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Was this season a success or a failure?

We came mighty close to losing our Premier League status this season.

In an epic 'Survival Sunday' 40 points nearly wasn't enough to avoid relegation for the first time in years.

But while Sunday proved a nail biting experience, 40 points was enough and we did keep our Premier League status intact for a third season.

For me that was our only target this season, but for some it would appear that Mick McCarthy hasn't done enough to remain at Molineux.

So was this season a success or a failure for you?

This time last year, we all hoped we would build on the previous seasons performance in the Premier League and to an extent we did do just that.

In 2009-10 we finished 15th with 38 points, scoring the least amount of goals in the league (32), with only 5 wins and 13 goals coming at Molineux.

This season we may have finished 2 places lower, but we scored 2 more points, scoring 17 more goals over the course of the season at Molineux which contributed towards winning 3 more games at home.

We beat Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Sunderland six teams who all finished in the top half of the table this year.

That has to be a sign of improvement on the previous year no matter what position we finished, but of course there are areas we have to improve to continue the target of establishing ourselves in the top flight.

No one said that task would be easy and its foolish to think that spending money means it is something we should expect, because the benchmark in the Premier League is a forever moving target (just ask West Ham considering their recent history in the transfer market and the size of their wage bill).

Birmingham went down this year with the Carling Cup proudly placed in the trophy cabinet and nine more points than Burnley achieved the previous year who went down in the same position the season before.

The reason for this is because the bottom half of the Premier League table has become a lot less predictable, that's shown by the results we picked up to the teams around us, which in part led to five clubs being at risk of going down on the final day, even with West Ham already going down the previous week!

So looking forward, our target next season will be to once again avoid the drop, hopefully with a lot more wriggle room than this season!

To do that, we need to improve the defence as while we scored a lot more goals this year, we also conceded a lot more (10), we also need to improve our away form because that also dropped this season (by 5 points) and preferably we need to do this by beating the teams around us, which ultimately needs us to more consistent!

Is Mick McCarthy the man to do that? Well I'm sure we'll debate that over the course of the summer, for me and ultimately I think the for Moxey and Morgan he is and why shouldn't he be? He led us to the Premier League and has kept us there over the past two seasons. That is his target and he has achieved it.

Is he capable of taking us to the next step too? Well a new manager would need time (and crucially money) to change the team, he would want to bring in his own team to play they way he would require.

We don't need wholesale changes to move forward so why make changes to the management team? McCarthy just needs the support to make the improvements that we know need to be made.

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The Journalist

Writer: Akela Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday May 23 2011

Time: 3:06PM

Your Comments

This season was an abject failure just not good enough next season will be the same and we effectively overachieved this one! Moxey said on the radio this morning that they are looking to a mid table finish next he said that at the start of this season. Morgan either does not have or will not spend big enough money on players and just wants to build an effigy to himself.
Mikey1mcl
Its still early days but without repeating myself to much I still dont have a 'feel good' factor after the week-end. Regarding the future, I would stay in the same position as I stated some weeks ago,that is I would give Merlin until xmas to show what improvements we have made,even if we had gone down I would have given the same amount of time. Its in the coaching department I would like to see a new appointment straight away,someone to assist Merlin and perhaps bring in some new ideas. I would think that before we spend to much we'll need to have a 'clear out',I think a lot of players should be shipped out and as I stated earlier would love to relieve Blues of Dann and Johnstone(would they suffer a drop in wages through being relegated?)maybe its written into their contracts. No doubt over the course of the next few weeks a few names will be banded about,and of course on this site their will be a lot of ideas on who we should be bringing in!.UTW.
Crete Wolf
Good article Akela. For me Mick is our man. But next season must be better.
PanFiluta
Good to read some sense on here, rather than the ramblings of the fickle and knee jerkers! Trust akela to come up with the goods.
Wolf Man
The bottom line is that we survived and, given the fact that we propped up the table for most of the season, that has to be accounted a victory of sorts. By any other yardstick, however, the season was a very disappointing one. We spent a lot of money on 'improving' the squad in order to avoid getting embroiled in another relegation struggle and we found ourselves in even worse trouble. Last year the Blackburn game made us safe ... well before the 87th. minute of the final match (which we lost to BR). Most of that money was wasted and we only saw some return when circumstances forced MM to give Fletcher a proper run out in the team. Someone has to take the blame for ineffective use of funds and the inexplicable loss of form against the teams around us. Complacency, poor tactics, playing people out of position, favouritism and a wilful refusal to bring in players to cover glaring weaknesses all contributed to our poor overall performance. Everyone knew that we needed to obtain one or two central defenders and a left back but nothing was done about it. Then, when we suffered setbacks in April, we were told that the coaching staff were correcting the mistakes on the training field. They didn't! And why is it that a manager, who was an international central defender, cannot accurately assess the quality of players like Mouyokolo or Van Damme or instruct defenders in basic skills. What worries me is that the management will think that there is no need introduce changes - after all, we're still in PL - but that would be a huge mistake. Have you all forgotten how tense you were on Sunday and how close we were to going down? I await the opening of the transfer window in a week's time with interest.
Southbank60
You raise some good points Akela but for me our final standing can only point to a step backwards. You can only play against what is in front of you. If you are losing 3-0 two goals is not going to help you win the game is it. So, we may have picked up two more points but that still amounted to 17th due to the competition. Manchester United would not have been clapping their hands if they had scored two more points than last season but finished second because their goal would not have been achieved. If survival was the only goal then it was achieved but who are we listening to? At the start of the season Moxey indeed said we were aiming much higher and they'd be right to expect that having spent a large sum of money. Money of course is not always the answer but if we were the third biggest spenders then you really have to expect improvement, not finishing two places below. I am not sure why Morgan gets so much stick; his reactions through the game show he was going through the same as all of us- the fans do invest tidy sums to support our team but it is fair to say he has invested a fair amount himself correct?! He has stuck to his manager like glue and that is admirable. I can't however see him allowing another repeat of that but everything is in the timing of course. I don't think you can say fairer than Crete who argues the manager should be given until Christmas to show whether he can take us to the next level. All the talk is of us bringing in four new players and you can bet that this time we will be looking at players in the 4-5 million bracket as opposed to the likes of Mouyokolo (wonder how much we will get for him- if anyone would want to sign him.) This will prove a second summer of fairly heavy investment and if we are still flapping away in the bottom five, or forbid, bottom three by Christmas then he would have to go. The hardest season should have proven the first. At the end of the day we have somehow spent the majority of the season in the bottom three yet survived. There can be absolutely no repeat of this and aiming for survival next season, or being happy with it does not follow what even the club itself is saying. They expect continued development and decisions will be made accordingly. We were all hoping Mick could guide us to a much better position but some of his teams, tactics and decisions are mind boggling. As said above, you expect more from a former international and a defender at that. We need a good start, goes without saying. Look at Blackpool's and then where they ended up.
New York City Wolf
I have just read that Maierhofer is returning to WW, a timely reminder of the mistakes we made in last year's transfer window. Please, no repeat!
Southbank60
100% success , 40 pts beating 4 of the so called top 6 teams and derby victories over Villa Blues and Albion , More pts than last year how can it not be a success ??? , If your about to reply and give your reasons lets all remember the following , Guedioura out for the season as good as , Kightly out for the season , Hunt half a season , Zubar half a season , Mancienne half a season , Van Damme we hardly saw , Edwards we hardly saw , Doyle and Henry both had 8 week lay offs , Mouyokolo has been injury plagued and we aint seen him , Blakes had a few 2/3 week lay offs , Craddock was missing for the most of it , And Dave Jones has spat his dummy out over his contract , You tell me how a manager has got victories like we have seen and had to put up with a hellish injury list like that and got 40 pts , In my eyes we have performed miracles this year , A Manager can only be blamed for Van Damme nothing else , Also 2 pts dropped against the Albion in the last min and Everton , Plus Bolton and Utd taking 2 pts off us with late winners , This happens in football , Maybe next year we will get 7-8 pts with last min winners , Keep the faith and stop blaming MM hes worked miracles every year and is a top manager !!!
ODDJOB79
But they weren't all out at the same time and which team has not had injury problems? When you point out the extenuating circumstances that explain why we didn't do any better than barely survive (in spite of management's protestations about mid-table safety and the availability of 17-18m) you could have added that the team was also labouring under the difficulties I enumerated above: complacency, poor tactics, playing people out of position, favouritism and a wilful refusal to bring in players to cover glaring weaknesses.
Southbank60
Ok Southbank , Do you honestly think Mick has had the chance to play the best side he thinks was his best side all season ? and include Hunt n O hara in that , Hunt as we know he tried to get from day 1 !!! does he get praise for bringing him in to cover up us being weak on the 1 flank ? or O hara to cover the non creative side in the middle which he noticed , Or to play Ward up top just off Fletcher to cover for Doyles work rate which we missed ohhhh and Fletcher has improved his work rate so hes noticed what he has to do , Zubar is a mile ahead of Foley and until he broke his leg Guedioura was looking immense alongside Henry , No matter which way you look at it injuries at key times to key players has killed us sometimes , Mouyokolo , I dont know if you have ever seen him play is a mileeeeeeeee ahead of any other centre half we have in terms of pace technical ability and power , Most Wolves fan on here are so negative its unreal , Blues wage bill was probably twice as much as ours and West Hams 3 times as much if not 4 times and they have gone down hahaha , The league was a lot harder this time around and we have lept in it , We all know a centre half is needed maybe 2 but thats it !
ODDJOB79
ODDJOB79: I can agree with much of what you say but you carefully select the good points and look at the team's performance with an uncritical eye. I am not alone in thinking that management and players should have done better for reasons I have outlined above. Regarding Mouyokolo, it is difficult to make an accurate assessment, given his injuries and lack of match-time. I applauded his purchase, thinking that he did possess the traits you enumerate (Hull's fans rated him too). However, he did not perform well when he was on the pitch (but I would also agree that it takes time to get back to PL speed). I apologize to no-one when I say that Jarvis is not yet the finished article: it is still hit or miss whether he beats his man, manages to cross the ball before going over the goal-line or hits his target man. It's also a pity we can't really evaluate Kightly's ability to 'cut it' in the PL but, if I remember correctly, there were signs last season that he was coming good ... that is, until he got injured again (against Birmingham, wasn't it?). On a personal note I do not want to be negative and I will luxiurate in a WW win (and give credit for it) as much as the next man. But I have to call it as I see it and, given all the hype and money spent at the beginning of the season, you have to admit that the end result did not match up to what we were led to believe would happen. At the moment, I am just grateful that we have survived and that went for all the fans around me in the BW Stand. Even so, as I was heading out of the ground I heard a number of voices of dissent, with people expressing their disappointment at the team's overall performance and making critical comments against management and individual players. You, too, must have expected a better season than the one we have just experienced. I just hope that lessons have been learnt and that the shortcomings outlined above will not re-occur. I try to be fair-minded, giving credit where it is due (and MM often did get his tactics and team selections right) but, as a fan with the club's best interests at heart, I feel that I can query a decision when it harms the team. A jingoistic approach does the club no favours.
Southbank60
You speak sense in most parts but am i the only one who thinks 18 million is what United spent on 2 kids ? , Its not a lot of money these days , Clubs just did not buy big last summer and we were busy but we bought a few players and 6.75 went on Fletcher whos goals has come to the fall since Doyle got injured , Hunt was what 4/5 so thats over half of what we spent on 2 players , I think Elokobi coul be replaced , we thought Van Damme would but that went t!ts up , Im sure McCarthy though mouokolo would be good alongside Berra but that didn't happen , Zubar is better than Foley , Jarvis and Hunt for me are better than Kightly and Hammill , Ohara will make a big difference next season , Look at the clubs above us and over the past few seasons Albion aside have all spent near enough the same as us but they have the fortune of already having a player than can fetch 15-20-25-30-35 million where as we dont , We were a VERY average team when we got promoted and we are getting there but if you think building a settled prem team overnight was gonna be the case lol , Put it another way United have just spent 16 million on a goalie , We probably wont spend 16 million in the summer !!!! , Dont expect miracles and realise your club does not deserve to be top half yet , Karl Henry said your not an established club unitl you have been in the prem for 6/7 years and hes right !
ODDJOB79
Stamps feet, waves arms, someone, anyone (preferably every one!), come and say hi on the forum! We've never been so busy on the front page articles so now is perfect time to get the forums busy!
akela
ODDJOB79: convergence! I agree with virtually all of your comments. However, I do think that Kightly is a better player than Jarvis, though, as you say, he has to prove it in the PL and has to overcome his injury problems. I have watched Jarvis very carefully, both before and after the flak I received when I suggested that we might sell him in order to finance the purchase of the defenders we so desperately need. I think he has to become more consistent in all three key aspects of a winger's game: rounding his man, crossing the ball and placing it on the head of a striker. On his day he is brilliant but he also has a lot of off-days ... or at least, off-periods in a game. I could go on but enough said. To repeat, I do not want to sell Jarvis - nor any of our top players - but, as you say, the cost of bringing in quality is high. We therefore have to prioritise and make hard decisions. We do have cover on the wings, while we do not even possess reasonable first choices in central defence and at left back. I like Zubar, though. For all his faults (and the one at Bolton could have proved fatal) he offers us an added 'bite' going forward. His charge upfield made the goal against Chelsea at home, if I recall correctly.
Southbank60
hi ODDJOB, just one remark - my blood pressure always go high, when I see some douche writting as Aston Villa or Sunderland want to "swoop" for Doyle for 8 million pounds or Liverpool wants Jarvis.... Double lol at them all. First lol for thinking, that our management are idiots and they can make a bargain.... Second lol for implying, that these clubs are bigger than we are, so we have to spread legs and let them do what they want...... I think, we have at least two players, who are worth more than 20 millions each. But we dont need to sell......... For me especially Doyler can be the next Wolves legend and Mick has to insist, that he is unsaleable. Just like Mick said a year ago - Anyone want Doyle ? Offer us a ridiculous sum of money and him 150k a week and then we can think about it.
PanFiluta
SOUTHBANK i do think Kightly has more ability than Jarvo , But Jarvo has proved it and beating his man and crossing , Did you not see the goal against Sunderland for Fletchers header , At villa he crossed the ball all day long and we had 2 goals disallowed off his crosses , Believe me i could go on , Wingers drift in and out of games thats the nature of the position , Not every player can be a menace like Hunt can hahaha , Doyle aint going knowhere and neither is Jarvis , Deadwood needs to be gone and just 2/3 quality signings each year with hopefully a quality free signing too hahaha , Ive stated who i would like to come in on another post , Bougherra Johnson O hara and Mancienne would be a fine summers spending in my eyes , Berra and Henry to go , New York said Foley in the holding role to replace Henry which in my eyes is a great shout ! Zubar with Stearman as cover at right back is more than ok !
ODDJOB79
Jarvis's cross to Fletcher in the Sunderland match was sublime and I doubt whether it will ever be bettered. It was delicately floated just beyond the reach of the goalie and defender and landed exactly where it was meant to go: on Fletcher's head. Brilliant! But I can also point to many miscued crosses, like the one miles over Hunt's head on Sunday. I think he is inconsistent and does drift in and out of games, and while I take your point about this being in the nature of the position, I feel that he has to improve somewhat in both respects. On the other hand, he is great at tracking back and tackling the man with the ball ... and is far less clumsy than Hunt when doing so. Like you, I don't want to sell him or any of our best players- certainly not Doyle - but we'll have to see how much money is in the kitty. 5m of it is already earmarked for O'Hara. We all agree that we have to buy a couple of central defenders and a LB and money has to be found for PL standard ones. The board may have to make some hard decisions.
Southbank60
While we all enjoy the wins against the top sides, i'd swap them for wins against teams around us at the sharp end, anyday. It's as old a cliche as there is in football , but they really are "six-pointers". Three points won and damage done to another club's survival chances. We're going into our third season now, not the new boys anymore. The newly promoted teams should be looked on as cannon-fodder, for a start. Otherwise it's going to be another very long season. Lets look to finish top of the bottom third having taken maximum points from as many of the clubs below us as possible. Results at places like Stoke, Bolton, Fulham and Sunderland are a much truer benchmark of our progress towards established premiership club than the odd headline grabbing win against the big boys.As for MM?Well, IF he gets money to spend AND we are here again this time next year, then clearly there is no progress to report. I'm happy to go another full season with him, "must do better", though.
Sancho Panza
 

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