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Kevin Doyle - A Short Story By NYCW

Yesterday afternoon the local rag published a useless sentence that stirred me enough to start writing my Kevin Doyle article. I had written most of it but time ran out before an afternoon and evening in Manhattan so I saved it and looked forward to finishing it up today.
This morning, cursing the bastard of an unexplainable head ache, I browsed over the news on the BBC until a picture of Doyle suggested to me he had most likely scored for Ireland. Having read the report, I sat still for a while wondering what this meant for the rest of the season, for Kevin Doyle & the immediate future of Wolves. Keep in mind that 95 per cent of this was written before his injury, and as things stand, we do not know the extent aside from Giovanni Trapattoni's assertion that Doyle has suffered a 'serious knee injury' and that we are talking about medial ligament damage. How the coach can be sure of this, I don't know, so let's just hope and pray we wake up to better news over the next few days when he has been properly assessed.

I have searched the web high and low, alright, perhaps for around five minutes but that's all it takes these days, and there is no other mention of a Kevin Doyle transfer rumour within the past six months or so, but........ according to the Express & Star....... Doyle is apparently a 8 MILLION POUND TRANSFER TARGET for, someone.
Whilst fiction is all well and good, if you are going to fabricate stories in order to sell papers throw in something remotely close to realistic.
Commenting on Crete's latest post, I had yet another chuckle at the price Andy Carroll went for a few months back, but this 'news'; under the E & S 'Where Are Not Saying It Is True' disclaimer, otherwise known as 'We Made This Up' had me laughing with abandon.
Despite the continued rise of Matt Jarvis, which is likely to peak on Tuesday evening, in my opinion Kevin Doyle has by far proven our best player since the day he was signed, and for me must take the Player Of The Year award once more.
I kicked myself in the shin recently having thought of, and then forgot to write an article trying to determine where we may be right now if it was not for Kevin Doyle. Mick McCarthy has taken a lot of stick in the past based on his apparent tactical short comings and occasionally bizarre substitutions (and team selections), but when the chips were down last season and Wolves were heading for a fairly rapid return to The Championship, he reshaped the team, modeled it around Doyle and low and behold, following consistent improvement and a stiring tail end to the season, we stayed up on the back of a comfortable eight point margin.
Despite a considerable summer outlay at the markets, our season presented as all too familiar and leading up to Christmas, the vultures were circling. As the deflated foot soldiers trudged away from the Boxing Day home defeat to Wigan, bitter cold, winds swirling, Mr. Morgan called his subordinates into his dimly lit office, his cheeks red from forgetting his scarf and the can of Bitter he had nailed, stared beyond the Waterloo Road, and spoke "Something has to be done."
Moxey dropped his mince pie, McCarthy dropped his dictionary and there were blank stares at the book, opened to a page with "syphilis" marked out in yellow highlighter and underlined in heavy black pen.
Sir Jack, framing a ten pound note that had "MINE" written on it, was allowed to stay "for a bit" as long as he poured the sherry. Graham Taylor, a guest for the day was allowed to share this thoughts on the team's undoings. Three days later, Taylor snapped together the buttons on his old England coat, and closed the door behind him. Morgan arched an eye brow and through squinted eyes took in a room of clutter; an empty biscuit barrel upside down on the floor, Jez snoozing in a reclining leather chair, plumes of smoke clouding the room from the cigar still clenched between teeth. Poor Mick was wearing a training top with the initials P.T on the front, and after standing in front of the mirror asking "Can we not knock it?" whilst Morgan rang his bell and a hearty breakfast was being served behind him, he turned with a wild expression in his eyes, and joined the others. Jack was told he was free to leave; he grabbed a framed picture of Luther Blissett that Graham Taylor had carelessly left behind and made a run for it.
Morgan had settled on a plan. "Fresh air- that's what we need. We need to get away for a while."
Jez had dusted the crumbs off his lapel and joined the others on the floor. When he noticed Mick was locked in a catatonic state; "Four four two, four four two..." he repeated until Morgan slapped him, Moxey switched his empty plate for Mick's and wolfed down a second helping.
Morgan creaked to his feet and paced around the room. "Men, we shall leave at noon. Our return, when, I do not know. We shall not return until a plan is in order to reinstate affairs acceptable to this club; unless we have a game."
Jez reached for the keys and was grinning on the North Bank car park, firing up the Jag as Morgan hurled supplies onto the back seat, pushed Mick in and put his belt on, and took hold of a map in the passenger seat. 'Turn left' said a woman. T.C had clambered in, but had not spoken. "GPS" smiled Jez.
Morgan turned, wild eyed; "Turn it off!" he yelled. "We are looking to restore tradition." "Where are we going?" asked Mick. "The Countryside" smiled Morgan, "an old cottage- it will do us good to get away from the city for a while, aside from short trips into the local village, for boots and such. At the lodge we shall fend for ourselves. Jez, you shall prepare the vegetables; TC- you shall be in control of the wood and fuel situation. We shall enjoy the finest wines known to humanity and work with gusto until Mick & I have carved into the wooden beams holding together our ramshackle forte a concrete plan for the future, one that shall shine bright and allow us to prosper with balance and continuity."
Over the course of several days, the Molineux hierarchy busied themselves fashioning a place to call home. Avoiding the local ilk, they sat around crackling fires, talking the season through- Morgan showed bank statements, Moxey showed his. Mick drank bitter. Terry sat still. It was time for work. As promised Moxey and Connor busied themselves around the cottage whilst Morgan and McCarthy got to work. In one corner, Morgan sat with a calligraphy set, an assortment of pens, pencils, rulers and a Lego set. McCarthy had a blanket over him on the sofa with a sketch pad and a packet of crayons- all manner of formations and tactical approaches scribbled; on the floor there were two piles, one of screwed up paper, another of carefully laid out sheets. T.C busied himself attaching the good ones to his clip board and sat at the window pondering them.
Morgan was making bulldozer noises in the background until he caught a stern look from Mick, an hour later he replicated hand claps, by midnight a fairly impressive rendition of a noisy and hostile, yet happy and triumphant crowd. Both leap to their feet just before sunrise; "Finished!" they yelled.
Mick missed the high five and landed face down on the rug, where he began snoring. He was propped up in the dining chair and slapped repeatedly until he woke. "Mick, look!"
Everyone stared at the dining room table where Morgan had mounted his stadium design. "It's beautiful", Moxey said. "It's the future" said Morgan; Mick's eyes lit up. "What is it?" asked T.C- Morgan told him, "the new stadium." Terry looked, walked over to it, paced around to take in all available angles; "Steve." "Yes Terry?" "Why is it so small?".
Whilst Terry was sent into town for butter and milk, the three M's sat around the table. "Now, Mick, tell me how we are going to fill that stadium." "Er, where's Terry?". "No Mick, this one's on you."
Mick strode across the room and returned with a pile of magazines and newspaper cuttings from his back pack. He plugged in his Spectrum home computer and it's screen lit the room.
One by one he took his tactical pages from Terry's clipboard and set them in front of the two.
From his pocket he took out pictures, Sylvan Ebanks Blake, Matt Jarvis, Wayne Hennessey .. the table was littered with success stories, on top of the pile Mick threw a picture of Kevin Doyle.
"All my signings" he smiled. "Targets" corrected Morgan. "Well...." Mick shrugged.
"Look Mick, no disrespect, you know your job is safe, and this lot- we love them all, they make for a great team but, look here". Morgan flicks through a newspaper and hands it to Mick, page open on the league table.
"From here" he says, "I want to know how you are going to get us to", points to Lego, "there."
Mick sat for several minutes, looking between the two. Scratched his head. Tapped his finger on his chin. Stared. "Can I have some more money?". Several more minutes silence was finally broken when Morgan & Moxey burst into a fit of hysterical laughter. "What's so funny?"
Morgan holds up a picture of Stephen Mouyokolo. "Who's that?" Mick asks.
When finances have been discussed, Morgan agrees to a couple of loan signings, so Mick returns to his scraps of paper, makes a few adjustments- some additional notes, and pops on a smoking jacket prior to his post dinner presentation.
"Okay- here's the deal. Remember last season? Favourites for relegation- we proved them wrong didn't we. Wasn't looking good for a while, I'll admit that- but when it came to the crunch I sorted it out didn't I. This fella..." holds up picture of Doyle "Player of The Year no two ways about it. This year, Player of The Year again already, and will be voted as such at the end of the year. This year, I'll admit, not the start we were looking for and spending the best part of it in the bottom three keep saying we are going to stop the mistakes is one thing, moving up the table another. I'll admit. So, I've dropped all the other strikers and this bloke, we are going to base it around him again- and

Okay so I pretty much reached my point in what became a short story but the point I think, people shall have got.

Kevin Doyle has proven the figure head of this side for the best part of nearly two seasons since he since and I was readying myself to write an article as to wondering where we would/could/will be without him and now it seems, we will find out.

I see a lot of people are questioning the 'timing' of internationals, not necessarily on this site but elsewhere, need I name. What is the alternative? Play all your international qualifying games, one a day for ten or twelve in the summer. It is part and parcel of the game. Every kid grows up dreaming of wearing his teams colours and the shirt of his country. Maybe we should trim the World Cup down to a 5 A Side Tournament and get it done with over a weekend. Jesus. It could have gone at any time. The main thing is what happens next.

I'll put it on the line now. If we did not have Kevin Doyle last season we would have been relegated. If we had not had Kevin Doyle until this point this season we would be bottom staring relegation in the face.

There never has been and never will be a one man team but Kevin Doyle, through his ability and work rate alone, has allowed us to become the team we are today. I still think we will stay up, but I think the posts have shifted dramatically because this, because we don't have a clone on the bench, will dramatically change if not our approach then at the very least our performances.

This is the worst loss at the worst possible time, and I will close by saying that whether he appears over any of our remaining games or not, he already gets my vote for player of the year.

Eyes peeled tomorrow evening no doubt.

See you then.

New York City Wolf




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The Journalist

Writer: New York City Wolf Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 29 2011

Time: 3:02AM

Your Comments

Bah, even though Kevin is my favorite player, I am not scared without him - Fletcher finally has to grab his proper chance ! We have two good strikers to substitute for Kevin. ........................................... (Lol, btw, in my Football manager 2011 - Season 1, Fletcher scored 28 premier league goals, just one less than Torres.)
PanFiluta
He's very good at what he does,but an out and out goalscorer?,no.I think in a different set up tactically he would play up front with a finisher.We shall miss him but not I hope as much as some people fear,UTW.
Crete Wolf
I think McCarthy had planned to play Doyle up front with Fletcher this season, but for whatever reason it has never really worked out. I think we'll miss Doyle for his work ethic, I know he's out there to score goals but he offers the team much more than just that.
Akela
Indeed. Comments appreciated but I have never looked at Doyle for goals; he never has and never will be an out and out goal scorer; what he brings to the team is something few can, and considering our inability to play many other formations properly, where as we have been employing this one particularly well is why I am so concerned. As a forward you are right to expect 'x' amount of goals from him per season but this is not his expected resonsibility from the manager- even as the front man on his own he spends as much time, if not more, running the line, hitting the channels, dragging players out and leaving gaping holes in defences that our midfield and wingers are supposed to hit, and they have been hitting. There is not another player we have on our books to fill this role, no matter how much I appreciate Fletch and Blake, so it looks to me like us having to change up the tactics. There are comments on the previous article suggesting we have not been playing well or have been scraping through. I must have beenw watching a different team for the past three months. One defeat in six does not sound like poor returns to me. It was working, and now it has to be changed.
New York City Wolf
My first response to the news was AARRGGHH!! but on mature reflection it is AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! He is irreplaceable and you only have to watch a match for a short time to realise his value to the side ... for the reasons Yorkie has outlined above. But on further reflection - and if it is beyond mature, it might be senile - we are better placed than last season. We have a stronger defence and midfield, and two strikers, who will score goals, given the service from our wingers. Clearly, we will have to change tactics since no-one plays the lone holder-upper up front better than Doyle does. But, we do have other strengths, especially in a 4-4-2 formation. The potency of SEB and Fletcher in the middle and Jarvis and Hammill steaming down the line should prevent the opposition venturing too far forward. Even so, MM will probably go for a 4-5-1 system, with SEB upfront, as the best approximation we possess to a Doyle mark 2.
Southbank60
Well- I tried to post a typically lengthy reply last night on the other link but the computer froze and of course this morning the material was not on my clip board. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh indeed Mister Banks- my reaction entirely and it has not got any easier the more I think or write about it. I will post what comes next on the previous thread because it is in reply to other posters. I argued that we were going to have to change what was a winning formula- people argued we did not have one. I sat down and let the stats back up what we already knew, or should have at least noticed. I can not see how anyone can say we had not found a formation that was reaping great returns, a formation Mick had masterminded and one the players were able to execute with great effect pretty much game after game. We have played a nice round 30 games now and here are the returns breaking them down in to three parts of our season thus far. First ten games: W 2 D 3 L 5 = 9 points For 10 Against 16 = .9 per game points ratio. Second ten games: W 3 D 0 L 7 = 9 points For 10 Against 18 = .9 points per game ratio Our Last ten games: W 4 D 2 L 4 = 14 points For 15 Against 15 = 1.4 points per game ratio Usually a point per game will see you safe; last season we took a point per game and were 8 points clear of relegation. This season of course is its own story. The point per game will not prove anywhere near enough, over the course of our first 20 games we were not even hitting a point per game. 2 points per game is likely to win the title; Manchester United have more than this, 5 clear of Arsenal (who have a game in hand.) So, over the course of the last ten games we have scored more than at any time during the season, and have coneded less. Our points return over ten games is 5 more than we were taking from the same amount of games at any other time during the season. We have lost one from our last 6, so how can anyone suggest we had not found a winning formula? If we were Manchester United then it would not prove a winning formula. They aspire to win the title each year. Ours had come to survive, and with the upward trend, significant improvements in performance and points gained, we were well on our way to a comfortable finish.
New York City Wolf
Continued! .... As far as the formation goes, we can call it 4-5-1 or we can call it 4-3-3. Personally I would call it 4-3-3; I think we implement the system to great effect- Villa were not good but I scribbled at one point when they came into our half at times they were met with two steady lines four, with a drifter and Doyle ahead of them. We broke down one attack after another would make the right pass, maintain posession and break with speed. Don't take my word for it though; almost everyone on here has spoken of us bombarding various opposition from the flanks which means that Jarvis, Hammill and Doyle are spending a lot of time in attacking postions, as is the team which moves forward well as a unit and as we haev noticed have effectively used the offside to great effect over recent months killing more attacks before they have even began and reclaiming the ball at the same time. We have not 'scraped' past teams, and clung on to one goal leads like puppy dogs clutching their toys; we had the ball in the net twice before we even scored against Villa and whilst both efforts were correctly ruled out it proved which way the tide was flowing. Whoopee, they hit the bar; hitting the bar is much the same as tapping in from an offside position- its not a goal. Perhaps we should have beaten the likes of United and Chelsea by greater margins? Would people feel better if we had slapped them around three or four- of course because we would be dominating world football but let's put our reality boots back on. We were banging our heads against the wall for some time thanks to our continued occupation in the bottom three, eventually we accepted we were going to be in a relegation fight until the end, and once everyone was on board we were showing great signs that we would steer clear of relegation, with some comfort come the end of May. Some have almost welcomed the news with wild excitment thinking this is going to result in Mick has no choice but to revert to a traditional 4-4-2; I feared this. The reason our defence has looked better is because of the formation. We don't have enough in the middle, or the tactical nouse to rely on two middle men, we look completely flat we lose posession and whilst Stearman and Berra have imrpoved week after week they will start seeing more of the ball each week and the same as if you hit 20 shots at a keeper you are bound to score at least one, mistakes will rear again. Banksy notes at the end that he believes Mick will stick with one up front and the closer we get to the game the more along these lines I think Mick we be playing it. Take nothing away from SEB and Flecth- I have championed them all season long and one day in the not too distant future I would like to see us be able to maintain 4-4-2 for periods of games but I think the formation is fairly outdated anyway. The injury does not take away our form and it is not the end of the world. The article was in mind, so it must have been in Mick's all season and they must have a few more ideas up their sleeve. Saturday will prove very intresting for many reasons. Personally I can't wait for the game. I said I would have taken two points from these two away games. We already have three and I don't think we will be beaten at the weekend so long may this run continue.
New York City Wolf
It's a question of weighing up the advantages of having an extra person to shore up the defence against having an extra man in attack. Of course, neither system is rigid because the 4-5-1 formation readily transforms itself into 4-3-3 when going forward, for instance. Playing 4-4-2 does gives us advantages in attack, offering greater opportunities to score goals (as opposed to a goal with 4-5-1) and therefore providing a cushion, should the opposition score. With a 4-5-1 system the opposition is less likely to succeed but over 90 minutes chances are going to come. Recently, we have redressed the balance of luck but we cannot always rely on it. We have missed opportunities, playing 4-5-1, whilst arguably the system has only worked at all because we have had the best holder-upper at the front in the business.
Southbank60
" We have the best holder-upper" is perhaps the best thing I have read on here in months. I tilt my plain white Sun Visor sir; I have decided to socialize in the costume of Dr. Gonzo. Anyways. There are arugments left, right and the so on, but the missing bit/the middle bit is my concern- 4-4-2 should technically create more chances but if we are losing the midfield we are not going to get the ball out to the wingers and I am not sure which two players would fit the bill in the middle. Henry is the obvious because Mick has already stated if he is fit he plays, so who sits with him. O'Hara based on his impact would be the stand out choice and selection of ours no doubt, and Mick's but should Milijias really be sitting on the bench? I don't think so. Even when he has an off game, and he has had a few which I would describe as hit and miss, he has still proven instrumental in winnning penalties, finding that intricate pass that is beyond certain players, most of ours, and most importantly his delivery. I would like to see the assist stats at the end of the season. I think the three of them together can do a grand job. O'Hara has already put his name on the score sheet a couple of times already, Milijias is getting in the box a lot more, and Captain Fanatastic even had a shot the other week (worry not, the optician is on the case.) I think the three bring a very good blend to the side AND WE CAN STILL INCLUDE TWO WINGERS. I think Jarvis has been fantastic with his tracking back and has saved us on a number of occasions-steering our left back position to present better health> ? whilst Hammill has already surpassed expectations- now it is up to him to maintain such standards with the likes of Kites and Hunt back on the scene. It makes for a pleasant read at the moment seeing these players return from injury; Adlene is one I think who will prove the big surprise and have a major impact on our survival.
New York City Wolf
 

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