Wolves cup hero Andy Gray fears for club's future

Andy Gray relives his finest hour as a Wolves player tonight admitting he fears for the current crop’s Championship future.

Wolves Cup 14 16

The one-time Wolves star, scorer of the Wembley goal that landed the club its last major trophy, will join the reunion of the 1980 League Cup winners in a charity fund-raiser put together by former team-mate Mel Eves.

The event could not provide a more stark contrast to the critical game which follows at Molineux hours later when Wolves face a survival scrap with Bristol City.

And Gray shares in common with the rest of the gold and black ‘family’ a growing anxiety about the team’s plight as they prepare for this meeting of the second tier’s bottom two clubs.

The former Sky and now radio broadcaster and pundit said: "You can trace it back to the day they decided to let Mick McCarthy go, since when they haven’t had a plan. That is what surprises me. There just does not seem to have been a plan.

"Fair enough if they were unhappy with Mick – although I don’t think that was the greatest decision to get rid of him – but they never had anybody ready to take over and that’s where the seeds were sewn for where they are now.

“They decided to go with Terry Connor but it was too big a job for him. After that, I thought it was a strange decision to appoint Stale Solbakken – I didn’t get where that one was coming from.

“And now we have Dean Saunders in there. I know Dean quite well and happen to think he did really well at Doncaster but this is a whole new level for him.

"It’s very worrying for the fans and you can understand why they are angry. They have been waiting for things to happen and they just haven’t.

"I thought they might have turned the corner with that but they just don’t seem capable of putting two wins together. The situation is very worrying.”

Tonight’s reunion at Brierley Hill’s Copthorne Hotel brings the squad together for the first time since Gray’s goal beat Nottingham Forest – 33 years to the day.

Comments for: "Wolves cup hero Andy Gray fears for club's future"

Andy

Saunders out now.

Matt

have you not learned ANYTHING?! the reason we are so crap is lack of stability. sacking managers every 3 minutes isn't going to improve the situation. do you seriously think sacking saunders now will improve the run in? think about it!

Andy

No, the reason why we're crap is because Steve Morgan in his infinite wisdom decided to sack the manager who was changing things and was going to replace players on a whim. We've now got the likes of Edwards and Hunt in contention for new contracts. The fact that we have players like this who have no flair or skill is the main reason why we are where we are. A manager like Downo is going to do nothing to change that.

Sadly a mid-table finish under STS wasn't good enough for some people...

Filtonwolf (Bristol)

Well said Andy !! Solbakken was supposedly here for the long run.................to turn our fortunes around.....................and he had started that process. i think he got sacked because he asked for too much money for the January transfer window to carry on the work he had started. Moxey & Morgan weren't interested.

Jake

Andy, go to the Guardian and read the latest article about WWFC. Then tell me you think SS should have stayed. You are misguided my friend.

3rd Gen Wolves

I reckon Andy March 15, 2013 11:48 am was calling for Micks head at 'that' time.

reidmail

Well said Matt, if we were to give one of these negative so called fans a moped to manage in the upcoming F1 season, I'm willing to bet they wouldn't get a win, which of course would be their fault alone and we would have no choice but to sack them.

Try to think past the end of your nose !

Lonewolf

So just how many matches does he have to lose in the next 5/10/15 before he is held responsible

If nothing else he should go for his shocking dress sense

Balham Wolf

Tomorrow we will beat Bristol City, mark my words. We will then go on a mini run and stay up!

Remember listening to the commentary on the World Service as was living in Rome at the time, oh what joy when Andy banged in the goal. Special day for all Wolves fans.

Wulvzs

Oh there goes that pig flying past the window again!

Rob

All i can say, Balham Wolf, is credit too you for not having the energy, passion and belief not sapped out of you since May 2011.

Sir Billy Quite

Actually you can trace it back to the day that Morgan went into the dressing room after the Liverpool game...............................

Sir Billy Quiet

I think you can trace it back to when we didnt get rid of Mcarthey after the Blackburn game.

Other teams, Like WBA and Newcastle recognised the manager they had was not capable of moving their promotion winning side forward and made a change.

We waited until it was too late and then made it worse by going down the conner/stale/saunders route.

My Friend Stan

Spot on SBQ. This has not happened overnight, thats why a Director of Football is desperately needed.

Sir Lupi

Totally agree.

It was easy to see at the time and even clearer now. Thats why Moxey should be sacked.

Look where that lack of insight and ambition has got us now.

Disgraceful and unforgiveable.

Golden Nugget

You're a hypocrit. You were his biggest fan

Wolfman Jack

You can probably trace it back to the (perfectly logical) decision of MM to play an under-strength team at Old Trafford only to be berated by Morgan the next day.

andyinstoke

Actually, you can trace it back to giving Jamie O'hara a premanent contract

we need a left back

Are you sure it was not after he started to cut his own hair?

mossman

Yes the problems go back a long way but why appoint Saunders who has been a shambles.

I guess Mr Morgan thought he would give the club an instant lift but it did not happen and the managers championship record is very poor.

When (NO IF) is the question will Wolves try again to get the right man in to replace SuperMick

It's been a long 12 months and won't get better until Mr Morgan makes the right management appointment.

I hope the players can find it in themselves to stay up this season but the future has go to be without Mr Shambles

shambles

No one wants to come on loan to play for this halfwit I see. I agree his record at this level is bad and why would any player want to come when he won't be here next season.

hanging gardens of molineux

Saunders has been a shambles!

What now.

Curbs said on Sunday he regretted not taking the Wolves job.

Get him on the phone now while we have 9 games left and still a chance of staying up.

9 more games with Saunders and we will go down

Somerset Wolf

Well said mate, totally agree

yarmouth wolf

I'll pick him up

English Exile

Actual you can trace it back to when you were born....plonker

smithy

Has the penny dropped Sir Billy,?You are not having a go at the fans who have finally had enough tonight.

smithy

Yeah ! Sir Billy the very Morgan you have been defending for the past 18 months you hang your head in shame for once.

Jason

Thank you Captain Obvious.

Tony

We were in the Premier League. We survived our first season. At that point, if you had removed Morgan & Moxey and replaced them with two saboteurs and told them that their job was to destroy the club, they could not have done a better job than M&M have. These two couldn't have done more damage to our club if they had actually tried to. Moxey the best Chief Exec in British football? Come on Steve, if you really believe that, you both need to go-go and invest in ballet or something that you've got more chance of understanding. I am livid.

Joe

Andy Gray has the knowledge of the Game that we need on the Board. Sign him up !!

Burntwood Boy

Andy should get his boots on, then we would see things happen. I would give Andy a job, with all his experience it would be an advantage to a bunch of "No knowledge football idiots".

Golden Nugget

No time for Gray at all. I remember the year we went down. I think it was Stoke at home ( memory not what it was). We were in front and in control. It was a must win game towards the back end. He got himself sent off with a series of petulant rants at the referee. It was obvious what was going to happen. He clearly wasn't up for it and fancied an early bath as opposed to role his sleeves up and fight. Pathetic and spineless display. Since proved with his misogynistic behaviour that he is an unpleasant character as well as soft.

Jeremy Kyle

Pheww......take a breather, he's not been at your Missus has he??

Sandy Gray ( a King is born to-day-ay-ay..... )

Andy was an asset to our team. A tough player who always gave everything. A game changer. I'll never forget how bad we felt when his name was NOT on the teamsheet for the FA cup semi-final replay v Tottingham at Highbury. I didn't particularly enjoy the day at Wembley in 1980, & the goal was soft, but one scored @ Selhurst Park has to be one of my favourites- Bradshaw goalkick straight to Squeak's head into Gray's path to volley into the Palace net - GOAL! I think we won 3-4.

Harlowolf

I remember that day. We were 2-0 down after 10 minutes and it was bitterly cold.

Takk

Route-one hoofball then?

Nice. Cultured.

While we're here, and in response to other things said elsewhere on this page, it needs to be recognised that 4-4-2 belongs to a by-gone age - or the lower leagues, whatever. The game at the highest level has moved on. Adapt and survive. Or plummet like a stone.

You lot trying to trace when it started to go wrong earlier on this page are missing the obvious - you can trace the Wolves demise actually to Kightly either being constantly injured or seriously losing form. No Kightly, no goals from SEB. Stop Kightly, stop the Wolves. Easy.

Having one tactic - and one tactic only - ultimately cost McCarthy his job... "get it out wide lads to Kites or Matty, then get it into the box to SEB or Fletch".

However, as proved in the Prem, that was just sooo easy to defend against. Liam Ridgewell - with a bit of help from Chris Brunt - stopped Jarvis without even breaking into a sweat (one piece of excellence from Fletcher excepted). Anyhow, look what happened after that game...

So, now, there's no "Kites" or "Matty" anymore, no alternative tactic, no adaption to circumstances, no service, no runners from midfield, no movement, no goals, no clue.

While Albion were getting to grips with a progressive, attacking, flexible 4-5-1/4-2-2-1-1 system based around pass-and-move (and with zonal marking too!) Wolves were sticking rigidly to the outdated and easy-to-defend-against 4-4-2.

While Albion were sharing their plentiful goals amongst the strikers AND numerous midfielders such as Greening, Koren, Gera, Dorrans, Morrison, Thomas, Brunt, Mulumbu (and on occassion, Scharner), Wolves were persisting with "get it out wide to Kites".

It just goes to prove that WHEN IMPLEMENTED CORRECTLY 4-5-1/4-2-2-1-1 is way more attacking than 4-4-2.

To be fair, Solbakken was trying to pull you kicking and screaming into the today and now. Shame you didn't have the time and patience to see it through. Maybe it wasn't working - however you aren't goint to grace the top flight ever again playing the outdated excuse for football your team is currently playing.

Adapt and survive. Adapt and survive...

Exmouth wolf.

Well wrote post takk. You know what yr talkin about fair play to the tesco boys they evolved and we should copy the baggies blue print!! Morgan moxey shown up by Jeremy's hard and forward thinking decision making. Can't wait for sat as I'm gonna be their as Bristol mob bring some attitude and song. We am ay we utw

sandy gray

Interesting analysis Takk. Hoof it & hope IS rubbish but when there is skill involved what is there not to love about a route one goal?

The Unhappy Wanderer

"You can trace it back to the day they decided to let Mick McCarthy go, since when they haven’t had a plan"

It goes back further than that Andy. We needed to sign better quality players when we were in the Premier League, but the club mostly went for quantity over quality. We needed a manager with the tactical nous to move us to the next level, but stuck with McCarthy; brilliant motivator, but tactically naive.

Steve Morgan was fine while what he inherited was working, but when he has had to make football related decisions they have not been good.

I actually support him in his ambitions to improve the infrastructure, but they sit in his comfort zone. He needs someone who understands football to take responsibility for the on field strategy, as our neighbours have.

The strategy was "young and hungry", and we have had no idea what to do since they realised the limitations of that.

disgruntleddingle

Perfectly put!

Winchester Wolf

I was there, an ecstatic eleven year old, unable to quite believe what I was seeing. The bus tour through town was a brilliant thing as well. Keep the faith. We should focus on this trophy every year and try and win the damn thing whilst all the other clubs write it off. You never, ever forget days like that (and I was there for the SVT in 88).

Out of Darkness...

Selly park wolf

Pity we ain't got someone of Andy grays calibre right now.

He was one of the best headers of the ball I ever watched play and was never scared to put his head in where boots were flying.

Thanks for that great goal against forest mr Gray it might not have been a 35 yarder but still remains my highlight as a wolves fan beating the European champions in a cup final that was very well respected in them days.

Gray Richards Hughes McAlle Parkin eves berry hibbit Bradshaw and even zico palmer what a team that was!

Great memories might not ever witness a wolves team winning a major trophy and finishing 6th in the top flight ever again!

Welshwolf

It was one of the canniest games that Wolves ever played: a triumph of tactics over talent.

wanstead wolf

It's all about being proactive and not reactive. Decisions made while knees jerk = disaster. Teams who sack managers for no apparent reason are usually criticised (Di Matteo, Hughton, Adkins...) but at least this usually indicates that there is some kind of plan and vision in place. This kind of ruthlessness was beyond Steve and Jez where Mick was concerned. We all know Mick was a great bloke, but he should have gone with our gratitude in tact a year earlier.

mick the miller

I just wish Morgan and Moxey would clear off. Have dismantled and destroyed an old famous club. How do they sleep at night?

Arrested MP

They drink Horlicks - Plus they sleep on mattresses stuffed with Cash!

Eye For An Eye

I think Morgan & Moxley are distant cousins of the Bhatti Brothers.

Hermanus-wolves

I think Andy has hit the nail on the head there is no planning just knee jerk reaction.

The only people not panicking is the wolves management and why because they have their head in the sand and therefore oblivious to the real world. They did exactly the same with Mick. The writing was on the wall long before the P45 was handed out and yet they had no-one standing by; so look round and push TC into the line of fire. Then when they fired Stale they dived into Dean and basically throwing him to the wolfs by putting him in a position above his level of competence.

The only fault Dean has is taking on a task that he is not capable of completing. A seasoned manager would have seen what management was up to and said thanks but no thanks. The WWFC management probably told Dean that all that was needed was a bit of confidence that would be gained by having a manager that understood them. The players that came down from the premiership are too far gone to be resurrected.

So where do we go from here? Morgan and Moxy dion't seem to have any idea and quite happy to see the club slide rather that fire Dean and get someone else in. But who in their right mind would take the job. It would probably be best to wait until wolves are in div 1 and then join as manager. Clear out the dead wood , take on new players and be a hero when they climb out and into the championship.

Remember managers are like players they have a certain level in which they can work (their comfort zone) and above that they fail. That is why not every one is a manager or CEO and there are differences even in those titles. So when the club climbs out of one league senior management must look at the manager and decide whether he/she is capable of continuing the teams success.

Robert Perry

Was at Wembley when we beat Forest and also,for some reason, remember Andy scoring a great goal in a cup game at Middlesbrough.Great memories which makes our current situation all the more depressing. This all goes back to the period immediately after we stayed up on the last day of the season. It was obvious the team needed strengthening,but as usual,Moxey and Morgan thought they could survive on the cheap by buying only one first team player:Roger Johnson.They greatly underestimated the strength of the promoted teams. It is very indicative of how the pair of them think.i.e. Spend as little as we can get away with and hope the fans will continue to come through the turnstiles. I fear their luck has run out!

Welshwolf

There's only one Kenny Hibbitt! He gave everything for Wolves. Box to box, a sweat-soaked warrior every weekend. What must he think of this gutless shambles?

rich5wolves

Having met him a few times over the years i quite like his bluntness in his opinions.

Just because people disagree with him doesnt mean he is wrong.

Cant really disagree with much in that article myself to be honest.

Charlie

A succinct and accurate assessment by Andy.

Thanks for the day out in 1980 it was fantastic.

Charlie

ATLANTA WOLVES

bob

Wish those three in their prime were playing for us now... In fact, at their age now, they'd do no worse.

Tomwolf

Ive always believed that MM earned the right to manage Wolves in the PL,in our first season. After all the hard work he put in,getting us their in the first place, after the total mess GH left our club in. But it was very clear that Mick was lacking in ability to get us out of the bottom six, and up to a mid-table team. Therfore i believe he should have been sacked after the Blackburn game. But i would add, if Morgan/Moxey had backed him better in the transfer market, than just signing Johnson / O'Hara, and a free transfer GK, who know's he may have done better, but we will never know that now. In all honesty i still feel that it was the right time to let him go, but all the appointments since he left have been shocking, and that is down to one man, and one man only, and thats Steve Morgan. Anyway i want to wish the lads all the best for tomorrow, we all know its got to be three points, anything less will be a disaster for WWFC, and its great supporters. GOOD LUCK LADS TOMORROW. UTW:

KARLWOLVES

has sir billy had a bang on the head.? he is atcualy slagging off mad mick and the board. yet every day we read his bloggs and he accuses other fans that do the same,of not being true supporters and shouldnt go to the games. POT CALLING KETTLE. BLACK OR WHAT.lmao

Definitive Wolf

Is it the real Sir Billy? Well, you have to wonder.

Loyal Wulfrian

If someone would have said to me when they sacked Mick (that was a big mistake) that next year you will be in big big trouble fighting for survival in the Championship I would have asked which mental institution he had escaped from. I don't believe the position and trouble we are in, but it is true. SOS.

Waggies Left Peg

Can I just say that David Needham has always been my hero.

Ye Olde South Bank

Nice piccy of three of my heroes, particularly King John and King Kenny. Sheer quality, those boys, and would be worth a king's ransom today.

What a great day we fans had at Wembley, 33 years ago. It looked like just the start of a bright, brand-new era for Wanderers under super Johnny Barnwell. How sad we've sunk so low and probably won't see the likes of those days for many years to come. My heart bleeds for something...anything...to restore a bit of pride in the club we all adore.

These past two seasons have felt akin to witnessing the imminent death of a loved one with 20,000+ grief-stricken family members in mourning at the bedside. Our boys simply must avoid the drop or it really could be 'RIP Wolves' etched on the gravestone. Come what may, please back them like never before for the whole 90 mins against Bristol or suffer the consequences. UTW.

you need to see a doctor if you think wolves position is akin to a family member dying what a loon

Ye Olde South Bank

...and you need to educate yourself in the art of descriptive language if you fail to recognise metaphoric missives. What a loon.

Caribbeanwolves

Andy, thanks for a fabulous memory, of all the games I got to over the last 50 years that one still stands out. They had more skill but we wanted it more and the support that day was just brilliant. I just hope tomorrow our team also wants it more than Bristol. Wolves for ever.

Albrightondek

Andy Gray's comments that our downfall began with the sacking of Mick McCarthy will divide opinion. There will never be any kind of concensus with regard to McCarthy. Some believe he was the best manager for decades while other will grudgingly accept that he was alright up to a point but was not a premiership manager.

Personally, I think Gray is correct in that we have have effectively been in freefall ever since the club sacked McCarthy in the middle of February, with no viable alternative to take over. The sacking was a knee-jerk reaction with no thought about the consequences. There was no plan B.

Steve Morgan is I believe very passionate and ambitious with regard to the Wolves. Jez Moxey is very capable with keeping the finances in order. But neither of them seem very good at making sound footballing decisions. A good knowledgeable footballing Director of Football should be appointed. Perhaps Andy Gray should be approached even if it's only on a partime basis, so that continue with his other media work.

Lupus

I think you can trace it to the day we played Newcastle at home early in our second season in the prem, when a crap referee didn't give us a clear penalty that would have put us two up, but gave about seven yellow cards and let Joey Barton and company run the game. This was made worse when Lineker on MOTD made fun of Henry's so called "bullying" of Barton, without showing everything Barton had done in the game, such as raking Van Demme's legs (spelling - can't remember) and causing him to go off injured (and never really play for us again). The subsequent bad press and the bad defeat to Fulham a week later with another eight bookings and Stearman sent off in my opinion completely derailed a promising start to the season that could have seen us becoming established instead of struggling as we did. I still think the first 45 mins against Stoke on the opening day of that season was some of the best football we played in the premier league. Dave Jones great goal from the free kick. Blake's goal that looked full of confidence. Blake and Fletcher looked good together, but unfortunately Fletcher came off and I don't think we saw them together again for a while. I think things turned that day.

GORDON KEITH

I would bet that our C.E.O. Jez Moxey has not written into any players contract that if they do not perform, that they would get paid a percentage of contract for the level of there performance.

But this is Jez our super accountant trying to balance figures ,forgetting you need a succselful team to provide the capitol required.

So Mr Morgan sack him and inject some capitol to achieve your dream of being the owner of a top football team.

Golden Wonder

The three of them still look fit enough to me.

There's your loan signings Dean. Throw them straight into the team for tomorrow.

Boz

We all fear for the clubs future Mr. Gray. Not spending in the last two January transfer windows has been another big reason for our decline!

English Exile

Three players in that picture...... the likes of which we will never see again at Molineux....

nigel wolfnut

So where has it all gone wrong? The sacking of Mick, the appointment of Connor, Stale and now perhaps the biggest mistake Saunders? Although many offer their views on this who were the men making the big decisions - and don't all shout Moxey!! He's an employee. He is paid to do a job and he does it. He would have been sacked if he didn't - and that leaves ???? Morgan. He who is away on holiday when we lose to the the Albion and sacks the Manager after the defeat. He who goes in to the dressing room etc etc etc. Infrastructure yes, team 'NO'.

Who actually advised him on Saunders' appointment? Who does he listen to? If we stay up will he keep the Welsh muppet? Would you?Morgan is incapable of making football decisions like many owners. Sir Jack didn't make funds available to Dave Jones {read his book and see who he had got lined up} and the consequences - relegation. Then a few wilderness years before the Promised Land was achieved - and now in the footballing wilderness again. I despair. I want us to win tomorrow desperately but more than that I want a plan that extends beyond building a stand. I want a team built. Isn't that what football is all about

Daz

Why the continued staunch defence of Solbakken and that he had no money. Doumbia £3 million - hardly set the world alight and not cheap - where is Margreitter - not cheap - Pseko? Sigurdarson - promising but for 2.5 million I want a little more than a promising championship player. Boukari injured so unfair to judge and Sako - worth the money but has given away two goals and sometimes looks a little disinterested - but credit where credits due and Thanks Solbakken for Sako. As for the rest of the outlay has that spend made our team better?

The performances at Christmas against Peterborough and Ipswich will live in my memory for some time for the wrong reasons. I do not understand why we are so tolerant of continued cr*p Championship performances yet fans were so angry with Mick when we had some rubbish PREMIERSHIP games but nothing like what we have seen since he left. Generally we were competitive in the premiership and if he was still with us does anyone really think we would not be challenging and in the top six - be honest with yourselves.

Definitive Wolf

Regarding Mick, we just keep going round and round with this argument - yes, things were handled badly (then repeatedly so) but we are just beating ourselves up dwelling on it. Somehow we have to move on. Of course it would help if the team could win a few games so that we might glimpse a ray of light at the end of the tunnel.

BillyBB

This fiasco started last season when we played Swansea, who had just been promoted and any one who was at that game cannot be surprised to find us in the position we are in today. Swansea a promoted side ripe for three points to be taken off them just run rings round us and passed us into oblivion!! MM must have realised that his game of " Putting in a shift " Working our socks off " was a no brainer. Please, we did not have a clue on what to do when teams passed the ball around us, over us and past us!! Lets get behind the team we are fast running out of games and options!!! The time for a clear out will be in May!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

smithy

Bi Heaven ! Richards, Gray, Hibbit ,How many quids worth there? Moxey I bet you would like to fill your boots selling these three? After watching the dross served up now,How lucky and spoiled I was to watch these class of players.

Magne

Hello::

Please Dean.....can you please take away Henry on the midfield and put Doyle on his place. Doyle is no target man but I think he could be the creative man in midfield.

stuart weston

If this, but that, blah,blah,blah. The table doesn't lie this late into the season. If they don't beat BC today they're down, deservedly so. Accept it, say goodbye to all the overpaid and past it players who are surely into their last few appearances for the club, start moving on for the new season in Division 3. I AM a Wolves fan, (already £345 down for next season- what a mug!))- i'm also a realist. Bring on the big derby against Bescot next season, unless they're promoted!

Filthy Wolf

Interesting that even as a mate, Andy is prepared to say what we all know - Saunders is at the wrong level. He should have stayed with Doncaster, got back into the Championship on merit, then spent another season with them keeping them up.

He reminds me of what we called 'MacDonalds' managers - sell enough chips and you get promoted. You have no idea what you are doing when you get there but it seems impolite to turn it down when it is offered.

Joe

Why oh Why does this club keep spouting about it's past...............It's now that matters & the fact is that Moxey is running the club into the ground.

Football is a business of diminishing returns if you don't keep up the investment then your returns will fall as you tumble down the table.

If Moxey is as good as Morgan claims then he should be aware of this instead of trying to run the club on a shoe string.

Morgan will soon be moaning when the stands are empty.........come and support Moxey making a pigs ear of our club.............not likely Mr Morgan, I work hard for my money and i'll be damned if i'm giving anymore of it to justify an individual like Moxey destroying it!!