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A defeat too far?


Sod the stats for the moment. I`ve just shared a carriage back to London with a load of Ipswich supporters and I have more important things on my mind.

If losing to our bitter rivals last year was enough to end MM`s career at Molineux, how much worse is it for his successor to lose - and in such an abject fashion- to the team which Mick is currently managing? Whereas he has revived Ipswich`s fortunes, we are sinking ever more deeply into the mire.

In normal circumstances the Ipswich fixture would not be a must-see at any cost event but because it brought MM back to Molineux it achieved iconic status. For the same reason, it became a must-win game because more than three points were at stake. The outcome would measure how far we had progressed since we sacked Mick after the WBA game.

In my last report I stated that if we lost, it could have a retrograde effect on our thinking because it would imply that we would have been better off had we kept our faith in MM. I still feel the same way. It`s not that we were wrong to sack MM (though he should have gone when it would have made a difference, preferably at the end of our second season in the PL or at worst in the January 2012 window) but rather the response of all the club`s constituent elements: the board, the coaching team, the players and the fans.

Even if MM is proving at Ipswich that he is an excellent Championship manager, I accepted the argument that we should build for the future by appointing someone who would not only take us back to the PL but who would mould a team capable of staying there. The latter is something that MM patently cannot do, even if the ten Ipswich fans I spoke to on the train this evening firmly believe the opposite. Good luck to them!

I also bought into the Solbakken revolution, focusing on his success at Copenhagen rather than on his failure at Cologne. Under him, I thought, we would play attractive football, pinging the ball precisely and at pace around the pitch to players running into position. At the back, defenders would patrol their allotted sector of the field, effortlessly swatting away any incursion into their space. Units, moreover, would work in unison, moving up and back in tandem, thereby putting added pressure on the opposition in attack and providing greater strength in depth in defence.

That`s the theory but in practice it`s an absolute shambles. Is it, as I posed in my last report, the fault of the players, either because they are incapable of executing the plan or because they do not believe in it? Or, is it the fault of the manager (and his coaching team) either because he (they) cannot explain the system properly, because he is too dogmatic and abrasive in his approach or because he does not fully understand the nature of the Championship game?

That a manager like MM can turn round a team like Ipswich and get them to run rings round a side like WW indicates the chasm that exists between Continental sophisticates and British pragmatists. Something has gone dreadfully wrong if a team, stuffed with players who got us into the PL a few short years ago (and improved with one or two foreign imports), could look so clueless on the pitch today. I suspect that the players do not believe in SS`s system and, even if subconsciously, are not really trying to make it work. And, with every defeat, their confidence drops and their resentment increases (as does that of the fans: inevitably the final whistle was accompanied by boos and catcalls). If this is the case - and there was little sign of real effort today- then Solbakken has to go. No manager (this side of Fergie) can buck the wishes of antagonised dressing-room.

If only I could see some progress I might be a little more forgiving but we have gone backwards. At this rate, we are heading for relegation. We were dreadful today and never looked like scoring (as the stats will show when I get round to them).

The players were tentative, couldn`t string passes together and were constantly giving the ball away. Before Ipswich scored their first goal we made several attempts to clear our lines but only succeeded in presenting the ball to the opposition. When we attacked, the movement invariably broke down because of a miscued pass or the potential receiver was not operating on the same wavelength as the passer. If we managed to get a cross in there was no-one running in to slot it home. The only times that SEB ran at pace into the box was when he was fruitlessly chasing back passes.

If we cannot pick up points against average sides like Ipswich, I can see no way forward short of a new manager ... or a massive 'restocking' of our squad. It`s clear that, for whatever reason, relations between SS and the team have broken down and that they are unlikely to improve. A fresh start is needed but the board have to act decisively, either bringing in a new manager or chucking a lot of money at the problem while the January window is open.

If the board does not provide SS with the necessary funds, he has to go because he cannot work with this lot. SM mustn`t make the same mistake as he did with MM and wait too long before sacking him. And,this time there are good candidates available. I favour Sean O`Driscoll as a replacement perhaps with Craddock as cover until the deal is concluded. Come to think about it, why not give him an official position now? He does enjoy the support and respect of the players. My worry is that our tight-fisted board will choose neither of these options but will keep SS on as manager, hoping with fingers crossed that the situation will improve, while giving him a paltry sum to play with.This will surely lead to disaster.

Looking across at the Stan Cullis stand, it becomes an ever greater white elephant as the defeats mount. Just think how useful it would have been to spend the money on players who could have covered the weaknesses in our side. And, that is to put aside the millions we have in our coffers. If we cannot claw back the millions it cost to build that stand, we shouldn`t waste the money we do have at our disposal. At the moment I make this plea not in a spirit of ambition but rather out of desperation.

In the next week or so we will truly see how concerned the board is for the future of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. At this critical moment in our history, I only hope that its members are fully aware of the gravity of the situation and act accordingly. I'm off to Crystal Palace on Tuesday but I will be travelling more in hope than expectation.




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The Journalist

Writer: southbank60 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday December 29 2012

Time: 11:58PM

Your Comments

O'Driscoll? Really? He would have to buy players in Jan to suit his style, so why not stick with SS and let him do that?. Let him prove himself with HIS players, not MM's one dimensional lot. It was blatently obvious the last two games that the players can't adapt to his tactics - they looked terrible. "You can't polish a turd!"
dtuk
Ideally, I agree with you, dtuk, and managers like O'Driscoll might merely repeat the pattern we witnessed under MM. However, I am desperate now and have thrown out all arguments about long term progression in favour of mere survival! I would like to give Ss the time he requires but does he have it or will he receive the injection of cash he needs to buy in players who can work the system?
Southbank60
Southbank60 happy xmas I agree we need to give SS more time my worry is did he watch the dvds of these players. Because if he did he would of known they do not know how to play any other way bar hoof the ball up the field.The defence is just the same dont no what they are doing we have three strikers one cant score goals one three stone over weight and one that now plays on the wing when we have a loan player who is supposed to be a winger which is confussing.We have to give SS more time give him the money and let him spend it in Jan and also just get rid of the crap MM left us with which is to many to mention.
kiawolves
Lets be honest, he ain't gonna get bucket loads to spend. But a couple of decent signings in key positions, plus Pzecko and O'Hara to come back (he should have come on earlier - he was our most creative player and was only on for 20 mins!). Margreitter is a strange one - is he fit or does SS just not fancy him? Boukari out longer term I think. O'Hara the key one for me as he has the creative influence we are desperately missing. Hopefully that will spark a few of the others into life and give us enough for a mid table finish. Continue rebuilding next season.
dtuk
Stale cannot get Mccarthsy old dogs to learn new tricks, but he wont be given the backing to replace them either. The result is totally predictable. If the shoe fits - and it's cheap - we shall wear it, and plodding along with player-sale surplus, pre-tax profits, parachute payments and regular 20k gates is THE BEST KIND OF BUSINESS YET. I am a firm believer that Morgan is milking the club, and his little piggy is helping himself to the leftovers ... everything points towards it, and the 2Ms cant even be bothered to respond. Kerching./
AdMant
PS - I dont think Stale should go either - but he's gonna get the sack cos he cant get the staff. Can we not out source job to an automated machine perhaps? That would save the club some money... Press 1 for away formation, press 2 for home, press 3 to select flavour of pie ...
AdMant
ADMANT same old garbage about Jez/Steve, can't you come up with something new, me I would close the south bank because they are a disgrace to the club, my bet is that the louts that attacked jamie, attacked Sir Jack and Jez, threw paint over the managers car and put munition on the pitch before a home game came from this stand. They also got rid of one of the most successful managers we have had for the last 30 odd years. Fans leaving early yesterday were leaving on two counts - the match was crap and because of the moaning morons who do more moaning than supporting, the players are scared to death to play at the molineux because of our superb supporters! it must have been music to MM/TCs ears to hear the level of support that our fans were giving out -joke! just has ferguson must have done on boxing day, they know that if you stop the team playing then our fans TURN! big time, has for the "new" stand this is becoming boring - how many players do you think we would have got for the money spent building this stand! you have already been told that this money is aside from anything else, maybe we should have stopped building the academy and better training facilities, what the hell if players don't want to sign for us because the training facilities are crap -just spend, spend, spend on the team. When we go to othere clubs (like luton or Bristol cty were they had no hot water for hot drinks?) we should talk to their fans and tell them we have CEO who has kept the club debt free, who has got a great deal of money off average players, who refuses to spend over the odds for average players, we also have an owner who has a vision for the club that in time will lead to better and greater things, an owner who is building a state of the art academy with catergory one status that only twenty clubs in the whole of the country have? he wants to rebuild the stadium so that the fans have better more comfortable facilities - that has already started with a new stand that has a marvelous museum,bars,etc (some of the bogs are crap) the away fans are no longer behind the goals the our fans had to move to other parts of the ground to accommodate them, oh and I forget his company make a profit! they will laugh at you and call for the funny farm wagon. A new manager -we have had five so far in twelve years! if a new manager comes in he will need to assess the playing staff all over again and so we have to wait again, or we could just let the players choose the manager they want! god forgive we let the fans choose, I have never been ashamed to be a Wolves fan -BUT I AM ASHAMED TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH SOME OF THE PRESENT LOT OF SO CALLED FANS! in the 70s the North Bank (the home stand) and the South Bank had an atmosphere second to none (maybe the kop was better), today all we get is the south bank having a go at the north bank, telling us how much they hate the a****n (f*** the a****n) and turning on the lads as soon has things don't go right. Of course I want the lads to be winning matches, top of the league (the premiership that is) and winning trophys, but while we keep booing the team instead of supporting them we ain't going anywere fast. Lets get a new manager and start the whole process off again, and again,and again.....until the fans say otherwise! and what fair minded manager would want to come to a club that he knows the fans turn faster than a rotten egg, maybe the managers we have been after turned us down because of this, they know that they are not only fighting the teams in the division but also our fickle fans, they also know that our fans can turn on them and their families! same goes for any players we may be interested in, would you sign for a club were you are aware that the fans will attack you and your familiy if you play bad? Has for milking the club - I bet you were the same when Sir Jack was here, if you owned a business (wich the club is) wouldn't you want a share of the profits - NO! you would rather go bankrupt than take any money - wow! no wonder the country is in a mess.
johnwolf
Admant i can understand your frustration but the fact is we have one of the biggest squads in the division and untill we can get rid of the deadwood which is at least half the squad we wil not add.the reason being the wage bill just gets bigger with players who have no chance of playing still getting paid. That is not SS fault or Morgans or Moxeys that was MMs fault for lumbering the club with a load off donkeys who nobody else wants. I have said many a time they were not PL players and most are not even Championship players if they were we wold not be hovering just above the relagation zone but untill we can get things sorted we have grin and bear it and hope Jan brings some xmas cheer and a merry xmas to you all and a drunken new year.
kiawolves
Firstly, and I say this sincerely, Johnwolf......that's the most sensible piece of writing I have heard you come out with.....more of the same please...less abuse and more concise well thought out conversation. Sacking SS now would condemn us to finishing the season with a whimper or worse. I hear there will be an announcement on Monday saying that SS will be given a large war chest to sort out the team...this will hopefully include getting rid of some of the dross we have. You can't make a silk purse out of a pigs ear and we have too many pigs ears. Clearly some of our players can't adjust so get rid of them. The only defender I would keep would ironically be RJ. The rest are not good enough. I hate the booing...does my head in and the worst part was listening to the hypocrites in the Southbank singing only one mick McCarthy ......aren't these the same SB who got him sacked? Booing Pennant in the last game was a disgrace.....he was one of the better players on the pitch. Injuries haven't helped and a few bad ref decisions. Get behind SS and let him build....this kind of transition is painful but should be worth it in the long run.
Rustmonkey
Firstly, We are currently pleading with Berra to sign a new contract - We have told SEB he is staying put - we are persisting with Ward and Foley at the back - exactly how is that "getting rid of the dead wood" ? Prove me wrong, please I hope for nothing more than to be proved wrong and 7 players walk next week ... but the problem is we cant give them away ... Secondly, We are cash flush ... no one is saying spunk 30mil on 2 players ... but WE DO HAVE SOME MONEY to spend ... Football isnt about having the biggest bank balance by the end of the season, it's about having the most points. Get rid of the leaches that are sucking us dry - sack em, sell em for free, whatever needs to be done to stop us from drowing and dropping to the League 1... even a non-wolves fan like me doesnt want to see that.
AdMant
Oh, and thanks for the well wishes Kiawolf ... Merry Christmas to you and to all Wolves fans, we survived the end of the earth and we shall survive this ... HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!!
AdMant
While there were boos at half-time and at the end of the match, they were not as loud as I expected them to be. I think most fans were too stunned as they watched the car crash happening in front of them to do anything other than look on in dismay. Of course, this meant that they were not giving the players the vocal support they desperately required. For long stretches of the second half the stadium was deathly quiet. To be fair there was nothing to shout about. This is what worries me because it appeared as though the players had given up, especially after the second goal went in. I would have expected a fast and furious response to the situation, which would have galvanised the crowd into roaring their support. Personally, I felt flat; there was no tension and the game quietly petered out. It makes you think that there is some truth in the rumour that some of the players at least, unhappy with the direction that SS is taking them, are adopting a 'go slow' approach to matches. If so, it would warrant a boo or two.
Southbank60
Precisely, Southbank60. The old 1970s union tactic;the 'go slow'.The players are trying their best... to get the manager sacked. I'll say it if no-one else wants to.
winstonsmith84
Southbank60 if that is the case he needs to isolate these players and get them out of the club as fast as pos as we can not kee playing the way we were jus hoof it up the field and hope for some luck.
kiawolves
Spot on JohnWolf, let me try and come up with a bit of logic, footballers are young and easily affected, there is a great saying and i quote a pat on the back is sometimes worth more than a pay rise, you do not get the best out of anybody when you give them vitrobolic abuse, yes i agree that the dross left to us by Mick are not capable of being technical but its all we have got until SS can build his own squad my only quip is that the kids need looking at especially the young lad that Moyes is keen on, give them a chance at least they are young,hungry and can be moulded into the player Stale wants, Henry,Ward,Foley,Berra,Blake,Doyle yes Doyle get rid and quick or shove them in the reserves were they might come to there senses and realise that they do not rule this club and if they are good enough as there egos think they are then they will adjust to Stales system and lets hope MM gives us the cash to compete and please Micky please take the above dross to your new club. To the fans if you are worthy of that title the best way to get the best out of some one is to SUPPORT your team from the offset and not to wait for something to happen Man u etoll do that not true fans lets get the away atmosphere at Molinuex and scare the c**p out of our opponents like we used to, Happy New Year From the Somerset Wolf
davies09
Well said, davies09. I shall be shouting the lads on tomorrow at Selhurst Park.
Southbank60
before you say it, i know its jez...soz
gregory house
wasnt exactly a big backing of the manager from Jex then? we can buy but only if we sell first....who is gonna buy who? Jex also stated that these players are good enough and need to sort themselves out, not exactly the greatest thing to say. Although I do know what he means, it wont be music to the fans ears who are anticipating big moves in the next month. It says to me that there will be little or no moves in jan, especially if we cant offload any players first.
gregory house
If they neither back him nor sack him, then they have learned not a thing.
winstonsmith84
 

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