I got thinking the other day about Wolverhampton Wanderers’ last visit to the Premier League in the 2003/04 season. Ok, it didn’t end up how the Wolves’ faithful would have wanted but their home form that year was actually rather good. Not in Stoke City’s league I admit, but for a newly promoted side the seven wins they mustered at Molineux that campaign was a notch above acceptable. Not a single victory on the road is what got Dave Jones’ side relegated.
And what particularly stands out from six years ago is that despite a few hammerings along the way on home soil there was also a number of really electric eruptions. From Colin Cameron’s late header to beat Manchester City to Kenny Miller’s side-footed finish that put their Red Devil rivals to the sword, and certainly not forgetting Henri Camara’s (cough, cough) bundled winner which eradicated a three-goal deficit to Leicester, there were a number of times that year in which Molineux quite literally shook to its core.
But fast forward half a dozen years and it’s hard to recall a moment that comes close. The three home victories so far have come against Fulham, Bolton and Burnley. The first couple saw the Old Gold side race into two-goal leads and searching for more before the away side halved the advantage. It was then a case of hanging on. And the latter saw another two-goal lead taken and a rather more comfortable finish. I am not down-playing any of these results. They were all hard-fought and the three points were a massive relief on each occasion. But it’s disappointing that the Molineux crowd has yet to see a vital late winner this campaign that has really raised the roof. An unexpected late three points is yet to be had, no snatching victory from the jaws of defeat to be seen, as of yet.
The two fantastic away wins at Wigan and Tottenham saw the most jubilant scenes involving Wolves supporters this season but the home crowd has yet to witness such an unforeseen result. Saying Wolves have struggled for goals at Molineux would be an understatement but it is still peculiar that the stadium is yet to explode like it has so often in the past.
With Spurs, Chelsea and Man U the next three teams to visit the West Midlands’ club it is hard to see much return in the way of points. If there is it will probably leave this article redundant amid a roar of jubilation in Wolverhampton. It is what the Premier League should be all about for a newly promoted side – rising against the odds and causing a stir. Mick McCarthy’s men are running out of games to get the Molineux masses on their feet and ferociously celebrating like in days gone by.