Hoddle Looks To Youth
Already the hand wringing has begun.
'They've let 'our Cams walk.'
'They've sold 'our Jo''
'Where are the big name signings?'
On the face of it, Wolves' 2006/7 squad looks threadbare to say the least. The club have opted not to renew several short term contracts, most notably Maurice Ross and Stefan Postma, Kenny Miller long ago opted to ply his trade in the SPL next season , Jo Lescott has activated his ' gentlemans agreement' with the club and moved to Everton for £5 million and 'fans favourite' Colin Cameron has opted to turn down the offer of a new contract in what is assumed to be a purely financial decision.
So much for 'playing for the shirt' and 'loving the club' eh, Colin ?
Professional football is frequently more about the benjamins than loyalty.
So where does this leave Wolves? On the brink of extinction? Staring into the abyss of cataclysmic failure?
Not according to the bookies who already have Wolves as one of the perennial pre-season favourites for promotion, and sitting prettier than some would have you believe at the moment.
Last season, Molineux echoed to the sound of "They`re only playing for the money." "Why aren`t we signing young players with hunger ?" and ironically"Give the kids a chance!"
Which it appears, by twist of fate, is exactly what is going to happen. But evidently for some, following this course, the same one called for long and hard by many fans throughout last season is not enough.
The Board, and in particular Jez Moxey are taking the brunt of the blame for the current financial situation the club now finds itself in, even though they have been nothing but transparent in their declaration of the situation that has come to pass, and now an innocuous statement from manager Glenn Hoddle is causing heads to whirl with visions of doom and disaster.
"We`ve got no money to spend." Is a relative statement. For Sir Alex Ferguson, that may mean £10 million. For a family living on the breadline, it may mean literally, that the cupboard is truly bare.
But when Glenn Hoddle says he has no money to spend, the chances are he is talking in the broadest, and most relative sense he knows. The chances of Wolves having literally no transfer funds available are extremely unlikely, although what they have got will be only a tiny proportion of what previous managers have been entrusted with. Frequently, only to squander.
So if there are no major big name signings on the cards, how will Wolves swell their ranks?
There are a currently a clutch of teenagers waiting to make the step up to first team action, joining Mark Davies whose impact in his first season was not insubstantial. And isn`t that what fans have been calling for?
The list includes Mark Little, already making a name for himself in the England youth set up, Daniel Jones a fellow England under 18 international, Goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, another youth international, and the highly rated Lewis Gobern .
Then there is the small matter of outstanding 'keeper Matt Murray, now back from injury and Scotland international Jackie McNamara, now fully recovered from his cruciate ligament surgery that kept him out of the majority of last seasons campaign.
Molineux will always have more than it`s fair share of pessimistically disposed ticket holders. It always has, and it always will.
The Golden Cup is rarely seen as half full, frequently looked at as substantially less than half empty and now it appears even with a fine crop about to mature, that can be blended with previous outstanding vintages, there are those sending the bottle back before it is uncorked.
The situation at Molineux has changed. The Golden Tit has shrivelled and run dry. It`s time to look to the Academy to prove its worth after a decade of minor successes.
But still, the biggest question isn`t whether or not the graduates are up to it. It remains whether or not Wolves fans have it in them to nurture young talent and have the patience to let them prove their worth over a whole season.