Hodgson’s Withering Comment On Wickham Feels Like A Real Misstep

1 Posted by - January 2, 2019 - News

Yesterday, I covered some quotes given by Connor Wickham just after the Chelsea game in which the 25-year-old implored Roy Hodgson to start him against Wolves but judging by a single withering one liner from the gaffer, the chances of him doing so are very slim.

When Roy was pressed for a comment on how close Wickham was to being ready for a start following his side’s 1-0 loss to the Blues, he said:

“After today’s performance I would say, not very close.”

I don’t think I’m overstepping the mark when saying that this comment from the gaffer is both baffling and unfair to the 25-year-old, based upon the efforts he’s made since reappearing in the first-team following a two-year lay-off. Perhaps Roy simply meant that he wasn’t yet willing to push Connor’s body that far but the words alone suggest that the big man is still well off the pace; an assumption I simply can’t get on board with given the general lethargy shown by all of his teammates against Sarri’s Chelsea last Sunday. 

As a manager, Roy’s motivational attributes are often spoken of glowingly by his players but this particular instance feels like a misstep on his part, diminishing the hard work Wickham has put in, not to mention the impact his presence immediately had against Cardiff shortly before the arrival of the men from the Fulham Road. With a little bit of luck, Connor could easily have scored a goal in each of those games, proving that as a striker, he is getting into the right positions. 

For me, even if the former Sunderland man isn’t yet ready to last a full 90 minutes, a start up at Molineux would be preferential to the turgid containing effort we put in against Chelsea. Hodgson may well intend to be far more gung-ho throughout our visit to the Midlands but of late, it’s difficult to gain any real grasp on our likely approach from week to week. 

I’d like to hope that Hodgson’s quotes relating to Wickham were a simple bluff but history would suggest otherwise. We shall find out soon enough. 

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  • Kevin January 2, 2019 - 7:16 am Reply

    As much as Roy did a good job last year his style of play is to predictable now and way to defensive. To make comments on not scoring is not a worry cos we have Benteke coming back is a concern. We need 2-3 new attacking players but most of all a coach with a few more tricks in him.

  • Rhys January 2, 2019 - 8:49 am Reply

    I think it was merely the fact that Connor still looks massively off the pace fitness wise. After 2 years and so many setbacks it’s understandable to go slowly with him, despite how much pressure there is to play him. Why rush him now and force another setback when we can play him into fitness and have him strong for the run in. I’d be surprised if he plays any more than 15 mins tonight with more game time expected on Saturday.

  • tzcar January 2, 2019 - 10:12 am Reply

    yea,he,s got to get more game time,but gradually.then we,ll find out wether he,s good enough.but at present don,t expect 2 much of him.but i hope he proves his worth,and gives us a more positive approach.

  • Rob January 2, 2019 - 10:49 am Reply

    Well he cant do any less in the team than Zaha does playing up front. Zaha’s not closing down defenders who have the ball, forcing passes, chasing balls it’s like someone completely different on the pitch.

    I’m actually looking forward to Benteke being back.

  • Jose Fonte, baby? Jose Fonte, oh, oh, oh January 2, 2019 - 11:34 am Reply

    Does anyone else think the fact that maybe there is an issue with medical/fitness department? Every year we seem to get crippling injury crisis and the last few long term absentees we’ve had (Dann, Wickham, Souare) have struggled to return at all.

  • Mark January 2, 2019 - 12:11 pm Reply

    We set up to pay a certain way against Chelsea, which was certainly very different to both Cardiff or Burnley. I suspect we’ll set up more like Eddie against those two tonight

  • stevo heust January 2, 2019 - 1:38 pm Reply

    been following your HLTCO for a while…always well written and very reflective of what the average CP fan like me (of over 60 years following club..) feel…
    “turgid containing effort” sums up Saturday…there was no urgency until the last 10 minutes..

    stevo heust (season ticket w/h lane ) ps WHY cannot we miss the first defender when taking corners ?(when we do it flies to the other corner flag!) Tomkins and Sahho ought to be heading goals in-put ball on on the penalty spot!…is that so tough?!

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