Quite why the sale of Barry Douglas has pulled at my heartstrings to the levels I’m still suffering is a mystery to me.
Make no mistake though, I’m smarting. I look at Barry in catalogue pose inside Elland Road, hair coiffed to perfection and shimmering in lilywhite, when he should be here in old gold.
I know that sentiment is a nominal concept under Fosun’s exhilarating rule and I’m glad of the fact. Having pleaded with fans to see sense over the near-useless capabilities of David Edwards for years, I was usually told to pipe down and show respect to the ultimate clubman. (Ironically, one or two of those Edwards-lovers are lambasting fellow fans for not letting go in respect to Barry Douglas. You’ve gorra loff!).
Irrespective of sentiment though, am I allowed to blog that this sale makes absolutely no sense on footballing reasons alone? I’m prepared to stick my head above the parapet and give it a go, while also expressing a smidgeon of concern ahead of the new season, if I could be so bold?
I just felt that on any evidence presented over the past year, Barry Douglas never showed any obvious signs of defensive frailty, with or without a jet-heeled turn of pace which some might point towards. (Denis Irwin didn’t have that in his pomp, who was another former-full back I admired). And just one look at the World Cup told us that however progressive a team plays, percentages from set plays are equally significant. In this regard, I’ve seen no better dead-ball deliverer in all the years I’ve watched Wolves. If our philosophy is to again attack at pace with devilment, a succession of corners and free kicks would surely follow?
I’d suggest that Barry Douglas was way more effective in his role in the side than an unmistakably leaden-footed Leo Bonatini was in his, yet the latter was retained? Maybe I am not comparing eggs with eggs here, but it just seems hard to fathom. Is dressing room harmony a legitimate concern too, with selfless Championship conquerors like Barry seemingly discarded at a whim? Was the process befitting of a guy who deserved a bit more transparency? Without actually knowing what the process was, it is wrong to speculate.
In any case, questioning the sale of Barry and implicitly supporting the work of Fosun are not mutually exclusive notions, are they?
As we prepare for the new season – and our annual pre-season curtain raiser which my little family has attended each year since 2008 (an intoxicating 4-2 triumph over Blackburn and an eight-week-old boy) – I couldn’t be more excited. Everything that Fosun is currently working on, be it new players or close-season improvements around Molineux, tells us that the fabric of our club is at the front and centre of their minds. A far cry from Compton Park and land acquisition by our previous owner, I’d say.
And regarding summer incomings, isn’t it nice to be linked to so many players, however dubious some of the ‘sources’ might be? I can only think back to our meeting with sporting director Kevin Thelwell and his reassurance that Fosun are not at Molineux to mess around. Joao Moutinho would bear testament to this.
So would Barry Douglas, I must conclude.
It won’t stop me missing him, that’s all.