Non-Existent Nines: Wolves' Stefan Maierhofer, The Austrian Peter Crouch

He was very tall, but apart from that Wolves' Austrain striker did very little to leave his mark at the club, which is why he's here in our Non-Existent nine series.
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He was very tall, but apart from that Wolves' Austrain striker did very little to leave his mark at the club, which is why he's here in our Non-Existent nine series.

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When Stefan Maierhofer arrived at Molineux in 2009, it was apparent that he was very tall. Heavens to Betsy, was he ever tall. Specifically, he is a shade under 6'8", which naturally had us all praising Mick McCarthy's European scouting network and thinking to ourselves, "Aah, we're signing the Austrian Peter Crouch then. Good feet for a big man and all that. Yes, good work all round." He duly went on to score on his debut, thus continuing the fine goalscoring record he had established at Rapid Vienna (31 in 49 games) and further ingratiated himself to the fans in his next game, by hilariously body-checking Fulham's Mark Schwarzer as he attempted to hoof the ball upfield and prevent our first home victory of the 09/10 campaign. That was the last useful thing Stefan Maierhofer did as a Wolves player.

After nine appearances and no further goals, and proving that he had only the "big man" part of the Peter Crouch assessment accounted for, Stefan went and got himself a hernia and we never saw him again, except for in an adorable bit of fluffy filler in the Express And Star explaining how poor Stefan, adrift and alone and, presumably, utterly bewildered by life (or the lack thereof) in Wolverhampton, had spent Christmas Day as the faintly tragic, lumbering dinner guest of his next door neighbours. He went out on loan to Bristol City, scored precisely zero more goals, and then was invited to return to Austria where, annoyingly, he continues to bang in the goals for the newly minted Red Bull Salzburg, currently top of the table. What this all proves is either that Mick McCarthy didn't have a clue what he was doing, or that Wolverhampton does bad things to good men. There's probably a bit of truth in both.

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