Richard Hobbs takes a look back at the best and worst moments for Wolves in the last 12 months.
In truth, 2014 has been a very good year for Wolves. A title winning campaign back to the Championship in the first half of the year was followed by Wanderers finishing the calendar year three points off the playoffs in 8th place in the second tier. The last year hasn’t been without it’s disappointments either with the club’s form trailing off in November. So let’s make a trip down Memory Lane and take a look at the best and worst bits of 2014.
Crewe Away, 12th April
Probably the standout moment of last year; winning 2-0 to clinch promotion back to the Championship. To achieve the feat the first time of asking was hugely important to the club’s foreseeable future and the jubilation was clear to see throughout the team when it was secured. Goals from Kevin McDonald and Dave Edwards saw us beat Crewe that day in April, and the images of McDonald wheeling off celebrating his goal with fans running onto the pitch will live long in the memory.
Rotherham at Home, 18th April
It was one of the most remarkable games down Molineux in recent years. This game followed the promotion-winning game against Crewe and it pretty much had everything. This crazy match finished 6-4 to Wolves, with Nouha Dicko scoring a hattrick and Sam Ricketts bagged his first goal for the club. An incredible game which created a fantastic occasion with the club in an entertaining mood.
Norwich at home, 10th April
Our first game back in the Championship. On paper, you probably couldn’t have picked a harder opponent with Norwich recently relegated from the Premier League. Wolves not only won that day, but passed the Canaries off the park; showing that we could make a real impact upon our return to the division.
9 in a row, January to March
Following a shaky start to the year Wolves soon discovered their form. Starting with a win at home to Preston, Wolves went on to win 9 games in a row including six successive clean sheets. These 27 points made a huge contribution to the promotion push as both the defence and attack proved their worth
9k to MK, 29th March
The away backing following relegation in 2013 was phenomenal and support reached all new levels away to MK Dons. Wolves took 8,800 fans down south, creating an unbelievable atmosphere with nearly half the fans in the ground being those in Gold and Black. With the fans already in party mode, Stadium MK erupted when Liam McAlinden glanced home in the 81st minute.
Gillingham Away, 3rd January
It’s easy to forget that we were struggling for form at the start of 2014. Following a draw on New year’s day to Tranmere, Wolves suffered an acrimonious loss away to Gillingham. Considering we comfortably beat the Gills earlier in the season, losing to team who looked set for relegation did not help some frustrated fans as we struggled to build up any momentum.
Rotherham home, 18th April
Yes it’s on both lists. After fans ran onto the pitch at Crewe, this match was marred with Wolves fans going onto the pitch during the ten goal thriller. It tarnished the occasion somewhat and didn’t show the rest of the country how brilliant the fans had been for the majority of the season.
Derby Away 8th November
Our heaviest defeat of the season. In patchy form, Wolves looked helpless as promotion contenders Derby hit us for five live on Sky. The end result was bad, but the performance levels across the park showed that there was still a lot of improvement needed to the team if there was any hope of promotion this season. Losing to Derby and previously Ipswich saw us lose five in a row and concede 16 goals. This match was during a run of five loses in a row and it could have easily included the defeats to Brentford or Ipswich on this list. But for the scoreline and lack of anything going forward, the Derby result was the worst of them all.
The Bomb squad still not being completely detonated
During the summer, Jackett was decisive in which players he had no plans for in the upcoming season. It included a mix of players signed under the Solbakken and McCarthy eras who were surplus to requirements at the club. Slowly, the Bomb Squad has dwindled in number. But the club sill has Roger Johnson on the books, who is earning £25,000 a week for doing next to nothing. Not a low as such, but the club won’t be able to completely move on until all those transfer list have permanently left the club.
Lack of a striker
After Jackett completed reshuffled his options in the forwards department in January, the summer following promotion was surrounded by speculation about the addition of a striker. Many forwards were linked to Wolves, contact was made but no deal ever materialised. This lead to Wolves only having two experienced strikers at the club for the upcoming season, a problem that was clear to see when Nouha Dicko injured his hamstring at the end of October. If Wolves had possibly signed another forward over the summer on the same level as Dicko, perhaps our poor form in November might not have been so bad.
I would be hastened not to include one very impressive moment for the club in 2014. On 13th November, Wolves Fancast was named Best Podcast in the Football Blogging Awards (as if you didn’t know). The club have helped the Fancast in the past year, allowing us to interview players and use their facilities to record shows on occasion. Even if Wolves don’t win any silverware this season, they can at least say they’ve helped us achieve an award!