So much for the grand project. Wolves have answered my question (see my last blog) as to the objectives for this season. One must now assume a top six finish was desired and avoiding relegation the minimum requirement. The sacking of Mr Solbakken, the sixth Wolves manager to be sacked in 12 years, was not a suprise given the real threat of relegation. Wolves looked disturbingly like the teams Glenn Hoddle managed some 6 or 7 years ago. Yet again this move has put the spotlight onto decision making in the boardroom at Molineux. Who really got rid of the manager?
The old guard of players will I’m sure be delighted. Will this change give them yet another 2/3 years on their ‘premiership’ earnings? The core of the old guard squad Ward, Foley, Berra, Henry remain. For how long? The answer now seems to lie with Dean Saunders, a celebrated Swansea born international striker who boasts Liverpool, Villa and Benfica on his playing CV. Most Welsh footballing people will put him in their top trio of Welsh strikers, albeit third placed, with Hughes and Rush. A managerial move from Doncaster to Wolves is a given. At 4/7 you would need to put on a few hundred to make anything decent. Having made the move Morgan simply can’t afford to be turned down by a League 1 manager, irrespective of their current second place standing.
DS’s managerial career can be summarised as follows;
Wrexham (and Wales) Conference League
Two mid table years in 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 before leaving the club in 2010/2011 when they were leading the division (a position they failed to maintain).
Doncaster Championship/ League 1
Relegated the club in 2011/2012 (his tenth career relegation). Currently second in League 1.
Pretty bereft of success so far. So DS is not an experienced manager at top level. He has not gained promotion for any team he has managed (rather he has experienced relegation). He has not had the opportunity to spend big money or to manage big players. So why the interest from Wolves? Well it’s clear the two M’s are not comfortable with an experienced Premiership proven manager who may make certain demands, else we would have signed one up last time…e.g. Curbishley, Bruce. DS is young and has potential. It’s clear the Project has changed …it’s now the Experiment! This is very much a decision to test an hypothesis….’Is Dean Saunders capable of gaining (Wolves) promotion?’. The second stage of the hypothesis (relating to developing a Premiership quality side) can wait.
One thing is for sure ………….Wolves have played their last managerial hand….there’s no other option now if relegation continues to threaten. My view? Now here’s the good news. Expect to see a new manager ‘bounce’ factor. The old guard will be relieved to once again have a pragmatic, blood, sweat and tears manager who encourages them to run around at 100 mph. Some new players will come in and some of Stale’s signings will, no doubt, come to the fore. Wolves are 34/1 to gain promotion. Past seasons indicate a minimum of 75 points to get into the play offs. With 20 games left Wolves will need at least 44 points. In other words 14 wins. Highly unlikely….34/1 appears to be very poor odds. Seems like a mid table position is what DS will be targeted to achieve.
Still hope springs eternal in Wolverhampton. The home game against Blackburn is surely a bang on three points assuming DS is appointed tomorrow. Only 13 more games to win!