Friday evening’s victory over Fulham, Adama Traore’s last-minute winner and Willian Jose being denied his first goal in a Wolves shirt were just some of the topics discussed on the latest episode of Matchday Live Extra.
Joining Mikey Burrows was co-commentator and former-Wolves full-back Andy Thompson, as well as regular pundits in the form of ex-old gold players Sam Ricketts and Chris Iwelumo, who analysed the last-gasp win at Craven Cottage.
Also joining the panel ahead of kick-off were special guests including former Fulham midfielder Sean Davis and Kevin McDonald, as the team discussed controversial VAR decisions as well as the quality of Traore’s finish, while the team spoke to captain Conor Coady after the game.
On finding a balance between defence and attack
Iwelumo said: “It has to come with a balance. We all want to see us going forward, dominating possession and creating chances, but the defensive side also has to be solid, not taking necessary risks.
“[Against West Ham] there was that element because of their pace on the counter-attack. We have to know what our opponents strengths are and be a bit more street-smart and manage the game properly. If you are dominating one area, you have to realise you’re leaving yourself open at the back.”
Ricketts added: “It’s totally not how Nuno wants to play a game. On another day, it could have worked being a bit more open, but it was just the wrong team to do it against. Nuno hates it being that open and would have hated conceding the goals the way they did, so I can see us going back to being nice and tight tonight.”
On VAR denying Willian Jose his first Wolves goal
Ricketts said: “It should be Wolves 1-0 Fulham. It was a goal. I will say it until I’m blue in the face, that’s onside. I don’t understand and I don’t agree with the lines when they come across. I don’t trust the lines.
“He’s onside! I’d love someone to sit me down and explain that I must be missing something. I don’t know what I’m missing because they’ve not given a goal and I don’t understand it.”
Iwelumo added: “It’s on the sleeve, so if I as a defender pull my sleeve up, and the attacker has his sleeve down and they’re level, the attacker’s offside. And that’s embarrassing!
“I know for a fact that the referee has looked at the screen at half-time and thought, ‘I can’t believe Stockley Park has put me in that position.’ If he had went to the screen, he’s allowing the goal because that is too close to call.”
We never give up. It's in our blood. 🤲🏾☝🏾🐺 pic.twitter.com/9RdjiwdJhu— Adama Traoré Diarra (@AdamaTrd37) April 9, 2021
On the current VAR system determining offsides
Thompson said: “I’m sat here watching the replay and I can’t believe. Can he score with his arm? I bet if he’d have scored with that part of his arm, they’d have blown up because he’d hit it with his arm.
“If you have to draw a line on a screen to tell if a part of the arm is offside, then it’s ridiculous. Also, who judges when the ball has left the players foot? Who says they’ve picked the exact frame when it leaves his foot.”
Iwelumo added: “It’s not as if it’s a Sunday League game, it’s a game with hundreds of millions of pounds on it, and it all comes down to lines on a screen judging hundredths of a millimetre – it’s embarrassing. I’m absolutely disgusted watching it.”
On reacting in the second-half
Iwelumo said: “It was a fantastic header and a fantastic ball in by Podence, but he [Jose] will be absolutely devastated.
“After thinking you’d opened your account, to have that taken away, it’s wrong. It’s hard to not feel hard done by, but hopefully that will inspire him to give a reaction. It will make them think, ‘We don’t feel sorry for ourselves,’ because it’s such a tight game.
“It’s so important they react to that because the referees and officials have absolutely robbed us there. I said before the match that the first goal is so important, so we have to make sure we start the second-half well and not feel sorry for ourselves.”
Fabio ➡ Adama ➡️ 🚀⚽️ pic.twitter.com/PKVdhzl6f9— Wolves (@Wolves) April 9, 2021
On snatching a late winner
Iwelumo said: “It’s massive. I know that it rights the wrongs of the first-half. Two moments of quality and we’ve seen the ball in the back of the net twice. Although we never really did anything else!”
Ricketts added: “It was all about staying in the game. We always want a good performance; it was solid, steady and you’re waiting for something to go your way and you win the game. Wolves have done it time and time again. It wasn’t as exciting to watch as last week, but we lost last week, this time, it wasn’t only a win, but that keeps us up.”
Coady added: “We were great in the first-half, and weren’t able to control it as much as we would’ve liked in the second, but we just knew we had to stay in the game because it was a massive game for us, and we managed to stick in there and score a fantastic goal at the end, so it’s great.”
On the quality of Traore’s finish
Coady said: “It was great, wasn’t it? He does it all the time in training. He hits them so hard and it’s one of them where they can go anywhere, but today it came sweetly off his foot and flew into the top corner at the near post.”
Iwelumo added: “You think about the finish itself, and that is one worth waiting for, and the weight of pass from Fabio Silva, once again he came on, an impact player, and made the difference.
“It was the urgency of Fulham that actually got us in there, and it fell to Silva in a bit of space and the quality of pass and the weight of pass was outstanding, but the finish was different class.”
To rewatch the latest Matchday Live Extra show from Friday, click here.