Writer: New York City Wolf
Date:Tuesday November 2 2010
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has given Wolves fans another boost with the news that Ronnie Zubar is a matter of weeks away from challenging for a place in the first team.
Just less than a year ago, Wolves fans were scratching their heads as to why their new signing from Marseille whom we had heard plenty of promise about, was being left out in the cold. Zubar did not make his Premiership debut until October 17th, but had been held back on the sidelines due to adjustment reasons, mainly the language barrier. Whilst one of our most recent signings Jelle Van Damme appears to have sadly made his mind up within a matter of months that he wants out because he has failed to adjust, Zubar kept his head down, worked his socks off, forced his way into the side and elevated himself to fan favourite within a matter of months, not only with his dogged tackling and rampaging runs, but due to the rapport he built with the fans, and the dedication to the club through his interviews. By the end of last season he was talking as if he had grown up on Waterloo Road.
Zubar's performance's made such an impact that in the interim, Kevin Foley, who had scooped the Player of The Year Award in our triumphant promotion winning season, soon found himself pushed up onto the right hand side of the midfield, amongst other positions as Zubar looked to make the right back spot his own for good.
News of his pre season injuries, and their significance were possibly watered down by a combination of our excitement for our new signings who came through the door, swiftly after one another, and of course that little thing called the World Cup which had us spitting chips long after it had collapsed as we picked through the bones of another World Cup failure that had not ended in heart break but bewilderment, pain and justifiable anger.
In the mean time, Zubar suffered injuries to his ankle and then thigh which disrupted his summer. Having seen him just once, briefly this season, Zubar suffered another ankle injury, but from reports, we can rejoice at his impending return to full fitness.
Mick McCarthy told the Express & Star- 'He`ll be back sooner rather than later.
I said he`d be four weeks from the operation and it`s been two weeks already since then, so he might be back playing in two weeks..... I would hope he would be back in full training next week and then there`s reserve games."
Over recent weeks we have seen Stephen Mouyokolo gently eased towards our first team following rehabilitation and a handful of reserve games, whilst Stephen Hunt has already set pulses racing less than three games into what we hope will prove a long and successful Wolves career. Nenad Milijias has looked outstanding over the course of our last two games, the class act we knew he could be, and scorer of the crucial second against City on Saturday- Milijias has had his own adjustment problems, admitted by himself and pointed out by his manager, but he has taken his opportunity with both hands and it is difficult to see how he will be moved from the starting eleven if he can maintain the form he has shown.
In the mean time, Kevin Foley has just turned into probably his two best performances of his season, and looks like the player we know. Zubar once more has an almighty task ahead of him to dislodge a rejuvenated Foley, but, to the disdain of some fans, the joy of others, Mick McCarthy has proven almost from the day that he took over the club, that he is not afraid to play people in positions they were not specifically signed for. Whilst Zubar was signed expecting to challenge for one of the central defensive positions it would not surprise me at some juncture if we end up seeing him in the midfield.
I maintain faith in Mick, his signings, selections and tactics, which I'll admit sometimes leave us scratching our heads, but to have Zubar back in contention for any position the manager sees fit will prove a massive boost for the team, the club and the fans.
Thoughts on a post card, the usual address.
New York City Wolf
Date:Tuesday November 2 2010
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