In the week that the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s ill-fated voyage is being commemorated, Wolverhampton Wanderers are paying their own tribute by being the Premier League’s very own sinking ship.
If ever a team looked condemned despite being within reasonable distance of safety, it is Wolves.
And there can be no doubt as to whom to point the finger at for the irretrievable situation the Molineux club find themselves in: step forward chief executive Jez Moxey and owner Steve Morgan.
Moxey might look like Dom Joly’s 9-5 working brother, but not even Trigger Happy TV provided as many laughs as Wolves this season.
When someone writes the book on disastrous decisions taken by people in suits who sit in football club boardrooms (that’s a snappy title, I might write it myself) then chapter one will focus on the hapless pair’s judgment that sacking Mick McCarthy without the slightest thought about what to do next was a bright idea.
A decision taken in haste on the back of an admittedly terrible 5-1 defeat at home to arch rivals West Brom saw the Chuckle Brothers become the boardroom equivalent of the drunk bloke on the dancefloor at nearly 2am, trying to pull whoever is left by making eyes at the old and past it (Walter Smith) and the fat and ugly (Steve Bruce) before going home with the only person in the club drunk enough to say yes.
That man was poor old Terry Connor and now it is the morning after, they both must be lying in bed together with a terrible headache, looking at each other and thinking ‘what was I doing?’ Connor will soon be doing the walk of shame, but not before he has overseen a quite avoidable relegation.
The Chuckle Brothers became the boardroom equivalent of the drunk bloke on the dancefloor at nearly 2am, making eyes at the old and past it (Walter Smith) and the fat and ugly (Steve Bruce) before going home with the only person in the club drunk enough to say yes.
McCarthy was hardly Arrigo Sacchi, but ditching him and replacing him with his assistant was utter folly and for all people may say Wolves were struggling when he was sacked, well what do you expect? They are Wolves. They struggle. That’s what they do. And I’d wager that McCarthy would have won more than one point from a possible 24.
The sooner Wolves are put out of their misery the better for everyone concerned, and another nail in their Premier League coffin is going to be hammered in by Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Unsurprisingly, the Black Cats are strong favourites at 12/25 to pick up three points, with the draw quoted at 16/5 and Wolves understandable outsiders at 11/2.
Sunderland looked as though they were already thinking of the beach in their 4-0 defeat at Everton and against anyone else I would have reservations about backing them after that display, but I’m not going to let anything put me off backing them to beat the shower that are going to turn up in gold.
Martin O’Neill is not the type to tolerate a complete downing of tools and the sheer fear of embarrassment of losing to Wolves will be enough to spur him and his players on to victory.
Besides, O’Neill has a good record at home since taking over from Bruce in December, posting a 6-2-1 record in the league.
That includes wins over Manchester City and Liverpool and a draw with Tottenham last time out – more than enough to convince me they will see off a Wolves side that have conceded 17 in their last six and are lacking in almost every department.
Instead of the 12/25, though, take the 23/20 on the Sunderland/Sunderland half time/full time result to boost your potential winnings.
Recommended bet: Sunderland to be winning at HT and FT @ 23/20
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