Changing faces

So, what have I missed?

Apologies for the lack of commentary on the Paul Lambert saga, but truth be told I didn’t think it was worth interrupting my once a year holiday over what could have been nothing more than paper talk.

But as with last year’s endless takeover speculation it goes to show that there’s rarely smoke without fire.

To bring things back up to speed, here’s a few thoughts on the whole episode and where I think it leaves our club.

Paul Lambert

While probably in the minority, I’m disappointed to see Paul Lambert go. Although I agree with the general consensus that the football was less than sparkling and the results mixed at best, I did feel progression was inevitable next season under his leadership, whether or not that meant a top six finish.

Laurie Dalrymple suggested Lambert got the heave-ho because of the team’s performance over the final months of the season, but I’m fairly sure the much publicised disagreement over transfer policy was likely the decisive factor. That will no doubt come out in the wash when Lambert eventually talks in more detail about his departure.

When Ben and I sat down with him shortly after his appointment, he obviously had big aspirations and talked about reshaping the whole club, not just the team, and putting the fans at the center of everything. Given his ties to Dortmund and what he’d achieved at Norwich, I bought into that and was keen to see him do well.

Talking tactics

The one thing that did disappoint me about Lambert was his constant insistence that ‘football was a simple game’. I think he was making a general point about players working hard, putting in the hard yards, etc, etc, but I was desperate to coax something more technical from him, perhaps a few things he’d picked up shadowing some of the greatest coaches in the world. But nowt was forthcoming.

Although many of you felt Kenny Jackett was dull as dishwater in his interviews, he’d occasionally make reference to tactical setup and how certain players are utilised within a system. Additionally, the excellent book Family: Life, Death and Football, in which he was shadowed during his League One winning season at Millwall, revealed him to be a deeply analytical thinker as well as a strong man-manager.

The point is, right or wrong, I like to believe whoever is sitting in the dugout is at least familiar with some of the more technical nuances that separate professionals from the other 20,000 managers in the stands. Paul Lambert never fully gave me that confidence and as many have stated, certain decisions regarding team selection defied any plausible logic.

Nuno Espirito Santo

With that, I welcome Nuno Espirito Santo with open arms. Although I don’t agree with the manner of his arrival or the various conflicts of interest it presents, it does appear to be a significant coup to have a coach of his pedigree sitting in our dugout.

Nobody has yet grilled him on how he likes his teams to play, but I’m hoping we see a more possession based approach. Regardless of what I did and didn’t like about Zenga and Lambert, neither were able to get us performing well at Molineux and for me that stemmed from the inability of their teams to keep hold of the ball.

Fulham, Huddersfield and Reading all showed that dominating possession can work just as well as the percentage football most managers adopt in the Championship. With vague references made to Santo’s style of play aligning with Fosun’s vision for the club, perhaps this will culminate in something more attractive? We can only dream.

Like most others, I have greater confidence in this appointment than that of Zenga and with most of the summer to play with, there’s no reason the team won’t be well drilled come the start of August.

With his own backroom staff and a better grasp of the English language than Zenga, Santo should feel more comfortable around Compton Park. And bluntly speaking, his CV alone (no disrespect Walter, you were the better goalkeeper) suggests we’ve made a significant upgrade on last summer’s appointment.

He’s going in with his eyes open, knowing full well how the club have treated Jackett, Zenga and Lambert so it will be difficult to have too much sympathy for him if this blows up before Christmas.

Jorge Mendes

There seem to be two questions surrounding the involvement of our friendly super agent overlord.

  1. Should the FA / The Football League be allowing it?
  2. Is it to the benefit of Wolverhampton Wanderers?

The answer to the first is ‘probably not’ but nobody seems to care. Fosun have a direct stake in Mendes’ Gestifute agency so that presents many conflicts of interest in itself, even without him moving players and managers in and out of the club at will. But agents wield a lot of power, so it’s not surprising to see the most powerful of them all making a power move. It’s for the footballing authorities to shut it down. You can complain but it’s just systematic of where football is going, which is dictated by money.

Based on last season, I don’t think you can say that Mendes’ involvement has benefited the club. In fact, I’m certain that if you’d simply given Kenny Jackett the same pot we ended up mostly wasting on his clients, you’d have got a far better return in terms of points on the board.

Yes, we got access to a wonderful talent like Helder Costa but ultimately the team did not improve. If we’re bracing ourselves for another Gestifute influx this summer, we have to hope someone within the club is connecting the dots to make sure it’s more effective.

My real hope is that Mendes is as keen as I think he is to see Wolves in the Premier League, given that it will almost certainly be to his benefit as much as anyone else. More money to play with, better contracts to negotiate, etc means more cash for Gestifute. If his ultimate goal is to see us become a top flight force and in doing so make him even more powerful than anyone could have contemplated an agent becoming then that’s exciting to contemplate.

The other side of the coin of course is the very real prospect that Fosun (partly advised by Mendes) continue to stumble and make poor decisions that put the club in reverse and in that instance, what will happen? What will be their take on things if we’re still in the same position or worse this time next year or the year after that? How long are they prepared to wait for things to take off and what’s the fall back plan as a business if it doesn’t play out as they hope? Those are questions that need to be asked.

For now I suppose, we just do what we’ve always done as supporters of this club – fear the worst but hope for the best.


  1. The WitleyWanderer says:

    No fear, expect the best. Let’s embrace the new setup,as surporters there is nothing else we can do. Enjoy the ride.


  2. theDOOGooder says:

    Never trust a man who thinks he can wear a suit that’s obviously two sizes too small for him.

    He’s surely got enough money to buy a new one that fits!

    I hope you enjoyed your holiday Thomas, I think that a lot of what we bloggers think has already been said on the old thread, and we’re not really any farther forward on the merits or demerits of Santo Claus or ‘Make do and Mendes’.

    I just hope that my rather ridiculous purchase of season tickets for next year will end up a good investment.

    Just two or three really entertaining home games would be a good start.


    • someblokeontinterweb says:

      Doog, I hope all is well we with you. The suit thing has bugged me for a few years it’s “Fashion”
      Outside news reporters without umbrellas when it’s peeing down, and in other stupid situations, more news “We no go live to wherever at 11.30 PM” It’s pitch black for pity’s sake. And I could go on.

      Now to all things WWFC next season realistically a top half finish would be great, 2018 2019 playoffs or automatic promotion and on to the big time. Now when I was a worker that was termed short term and long term goals, or in WWFC just goal would do lot’s of them.

      If this experiment fails then Fosun will just have to suck it up and get a proven Championship manager in, I won’t at this point suggest any names but we have missed out on all of them in the past for reasons obviously connected with the old ownership structure, it will be time for the new boys to step up their game.

      Now for the latest laugh on Monday evening early on I was at my local golf driving range experimenting with a new technique for pitching. I was there about 10 minutes when to older gents arrived obviously travelled together and as in the opposite of urinal etiquette the took the two bays next to me, said hello and started to hit balls.

      After a few minutes they stopped and started talking about cricket, hit a few more balls stopped again and started talking about football, it was obvious that friends as they were one was Villa and one was W.B.

      A few minutes later there were still only the 3 of us there I finished my balls put the gear away said good bye, and just as I got to the door I could nor resist so I turned back to them and shouted “Weem Wolves ay we” I could still here them laughing as I closed the door. What are the chances of that?

      Only three people in one place on a cool June evening and all supporting those 3 clubs in particular. I chuckled all the way home.

      Let’s get some faces in and the season started, really it’s like being 6 years old again but with money and new faces.


      • theDOOGooder says:

        I’m fine thanks someblokeontinterweb. How’s you?

        Your golf story certainly hits a note with me.

        Many times I’ve sat/stood next people at music festivals who, after spotting the Wolves flag, revealed they were Sandwell supporters.

        And when I was having my radiotherapy I kept meeting a Villa fan.

        But they’ve all been perfectly nice chaps and chapesses.


    • This comes from someone who lives in the fashion hot spot of Wolverhampton.


      • theDOOGooder says:

        Fashion hot spot of Melksham in Wiltshire actually.

        But you’re only a hundred or so miles out.

        We’re just getting into flares here, what’s the latest where you are?


  3. Exelent Blogg Thomas agree whole heartily with every word. My biggest worry is if we are still in the same league or worse in 2, 3 years time Fosun and Mendez will pull the plug on funding and leave us where Morgan left us, up for sale.

    These people only see Wolverhampton Wandereers as collateral and they are not going to keep throwing money at it for ever if things are not working out.

    Yet these people, Mendez, Jeff and the faceless Fosun are the ones entrusted by us the fans to make the right decisions so far they haven’t.

    They are relying to much on one person who until 12 months ago probably never heard of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Mendez. I agree Lambertt had to go I agree the back room needed new life and Weiman was never going to get us 20 goals in five seasons never mind one, but as for the new coach and the expected arrival of his country men ie players I’m getting flash backs to last July… Thomas I can only hope thing work out.


    • robin says:

      “These people only see Wolverhampton Wanderers as collateral'” you say.
      We are, once in the Premiership a world wide advert for them.
      They have trillions.
      We are less than a coin in their pocket.
      I think you underestimate Mendes role in the affair.
      Maybe he suggested to Fosun to buy Wolves?
      One thing, they both need the project to be successful and they are both successful.
      A rare quality in my time supporting the Wolves.


      • Oliver Goldblack says:

        Exactly right Robin!
        These boys aren’t the Bhatti brothers or Morgan, Moxey etc… Mendes is one of the most powerful people in football and there’s hardly anyone richer than Fosun around. I can’t see them bothered about selling Costa for 20M, to make a 7M profit either. Thats nothing for them.
        Mendes will have all the top up and coming Portuguese talent on his books (thats how he started his business), he could easily have the next Ronaldo or a few more Costa’s that could end up our way – instead of ‘young and hungry’ dross from league 1 and 2 that we’ve been getting for years.


  4. Basherbaz says:

    Watching the champions league final you just had to be impressed with the work rate and fitness of the two finalists and particularly Real Madrid in the second half. High quality passing and a full 90 min performance. Think that the foreign teams have taken a step forward from the English level and that is why I look forward to the appointment of our foreign coach and perhaps more importantly his clear out of the old coaches which over the last few years have not produced the quality of football we deserve.


    • DebenhamWolf says:

      Totally agree; it was a step up from anything the current Premiership is producing in my view.


  5. Nuno should have the knowledge and experience to push us upwards to the premiership. Mendes doesn’t bother me, why wouldn’t Fosun use a company that they own 60% of? We’re better off taking any contacts that we have to bring players in.

    Why should a foreign coach be bad, look at the top prem/championship teams for evidence. Nuno is a good catch for us that I for one didn’t see coming. You can’t question his ambition.

    Let’s just relax, enjoy the summer and await the arrival of the new team, new era, and new ethos with eagerness. It may not be the the usual Wolves fan response, but I am glad thatt things are changing and moving forward.


  6. spikeyboy says:

    I AM SORRY but as I have stated in previous posts I simply cannot sign up to the looking into the future and seeing potential doom and gloom philosophy
    This is the best position wolves have been in for dog knows how many years.
    Look where we were only 2 seasons ago with m&m.
    Have faith .
    This is going to be miraculous … a revolution.
    We on this blog .. somehow.. Have got what we wanted.
    A complete clear out of the old guard..apart from thelwell.
    The old guard in players will be next.
    This will not go wrong.
    Stop seeing disaster around every corner
    We are going somewhere at last.
    Join in , sign up, 100%.
    They listen to us
    This blog is running wwfc
    I will admit to having had a few glasses of very nice wine
    But no matter I know it’s all true


    • robin says:

      I agree.
      We should all get 100% behind the Fosun revolution.
      I’ve supported Wolves 50 years.
      Next season I’m expecting automatic promotion.


  7. If you bring in thoroughbreds and ask them to pull plows, then yeah, we didn’t do any better than what Jackett would have done with Championship players but we want players who can progress and help us stay up in the Premiership when we get there.
    Mick showed us what happens when you get Championship players who put in a shift. When they get to the Premiership, they are one league about their level of competency. Let’s call it the Mick Principle.


  8. robin says:

    I am surprised Thomas.
    At how you see it.
    Football is rapidly changing.
    The old traditional approach is over.
    Gone are the days of the Lambert’s & Jackett’s.

    You ask two questions about Mendes.
    One, should the FA allow it and secondly is it to our benefit?

    The answer to the first is there is nothing the F.A. can do about it.
    Fosun can employ anyone legally to do the bidding of Mendes.
    It is probably Thelwell.

    They have the power and the money and they want success.
    We are their show-case.

    The answer to the second question is of course it will benefit Wolves!
    Goodness, the man is a lynch pin of international football.
    He has staked his business on Wolves.
    You don’t think he is motivated?
    I am sure he has given guarantees to Fosun.
    He is gambling on us and I am sure his input will be far better than an independent ‘Thelwell’ or ‘Moxey’ –
    I mean there is no comparison come on….


  9. Apparently, Man U want Talisca so let’s go after him too. I remember there were some rules about whether or not he could come to Wolves but let’s look into him. Let Costa talk to him.


    • “…Manchester United are reportedly ready to table a £17m bid for Benfica midfielder Anderson Talisca, who is currently on loan with Turkish outfit Besiktas…”


  10. Peter Roberts says:

    Many people have said how impressive Nuno’s cv is, but to my mind, although he has the names Porto and Valencia on his short list of clubs where he’s worked, he didn’t stay anywhere long. Yes, he qualified for the CL with Valencia but was then gone very early into the following season. Yes, he had a 2 year contract with Porto, but he was sacked after the first season when he won nothing.

    The other thing that worries me about him is the fact that he’s an ex-goalkeeper. Can anyone recall an ex-keeper who went on to become a successful manager? Ex-keepers in football are somewhat like drummers in bands. They’re musicians technically, but not really.

    Much still to be proved for me and I can’t help thinking that his major qualification for the job is purely the fact that he’s a client of Mendes.


    • It would be awful if we sacked him for finishing second.


      • Peter Roberts says:

        Finishing 2nd in the Portuguese league is similar to either Rangers or Celtic finishing 2nd in the Scottish Premier, back in the days when both teams were good. It was a failure for them to finish 2nd rather than to win it.

        In the Portuguese league there’s only Sporting Lisbon to add to Benfica and Porto and Sporting have dropped off in recent years somewhat.

        On top of that, the noticeable thing with Nuno is that, even after he’d met with some success, he didn’t remain at the club concerned for very long afterwards. Here’s his managerial stats from Wikipedia:

        Managerial record by team and tenure
        Team From To Record
        P W D L Win %
        Rio Ave 1 July 2012 30 June 2014 78 31 16 31 39.7
        Valencia 4 July 2014 29 November 2015 62 32 16 14 51.6
        Porto 1 June 2016 22 May 2017 49 27 16 6 55.1
        Wolverhampton Wanderers 31 May 2017 Present 0 0 0 0 —
        Total 189 90 48 51 47.6


        • someblokeontinterweb says:

          Peter I love facts, However 47.6% average win rate won’t work in the Championship for any club. 47 games and 3 points available per game 141 points theoretically maximum i.e. winning every game BUT 47% puts us right in mid table with 3 points more than last season. 75% is really the target to win the Championship but the % increase is between the above is approximately 60% that looks to be a very big number. 60 % would see us top half just about so I my head 65% would see us in the play offs, therefore ignoring all draws and losses (which there will be) we need to win all season at least 3 out of every 4 games. Lets have a look at the stats on January 1st 2018. Onward and upward is the only way.


          • Peter Roberts says:

            Thanks for the reply and the work you’ve done on the figures, but I think you may have some dodgy sums here. First of all, there are 46 games in the Championship, giving a maximum total points of 138. If we were to win 47% of those 46 games that would give us slightly less than 65 points, (64.86 in fact). 65 points is actually 7 points more than we got last season. Nevertheless, you’re still right, that total would still have only got us up to 10th, although you have to remember that you’ve only considered wins. We would presumably also draw some games and they would provide more points on the board.

            Had we got 60% of the total points available then we would have just less than 83 and would have finished 4th, healthily in the play-offs. 65% would still not have achieved automatic promotion. That’s just under 90 points which is still only 3rd best. We would have needed a points return of 67% to have finished 2nd.

            It needs to be remembered that the overall points return and the % win-rate are, of course, linked, but they are not the same, since draws supply valuable extra points to make up numbers. Last season, the corresponding win percentages of Brighton and Newcastle were 60 and 63 respectively. All the same, that’s a long way higher than the figure of 47.6 that you quoted for Nuno to be sure and in a far more competitive league in my view.

            That’s what I was getting at over all. Many people seem to think that Nuno’s record is impressive, largely because of the names Porto and Valencia on his list of clubs. But he didn’t stay long at either and there has to have been a reason for that.


    • robin says:

      Alex Ferguson was a goal keeper/manager who springs to mind.


  11. Larry Talbot says:

    Regarding the most excellent post by (I apologise for not remembering your name, mate. even though I favourited you at least 4 times as it made me lol out loud) the guy who said Nuno Espirito Santo could be sung to the tune of Una Paloma Blanca, which just cracked me up in the midst of all the serious stuff.

    Unfortunately, like Bugenhagen at Armageddon, might I humbly point out that it also goes well with the chant from the movie “The Omen” which ain’t so jolly and don’t exactly bode well for the upcoming season.

    Not being a natural sceptic, I’m getting me sombrero and maracas out of storage, but don’t be surprised if some spaced out looking vicar gets speared through the body down Molineux Way screaming about the Goalie Roman Empire….and all that.

    There again, what the devil could go wrong with Jorge (the goat of) Mendes pulling the strings?

    I’m sure that everything with be juuuust fine…….


  12. MadBandit says:

    My biggest fear is that we are going to be Valencia of the EFL…
    The player turnover at Valencia, even after a successful stint of qualifying for the UCL, was all orchestrated by Mendes, and it effectively crippled them.
    Yes we have the potential, and the talent that Mendes could make available to us it there, but will the foreign imports really be what we need to climb into the EPL?

    I am just skeptical of all of this, and it worries me that we won’t have enough grit to allow the stars to shine.
    Keeping Price and Saville for the middle of the park, along with Edwards and Evans (as much as deadly Dave has got goals) really makes me cringe. And the signing of Bennett smacks me as a Lambert signing, whether its astute or not, but we will have to see what kind of signings arrive.


  13. Nippy Lobo says:

    Thomas, a beautifully written piece with several sensible comments, but you’ve made me want to cry with rage. For God’s sake, stop repeating the lies spread in the media, including by Tim Spier’s and in the Birmingham Mail. You wrote, “the same pot we ended up mostly wasting on his [Mendes’s] clients.” Sorry, Thomas, but this is mendacious misinformation. Last summer Wolves only signed two of Mendes’s clients: Costa and Cavaleiro. Your comment simply repeats lies spread by London media hostile to Wolves, Baggies fans and supporters of Aston Villa. Please defend the club against this deluge of falsehoods!


    • The Newt says:

      Texeira, Silvio and John also came via Mendes. Possibly CBJ but not sure on that one. Agree that all the rest were either Thelwell or Butti.


      • Nippy Lobo says:

        Thomas said, “his [Mendes’s] clients.” Texiera, Silvio and John are not Mendes’s clients. This can easily be confirmed by going to and checking the agent of each player.


        • The Newt says:

          Interesting website. Thanks for the link.

          You forget that agents can work for clubs as well as players. Just because Mendes might not represent a player he still has influence within many clubs – Benfica, Monaco, Athletico Madrid etc – and was facilitating many deals for the club last summer. Just like he will do this summer but hopefully more like Costa and less like John.


          • Nippy Lobo says:

            “Mendes . . . was facilitating many deals for the club last summer.” Possibly, but do you have proof of that? Yielding that, the key word would be “facilitating”. That is a lot different from deciding or dominating. Facilitating implies that someone else, e.g., Jeff Shi or Walter Zenga, is interested in a player and that the facilitator helps. Jeff has his own contacts in Europe, so remember that those real agents of Texeira, Silvio, John, etc., will have been pushing their clients.


            • The Newt says:

              Okay, if you think Mendes didn’t have that much input last summer and it was Jeff that’s cool. We’ll just have to agree to differ on this. Whoever does the signings this year lets hope for more success.


            • Dave Vincent says:

              Enjoyed your argument Nippy but I think you’re picking a couple of minor points and missing the glaringly-obvious bigger picture that Tom quite clearly articulated. The situation at Wolves at the moment looks and feels very grubby.

              I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see a great deal of integrity at the top of the club at the moment, and that makes many of us feel worried for the long-term future of the club. I sincerely hope I’m wrong.


              • Nippy Lobo says:

                The Newt and Dave Vincent, several media outlets, including the Telegraph, the Express & Star and the Birmingham Mail have said that Wolves signed Costa, Cavaleiro and several other of Mendes’s clients. That is clear misinformation. It is untrue. Is that a detail? Well, this is the Trump era, who cares about truth, eh? Thomas implied the same things as those three newspapers. Both of you change the subject, by foisting on me views I don’t hold: I do think Mendes had a lot influence last summer and I do think it is inappropriate for Fosun to have a stake in GestiFute and own a football club. What has that got to do with clear ‘lies’ about the clients of Wolves players?


                • The Newt says:

                  I’m not trying to foist views on anyone just merely expressing my own. I’ve never said that Mendes represents all of our signings just that he had a larger input in our transfer business last summer than only two players. Truth is no-one really knows what goes on in the murky world of football so I base my opinions on well respected and connected sports journalists in media, radio and Twitter.

                  And don’t mention Trump. The Politics Police will give us a red card.


                  • Nippy Lobo says:

                    Newt, thanks for the exchange. I’m glad for you that you respect so many sports journalists. Good luck!


  14. Steve Showcase says:

    Gloomy- Thomas ..
    this really is the real Fosun era they’ve cocked up the first season and as I’ve said before Chinese saving face is the order of the day..
    It’s all very well knocking Mendes but as I saw it he encouraged Fosun to buy Wolves in the first place and if that really is the case then it’s no wonder he is back with influence..

    We all marvelled about the
    Lapetigue bloke being almost the manager (ended up being the Spanish manager that’s all) and at the time it was written that we were possibly to have even better players than Costa so with Mendes’s arse in the air and with more influence this time then let’s see what happens ..
    His name is firmly on the line now big time he’s brought in a manager that is expectant and also expectant of resources too so that’s why Wolves will be one of the favourites to go up…not to do with previous form but to do with us buying /loaning players in that will do the job.

    At least that surely is the logic behind what’s going on the problem is that Nuno must mix what’s there in the squad with newcomers so his experience is on the line there too..

    Who’d be a squad player from last season they must all be crapping themselves inc of course DB…where does he fit in if at all…?

    So Shi and his job on the line..Mendes reputation on the line..Nuno and assistant on the line..Fosun on the line…

    We should be more confident….


  15. ferris says:

    It’s difficult because on one hand I’m excited at the fact of new players coming in, along with Santo and his staff but on the other hand I thought everything was in place for a productive summer under lambert and making a push next season. All we can do is support our new head coach and team and hope for the best. It seems similar to last summer but different in the fact Santo has been appointed early into the summer with some new players arriving on July 1st (hopefully). He’ll have a full pre season and a good idea of his best team come the first game in August. June 21st is the date when the fixtures are released!


  16. Excellent blog Thomas, and one which pretty well mirrors my own thoughts on the current situation at the Mol. I especially agree that if Fosun had given KJ, or Lambert for that matter, a 20mill pot of cash and said ‘spend it wisely’, we’d have had a much more fruitful season. Still, that is something we will never know.
    Hopefully, Fosun and Mendes have learned from their mistakes right after the takeover and are not simply going to repeat them. No massive influx of mediocre players please. Just a clutch of real quality in key positions could see us where we want to be. Don’t condemn our young, rising stars to further seasons in the U23’s and play Mendes imports in their place. Don’t sell Helder Costa just because you can. Keep him for the same reason.
    Money talks in today’s football but, as Jeff said in his first press conference, it’s not just how much you spend. It’s spending it wisely. I’ve not seen much evidence of financial wisdom so far.


  17. As Thomas states, there has been very little on the style of play Santo likes/gets his teams to play, with Santo himself so far only saying that he likes his teams to work hard and for his players to play for one another and there being an indication that there will be a greater emphasis on possession and ‘organised pressure’.

    Does any know the style of football his previous teams played and what we’re likely to expect in that regard?


  18. pauluswolf says:

    Didn’t I seem to recall such great expectations 12 months ago with everyone looking rosily at a new era – promotion a certainty, wasn’t it.? Hmmmmm…..isn’t this deja vu, Molineux style.
    This is my club and I will support whoever is at the helm, and fingers crossed at least we’ve picked a manager by all accounts this time, instead of daft Walter.
    For what it’s worth I thought both Jackett and Lambert were men of integrity – a rare commodity in football these days and both were treated shabbily by this regime, which casts a shadow over my great club and the illustrious names that have honoured it. We are now an investment of Chinese owners with little, if any, affinity for Wolves or it’s history. If their project fails they will dump us in exactly the same manner they have done with the managers mentioned above.
    So it is with cautious optimism I view the season ahead – hoping that this time they will do it right, but I’m not holding my breath.

    And I also agree -excellent blog Thomas, putting into words what many of us think.


  19. HershamWolf says:

    Lambert went for performance & results reasons, rather than final say over new players.
    Yes, he had a squad of mainly very average Championship players, but they should have showed some signs that he was trying to get them to play effective football.
    There were reports that he would accept some Mendes players, plus there were signs that he could bring his own players in, e.g; Ryan Bennett (also Wiemann, if Lambert had stayed)
    Lambert did not do enough to instill confidence in his time…and he had enough chance to do at least that.


  20. Nippy Lobo says:

    I’m surprised some people are suggesting Ryan Bennett was a Lambert signing. Could be, and it’s unclear whose signing he is; but Lambert was said to be wanting to sign CD Grant Hanley, a player he had previously coached. The timing of the announcement came well after Lambert was likely to be released and one day after the appointment of Nuno. It looks likely to me that this is a Thelwell signing, with Nuno given the chance to run a quick check of Thelwell’s information (possibly including a video). In general, it seemed to me this season that Thelwell’s position at the club was ill-defined, and it’s difficult to guess how much influence he actually had. The fact that he has survived the shake-up suggests that he really will have authority as sporting director next season. In consultation with Nuno, he will be able to reject Mendes’s suggestions and also sign British players (like Bennett). Next season I think we will be able to hold Thelwell responsible (with Nuno) for all our signings. So, for Kevin’s sake, let’s hope Bennett is a success! This season was a messed-up season (thanks to Lopetegui), but next season Thelwell should resign if he is overruled by Mendes. Next season we should regard Thelwell as a genuine sporting director. Whatever, we should treat him as the man expected to be in charge of recruitment.


  21. Clive from Houston says:

    I dont give a shit who we sign, who is in charge, who thinks he is in charge, how much money Mendes makes, whether the stadium is finished, or who owns the club…….as long as we are in the Prem come the summer of 2018
    We have zero control over comings and goings at the club, so lets not delude ourselves, things will happen despite us, not because of us.
    I am not being negative, just objective, and all I want is a winning football team at Molineux.
    How we become one is up to others.
    All we can do is cheer, spit or curse from the terraces and afar, and hope we are sucessful.
    We have a new management team, lets give them our full blown support, and trust they get it right.
    It would be great for the traditional Wolves Fan Moanathon to be about not enough cup final tickets being available for the hundreds of thousand Wolves fans clamoring for them after we win our Champions League semi final in early 2020!!!


  22. ferris says:

    Another point id like to put out is that those who feel sorry for Paul Lambert because of the way he was treated… don’t! He will have been told by the club what was happening and he’ll get a good payoff when he’s finally given the push. I like lambert and thought he’d do well given time but he’s made good money from his time at wolves. Such is football these days


    • I don’t feel sorry for Lambert as such. I just feel sorry for us ’cause I feel we’d have been better off keeping him. No proof of course. And I sincerely hope NES can take us to the promised land. And I think he probably can, given the right backing. And I am genuinely excited to see what we can achieve this season. How we play. How our squad looks at the big kick-off. What players we can attract with NES at the helm. Whether we can keep Helder.
      Blimey. If I carry on like this, I’ll talk myself into believing we’re better off without Lambo. 🙂


  23. Clive from Houston says:

    And another thing.
    Thomas, where did you vacate, and did you have a good time?


    • Thomas says:

      Went to Majorca Clive, thanks for asking. Lovely weather, not quite as hot as Texas though. First holiday abroad with a toddler so certainly not the summer vacation I used to know and love 🙂


  24. Cotswold Wolf says:

    Regarding the role of Thelwell. Is it not the case that regardless of the title on his door he is in effect a glorified office boy. Mendes and his bezzie mate Santo identify the players they want, do the deal then leave the boring paperwork to Thelwell. Getting the Is dotted and Ts crossed, getting the completed forms to FA on time non of which Mendes will be in a position to do. He’s not an official of Wolves and Santo is the coach.


  25. DancesWithWolves says:

    Welcome back Thomas. “Fear the worst and hope for the best” was more appropriate to the Morgan-Moxey era I think. Not for me now.

    I think you’re right that Kenny Jackett, if kept on, would have given us a higher points haul last season. That’s more a reflection of Lambert’s overall disappointing tenure though. In spite of all the money spent we couldn’t finish any higher than in Jackett’s poorest season. I don’t think last season was Mendes’ fault, and nor do I think that Jackett should have been kept on. Zenga could be excused blame as he was thrown in at the deep end, with new players arriving daily. Lambert got his chance once things had bedded down, had a transfer window, but basically didn’t capitalise on the opportunity given him. He was my choice too. Shame.

    This coming season I do not fear the worst. Instead I hope that many teams will have reason to fear the Wolves.


  26. sevlow says:

    Another season, another manager. More hope, more optimism. A difference this time in that we have purged our backroom staff and Nuno has brought in his own people.

    I liked PL and thought, that given the mess he inherited, he made a decent fist of the situation. We will never know, that given time, if he would have brought success to Wolves.( I can see it now – PL becomes manager of a Championship side and beats us in the play-off finals! 🙂 )

    We are in for an interesting summer of transfers in/out and shake-it-all-about.

    Onwards & Upwards



  27. colin says:

    Under Fosun we are at least not getting left behind we have got both the finances and the international input that seems imperative these days to drive a club forward.

    We probably would have gained momentum next season under Lambert and i liked the way he conducted himself but there is little alternative to backing the new owners and buying into there project.

    The only really bad thing that could happen now is if they lost interest and belief in there ambitions for us.


  28. I nearby apply for the position of Thelwell at Wolverhampton wanderers FC.

    I can sign my name, watch football matches, im short sighted, and very easy going..(wink)
    I know what a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and striker looks like but I hope this is not held against me in my application.
    Also I will do the job for £10 per week lads than the current Thelwell.


  29. Oh the d and the s are so close together. Should be “less than”

    Oh and when I Fuck up. I cover it up quickly.


  30. spikeyboy says:

    looks like we got a new centre back named miranda …… sounds a lot like AMANDA !!!!!!!!!!


  31. Miranda.
    A comedienne of a CB.
    tall but carrying a lot of weight.
    very clumsy whenever I seen her on tv.


  32. They call him iceman says:

    Any real supporters out there fill your boots and take 16/1 to win the league!!!


  33. Sea Pigeon says:

    So Jeff’s now chairman and moving to Wolvo next month. 2 up 2 down in Whitmore Reans ?


  34. I bogged earlier last season that Fosun needed to be hands on and not try and run the club from China……..they seem to have taken note.

    Welcome to Wolverhampton Jeff..!


  35. slider says:

    Welcome to Wolverhampton Jeff. This shows a strengthen?ing commitment from Jeff and Fosun. I can feel a song brewing…


  36. slider says:

    Sorry don’t know where that ? came from autocorrect I think


  37. StuWolf says:

    It’s that time again. I’m lying in bed, just about to get up and go down to the Sports bar in the Tropicana Las Vegas to watch the match at 9 am our time. Come on Scotland.

    Anyone feeling lucky?


    • DancesWithWolves says:

      Give my regards to Vegas, Stu. I have fond memories from a couple of years ago, holed up in the Bellagio with the girlfriend. Apart form the usual Vegas nonsense I can heavily recommend the Mob Museum downtown. We then hired a Chevvy and did a road trip to Tucson, Tombstone and back. Saw Boot Hill ‘n’ all. As the old advert used to go “see the USA in a Chevrolet…”


      • StuWolf says:

        Cheers buddy,
        Did the Mob museum last year, the section on Moxey and Morgan were spot on. We went to Tombstone on my first ever trip to the US back in 19 oatcake.

        We were in the Bellagio last night, your girlfriend said, “she wants to came home, please send money” 🙁
        Sadly as with everything in life, it is nearly over and all too soon we are back on Monday so we will have to make the most of todays last bit of sunshine.
        But, back with the battery’s charged ready for the new season.

        COMB’s (whoever they are)


  38. Marney says:

    Oooo what to watch !
    England knocking the Aussie out the cricket or England knocking the scots out the World Cup !
    Quick hands on the remote
    Come on you lions


  39. Here is a serious question from across the Atlantic.
    Why is Aston Villa valued more as a business than Wolves?
    Is it strictly because of their recent success as a team or are there other reasons, like stadium size and where the franchise is located?
    The reason I ask is because they seem to be worth 3 or 4 times more than Wolves so it would seem that if on pitch success is what is causing that discrepancy, Fosun stand to make a lot of money by making Wolves a successful team.


  40. StuWolf says:

    Oooh you jammy bathplugs.

    I must say though, maybe buying Griffiths back is not such a dumb idea as some folk think.


    • BARDWolf says:

      Two cracking goals BUT dived to try and get a penalty and dived to get Dyer sent off.
      It took to the 86th minute for me to realise that Engerlandland were not playing Scotland nil!!


  41. Marney says:

    Two great free kicks , he looks a different player to the one we had ! I’d have taken draw before the game though, it would be quite good if the jocks could still qualify tbh


  42. Clive from Houston says:

    Perhaps Jeff will move into Moxey Towers, or maybe he can get a deal for a morgan mcmansion at Compton?


  43. theDOOGooder says:

    What a BRILLIANT game of rugby.

    England versus Argentina. Did anybody catch it?

    It put me in mind of the Barbarians All Blacks game all those years ago.

    Also, huge respect to the England cricketers smashing the Ockers out of the Champions Trophy.

    And, as if it couldn’t get any better, 10.50 this morning the England Under 20s in their World Cup Final.

    Come on!!


  44. Marney says:

    Well done under 20 s
    England world champions again


  45. theDOOGooder says:

    What a superb game of football!

    Two really good sides going all out to win and showing great skill and commitment.

    And I don’t mean the Scotland match.

    A future quiz question.

    Who are the only THREE Englishmen to score in a World Cup Final?


  46. Cotswold Wolf says:

    Watched the under 20s: 2 very good teams. Thought England just edged it. Loved the little Venezuelan sub. 5ft 3. Named something like Solante I think. Reminiscent of Matic.


  47. Marney says:

    I loved the composure of a few of the defenders, no hoofball just cool heads , great to see even after a dubious penalty they kept their nerve , well done Simpson and the lads
    Success breeds success, well hopefully!


  48. StuWolf says:

    Just watched Edwards paying for Wales, he had a really good game worked his socks off, looked absolutely knackerd.
    But well done dangerous.


  49. RickRack Wolves says:

    Welcome to Wolverhampton to Jeff & his family And congratulations on your new job.
    I’m sure you already know that the wolves faithful have the same ambitions as yourself to see WWFC established in the top league.
    I’m also sure that we can have a full molineux if we have a successful team playing football
    I’m convident that success will come & that you will get the backing if the majority of fans
    You’ll also find the fan base is loyal and will to back you & the new management & team, but please no more chopping/changing of the managers – the club needs stability clear direction & a settled team for start of August – plus if you fancy a pint of Wolverhamptons finest beer made 1/2 mile from the Mol pop into The Stile before or after a game to savour a proper pint of Banks’s
    Wolves Ay We



    Here is what needs to happen: Sign at least 5 Germans in case of play off matches next year for penalty duties, Get a nit nurse to root out poor hygiene in Sandwell. Find out why Leigh Griffiths has suddenly turned in to Lionel Messi at free kicks. Make an in depth analysis in to the diet of SEB and if KFC and chips can make it in the EPL. Celebrate ‘Dick wella’ excellent knock for Sri Lanka v Pakistan today even tho they lost. Check out the fixtures a week on Wednesday for the next pleasant afternoon in Small Heath and try not to be put off by Harry’s face twitching rather a lot. Finally look forward to Mrs ‘Weak and Wobbly’ steering us through Brexit.


    • DancesWithWolves says:

      I think SEB was eating too many cheeseburgers of death.

      StuWolf is just back from Las Vegas. I meant to recommend him an eatery there (just for a laugh not for a meal). It’s called Heart Attack Grill (if I remember rightly). It features delicacies such as Triple Bypass Burger (10,000 calories) etc. SEB would love it. Burp.


  51. StuWolf says:

    Didn’t see that one but had a go at this. Topless bar staff, just my luck they were male.


  52. I see the Miranda signing is now official. He talks a good game and I see KT rates him highly.


  53. StuWolf says:

    Nice to see the two Wolves flags in prominent position at Stade de France watching the England game. Well done Wolves – England away fans.


  54. The Witley Wanderer says:

    If Forsun wanted to boost season tickets these last couple of weeks, they should have signed a couple of super stars. Come on Jeff , pull your finger out, you live in Wolvo’ now. Plenty of shite coming your way if you don’t get it spot on ! If you get it sorted we will name a stand after you and call you Super Jeff and eat shitty pies and drink shitty beer. But but there again maybe we won’t.
    Far Cough W B.


  55. Meranda………..Who . This is hardly a world shattering signing, a Porto B player and this is supposed to be proof Fosun and Jeff know what there doing…………….Jesus oh I forgot he’s our manager that ok then.

    Show real intention this does I thought the free transfer from Norwich put a marker down but this……..Burton Albion are shitting themselves…NOT.


    • DancesWithWolves says:

      Strewth Paul, did you get out of bed the wrong side or something? Your post has been commented on by someone on the Wolves Rumours site. Not very favourably I’m afraid.
      You haven’t even spelt Miranda’s name right…

      World shattering signings are made by the likes of Chelsea, Man C, Man U etc and their foreign equivalents. We have just signed a couple of very decent defenders in championship terms. To me it’s a good solid start by Fosun compared to the headless chicken multiple signings last summer. We were let down badly in defence last season and that is being addressed now.

      This coming season I do fully expect Burton Albion to be stocking up on extra toilet paper ahead of the Wolves fixtures!



    Nice the 2 Wolves flags in Paris. Wonder if the 2 will be at Glasto next week in the usual places ? Wolves ay we. Might be shit but we am everywhere.


    • theDOOGooder says:

      I’m pretty sure they will C’O’D.

      I had a message from ‘Flagman’ a day or so ago, he’s the guy with the newer Wolf’s head flag (see a previous Blog ‘Searching for Flagman’ in July 2013). He’s got his ticket and he is being interviewed by a ‘Time Out’ reporter who read that blog for their Glastonbury special issue.

      It’s amazing what fame can spring from being mentioned on this site.

      I’m still waiting though.


  57. Miranda has got to be at least as good as some League 1 player we would have signed with Moxey.
    Benfica B is probably about the same as a Championship level team.


  58. Sea Pigeon says:

    Not sure where you got your information from Paul. Miranda left Benfica in 2013 and has been at Rio Ave since. He played 30 odd games for them last season and they finished 7th in the Portuguese top flight. Somewhat better pedigree than Mr Baath. Possibly you were expecting Sergio Ramos but give the bloke a chance for ***** sake!


  59. Sea Pigeon says:

    Not sure where you got your information from Paul. Miranda left Benfica in 2013 and has been at Rio Ave since. He played 30 odd games for them last season and they finished 7th in the Portuguese top flight. Somewhat better pedigree than Mr Baath. Possibly you were expecting Sergio Ramos but give the bloke a chance for ***** sake!


  60. JackoMac says:

    I wonder what happens to England players when they hit 20 years old. Well done Jeff on the promotion, hope they upgraded your motor. Just think what sort of bonus you might get if we hit something crazy like 12th in the championship. Don’t worry we’re a patient set of fans. You’ve got till tomorrow lunchtime to complete this season’s summer transfers and they will all have to be better than Costa. In fact save your money, just buy us top place in the championship. Oh and we want the heads of Edwards Evans Saville and Price on pikes in the wolves museum and marinated Thelwell burgers at halftime with free beer. Please. Other than that have a nice summer.


  61. Bedford Wolf says:

    Since the last time we met
    I’ve been through
    About seven hundred changes
    And that’s just a few

    (‘The Best Years Of Our Lives’ – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel)

    p.s. I’m the one on the right


  62. Clive from Houston says:

    I dont care if you have had 700 changes and are now Bruce Jenner, welcome back, Bedders, we love you!!!
    Even Billy Nasturtium loves you!!

    On the defender signings.
    I agree with Sea Pigeon, pretty much anyone is better than what we had last season.
    We need to get over this mindset of what new signings did or didnt do in the past, and let’s see what they do, for us, going forward.
    Base our criticism or praise on Wolves performances and nothing else.
    And with regard to the Ramos comment above, if he signed for us, I would send back the season ticket I am considering buying.
    That man is the dirtiest, biggest cheat in football, and should be banned for life. The way he got that Juventus bloke sent off was despicable.
    what did anyone who could be bothered to watch that non event from Paris last night think about those white sticks pretending to be England defenders?
    I know its the end of the season, and it was only a friendly, but ten Frenchmen didnt treat it as such, and ran the proverbial rings around them.
    It all augers good for Russia, dont it, if we qualify?
    Home again after three games, as usual.
    Bring the kids in, Southgate.


  63. Mike Leaf says:

    Does anyone else doff a hat to the New signings impressive grasp of sarcasm in a foreign tongue?

    “This is perhaps one of the best leagues in the world, so to be a part of this league is a dream”


  64. Steve Showcase says:

    Roderick it is then.. DB eat your heart out..even I actually have a thought for him.. the rumour is that Miranda could even be captain too..
    If we can stop up the back then we have players who can create and score goals in abundance..
    £10k at 5-1 thank you very much Wolves..

    That was a joke incidentally….


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