Manchester United are the next visitors to the Circus at Molineux intent on heaping worldwide humiliation on hapless Wolves via the medium of Sunday lunchtime television. United were dumped out of the Europa League 5-3 on aggregate by Athletic Bilbao on Thursday, leaving them with no distractions from winning the Premiership, or at least preventing City from taking their crown.
The Red Devils went top of the table for the first time since October 2011, cruising past Wanderers’ rivals West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford last Saturday; a team who hammered Wolves 5-1 in their last meeting at Molineux.
Wolves are in total disarray, having dropped into the relegation zone after failing to beat fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers last weekend. Under interim boss Terry Connor, the club have achieved a total of one point from 3 games, conceded 9 goals and managed the princely total of 2. Against Rovers, they were useless – the first shot on the opposition’s goal did not come until mid-way through the second half and they conspired to make Blackburn look like a slick, top of La Liga side. To use the word ‘team’ would be wholly inappropriate – they weren’t, they were a shambles.
The appointment of Connor as McCarthy’s replacement is now starting to look like folly of the highest order by the club’s owners. I originally thought that he must have ‘something’, having survived four and a half managers at the club, but so far all he has demonstrated is ineptitude far in excess of Mick’s bumbling and tinkering.
Even his press conferences could have come straight out of his former boss’s mouth. Terry said he thought Wolves played well for some of the Blackburn game, which game against them did he mean – the 1960 F.A. Cup Final, by any chance?
Two ‘customers’ turned up to the game dressed as clowns complete with cut-out masks of C.E.O. Jez Moxey and owner Steve Morgan, demonstrating a depth of feeling in the crowd that manifested itself in a demonstration on the Waterloo Road after the game. In general, the support has been far better than the club have any right to expect at Molineux, given the rubbish that has been served up on the pitch week after week and the endless P.R spin.
The appointment of Connor as McCarthy’s replacement is now starting to look like folly of the highest order by the club’s owners.
Morgan was forced to come out and speak to the protestors, but there is some confusion as to what was actually said – the club’s official version being completely at odds with eyewitness accounts, so it is doubtful if anything will ever be known for sure.
This all paled into insignificance on Thursday, after a commercial radio station picked up on a nothing story in one of the morning red tops about former Albion boss Garry Megson being about to take the helm at Wolves. The airwaves were alive with poisonous static, grown men were purple with rage and the advertisers must have been rubbing their hands with glee. But as with almost everything else connected with Wolves over the last few months, it turned out to be more rubbish and baseless speculation.
Appointing the controversial Megson 24 hours before the annual Early Bird season ticket offer deadline would surely have been commercial suicide for a club already struggling to sell tickets, for what increasingly looks like at least another season in the Championship, probably more. The backlash experienced by the Board against the possible appointment of Steve Bruce would have seemed like an irritating tickle at the back of the throat in comparison.
As the club have already extended the offer deadline, it remains to be seen what the advance take-up of season tickets is.
To add to their on-field woes, Wolves have more injury worries – Jamie O’Hara and Nenad Milijaš are both doubtful for a midfield already devoid of bodies. Terry Connor claims Manchester United have no weaknesses (try telling that to Athletic Bilbao…) and Wolves will have to be at their absolute best to win the game, something they have not produced for a long, long time.
Wanderers won this fixture last season, but with United closing in on their twentieth title, Wolves may just have to borrow the scoreboard from Edgbaston County Cricket Ground for Sunday’s game…
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