The Vital Wolves Mauling: Tottenham
With the Premier League now under way, Vital Wolves will be bringing you a new feature we have entitled The Vital Wolves Mauling.
Basically it's 10 questions with an editor from the Vital website of our next opponents (clever huh?)
So this week it's OxfordSpur from Vital Spurs.
1. What do you make of Wolves, how do you think they have fared back in the Premier League?
Wolves are a Prem side in every aspect and are a genuinely big club who should have been an established Prem club for years. As a kid I remember the highlights on Star Soccer in the early 70`s and the likes of Derek Dorgan, Kenny Hibbit and John Richards and I probably preferred you to the likes of Birmingham and Villa as midlands side, although I have to balance that and confess that my favourite midland side of that generation was WBA, in the Big Ron era, Sorry ;-)
It was always going to be a massive ask for you to avoid the drop and your best hope was to have an amazing start and rack the points up early. If I were a Wolves fan I would be worrying that it hasn`t happened. From the outside looking in, it appears there isn`t really any spark within the team, which may or may not be right. The gap between Championship and Prem is still massive and perhaps it is initially more about momentum than true quality in the first quarter of the season.
2. Which Wolves player has caught your eye this season?
To be blunt, I think Wolves have almost gone under the radar for most neutral football fans, which is a shame. Birmingham look hard to beat and Burnley have taken the underdog mantle, leaving you as relegation fodder in the eyes of the average football fan. I noticed the other day that you have used 23 players in the Prem this season, which perhaps indicated that there hasn`t really been any really stand out players, although I am sure you will tell me differently.
3. Ultimately do you think Wolves will avoid the drop?
No! I had you nailed on for a bottom three place at the start and see no reason to change my mind at this stage. I think that it is far from a foregone conclusion though, but this is perhaps more about the poor quality and money problems of others around you. Looking at the likes of Pompey, Bolton, West Ham, Hull and Burnley, you are one of Six clubs I see having varying problems, so I think it could all be down to a mix of heart and good luck. Personally I would like to see you stay in preference to one or two of those, if for no other reason that I think you guys deserve the shot.
4. What are your thoughts on how your season has gone so far?
I have to be pleased don`t I? 4th place after 14/15 games and that has to be where we wanted as our best case scenario. I think we have been a little up and down, but the fact that we are upset at only getting a point at both Villa and Goodison Parks should perhaps say more about our progression this season than anything else.
5. What do you think will happen in your game against Wolves?
An early goal and I think we will win comfortably. I would expect you to come to WHL and defend deep and in numbers, looking to frustrate us. We have the players to control the game and create chances, but we have to keep up the tempo and really press you, I think a team who has speed and movement will cause you problems and with Lennon and Defoe in particular I think we have the right players for the task. I will go with 3-0 to Spurs
6. Where will your side become the end of the season?
Sixth for me. I think the top three of United, Chelsea and Arsenal looked comfortable, leaving Liverpool, Citeh, Villa and ourselves to fight for the next places. I am far from dismissing our Champions league chances, but in all honestly I think City and Liverpool will be the teams who ultimately fight for the final place.
7. Will you be happy with that?
I would be delighted with 6th, but would hope that we get close to the 70 point mark, as that as much as the final placing tells us whether we have improved or not. At the moment there are a few financial question marks over the top sides and stability and steady improvement could yet be the way to long term success over the gung ho approach of the billionaire investors, who are gambling the club on instant success.
8. Who will win the Premier League?
At the start of the season I was looking at Chelsea, but I just wonder if they are heading for a mini wobble. If United can edge in front or even stay within three points, where a win at Old Trafford later in the season could be decisive, I think they will retain the crown. I don`t think this is a great United side and actually think Chelsea have better quality in their main group of players, but I see United as being reliable and consistent.
9. Who will go down?
Portsmouth, Bolton and Wolves, though as I wrote earlier, add Burnley, West Ham and Hull have to be genuine contenders. Would it really be a shock if either Pompey, Hull or West Ham went into administration and were docked 10 pts. I am guessing you would be delighted with 17th place now, but so would those other five. I actually fancied Pompey to stay up until they sacked Paul Hart and I hope that you keep faith in McCarthy, irrespective of what happens this season.
10. Final thoughts?
I hope I haven`t come across as being negative towards Wolves, because I genuinely would like to see you survive and prosper as a Premiership side. I think Mick McCarthy has bough really well and has done a fantastic job under difficult circumstances at times, I hope as a club, you stand by him regardless of your outcome to the season and if it doesn`t work out, you grow bigger and better for the experience.
Thanks very much to OxfordSpur for taking the time and effort to respond to our questions.
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