In preparation for today’s Premier League fixture against Wolves, I talked to Wolves blogger, Nathan, to discuss their season so far, the significance of Karl Henry’s injury and Wayne Rooney’s irresistible form, plus much more!
CTS: Morning/ Afternoon/ Evening Nathan, how are you?
I’m very well thank you, apart from the small matter of our team at the moment!
Nonetheless, I have been following the club for about 30 years and just to be in the Premier League has been pretty special but regrettably we have not seen any progression after three seasons of fighting off relegation and I would just have liked to have seen us make that leap, like Stoke and Fulham, to get us to the next step to get us out of the annual relegation scrap.
CTS: I don’t think you could attribute the lack of progression to a lack of funds though?
Certainly not, we’ve invested (as Steve Morgan keeps pointing out) as a club more than anybody else outside the Top Six yet we still find ourselves rooted in the bottom three so it’s not a lack of investment which is at fault but possibly investment in the wrong players and areas; ultimately it’s one of the reasons why Mick McCarthy had to leave the club.
This interview is taken from our latest pod, during which we also talk Athelic (Bielsa, Llorente and Javi), WBA (Rooney, Pogba and Hodgson) and Wolves (41 Minutes In)! Available on iTunes or Stream it to your Mobile Device.
CTS: How do you think that Terry Connor has done and how do you think he will approach the match?
We went 2-0 down in the Newcastle game and everyone immediately thought that the wrong decision was made in putting Connor in charge but miraculously we got the game back to 2-2. However, since then, it has been a bit of a nightmare, if you look at the Fulham match, for example, where we got turned over 5-0 and the Blackburn match which we lost 2-0 and was one of the most depressing games I have ever seen. For me, Connor was part of the problem with McCarthy so to put him in charge was ludicrous but they let Mick go too late into his tenure so no-one was going to come in with just 13 games to go considering the mess we are in.
In terms of approaching the match, it’s about damage limitation. We have had some famous victories against you, including last season, but I think for this one I’ll be very surprised if you don’t turn us over 5 or 6 to nil. I think we’ll be very defensive, possibly with 5 at the back, and simply be trying to stop wave after wave of your attacks, to be honest.
CTS: Even if you do have five at the back, do you think your Captain, Roger Johnson, will feature in light of his antics last week?
It was a disgrace; turning up to the club over the limit, after a night on the town, was disgusting and he got a reception when his name was announced last week, when he was on the bench, that made our feelings clear. To treat the club in that manner, when you’re meant to be the leader, is appalling and I do not think you’ll see him at the weekend or in a Wolves shirt ever again.
CTS: Will Karl Henry be itching to regain the armband and will he be a big miss?
The captaincy will stay with our LB, Stephen Ward, at the moment who is a good leader, quite rightly, but we have a real lack of leadership on the pitch and they all look a little clueless. It’d be nice if United went gentle on us but I can’t really see it.
It will be great to have have Karl back but without him we really struggle in the middle of the park. A lot of fans critize him for his safe passing but I think he is key for us, similar to Carrick…
CTS: I think Carrick is just a bit more eloquent defensively and offensively though…
Of course, Henry was signed for £150,000 and Carrick was signed for £18,000,000 so there is always going to be a little bit of a difference (!) but I’ve always rated him. At £150K he is never going to be a world beater but I really like him as he consistently does a good job. Also, without him we do not have any other defensive minded midfielder’s and that has to be blamed on McCarthy, once again, in the transfer market.
CTS: Without a defensive midfielder, how do you expect to stop Wayne Rooney?
That is the million dollar question; How do you stop Rooney? He is a world class player! Without Roger Johnson at the back, we only have Berra (Scottish International- so slow), Stearman (England U21’s- not great) and Hennessey who, on his day, is a fantastic shot stopper but he just makes too many mistakes. It is going to be really tough.
CTS: Bearing that in mind, what is your score prediction?
Usually I am very optimistic but having watched us recently, I am going to go 4-0 to United.
You can follow Nathan on Twitter, @WolvesBlogger, and see his work in Shoot Magazine and other various publications.