By Andrew Robinson | Wolverhampton Wanderers
When Peter Odemwingie smashed in West Brom’s fifth at Molineux back in February last year, many Wolves fans could be forgiven for thinking things couldn’t get any worse. How wrong they were.
That defeat saw the Midlands club slip into the Premier League’s relegation zone and the misery has flowed from there. A managerial merry-go-round, a club captain turning up drunk to training, relegation and a crippling set of results and Wolves find themselves back in the drop zone once again but a league below.
And it doesn’t look to be getting better any time soon and owner Steve Morgan has even threatened/offered to leave the sinking ship.
So look away Wolves fans as here are five reasons why you’ll be playing Crewe on a wet Tuesday night next season.
1. Managerial changes
Not many managers last very long after taking a 5-1 thumping at home to a club’s biggest rivals and West Brom’s triumph last season was the final straw for Mick McCarthy.
Since Big Mick’s departure, the managerial hot-seat at Molineux has been passed around like a rubbish Christmas gift with Terry Connor, Stale Solbakken and now Dean Saunders all having a go at the role.
The nagging feeling for the Wolves faithful is that had Steve Bruce been given the job things could’ve been different and while Connor is a very likeable chap, he was clearly not up to the job.
Stale Solbakken arrived from Norway with a decent pedigree but simply could not stop the rot carrying over to the Championship season, which leads to current boss Saunders.
While he’s only been only in management since 2008, he hasn’t really pulled up trees at Wrexham and Doncaster, not to mention the fact he’s only collected four points in his opening eight games.
2. Trouble at the top
The vitriol from the fans is now firmly at the door of chief executive Jez Moxey and owner Steve Morgan and serious questions are beginning to circulate.
The farce around the managerial position is one thing, but the baffling decision to build a brand new stand, that they still don’t regularly fill, while the club’s Premiership status was still in the balance has been the ire of loyal supporters.
Moxey spent the summer transfer window squeezing every single penny out of Sunderland and West Ham for the sales of prize assets Steven Fletcher and Matt Jarvis respectively.
However, from the recouped fees of around £25 million, just over £6 million was spent on bolstering the squad for the upcoming Championship season.
3. Tough fixtures
The Championship can be unforgiving mistress, just ask Sheffield United, Coventry City and Bradford City, and Wolves go into the end of season run-in in horrendous form.
They haven’t managed to pick up a win since December 21st, when they overcame Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. They haven’t managed a success in front of their home fans since the 1-0 win over Birmingham on December 8th.
Wolves need to shape up soon as the coming fixtures don’t bring much joy. Friday sees the visit of Watford, that’s the Watford that have scored six goals in their last two games on the road.
They then have back-to-back away games at Millwall and Nottingham Forest, the latter being rejuvenated by the return of Billy Davies.
Fans will need to look at the crucial games at home to Bristol City, Huddersfield and Burnley for any type of joy, but with things getting nervy they can’t hold out too much hope.
4. Lack of goals
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake’s howler late on against Cardiff summed up Wolves’ season and the side have been struggling for goals.
He has only put the ball in the back of the net 11 times this campaign and hasn’t really been helped out by his teammates.
Despite early promise, new signing Bakary Sako has only managed a paltry nine goals with Kevin Doyle’s pitiful total only standing at five. What they’d give to have Steven Fletcher back in the side.
5. Leaky defence
Roger Johnson was once touted as being an England international and now he’s only remembered for turning up training in the midst of a relegation battle worse for wear.
He has been at the heart of a Wolves defence that has shipped 49 goals in the league, been knocked out of the FA Cup by non-league Luton and only kept seven clean sheets all season.
Any team is bound to struggle when they’ve mastered the art of not being able to score goals and conceding regularly at the other end.
Rest assured this is the only thing Wolves have managed to achieve this season.
You can have a flutter on Wolves to bite the bullet and drop into England’s third division at 11/8 with Paddy Power.