Football: Osborn's dismissal highlights Wolves' midfield dilemma

Ipswich Town 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0

By Clive White

Ipswich Town 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0

AS THE match winner against the Gunners in the 1978 final, the name of Osborne is synonymous with FA Cup glory among the people of Ipswich. The likelihood is, though, that it will be rather less revered by those of Wolves when their time comes to do battle with the Arsenal in the semi- final at Villa Park on April 5.

The dismissal of Wolves' midfielder Simon Osborn for two bookable offences at Portman Road on Saturday was doubly daft in that (a) he repeated his reckless offence on the same player - Bobby Petta - not two minutes after the first booking and (b) because he will now sit out the semi-final through suspension.

After all, it is not as though Wolves are blessed with midfield strength. Without the injured Steve Sedgley, that particular battleground was tamely surrendered against Ipswich, even while Osborn honoured us with his presence, and it does not bear thinking about what the likes of Messrs Vieira, Petit, Overmars and Parlour will do to them there.

Fortunately for Wolves, the FA Cup pays little heed to league form, as Wolves themselves have reminded us this season. But if Wolves have been rolling back the years in terms of FA Cup endeavour, Ipswich have done no less in the First Division. There is much of Bobby Robson's old Ipswich about the present XI, even if manager George Burley, as an old boy, would no doubt blanche at any comparison.

Like Robson's teams, it has a healthy proportion of home grown produce in the likes of the promising Kieron Dyer and Richard Wright, the odd inspired signing such as David Johnson - whose very name is enough to turn back the clock - and, of course, the obligatory Dutchmen in midfield in Gus Uhlenbeek and Petta, but not, though, Matt Holland, who in fact heralds from Bury.

Muhren and Thijssen would have been so lucky to have had Petta's pace and, as one might gather from Osborn's crude attempts to stop him, he was the real thorn in Wolves' side.

Infuriatingly, automatic promotion might well have been within Ipswich's compass had they started their unbeaten run a touch earlier; as it is 37 points out of 45 is surely guaranteed to secure them a place in the play-offs.

As for Wolves, they must hope that striker Don Goodman recovers from tendinitis in time for the semi-final. But if midfield turns out to be their real Achilles heel, woe betide Osborn.

Goals: Johnson (2) 1-0; Holland (56) 2-0; Scowcroft (73) 3-0.

Ipswich Town (4-4-2): Wright; Stockwell, Mowbray, Cundy, Clapham; Uhlenbeek, Dyer (Sonner, 78), Holland, Petta (Tanner, 88); Johnson, Mathie (Scowcroft, 59).

Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-5-2): Segers; Williams, Richards (Keane, 57), Curle; Wright, Robinson, Osborn, Naylor (Atkins, 62), Froggatt; Bull, Paatelainen (Freedman, 67).

Referee: B Knight (Orpington).

Sending-off: Wolves: Osborn. Bookings: Wolves: Robinson, Williams.

Man of the match: Petta.

Attendance: 21,510.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss