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The Weekend Diary of a Numpty


I was in a quandary yesterday. I could either go to the match and risk divorce or I could accompany my wife to a family get-together in Derbyshire and, as a 'numpty`, incur the wrath of our manager. In the end, I pleased no-one. On the one hand, I argued with my wife, having pointed out (reasonably, I thought) that she ought to have checked out the WWFC fixture list before making such arrangements. On the other hand, MM was not happy with me either, grumbling that because I had missed the match I was not a true fan.
Returning from lunch with my wife`s relations at 3.30 p.m., I managed to persuade my brother-in-law to allow me to use his laptop. I accessed the official blog transmission (I didn`t dare tune in to the Beacon broadcast) and was pleased to read that we had not given away a goal of any sort, never mind a soft one. It was probably too much to hope for a goal of our own. Hmm, now that I think about it, it`s is a little weird that the management should countenance such a site, given MM`s antipathy towards us bloggers.
All through the second half I alternated between cooing over pictures of grandchildren and sneaking off to the study for updates. My emotions turned several somersaults as I registered scores ticking over at 1-0, 1-2 and 3-2 ... and then the tension of extra time (the screen froze just before the final whistle). The babies were uniformly cute though! Naturally, I did not watch Jeff Stelling or Football First and had to make do with Ann Widdecombe and Wagner for entertainment. Fortunately, I manged to watch the highlights on MOTD, even if I had to share them with a rather smug brother-in-law, a Manchester United fan.
This morning I was up at dawn (or so it seemed), excitedly trudging through the Derbyshire snow to the newsagent to read the reports in the Sunday papers. To my horror I saw myself publicly pilloried there: as far as I could see the Observer file comprised a rant from MM about us 'numpties`. Sod the result and the fact that we are just as elated as the manager (undoubtedly more so since we have supported the team for far longer than he has, and will continue to do so after he has gone), let`s slag off those who dare to question my actions. We bloggers do attend the matches and I bet non-numpties were among those who recently booed the team posturing in front of them.
Once I had recovered from the feelings of shock, dismay and incredulity, I realised why MM hated us. As genuine fans, we told the unpalatable truth, as we saw it (and why shouldn`t we?). Although we should not have to emphasize the fact, we care about the team and would rather not criticize it. It`s just that, given the position we find ourselves in, someone has to own up, take responsibility and remedy the situation. Even bloggers who wanted to give him another chance were unhappy with the manager`s performance, querying his tactics and player selection. And he is not in the clear yet! Encouragingly, the outburst does reveal that he reads our posts!
Among Vital Wolves bloggers, at least, he couldn`t even claim that we were offensive and negative. The most abusive contributor is johnwolf, who has been slagging off us long-distance fans for some time. I even wrote a blog entitled 'Cyber Fans` on the subject on Thursday 11 November. In it, I refuted the premise johnwolf put forward , which incidentally answers all MM`s objections. Hang on! Could it be? Is Mick McCarthy johnwolf ... and how many other aliases has he assumed?
As for the game, I cannot comment on it in depth because I saw and heard so little of it (but I will travel up to Molineux for the Birmingham match). It was a great victory yesterday: a real boost, even if I am now a little reluctant to designate it a turning-point to our season. The year, so far, has featured more twists and turns than an Agatha Christie novel ... and we are still no nearer finding out whodunit (rather, who will do it, if anyone can).
It was good to inflict a last minute defeat on another team for once: you see, the gods of soccer do not exist merely to punish us. While SEB is emerging as our very own Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it was also nice to see Hunt get a goal. It was particularly welcome to note the assured performance of Zubar, whose presence strengthened the defence, even if Stearman was still hell-bent on undoing the good work with his moments of madness. Milijas continues to impress. I applaud MM for the quiet word he had with him but I wonder whether he would have given him his chance, had circumstances not dictated it. I genuinely hope that our manager has found the key to our survival, as he did last year, but I will reserve judgement for the moment. We were lucky to meet a Sunderland side hampered by the absence of Turner and Bramble. Could we have scored two goals in the last ten minutes had they played? So, should the results take another nose-dive, no more complaints about bad luck, please.
I have calmed down now, warmed up by the cosy glow of a welcome three points. I still think MM has a bloody cheek though!




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The Journalist

Writer: southbank60 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday November 28 2010

Time: 5:23PM

Your Comments

Hear Hear Southbank ! Born a mere stones throw from Molineux I have supported WOlves my entire life. I now live in London and as such unable to get to games - though I do attend whenever I can. Who is Mccarthy to slate people who arent at the match, and, as you correctly point out dare to question his tactics and team selections. I watch every game, and it is undoubtedly a much better vantage point than I ever get from the Southbank, or Northbank or wherever I end up sitting. (Though granted a ***** subsititute for the real thing in terms of experience) Our defence is a shambles, and he has the gaul to criticise us for pointing that fact out !! Not a clean sheet in sight - says it all. That said, Im not on here to rant, it was a game that our midfield managed win for us despite stearmans efforts to lose it, and im over the moon we are back within touching distance of the rest of the pack. Perhaps it will sink in what we've been bleating about, and a returning Zubar and Craddock will give us something to build on at the back and we can kick on to safety. We are Wolves !
AdMant
southbank & Admant - you must be numpties - you gob off without getting the facts, go on the wolves web and listen to the guy before gobbing off. Mick said that he takes no notice of all those on the bloggs and in the papers etc who want his head, he said the only people who cares about are those that turn up and pay to watch matches, which is fair enough, because has you and I know some of those that write on blogs and in the papers either don't go to matches or are other fans stiring it up, so before you start going on about Mick - CHECK YOUR FACTS.
johnwolf
Yes, a good much waited for 3 points,a turning point in the season??I'm not so sure.What worries me is looking at the table at the teams around us and just above us they are not the teams I would have expected to be there! Everton,Aston Villa Fulham amongst others are all down there.Now I remember the old saying"There to good to go down"but in this case, I think with most of those teams its true,I cannot see them remaining there for long, which brings me to looking at teams who I expected to be around us,namely the promoted teams plus Bolton,Stoke and Sunderland.If you remember some weeks ago we did a poll asking how many points we would have by the turn of the year,I thought 20-25 all those teams I just mentioned already either have that total or are very close to it which means we simply have to get 2 or 3 wins out of the 5 games remaining before January comes upon us,9 points from those games would still only put us on parity with those promoted teams totals which they have now, so we also need a few of them to go on bad runs!.The next four fixtures I think give us our best chance of getting a run going,after xmas it gets tougher.This year it will need more points to stay up,after these four fixtures we are half way through the season and we will know what is required,probably 38 -40 points will be the target.If we have any less than 20 points after those fixtures I fear for us getting the required total at seasons end.Yesterday was good but so was Man City result,isolated results are no good we simply have to get a run going and quickly.The transfer window opens as well,do we have the funds?perhaps Fletcher at 7 million sitting on the bench looks the wrong choice,not the player,the position,I think we should have spent that amount on a good midfielder or a centre back,do we have the funds to spend that sort of money in January?.So to sum up,a great result yesterday but wer'e not out of the woods yet,I'd say wer'e just entering our season defining period,I hope and think we can win the games and get the points we need to stay in the promised land!.Up the Wolves.
Crete Wolf
johnwolf: I am surprised that you look at the Vital Wolves site. It is moderate in opinion, open to different views and is literate and rational in tone. We do look at the facts and read what the manager and members of the team have to say. I even wrote a blog based upon their views. I'd love to be able to watch all the home matches- and ideally all the away ones too- but I have family and work commitments to consider, as well as financial restraints, which prevent me from doing so. If you live at a distance yet still see every game- good on you- but if you live nearby, you're a lucky bugger! But don't tell me that I don't care or that I am trying to undermine the club. You obviously have not read my previous blogs.
Southbank60
Okay I don't want to grow horns from the back of my head (I recently purchased a nice trilby and it would rip it) but let me put you in my shoes. It was Thanks Giving in America last week, Thursday. That meant enjoying beers, too many of course, the night before- day off etc follows (I'd make a good footballer) actually 4 day weekend followed so it was a miracle in itself I was propped in front of the computer Saturday morning (10 am New York time) with a cup of coffee and several pre rolled to steady the nerves. Hats off Banksy, you're article has drawn plenty of comments already whilst my bloody match report has a three word reaction from 11LedleyKings. No disrespect Ledley(s) but the match report takes a while to write (especially trying to break down all the players after it. So anyway, to the point. Having watched us fluff a dominating first half, then seeing us thankfully score five minutes into the second half the wife was up and about but only decided to sit and watch with me after Sunderland had scored. I said we were going to go 2-1 down, which we did but she clapped her hands when Blakey from on The Buses came on and said everything would be fine. 15 minutes later I was staring at the highlights with a beaming smile, and announcing my resistance there and then to write the match report- I would have been glowing, one sided, triumphant, irrational even- so I waited until Sunday and wrote the thing. It's optimistic for sure, but I tried to keep a lid on reality. What irked was whilst tuning into the BBC after wards on Saturday and listening to Mick slap the numpties who don't attend games and sit around calling phone in's (what else is a phone in for?!) I just sat back in a quiet silence and every single word came flowing back, every word stating what I would hope to be well researched, rational arguments pitying our present woes (yes, reality is in check, we are still 19th) but not once have I called for Mick to be fired, but rather insisted he would keep my support until the day he was fired. I don't sit at the computer writing these things to cause trouble. I write because I enjoy it- I write because I love my club- I write because it is an outlet (try talking to twenty American's about football) so for Mick to turn around and effectively suggest 25,000 people (2,000 or so were actually visiting, as in not Wolves fans Mick) left me in a cold mood. There are some detailed responses above and I can't be arsed to reference (apologies) but whoever pointed out that we have and always will have, and continue to support Wolves than Mick has or ever will raises a good point. My main point every time I write, is that I try to respect everyone's opinion whether I agree with it or not, I simply offer my own and when they (rarely) get slapped down, because I think people get the approach, you reason with it and even if it is sometimes out of order (John, calm down mate!) I don't turn around and lash out. Mick's comments were unfair on Saturday after the game. How about Granddad who sits in his arm chair listening to the game, Beacon or whatever week after week because he can't get to the games anymore? If he is a numpty because he can't make it and has an opinion? What about the family who lost their job and realized food and bills are more important than catching a game- are they numpties? I think Mick is funny and I would like to take the comments lightly but they were a bit out of order. You wanna talk about emotions managing a football team- quote "Is it days like this that make you manage Mick", response, "well, not the only reasons" interpret that comment of his at your own merit but for me it underlines that fact that no matter how much we would love to be their every week, for a hundred and one different reasons we can't always. It doesn't mean we don't care. It doesn't mean we sit here to complain, it is in fact the opposite. We pine for shared opinion and the best thing about this site is that as Banksy describes it, "..... moderate in opinion, open to different views and is literate and rational in tone." Maybe we should pop Mick an email and let him see that there are fans all over the locality, Europe, America, the world that grew up watching this club, get to every game we can and actually write articles that in the main, support ultimately our club, secondly the present manager. We have had an awful start to the season and as pointed out above we do need a run, to build on this one result. The result was crucial but indeed it can not be another 'isolated' result but rather then start of something for this club.
New York City Wolf
NYCWolf: brilliant: I felt you trembling with passion from over here!
Southbank60
Southbank: I think it's unfair and more than a little haughty of you to claim that johnwolf's tone is neither literate nor rational. I think he makes a reasonable point. I'm sure Mick isn't having a go at some house-bound pensioner who can't get to the games - he is just frustrated with all the usual reactionary nonsense spoken and written about his management and his team. If you have an opinion that Mick's a tactically inept fool who doesn't know what he's doing, why shouldn't he call you a numpty for it? He;s heard if all before, when he wasn't teh right man to get us promoted, or to keep us up, and I applaud him. I had to listen to a friend going on about how Mick 'has only 2 games' and that we should sack him and get O'Neill in, or whoever else you care to mention. For god's sake, we're playing ok, we've got a good squad, a good atmosphere about the place, we're seeing some entertaining football, and I genuinely feel like we'll stay up. And even if we did go down, we're in a good position to keep hold of most of our players, or we have sound contracts to make a reasonable fee on them, before getting straight back up again. Get over it, Numpty!!!
Tooting Wolf
FOOTY FANS SQUABBLING LOVELY
Big Bad Wolf
Johnwolf's tone in his post here was reasonably mild to other ones he has posted. One should be able to discuss issues without resort to obscenities. I think MM did a great job at the club up to and including the end of last season. However, as much as it grieves me to say it, the team has languished under his direction this year. Surely, you can not be happy with our present position? We spent 17m in the summer and one would have thought that this would have made us competitive in the league. 7m Fletcher sits on the bench and when he comes on, he occupies a different position from the one one best suited to his play. Why? Because we cannot play two men up-front because of our poor defence. Why did we not strengthen our squad in this area? We did buy JVD but as soon as he got on the pitch in the friendlies he was given the run around by Championship wingers. What about all the puzzling selection and positional choices made? You might argue that MM has produced teams that have played well and have come close to gaining points against top clubs ... and we did in the MC match. Even so, looking good is not enough: we have to get points on the board and, if we don't, we are entitled to ask the manager the reason why. After all, other 'lesser' teams have been drawing with and even beating the tops teams. So, there's no obvious relegation fodder this year (including WHU and WWFC) and, as a result, we have to do even better than last time. When one reads the interviews with MM and the players, one finds a load of cliches and platitudes. I wrote a blog on the subject, based on their actual words. Read it! They said it! Forgive me, but you are spouting the same platitudes. What's the point of playing pretty football if we do not earn points ... and what about the idiotic fouls committed and the defensive lapses which have cost dear? I too think we have a decent squad but MM does not seem to be getting the best out of the players. If he were, we would be in mid-table. The other point is the slur that MM made of us long-distance fans. It was unforgivable and downright insulting. It costs me the best part of 100 to watch a match and a good deal of aggro from my wife, who naturally expects me to be around at weekends. We are true fans (my username refers to the years, week in, week out, that I stood on the old South Bank until I was no longer able to attend) but many of us cannot get to Molineux regularly because of incapacity, distance or other commitments. I respect your dedication if you do in fact come from Tooting and manage to get to Molineux regularly. But, I cannot and I have charted my difficulties in earlier blogs. Why should that us debar us from having an opinion? As Ad Mant, who lives in London, points out, televised broadcasts give us a close-up of the action, though, naturally, not the same experience. I go up when I can and savour the occasion. Would that I could do it more regularly. But I have said all this before. Why don't you read all the blogs on this site and you will find that most of the contributors, whether for or against MM, express their views moderately and with due respect to other opinions. Wolves are in a hole but I hope the Sunderland victory marks a change in our fortunes. If MM pulls it off, I will be the first to congratulate him. But, hand on heart, Tooting Wolf, aren't you a little bit concerned about his ability to do so.
Southbank60
Am I happy with our current position? No, but last time I checked the season didn't end in November.
Akela
So, you would let things drift on until it was too late ... or at least too late for the January window? Already, calculators are out, totting up points in relation to last year and the up-coming matches. We are worse off than in the equivalent games last year and with no obvious relegation candidates. A lot depends on the next few matches. Are we properly equipped for the fight? If I were to bandy about cliches, I would say that one swallow does not make a summer. Would that I could deploy the saying, 'A journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step'. Let's hope our guide has the strength and the know-how to take us all the way (though I would rather cling on to something a little more substantial than hope: a map, a compass and a path cleared of all obstacles, perhaps).
Southbank60
My view hasn't changed from this time last year, is there areas to improve? Of course and with hindsight its so easy to bemoan the transfer policy McCarthy adopted over the summer. Personally I would have done the same as Mick over the summer, last year our problem was a lack of goals so he has brought in Hunt and Fletcher and with Milijas developing, that is no longer the problem, instead we have a new problem, with us playing more progressive football, we're no longer as strong at the back and we lack quality. Mick will be well aware of this and is just as well equipped to solve this problem as any other manager coming in to replace him.
Akela
Hand on heart, Southbank: no, I am not happy with where we are in the Premier League etc, but then again I am still far, far happier to have Wolves' squad, set-up *and* manager than those of Blackpool, despite our respective league positions. I respect your opinion, but I sometimes wish people in the - and I use this figuratively rather than literally! - 'Numpty' camp would be a little bit less hasty and a little bit more phlegmatic. Look at the big picture: the future is brighter for us than it's been for a long, long time.
Tooting Wolf
I also think that we have a squad that is good enough to ensure our survival, with the proviso that we recruit a left back and a central defender. So, if our team is capable of operating at this level, why are we down at the bottom of the table? Is it due to pure bad luck (the fixture month from hell, injuries, flukes or biased referees) or down to something else. If the latter, we ought to be able to pinpoint reasons for our unease, as we see them, and to suggest ways of remedying them. Perhaps I am too pessimistic but from my perspective it is difficult to believe that in practice the future looks as bright as you portray it ... even if I can see the potential of the club to attain the sunlit uplands. Hey! MM should welcome my blogs because it is forcing out people who don't normally contribute into making declarations of support. Anything that builds up the morale and self-belief of the management and team is fine by me, as long as it is based in reality.
Southbank60
Well,getting a little fiesty here!lol.Isn't it good to comunicate !!.Anyway back to the footie,according to reports JVD is staying in Belgium and is signing for Standard Liege,now if we are looking for the definition of a 'Numpty' I think he's as close as you can get to one!.Up the Wolves.
Crete Wolf
Well, we can all agree on that. If Standard Liege have won a bidding war, we might recoup most if not all of our outlay. Initially, I thought he was the answer to our problem but it just goes to show that sometimes a person, in whom you put your trust, lets you down.
Southbank60
I think the reason we're down at the bottom of the table is because it's a bloody tough league and because there are a shed load of good sides down there with us - West Ham, Wigan, Everton, Villa - not exactly slouches are they!? I really think Mick deserves some support - there always seem to be question marks hanging over him, regardless of him getting us promoted as champions and then keeping us up fairly comfortably. I know he makes some weird choices sometimes (2 words - Neill Collins) but for medium sized club that's spent only 2 full seasons in the top league in the past 25 years we're doing ok. Anyway, this is a decent blog, keep it up. I hope I can rub your nose in it at a later date.
Tooting Wolf
I sincerely hope so, Tooting Wolf. I thought that MM was the salvation of the club when he took over from GH and it gives me no pleasure to criticize someone who took us back to the Premier League and who kept us there last year. I am not saying that he should go- in an earlier blog I set out the arguments for and against the proposition- but he does have a case to answer and a point to prove. Perhaps, I am being too picky because I was spoilt as a youngster, watching the Wolves of the 1950s from the South Bank week in, week out.
Southbank60
Anybody know what Martin O`Neill is doing these days??
astraltrader
Well Banksy you have got the fans communicating with this article so nice work. We all have our opinions- we would all probably pick a different team if given the chance- for example I think Ward does a decent job at left back when most don't. I use the word decent though. We know this- he is not the best left back in the world, the league, perhaps he would not be the best left back in the Championship but he was molded into a left back by Mick and considering he hadn't played there until a few years ago, considering he plays against some outstanding out and out wingers, I think he has done well. In the summer however, Mick signed a career left back in JVD so he obviously spotted an area we can improve- the majority think Van Damme is an excellent player but he spat his dummy out not long after he had signed and specifically said he wants out so good riddance. Very good player in my book, was never given a chance in his natural position but if he is signing for Standard we could look at 'standards' all day long. I don't buy the home sick bull shine. Milijias found it hard to adapt to the game, found it hard no doubt being at one of the league's 'smaller' clubs as opposed to playing for the best team in his country. He was used to being the star, used to picking up trophies and guess what, whilst trophies might not be on the horizon for us his determination to make it with Wolves is evident in the fact he is still here after all that time out of the side, he never gave up, he listened, learned, now look at him- he is the player he always had the promise to be- we've seen him start what half a dozen games so as he keeps improving imagine the player he can still grow into. Hunt is an excellent signing, despite playing for a relegated side his overall season stats proved him one of the most productive midfield players in the league last season and I'm chuffed he is with us- early days, you just watch him go now, especially after christmas when things are really picking up the pace. As for Fletcher I don't doubt his quality for a minute. Mick realized we still aren't good enough for 4-4-2 and he knows Doyle can play the front role so for the time being until we improve Fletcher will remain on the bench, yes he will inevitably lose value in the short run, and I'm sure he isn't happy about being on the bench right now, but if he is enjoying his time at the club, and is similar to Milijias for example, he will stick around and once we have continued to build I think he knows he can still have a very big future with this club. He's still bloody young, and considering who he has played for so far, I am sure he is happy to be at a club like ours that still has a big future ahead of it. We can bemoan our position, and rightly so. Considering where we finished last year, and add to that the amount of money we spent in the summer, 19th really was not anticipated and really is not good enough. The options were evident, sack the manager or give the man who dragged this club up by the neck, put it in the Premier League and kept it there more time. The relationship of the Big 3 at the club is strong and it will take a lot worse than what we have seen for Mick to face to bullet. We would have to be playing awful week in week out and getting thrashed on a regular basis, and this is not the case. I don't buy into luck- I don't believe in luck- you make your own- you hit the post five times in one game so you were unlucky not to win?...you're not unlucky, you just weren't good enough, so you go back to the training ground and put an extra hour in on your shooting practice. Still feeling unlucky? Study the goal. Headbutt the post- not so much fun for the ball either. Instead, jump over that white line and roll into the net. That would be a goal. Good stuff goals, they win games. Ah, you get the point. Time for a beer.
New York City Wolf
I think most of us could agree with this even-handed summary. So, who should we buy to fill the left back slot?
Southbank60
 

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