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Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror


By Tom Bason
April 6 2012

 I don’t think I need to remind you of the predicament Wolves currently find themselves in. I’ve generally kept my counsel regarding the farce that was finding Mick McCarthy’s successor, but have seen a number of people blamed, with Jez Moxey and Steve Morgan the most prominent, with the current crop of players, led by captain fantastic Roger Johnson following closely in their slipstream. But, I think there is one more factor to consider, one more set of stakeholders who have to take a long look in the mirror and consider their contribution to this cluster fruitcake of a season. The fans. 

I’ll start with the fan that has the most influence on team affairs – Karl Henry. While the five minutes that saw Wayne Hennessey let Jonas Olsson’s weak shot through his body, before Youssef Mulumbu somehow cleared Roger Johnson’s header off the line against West Brom could have changed that match, and so prevented McCarthy’s sacking, the defining moment was arguably in a different home match against a local rival. Against Aston Villa, I’d say we were deservedly in the lead before he was stupidly sent off. That red card gave Villa the opportunity to get back into the game. Do you think McCarthy would have been sacked had we beaten Villa that day? Those extra three points would have seen us comfortably out of the relegation zone, even after being battered. And, had Henry not been suspended for the West Brom game, would he have capitulated in the same way? Sure, we probably would still have lost, but it might have been the embarrassment that it was, and Mick McCarthy might not currently be touring the nation’s media outlets.

But, Henry was sent off, and McCarthy was sacked. From the outset, it was clear that there were three favourites – the choice of the fans, Alan Curbishley; my personal choice, Steve Bruce; and the one no-one wanted, Neil Warnock. It appeared that Curbishley was also Steve Morgan’s number one target, but talks broke down. That happens. We may never know who the unreasonable party were during negotiations. It might well have been Morgan, offering only a six month contract with no future guarantees. But equally, it might have been Curbishley, wanting the sort of money to splurge on talent like Kieron Dyer, Freddie Ljungberg – both reportedly earning £85,000/week, a total of £34 million for a combined total of 32 games. Until we, and we most likely never will, find out what happened there, it’s difficult to apportion to blame.

But, once Morgan’s enthusiasm had been Curbed, it was clear who the natural second choice was – Steve Bruce. Yes, his Sunderland side had struggled, although there are perhaps mitigating circumstances. Following the loss of their number one striker, Darren Bent, last summer, they had a run of seven games, none of which they would have been favourites for – their easiest games were away trips to Stoke and Everton. They took one point from that run and never really recovered. But they still finished 10th, their highest position for 10 years and third highest finish since 1955.

Yet, this season, it was going pear-shaped. Or was it? Consider this – it was a Sunderland side that had lost their two main strikers (Danny Welbeck and Asamoah Gyan) through the summer, plus had Frazier Campbell injured. They had also lost a number of midfielders, not least Jordan Henderson and Bolo Zenden. Sunderland were a new team, it takes time for players to gel. It could easily be argued that Bruce would have got as much out of his team as Martin O’Neill has – O’Neill was perhaps lucky that he took over just as the players were getting used together. Indeed, while Sunderland has undoubtedly improved their end results, as Jonathan Wilson pointed out, in terms of their play, not a huge amount has changed.

It was for this, that I couldn’t really understand the vehement loathing for Steve Bruce as shown by Wolves fans. Taking a very simplified view of the game, it is clearly our defence that is struggling – 68 goals conceded is more than anyone else in the Premier League, and of the entire Football League, only six other teams have conceded more than Wolves, and they’ve all played 9 games more. Yet, when Steve Bruce was sacked, Sunderland had the fifth best defensive record in the Premier League; last season they had the ninth best. He has a lot of faults as a manger, but he knows how to build a defence.

I have no doubt that Bruce would have been appointed had it not been for the fans backlash – people on this site claimed they’d give up their season tickets if he was appointed, while a different thread was entitled ‘Keep Steve Bruce out of Molineux thread...’ and was basically a petition. Maybe Bruce wouldn’t have kept us up, but surely we’d have had more of a chance? It certainly wouldn’t have been any worse than the one point gained and 19 goals conceded in the six games under Terry Connor. Perhaps in hindsight, people have a different opinion? Perhaps not.

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Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: Wolves (IP Logged)
Date: 06/04/2012 16:34

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Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: Wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 06/04/2012 16:51

Good article.

Agree completely about Curbs and Bruce, as for the Villa game, still think it would have papered over the cracks if we'd won but who knows, I didn't think we deserved anything against West Brom anyway.

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: tullamorewolf (IP Logged)
Date: 06/04/2012 17:08

Interesting piece and i have my doubts about Karl Henry as he has missed to much playing time through sendings off and being banned. However the reason there was such a back lash over Steve Bruce was because he has just had failures with Sunderland and Birmingham. It was just possible he might have kept Wolves up as the players were good enough. However as a long term prospect he was a non starter and in my eyes and would have been sacked within 18 months.
I think the wage structure is an issue but having a sensible budget is important but there has to be a bit of slack if you want to progress in the premiership.
If you look at three of our probable top earners i.e Doyle, Johnson and O,hara, this season they have all been poor value for money, so there is more to it than big wages. This is why getting the right manager in is vital and i am not sure the two M's will deliver on this.

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: wolverina (IP Logged)
Date: 06/04/2012 17:55

If what you say is true - that fan power "robbed" us of Bruce's leadership - what does that say for the cowardice of the management? The same cowardice, presumably, that eventually got McCarthy the sack - he couldn't stay because we capitulated 1-5 to our arch rivals at home. Morgan couldn't face the fans.

It's a pity this fan power didn't get us a half decent back four then - since we are all so fundamental in the running of our club.

The management should be looking in the mirror, not us. They didn't put the petrol in my car and pay my hotel and food bills. What they did give me was some of the most miserable match experiences in a long time. The players are equally to blame - a lot of the time most of them look as if they couldn't care less about the outcome - so long as they get paid and maintain their affluent lifestyles. Perhaps they'd like to pop round and apologise to my grandson for letting him down week in week out - thought not!

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: toomb (IP Logged)
Date: 06/04/2012 19:44

Quote:
wolverina
If what you say is true - that fan power "robbed" us of Bruce's leadership - what does that say for the cowardice of the management? The same cowardice, presumably, that eventually got McCarthy the sack - he couldn't stay because we capitulated 1-5 to our arch rivals at home. Morgan couldn't face the fans.
It's a pity this fan power didn't get us a half decent back four then - since we are all so fundamental in the running of our club.

The management should be looking in the mirror, not us. They didn't put the petrol in my car and pay my hotel and food bills. What they did give me was some of the most miserable match experiences in a long time. The players are equally to blame - a lot of the time most of them look as if they couldn't care less about the outcome - so long as they get paid and maintain their affluent lifestyles. Perhaps they'd like to pop round and apologise to my grandson for letting him down week in week out - thought not!

I didn't say the management weren't to blame, just that the fans' reaction to Bruce exacerbated the situation and should be considering our part in it.



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Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: halesowen wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 06/04/2012 19:50

If the Board listened to the Fans they would of got rid of Mick Sooner. like before the season or in december at best. It was a knee jerk reaction by the Clowns that run our club. To sack him after the Albion defeat



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Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: Stourport Wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 06/04/2012 21:06

I fully admit I didnt want Bruce and I thought the fact that so many fans were against him would have made his job more difficult. Having said that Bruce would have been preferable to what Morgan and Moxey did do so if we persuaded Morgan not to appoint Bruce then yes the fans have made this seasons outcome worse.

The pathetic defensive organisation we had under McCarthy has become even more noticable under TC and I fully accept your point that Bruce would have been much better in this area.

For me the real problem is the board though. It has been very obvious to me for a long time that McCarthy needed to be moved on and he should have gone much, much earlier. If McCarthy had been sacked in October or November we would have had a lot more quality managers interested in this post with time to shape our season.

All the spin that Morgan and Moxey spouted about progress through stability was complete nonsense. Stability is great providing you have got the right man at the helm in the first place but stability just for the sake of it is riduclous.

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: dewey wolves (IP Logged)
Date: 06/04/2012 22:08

Lets not try to paper over any cracks here, the least people to blame must be the fans , ok , Bruce wasnt favoured by many and surely would have done better than Conner has but at the end of the day its tha fans that are the constant at any club and their views SHOULD be listened to so to Not appoint Bruce was the correct decision just in case the fans voted with their feet and stayed away
Thats why the 2 idiots that run OUR club appointed Connor because he was the cheapest option and there is no way he showed them he had what it took to do the job cause he has NEVER been in charge of first team affairs anywhere in his ahem career
So in appointing Connor they solved THEIR problem of filling the managers position AND evaded the situation of a fans cull by leaving Bruce well alone, so did we as fans deserve this??? HELL NO, what we wanted was a manager who could get us out of the situation them 2 had got us in by leaving MM in charge for far too long !!!
So im sorry its not the fans fault and NO they dont need to look in the mirror at all for wanting whats best for the club that they support both with their hearts and their money it is in fact STEVE MORGAN AND JEZ MOXEYS fault and may i suggest it is in fact they who should look in the mirror and take a damn good look at themselves and anyone who thinks otherwise are doing just as i started this post !!! their simply trying to paper over the cracks, complete load of rubbish to think otherwise !

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: LOONEY (IP Logged)
Date: 06/04/2012 22:33

Totally agree on the Bruce matter, I think he would have been a good fit for us and may well still be.
The Villa game was lost through a number of factors in the second half, firstly they brought Warnock on at left back which snuffed out Kightly`s imediate threat, Frimpong got stretchered off and he was running the game, Henry gets himself sent off through stupidity. Now MM wasnt to blame for any of those things but all through his reign at the club he wasnt decisive when making substitutions, on that day 5 minutes before Henry did his final favour for Mick, Ebanks Blake had warmed up and stripped off ready to come on and several opportunities were presented to bring him on, if he is brought on then Henry doesnt get tangled up with Albrighton and he doesnt play the dyng fly, we keep 11 men on the pitch and have a better chance of getting something from the game. Then we have a stronger looking team going into the next few games and the outcome may be totally different.
The fans have given the team quite a bit of backing on matchdays since TC has took over but there is a distinct lack of character in the team, take the Bolton game, the players were rampant in the first half and showed no fear, it was obvious Bolton were going to have a go second half but we stood strong and went infront, but the minute they pulled one back the players heads dropped and had already give in to defeat. This season has been full of the same story.

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: Cheshire wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 07/04/2012 00:01

An interesting and articulate article which certainly provokes thought. You may be right in your assertions about Bruce, in that he may have developed our defence and helped keep us up, and that the two M's decided against appointing him because of the potential fans backlash. However I think it was an automatic reaction from most of us in light of his recent results at Sunderland, rather than the potential that perhaps he presented for us, and just as Mike Ashley's management team at Newcastle acted when appointing Pardew there was nothing to stop our Board appointing Bruce - unless they didn't believe in him, and weren't prepared to back him the way that Pardew has been, and look at what the fans think of him now!!

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: Grey wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 07/04/2012 01:25

Certainly think the Villa game was a turning point. For thirty minutes in the first half we looked and played better than we had done at any time since we'd been in the Prem. Frimpong was astounding in the centre of the park and gave room for the wingers. Kites was back to form finally and we looked really good and scored two good goals. In the second half, kightely was again injured and not able to play to the limit, Frimpong went off injured and Karl got himself red carded. Even then we were only becaten by Robbie Keane. But the people who had run the ghame for us were no longer available for the next three crucial games.

If you could write the script differently, McCarthy would still be in post and when none of the above had anything to do with him, it's easy to see how chance has so much part in it. There is a lot that has happened this season which has just been unlucky and that game pretty well summed it up for me.

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: dj wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 07/04/2012 08:20

Never in my born days, do you beleive this guy !!!!!!!!!!!
A good manager
Will buy or loan etc, a player to play in his best postion and will also have in the squad a player who can cover that roll if need be.
He'll pick a team that is best for the task ahead in each given match, and should have enough about him to know there weak points and strong ones and expliot or react to them.
He should create a bond and togetherness in the squad so each team picked will play together as a unit.
Each team he picks should be on merit and no other reason, no blue eyed boys etc.
His main roll should be to get players to play above themselfs, play to there best for a full 90 mins and set levels for improvement in each area of there game, and an arm around there shoulder if required.

Imo get these pionts right then the results will come, it's not down to the fans singing this song or that one, it's not down to if Karl Henry had cornflakes or toast for breakfast, it's not down to if MM wore his grey socks or his black ones what utter rot.

Call the fans all you like but when those points are in place and they can see the team giving 110% then I've never seen better fans anywhere.

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: Risca TM (IP Logged)
Date: 07/04/2012 08:46

We might be in a better position had SB been appointed, but at the time MM was sacked you can#t help wish for the best option.

Wolves lacked media savvy by big-mouthing their Curbs is the ideal man (Morgan) or we need an experienced campaigner (Moxey) so the fans had every right to raise their expectations and hopes above the level of bringing Bruce in.

Then it turned into a farce that embarrassed rather than shamed the fans.

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: wolverina (IP Logged)
Date: 07/04/2012 08:51

Quote:
toomb
Quote:
wolverina
If what you say is true - that fan power "robbed" us of Bruce's leadership - what does that say for the cowardice of the management? The same cowardice, presumably, that eventually got McCarthy the sack - he couldn't stay because we capitulated 1-5 to our arch rivals at home. Morgan couldn't face the fans.
It's a pity this fan power didn't get us a half decent back four then - since we are all so fundamental in the running of our club.

The management should be looking in the mirror, not us. They didn't put the petrol in my car and pay my hotel and food bills. What they did give me was some of the most miserable match experiences in a long time. The players are equally to blame - a lot of the time most of them look as if they couldn't care less about the outcome - so long as they get paid and maintain their affluent lifestyles. Perhaps they'd like to pop round and apologise to my grandson for letting him down week in week out - thought not!

I didn't say the management weren't to blame, just that the fans' reaction to Bruce exacerbated the situation and should be considering our part in it.

But apart from that, then - you agree with me?

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: an angry wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 07/04/2012 09:30

It`s a nonsense to blame the fans , we have been extremely patient given the turgid shite served up all season. At most other clubs Morgan/Moxey would be leaving the ground in wooden overcoats not oversized suits to cover their fat asses

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: dj wolf (IP Logged)
Date: 07/04/2012 09:50

Where this Bruce leadership come from the fans robbed no one, rather than that I hope it's a case or Morgan having common sense and relised Bruce is even a bigger waste of space in the prem than MM. God just think of the horror of being stuck with Bruce for 5 years or more, it's plain and simple all we want is a manager of today a man of his time like Norwich, Swansea, Reading, Southhampton and Blackpool have done if they can do it then why not us I'm sick and tired of having failed rejects and rubbish that no other teams want. Morgan just think of our club for once instead of your pocket, and pay what ever it takes to get a young manager in demand is it such a lot to ask. ?

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: ernesto hunt (IP Logged)
Date: 08/04/2012 12:24

It all gets so confusing, it really is difficult to see anything that has any substance - just opinions without substance.

We are supposed to have a so called parliament. I can't think that I've learnt anything from that. Can't think that I've learnt much from the official website either.

It all looks like an attempt to run a well oiled media machine pumping out sound bites (it's not time for post mortems yet) and spin (due to the good governance of the company, we are in good shape to face the pressures of the future, especially those of a long term nature, and we can thank the heroic efforts of Chairman Steve).

But as regards us fans - it is logical, having spent 20 years outside the top ranks, and just as time is required to grow a team for the Prem, we must also learn how to be fans in the Prem.

Anyone thinking that a fan can step straight up is as blind as anyone think a team can do the same as thinking a club management can as well.

I posted a while back about failing to notice the barbed wire fence we were about to catch our knackers on as we reached for the stars. Perhaps as a club we all have done a bit of that?

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: wolverina (IP Logged)
Date: 08/04/2012 12:33

Is it wrong - as a fan - that once we manage to get out of the Championship, I expect the club should have the ambition to at least stay there, let alone progress?

if so - mea culpa!

 
Re: Wolves' fans should take a look in the mirror
Posted by: Arthur Tannen (IP Logged)
Date: 08/04/2012 13:04

What fans reaction? You mean a few people like us typing away on the internet? There was no actual fans reaction to the possibility of Bruce's appointment. Molineux is the only place to find out what the fans are thinking, internet message boards have never given a true reflection of what the fans think. If Morgan and Moxey actually took any notice of fan polls on places like this then they are even more clueless than I thought.

I didn't want him but like 99% of fans I would have got behind him if he had been appointed. I lay no blame for the current farce at the fans door, we have been extremely supportive in what's been a total disaster from September onwards.

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