It’s a real mixture of emotions. I know, deep inside, it was going to happen. I’ve always said that if we wanted to develop into a top-half team and meet the aspirations and targets of Uncle Steve, that Mick wasn’t the man who could do that.
But right now, I’m not thinking about that. I, and I’m sure the majority of Wolves fans with brains, will be eternally grateful for what Mick did for us.
In the space of 5 years, he turned us from an average looking Championship side with not enough players to start a game, to a team in our third consecutive season in the Premiership. It’s been the most promising, proudest and greatest time to be a Wolves fan since the early 80′s.
And for that Mick, all I can say, is thank you.
And fuck, I’m going to miss you.
So, where to now?
Unlike most times there is a managerial vacancy, there is a clear candidate to fill the shoes. This time we don’t have any.
No, that’s not strictly true, we have plenty of options, but are any of them really ones that can develop us and secure a long-term future in the Premiership? To say I have doubts is an understatment.
Unfortunately it just isn’t as easy as getting rid of Mick and bringing in somebody new.
Yes, our club is run very well in the financial sense. We are making a profit, looking into developing stands and training complexes, and building some swanky new houses. In the business sense of things, they aren’t doing alot wrong.
But is where the issue lies? Has the fact that the club has been run with business rather than football sense had an impact on our development?
A new ground and world-class training facilities will bring in players. But for all the money that is being put into these areas, there has been a minimal amount put into the transfer budget. Only one significant change was made to the starting team at the start of the summer (that’s right, for fans complaining that we spent enough money in the summer). Surely it’s important to establish yourself as a Premiership club before money is invested into these areas?
The mentality reminds me of a ‘style over substance’ sales company i.e. ‘look at our swanky new offices, but don’t worry about the infrastructure, we’ll sort that out in a bit’.
I don’t blame Uncle Steve him for running the club in the way that he has. This is what he’s always done. He’s a businessman, that’s where he has made his millions, and I really appreciate him giving us the financial stability that we needed.
But is thinking with a businessman’s head going to help a struggling football club survive relegation?
Was it a football-man’s head who came into the dressing-room after the Liverpool game and undermined any work that Mick had previously done?
Was it a football-man’s head who, arguably, bowed to fan pressure after the protests yesterday, knowing these are the people who will we need to fill our stands?
And will it be a football-man’s head who looks at a ‘reliable’ replacement like Bruce, Curbishley or Warnock, or who looks at maybe taking a risk with an up-and-comer such as Solskjaer, Clark, Mackay or Freedman?
It just isn’t as easy as changing the manager. Our thinking, our ambition and our approach of the club has to change, and it has to come from the top, and filter itself down to the manager, the players and the fans.
But this is always a long-process. One which having a new manager, a new style of play and new personnel will make even longer.
A period of time which we simply don’t have.