Have Wolves Entered The Last Chance Saloon?
I wanted to start this experience on a positive note but after conceding 19 goals in five games and sitting rock bottom of Premier League, the plan has hit the buffers.
The 2011/12 campaign started so positively, Wolves came from behind to win at Blackburn in the opening fixture and then dispatched Fulham in emphatic fashion at Molineux. After scraping survival last season, things were looking up for Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Or so we all thought; instead Wolves have since secured just three victories from the following 27 league games.
Don't get me wrong, it was never going to be an easy season. I stated that I would be happy to secure survival first and then worry about our finishing position. Now I may not even get that first wish.
This week Chief Executive Jez Moxey announced a 20% drop in early-bird season ticket sales. This news was hardly surprising considering the events of the previous six weeks.
Following a humiliating 5-1 mauling at Molineux by local rivals West Bromwich Albion, the decision was made to relieve Mick McCarthy of his managerial duties. At the time, I agreed with the outcome and welcomed an experienced replacement in the Alan Curbishley mould.
We all know what happened next. Despite Moxey's claims that the job wouldn't go to a novice, assistant manager Terry Connor was given the nod to take charge of Wolves until the end of the season. The fate of Wolves' Premier League status was left in the hands of a man with no previous managerial experience.
I was delighted to see TC pick up his first point against Newcastle but since then there have been 5-0 losses against Fulham and Manchester United either side of an embarrassing 2-0 defeat to relegation rivals Blackburn.
It's not Terry Connor's fault. What was he supposed to do? Say no? He wanted the job, and genuinely believes he is capable of leading the team to safety. Unfortunately just nine games remain and Connor can only work with the players that are already at the club.
The players need to shoulder a lot of blame for the position Wolves find themselves in. Key players (Jarvis, O'Hara, Doyle etc.) have struggled to find form this season but none more noticeable than team captain Roger Johnson. Rightfully dropped from the starting line-up for Connor's first two games in-charge, Johnson responded by turning up to training worse for wear following the Fulham defeat. So much for leading by example.
Ironically Johnson is set to make his return to the starting line-up tomorrow at Norwich due to Ronald Zubar's suspension. Wolves have struggled for leadership since Karl Henry substitution against Fulham; can Johnson be the man to restore this? That remains to be seen.
A positive result at Carrow Road could provide Wolves with a lifeline heading into another nail-biting relegation scrap.
The run-in looks decent on paper; but can TC pull it off? I'm really not sure.