Archives for March 2010

Loan Rangers

The players Wolves have brought in on loan this season have certainly enjoyed mixed fortunes. I thought it would be worth taking a look at them individually and assessing the chances of their respective deals becoming permanent. Here goes…

Adlene Guedioura

If there’s one player I’d put my house (well, apartment) on Wolves signing permanently in the summer it would have to be the powerful midfielder. He’s done fantastically since arriving in January; forcing his way into the team and showing he has all the attributes to shine in the Premiership. I think I’m correct in saying a deal has already been thrashed with Charleroi and I’ll be amazed if Wolves don’t take up that option, regardless of which division we’re in.

In or Out: In

Mancienne: Should he stay or should he go?

Geoffrey Mujangi Bia

I think it’s fair to say our other January signing from Belgium hasn’t done quite so well. Bia featured in both cup games against Palace and struggled to make any sort of impact. He did come off the bench away at Hull and nearly scored the winner; stinging the palms of Boaz Myhill with a powerful drive. Since then though, he hasn’t even made the squad, so it’s difficult to see how he’s possibly going to do enough to earn a permanent transfer.

In or Out: Out

Segundo Castillo

When the Ecuadorian midfielder rocked up in the dying seconds of the summer transfer window, it looked like he might have a major role to play. He slotted in well alongside Henry and was particularly impressive against Fulham in a rare home win. After that, he played a handful of games, did OK but then inexplicably vanished into thin air. Strange. Mick obviously thinks he has better options and it’s difficult to argue, looking at the players ahead of Castillo in the pecking order. So unless there’s a significant development, he’ll probably be on the first plane back to Belgrade.

In or Out: Out

Michael Mancienne

This is the most interesting one for me. The young Chelsea defender has featured in nearly every game this season and his versatility has made him an important player within the squad. Mick would love to sign him up, I have no doubt about that, but the decision is likely to be out of his hands.

First off and perhaps most crucially, is the lad interested in staying? I believe the answer to that is ‘no’, given what I’ve read in various interviews throughout the season. He seems keen to head back to Stamford Bridge and have another crack at getting in the mix there. However, if Chelsea made it clear he was surplus to requirements, he might well have a change of heart. He seems to enjoy his football at Molineux so perhaps if he feels he has to move somewhere, it might as well be to somewhere he’s already settled.

My instinct tells me there’s a deal to be done at the end of the season, but the fee would have to be right for Wolves. If Chelsea want silly money – I’m talking five or six million plus – I think we should take our business elsewhere. In my opinion, there’s better players available for that kind of money, who can have a bigger impact on the team. However, if a fee somewhere in the region of three to four million could be thrashed out, it might be worth taking a punt.

It goes without saying that if we’re relegated, any potential deal would immediately be down the toilet.

In or Out: ?

Anyway, that’s my assessment of the Loan Rangers. What’s yours?

You can’t beat…

…a bit of Bully on a Monday afternoon.

I actually came across this video from the Daily Mirror a few months back and meant to link to it, but totally forgot.

Here, Bully discusses his England debut against Scotland, his discussion prior to the game with the late, great Sir Bobby Robson and other funny stories surrounding that famous day at Hampden Park.

I really enjoyed this video, particularly when Bully talks about some of the other players attitudes towards him. Sounds like he had to put up with a lot of crap from so-called bigger names, which makes this success story all the more impressive.

Anyway, enjoy!

***Disclaimer*** If you’re not from the Black Country, I probably wouldn’t even bother trying to decipher what is being said in this video.

Thanks to the Wolverhampton Wanderers section of the Daily Mirror for allowing me to use this video.

Ticking Over: Wolves 0 Everton 0

Well, another match unbeaten, another useful point gained and a tiny step closer to Premiership safety. Not too shabby.

Although we didn’t win the game, the roar that greeted the full time whistle demonstrated perfectly, just how important this result was to our survival cause. We’ve now gone unbeaten this season against Everton, Spurs and Villa, which is a superb achievement, given the quality of those sides.

Wolves had to defend well to earn the point

I thought it might be our day, particularly when the news filtered through that Mikel Arteta wasn’t playing. Everton have some outstanding players, but the Spanish midfielder is just that little bit classier and has the ability to unlock a defence in the blink of an eye. In fact, had he played, I’m almost certain the final scoreline would have been different.

Still, Wolves were made to work hard for this point and front to back, everyone put in a shift, to use a McCarthyism.

The back four were very good.

Jody Craddock won practically everything. Berra was shaky to begin with, but grew in confidence as the game progressed. Big George Elokobi gave his all and even delivered a couple of teasing balls into the Everton box on the rare occasion he ventured forward. I think he’s successfully wrestled that left-back slot away from Stephen Ward, at least in the short term.

Zubar was probably the best of the lot though, using his power and pace to defend flawlessly and bomb forward when the opportunity presented himself. Our two brightest moments in the game came when the Frenchman exchanged clever passes and surged into the Everton box, only to come up agonisingly short with his final ball. His improvement has been a big factor in our recent upturn in form.

In midfield, Henry and Mancienne were neat and tidy, constantly grappling for the ball and winning enough mini-battles to ensure Everton couldn’t break us down. Jones wasn’t as effective as he has been in recent matches, but still got into some good positions. His second half booking for taking a quick free kick was ridiculous, particularly when identical situations involving players in blue shirts went unpunished.

Doyle was good, but not quite up to the usual high standards he sets. He looked a little jaded to me, so it’s just as well he’s got a full week until we next play. The rest will probably do him good.

All in all though, pretty good stuff from the boys in old gold. We’ve definitely built up some momentum, so you could look at it as a shame that we have to visit the Emirates next Saturday, where defeat is a very strong possibility. However, as we are in such good shape and as Arsenal have the small matter of a Champions League tie against Barcelona in the back of their minds, what better chance will we have to cause a massive upset and in doing so, enjoy our greatest day yet?

You never know.

What the Papers Say

Mick McCarthy is ever the realist. He has seen his Wolves team – for so long struggling in intensive care – emerge with a run of eight points from four matches. But he knows they are still a long way from Premier League safety.

What Wolves lacked in attack, they made up for in defence to gain another crucial point towards safety.

According to the thoughts of Mick McCarthy, every point is a prisoner at this level and his Wolverhampton Wanderers team managed to intern another one at Molineux yesterday in their efforts to avoid relegation. Quite how they captured this particular one, their eighth in four games, may remain a mystery to Everton.

The Telegraph