Having suffered relegation from the Championship, the club’s second relegation in as many seasons, Wolves need to think long and hard about what life in League One will bring. The departure of our prize assets isn’t nearly enough. Wolves’ oversized squad needs to be decimated rather than stripped down. Put a big skip outside the stadium, throw out all the old rubbish and start again.
It’s kind of heart ripping to think that a club with an Under 21 team that has beaten Man United and Chelsea’s youth teams this season can’t muster up a team good enough to survive in the second tier.
There’s nowhere for the manager to hide anymore. Players such as Jake Cassidy and Danny Batth are proven at this level – give them a chance. If Zele Ismael can destroy Man United’s academy, he’s more than likely good enough to give League One defenders a run for their money. Also, these are guys that are proud to play for Wolves, unlike a few of the ones that got the club into this utter mess.
Roger Johnson, Jamie O’Hara, Adam Hammill, Leigh Griffiths, Christophe Berra, I could go on. They don’t want to play Wolves so they’re going in my skip. Bacary Sako, Kevin Doyle, Slawomir Peszko, Dorus De Vries, all players I’ll be sad to see the back off, but we need to unburden the wage bill of them, so in the skip with them too. Eggert Jonsson, Stephen Ward, Razak Boukari, I’m not sure who will want them but, if we can, let’s have them in this skip as well.
Is Saunders going in this skip as well?
The mish-mash of different footballing styles has made it impossible for Dean Saunders to instil an ethos during his time at Molineux. It’s a weird combination of McCarthy work horses, Irish internationals and athletic Frenchmen.
Yes, every team needs a balance of skill and energy, but every team needs some kind of strategy. What do we actually do well? We don’t have big players to win a war, we don’t have enough skill or creativity to pass the ball around, we don’t have fit enough players to play a pressing game. Saunders needs to pick a method of playing and build a team to implement it.
Personally, I think what Mick McCarthy did worked quite well – a high-energy, in-your-face method with quick wingers and a striker with some prowess in the air. We don’t have any of that anymore. Throw them all in the skip and start again.
The spine of the team is remnants of McCarthy’s old guard and kids. They are the players that probably won’t attract big fees and are capable of taking the fight to League One. Hennessey, Ikeme, Foley, Doherty, Batth, Henry, Davis, Edwards, Hunt, Ebanks-Blake.
Of Solbakken’s additions, Sigurdasson and Doumbia seem to make the most sense to include. Frankly, Sako is a great player but Wolves seem to function better as a team without him, and he probably won’t be sticking around anyway.
So, it’s about putting some flesh on those bones with young and hungry talent. A lot of it, we’re sitting on; it’s in our own academy. Gorman, a Northern Ireland international, Zele Ismael, has attracted attention from Man United, Jamie Reckford, Jamie Tank, Liam McAlinden, how will we ever know? Look at the Bennett brothers (Elliot and Kyle). Supposedly not good enough to command a place at Wolves, both moved on and now both playing at a higher level than us (Norwich and Doncaster).
Dean Saunders and his scouts then have to dig deep into the lower leagues – the place we picked up players like Kightly, Jarvis, Stearman, Elokobi, Foley, Edwards, Keogh, etc – and build a team on a shoe string. It isn’t easy, but life isn’t easy. It’s a damn sight easier if you haven’t got a flooded wage bill and no idea of how you actually want to play.
1. Put the sale signs up. Sell what we can.
2. Get a big skip. Throw out all the old rubbish.
3. Decide what kind of team we want.
4. Play the kids that are fit for purpose.
5. Use sale profits to buy anything else we need.