And so the league leaders met a mid table team. Not a difficult result to call for the neutral, and so it proved. Wolves were simply better all over the park, and even after Nicky Bailey's wonder goal, I don't think anybody believed that it would stay at 1-0 for too long. In reality, the surprise was that Charlton even held out until half time, as aside from the first fifteen minutes, there was really only one team that was ever going to win this contest.
Charlton had chances, but had we got anything out of this, it would have been flattering to deceive, as Wolves were simply too strong, and had we sneaked a draw or a win, we would all have spent a few delusional days believing that we were going to get promoted. Sixteenth in the table is a little lower than I would expect come the end of the season, but only by a couple of places.
Performances were generally of the barely adequate variety, although Kelly Youga had a day at the office that I suspect he will want to forget. Nicky Bailey was probably the only player who can justifiably feel that he put in a good shift, and I haven't met anybody yet that can categorically state that yes, or indeed no, it was, or wasn't a penalty. Yet again I was left baffled at a couple of Alan Pardew's tactical decisions. Remove a right sided midfielder, and what do you replace him with? Yep, a left sided defender. OK, I know that he went to left midfield, but only at the expense of moving Bouazza, another natural left footer, to the right sided berth. Why? If Ambrose was fit enough to make the bench, surely that would have been the more logical choice of sub for Lloyd Sam?
It was also obvious that Pardew felt that the keeper was suspect to the odd long range shot. Why else would Boazza and Bailey keep hitting speculative efforts from somewhere near the halfway line. Even Nicky Weaver was party to this flawed thinking, raining Wimbledon style power kicks into the opposition penalty area without so much as a bounce. Keep this level of performance up, and the conspiracy theorists that believe Pardew has ten games to show that his team has what it takes will be in full voice once more.
Still, at least Chris Iwelumo didn't get to score against us!