Should I Stay or Should I Go?
This week there has only been one question on the mind of Wolves bloggers: should we retain our manager or, if not, should he go now or at the end of the season? Judging from the deluge of responses and the strength of feeling aired, this is a highly emotive subject, as one would expect of an issue that affects the very existence of our beloved club as a Premier League outfit.
In the spirit of scientific enquiry, therefore, I have impartially surveyed all the blogs for the arguments for and against our manager and have listed them below. Because the format of Vital Wolves does not allow me to set the pros and cons against each other in parallel columns, I will first of all give the positive gloss and follow it up with the opposite view.
Pro: loyal to his players, especially those who put in a 'shift`. Con: prefers subservient work-horses to possibly temperamental stars in his transfer policy. With those at the club, favours certain individuals at the expense of the team and does not select players solely on merit.
Pro: determined and single-minded when convinced of a plan. Con: inflexible and stubborn; does not modify a plan quickly enough when it is found wanting (also see above).
Pro: honest and straight-talking. Con: does not readily admit to his mistakes, orally, in print or on the pitch.
Pro: survived last season with ease. Con: only did so because it was a relatively weak year. This season it will be far harder to survive.
Pro: the team is playing better this year. Con: we are five points worse off than in the equivalent matches last season.
Pro: linear forward movement since he became manager. Con: this season`s performances suggest that he has reached his managerial ceiling.
Pro: he eventually got it right last season. Con: yes, he did but the same tactics do not seem to be working this time round and it is beginning to look as though he does not know how to improve the situation.
Pro: he has made mistakes but everyone does. Con: good managers learn from their mistakes.
Pro: has had to contend with crucial injuries, especially to Zubar, Fletcher, Guedioura and now Henry. Con: this happens to every team and managers have to prepare for it by having suitable stand-ins, if required.
Pro: bedevilled by bad luck. Con: good and bad luck even themselves out over a period and render this excuse inadmissible. In fact, we have had plenty of good luck, as, for example, Piquionne`s disallowed goal for WHU.Even flukier, it was only as a result of 'bad` luck that Milijas returned to the team.
Pro: changing managers is counter-productive: it takes the new man time to get to know the club and its players, and it disrupts the team (Burnley, Hull). Con: a new manager can invigorate the team by coming without baggage and bringing in fresh ideas (Coyle at Bolton).
Pro: bringing in a new manager is risky as he might be worse than the current one (Hoddle). Con: in a crisis, a new manager might be the only way to save the club (Redknapp).
Pro: to change managers at this point in this season would be a mistake. Let`s wait to see if MM finds the answer. At least give him until after Christmas or even to the end of the season. Con: we need to change the club`s fortunes now by bringing in a new manager, one who can assess the club`s needs in time for the transfer window in January. It has to be someone with the status to attract new recruits of the requisite standard.
Pro: MM is a very experienced manager, having managed teams up to international level. He kept us up last year. Con: he has never done well at the highest levels. He failed at Sunderland because of shortage of funds but now looks as though he is going to fail at WWFC even with an abundance of money at his disposal.
Pro: he has brought in some good established players (Doyle, Fletcher and Milijas) and has had the nous to spot potential in others (Guedioura, Zubar and even Mujangi Bia, if the reports of the reserve match against Arsenal are any indication). Con: he has squandered millions on poor or over-rated players (JVD, Maierhoffer , Halford, Bent and now he is looking at Bagayoko, a non-scoring striker from Nice) and even when he buys potentially good players he either does not select them, leaves them on the bench or plays them in the wrong position (Milijas, Mouyokolo, Fletcher).
Pro: an experienced coach, especially of defenders. Con: really? So, why is defence the weakest part of the team, full, as it is, of non-Premier League standard players such as Berra, Elokobi, Stearman, Ward and even Foley. How come he cannot get them to do the basics right? Why has he not been able to find us a decent left back?
Pro: had the flash of inspiration (the inauguration of the 4-5-1 system) that saved us last year. Con: yes it did but it is not working that well this year. What we need now is goals as well as a solid defence and currently we are finding that difficult to achieve. We are not moving quickly enough out of defence, certainly not as well as Blackpool counter-attacked on Saturday.
Pro: started the season with the intention of playing more attacking football, hence the purchase of Fletcher to play alongside Doyle in a 4-4-2 formation. Con: this system requires a solid defence and was therefore quickly scrapped (along with Fletcher).
Pro: is capable of assessing the situation and will stumble on the solution. Con: even bloggers who write this do not really believe it. He obviously operates well at a certain level and with Championship players but lacks the flair or imagination to take the team to the next level. At the moment we would be happy if he took it to the level we finished at last year.
Pro: he motivates the players and has the respect of the dressing-room. Con: this is questionable. His favouritism and unwillingness to select players on merit surely erodes team-spirit. Indeed, signs of dissention and wanderlust are becoming apparent (Hahnemann, Hennessey, JVD, Jones).