Bless him though. I mean, he’s always been like the ugly kitten in the pet shop.
His owner doesn’t really want him, so gives him away to other people. But after a while, they don’t really like looking at him either and end up leaving him on the steps of the owner’s house, filling the night with the sound of running foosteps and sighing.
It’s a horrible way to live I’m sure, being the Oliver Twist of the feline world. But when you do the human equivalent of shit on the kitchen floor every day (missing a sitter from 6 yards out in the last minute against Manchester United), people are going to hold it against you.
And who can blame them? To see this shit-ridden kitten continously popping up now and then, back in the pen, not contributing anything at all apart from wiping their arse all over the brand new carpet in the living room is bloody annoying at best.
But what’s this? We’ve seen a little twinkle in that kitten’s eye. He’s looking over at us and maybe behind that Piccaso looking creature might actually be something useful.
We saw it for 20 minutes in the Carling Cup game against City. He showed good movement, held the ball up well and brought others into the game effectively. And then City decided to turn up. But overall, that was probably the most effective we’ve seen him in a Wolves shirt.
Then on Saturday, what some people would call a miracle, occured.
Not only did we (Wales) score 4 goals in a game, but Vokes scored…twice…in the space of 60 seconds.
His second goal was…well…where the hell did that come? A low drive from 20 yards out into the near post, was a finish wrapped in sheer quality.
But his first goal was the one that showed the most promise. Granted, it was an excellent counter-attack conducted by Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy, but Vokes showed a couple of characteristics which really stood out.
Sheer determination being one of them, to keep up with the pace of Bale and Bellamy when you’re massive oaf can’t be easy.
Secondly, and most importantly, was his run into the area. Simple, but extremely effective.
With Bale running at the centre backs, Vokes makes his move to the right hand-side. This gives the CBs two options, stick with the imminent danger that is the pace of Bale moving to the left wing, or for one of them to track Vokes, leaving Bale to be 1-on-1 with the defence. Naturally they hold their line, leaving Vokes plenty of space on the right-hand side. Once the ball is played through to Bale, the CBs are out of the game and Vokes caputilises on this with a fairly simple tap-in.
It may not seem like much, but to get into that position is something a good centre-forward would do. Players like Linkear and Van Nistelrooy made careers out of it (before you say anything, I am not comparing Vokes to them)
So what does this all mean?
I am not rushing ahead of myself and saying Vokes is there, that he should start for us, that he could spearhead our charge up the table.
Far from it. What it has shown is his potential aside from being the big man we stick on late in a game as a last resort. He has demonstrated that given more game experience and a boost in confidence, he could be a much more effective forward. One that differs from Fletcher and Doyle in the fact that he doesn’t come deep to collect the ball. He can hassle the opposite centre backs, making clever, simple runs whilst having the strength to bring others into the game.
Wolves Blog recently wrote that our missing link was a forward who played further up the pitch. Our answer could be somewhere we least suspected…
Probably not though.