Archives for April 2010

Portsmouth Vs Wolves Preview

After the 1-0 home defeat to Pompey back in October, I don’t think many Wolves supporters envisaged us being safe and sound by the time this return fixture came along.

But as we head down to Fratton Park on Saturday, that’s exactly what we are – safe.

So despite the importance of finishing 14th being talked up by the powers that be, I hope Wolves will play with a bit more freedom and maybe even give a few fringe players a chance.

Pompey got their first win of the season at Molineux

First and foremost, I’d like to see SEB given a start, preferably alongside Doyle in a two man attack. Having finally registered a Premiership goal from open play, I think these last two games represent a good opportunity for our number nine to build up some momentum, which he can hopefully carry into next season.

I’d also like to take a look at Zubar at center half, so why not shift him across instead of Berra or Craddock and allow Foley to enjoy a couple of games in the position where he’s truly comfortable? That probably won’t happen.

Milijas and Guedioura should both be given starts, particularly the latter who only has two games to earn a permanent deal. On a side note, I’ll be gutted if we don’t sign him up as he’s already shown he’s got what it takes and has the potential to be a real force.

Of course Henry is back from his ban too and I’d expect Mick to immediately restore his skipper to the starting XI. As we know, Ward’s season has been ended by injury and Matt Jarvis probably won’t be fit in time to play.

So my guess at what the team WILL be is:

Hahnemann

Zubar
Craddock
Berra
Elokobi

Foley
Henry
Jones
Edwards

SEB
Doyle

And this is the team I’d LIKE to see:

Hahnemann

Foley
Zubar
Craddock
Elokobi

Edwards
Henry
Guedioura
Milijas

Doyle
SEB

I know my eleven is lacking any sort of width, but let’s face it, if Jarvis isn’t going to make it, we’re pretty screwed anyway. Unless of course, Kightly has made a miraculous recovery. Speaking of which, where the hell is he? I haven’t heard an update on his injury for a good while now.

It’s almost impossible to predict a result, given that you never know what team Portsmouth will put out. I just hope it’s a decent game with a few goals, for the sake of everyone making the long trek down there.

I’ll go 3-1 to Wolves.

If you are heading down to the seaside, have a great time, enjoy the day and get behind the lads.

Up The Wolves.

Boyhood Dreams

My sister came up with these two letters which I wrote to her when she was in hospital in 19??

Aged 8, its easy to see my priorities were already clearly defined. Never mind the context of my sisters worrying illness; the Wolves had won – twice!

Click to expand

1-0 to the Wolves

50 years on, the boyhood dreams live on. Nothing changes for us fans because supporting Wolves is written in our DNA. We can’t change it (wouldn’t want to) and will take it to our graves.

And what a roller-coaster ride its been! Too few highs, too many lows and too many tears but now as then the highs are so intoxicating. I’m sure my first, pre-pubescent, orgasm was when we won the Cup in 1960! And unlike some later adult experiences, I really could honestly say ‘I love you’ afterwards!

So its sad that increasingly I’ve felt reluctant to talk about the past. The world turns and people want to live in the present. But we are shaped by our past and I want all Wolves fans to be proud of the clubs heritage, to walk tall knowing that legends walk beside them.

Perhaps its a good time to take stock now that our Premiership survival has been ensured.

We should celebrate and commend Mick and the boys on a job well done but there’s nothing to be OTT about.

The little boy writing to his sister grew up in a golden Wolves era. Its no wonder my expectations are high and despite all the disappointments, they still are. Wolverhampton Wanderers is not just any old football club. We are Wolves! Nobody should feel grateful we are back in the top flight. On the contrary, the top flight was diminished by our absence!

Managers, players and Moxeys come and go. Some are worthy of their positions, some are not – ’twas ever so. They are merely temporary custodians of the legacy. We are the organic essence of the club and this blog is proof positive of its vitality.

Strong Decisions

According to a sports journalist far worthier than most, good football managers solve problems.

Bad ones create them, apparently.

So as our historic season in the Premier League approaches the finishing line, we can give Big Mick a big pat on the back for finding a number of dilemma defying solutions.

McCarthy has divided opinion throughout the season

Mick has divided opinion all season

Tightening up the team; pushing Ronnie to right back; giving Mancienne a midfield mindset; even reducing a Stephen Hunt shaped hole in the unlikely shape of Foley have, to a lesser or greater extent, solved some head-throbbing conundrums which could have turned into a migraine.

Such decisions, not to mention an admirable belief in Elokobi and the ruthless dropping of Wayne Hennessey, have portrayed our manager at his very best.

Big Mick. An indefatigable, assiduous, and downright stubborn bloke. A gritty, decisive leader, who is an inspiration to every one of our young and hungry players (well, maybe not Mairhoffer!).

At his best, he has solved more complications than Countdown. At his worst, he has created one or two for himself through a refusal to drop his ‘favourites’, and a propensity to play the odd round peg in a square hole.

When times were once hard, fans pointed to a Freddy Eastwood headache, a botheration of poor defensive purchases, and an ongoing quandary at left back.

It’s a fine line I guess.

But now, as we look forward to our penultimate game of the season, Mick’s stock has never been higher. He has never been more decisive, he’s never been more resolute. He’s never been better.

So as Merlin basks in the glow of the Golden Palace on Sunday May 9, he’ll know there is another teaser that he’ll have to get his thinking cap on for.

What to do with his squad in the summer.

When he first came to the club, his clarity and conclusiveness was a wonderful first impression.

Ince. Out. Kennedy. Out. Cameron. Out. No messing, no sentiment, and no time for passengers as the introduction to a new club chapter was written.

Now if Jez Moxey’s statement about winning a trophy is true, then surely Mick needs to find that axe from 2007 and get swinging once again.

He gives it ‘full frontal’ to Friend, Vokes, Ward, Keogh, Mairhoffer, Halford, Little, Bia, Hill, Castillo and thanks them for all their hard work.

Like Jemal Johnson, Darren Potter, Craig Davies and Michael McIndoe before them, they were of their time and served an important purpose. But would they have ever helped Mick get to where he wanted?

One thing’s for sure. Whether he does or he doesn’t show them the door, he’ll not get any questions from me.