Following Wolves recent good form on and off the pitch, Daniel Sherriff looks at whether there is any further criticism the club needs…
We are now well into our return to the Championship and things are going rather well. The club currently finds itself joint top…… OK, third in the league. A fantastic start, yet I still here people moaning every time I am at Molineux. I know that coming from Wolverhampton brings an inbuilt moan function, but surely as Wolves fans we have very little to gripe about???
The main complaints stem from the fact that we did not manage to sign a striker in summer. We are now about to enter November and the issue has not really been resolved, it is fair to say that Yannick Sagbo has not set the world on fire. We were very strongly linked with Chris Wood and Max Clayton (who trained with the club). Both of these deals seemed to hit the bricks when it came to the issue of money. This left many fans bemoaning the lack of ambition shown by the board, but I see it in a rather different light. For my money this is the club acting in a far more responsible manner, having learnt its lesson from the O’Hara/Johnson sagas. Max Clayton has never played above League One, and Leicester City clearly do not see Wood as Premier League quality, if that is where we are aiming then why should we pay over the odds for them.
This leads me on nicely to my next point, the clubs footballing structure. With Kevin Thelwell making the link between the Head coach and the board the club appears to be far more stable. Gone are the days of McCarthy buying rafts of players in every window and many of them never seeing the light of the first team. The signing which Jackett and Thelwell have made are far more considered, and because of this they are fewer in number. Of all of the signings made since Jackett’s appointment I cannot think of one which has not added something to the team.
The club has made strides in improving its infrastructure. Due for completion any day now; the club will soon be formally unveiling its multi million pound youth academy. This facility should prove to be the foundation stone of our club for years to come. At this moment in time it is essential that the club invests in its development squads because it needs to keep its Category One status. This allows the club the maximum exposure to its development players, an essential element when attempting to attract the very best young players. In our locality we have two other very strong youth academy set ups, at Villa and Albion, so Wolves needs to ensure that they capture the best talent, and this new facility will help in this regard. At Wolves we have a very proud tradition of producing fine young players and the clubs continued investment should continue this for future generations.
My final point is ticket prices. I believe that prices are too high, but this is not just true at our club, but at every club in England. We should take a leaf from the German book and make football truly accessible for all by making tickets dirt cheap. Having said that I feel that I can only compare the club to those around it. Our season tickets are 7% cheaper than the average in the Championship and last season’s price per goal came in at £6.46, which represents great value for money. On the other hand, I do feel that the club could do more to attract more people to the games, because Jackett’s side cannot do much more.
We are roughly a third of the way into the season and I believe that things are looking good at our club. This is especially true when you look at our next opponents, Birmingham City who demonstrate what can happen when clubs are ran irresponsibly. So next time we are at the game perhaps we should fight our inbuilt capacity to moan and think about the future of our club. Maybe then we will hear a little less negativity on the terraces.