Jump to content

Anyone want to be manager of Wolves?


Recommended Posts

It feels like the job that nobody wants. Or maybe that should be the job that only Steve Bruce wants. It is now 10 days since Mick McCarthy was sacked yet Wolverhampton Wanderers appear no closer to naming a replacement after suffering knock-back after knock-back during a recruitment process that has been almost as embarrassing as the 5-1 hammering West Bromwich Albion inflicted at Molineux a little under a fortnight ago.

That result loaded the gun and signalled the end of McCarthy's reign, although we have learned since that pulling the trigger is a lot easier than appointing a new manager, especially when there are only 13 games of the season remaining and a club are in relegation trouble. The two-week gap between the defeat by Albion and Saturday's game against Newcastle United should have been an advantage to Wolves but instead it has given them more time to make a pig's ear of finding McCarthy's successor.

At the start it felt like there was a coherent strategy, whereby Premier League experience would be a prerequisite and Wolves would move quickly to identify the right candidates. Steve Morgan, the Wolves owner, went as far as to say, on the day that McCarthy was issued with his P45, that Alan Curbishley was "exactly the calibre of person that we're looking for".

It all seemed straightforward. Yet a week later the search was being widened to include Championship managers, such as Brighton & Hove Albion's Gus Poyet and Reading's Brian McDermott, neither of whom have top-flight experience.

It looks terribly scattergun and has got to the stage where it is no surprise when a manager turns the job down. On Thursday it was Walter Smith's turn, the former Rangers, Everton and Scotland manager deciding that he risked doing more damage than good to his reputation. "The longer you think about it, you start to ask yourself whether it was right," Smith said.

Curbishley has thought about it twice and said no on both occasions, although you would not rule out Wolves asking him a third time.

Bruce, on the other hand, would just like to be asked once. Interviewed last Thursday he has spent the past week waiting for the call. In the meantime, he has seen Curbishley, McDermott and Smith say thanks but no thanks. Bruce, in other words, would be fourth choice at best if Wolves came back and asked him to dig them out of hole. It is almost demeaning and he could be forgiven for sticking two fingers up.

All in all, this has been a chastening experience for Wolves and one that reflects badly on Morgan. He has been a hugely successful businessman, amassing a personal fortune estimated to be worth £400m, but this is his first managerial appointment in the world of football and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he got rid of McCarthy without giving any consideration to whether there was someone better available and also failed to take into account how unattractive the position would appear when the club are in the mire and there is no scope to bring in players. The worry for many managers will be that they have much to lose and a not a lot to gain by taking the job at this point.

The latest suggestion is that Dave Jones, who was in charge of Wolves from 2001-2004, could come into the frame, although whatever happens now it is hard to believe that the club can emerge from this saga with any credit. And the worry is that it could go on for a while longer.

On Thursday Jez Moxey, the Wolves chief executive, said: "We still have some second interviews to carry out."

All the while the players have been trying to prepare for a crucial match at Newcastle completely in the dark as to what is going on behind the scenes. They arrived at the club's training ground on Thursday to reports suggesting that Smith would take over and departed expecting to leave for Newcastle 24 hours later with Terry Connor, McCarthy's former assistant, in temporary charge. "It's a shambles," said Charles Ross, editor of the Wolves fanzine A Load of Bull. It is hard to disagree.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 9
  • Created
  • Last Reply


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...