Even before the 160th Black Country derby between Wolverhampton Wanders and West Bromwich Albion on Sunday it was a high stakes game with a lot on the line for both teams, Wolves were wanting to put to bed a run of 6 games without a win at home and West Brom were wanting to move away from the relegation fight but it was Wolves that stole all the headlines for the worse.
Before Peter Odemwingie put West Brom 0-1 up which was a much deserved lead at that point in time because West Brom could have been so easily 2 or 3 goals in front before that goal but thanks to some brilliant saves from Wayne Hennessey it stayed 0-0 up to Odemwingie’s opener but floors in the play of the Wolves players were clearer.
A derby game as big as this with the 2 teams only separated by 12 miles you would think that the Wolves players being at home and with a big home support behind them that they would have been really up for the game but they looked muted and not interested and giving too much space and time to the West Brom players which wasn’t good enough.
The one shinning point from this game and what happened after to Mick McCarthy was the Steven Fletcher goal, stay with me with this point but the goal reminded me of Wayne Rooney’s goal for Manchester United in last season’s Champions League final how Rooney picked up the game by the scruff of the neck and dragged his team back into the game by a moment of magic, for my Fletcher did the same because Wolves were nowhere in the game just before half time and he got the ball played to him, played it to Ebanks-Blake and got it back from him, forced a player off him to turn and score a good goal on the dot of half time, the best time to score for Wolves you’d think so they could push on.
That didn’t happen, a shambolic defending display at a West Brom corner where the Wolves players were all over the place in the box and then a massive mistake from Hennessey in the Wolverhampton goal made it 1-2. After that Wolves really had only one chance to get back level which was the highlight of a dreadful 2nd half display.
When Odemwingie put in his 2nd of the afternoon and Albion’s 3rd the crowd dropped but worse was the attitude of the players. You could tell after the 3rd they thought the game was over which you can’t do as a professional footballer when you’re fighting to stay in the Premier League.
As West Brom scored a 4th and then Odemwingie got his hat-trick and 5th for a brilliant West Brom on the day all eyes turned to a desperate Wolves team and manager.
Conceding 5 goals at home, to a close rival and your players throwing away all the good work they had done at QPR only a week ago can’t be a great feeling for Wolves fans to have right now.
Mick McCarthy apology for a poor Wolves performance which was the lowest I’ve ever seen him after a game and was his final parting shot from Wolverhampton as his 5 years and 207 days as manager of the club came to an end a day later, a bad 2 days to take in for the Wolves fans.
As is now the case when a manager gets sacked the managers that are unemployed become favourite for the job so Steve Bruce, Neil Warnock, Alan Curbishley and so on are now out in front to be the next manager of Wolves but it’s a tall order in a short period of time to now keep Wolves in the Premier League.
The relegation fight this season now with 13 games to go looks like it’s between 5 teams due to the 7 point gap from Aston Villa in 15th. Along with Wolves it’s QPR, Blackburn, Bolton and Wigan to stay in the Premier League and all the clubs need to stay up but Wolves need it more due to the big plans that are going on at Molineux.
The redevelopment of Molineux Stadium is costing for 2 phases around £40million which isn’t money that comes easy and the other two planned phases of the rebuild is down to the team staying in the Premier League and getting all the rewards for doing so.
The new man in charge has a short time to do a big job, he’ll have to first be the right man for the fans because the wrong man like what Alex McLeish is for Aston Villa isn’t good for spirits at a club. Secondly he’ll have to pick the players up from a deep hole and give them the confidence that Martin O’Neill has done for the Sunderland players which isn’t easy, look at Mark Hughes at QPR who I think were thinking the same would happen there as what happened at Sunderland with a new manager.
Any job in the Premier League is huge due to it being the biggest league in the world, the Wolverhampton board need to act quick on getting the right man in to the club on a part time or permanent bases but the players need to look in the mirror, stand up and keep Wolves in the Premier League because if the players attitudes stay the way as it was against West Brom they’ll get the club relegated and in deep trouble.
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