Archives for September 2015

Fulham 0 Wolves 3

There’s potential throughout this young Wolves squad.

James Henry Fulham

The only question is: how quickly can it be realised?

Sheyi Ojo is just one of many youngsters populating the team this season who’ve suffered an indifferent start.

Too often the on-loan Liverpool winger simply hasn’t looked interested.

In the defeat to Cardiff and the recent stalemate against Brighton he remained on the periphery of the action throughout.

But after coming off the bench to great effect against Preston and more tellingly last night, there’s encouraging signs about what’s to come.

The same can be said of Dominic Iorfa, who perhaps – up until last night – hasn’t yet hit the same heights he managed in his debut campaign.

A timely return to form then from the rangy full-back who turned in the type of powerful, swashbuckling performance that became his trademark last term.

Like most people, I’m glad to see Jack Price back in the team. His steady influence once again looks the best bet for coaxing Kevin McDonald into top form.

A stat was doing the rounds on Twitter last night that Wolves have only lost 5 of the 51 games Price has started for Wolves, adding further credence to the consensus he should always be starting.

What about James Henry too?

We don’t need to talk about potential where he’s concerned. The only question mark is whether he can deliver what’s he capable of on a consistent enough basis.

It’s fair to expect a better goals return from the wide man this season now he can finally get a look in on free-kicks.

Byrne, McDonald, Le Fondre and Martinez also turned in performances to suggest a team may finally be emerging from the shadows.

More encouragingly though is the energy and verve with which Wolves played even before Fulham were reduced to ten.

And of course the sending off helped us, as did the opposition who are prepared to stand off and let teams play their passes.

But the significance of this result should not be overlooked and the confidence it will give our young team is priceless.

With confidence comes belief and with belief, who knows how far this group of players could potentially go?

For sale

Just because you want to sell something, doesn’t mean anyone’s buying.


Sorry to rain on the parade folks but I reckon Steve Morgan might be hanging around for a good while yet.

Sure, the announcement raised a few eyebrows, but it’s not the earth-shattering news many of an old gold persuasion are suggesting.

Jez Moxey is still captain of the ship. Mr. Morgan remains omnipresent in the background.

Business as usual isn’t it?

And while a public declaration of an intent to sell suggests Morgan is particularly keen to offload the club, I’ve never for one moment thought he wouldn’t sell if the right offer landed on his lap.

First and foremost, Steve Morgan is a businessman and a very good one at that. Wolves were a good investment and if he can find the right buyer, he’ll be one of the very few to make a significant profit out of owning a football club.

They’re not easy to shift in this neck of the woods though – just ask Randy Lerner and Jeremy Peace, who’ve thus far tried and failed to move on.

That being said, Wolverhampton Wanderers are probably a more salable asset than their West Midlands counterparts.

Aston Villa are saddled with enormous debts that Lerner is propping up with loans while the team struggles to retain their Premier League status, making them a far from an enticing purchase.

And Albion, while debt free and prudently run would require major investment and ambition to progress beyond their current Premier League also-ran status.

In contrast, Wolves are responsibly governed and also offer prospective buyers the opportunity to add significant value.

£100 million to be specific.

That’s roughly what a promotion to the top flight is worth in additional turnover, which would immediately double the club’s value.

It’s a classic ‘buy low, sell high’ proposition that could prove attractive for an individual or group with deep enough pockets.

Steve Morgan Kenny Jackett

Most supporters would no doubt welcome a rich foreign consortium willing to invest in a promotion drive in pursuit of greater riches.

But we’ve seen the likes of Blackburn, Forest, Leeds and Blues all endure times of struggle under such stewardship, which is a warning sign about the worst case scenario.

More than a few fans have already trotted out the ‘better the devil you know’ line and they may have a point.

While it’s fair to suggest Morgan has never truly rolled the dice on first team investment, he’s never made decisions that have put the long term financial health of the club in jeopardy.

But having seen Leicester and Bournemouth splash the cash to make it in recent times and Middlesbrough and Derby looking a good bet to follow suit this season, punters have rightly asked the question – why not us?

Surely Wolves were perfectly positioned over the summer to make the minor gamble on a couple of marquee signings to add the necessary 10% to an already capable squad?

But yet again while our rivals spent big on established talent like Downing, Nugent and Ince, Wolves spent modestly on players looking to prove their value at a higher level.

This and this alone is the root cause of the abuse Morgan has been forced to endure in recent times – something he’s never quite been able to resolve.

And it seems highly unlikely his stance will shift now the ‘For Sale’ signs have been hammered down.

Sadly, even his major achievements away from the pitch are often given short shrift by supporters impatient for progress on it.

The redevelopment of the Stan Cullis increased capacity and upgraded facilities but is viewed as nothing more than an eyesore by many.

Even the academy, which is now one of the best in the country, has been used as a stick to beat the owner with, accompanied by the insinuation that it gives him license to spend less in the transfer market.

There’s a balance to be found in owning a football club and I would suggest that one shared consensus among supporters is that Morgan has rarely been able to achieve it.

Whether that’s entirely his fault or a portion of the blame lies elsewhere, only he and perhaps a handful of insiders truly know.

The state the club will be in when Steve Morgan finally waves goodbye, is of course another question entirely.

And just how long we’ll have to wait for an answer is really anyone’s guess.

Fulham Vs Wolves Preview

Last season I thought Wolves did a great job of slipping under the radar.


Nobody seemed to be talking about us and that suited me as we made serene progress over the second half of the campaign.

Already this year though things have descended into farce.

Key players sold, unrest in the stands, indifferent form on the pitch and an owner who wants to sell up and move on.

I suppose Watford were a good example of a club who thrived in amongst the chaos, but they’re probably more the exception than the rule.


Fulham_FC_LogoI’m sick of hearing the word Fulham already and we’re not even into October.

Fulham have signed former Wolves man Jamie O’Hara, Fulham have bid for Richard Stearman, Wolves have turned down a bid from Fulham for Kevin McDonald.

But the Londoners have certainly backed Kit Symons to get it right this season and it looks like things are starting to come together.

The demolition job they did on QPR last time out laid down a marker and confidence is sure to be sky high.

Only Middlesbrough (17) have scored more than Fulham (15) in the Championship and that’s having played a game more.


Had Preston not been severely handicapped by dismissals, it’s hard to believe Wolves would have found a way back into the game on Saturday.

Team for Fulham

There’s very little fluidity to our play at the moment and we’re less than convincing in either penalty area. A bit of pretty passing in midfield can’t paper over those deficiencies.

I would suspect it will largely be the same team that started at the weekend, possibly with Ojo coming in for van La Parra.

We could really do with Benik Afobe rediscovering his goalscoring touch. He spurned a few late chances against Preston, which would have been gobbled up earlier in the year.

The gaffer


This one has defeat written all over it. Ex-players, home team on form, Wolves in turmoil, etc, etc.

I just hope if we are going down at Craven Cottage, we go down swinging, which means a more resolute defensive showing and a bit more guts in the final third.

Kevin McDonald didn’t take the easy pass on Saturday, he made something happen. We need more of that from our important players.

Still, I think we’re in for a long night in the capital.

2-0 Fulham.

Up The Wolves!

Preston North End 1 Wolves 1

Not winning this game has probably done little to lift the mood, but the significance of not losing it shouldn’t be underestimated.

Wallace Preston

Had Wolves failed to breakdown a side inside the bottom three who played two thirds of the game with a significant disadvantage, the fallout would have been infinitely worse.

But thanks to Kevin McDonald’s injury time rescue act, some of the sting has at least been drawn from the disappointment.

The Scot’s wonderful goal is a timely reminder of his importance to a team that must now be rebuilt around his considerable talents.

Indeed all around McDonald are problems that need solving sooner rather than later.

Defensive shortcomings have been widely documented and even Danny Batth’s eagerly awaited return couldn’t stop Wolves conceding the first goal – again.

And chasing the game – even against handicapped opposition – made life harder for what increasingly appears a toothless attack.

Our only two senior strikers have impressive scoring records but neither are yet to fire and there’s little sign of a blossoming partnership.

Afobe hasn’t notched from open play in a month and seems to be struggling to make headway without the support of Mali’s finest.

He might point to a lack of service, which is fair when you consider  none of the wide players – save perhaps James Henry – have delivered on an even semi-consistent basis.

Can Ojo, van La Parra or Byrne be relied upon to continually serve up chances for our forwards? I’m not convinced.

Only Bolton, Preston and MK Dons have scored less goals than Wolves thus far, neatly underlining the need for reinforcements.

Kenny Jackett pointed to a lack of aggression in attacking the countless balls hoisted into the penalty area.

That scenario was precisely why the manager tried to bring in Chris Wood and was reportedly interested in a loan move for Bournemouth’s Yann Kermorgant.

Neither arrived and such was his frustration yesterday, Danny Batth was urged forward to contest the aerial duels.

The reality is that Wolves must adapt their approach from what we’ve seen in recent years.

Sako and Dicko are seemingly irreplaceable so an alternative solution is required.

And muscle in the final third to make the ball stick and bring Benik Afobe into the game should be the first point of business.

Resigning Kevin McDonald was a positive step but there are many rungs on the ladder to climb before anyone can feel positive about our short term aspirations.

This was after all supposed to be a season of evolution and progression, but with each passing disappointment it feels like we’re simply starting all over again.

Preston North End Vs Wolves Preview

By the time we play Huddersfield at Molineux next Saturday, we could be languishing in the bottom three or knocking on the door of the top six.


There are two tough looking away games before then, starting tomorrow at Deepdale before heading south to Craven Cottage next Tuesday.

Kenny Jackett always says 10 games is a good point to assess what a team’s likely aspirations will be for the season ahead, so our position next weekend will be interesting to assess.

I suspect we’ll likely end up somewhere in the middle, which to my mind is exactly where we are in the Championship pecking order.


PNE_FCIt’s been a tough old start to Championship life for all three of the promoted teams from League One.

Preston come into this game in 22nd place and with just a single victory (against fellow newbies MK Dons) to show for their efforts.

Scoring goals has been the major issue for Simon Grayson’s men and with just 5 on the board, only Bolton (4) have managed less.

Striker Joe Garner has been their main man for a few years now and they’ll hope he can rediscover some form to kickstart their season.

They don’t concede truckloads though and that could prove their saving grace in what looks like being a challenging campaign.


It’s practically impossible to second guess Kenny Jackett at present but this is my best guess for tomorrow’s team:

Wolves team for Preston

They say players can often become better when they’re sitting in the stands and in that respect, Danny Batth has gone from jobbing, no-nonsense centre half to Franz Beckenbauer in the space of a month.

I don’t think he’s as good as some people have suggested in recent years, but he’s certainly more consistent and more reliable than the cumbersome Ebanks-Landell.

With Coady suspended and Edwards out injured, I think Kenny will want to revert to tried and tested performers, but Nathan Byrne should get his debut.

The gaffer


Tough to predict a win against anyone at present, even one of the struggling promoted sides.

Preston strike me as a solid, workmanlike team who very easily beat us if we don’t tighten up ourselves.

I do expect a response from the walloping at Middlesbrough though and there are players who should come in and make a difference.

I’ll go for a score draw.


Up The Wolves!

Middlesbrough 3 Wolves 0

Well you can’t say it hasn’t been coming.

Wolves Boro

Wholesale changes to the team, chronic individual errors, no leadership. A big old slap around the chops has been on the cards for weeks.

For context, it’s fair to say Middlesbrough away was a tough assignment made all the more challenging with Kenny Jackett opting against fielding our strongest XI.

But the manner in which we were routinely brushed aside by a fellow Championship team with the same hopes and aspirations that we supposedly harbor says a lot about our current plight.

The final scoreline neatly underlines the seismic gap between the two clubs. They have progressed and strengthened. We have regressed and surrendered.

Even the manager who has so often been impervious to criticism for his pragmatic, level-headed approach is suddenly looking confused and vulnerable.

The only episodes of struggle he’s endured in a fairly serene two years have been at times when he hasn’t known his best team.

Unfortunately, unlike December 0f 2013 and November of 2014, there’s a sense that this could be a longer stretch in the wilderness.

There’s been too much change, too much trauma, too much unrest for Wolves to find the consistency for a serious top six challenge.

Realistically, the best we can hope for in the short term is that Danny Batth’s return can help steady the ship.

He’s by no means the all encompassing answer to our defensive problems, but with Ethan Ebanks-Landell costing the team goals every other game, his steady presence could prove a tonic.

But the other senior players must also step forward and be counted.

There’s definitely much more to be had from the likes of Golbourne, McDonald, Henry, Afobe and Le Fondre. All are capable but none are playing anywhere close to their level.

Kenny also eluded to the fact we couldn’t beat our man and really hurt Boro last night and that’s been a problem all season long.

So whether it’s Nathan Byrne making the difference or the likes of Ojo or van La Parra seriously stepping up their game, somebody has to provide that spark.

Without that, two seasons of solid progress on and off the pitch are in serious danger of completely fizzling out.