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Had we won promotion in 1997....

Discussion in 'Molineux Mix' started by WV9_Wolf, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. RosehillWolf

    RosehillWolf Just doesn't shut up

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    All irrevelant, we should have become established in 2003 but Dave Jones had the carpet pulled from beneath him. As much as everyone loves Sir Jack, he never gave Jones a chance
     
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  2. Rufio

    Rufio Senior Member

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    McGhee played Corica in the midfield two but Walsall (and Australia I think) played him as a number 10 and got a tune out of him.
     
  3. Jaywolf

    Jaywolf Senior Member

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    It is!! So my first away game would have been Grimsby, we definitely played in the green kit!
     
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  4. Jaywolf

    Jaywolf Senior Member

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    But Gilkes was the fastest footballer in the country :D
     
  5. brightside

    brightside Just doesn't shut up

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    First game after Euro 96. Froggatt tore them apart and Bully’s finishing...
    “Who the **** is Alan Shearer?” sung all afternoon :D
     
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  6. brightside

    brightside Just doesn't shut up

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    Tim Steele was quick :D
     
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  7. WV9_Wolf

    WV9_Wolf Has a lot to say

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    I agree with a lot of you, we would have been in a far better position if we had won promotion in 95 rather than 97. Graham Taylor vs Mark McGhee is a no brainer.

    Also I'm not saying I wish it had been different; as many of you have pointed out, our failures over the years have got us to where we are now, which I wouldn't swap for the world. All I'm pondering is whether we could have gone on to establish ourselves with Sir Jack's backing.

    At that point in time, not everything was set in stone. Blackburn had recently won the Premiership with a backer similar to Sir Jack. The big 3 as it was then (Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool) wasn't a big 6, and only over time (Spurs) and with backing (Chelsea and Man City) was the monopoly truly created. There was nowhere near as much TV money at that time, nor financial restrictions, meaning someone like Jack Walker could fund a title winning team on relatively small funding compared to today.

    Had Sir Jack found himself in the same situation as Walker, being in the Premiership in 95, I feel he would have done something similar, albeit possibly not winning the league because he wasn't as savvy as Walker was. Walker spent money but spent it well, you couldn't really say the same for Sir Jack, despite his best intentions. Would it have sustained us in the top flight long term? Probably not, as Blackburn can attest to. But I truly believe that had we gone up whilst Sir Jack was still a willing financial backer, we could have done something special.
     
  8. WV9_Wolf

    WV9_Wolf Has a lot to say

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    I disagree that it's irrelevant. By 2003, it was obvious Sir Jack was at the end of his tether, and simply seeing us in the top flight was enough for him. Had we gone up before the whole "Golden Tit" episode, he would have been more likely to financially go for it. It also would have been better timing as the monopoly was starting to set in, as was the money funding Chelsea which he wouldn't have been able to compete with.
     
  9. Honved

    Honved Senior Member

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    Something about the 94-95 season that goes under-reported is how the change in Premier League numbers screwed us over. Last game of the season that year, a win would've taken us second. But it was the one year when only the champions went up automatically, there was no real need to finish second, and the team played out a tame draw to save themselves for the play-offs.

    Either the Taylor or McGhee play-off pushes could've seen us do well in the prem. I think the Taylor one would've seen us establish ourselves long term, and the McGhee era would've meant we stood a chance of keeping players like Keane and (later) Lescott. Crucially, Sir Jack would never have reached the point of appointing Moxey, and the handbreak would never have been placed on.

    The flip side is that a bunch of clubs who were spending big around that time ran into big trouble later. When the first bubble burst, and clubs like Leeds started to hit the wall, and the way Blackburn went into freefall after Walker passed away. The only reason Chelsea didn't implode was because Abramovich saved them - if they hadn't qualified for europe the season before, they were going to be in huge trouble. We all love Jack Hayward. But I think we also all know his faults. His love for the club could possibly have led to some unrestrained spending with no long term planning.

    I think if we'd gone up at either of those first two attempts, we'd have had a good run in the top half of the prem, maybe won a League or FA Cup. Possibly had something like the 'nearly' season Villa had under John Gregory. We'd have had two more years of Robbie Keane. Lescott would have gotten England caps while playing for us. The corners would have been filled in. And then when Jack wanted to step aside, we'd have been an attractive club to someone like Mike Ashley, the Venky's, or Thaksin Shinawatra. We'd have been managed by Sven and Allardyce at some point, and right now we'd probably be stuck in either the Newcastle or Blackburn positions.
     
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  10. glorybox

    glorybox Has a lot to say

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    Not having Osborne thrown in worth those lot thanks. He was a good little midfielder, as good as we got until Rae and Cameron.
     
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  11. Professional

    Professional 'Unprofessional'

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    One of the things that hurt most. We all knew that at the time, as well.
     
  12. cookey

    cookey Has a lot to say

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    The Gallagher's & Wolverhampton Council were when we almost went bust in the old 4th division - Sir Jack did not come along untill we were promoted to the 2nd division - so a bit of a time difference there Derby Wolf

    In relation to the original question I don't think much wold have changed - Sir Jack seemed happy with us bumbling along at the top of Div 2 buying us a million pound player or two a year - & I think hr had kittens when we went up in 2003 finding how much a Premier League team needed to stay up in the first year or two - I know it would have been cheaper 6 or even 9 years earlier but I doubt if Sir Jack's or especially his familys spending limits would have helped us forward at the time.

    Another thing to think of is if we had stayed up & were mid Premier fodder would Fosun have even looked at us???
     
  13. Deak77

    Deak77 Has a lot to say

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    Got to concur that 94/95 was a big miss. Back then the record transfer fee was £5 million for Chris Sutton, Sir Jack was well and truly in spending mood and I reckon an outlay of 10 - 15 million would have well and truly seen us establish ourselves in the Premier. By the time Sir Jack came around to selling up I'm sure we could have possibly built ourselves into a very attractive proposition to any potential buyer.

    In 96/97 I think back to one pivotal week, where we had three away games, against Oldham, Stoke and Bradford. We'd already won about 10 or 11 away games up until that point, against much better opposition as well, but lost all 3. If we'd won 2 of those then we'd have gone up.

    After those 3 games there was also the game away at Reading, where we were 1-0 up going into the last minute, and then conceded 2. It was a ridiculous season really, where we dropped 6 points to the bottom club Oldham, but won away at 2nd place Barnsley, Crystal Palace and Sheffield Utd amongst others, typical of the 'old' Wolves!
     
  14. Adrian_Monk

    Adrian_Monk Just doesn't shut up

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    Sir Jack made many mistakes, but not allowing Jones to blow his money was not one of them.
     
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  15. Adrian_Monk

    Adrian_Monk Just doesn't shut up

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    Not true. Corica played as a number 10 for Wolves. McGhee played 3-5-2 for the majority of his Wolves managerial career with Osborne, Ferguson, Emblen, Sedgley and even Thompson playing as orthodox midfield players.

    The problem for Corica and for Wolves is that he was signed after a serious injury and psychologically the cut and thrust of the championship stopped him thriving. There's echoes of Corica in Helder Costa right now.

    On Osborn, yes he was a decent enough footballer and an improvement on Nigel Vaughan and Keith Downing, but he lacked mobility and alongside the other plodders never stood a chance
     
  16. Coshamwolves

    Coshamwolves Has a lot to say

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    Yep. It was like who's that nipper doing cartwheels!
     
  17. Rufio

    Rufio Senior Member

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    Sorry matey but he never played as an orthodox 10 for us, my point was that for Walsall he played in the hole in a 4411 and did ok. All a mute point though cos he was never good enough imo.
     
  18. RosehillWolf

    RosehillWolf Just doesn't shut up

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    So he should have replaced him with a manager he dud trust and funded him then. To keep a manager on you don’t trust to spend money ( and keep you up ) was rank bad management
     
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  19. WickedWolfie

    WickedWolfie Just doesn't shut up

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    In my view losing Geoff Thomas was what killed us, he had been superb. Taylor that season ended up playing guys who Turner wouldn't pick cos thats all we had fit.
     
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  20. Adrian_Monk

    Adrian_Monk Just doesn't shut up

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    Not going to argue with that.

    Sir Jack was the best and the worst thing that happened to Wolves. His heart and occasionally pockets were in the right place but his decision making was about as bad as it gets.

    Criticism of SJH is almost considered sacrilege here but let's face it, he got hoodwinked by his kids into thinking they could help him run the club after he wasted a load of money over paying for the stadium with an inaccurate disposition that he was helping British industry because they saw their inheritance fortune slipping away.

    The collision of his ego and heart in his decision making process almost took the club back to where it was when he bought it.

    I feel for him. Entitled kids and a failed vanity project will be his legacy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  21. Adrian_Monk

    Adrian_Monk Just doesn't shut up

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    I think you've merged two seasons into one there mate.

    93/94 is when we really felt the loss of Thomas, he'd been brilliant til Howey crippled him at Roker Park. Results had been patchy up until then but mostly because Bull was injured and our only replacements were players like John Paskin.

    I remember the Turner Must Go chants in the rain against Oxford when Cookie won and scored a penalty late on then I think it was Kevin Keen who scored the winner. Weirdest atmosphere at a game as everyone wanted us to lose really to get Turner sacked.

    If I remember rightly he resigned just after Chelsea knocked us out of the FA Cup, Taylor came in and Whittingham nearly got us to the play offs. Had we beaten Albion we'd have made the play offs.

    94/95 is the year everyone got injured. Thomas, De Wolf, Bully, Thommo...we were robbed that year. Even with Mark Rankine on the wing we nearly made it
     
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  22. WickedWolfie

    WickedWolfie Just doesn't shut up

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    Think that you are right... Years of failure eventually merge into a blur...
     
  23. Bill S Preston Esq.

    Bill S Preston Esq. Just doesn't shut up

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    Seriously? Wow.
     
  24. JonahWolf

    JonahWolf Senior Member

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    I don’t honestly think it would’ve made that much lasting impact.

    The real gravy train has only started in last 5 years, with clubs managing to break even or turn a profit despite spending fortunes on transfers and wages.

    So many of those early prem clubs fell away, because they didn’t have continuous money ploughed in.
    So maybe we missed out on a little short term success, but the cash could well have still dried up in a similar fashion, and we’d be having the same kind of obscurity as Forest et al now.
     
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  25. RJs Tankard

    RJs Tankard Just doesn't shut up

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    Taylor would have taken us up and kept us up in my opinion. He was a good manager - and he signed some cracking players. Sadly though, the timing couldn't have been worse for him - the media were still gunning for him after the England failure, and some fans never took to him straight away for similar reasons. He was in the spotlight from day one and the media in particular wanted him to fail. He was under pressure - and it showed towards the end of his reign - particularly after attempting to sell Bully to Coventry, which was the final nail in the coffin for many fans - including some that had liked him and backed him up to that point.

    When Taylor had a fully fit side, we really looked a good team. Not only did Bully still score freely, but Goodman also chipped in with a fair amount. Froggatt was a class act - and so was Daley in the very few glimpses we got of him. Dean Richards still remains one of the best central defenders we've had at the club in the last 25 years - and De Wolf was also superb. Emblen was utility man extraordinaire who could play well no matter what position he played in. Geoff Thomas was also class. We had so many good players - but we rarely got to see them play together in the team because we always seemed to have long term injuries. Daley was perma-injured, as was Geoff Thomas - and there were others that were always in and out of the treatment room too - such as De Wolf, etc.

    If we had had the likes of Bull, Goodman / Kelly, Daley, Thomas, Froggatt, De Wolf, Richards, Thompson, etc available regularly, that team would have been more than capable of going up automatically - and staying up.

    To this day, every former player that played under Taylor speaks highly of him and talk about how he was one of their best managers.

    The polar opposite to McGhee - who most former players speak openly about their dislike of him. McGhee seemed to rub everyone up the wrong way - our own players, opposition players, opposition managers. He came in with a massive ego after being hyped up as Alex's Ferguson's potential replacement and being one of the best up-and-coming managers in the country.

    He fooled people into thinking he was some forward-thinking, ahead of his time, tactical genius of a manager simply because he was playing a formation and style of play that had not really been seen a great deal of in this country at the time. A 3-5-2 / 5-3-2 wing-back system with a sweeper.

    The formation and style of play looked good and the idea was a breath of fresh air - but the players he signed were mostly dross and they were completely unsuited to the style of football he was trying to implement.

    Michael Gilkes? Couldn't cross a bridge. Couldn't tackle. This guy played wing-back under McGhee.

    Robbie ****ing Slater? Slow as ****. Overweight. Also couldn't cross or tackle. This guy played as another wing-back.

    Corica - the supposed engine of the midfield - only without the engine. Couldn't run. Couldn't pass. Couldn't tackle. Couldn't do much of anything. Useless.

    Osborn - great with a dead ball. Sadly, not much use with a moving ball. Over-hit passes. Under-hit passes.

    Darren Ferguson - a McGhoo favourite. Never looked like he could be arsed. One good game in every 6 appearances.

    Paul Simpson - tidy player on the ball with superb long range vision and passing ability - but joined us towards the end of his career. He had no pace whatsoever - and he was only about 5'4. McGhee played him either on the outside of a middle three, or bizarrely, occasionally at wing-back. Rightttttt. Nice one McGhee.

    FA Cup semi-final you say? Strongest side needed? Excellent - this calls for the mighty Steve Claridge and Robbie ****ing Slater. That should do it.....

    Atkins at sweeper.
    Muscat the liability.
    Claridge the cart horse.

    Signed Jason Roberts - but never ever played him - and sold him on without ever giving him a chance. Guess who went on to be a prolific scorer after we sold him - whilst we were being dazzled by the silky skills of Steve Claridge?....

    So much hype - yet so much disappointment.

    This guy was never going to take us up - he was awful.

    But hey, things got more exciting after that - when McGhoo left, we had the excitement of Colin Lee as manager with Mixu Paatelainen's clinical finishing up front to look forward to........
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  26. Air Wolf 90

    Air Wolf 90 Senior Member

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    Can’t argue with that. Awful manager, horrible man.
     
  27. Chardee MacDennis

    Chardee MacDennis Senior Member

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    Can't believe you've missed Steve Sedgley out of all this ....!
     
  28. RJs Tankard

    RJs Tankard Just doesn't shut up

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    It was depressing enough - I didn't want to tip people over the edge by making them suicidal after reading the list of "Alex Ferguson's future replacement" signings.
     
  29. Jaywolf

    Jaywolf Senior Member

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    Great post
     

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