Am I the only one concerned by the current events in WV1?
The cautious optimism that followed our final day win over Preston has been superseded by the gut- wrenching fear that Wolves are about to commit the same mistakes as 2016 – namely appointing a relatively unknown foreign manager and flooding the squad with unproven foreign talent.
For what it’s worth, the current managerial situation is an odd one. We can hardly say that Lambert tore up the league, with Blues at home surely the nadir of his short reign.
But he did make some astute signings that eventually got us over the line. And given our recent record with foreign managers, from Norway to Italy, we need to make sure we get this next appointment right, if Lambert is indeed on his way.
That’s not to say a foreign manager couldn’t work out well – each of the four play-off contenders this year took a chance on a left-field appointment and it has yielded more than 58 points for two consecutive seasons.
However, I don’t think the managerial situation is the issue here. It is what lies above.
The prospect of an agent running our on-field recruitment scares me a little. A man whose very role in the football industry is to engineer transfers for personal gain could be placed in charge of our comings and goings this summer.
And what’s more, he isn’t actually an employee of the club or Fosun. In an age where accountability is very much in vogue, this looks like a step backwards. Let alone whether any of these signings will actually be any good.
Mendes and our manager-in- waiting Nuno Espirito Santo (if betting offers are to be believed) have form here. Switch Fosun for another Oriental oligarch (the Singaporean Peter Lim) and we have the circus that was Valencia in late 2015/early 2016.
Take this quote from Roberto Ayala, a club stalwart and former technical director. He is referring to the set up at the Mestalla, and it is taken from the Portuguese press. Thanks to a Portuguese colleague of mine for the translation:
“I stepped back when I saw that things were not going well. There was a dangerous triangle between the owner [Peter Lim], the coach [Nuno Espírito Santo] and [Jorge] Mendes, the businessman. A triangle that was not going to help the club.”
“There was a technical secretary scouring the entire market looking for what was best for the club. Then the technical team was empowering the player and there was still the most skilled businessman in the world to negotiate.”
All sounds good so far, right?
“They bought at exaggerated prices and I could not participate in this style of management.”
And that’s where alarm bells ring. Are we about to see another summer splurge? Because if so, who is most likely to benefit from that? Our agent-cum-director of football, of course.
With Fosun remaining silent, we can only speculate. I really hope to be proven wrong, and that Mendes’ extensive phonebook yields a few Costas and no Gladons.