Dean Saunders sacked

“Three managers have got the sack here through not being able to stop the team conceding and I’m not going to be the fourth.”

Saunders

The typically buoyant and ultimately misguided words of our outgoing manager back in February.

When Dean Saunders looks at the figures he’ll see Wolves actually conceded more goals per game with him in charge (1.55) than they did under Ståle Solbakken (1.47). He also averaged just 1 point per game compared to his predecessor’s 1.19.

But it probably wasn’t numbers that forced Steve Morgan’s hand. It was words.

In polls conducted both here and on the Express and Star website, three quarters of the support wanted the manager out. And the majority voted as they did because of statements like:

“When we have a team talk the players know that the only reason I talk to them is to make myself feel better.”

and:

“We’ve got to win two games and no disrespect to the teams we’re playing, it’s not Man United and Arsenal we’ve got to beat, it’s Burnley and Brighton.”

not forgetting various pearls such as:

“If the lad misses his two goals we would’ve drawn”

You could barely get away with statements like these if you were winning, but against the backdrop of Armageddon it made his demise all the more inevitable.

Post-Brighton I advocated keeping him on the basis he hadn’t been given a fair chance. No time, no luck, no money.

But the overwhelming majority weren’t nearly as sympathetic to his cause.

Relegation, route one football, ever-changing team selections and of course his less than economical way with words, put his head firmly on chopping block. Few could argue.

Still, BBC’s Pat Murphy, whose followed the Wolves management merry-go-round for the past 18 months smells another Morgan mistake, stating today:

“He is the sacrificial lamb in my opinion. Twenty points from 20 games, is that really enough time for a manager to be able to do it at a great old club? I think there is a bit of a kneejerk reaction here by the chairman Steve Morgan, and not for the first time.”

Right or wrong, what’s clear is that our chairman must now set about making one of the most important managerial appointments in our club’s history.

Another costly mistake and this runaway train might never be stopped.

Dean Saunders arrives

He wouldn’t have been my first choice and he probably wasn’t yours, but I think we’re all ready to give Dean Saunders a chance.

Saunders

Welcome to the pack, or should I say, ‘welcome to the jungle’?

The Welshman inherits a club at it’s lowest ebb since Glenn Hoddle decided he’d had enough in the twilight of Sir Jack’s tenure.

We needed a magician back then, so can our current chairman’s third wildcard appointment in the space of 12 months cast a similar spell over this downtrodden, under-performing group?

Like many, I’m not convinced.

But I didn’t welcome Merlin’s arrival in 2006 either.

For Saunders, it’s not just a sensible career move, it’s a smart one.

Things can only get better.

Players are climbing off the treatment table as we speak. Peszko and O’Hara both played at the weekend.

Deals can also be done to add new faces of his own, although ‘how many?’ and ‘how much?’ are questions we won’t know the answer to until February 1st (tentative backing was mentioned in the press conference).

In essence, he takes the reigns at a time when things were always supposed to improve, regardless of the man sitting in the dugout.

What he can do, that Solbakken never could, is win the dressing room.

Getting the best out of the old guard will be the first big challenge, but perhaps his ideas will resonate in a way the Norwegian’s never did?

Would it be insulting to expect a simpler approach?

I know little of his methods, but would suggest zonal marking is out.

His Doncaster side have the best away record in the entire football league, with 9 wins and only 8 goals conceded. That’s encouraging for our traveling support, after Saturday’s torture and the 8 defeats they’ve seen already.

His first challenge comes at ‘fortress’ Molineux though, where wins have been scarce and the atmosphere flat.

Shaking the malaise in front of the Sky cameras would be a good start.

Best of luck Dean.

Dean Saunders approached

Never let it be said that Steve Morgan doesn’t learn his lessons.

Saunders

Less than a year after orchestrating the most bizarre, drawn-out search for a manager ever recorded, he’s only gone and perfected the tablecloth trick.

No sooner had Ståle Solbakken been shown (or texted) the door, good old Steve was on the blower to Donny, teeing up Dean Saunders as our next boss.

Whether you agree with the appointment or not, we should all acknowledge decisive action.

We’ve been calling for it on this very blog for weeks and in this respect, he’s delivered.

However, BBC Sport’s Pat Murphy, who I’ve grown to like a great deal for his honest and straightforward appraisal about the goings on at Molineux, isn’t convinced by the latest developments.

He took to his Twitter account last night to say:

“New Wolves manager set to be Dean Saunders of Doncaster. Compensation issues being discussed tonight.

“Believe SS was toast whatever happened at Luton. Never found the dressing-room to lose.

“Why Sean O’D never got the gig amazes. Mind you, he never played for Liverpool.

“Steve Morgan’s decision-making from Feb13th last year has been poor. Wonder if we’ll get the chance to put that to him Monday or will Jez Moxey be wheeled out again with those perennially safe pair of hands?”

Murphy is bang on that Morgan has plenty of questions to answer and that hiding behind Molineux’s human force field won’t appease the majority of fans.

As for Dean Saunders himself, I’ll refrain from comment until his arrival is confirmed.

Just like Steve Morgan, I’ve learnt my lessons from previous experience.