Archives for May 2015

Jed Wallace – the lowdown

The signing of Jed Wallace has been greeted with an understated air of optimism, I think it’s fair to say.

Jed Wallace

The timing of the acquisition, and the obligatory YouTube compilation video, seems to augur well for the future.

But at Wolves Blog, we weren’t satisfied with a three minute montage and a stock quote from the official website, so we contacted our good twitter friend Susan Maskell, a lifelong Portsmouth fan, for the lowdown on Jed.

Susan has been a regular blogger about the goings-on at Fratton Park and is well worth a follow on twitter @sjmaskell.

We wish her, and Portsmouth, all the very best next season and beyond. A club I have long admired, despite their recent turmoil.

Thank you Susan!

Jed Wallace

Jed Wallace is not the finished article. But you wouldn’t expect that for £275k. but he could be a potential match winner in the right hands.

An attack minded player, nominally a midfielder, there are many who think Jed has still not quite found his natural position. He seems prepared to play wide, through the centre or take on a roving brief on demand. He has some speed, is prepared to run at the opposition, although perhaps prone to holding the ball too long on a number of occasions.

He has been accused of trying to win matches on his own. But he will try, try and try again. He does not shirk in tackling back either. He still lacks the experience to see and decide between options when on the ball, but with Pompey over the last three years there haven’t often been many options available.

Pompey’s player of the season, a product of the Academy, Jed has been blooded over three seasons of excruciatingly poor on-the-pitch performances, and off-pitch dramas, culminating in Pompey’s lowest ever finishing position of 16th in L2. He has been a shining light in the darkness throughout.

It could be said that it was his goals, 24 from 88 appearances, that have kept us in League 2 over the last two seasons. Some feat from midfield. Only a terminal numbskull like Richie Barker, who dropped him during his brief tenure as manager, can fail to see the potential of the player.

‘Super Jed’ has been Fratton approved, unlike many over the last three seasons. So much so that most Pompey fans wish him well in the future and think he has chosen the right club in Wolves. The fact that he shone at Pompey through our darkest days may be down to the lack of quality around him during those three seasons. A squad that was constantly being demolished and rebuilt is not a good place to learn the finer skills required higher up the leagues.

So most fans here understand that to develop, Jed has to go and learn among players who are experienced at a higher level. He may not shine for a while, but proper coaching and Wolves could have a valuable asset there. We hope so, anyway, if the rumoured sell-on clauses are to be realised.

To cap it all, Jed is a thoroughly nice person and has been a popular club ambassador at social and charity events. We are sorry to see him go and wish him well. Wolves have acquired a proper professional in Jed Wallace.

The goals

9 possible Sako stand-ins

A new player announced, a new kit revealed and a new Government sweeping into power, all in the days since Bakary Sako whipped his shirt off to bid a teary farewell to Molineux.

Sako Fulham

Time has certainly flown in the three weeks since our gloriously futile final fixture, before presumably standing still for the foreseeable as we scour the gossip columns for news of a replacement for the Malian.

On past experience, the days from around now to the start of August will feel like a lifetime, as panic spreads to systematic pant-wetting when it becomes depressingly clear that we won’t be buying anyone decent over the summer.

So in an attempt to rouse the powers-that-be to part with those purse-strings, the following wishlist of wide-men has been assembled, which should not be idly viewed as unattainable, but seen as an integral document if we are serious about mounting a promotion challenge next season.

Please see below for some Sako stand-in suggestions, who could make all the difference come May 2016.

Marshall1. Ben Marshall – Blackburn Rovers

As a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy PR man back in the day, I was alerted to this young schemer by my friends at Carlisle United. Then a Stoke loanee, he dazzled in the Cumbrian blue (alongside Man City pup Max Clayton) and spearheaded a push to Wembley.

Recovered from a broken leg to play for Leicester City before arriving at Blackburn Rovers, where he looked in fine form in a 4-3-3. A more narrow performer and while his goal stats aren’t dazzling, a more consistent ‘7/10’ performer might lie in wait. A feasible choice.

2. Michail Antonio – Nottingham ForestAntonio

Again, in my Johnstone’s Paint Trophy days in 2010 (I should have been a scout!) this power-packed winger dazzled while on loan from Reading at Southampton. With Lallana, Labert and co put firmly in the shade, this beast of a wideman went to town on MK Dons in an area final game, at which point I thought: ‘Why can’t we have a player like him!’

The most obvious like-for-like replacement for Sako in terms of stature, speed, and propensity to frustrate. Forest aren’t flush either, so an attempt must be made, seeing as he is a proven Championship performer.

3. Max Gradel – Saint EtienneGradel

I still cringe when I close my eyes and think of the time this player ripped Jelle van Damme a new arsehole in a pre-season friendly against Leeds. So emasculating and embarrassing was the sight that Mick McCarthy refused to play the Belgian left back in his correct position at the start of the season. At one point, as I sat in amongst the home fans, I actually saw Gradel grinning like Mo Camara as he prepared to skin van Damme for the 45th time in the match. How the Leeds supporters chortled.

His skills were as dazzling as his pearly teeth and for a direct, in your face element of excitement, we should have a look. (Interesting fact: We bought Sako from St Etienne too)

4. Matt Jarvis – West Ham UnitedJarvis

Yes, yes, laugh all you like but I refer you to my fourth par. You’re not allowed to idly dismiss any of these suggestions. To dismiss negates aspiration and we all want to aspire. To dream the impossible dream and all that…

We know what we’d get from Jarvo. A bust-a-gut attitude, a pair of jet heels and a ‘thumbs up’ every time he sprints 50 yards and just fails to reach an overhit pass.

Wages are probably an issue but with Doyle, Johnson, O’Hara and now Sako off the bill, they shouldn’t be. Also, what price a cult hero? Fans love him.

5. Anthony Knockaert – Leicester CityKnockeart

Apparently he’s off to Standard Liege. Shame, as he was integral when Leicester pissed the Championship and he was out of contract. Get on the phone Jez.

 

 

 

6. Tom Ince – Hull CityInce

Why not? Seems that his visions of grandeur were taking him to the San Siro, when reality delivered him down the M1 to Pride Park.

One of few bright spots for Derby over their tortuous closing months of the season and a clever player whose Dad is revered around Molineux.

A ‘statement of intent’ signing who should be courted. If Derby could lure him, then I’m certain we should at least be trying.

7. Alex Pritchard – Tottenham HotspurPritchard

A wonderful young player who will go back to Spurs with a fresh appetite to succeed following a season on loan at Brentford (after a cracking time at Swindon before that). Registered double figures from midfield and like Sako, hits a mean free kick.

Wants to make a go of things at White Hart Lane and if Ryan Mason and Harry Kane’s elevations into the first team are anything to go by, he’s got half a chance.

But they’re awash with wingers down there and I think we should be pursuing him.

8. Albert Adomah – MiddlesbroughAdomah

Didn’t do a lot at Bristol City but more than paid the £1 million fee back to Boro this season with some top wingplay. Boro’s dangerman and now they haven’t got promoted, we need to be sniffing around for his services, as he might just want to play in a civilised part of the world. A real statement of intent as we’d be weakening a direct rival and showing the league we mean business. Not a familiar concept to Morgan and Moxey this though, sadly.

 

9. Razak BoukariBoukari

Quite possibly a more hilarious suggestion than Jarvis or Pritchard, but equally likely to be the most plausible of suggestions, if he comes through pre-season. He was bought as a more explosive finished article than Sako but injuries have reduced him to a laughing stock.

What’s the betting he comes through pre-season and some clever-dick proclaims his re-emergence as being ‘just like a new signing’?

Bloggers’ Ball II – The Party in the park

Well – that’s it then.

It’s all over for another year.

Another Bloggers’ Ball has come and gone.

Clive has disappeared back across the water from whence he came and the rest of us are kicking over the ashes of a season that promised so much but in the end delivered what most of us, if we’re being honest, expected.

But over the course of the year the pride in our team, which we rediscovered last season after two years of humiliation, blossomed in our breasts.

And the growing affection which we feel for Kenny Jackett warmed our cockles.

Well, it certainly did for me and the PMDG’er!

A play off place was so tantalisingly close. How many of us over the last few weeks of the season said that it could well come down to goal difference?

Who are you going to blame?

The players, who probably all made mistakes at one time or another which cost us points?

The Head Coach, who perhaps got his selection wrong on a couple of occasions?

The owner and CEO who had the chance to strengthen the squad when we were top of the league, but didn’t?

When all is said and done, the finger of blame can’t really be pointed in any one direction.

Best to recognise it as a brave collective effort that fell just short.

The one thing which has remained constant for me in this season of ultimate disappointment is the blog – which never disappoints.

Most of you have already done it but I’d like to add my thanks to Thomas and Ben for all their work on the blog and Ben for his time spent trying to get the truth out of our esteemed CEO at the Fans’ Parliament.

I expect you will all be delighted to know that I’ve put together another epic movie that I shot mostly on location (at the Park View Hotel) and mostly under the influence (of a variety of liquids) which attempts to encapsulate the weekend spent with Clive, and the latest Bloggers’ Ball.

Getting together with some of you lot has been a real pleasure for me. It’s great to be able to meet a fellow contributor in person and tell him to his face what a load of old cobblers he spouts on the blog.

Also, a mention to Mr & Mrs Twixfix who couldn’t make it this year because of long standing holiday arrangements.

Seriously guys! Get your priorities right!!

You’re lucky I slipped in couple of seconds of you at a previous meet just so you don’t feel too left out.

Some of us travel a fair old way for our gathering – I’m not going to list everyone, you know who you are – but a special mention has to go to Clive and Clemens for going way above and beyond the call of duty.

And on Saturday one of our number made a solo journey from Oxford, by train… in an electric wheelchair!

Big respect to Jerryd!

I apologise profusely to any of you who attended either the pre match or post match gathering and don’t appear on this masterpiece of moviemaking.

I’ve only had the camera about four years and I still can’t quite get to grips with the on/off switch.

Sorry about that.

Plus, when I’m filming I’m not chatting.

And I like a chat.

Otherwise, I hope you’ll find it’s a diverting little piece.

One more thing. Some people might have got the impression that these Bloggers’ get togethers are only for an elite few.

Elite?!

Have you seen some of the characters on this film?

Next time we want more.

I’d like to think that we might arrange something for the first home match of the season, so mark it down in your Official Wolves Yearbook. Available at all reputable Wolves Megastores.

Meanwhile, I’ll try to master the camera so we can get all the faces in the frame.

Until then – Have good Summers all – and happy Blogging!