Date:Wednesday June 23 2010
The tenth Vital Wolves fan interview of the summer has now been completed and next into the the hot seat is ian959.
Question number 1: What is your username on Vital Wolves?
ian959 - and if you cannot work it out think name and a Porsche.
Question 2: How long have you supported Wolves?
Many many frustrating years! 47 usually frustrating years since 1963 - my old man took me to my first game at Molineux when I was four years old.
Question 3: How did you become a Wolves fan?
My old man was a fan, my grandfathers were fans, my old man's office was in Waterloo Road just up the road from Molineux, Ronnie Allen used to live around the corner from us - not like I really had much choice!! Besides why on earth would I support West Brom, Villa or god forbid Birmingham? Senility is not common in our family :-)
Question 4: If you could pick one highlight as a Wolves fan what would it be?
Funnily enough the last game I saw at Molineux in 1968 before we emigrated to Australia was a highlight - we lost 6-0 to some mob wearing red. Always stuck in the memory for some reason, as I thought it would be the last time I would ever be at Molineux. Give me a break, I was only 9 at the time!
Question 5: Who is your all time favourite Wolves player?
Derek Dougan, although quite a few from that era always come to mind like Dave Wagstaff, Mike Bailey and Derek Parkin. I was always glad I got to see the Doog play one more time when Wolves played Western Australia in Perth in the early 70's.
Question 6: What was your assessment of last season?
We had a plan, we knew what we needed to do to stay up and we got the 38 points that usually guarantees survival. Not pretty at times and I saw some shocking games at Molineux and on TV but in the end we did what we aimed to do - survive. I think I could sum it up with a brief conversation I had with a Villa fan at Milton Keynes Central railway station just after the Villa game at Molineux. He was being a bit derogatory about our play to which I replied 'you do what you have to do to get the points you need to stay up'. He thought about it a bit and grudgingly conceded the point: not very pretty but effective enough.
Question 7: Are you pro or anti Mick McCarthy?
Probably one of the best managers we have had in the past thirty years. Sure he has his faults (haven't we all) but he always struck me as a bloke who gets on with the job with a minimum of fuss, is not afraid to speak his mind and has the courage of his convictions and he seems to know what he is doing. Probably not received the support he deserved at other clubs but he and Wolves under Steve Morgan seem to be a match made in heaven. I guess that means I am pro Mick!
Question 8: If money and status was no object, who would you most like to see in a Wolves shirt?
Lara Dutta (Miss Universe 2000 and the most beautiful woman on the planet), reckon she would look especially gorgeous in a Wolves shirt. Probably look even better taking off said Wolves shirt...
Oh, you want a player? I would go for someone who puts a shift in and has the heart of a lion and that would be Steven Gerrard. Nice bloke too, met him at Birmingham Airport whilst waiting for a flight to Dubai after the last game of the season.
Question 9: Predictions for the World Cup, how far will England get, how will we get knocked out and who will go on to win it?
England could as easily get kicked out in the group stage or make the semis, you really would not know. The performance against USA was very ordinary and they don't seem to have the fluidity of the top sides and there are too many passengers in the side with egos and injuries. I honestly don't see them getting past the quarter finals at best, probably losing under some ludicrous circumstance like an own goal in the 93rd minute. On the basis of the games that I have seen so far, I rather fancy that Argentina might give things a shake, especially as Messi will eventually get his stuff together and when he does it will be spectacular.
Question 10: Predictions for Wolves next season, where do we need to strengthen, should Mick stick with one up front?
Going to be even tougher next season as West Brom and Newcastle are much stronger than either Hull or Burnley (Blackpool will hardly be a concern). Conversely, with the 25 man squad limit and Liverpool and Man Utd being so riddled with debt, the top 4 teams might fall back a bit to the rest of the league. We will win some, we will lose some, we will sign some good players, we will sign some bad players, we will whinge about Mick McCarthy, we will laud Mick McCarthy, we will shove vuvuzelas where the sun don't shine if they come anywhere near Molineux, we will rage against Jez Moxey, we will praise Steve Morgan, we will seek out the drugs the scouts were taking when they recommended we get The Hoff for it must have been some really good stuff, Michael Kightly might play a game or two, or maybe not. In other words, the usual ups and downs of a Wolves season that we have seen so many times before - yet we still make that almost religious trek to Molineux to worship in the house that Billy built, that Bert built, that Stan built, that Steve built and that so many others built.
Everyone knows where we need to strengthen: everywhere! We really need a top quality player in the midfield and some help in defence at the very least. Another winger would be nice, another good keeper to replace Hennessey would be nice, escalators to the top level of the Billy Wright stand would be nice, but for heaven's sake we need as much extra quality as we can possibly sign for the midfield and defence.
We need to mix it up next season depending upon who we play - I would hope that we get the couple of quality players so that we can play 4-4-2 more often but 4-5-1 is sometimes going to be inevitable - although I hope its more like a 4-1-3-1-1. I can see Doyle playing slightly behind Fletcher and I think they could be dynamite.
Question 11: Where do you travel from to see the wolves play?
Perth, Western Australia. I have a season ticket in the Billy Wright Stand but obviously don't get to every game. At about £2,400 a trip, I can at best manage about 8 games a season live.
Question 12: How do you see Sylvain Ebanks-Blake figuring into the team this upcoming season, if at all?
I got to see Sylvain quite a lot in pre-season in Perth last year and I felt then that he might find the Premier League a bit different to banging goals in with ease in the Championship. I didn't think he would end up with only two goals though! He is a bit of a one trick pony and with the better quality defenders in the PL reading him very easily, he either needs to learn a few more tricks or he might be finding himself back in the Championship. I would still keep him for next season unless we get a really serious offer, but he will be third choice so starts will be few and far between: he will more likely be used as an impact player off the bench.
Question 13: Do you think Wolverhampton can establish themselves in the Premier League and once again, become a great club?
Ask me again in ten years!
As long as we are sensible, and don't have expectations of making the top 8 for at least that length of time then I can see no reason why we cannot establish ourselves in the PL. I think the past few years with the 3Ms working to a plan has demonstrated that prudence can achieve a lot and as long as we stick to the plan and keep the stability then there is no limit to what we can achieve in the next ten years or so.
What do you mean, become a great club? We ARE a great club, with a long and proud history. We have just been in the doldrums for a while. If you mean will we become a successful club again like we were in the fifties and sixties, then yes we can. As long as we have the 3Ms (well at least Steve Morgan, one of the most sensible owners the club has ever had) with a sustainable, sensible plan then I can ultimately see us being a successful club again.
Question 14: Has your support for Wolverhampton Wanderers ever wavered?
It got pretty strained when the Bhatti brothers were driving the club into oblivion, but never really wavered. Before the internet, the first thing I did every Monday was look up the results in the local newspaper (the ONLY information we had other than what relatives would send us in the mail), even when we reached the depths of the old Fourth Division.
Question 15: Where do you think Wolves will finish next season?
I would accept anything better than 16th. In my wildest dreams I would like 9th but realistically 14th would be about our level if we get a few more quality signings in.
Question 16: What is your question for the next interviewee on Vital Wolves?
What is the worst Wolves match you have ever seen and why?
Question 17: Do you think when Mick changed the whole side against Man Utd was a good decision or not and what would you think if he did it next season ?
He had a plan and the end justifies the means. Okay perhaps he was a bit more blatant than some others but most teams do it - Man Utd do it regularly enough, Fulham certainly did it, so why the big deal because Mick did it? Realistically we would have to catch Man Utd on a REALLY REALLY bad day to win at Old Trafford so the best we could realistically hope for was a point. Toss away one point to get three points - damn good move in my book. Why not do it again if the circumstances dictate? With every place on the table worth a million quid, pay the comparatively paltry penalty and move on to the next winnable game.
Question 18: What Wolves player from history would you want in next seasons team?
Derek Dougan - great character, could score goals - or Steve Bull - great character, could score even more goals - would seem to be obvious choices. However I would go a slightly different direction - Mike Bailey. I always thought he was the glue that held together the Wolves team of the late sixties and seventies. His sort of presence as a leader is what we need a bit more of today. He would be a great addition to Jody Craddock and Karl Henry in that regard.
Question 19: If you could attend any game in Wolves history, which would it be and why?
Given that I have only seen the Wolves win two games at Molineux in the past 40 years or so, any game that Wolves have won at home would do nicely!
However, I have always had a hankering to see the 1960 FA Cup final - mainly because it was our last FA Cup win but also because it was a damn good team with a legendary manager, with the added bonus of a certain Derek Dougan playing for Blackburn.
Thanks to ian959 for agreeing to be our tenth interview!
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Date:Wednesday June 23 2010
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