man Celtic 2-1.

  40. jjf3

    Morning, everyone. It’s amazing how different Burnley is on the road. Turf Moor is a hell of a home-field advantage, but this has reached the level of silliness.

  41. phil

    Everton lead through Bilyaletdinov.

  42. Ryan

    Definitely rooting for Hibs to usurp Celtic in the SPL.

  43. phil

    @jjf3: it really is. i’ve never seen a night and day team like them.

  44. phil

    Chris Eagles’ workrate is tremendous. The guy never stops running.

  45. phil

    Larsson equalizes for Bongo, and he just lashed it past Timmay.

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