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2008/9 vs 2015/16

Deutsch Wolf

aka Dawn
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Mick's vintage has to be considered our benchmark at this level, we did win the league after all. How do you think we sit now compared to that, with signings to come?

2008/9

GK: Wayne Hennessey, Carl Ikeme, Darren Ward (loan), Shane Higgs (loan), Graham Stack (loan), Matt Murray

LB: George Elokobi, Stephen Ward, Matt Hill, George Friend, Scott Malone

RB: Kevin Foley, Mark Little

CB: Richard Stearman, Christophe Berra, Jody Craddock, Michael Mancienne (loan), Neill Collins, Darren Ward, Jason Shackell

RM: Michael Kightly, Carlos Edwards (loan), Lewis Gobern

LM: Matt Jarvis, Kyel Reid (loan), Dan Jones, Micky Gray

CM: Karl Henry, David Jones, Dave Edwards, Mark Davies, Darren Potter, Nigel Quashie (loan), Stephen Gleeson

CF: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Chris Iwelumo, Andy Keogh, Sam Vokes, Ashley Hemmings, Marlon Harewood (loan)

2015/16

GK: Carl Ikeme, Tomasz Kuszczak, Aaron McCarey, Jon Flatt, Harry Burgoyne

LB: Scott Golbourne, Sylvain Deslandes, Ben O'Hanlon

RB: Dominic Iorfa, Matt Doherty, Aaron Simpson, Tendai Matinyadze

CB: Danny Batth, Richard Stearman, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Kortney Hause, Ashley Carter, Aaron Hayden

RM: James Henry, Rajiv van la Parra

LM: Michael Jacobs, Zele Ismail, Jordan Graham

CM: Kevin McDonald, Jack Price, Lee Evans, Dave Edwards, George Saville, Jed Wallace, Tommy Rowe, Jim Kellermann, Declan Weeks, Conor Ronan, Connor Hunte

CF: Benik Afobe, Nouha Dicko, Liam McAlinden, Niall Ennis, Donovan Wilson, Bradley Reid
 
I think we're still 2/3 signings away from where I'd like us to be - and that's mounting a SERIOUS challenge. But we still have some extremely talented players in certain areas - players I genuinely wouldn't swap for any other in the league.

I think Wallace will prove to be an invaluable signing and ideally I'd like us to bring in a couple more - not to make up the numbers, but to make certain positions their own.

In the list DW has posted, I'll admit there are a number of players I've never seen before as I rarely see the academy lads play (I don't think I've ever seen Burgoyne, Deslandes, O'Hanlon, Simpson, Matinyadze, Hayden, Graham, Ennis, Reid or Wilson play). It'd be amazing to bring through a player from the development squad to make a similar impression to Iorfa last season.

Looking at certain areas, I think we have a better defence than in 08/09, a weaker midfield and potentially a better attack - though if Dicko/Afobe can match the feats of Big Chris and SEB that year, we'll be laughing. I honestly believe they have the ability to do that - though a lot will depend on fitness, a bit of luck with injuries and crucially some creativity from midfield.
 
We are clearly weaker in goal and on the wings now but everywhere else is better or comparable at worst. It's the playing styles that are the real difference now and of course Kightly and Jarvis, clearly the class of that team.
 
Looking mainly at the first teamers, rather than the youth players.

Hennessey/Ikeme beats Ikeme/Kuszczak

Golbourne beats Elokobi
but Wardy beats 2 x youth players

Iorfa/Doherty beats Foley/Little

Batth/Stears/EBL/Hause beats Stears/Berra/Craddock/Mancienne

Kightly beats Henry
but RVLP beats Carlos Edwards

Matt Jarvis beats Michael Jacobs
but Zeli/Graham beat Kyle Reid & Dan Jones

K-Mac/Price/Evans/Wallace/Edwards beat Henry/Jones/Edwards/Davies/Potter

Afobe and SEB you have to put on a par. Everyone loves Benik but I'm not writing the contribution of SEB off that easily. He was brilliant.

Dicko beats Big Chris Iwelumo
but the back up from 08/09 is stronger.

SO...

I'd say it's very evenly balanced between the starting 11 and overall squad. One thing that shows light on is that, behind the first 1-2 choices we're thin on the ground without relying on the young lads. We need another 2-3 first team players in, minimum. IMO.
 
What stands out for me, is the age differences in the squads. The current squad has such a significant youth aspect in comparison with Micks squad.

With everyone fit & available in both squads, Micks squad has more experience. Goalkeeping & wide players are the strength in Micks squad.

With the current squad, I feel there is more strength through the defence, and more consistency through the midfield, including some of the replacements. I think the forwards are pretty par.

However, the scope for development & progression is hugely imbalanced, favouring the current squad.
 
I'm not sure Price/McDonald is better than Henry/Jones circa 08/09. They were superb together.

I'd currently have the 08/09 strikeforce as well. We don't have anyone past Dicko & Afobe whereas Mick had Keogh and Vokes who made valuable contributions. We definitely need to strengthen in that area before we can make a title challenge.

Our current defence wins for me, although if Iorfa gets injured we might be in trouble. Genuinely not sure who I dislike more as a back up right back Matt Doherty or Mark Little.

I think the 08/09 team has a much better balance to it overall as well, although there isn't a great deal of strength in depth and some of those loan signings are vomit inducing. We were quite lucky with injuries that season, Matt Murray aside.
 
How bloody good was Kevin Foley that year BTW? Obviously Iorfa is a very talented prospect who has the potential to become a premier league regular but that year, Foley was probably the best right back I've seen in a Wolves shirt.
 
He didn't have one bad game that I can recall, gave Kightly so much freedom to attack down our right hand side. Such a solid defender at that time, completely unflustered on the ball, decent delivery into the box from deep and even got himself on the scoresheet a few times as well. Fully deserved POTS.
 
How bloody good was Kevin Foley that year BTW? Obviously Iorfa is a very talented prospect who has the potential to become a premier league regular but that year, Foley was probably the best right back I've seen in a Wolves shirt.

Wouldn't disagree with that - but he was utterly appalling when we went down. Like a completely different player.
 
Foley was outstanding that year. Rolls Royce of a footballer at the time.
 
Wouldn't disagree with that - but he was utterly appalling when we went down. Like a completely different player.

Remember the good times, Jinks! This is a positive thread!
 
Genuinely not sure who I dislike more as a back up right back Matt Doherty or Mark Little.

Mark Little looked a real prospect until he was hung out to dry by a gutless Rohan Ricketts and his confidence totally blown.
 
Bloody Ricketts that day. Kenny (the poster on here, not Mr Jackett) is the most serene bloke I know but he was fucking fuming at that performance. Disgraceful.
 
Pure fantasy I know but I genuinely wonder what KJ could've achieved with Vokes, Davies, Friend and even Mulgrew who left in the pre season of 08/09.

We also have Boukari (for however long) I'm leaning towards Micks side at the moment purely because of the massive Sako sized hole. The test this year is pressure and if as a whole they can replicate last year, they were fairly free to express themselves after just coming up come August the pressure will be ramped up.
 
How about the managers themselves?

In one off games I feel that Ken makes the better substitutions/team selections but over a full season you can't argue with Mick at this level.
 
I'm not sure. KJ has been outwitted a few times and has made his fair share of odd subs.
 
I'm not sure. KJ has been outwitted a few times and has made his fair share of odd subs.

All managers do but Mick made way more IMO. Some genuinely baffling selections at times. He was no Dean Saunders but he could hold his own.
 
Mick made some selections that seemed bizarre, but then we'd win the game.

Got to be honest, KJ's selections/substitutions have yet to 100% convince me. Some subs are way too late, some with way too little impact, and some which will have little or no change to the game. I'm less convinced KJ has a plan b for most games too.

Coaching-wise, I think KJ has improved the game of more players, and is probably better at spotting a talent.

Think Mick was the master at man management though.
 
Mick made some selections that seemed bizarre, but then we'd win the game.

Got to be honest, KJ's selections/substitutions have yet to 100% convince me. Some subs are way too late, some with way too little impact, and some which will have little or no change to the game. I'm less convinced KJ has a plan b for most games too.

Coaching-wise, I think KJ has improved the game of more players, and is probably better at spotting a talent.

Think Mick was the master at man management though.

Absolutely, time and time again mick has taken distinctly average footballers and turned them into world beaters for a season or even half; Iwelumo, Foley here, Murphy at Ipswich, Kevin Kyle at Sunderland, he wrings everything out of them and maybe that's why as we saw with Foley in particular he just had nothing left to give.
 
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