Posted by: docdenbow | April 5, 2012

Wolverhampton – Where Football Goes To Die


“So here I am once more in the playground of the broken hearts
One more experience, one more entry in a diary, self-penned.
Yet another emotional suicide, overdosed on sentiment and pride
Too late to say I love you, too late to restage the play
Abandoning the relics in my playground of yesterday”

How true those words ring when you look at the plight of Wolverhampton Wanderers. The relegation threat is now truly a reality, but we can only look back at what might have been. There’s been so many promises, but those promises have proved to be false and we the fans have been left “in the playground of the broken hearts.”

When Mick McCarthy was appointed manager of Wolves in July 2006 I think that just about every fan welcomed him with open arms. Glenn Hoddle the previous manager had resigned weeks earlier “stating differing expectations between himself and the club as the reason for his departure.” Interestingly Alan Curbishley’s public reasons for turning down Wolves echo that. I’d really like to know what those reasons and expectations and visions are and were.

McCarthy was a manager of some stature. He’d managed Ireland at the World Cup, taken Sunderland to the Premier League (and out again!) and he took on a threadbare Wolves squad when appointed. Merlin Mick assembled a  team and seemingly overnight had won the Championship and at last Wolves were up with the big boys.

Unfortunately Wolves didn’t exactly set the Premier League alight struggling in each of the season at the top. Last season Wolves only survived on goal difference, and despite this magnificent achievement this when Merlin should have been shown the door. Indeed there is an argument for saying that he should have gone before the previous Christmas and a new manager given free rein to overhaul the team and squad.

That was the problem in my view, we had then and still have, squad players. There is no genuine Premier League team there. Very few of the Wolves squad would be coveted by other clubs to become anything more than back ups. McCarthy has spent, and spent heavily, but he has not spent wisely. Too many nickel and dime deals on obscure players from the lower leagues, Ireland and Europe. It’s possible to argue that he didn’t buy a single player of genuine Premiership pedigree. Stephen Fletcher had one season with a relegated Burnley and Kevin Doyle hadn’t exactly set the world on fire in his Premier League appearances. Okay, so they turned out to be good buys, but they cost £7 million or thereabouts each. See where I’m going here?

So with Wolves on the slide (again) the writing was on the wall for Mick. Morgan and Moxey should have been able to see what was happening well before Christmas and come to a decision. Back him or sack him. What happened in the end as you all know has made Wolves into a laughing stock. The timing of Mick’s dismissal beggars belief, but hey, this is Wolves so what do you truly expect?

Having made the somewhat belated decision to remove McCarthy, Morgan and Moxey had an ace in the hole surely? Well, no they didn’t and began the messy process of interviewing prospective managers for the job. The notable pair being Steve Bruce and Alan Curbishley.  Bruce is on record as saying he was under the impression that he had the job and Curbishley turned it down because his vision for Wolves didn’t match the  views of the Chairman and Chief Exec. The scramble commenced. This was no job for a novice. Walter Smith flatly turned Wolves down, so Wolves appointed novice manager Terry Connor saying that he was the one they wanted all along.

Was he bollocks!

The Wolves forums are littered with thread speculating as to who the next “proper” manager should be. Everyone seems to agree that a manager who fashion a true footballing side that played an attractive yet game. You know the sort, Brendan Rodgers, Paul Lambert, even Roberto Martinez. These disciples of the beautiful game are what’s required. Goodbye hoofball hello football.

So think of this. A few years ago Wolves had a manager who was a disciple of the beautiful game. Trouble was the beautiful game and the Championship do not necessarily get on. The Premier League is different. You have to play football to succeed, not the long ball to the big lad up top. (unless you’re Stoke who have signed all the big lads) Nah I wouldn’t reappoint Hoddle forget that.

We all want a footballing side. We all want success. There’s a problem, we don’t have enough players with basic ball skills and enough intelligence to play in any other way than 60 yard smashes. I am not going to list the crap that we have at Molineux, but there’s a lots of deadwood that’s got to go. Wolves must be prepared to take a loss on the deadwood to get rid of them. New players need to brought in and the academy and youth team players should be given a chance.

It’s no good keeping the same bunch together and hoping they run away with the Championship. If they do that then Wolves’ players will inevitably be caught short in the Premier League again.The club and fans must ready themselves for change and perhaps a season or 2 in the Championship. Then and only then with wholesale change will Wolves have any chance of surviving and blossoming in the long term in  the Premier League.

It ain’t gonna happen though.

Hello Stevanage.

Ciao For Now

Denbow

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