Posted by: docdenbow | January 29, 2012

Wolves – Relegation A Reality Or No Ambition?


Just having a little think about El Wolves. Did anyone notice how pissed off Robert Plant looked when the telly showed a few shots of him? Well I did. According to the commentator he had “flown in from Texas” specially to watch the F.A. Cup replay against Birmingham. He had left the deep south of the USA to sit in a draughty football ground to watch this turgid tripe served up by Wolves. Surely you’d expect more after flying 4742 miles to watch a game. If he’d wanted to watch the reserves he could have waited til he was back in the UK and popped up to Telford at his convenience.

Another celeb fan Glenn Hughes told me when I met him in Cardiff recently that he finds it harder and harder to watch the Wolves as he can’t bear to see them lose week in week out. I’m also getting that way. It’s not even that I’m watching with more hope than expectation. I’m watching with no hope and bugger all expectation. 22 games in Wolves have just 18 points. To be likely to avoid going back to the Championship 40 points is the minimum target. My sums tell me that’s 16 games to pick up 22 points. With a resurgent Liverpool coming up next I can’t say that I’m looking for anything in the way of points. After that Wolves play QPR. They murdered Wolves at the Molineux and to be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happened again. It probably will if Frimpong is not fit and raring to go.

Then comes the big local derby against West Brom. Anything can happen in these games so a draw is the most likely result. If this happens that will be 25 games for 19 maybe 20 points. That will leave Wolves with a monumental task in order to avoid relegation, the trouble is I just can’t see it. Wins are needed, not half assed performances and predictable tactics. Without Steven Fletcher Wolves’ fate would already be sealed and really and truly if he gets injured or stops scoring then Wolves are completely screwed as no one else in the side seems to have the slightest clue or inclination to put the ball into the net.

Wolves like “hoofball,” but the problem is there is no Andy Carroll or even Kenwyne Jones upfront to make the most of this kind of tactic. How well would Wolves be doing if there was a Grant Holt in the side? How well would Fletcher link up with Danny Graham? Graham was bought by Swansea for £3.5 million, an opportunity missed there Mick. It seems that Wolves have missed out on players that would have made a huge difference to the side. What about Shane Long? His £4.5 million fee is beginning to look like a bargain. Chris Eagles is another who looks better and better with every Premier League game he plays.

I wonder why quality new faces don’t seem to appear at the Molineux. Is it down to the constraints placed on Mick in terms of the budget? Is it because of the wage structure within the club? Or is it the perceived notion that Wolves are a nowhere club? Do players and agents fight shy of Mick’s disciplinarian reputation? Is it the fans who have a reputation for turning on players and the team when things are not going well? (Remember the shouts of “you don’t know what you’re doing” when making the substitutions against Swansea?) I don’t know, I really don’t. What I do know is that something has to change. The scouting for players must be piss poor, so too the backroom staff. I don’t wish to single out individuals, but the coaching and scouting needs to be questioned. Wolves have a coach who has worked with a succession of Wolves managers, perhaps it’s time for a change. Perhaps a new coach needs to be appointed to leave the Assistant Manager to be Assistant Manager. Whatever. Question for me is the “management team” a “management team” or a strong personality and a “yes man?”

My next point is that it appears to me that most of the players bought into the Molineux by Mick have gone backwards or at best sideways since their arrival. These are just some of the players that I think have gone backwards under Mick :
Elokobi
Edwards
Stearman
Henry
SEB
Ward (mind you he’s been turned into an okay left back)
Hunt
Johnson
Berra
Vokes
Hammill
Milijas
Zubar
Foley
Guedioura
Doyle

A good number of those above wouldn’t make it in any other Premier League side – now, and a those that would’ve done (Roger Johnson) have had their confidence destroyed by the selection policy and some rubbish players around them, e.g. Stearman at full back and George Elokobi anywhere on the pitch. (and also by the berating of the players by Wolves “fans.”) I guess the same applies to Wigan, but Bolton, Blackburn and QPR have players that are far and away superior to their equivalents in Wolverhampton. The only 3 clubs in Premier league who started this season’s games with seemingly weaker squads were Wigan, Swansea and Norwich. Well we all know where Swansea and Norwich are now.

Wolves are a well supported club, with home attendances usually around the 25,000 mark. Nothing to worry about there then. Then there’s the Sky money with millions pouring in from that, so that makes the club apparently one of the few Premier League clubs that “pays its’ way.” But, I do question why Steve Morgan has spent a fortune on the ground when it’s looking like:

a) There’s no decent Premier League team to play in it.
b) Wolves are heading for the Championship.

To me a classic case of “cart before the horse.” Should and when the inevitable happens what’s going to happen to the “star players?” Well I think it’s pretty likely Wolves will lose a good few of the better players. Fletcher, Hennessey, O’Hara, Doyle, Jarvis, Kightly (if he stays fit) Frimpong will trot back to London and Arsenal, and I would not be surprised to see Karl Henry disappear into the distance. Where will that leave Wolves? In deep do do’s in my opinion as the Championship is not the easiest division to get out of.(unless it’s downwards)

So what will happen at Wolves? Mick will inevitably stay as manager. Clipboard will stay as his sidekick and Wolves will be back to where they started as a top 6 or 7 Championship team. The hierarchy at Wolves have well and truly buggered up this season so you could argue that if any last minute insane offers come in for any of the players to rip the proverbial hands off so that a new manager can spend it wisely next season. Alternatively keep this squad together, see whether any experienced additions can be made and for Morgan and Moxey to tell Mick that if he doesn’t do his “Merlin” act in the last 16 games then there’ll be a taxi waiting for him and Clipboard in Waterloo Road. Either way it’s a tough call to make.

Players to go for? Well Wolves missed the boat on Woodgate, Upson, Nolan, even Joey Barton who was released on a free but on high wages. So is there ambition at Wolves? Did Wolves approach Owen Hargreaves? Even just to sound him out? Would’ve been a chance I would have taken had he agreed to sign. Same with Woodgate, class is permanent. There are other class acts out there who don’t get a game at their clubs so why not try to sign them? I fear it’s too late now in the January window especially with Wolves where they are, but there you go.

To finish it’s going to take a major collapse by somebody from Fulham down and that’s not likely to happen. So Mick, Moxey and Morgan doing a Maxine Nightingale – “Get Right Back To Where We Started From,” I am fearful than Wolves are going plummet and end up like Leeds, Coventry Norwich, Ipswich, Derby and Nottingham Forest by having a spectacular fall from grace. Let’s all hope for the best, eh?

Ciao For Now Happy Clappers

Denbow

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Responses

  1. Great read chap…

  2. Well written and oh so very true. If the 2M’s wont fire MM then maybe they should get someone like Ray Wilkins in to take over the coaching of the 1st team. Something needs to change before its too late


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