Welcome to my first ever Wolves Football FanCast Show Blogcast. As FanCast ‘guru’ David Evans has made the schoolboy error of booking a holiday during the football season he has left the job of bringing your weekly Wolves FanCast update in my hands! In this week’s show I will be bringing you the latest Wolves news, paying tribute to Wolves legend Frank Munro, reviewing the League game against Fulham and the Carling Cup tie against Northampton and, finally, previewing Saturday’s ‘Top of the Table’ clash with local rivals Aston Villa.
We start with the latest Wolves news. As the end of the transfer window draws closer it has been very quiet on the transfer front with both Matt Jarvis and Kevin Doyle once again linked with moves away from Molineux. In terms of departures from Molineux reports suggest that Stefan Maierhofer is on the verge of sealing a £1mil move back to Austria with Red Bull Salzburg. With Andy Keogh having already joined Leeds United on loan, Wolves actively looking to sell Sam Vokes and Leigh Griffiths linked with a loan move to Scotland this will leave only Kevin Doyle, Steven Fletcher and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake as Wolves’ senior strikers. Mick McCarthy has indicated that Wolves will not be looking to add to the squad before the transfer window slams shut, but if all these rumoured deals do go through I can see a back up striker arriving at Molineux. Let’s just hope that if someone does come in they will be an improvement on the Marcus Bent ‘experiment’ of last season!
On Thursday Wolves announced that Wolves legend Frank Munro passed away at the age of 63 after suffering a heart attack. Munro joined Wolves in 1968 and made 371 appearances and scored 19 times in the Old Gold and Black. During his time at Molineux Munro was part of the 1972 UEFA Cup Finalists, the 1974 League Cup Winners and the 1977 Second Division Winners. Having never seen Frank Munro play I can only reflect on what others have said about him as a player. In Peter Lansley’s excellent book ‘Running with Wolves’ Munro’s performance in the 1974 League Cup Final is described as “a ball-playing centre-half in his prime.” The fact that Frank Munro continued to attend Molineux after he retired, he was present at the Blackburn game last season, shows that we have lost a true Wolves legend.
On Sunday 21st August 2011 Wolverhampton Wanderers, albeit briefly, sat atop the Barclays Premier League. We may only be two games into the 2011/2012 season but I am confident in saying that all Wolves fans would have basked in the glory that the excellent 2-0 win over Fulham gave us! An unchanged Wolves line-up brushed aside a Fulham side who had kept 10 clean sheets in their last 13 games with first half goals from Kevin Doyle and Matt Jarvis. The thing that impressed me most about this result was the professional nature with which Wolves closed out the game in the 2nd half in order to secure the three points. Apart from a goal saving tackle from Stephen Ward after a good save from Hennessey Fulham caused the Wolves defence minimal problems. This was mainly down to the way in which Roger Johnson marshalled the defence and dealt with the threats posed by Dempsey, Andy Johnson and Dembele. The signing of Johnson looks like it has reinvigorated Christophe Berra who I thought looked a lot more assured than last season. Karl Henry, a constant target for my criticism, looked a much more effective player now he is no longer burdened by the captaincy with him regularly breaking up play to begin Wolves attacks. In the wide areas both Hunt and Jarvis worked hard to support their full backs whilst also causing plenty of problems in offensive areas, with Jarvis grabbing the 2nd goal. It was up front that the most impressive performances came in the shape of Kevin Doyle and Steven Fletcher. Fletcher deserved a goal for the way in which he held the ball up and won numerous headers against both Hangeland and Senderos, but it was Doyle who grabbed his first goal of the season after a typically hard-working performance. Here is what you thought of the game;
Richjp21; wolves lead the premier tell me its not a dream
cdmPSU17; O’Hara was absolute class, set the tone for everyone else. Top of the league, and we sure looked the part. Up the Wolves!
JPhilipShaw; Wolves top of Premier League. Not there today due to more important engagement but must enjoy this while it lasts.
Shaunkynaston; Great performance- as a regular critizer of Henry I must say I was impressed with him today.
Shaunkynaston; The confidence they are playing with will only add goals and see them secure a mid table position this season.
John Bradley; Silky skills, from the Wolves?! Not getting carried away at all but that was like watching Brazil at times! Happy days.
Martin Crawford; Played great today, great possession game in 2nd half. This team has great potential. Let’s hope they stay healthy.
A couple of seasons ago Mick McCarthy said “Just because we’re a Premiership club, doesn’t make us a Premiership side”. The performance on Sunday Wolves are finally beginning to demonstrate that they ‘belong’ in the Premier League.
On Tuesday night Wolves travelled to Sixfields for a potential banana skin of a Carling Cup tie against Northampton Town, a team that knocked Liverpool out of the same competition last year. Mick McCarthy rang the changes as the starting line up was completely different to the one that started the game against Fulham, including a Wolves debut for rookie left back Jamie Reckford. This was an opportunity for the ‘back-up’ players to show what they can do, and boy did they do that as Wolves cruised to a 4-0 win. A brace from Ebanks-Blake, a screamer from Milijas and a goal for Sam Vokes saw Wolves brush aside their League Two opposition. If you cast your mind back only a year to the same round of the same competition a Wolves second string, featuring players such as Milijas, Stearman, Zubar, Dave Edwards and Elokobi, struggled to an extra-time win over Southend. Contrast that with the professional performance of last night and it shows how far Wolves have come in the past year. Any one of the senior players on show last night demonstrated that Wolves now have quality strength in depth. Milijas, Kightly, Ebanks-Blake, De Vries, Hammill and others are ready should injuries, suspensions and loss of from affect any of the current starting XI. Once again it is the professional nature of the Wolves performance that impresses me the most. Here is what you thought of the game;
Lexi17wwfc_xXx; couldn’t have asked for a better start to the ssn very professional confident approach to games, our prem quality really starting to shine through now…Yes its Early days but think we have every right to b optimistic about the ssn ahead!
Jmeek_20; WHAT A STRIKE FROM NENAD #milijasisgod
Wayne Brown; reserves look fresh and ready
Martin Crawford; Love that it was all from the bench…this club is moving up!
Matthew Hobbs; It keeps the confidence sky high!
The final part of this weeks blogcast is to look ahead to Wolves’ first local derby of the season, the ‘Top of the table clash’ with Aston Villa. Last season Wolves went to Villa Park and secured an excellent 1-0 victory thanks to a first-half Matt Jarvis strike. Aston Villa, under former Blues manager Alex McLeish, and Wolves have both played Blackburn and Fulham this season with Villa drawing away at Fulham and beating Rovers 3-1 at home which has put them in 4th place at this early stage of the season. Villa are currently in a period of transition having sold key players over the summer in the form of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing. However, Wolves will have to be wary of the prolific Darren Bent, the exciting Marc Albrighton and the excellent Shay Given. I envisage that Wolves will be unchanged from the team that started against Fulham but, as the Northampton game has shown, we have a number of options from the bench should the game not be going our way. Travelling to Villa Park and continuing our 100% record will be a difficult ask and if I was given a point now I would take it. My prediction for this game is 1-1 with Steven Fletcher grabbing the goal for Wolves.
I hope you have enjoyed my first Wolves Football FanCast Show Blogcast, hopefully you will join us next week as Dave returns and normal service resumes with a podcast reviewing the Aston Villa game. Please also remember that there are plenty of sites to continue your Wolves debate on; MolineuxMix.co.uk, Wolves-Mad.co.uk, Wolveswebfansclub.co.uk and for everything else football related FootballFancast.co.uk.
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That is all for this week, thanks for reading!