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Wolves' plight exposes 'patchwork' Connor choice

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Phil McNulty | 22:04 UK time, Saturday, 31 March 2012

The silence was so deafening you could hear Wolves drop. No real dissent from the Molineux stands, simply the ominous echo of resignation and now surely relegation.

Wolves caretaker manager Terry Connor was conceding nothing after the morale-crushing 3-2 loss to fellow strugglers Bolton that left them six points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League.

Connor, with one point from 18 since succeeding sacked Mick McCarthy, would be foolish to say anything else but an eighth successive home defeat in league and cup suggests the search for hope of survival would be a fruitless one.


Even McCarthy himself, using the Wolves "we" and free from the demands for defiance and denial that comes with management, admitted before kick-off: "If we don't beat Bolton I'd be very surprised if we can stay up. It's a 'must win' game for me."


Terry Connor

Since succeeding Mick McCarthy, Terry Connor has one point from a possible 18, but insists Wolves can still stay up. Photo: Press Association

And the "must win" game was lost while QPR and Wigan were also winning. Wolves may be able to tell a genuine hard luck story about this game - but it is a story they will tell walking towards the Championship.

Michael Kightly's goal gave Wolves the lead their vibrant performance, lacking only cutting edge, deserved. But the defining moment of this game came just after the hour when referee Jon Moss ruled that Mark Davies had been fouled by Wolves captain Roger Johnson in the area.

Wolves and Molineux argued the point of this borderline decision long and loud although Bolton insisted it was correct - but the grim evidence of a side heading down came after Martin Petrov equalised from the spot.

Wafer-thin confidence crumbled and a lack of resilience was brutally exposed as Bolton added further goals from Marcos Alonso and Kevin Davies. It would be an insult to Wolves to describe Matt Jarvis's late strike as a consolation goal.

There was no consolation here, not after an excellent first hour was turned into the stuff of nightmares once Petrov - who sported a "Be Strong Stan" T-shirt supporting Stiliyan Petrov after his fellow Bulgarian was diagnosed with leukaemia - gave Bolton a leveller they did not deserve.

Wolves visibly wilted and the journey towards the drop that has accelerated since the sacking of McCarthy, a decision by chairman Steve Morgan that was supposed to increase their chances of survival, gathered greater momentum.

It would be a hard heart that did not feel sympathy for Connor as he looked genuinely shattered by the result in his post-match briefing, but his very presence was a symptom of the flaw in the Wolves hierarchy's plan once they sacked McCarthy.

Whether McCarthy deserved his dismissal or not - and many Wolves fans felt his final 5-1 humiliation at home to West Bromwich Albion was a result that had sacking stamped straight through it - there was a fatal failing in Morgan's strategy.

McCarthy left without a successor in place, without a fresh face with fresh ideas who could have breathed fresh life into Wolves' squad and their season waiting in the wings. The patchwork appointment of his right-hand-man, part of the management team deemed not good enough by Morgan, has not worked.

So, despite the best efforts of a man renowned as a fine coach, it now appears supporters who will gather in the new stand rising at one end of Molineux will be taking their seats in English football's second tier next season.

Such are the margins of football that if Steven Fletcher had not hit the bar with a header or seen another effort cleared off the line, or if referee Moss had ruled differently, then Wolves may have been in a difficult but not impossible position with seven games left.

But the quiet that swept around Molineux as the final whistle sounded suggested the inevitable had been accepted. It would be a work of miraculous proportions for Connor to get Wolves out of this.

His players gave him so much, but their fragility betrayed them once Bolton were on terms and Owen Coyle's side sensed it just as much as the rest of Molineux.

Connor also had to explain away a first half spat between captain Johnson and goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey which saw the pair lock foreheads, point fingers and exchange words before the smaller figure of Kightly intervened and referee Moss eventually restored order.

The confrontation was painted as a show of passion and commitment by Connor as he brought out the party line. What may have been more telling was the reaction of the Molineux crowd, instantly and vociferously chanting their support for Hennessey.

Johnson has been a failure since his £7m arrival from Birmingham City in the summer, a showpiece signing by McCarthy on the back of his fine efforts further down the M6 who has singularly failed to capture the imagination of the fans.

The captain looks frayed at the edges, both in his approach and his game, going to ground too easily too often and giving off an agitated rather than calming air. Not the body language of the leader Wolves require in this situation.

Connor may be right and Wolves may somehow get out of this situation. Reality will surely dictate otherwise and Molineux's silence at the conclusion of this game suggests Wolves fans know it too - and maybe they just did not have the heart to tell him.

Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    One has to feel sorry for Connor, he doesn't seem to have the support of the players.

    Having said that, he has the charisma of someone who should be cutting the grass or something, so you can hardly blame them.

  • Comment number 2.

    Wolves are down - end of story. Feel sorry for the fans, they have been hung out to dry by the Board. Incompetence of the highest order.

  • Comment number 3.

    @ 23:01 31st Mar 2012, dogeared

    What an utterly ridiculous comment!

  • Comment number 4.

    Maybe it's just me but I don't have too much of sympathy for Wolves. Sacking a manager who had managed them succesfully for several years, then the 'it's not a job for a novice' rap only to appoint a man with a blank managerial CV who obviously was not up to it. Connor might as well admit it. Wolves will just have to pick up the pieces, likely with someone else in charge, and look to get back up as soon as possible. Harsh maybe but that's just the way it is.

  • Comment number 5.

    @3

    Merely an observation.

    He seems a thoroughly nice chap way out of his comfort zone.

  • Comment number 6.

    Wolves are paying the price for sacking McCarthy without a decent successor lined up. I think they would be favourites to finish bottom whoever was in charge. Probably on a par with Wigan as the poorest squad in the league.

  • Comment number 7.

    Whether McCarthy deserved his dismissal or not - and many Wolves fans felt his final 5-1 humiliation at home to West Bromwich Albion was a result that had sacking stamped straight through it - there was a fatal failing in Morgan's strategy.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    You might mention that the WBA result came a week after the chairman entered the dressing room and totally undermined Mick McCarthy, but otherwise I can't argue with what you put here.

    I feel sorry for Terry Connor who has been dropped into an impossible situation, but I find it hard to have very much sympathy for Wolves after they dispensed with the manager that got them into the Premier League and then kept them there for 2 years.

  • Comment number 8.

    'Johnson has been a failure since his £7m arrival from Birmingham City in the summer, a showpiece signing by McCarthy on the back of his fine efforts further down the M6 who has singularly failed to capture the imagination of the fans.'

    Harsh. Johnson was in quite good form at the start of the season. He started to wobble a bit before McCarthy got sacked, and the last month or so has been completely off the boil, but to say he has been a complete failure is wrong.

    Maybe it was just a flippant remark that gave a good soundbite to finish off the article but I took exception to it.

    Wolves will need to rebuild the management structure in the summer, this venture clearly hasn't worked for them.

  • Comment number 9.

    We were top after two games and looked quality in a 2-0 home win over Fulham, i never saw this coming.

    I was never a fan of the decision to sack McCarthy, he did wonders for us. Morgan and Moxey pushed the panic button a bit too early. It might have proved a decent decision had he appointed someone with a bit of experience, but there was no-one that actually wanted the job.

    I feel alot of sympathy for Connor who has been at the club years now because realistically we've been down since we lost to West Brom, all he could try and do was salvage some pride which unfortunately we haven't.

    We had two good years with a lot of memorable results so i'm not too gutted.

  • Comment number 10.

    So glad my beloved Gulls manager didn't leave for a sinking ship! Wolves' home form has been poor all this year, contrast to last year where the managed to beat the champions - this year they were completely outclassed. Relegation threatend teams need to bank on their home form (see QPR) and wolves just haven't done that. Mid table championship side next season if a proper manager isn't found.

  • Comment number 11.

    i'm no wolves fan but the owner and chief exec must shoulder the blame for the crass way they handled the mccarthy sacking, ineptitude of the first order from the top.

  • Comment number 12.

    'Even McCarthy himself, using the Wolves "we" and free from the demands for defiance and denial that comes with management,'
    Well that just makes no sense at all...

  • Comment number 13.

    It's easy to blame Mick McCarthy or Terry Connor, but the truth of the matter is that Wolves are burdened by an inordinate amount of sub-standard British Isles plodders in their squad.

    Even by the EPL's low standards, Wolves are utter dross. I've seen better players turn out for ''The Three Horseshoes'' on a Sunday morning.

  • Comment number 14.

    Sacking Big Mick has to be the gaffe of the season.... if you don't count Andy Carroll's general form this season.

  • Comment number 15.

    At 23:51 31st Mar 2012, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:

    Brilliant choice of words; "Utter dross" and "sub-standard British Isles plodders", but they are our "sub-standard British Isles plodders" and we love them!

  • Comment number 16.

    The title made me think I might read some analysis from the chief football writer. I was wrong. Just more cumbersome, paragraph-length sentences crammed with an enough additional information to blur the author’s point.

    McCarthy did a better job with Wolves than Sunderland. Maybe the chairman fancied himself as a football manager and just needed a puppet.

  • Comment number 17.

    Terry Connor will be added to the club that includes Chris Hutchings, Brian Kidd, Steve Wigley and Les Reid. Coaches completely out of their depth as managers. What's worse in this case is that Wolves came up with some nonsense PR that he was 'their man' having been turned down by everyone else.

    For that reason they don't deserve an ounce of sympathy. If they want to tell such blatant lies and assume the fans will swallow them, the Premiership will be well shot of Wolves. Connor himself also appears programmed to say nothing but PR nonsense in interviews. No wonder the players don't look up to him.

    Here's hoping Wolves keep Connor for a long time, so they never come back!

  • Comment number 18.

    It's all well and good saying they should have lined up a replacement, but seeing as they couldn't find one, presumably what would have happened is they'd have spoken to other managers while McCarthy was still in charge and after failing to get a new one would have stuck with McCarthy.

    If this had emerged, journalists (including Phil McNulty probably) would have been writing articles about what a terrible way it was to treat a manager and how they had undermined McCarthy. It probably would have been better but let's not pretend they wouldn't have been criticised for acting in that way.

  • Comment number 19.

    amusing to note less resistance to The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa's admittedly harshly presented claims after athletic bilbao's demolition of man utd.

  • Comment number 20.

    For me we were down after the 2-3 home defeat to Villa at the end of January.

    Wigan and Norwich definitely have the joint worse squads in the Prem and should be in the relegation zone along with Swansea. With the squad Wolves' have, I think we could have come 14th/15th this season, Hennessey, Zubar, Johnson, Bassong, Kightly, Jarvis, Henry, O'Hara, Doyle and Fletcher are all Premier League players.

    However when we survived by a point last season, we should have signed more than just Johnson and De Vries. McCarthy should have been sacked after we lost at home to Stoke 1-2 mid-December, and we could have got Curbishley/Bruce in for the January transfer window and we'd have definitely stayed up! But even when we did sack Mick, to appoint his assistant is an utter mockery to this great club and the fans.

    Morgan and Moxey are the main culprits for our downfall with their ineptity and clueless decisions, also why build a new stand when we're not established yet? Steve Bruce to get us back up for me.

  • Comment number 21.

    @plath, why? Were some awkward home truths put out after a dire Utd sides latest Euro calamity? ;)

    As for the comments about Wolves, and those about the state of the EPL, spot on from the_soul_patch_of_david_villa.

    I seriously wonder what has happened to the English game? I watched Blackpool vs Southampton today, and it was poor fare. Long ball football from Blackpool , and the Saints (likely Championship winners) didn't have a clue.

    Yet the commentators were telling us what a good game it was!?

    The English football establishment is like the British govt, both have a truth allergy.............

  • Comment number 22.

    At 23:51 31st Mar 2012, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:
    It's easy to blame Mick McCarthy or Terry Connor, but the truth of the matter is that Wolves are burdened by an inordinate amount of sub-standard British Isles plodders in their squad.

    Dear The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa,

    I fail to see how someone's nationality is a relevant descriptive factor in commenting upon the quality of players, when this thread, and indeed your comment was about the domestic game and did not mention international football. This leads me to believe you have a pre-occupation, perhaps an agenda driven by nationality. By way of allegory if a contributor wrote:

    "Wolves are burdened by an inordinate amount of sub-standard black players" or:

    "Wolves are burdened by an inordinate amount of sub-standard asian players."

    Others would rightly question how pointful a reference to one's race was. ( I understand this would be more inflammatory than referencing merely nationality and I am certainly not accusing you of racism.) However, the principle is the same. There is no correlation between race and footballing ability with players such as Michael Chopra and Park Ji-Sung proving old fashioned stereotypes to be incorrect; neither is there a correlation between nationality and ability as evinced by players such as George Weah and Shaun Goater who have impacted upon domestic football hugely despite being from what some would consider obscure footballing nations. Therefore, I ask you why you need to refer to Wolves players as "sub-standard British Isles plodders?" rather than just "sub-standard plodders" (Which still appears a little denigratory). After all those to whom you refer are highly tuned athletes who would define themselves by their sport and their achievements, not something as arbitrary as where one was born or with which country they identify themselves.

  • Comment number 23.

    At 23:51 31st Mar 2012, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa

    Another dull, tedious and utterly predictable, comment from the board’s resident anti-British poster. Post the same sort of comments, about any other nationality, and you would be shown the exit door at a great rate of knots.

  • Comment number 24.

    BenHallam21: Steve Bruce has constantly said he would be interested in the Wolves job. I think that is considerable experience, as Bruce made Sunderland into a mid-table squad. Though O'Neill has since improved the squad, Bruce moved the squad forward as well

  • Comment number 25.

    First on the main topic.

    I think that the Wolves committee are getting what they deserve. MM is no Ferguson, Hiddink or Scolari, but he is a good enough manager for a mid-to-lower EPL team. By sacking MM and then not getting a sensible replacement was a really poor decision. Terry Connor might be good enough to manage in this situation one day, but not yet. He needs more experience at a team under less pressure.

    Now, other issues.

    @plath - perhaps it's because we're all trying to ignore him?

    Well, I for one am actually fed up with that. Soul_Patch, I don't give a damn where you are from or how much you think you know about football; your comments routinely wind up other posters here and I for one am fed up with it. It's blatantly obvious that you have an extremely low opinion of English football. So here's something for you. Why don't you stop reading blogs and posting on threads that are specifically about English football and go somewhere that welcomes your comments? And the "because I am entitled/because I have rights" argument doesn't wash with me. I have rights too, and as the son of someone who actually played football in England to almost the highest level that a lady can (yes, my mother was a damn good footballer in her younger days), I find your comments offensive and abusive. And this is coming from someone who has actually said that on occasional you actually raise a valid point. Please, either be sensible or don't be on this forum at all. It's that simple!

    Apologies for the rant.

  • Comment number 26.

    21. 'Yet the commentators were telling us what a good game it was!? '

    The commentators and pundits base their opinion of a game on a complex formula which is something like: total distance travelled by ball divided by average amount of ground covered by players, add the number of goals multiplied by number of yellow cards, and square the total if the result hinged on some sort of controversy. The higher the end product, the better the game was.
    Or something similar.

    English football is not in such a bad state as all that, but those paid to provide analysis do not do it many favours.

  • Comment number 27.

    Is there an option on here to ignore posters like soul_patch? He's not a football fan, he's not someone with interesting views, he's a wind up merchant plain and simple. I wouldn't be surprised if he posted on Argentinian message boards with the username "Margaret Thatcher's handbag".

  • Comment number 28.

    Wolves bring very little to the Premier League in the way of good football. Good riddance.

  • Comment number 29.

    Right then, that's the Wolves debate and commentary about the local troll out of the way...................clearly time to start discussing City and their lack of bottle.

    Are we about to witness a collapse of Arsenalesque proportions from the petro dollar funded mercenaries?

    All opinions welcomed!

  • Comment number 30.

    Soul patch posts the same tripe every single time. Surprised he hasn't yet mentioned "the blonde keeper" who let in three last night.

  • Comment number 31.

    Baggies fan in peace. Inevitably much is already being said about where the blame lies, typically by looking at the most recent decisions first so here are my thoughts on the matter:

    1) is it TC's fault? (don't think so - might be another example of good coaches not necessarily making good managers - but presumably the Board knew what they were getting before giving him the role);
    2) was it getting rid of Mick without a replacement being lined up and appointing TC? (A very public search for a Manager only to appoint someone internally was becoming embarrassing, however compare the outcomes from the same decision to replace the Manager with the Coach at Wolves and Chelsea - ie. why the sharp difference in outcome and you come to the conclusion Mick was wringing the best out of his players whereas AVB wasn't - the Wolves Board probably underestimated what a good job Mick was doing);
    3) was it the Board's fault then for not backing Mick with signings? (no - the Board spent far more money than WBA did - but from all accounts spent it badly).

    For me the problem began in last Summer's transfer window - money spent/wasted on average players and on the ground. it's not Johnson's fault the Club spent £7m on him but really, did anyone think he was truly worth that kind of money? Some of WBA's best signing's have been freebies - i.e. get the right players rather than looking at the price tag. Poor investment decisions leading to increased pressure to survive (possibly undeliverable) and a domino effect has continued from the top. I don't think Mick should have gone, I think you should ask what is Moxey doing for you - surely all of the above decisions come back to him. Why Moxey and not Morgan? Because SM has poured money into the Club and without that who knows where they'd be - equally he will look to his CEO to run the club/business.

  • Comment number 32.

    In my opinion, the board was helpless. Searching for a replacement before sacking McCarthy would do more harm than good(undermining McCarthy, distracting the players etcetera) and that left them with no other choice. In foresight however, sacking a manager at such a crucial point is daft. November-december is the best time.

  • Comment number 33.

    The first sentence of the first posting says it all, "Connor doesn't seem to have the support of his players". This is the problem with football at the moment, the players often do not give their best and God knows, they are paid enough. It annoyed me yesterday reading the "Live match" twitters etc whilst the games were coming to an end. Comments like, "Mancini is bottling it" are just ridiculous when it's the players on the pitch that are clearly under- performing. I feel that far too much is made of the manager's role in today's game, yes Fergie is an exception and O'Neil always seems to bring a little extra, but the rest? Kean, Coyle, Hughes are all grubbing around at the bottom end of the table whilst King Kenny and a host of big names at Terry's Bridge can't bring the success that the fans think they deserve.
    Ego-centric owners run the clubs today and are able to pay the players vast sums of money, often to sit on the bench nursing resentments a la Cole, Lampard and half the City playing staff.

  • Comment number 34.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 35.

    McCarthy's never been much of a manager, but getting shot of him when his replacement would have had no time at all to review & revamp a squad in decline was insanity. What is it about otherwise successful businessmen that leads them to make such woeful decisions once they get in charge of a football club?

    When even a complete duffer of a manager like Steve Bruce turns his nose up at a club then you know that big problems exist there.

  • Comment number 36.

    It's hard not to lke MM as a man; forthright and uniquely in the world of football - honest. It's hard not to like TC as a man either. Unfortunately it is also clear that neither of them has been quite up to the job at Premier League level. You also have to include a large number of the players in that bracket, let's not forget that we only escaped relegation last year with the last kick of the season.

    Ironically, MM and TC make a great pair with a solid track record of getting teams out of the Championship, whch is something that we will clearly need next season.

  • Comment number 37.

    Phil certainly picked the biggest and best on offer from the PL this weekend :)

    as for Post @13 ...

    as usual, very succinct, to the point and always raises a smile on my chops :)

    and @29 .... thats worth a chuckle or two as well :) :)

    on Topic;

    I'm happy i don't support either wolves or bolton, but out of respect to their supporters i don't wish to rub salt into wounds.

    and lastly:

    it was not a good day at the office for Arsenal thats for sure.

  • Comment number 38.

    If Wolves are relagated, then the Chairman and the board should include themselves in any post mortem.

    Other clubs in such as Bolton and Wigan could have easily sacked their managers but chose to show faith in the men they put in a position of trust, and at this time although still in trouble, look to have a better chance than Wolves of staying up.

    As the great Brian Clough once mused - "If a chairman sacks the manager he initially appointed, he should go as well."

  • Comment number 39.

    and one more comment in relation to " Soul Patch "

    Those upset by his remarks, often accompanied with wit and intellect, should really take a long look at themselves. Furthermore, his references to " Pub Football " and the " Dog and Duck " are fully supported by many aficionados on the game, not least of which is the commentator on the recent Bilbao game, those paying full attention would have heard mention of Soul's references during this game. i have to confess i had a good ol chuckle when i heard the words.

    In view of the above may i suggest both sexes who participate in the Blog.....

    " lighten up "

  • Comment number 40.

    I think Wolves would be going down even if they had kept MM in charge. The whole situation has been a bit of a farce. In the end the players need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask whether or not they have really given everything to stay up.

    As for 'patches', I'm so glad people are starting to get fed up with his tedious, repetitive school boy pronouncements. I for one would not miss his predictable monologues, nor his circle of fawning sycophants. Yawn!

  • Comment number 41.

    @39

    Maybe so, but it's the only thing he ever says - it was boring six months ago, and it's been boring in every single blog since then.

    This is how the bottom three will pan out I reckon:

    Wigan
    Bolton
    Wolves

  • Comment number 42.

    I can understand why Wolves sacked MM and I'd guess most of the fans agreed with the decision when it seemed like they might replicate Sunderland's success by bringing in a saviour but there's no doubt the board let you down. Curbishley would have been a great choice but as soon as reports surfaced of him ruling himself out due to disagreements with the board on where the future lay for Wolves, the writing was on the door. After so long out of management he must have been desperate to find another club yet he still felt the need to walk away from Wolves. God knows who you'll get to manage you now. It won't be Curbishley and it won't be Bruce. Ironically, the best candidate to get you back up might be MM!

    I feel sorry for the Wolves fans who have been seriously let down by complete incompetence at the top. They deserve better than this. I also feel sorry for TC who seems like a nice guy and a good coach but his position was impossible from the start. It's clear he cares passionately for the club but will sadly also lose his job at the end of the season through no real fault of his own.

  • Comment number 43.

    Looking for April Fool's is this one? http://www.facebook.com/pages/Astra-Automotive/175742512500395 at www.astraautomotive.co.uk

  • Comment number 44.

    I just want to know what other teams are going down. Could blackburn beat united ??

  • Comment number 45.

    29.At 03:52 1st Apr 2012, WordsofWisdom wrote:
    Right then, that's the Wolves debate and commentary about the local troll out of the way...................clearly time to start discussing City and their lack of bottle.

    Are we about to witness a collapse of Arsenalesque proportions from the petro dollar funded mercenaries?

    All opinions welcomed!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm just waiting for the very public, Keegan-esque rant/meltdown. I would love it if we beat them!

  • Comment number 46.

    @ 44

    I think the bottom three will be:

    Blackburn
    QPR
    Wolves

    Obviously i'm a little biased what with being a Bolton fan but feel that we've suddenly found a bit of momentum and seem to have the slightly easier run in although we've lost at times this season when we would have expected to win which actually may have been the problem.

  • Comment number 47.

    13

    Liking the fresh material soulman. :thumbsup:

  • Comment number 48.

    I can see United dropping points at Everton and Sunderland but I can equally see City dropping the same points or even more to Arsenal and Newcastle. Failing a miracle, I fear the title is once again United's. It's not that I want the City mercenaries to win, it's more that I just don't want United to win.

  • Comment number 49.

    As a Blues fan, it would be easy for me to laugh at Wolves and their captain Johnson who left to go onto better things in the Premier League but quite frankly, I genuinely feel sorry Mr.Connor because he has been thrown into an almost impossible situation in keeping a side lacking confidence, not scoring goals and not defending very well in the Premier League.
    Connor talks in his interviews with as much pride as he can but he is simply saying the words in the hope that the players will perform miracles on the pitch and they just aren't coming.

    I thought Wolves would do okay this season but the shambles that has occurred of late has been embarrassing. And coming out saying that Connor was always the first man for the job after Walter Smith and Steve Bruce were offered the job is ludicrous. The board need to look at themselves deeply.

    Players like Johnson, O'Hara, Doyle, Hunt and others haven't lived upto the expectations and shown the quality they need.
    Have been impressed by Stephen Ward, Matt Jarvis and Steven Fletcher, mind.

  • Comment number 50.

    Steve Bruce for the job?!?!?! Really? Like Evergrim Hughes, Dull Pardew, Chomping Allardyce, Yawn McLeish and Mick McCarthy himself he's just another member of the fascinating carousel of mediocre manager of middling clubs.

    Pardew, I'll grant you, seems to be doing something right with the toon this year but they were already on an upward trend from the good job Chris Hughton did. My jury's still out on Pardew. Hughes has done very little of note, even with the squillions at City. Allardyce should have stayed at Bolton where he had done amazing things. Zero since. McCleish's level is clearly Championship or back in Scotland.

    In fact if Wolves do go down, which seems inevitable, Steve Bruce could just be the man. As the Championship is probably his limit too.

  • Comment number 51.

    A few points to put some people straight

    We were going down with Mccarthy. He'd done a great job over the previous 5 years, but his tactical prowess is limited and there's only so many tines the same niche of players can here the same Churchillian type speechs. His selection, formation and substitutions were indicative of a manager who had lost the plot.

    The subsequent manager search, public pronouncements and ultimate appointment of Connor is something the Board should be ashamed of. This along with the cancelled redevelopment of the Steve Bull stand (right decision, insulting reasoning given for why) and invasion of the dressing room post Liverpool have shown the Board and Morgan in particular in a poor light, which I feel he may never recover from in some fans eyes.

    Wolves' squad is a bottom 6/7 one, but not a bottom 3, with a decent coach/ manager I feel we could have stayed up quite comfortably. We are not a team of "plodders"; in Kightly, Jarvis, Fletcher and (if ever fit) O'Hara we have plenty of skill, but unfortunately individually and collectively we cannot defend, which brings me on to...

    Roger Johnson. Firstly he cost £4.5m, not 7. He started the season well, but from the fourth game onwards he was been useless. It's well known hr didn't want to sign, but we were his only option, he's never wanted to be here and its obvious. The players don't like him and hindsight shows that making him captain over Henry has been fatal to our season. The very public fall out with Hennessey yesterday and the crowds support of the keeper demonstrated how poisonous this has become. Remember when he turned up for training worse for wear it was a player(s) who reported him. I thought, like most Wolves fans it was a cracking signing, but have been proven wrong

  • Comment number 52.

    relegation is deserved because of the fans chanting from the stands. hopefully it will teach them a bit of humility next time

  • Comment number 53.

    I agree with Phil two major mistakes not having a replacement in line before sacking MM and the signing of Roger Johnson

  • Comment number 54.

    Owners/Chairmen are slated for showing no support for the manager and now Wolves are being slated for not having lined up a replacement for Mick McCarthy before sacking him! Wolves stuck by Mick McCarthy to the end. This season was supposedly not going to be another relegation battle after spending money in the summer, however that's how it turned out. The 5-1 thumping by West Brom forced the owner in to sacking him. It was a farce following the sacking as to who would be coming in and then appointing Connor, but at least it does show that Wolves had fully backed their manager. After the 5-1 defeat should they have given McCarthy the full backing line, onoly to go out hunting for a replacement to sack him a couple of weeks later?

  • Comment number 55.

    No sympathy for Wolve's plight,deserve to go down.Sacking a manager with nobody in place to take over in the middle of a relegation battle?Hard to see them bouncing back from the Championship next year with players that couldn't care less.
    Big contrast with Wigan,haven't the resources of Wolve's but have heart,commitment and still try play football.
    Wolve's won't be missed in the Premiership.

  • Comment number 56.

    Three teams I think will go down:
    Wolves - They have negative momentum at this point of the season
    Blackburn - It seems to me they have grown cocky being at the top of the 'worst five'
    Wigan - They have been relying too much on a last day victory to save them


    QPR and bolton will stay up. They have shown great fight recently.

  • Comment number 57.

    Three teams I think will go down:
    Wolves - They have negative momentum at this point of the season
    Blackburn - It seems to me they have grown cocky being at the top of the 'worst five'
    Wigan - They have been relying too much on a last day victory to save them


    QPR and bolton will stay up. They have shown great fight recently.Three teams I think will go down:
    Wolves - They have negative momentum at this point of the season
    Blackburn - It seems to me they have grown cocky being at the top of the 'worst five'
    Wigan - They have been relying too much on a last day victory to save them


    QPR and bolton will stay up. They have shown great fight recently.

  • Comment number 58.

    Wolves my club since as a year old in 1960 sitting on dads knee apparently watching the1960 FACup final have been so badly let down by the owner and the board for the simple reason that after the last day of last season that was the time for change and i for one advocate that as supporters we should look to the future ownership of the club
    possibly in the form of cooperative/joint venture and send Mr Morgan back to his beloved Liverpool!

  • Comment number 59.

    22. At 02:43 1st Apr 2012, Supermario_45 wrote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The nationality of the players is pertinent, as the poor training, coaching, technique and Neanderthalic footballing mentality and ethos, which is inherent at all levels of the English and British game, strongly suggests that teams whose squads are full of these players will be sub-standard.

    I am not suggesting that there is a genetic component to the aforementioned sub-standardness which contributes to the complete dearth of footballing talent in England.

    People frequently praise the style and talent of Brazilian footballers. So why can't someone criticise the ''style'' and ''talent'' of a nation's footballers?

    It's completely different to singling out a race for praise or criticism, as races span cultures, countries and continents. Thereby, any positive or negative race-based comment is implicitly suggesting there's a genetic factor to it.

  • Comment number 60.

    The sacking of, and the follow-up attempt to replace, McCarthy was pure comedy.

    First McCarthy is undermined, then a short while later remove him with no actual plan or replacement waiting in the wings. People they approach run a mile off, except Steve Bruce, who they then ignore and place poor Connor in charge.

    The entire plot could've been straight out of an Ealing comedy.

    The team simply isn't good enough, and they'd have been better off writing this season off after the loss to Villa, planning for next season.

    If you've an actual plan to try and escape relegation, then by all means throw the dice, but what Wolves have done is simply panic and it's only dug them deeper.

  • Comment number 61.

    "At 23:51 31st márc. 2012, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:
    It's easy to blame Mick McCarthy or Terry Connor, but the truth of the matter is that Wolves are burdened by an inordinate amount of sub-standard British Isles plodders in their squad."

    What a stupid comment. Yes, Norwich and Swansea, Stoke etc. are also burdened by that sub-standard British isles plodders. Oh, wait a minute, not.

  • Comment number 62.

    PHIL

    It was obvious by the start of December that Wolves were sliding back into the mire after a bright start, so Morgan & Moxey should have acted then.

    The problem with McCarthy for me was how a team coached by an ex centre half continued to doze off at every opportunity and concede goals, especially early on. Whether that was because the players were too thick to take it in & act on it, or they'd long since lost it with him as the manager, I don't know, but the alarm bells were ringing months back, and dragging Connor into the hot seat was plain crazy at any stage, because he's actually been there as coach through 4 managers!

    What's even more galling for Wolves' fans is that Woy has done a decent job up the road with the Carrier-Baggies & they've rarely looked in trouble.

    As for the off-topic---------

    #29;wait for our match at Blackburn & then we'll see if City are wobbling or not. We haven't won that match yet, so we'll see-does give us a powerful incentive to win it, mind.

    #48;we can't drop points AT Everton, mate, we are playing them at OT! But, as City showed yesterday, anyone can drop points in home games you are expected to win, so, yes, it could just be the case.

  • Comment number 63.

    21. At 02:04 1st Apr 2012, Nelly wrote:

    I seriously wonder what has happened to the English game? I watched Blackpool vs Southampton today, and it was poor fare. Long ball football from Blackpool , and the Saints (likely Championship winners) didn't have a clue.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree.

    I thought people claimed that Blackpool were a ''good'' footballing side?

    All I saw was about 5 or 6 extremely awkward and laboured looking passes in a row, and the Blackpool players have the first touch of an inebriated hippopotamus.

    It says a lot about the standard of the EPL, that these extremely limited players not only achieved a double figure points total, but nearly stayed up!

  • Comment number 64.

    61. At 11:19 1st Apr 2012, zeus88 wrote:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Behave yourself.

    In case you hadn't noticed, Norwich, Swansea and Stoke are mediocre to poor sides.

  • Comment number 65.

    Roger Johnson from Birmingham, Steve Fletcher from Burnley, Kevin Doyle from Reading, Steve Hunt from Hull, Berra from a second rate Scottish Premier League and many others too many to mention all have one thing in common. Relegation.
    Not one of these players are Premier League class.

  • Comment number 66.

    Some interesting posts - I am a casual fan who has been following Wolves's results if not the performances for about forty years.

    Mick McCarthy should have stayed for the rest of the season for better or for worse: after all it was he who got WW promoted. I would have fancied the team led by him to have got some points out of the home fixtures with Blackburn and Bolton. That being said it was MM who was in charge when Wolves lost 3-0 at home to QPR near the start of the season, another result which now looks very poor. The pivotal 5-1 defeat to home local rivals West Brom was subsequently shown to be the start of a good run for the visitors.

    One of the challenges facing Wolves since promotion and other teams is the sheer arithmatic of relegation. In recent weeks it's been three from five, and QPR and the North West clubs have been staging recoveries. Despite this improvement in form, two of these teams will likely be relegated as well. In recent seasons teams have been relegated with 42 points and have stayed up with 34 points...

  • Comment number 67.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 68.

    Without foreigners in the EPL, and championship, the two league would be limited to the standard of the Scottish premier. Lets face it, English footballers just arn't that good, and are very overated. In fact without the influx in top class foreign managers, the English national team would stuggle to qualify for the Euros and the World cup.

  • Comment number 69.

    #59 The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa

    Every time I see your comments on the English game you obviously detest I can't help but be reminded of an old Woody Allen joke about two Jewish women eating in restaurant.

    W1: The food in here is terrible
    W2: I know, and the portions are so small

  • Comment number 70.

    Dear me, but some people just don't understand how to deal with trolls. If you don't like the resident troll the antidote is to ignore it.

    Rising to the bait or constantly stating your displeasure at its presence is all it is looking to feed off. It is not unintelligent and performs a role play on here that many find tedious. Personally, I just wonder at its capacity to still find enjoyment after all these months.

    But the message is clear: feed it and it thrives and will sustain itself for a long time, sad though it is. Ignore it and you cut-off it life source.......the need to get noticed.

    Now I understand that, as a one-off, I've had to break my own rule here but I do it with just a modicum of hope (if not expectation) that some may learn how to deal with the infestation and not continue to bore the rest of us endlessly with their complaints.

  • Comment number 71.

    I see SOUL PATCH the R"cist is back on the blogs

    Is it still okay to monkey chant black people like myself?

  • Comment number 72.

    Clubs are too trigger happy to fire their managers. I am a Bradford City supporter and I know it doesn't always work out sacking the manager, because a lot of times the problem doesn't always lay at his door. I had to laugh though, McCarthy isn't a bad manager to be fair, and I am sure he would be the best man for the job to get them back into the 1st division at the end of next season. It did make me laugh though that nobody wanted to manage Wolves and distancing themselves from the role. The board are now looking like idiots for sacking Mick and will QPR who had a very good manager in Warnock.

  • Comment number 73.

    #70

    True, but I do like mrs_svennis' post.

  • Comment number 74.

    Steve Morgan_ on holiday somewhere in Europe _ watched the 5-1 loss against WBA and had a 'hissy fit' and tantrum which Wolves skipper/coaches/players/fans have been paying for ever since _
    so we're relegated pretty much _ fine _ we've done it before and will do it again _ but next time we're in the Premier can someone PLEASE MAKE SURE that Morgan isn't with us >: (

  • Comment number 75.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 76.

    Ive been at the heart of the protests since the manager the fans called "Clueless", and I think both my peers and the socalled "happy clappers" at Molineux will agree this is a fine blog. It gets right to the heart of the crisis at Molienuex and our only saving grace is we can get rid of players like Johnson or hopefully W Ham can continue to slide so Sam can get up here and sort behaviours like his and Oharas etc out. Great piece. Connor Out!

  • Comment number 77.

    At 11:14 1st Apr 2012, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa

    Racist? Maybe not.
    Bigot? Absolutely.

  • Comment number 78.

    Just another person to respond to the troll (but very funny!!!)

    At 23:51 31st Mar 2012, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa

    What do Wigan and Blackburn both have in common? Packing their teams full of non British Isles plodders...

    Also, did Villareal finish bottom of their CL group with 0 points this season? It is very easy to look at 1 side of any agruement but you can not say that because Bilbao outplayed Man Utd in the UEFA (a secondary comp to ManUtd) that all British players are poor. Villareal and their performances in Europe could be used to demonstrate all Spanish players are poor!

    Still can not pick the bottom 3 myself. Wolves are down... My money is on Wigan (lack of firepower) and Blackburn (lack of experience in the back 4) to drop although the run in for QPR is tough...

  • Comment number 79.

    @77

    He stated that monkey chanting at black players is just a bit of banter.

    I would call that a racist point of view

  • Comment number 80.

    I think Wolves are well capable of a mid table finish. They have quality in their squad. The beat a few big names last season.

    It was a very frustrating time with McCarthy in charge. How they can beat the big teams and get beaten by the so called lesser teams . How they can start the season so well and then fade away after three games of the season. This season it felt like there was a lot of complacency in the squad and especially in the manager. Football is all about precision.

    If I was a wolves fan right now I would be getting behind Connor and shouting my head off for the team. The blame game and finger pointing doesn't help.

    The single reason why people are so pissed off now is because they know their is quality in the side but just get to see the rubbish. Wolves shouldn't be in this situation.

  • Comment number 81.

    Luck or bad luck doesn't come into Wolves demise over this season. As Fergie says luck evens out over a season. The truth is McCarthy struggled last season and they were lucky to stay up, the poor form and lack of ability was again demonstrated throughout the season. Wolves seriously lack creativity and quality throughout the team and have been found out. As Mcnulty says Morgan made a mistake in sacking Mccarthy without a ready made replacement. The whole management of the replacement of McCarthy was an embarassment and was the final straw in their downfall. I think they are now as good as down but at least will be strong in the Championship with their parachute payments and will keep some if not all of their better players. I suspect Fletcher will go but many of the others will stay.

  • Comment number 82.

    Right. First of all, I was actually at the Blackpool match yesterday and I agree Southampton did not play like a team top of the Championship but I certainly didn't see a long ball game from our lads. If playing the ball on the floor and switching flanks regularly is "long-ball" football, then I suggest you were watching the wrong channel...

    Onto Wolves and it is clear to see they are down. Sacking Barnsley Mick was idiotic and having no replacement in mind is unforgivable. It's not TC's fault but Wolves, with the players they have, should really not be bottom three. They were damn lucky to stay up last season and, had we held out at Old Trafford on the last day, they would have gone. Both Morgan and Moxey must take a long hard look at themselves when the inevitable does happen.

    So, who will go with Wolves? It's going to be very tight as it is now three from five (I can't see Villa getting dragged in) but Rovers look to have turned the corner and Bolton are another side who really should not be down there. I'm going for QPR (idiotic to sack Warnock) and Wigan to go with Wolves.

  • Comment number 83.

    Is that an Englishman blatantly diving "again" in the Liverpool game?

    Looks like the rug is going to be lifted for some dirt sweeper undering "again" me thinks!!

  • Comment number 84.

    #83
    Has anyone ever said English players don't dive?

  • Comment number 85.

    The way things are going for West Ham I can see Allardyce getting the sack at the end of the season if they don't achieve promotion.
    I think he will be a good fit for Wolves.

  • Comment number 86.

    It's a real farce at Molineux at the moment. Terry Connor is a great coach, but why on earth did those clueless doughnuts in the boardroom decide to appoint the person helping McCarthy - someone deemed not good enough to lead our team for the rest of the season. If we were in this position with a manager like Bruce or Curbishley, then I think the Wolves faithful would have to accept that the team is simply not good enough and look forward to a healthy rebuilding process under an established manager. As it is we will continue to back TC and his lads until the inevitable is confirmed, then Morgan and Moxey will have a lot to answer for!

  • Comment number 87.

    @83

    Unfortunately it's a habit the British players have picked up from the foreign players that have come into our game

  • Comment number 88.

    Wolves only need to get to 33 points to avoid relegation and a win at Stoke next week will make that easily achievable.
    The problem has been finding a side that plays better than the one that has played for most of the season, yesterdays team is that side.
    It didn't matter who managed Wolves providing the side was changed, and we started to score. We can't go on playing well for large parts of matches and not getting results and the remaining fixtures all offer available points.
    The silence of the crowd was because we should have won by a huge margin, the chances just didn't go in, but they will and we will play Premiership football next season.

  • Comment number 89.

    Many people are saying that Wolves came into the Prem League with a Championship standard squad. Most of those players are still here and the way they have played this season, it is insulting to the Championship to still describe them as such.
    The decline is so steep that my fear is that they will drop right through to League 1 next season.

  • Comment number 90.

    I admire your optimism, but we're simply not good enough to outscore teams, we will concede goals. It would be brilliant if we stayed up, but I can't see us getting 7 points more than the teams around us. But we'll keep supporting the boys no matter what!

  • Comment number 91.

    @johnnyonthespot Hahahaha That's a bit far. There is no way a team with Kightly and Jarvis on the wings and with Ebanks Blake scoring prowess in the Championship. That is a completely ridiculous statement to make.

  • Comment number 92.

    64. At 11:21 1st Apr 2012, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:


    Behave yourself.

    In case you hadn't noticed, Norwich, Swansea and Stoke are mediocre to poor sides.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Agree with you about Norwich and Stoke, but Swansea are a classy outfit who would certainly out-play Barcalona down the Liberty with their dynamic passing play combined with the tactical nous of a young up and coming manager.

    We also have midfield virtuoso Leon Britton, a better and more accurate passer of the ball than anyone in europe.

  • Comment number 93.

    And so 'King Kenny' continues to weave his magic....................................

  • Comment number 94.

    There's been a lot of focus on the lack of black managers in the game. Personally I think one of the reasons why TC was hired so Morgan could get some kudos for hiring an ethnic minority manager. Getting rid off an experienced manager and failing to replace him with another experienced man when the team is fighting relegation is foolish.

  • Comment number 95.

    .

  • Comment number 96.

    84.

    I never said that, I said it will be masked over. If that was suarez? Well......

  • Comment number 97.

    Peter you are completely and utterly deluded mate. We are soooooooooooooo down put your house your wife and kids on it now. Make it a double that we go down again next year with Mac's darlings like Richard Stearman in the heart of defence, and with Johnson not playing much better tho he has the talent. One looks at teams like Crawley and they have more talent than half our Championship AT BEST squad. Happyclappers make me ill, they are the real cause of the fiasco at Wolves.

  • Comment number 98.

    I'm surprised no-one has realised yet that Soul_Patches wind-ups only benefit one person - and that is Phil McNulty!!

    The number of posts generated by 'Patches' wind-ups are probably used by McNulty to show his boss the interest in his blogs and keep him in work ;)

    Therefore it is only reasonable to assume that 'Patches' and McNulty are the same person, with McNulty using Patches as his alter-ego to generate comments!

    Conclusion

    The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa = Phil McNulty. Flawless logic.

  • Comment number 99.

    He even hints at it in the title of this blog! It's not exactly the Da Vinci code.

    The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa = Phil McNulty.

  • Comment number 100.

    I have to admit, being a Wolves fan i did question some of Micks signings, and its true all of our players come from lower divisions so sooner or later it was going to catch up with us. You live by your means, unless Morgan is going to free up money we are where we belong, he got the club for nothing and seems to have kept it that way in his pocket. Just look through the team, The players i would keep would be Kightly, Jarvis and Hennessey and maybe fletcher. Mike kept a poor side up and now it seems to have gone, and mike is the the best manager to get us back up.

 

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