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A first among equals!

A first among equals!

At the end of the day we can debate all day about the team or manager but results are what we will be judged by.

The main cause for concern last year was two-fold, our defence and what I consider the main fault, our failure to beat the teams around us.

Despite a very kind start to the fixtures this year we are already falling into the habit of performing badly against our 'equals', home games against teams who came up and teams around us at the lower end of the table.

Last year it was offset by us performing well against the teams at the top end of the table, can we again be expected to do this? or as I suspect, this season teams will be prepared for us and will not again underestimate us?

Buying one central defender was I fear not enough and buying again in January when prices are at a peak and good players at a minimum will probably be our only course of action.

I will be the first to admit Ward has surprised me and has performed really well at left back, the problem areas I think are another centre back and a good defensive holding midfielder to protect the back four.

In our three seasons back in the top flight we have so far won only 22 games and lost 44, this trend has to be reversed otherwise I fear for us this term.

Wigan, Sunderland and Norwich are home games that we simply have to win to retain any sort of points total, 18 points was I think the total at the turn of the year last year, looking at our away fixtures Everton and Bolton look to be our only 'glimmer' of a chance at an away point though they are not exactly happy hunting grounds for us!

By the turn of the year if we don't reach that 18 point mark I think it will leave us to much to do, we all remember last seasons last day finish, well it could all be over way before that if we continue as we are!

No one knows what funds were made available to Merlin in the summer, if he spent only what was available then blame cannot be solely his, but if funds were there and he chose not to sign any more personnel then he surely must be accountable?

It could be ironic that the home game against one of his former clubs, Sunderland could be his final one in charge?


Article suggestion from member Crete Wolf

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Writer:Crete Wolf
Date:Wednesday November 2 2011
Time: 2:00PM


Nice article Crete- you bring those stats together nicely to put things in perspective. I have been studying those home fixtures also and thought along the very same lines- they are games we need near maximum points from if we are to realize a points tally come January that stands us in any shape of good stead. I return to just after the start of the season, I think ahead of the Tottenham game. Tottenham proved on paper our most difficult home game before the turn of the year. With measured optimism I suggested, heaven forbid we could actually go unbeaten at home for the rest of the year, and how absurd a suggestion that seems now. The fixture list was kind to us this year, but we are already staring ahead at trips to the top six and what chance we can repeat anywhere near our success against them last season? Reason says expect little, which puts us right back to needing to beat those we are supposedly on a par with. We have shown very little indication over the past eight games that we can either play well, or take points- hardly a promising formula. I stand by my assertion that two games against Manchester City offered Mick breathing space he would not have enjoyed if we had been beaten by one of many. It comes to the crunch this weekend; I just don't think he can sustain a defeat to Wigan. Do I think the club will sack him Monday morning? I don't. I am not sure how bad things will have to get before they realize there really is no alternative, by which point we may enter the new year with a dozen points and a miserable beginning to 2012 to suffer. Last season the message from the board was clear- stay up or not and Mick will be in charge come the start of next season. Going into the last game I suggested he go right after it, also regardless of outcome. The last day survival act papered over the glaring fact we had by finishing 17th, taken a step backwards. I refused to 'celebrate' that last day survival, in spite of the obvious relief, because it was not in my book a measure of any success. It cost 18 million to take a step backwards, so if you are going to stick with that manager you should assume it will cost the same to at least maintain survival once more, let alone see 'improvement.' I think most managers will happily spend vast sums of money if it is provided to them- I am of the belief that he may have inquired of the budget and was given what he spent. In that regard the club decided to stick with him, and provide him a restrictive budget (fair enough considering how he spent previously)- in that sense should they can take their share of the 'blame' for where we are? The faith and loyalty afforded the manager is admirable. He did inherit a handful of players and a million pound budget; he worked wonders with it and brought us back to the promised land. He arrived with a talented young squad which he was able to add to with more than sufficient amounts. We are no better than we were back then and it is a direct result of an inability to cut out basic mistakes, organize a back four, pick players on merit, offer tactical flexibility (we have two approaches) drop favourites and resist those bizarre substitutions that pop into his head. People are still bothered by the numpty tag which I have never referred to; swearing at the fans and describing those who criticize as 'mindless idiots' is taking things too far. He can bang on about receiving letters of support but in the majority he has lost the fans. Practically everyone back home is a Wolves fan and to make it sound like a Coke/Pepsi advert I would say that 9 out of 10 fans I speak to want the manager gone. He has put his name in the history books with his achievements at the club and I hope he can be fondly remembered for that but he has taken this club as far as he can. Considering the solid financial foundations of the club, the development of the stadium and the owner's vision surely we can not sacrifice a promising new chapter for our club in the name of blind loyalty.
New York City Wolf
02/11/2011 15:35:00
Nice response, Yorkie, but I am making no comment until after the Wigan game. Even so, the outcome will only define our season if we lose it. If we win it, it does not necessarily mean that we will win games against other relegation rivals. After all, we beat WBA at home and still struggled. Nonetheless, it would be a step in the right direction.
02/11/2011 21:39:00
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