Date:Sunday April 9 2006
As if it were possible, Wolves season got even worse on Saturday when manager Glenn Hoddle and out of favour Romanian striker Vio Ganea were involved in a public exchange of words through the media.
Ganea, ordinarily a terrace favourite had spoken to a Romanian news agency regarding his current situation, aiming a stinging attack at his manager.
Hoddle responded during his post match interviews, and would appear on the face of things, to come out of the incident looking the better.
Ganea's gripe initialy centred upon his exclusion from Hoddle's plans since December. Having scored 5 goals in 12 full appearances, with a further 8 coming off the bench he expressed an annoyance with the aquisition of Polish international striker Tomasz Frankowski, and his own subsequent drop down the pecking order in the Wolves goalscoring department.
But he then went even further, claiming that Hoddle has in effect lost the faith of the players, and that only a handful are still inclined to play for the former England boss, citing Hoddle's man management skills as the cause, perhaps a lazy dig at a man who has previously had similar accusations aimed in his direction.
He also claimed that his manager is creating undue pressure at the club, and that it is his persona, disciplinary and training methods that are unsettling the squad, making them unable to perform to the very best of their abilities.
Hoddle's rebuttal was short, and to the point.
'I recently fined Vio a week's wages for fighting on the training ground. He had the choice of either taking it on the chin or reacting the way he has.
'Perhaps there's a story here behind the story.'
Several clubs are thought to be interested in aquiring the 32 year old strikers services, and the weekend's events will do nothing to slow down the now inevetable process of Vio Ganea leaving Wolverhampton Wanderers, short of Glenn Hoddle leaving himself.
So what is the truth behind the Romanian's motives? Has he genuinely not got an axe to grind, and in effect acting as a whistleblower, exposing serious problems behind closed doors at the Black Country club?
Or, as Glenn Hoddle suggests, is he acting in reponse to a sharp rebuke, and a financial penalty, from the man who no longer sees him as the powerful goalscoring threat he once was?
They say in boxing that it's a fighters punch that is the last thing to go. And it is equally true in football, that the final attribute to leave a forward, is his ego.
Public feeling regarding Hoddles tenure at Molineux is divided to say the very least. Could Vio Ganea have siezed an opportunity to play on the affections of the fans who once worshipped him, milking sympathy, with the intention of adding nails to the coffin some are building on the Waterloo Road?
Vital Wolves doubts it will ever really be known. Not while Glenn Hoddle still holds the reigns at Wolverhampton Wanderers anyway.
What we do know, is that one reputation in the Black Country at least, has now been well and truly sullied.
And it does not belong to the man currently placed in the Wanderers hotseat.
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