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Monday, 13 February 2012

The Football Merry-Go-Round begins again

As Wolves fans wake up this morning they'll hear the news that some people will translate as Music to their ears, manager Mick McCarthy has been sacked. After the club's embarrassing 5-1 defeat to bitter rivals West Bromwich Albion yesterday lunchtime there was surely no way back into Molineux for Mick. Had he have kept the job after all I doubt he'd ever be seen as a fan favourite again and as the players and management were booed off yesterday you could sense either the board would dismiss Mick or Mick would leave himself.

Wolves fans should however thank Mick for his incredible service to the club. His promise of Premiership football in three seasons when he took over in 2006 was stuck to, as in 2009 Wolves were promoted back to the big table six years after their first promotion to the Premiership in 2003. Wolves also did it in style, winning the Championship crown and leading the table for forty-two of the forty-six games.

McCarthy also did it on a shoe-string budget, brilliant signings from the lower-leagues, some even non-league in the likes of Matt Jarvis, Michael Kightly and signing Sylvan Ebanks-Blake from Plymouth being the catalyst for Wolves' promotion chase in 2008/09 helped Wolves keep financially above water and paved the way for Steve Morgan's plans to upgrade Molineux into the new 40,000 seater stadium he and the fans desire.

McCarthy's first season in the top-flight went well too, the double over Champions League chasers Tottenham and finishing 15th McCarthy and the club's highest finish in the Premier League kept them well afloat for another season and the dreams of a new stadium became a reality. However, the season did have some poor moments for McCarthy, after losing at Old Trafford the club was fined £25k for naming an 'under-strength' line-up by the FA.

The second season didn't hold the great expectations most supporters held from the first. Despite the great start, Wolves were bottom for most of the season and despite ending the twenty-nine game unbeaten run of Manchester United in a thrilling 2-1 victory at Molineux matched with a victory at Anfield, and wins over Champions Chelsea and Manchester City also at Molineux the club looked to be going down. To ensure the start of redevelopment of the Stan Cullis stand in the Summer, Wolves had to survive and did so by the skin of their teeth. After going 3-0 down to fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers on the final game of the season it looked like Wolves were departing, however, two goals in the second half along with victories for Tottenham against other strugglers Birmingham and a loss for Blackpool at Old Trafford meant Wolves stayed up miraculously, a change in on the pitch fortune was desperately required though.

Another brilliant start from Wolves looked promising but after a terrible run of form which has been on the cards since September, Wolves are once more in the bottom three, arguably a tighter relegation struggle than the one the previous season. After yesterday's humiliation to West Brom who are in danger of going down themselves, it was the final straw. Uncertainty that Wolves will stay up and be able to afford development on the stadium means the board will have to look for a new man till the end of the season.

Before you crucify Mick and have a toast to the new man in charge, remember the good times Mick gave you in the last six years, the promotion, victories over Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham and Premiership football for three years and toast him all the same.

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