I was disappointed to learn that Marcus Hahnemann will be leaving the club after two years of impeccable service.
The popular American goalkeeper is out of contract and the soundbites coming of Molineux suggest he wasn’t offered another deal.
Personally, I think he was worth at least one more year.
Despite Wayne Hennessy wrestling back the number 1 slot, I always felt reassured knowing we had a reliable, safe pair of hands waiting in the wings if needed.
I can only surmise that the manager feels Carl Ikeme or one of the other young keepers we have at the club is ready to challenge for the shirt. Otherwise, what’s the point in forcing out a perfectly capable, experienced pro only to leave yourself the task of finding another one?
But regardless of my opinion, it’s undeniable that Marcus will be remembered fondly, despite his arrival being greeted with murmurs of discontent.
In the first ever post published on Wolves Blog, this was my brief appraisal of the US international:
“Although not the most glamorous signing in the world, I wasn’t unhappy to see Marcus Hahnemann come through the door. He’ll be a good, experienced backup if he’s called upon and I’ve always thought he was a solid performer whenever I’ve seem him in action.”
With the gift of hindsight, I feel somewhat smug about this statement as it perfectly sums up what we got from veteran keeper.
His style certainly wasn’t glamorous or even conventional, but he was a rock whenever he pulled on the shirt.
Strong, commanding and heroically brave, he was a welcome breath of fresh air when he replaced the talented but indecisive Hennessy in goal following a 4-0 defeat at Chelsea last season.
Mick McCarthy received many plaudits for switching the shape of the side to 4-5-1, but he deserves equal credit for thrusting Hahnemann into the action midway through the campaign.
It was certainly no coincidence that a defence that looked flimsy and unorganised, tightened up considerably with the introduction of USA, as Wolves ground out the results needed to survive.
He was instrumental in the famous 1-0 win at White Hart Lane that made everyone believe we could survive and was equally impressive in the season-defining victory at Upton Park, pulling off a miraculous goal line save just prior to half-time as West Ham searched for an equaliser.
Doyle and Craddock took home the player of the season gongs, but I believe I’m right in thinking Hahnemann was right up there with them both in the voting, and deservedly so.
I thought he was solid enough this year too, but when he flapped at a cross in the 2-1 defeat at Blackpool, Mick decided the time was right to give Hennessy his chance.
And that’s sadly where the curtain falls on Hahnemann’s all-too-short time at Wolves.
But wherever the heavy metal loving, game hunting, plane flying goalkeeper ends up, good luck to him. He will be missed.
Over and out Buddy.