Archives for May 2010

Big Plans

For those of you that haven’t read about this yet, Wolves have unveiled their plans for redeveloping Molineux in order to improve facilities and increase the capacity to 36,000+.

You can read the official notes about this on the Wolves site here:

http://www.wolves.co.uk/page/News/0,,10307~2060349,00.html

Inside the new Molineux

In essence, there are four phases to the build:

Phases 1 & 2

These first two phases, which will hopefully be completed by the start of the 2014/15 campaign (4 years time roughly) will see the Steve Bull and Stan Cullis stands effectively knocked down and replaced with shiny new ones.

I suppose the big news here is that the Stan Cullis becomes a two tier rather than a traditional ‘Kop’ as it were. Work on this stand is top of the agenda and is scheduled to begin at the end of the forthcoming 2010/2011 campaign.

They’re also building a corner stand in between the new Stan Cullis and the Steve Bull, where away supporters will be located. I should imagine this will be music to the ears of people in the South Bank who hate giving up their seats. I for one welcome this, as I’ve always felt the away supporters get far too big a chunk of Molineux, particularly when they fill the lower Steve Bull.

Phase 2, as explained by the club ‘will see the Steve Bull (East) Stand being rebuilt over a two-season period (2012/13 and 2013/14), scheduled to be ready for the start of the 2014/15 season. However, it is hoped a significant number of seats will be released during the 2013/14 season for home supporters. When this is finished the capacity will be 36,000.’

Phase 3

This optional third phase will see the Jack Harris having it’s roof taken off and a second tier added to the stand.

Phase 4

Finally, a complete redevelopment of the Billy Wright, but only if, as it it states on the official release, ‘if additional seats are required’. I’m guessing they won’t be with the ground pushing towards a 40,000 capacity anyway, so if this does happen it surely won’t be for a very long time to come.

I’ll be very interested to learn how the club cope with a reduced capacity whilst this work is taking place. Jez Moxey has alluded to the idea that Season Ticket holders will be looked after first and foremost, so at a guess, I’m thinking less tickets will be given to away supporters and less will be allocated to people who pick and choose their matches. Whatever the plan, I’m sure a significant number won’t be very happy.

So anyway, enough of me rambling on, what do we all think of these plans?

Steven Fletcher to become Wolves record signing?

If you believe this story from the Sky Sports site:

http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11699_6174551,00.html

Steven Fletcher is on the brink of becoming a Wolves player for a walloping £7.5 million fee, with Wayne Hennessy and Chris Iwelumo heading out in the opposite direction on loan.

Should this be true, I’d be happy to see the player arrive, as I think the Scotland international is better than what we already have (Doyle aside) and fits nicely into the club’s ethos.

That being said, the fee is a lot more than I would have expected, particularly with two solid players heading to Turf Moor as part of the agreement, albeit on loan.

In the most recent Wolves Blog Poll, 43% of you thought Fletcher was the striker Wolves were most likely to sign, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to everyone if he does sign on the dotted line.

Interestingly, the club denied having an interest in the player a few weeks back, but perhaps that was a ploy to keep other potentially interested parties from sniffing around.

What do we all think?

Boredom

My palms were sweaty, knees weak, arms were heavy.

There was vomit on my sweater when I finally got to the North Bank ticket office to renew my season ticket as well.

It’s bad enough renewing when its 27 degrees and you’ve just walked halfway across town, sweating as you battle to make the deadline to keep the seat you’ve had for the last 12 years.

It’s positively nauseous when your ticket has gone up by £100 quid and you later realise the deadline wasn’t until this Friday anyway. (my fault for not doing the early bird)

What’s even worse than this, is walking away from the North Bank, clutching your ticket receipt, and hoping that you’ll see some bright new stars in the bright new Burrda come August.

You’ve gotta’ have hope, apparently. Without hope life is meaningless.

So I’m currently hoping that this mind numbing time of the year draws to a swift conclusion and we buy some players of genuine repute.

You know that you have plumbed the depths of boredom when you’ve read a ‘Stephen Ward signs new Wolves deal’ story from start to finish, only to read it again two hours later.

Oh well, at least Kevin Doyle is getting married. (That must mean he’s blissfully happy and settled in the West Midlands. He’s obviously not going anywhere.)

As if my little heart couldn’t take any more, I read that we’re off on a pre-season tour to Ireland, before Jez refutes going for some dog shit player that we were never linked to in the first place.

All I’m waiting for now is for Kevin Foley to pipe up with a few words about his Ireland hopes and I will spontaneously combust. Either that or Jody will tell us to be wary of Blackpool.

Times were so tedious that I recently drove past Molineux the other evening, and genuinely convinced myself I’d seen Jelle van Damme walk through reception, despite not knowing what he looks like.

I flicked on Sky Sports News last night and told my wife to be quiet as I saw some footage of Robbie Keane. If she could just pipe down for two minutes, I would hear Georgie Thompson tell us all that he’s in talks with Big Mick. Oh Georgie, talk dirty to me. Please.

Meanwhile, we continue to wait on Stephen Hunt. How about someone asks the straggly haired dwarf to enlighten us on precisely what he’s waiting for. I’ll give him directions to Asda if it helps.

At least the pitch is being dug up. Maybe O’Hara got stuck underneath the big mound of soil on the way to the training ground? Or it was dumped on Kightly’s bad ankle as he jogged around the perimeter?

If you couldn’t guess, it’s bloody boring at the moment. So boring in fact, that I’m contemplating writing a letter to Chris Iwelumo. I just feel like making contact with him.

Right then, I’m going back to read that Stephen Ward interview.

Striking the right note

In the most recent Wolves Blog Poll, we asked which position you felt Mick McCarthy most needed to strengthen over the summer and 53% of you stated that we need reinforcements up front.

I personally think the main priorities are a decent left-back and an attacking wide player, but admittedly we are short on firepower, so a decent striker would certainly be welcome.

Of course the summer has barely even begun and we’ve already been linked with a handful of names, so I thought I’d run the rule over each of these early targets to see if any of them fit the bill.

Steven Fletcher

Proved a good acquisition for Burnley at £3.5 million, scoring 8 goals in the Premiership and a few more in the cups. Will almost certainly be available if a club is willing to stump up the cash, but if the price is anywhere near the quoted £7 million, I think we should look elsewhere. In saying that, he’d be a good addition to our squad and would certainly fit comfortably into the ethos of young and hungry. Interest in the Scotland international has been denied by the club, but I can still see him becoming a Wolves player.

Realistic target rating: 7/10

Nicky Maynard

He’s scored bags of goals in the Championship for Bristol City and is rumoured to be attracting interest from a few top flight sides, including Wolves. It would certainly be a massive gamble for any club in the Premiership to pay big money for a striker that is unproven at this level, regardless of how well he’s done in the second-tier. Mick McCarthy already has one Championship golden-boot sitting on his bench and I can’t see him splashing out upwards of £4-£5 million on another one. I know I wouldn’t.

Realistic target rating: 5/10

Robbie Keane

We’d all love to see Keano back in a gold shirt and he’ll definitely be on the move from White Hart Lane this summer. But can Wolves realistically get him? I’m not so sure.

We’d probably pay the fee, which I’d guess would land somewhere between £5-£10 million, but wages would certainly be a stumbling block. I’d imagine he’s raking in a bare minimum of 50k a week at Spurs and I can’t see us being generous enough to get Robbie somersaulting back to Molineux.

If we could somehow get him, Keane would be a wonderful addition, but I have serious doubts that he’d be happy competing for a place, particularly if Mick opted for the 4-5-1 and persevered with Doyler up front on his own.

Realistic target rating: 4/10

Aruna Dindane

Many will disagree with this, but I think Dindane fits the bill quite nicely as a solid summer target for Wolves. He scored 8 Premier League goals for Pompey despite only playing in about a third of their games. He’s pacy, skillful and can also play out wide, which means he covers two important areas of weakness in our squad. He’s also available for peanuts, which is probably why so many teams have been linked.

OK, his agent is our old friend Willie McKay and he’s given every indication he’s more interested in the almighty dollar than football itself, but I still think he’d be a quality addition to the Wolves squad and we should seriously pull out the stops to get him.

Realistic target rating: 8/10

My brief thoughts on the best of the rest:

Frederic Piquionne – Worth a gamble.  7/10

James Beattie – Bad attitude but potentially still very good. 6/10

Dave Kitson – Hasn’t proved himself at Stoke. No thanks. 3/10

Jason Roberts – Could do a job in my opinion. Wouldn’t be a popular signing though. 5/10

Freddy Eastwood – Just kidding.

What do we all think?

A Baggie Worth Bagging?

Transfer rumours – like a good curry – are always best served with an extra touch of spice for good measure, in my opinion.

It’s all well and good being linked with Dave Kitson, Jelle van Damme and Stephen Hunt, but they must amount to the chicken Kormas of the transfer world, particularly when there’s a tantalizing Madras or Vindaloo on the other page?

This curious time of the year allows us fans to be what we’re best at…Opinionated, judgmental and utterly unrealistic as we salivate over who we should be buying.

I love it! Hypothesising about a Fletcher and a Keane is far more fun than predicting who our starting line-up should be once the season starts – even if it isn’t half as important.

The most fun of all though, arrives when there’s a name linked which splits opinion and turns your local boozer into a battleground. It’s usually a name with a little bit of baggage, a whole heap of controversy and quite possibly, a bad attitude.

Take Stan Collymore as a case in point. When Dave Jones was snapping up Denis Irwin from Man Utd, I barely batted an eyelid as I was utterly consumed by talk of Stan the Man returning to the club he once thieved from as a boy. This, despite Irwin being a million times more important to our immediate prospects.

With that, I’d like to throw a slightly less contentious name into the melting pot, but one that will surely get you all talking one way or another.

Robert Koren. Surely we should be going for the Slovenia skipper, for a whole host of reasons?

He would be a tasty little piece of business to get in the doggie bag nice and early, and would be a dish best served cold on our arch rivals.

Albion can’t afford his wages and have today allowed to let him go. Either that or him and di Matteo really didn’t get on as most people thought. Who cares.

I suggest we bring him in, because a) there’s no fee involved b) he can play on the right or the middle, offering us a new option or two, and most importantly c) it will majorly piss off all WBA fans who are already gutted he’s leaving, cue obligatory ‘goal against his former club’ to boot.

Oh, and finally d) because I can be completely whimsical about it all, as it’s the silly season.

What do you think?

19 Days Out

The away support from Wolves this season has been nothing short of phenomenal. Here’s my little tribute with 19 pictures from 19 glorious Premiership away days.

A big thanks to Alistair, Paul and Michael who helped me fill in the gaps for the games I didn’t get to myself.

Up The Wolves.

Wigan - Won 1-0

Man City - Lost 1-0

Blackburn - Lost 3-1

Sunderland - Lost 5-2

Everton - Drew 1-1

Stoke - Drew 2-2

Chelsea - Lost 4-0

Spurs - Won 1-0

Man Utd - Lost 3-0

Liverpool - Lost 2-0

Hull - Drew 2-2

Blues - Lost 2-1

Bolton - Lost 1-0

Burnley - Won 2-1

Villa - Drew 2-2

West Ham - Won 3-1

Arsenal - Lost 1-0

Fulham - Drew 0-0

Portsmouth - Lost 3-1

* Just a quick plug for a mate’s site. In case you don’t know, Father’s Day is on Sunday 20th June and if you want a great place to find Fathers Day gifts, check out DotComGiftShop.com.