Could Wolves have done better in the transfer market?

We have now seen two transfer windows opening and closing since Wolves were augmented to the highest league of football the world knows. Both has left us with a bitter taste in our mouths that is hard to brush away with the ordinary brands of toothpaste the market has to offer.

What are the reasons for the Wolves failure on the transfer market?  Could we somehow have done better or was it – as Moxey and McCarthy seem to explain it – out of their control and totally to blame on the market and to some degree greedy agents and clubs holding on to their best players?

It is my firm believe that Wolves could have done better. Especially in the summer, but also now in January. The only player brought into the club that has been a total success is Kevin Doyle on these two opportunities to strengthen the team. Another player that has proved to be a success during the last two months is Marcus Hahnemann, in my opinion.

Not any of the other new signings has been able to grab a position in the starting eleven to play week in and week out. Not everyone of these are failures – far from it – that should be clearly said. Many of them are players for the future and still learning and will come good in the future. But some does not have, and will not ever have, what it takes to play in the Premier League.

According to all sources there have been no shortage of monetary funds to buy players and no collective ceiling to wages for the players brought in. Just an ordinary salary budget, as every company must have.

It is my opinion that Wolves didn’t just fail to bring in the marquee players – as Moxey calls them – Stephen Hunt, Adam Johnson and Robbie Keane. We also failed to bring players of a slightly poorer quality in what I would call the Plan B category. More of the ordinary kind of Premier League players.

Instead we have had to do with what I would call Plan C material. Players that have had a hard time staying and playing in an ordinary Premier League club or players with no experience of PL whatsoever – including players from a foreign league and Championship players that have not adjusted to the demands of the PL.

I think that there are signs that say that we did not try – or at least not try enough – to get the players of the plan B category to the club. Wolves jumped to category C – maybe pushed by the new technology and scouts abroad – to the foreign market instead of bidding for plan B players at home together with clubs like Burnley, West Ham, Wigan, Bolton and some Championship clubs.

The result of this is quantity instead of quality and players playing in the wrong positions, because we lack quality in at least one position in each part of the team (defence, midfield and forwards). And players that become insecure and makes mistakes because they are not yet ready for the Premier League and can’t cope with the demands of the league.

What I hoped for last summer was that we would bring in about four or five highly experienced Plan B players to put in the starting eleven together with our best and a couple of Big Fish. Then our talented and hungry youngsters could develop as understudy to these experienced players. What we got was Kevin Doyle – one Big Fish – and Hahnemann – one Plan B player.

In the January window these were some of the players that were available and transferred within the Premier League

  • Jack Wilshere – Arsenal – to Bolton
  • Benni McCarthy – Blackburn – to West Ham
  • Vladimir Weiss – Manchester C – to Bolton
  • David Nugent – Portsmouth – to Burnley
  • Danny Welbeck – Manchester U – to Preston NE

I’m sure that there would be at least as many available players in the Championship that could have been interesting for Wolves – belonging to the plan B category as I believe those above are. Did we bid on them? There are no signs that we did.

It is true that the total value of the players transferred in the January window was on a historically low – only about £30 million – but Wolves could have been in on a bigger part of that sum than we were  if we would have a Plan B in operation instead of a Plan C, and there were very probable much more players available than being sold. Especially as the clubs have less means than for many years in their transfer funds.

But it’s true that money has been frozen in during this transfer window, due to clubs not wanting to part from the players they have and not being able financially to buy new ones that are better and costlier.

To conclude;
Wolves could have gone for and signed players of better quality than we did – in both windows. Instead of a plan B – when we did not get the big fishes – we had a plan C. That resulted in bringing players in – many of them from abroad – that were not better than the ones we had and a lack of quality, insecurity and players playing out of position all over the team followed.

For a reason I have not mentioned many players names in this article. It is not my aim to bash single players for not meeting the requirements of this league and it will do nobody any good. It is up to Mick McCarthy and Jez Moxey to take players in who do meet the requirements. And they could – in my humble opinion – have done much better at that.

But that does absolutely not mean that I will not support the players that play in the team – or Mick McCarthy and Jez Moxey for that matter. And I still believe that we can cut it at this level. And don’t forget that our talented youngsters are evolving and getting better and more experienced for every game.



~ by paddytheflea on February 4, 2010.

9 Responses to “Could Wolves have done better in the transfer market?”

  1. I remember Mccarthy said they wouldn’t stress any signings when the window opened. I’m sure they could do better if they actually stressed a bit earlier. I’m glad we didn’t make any of those deals we could do without. I wish we’ve inquired about Owen though.

  2. And hopefully we’ll sign Dindane on loan :=)))

  3. ■Jack Wilshere – Arsenal – to Bolton – talented youngster
    ■Benni McCarthy – Blackburn – to West Ham – Plan A
    ■Vladimir Weiss – Manchester C – to Bolton – talented youngster???
    ■David Nugent – Portsmouth – to Burnley – Plan C
    ■Danny Welbeck – Manchester U – to Preston NE – Talented youngster

    These really are poor choices to highlight your point. The 3 kids would not have added any extra experience to our young squad. Nugent has been in the Prem for almost 3 years and only scored around 6 goals, personally I would prefer to leave SEB in to see if he comes good. Benni Mcarthy is really the only one that wouild have helped us with experience and goals. I do agree with your sentiments though…..

    • You may be right, Rob. I tried to find better backing to my point, but didn’t find it. But I published, anyway. 😆

      That could mean that Moxey/McCarthy really had a point that very few good players were available in the last window. But I believe that there were many targets last summer and it would have been possible to sign two category B players or one Big Fish then for the sum they were ready to spend in the January window.

  4. I have faith in JM and MM and the Wolves board. I believe Wolves did all in their power to get new players in and it was not for lack of funds. The problem being when you give a player a choice of Man City or Wolves then 9 times out of 10 we wont be that players choice. We are not an attractive proposition at the moment, that may change if we stay up this season.

  5. Maybe- but you can’t bring them in if they do not want to come or clubs will not sell, like johnson from boro, I believe he will be a bench warmer at city – but a bench warmer on something like £100,000 rather than playing for us for £30,000, as for Dindane many “fans”? on other sites say they don’t want him! I fully trust the 3Ms, after all said and done without them we wouldn’t be having this conversation this season – pity some of the other so called fans don’t realise this.
    We are Wolves……….

  6. I agree to a degree. But because they did it very well last season it doesn’t mean that they get a ‘free-card’ to screw up without being crtisized this season. When they do something folish – and sometimes they do – then we should raise our voices.

    But there are a lot of fans out there bash everything they do now and every player. They thrive on feeling bad and I’m sorry for them. Critique got to be to the point and backed by facts. If you bash everything you bash nothing.

  7. I think the point is “could we have done any worse in the transfer window”. After all two more bench warmers was all we managed to add and if anyone thinks that is going to be good enough then frankly they are deluded. On the plus side the summer additions have hardly set the world on fire so maybe the problem here is that we are totally clueless when it comes to a consistent and effective team building plan. Maybe there is no plan at all, which might explain why we have no back up when we fail to land our unrealistic targets, targets that would appeal to the supporters but never result in any expenditure. Our lack of investment will come back to haunt us and we should remember that the next time we are asked to put our hands in our pockets.

  8. I think McCarthy back peddled big time a couple of months into the season. In my opinion, he took his “only want young and hungry” types too far this summer and did not try hard for experienced players, stubbornly opting for younger (aka cheaper) players. If he really wanted Hunt that badly, why didn’t he go after him so aggressively in summer?

    Then a couple of months into the season it was “err, well, we’re not winning enough games because we lack experienced players … but they’re hard to get”. Well, of couse they are hard to get when you are just goal difference away from being in the bottom 3! Good players want to go to good teams with potential. The time to go after them is summer, when there is all to play for ahead. They’re going to stay well clear when you are looking likely for relegation with less than half the season left to play!

    In Mick’s defense, I think he was counting on getting a lot more mileage out of SEB and Kightly at this level, and I think so were we all. So this was an unexpected bump in the road which hopefully may still come right.

    I hope Wolves survive this season, and that they would have learned from their mistakes so to properly strengthen this summer, by going for quality, rather than quantity. Good players are not cheap, and they need to be more courageous on the transfer market when competing for the big boys.

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