Date: 22nd May 2016 at 8:02pm
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There are plenty of reasons for Wolves supporters to not be optimistic about what next season will hold, with a disappointing 15/16 still very fresh in the mind, even if most of the games were very forgettable.

The negatives are there for all to see. A club that is for sale with an owner who is no longer wanting to invest and no serious signs of a buyer. No obvious changes in the pipeline to a recruitment policy that has bought in few players that have made a significant improvement to the squad. A manager who has it all to prove again, after a decent first two seasons at the club. And even allowing for the excessive injury list in the last year, still question marks over whether the squad is good enough to make its mark at the right end of the table. And it’s all these factors that have lead the bookies to make the club 4th favourites for relegation next term.

And yet there is still a view that with 3 or 4 good additions to the squad in the summer it could all start to look a lot better.

In the goalkeeping department, Martinez has returned to Arsenal after his loan expired. Although many still question why he was chosen ahead of Ikeme in the first half of the season anyway. McCarey has been released so maybe the club will bring in another back up keeper in the summer. Having said that, academy product Jon Flatt may be considered ready for that role and he evidently made a very good impression on loan at the end of the season as Cheltenham secured the National League title.

Defensively it may be that few additions are needed. There are 4 centre backs in Batth, Hause, Ebanks Landell and Williamson. And Doherty was the most improved player at the club at either full back position. Iorfa remains a very good prospect and a couple of good performances in the centre of defence has asked the question whether his future lies there or in the right back role we have mainly seen him in. If the rumours are right though, his progress both for Wolves and the England U21s has caught the eye of quite a few Premier League clubs and a sizeable offer might tempt Wolves to cash in. And that might even prove to be the main route to a summer transfer kitty.

The centre of midfield remains a concern despite many signings in recent years. Rowe has already moved on to Doncaster and all the signs are that McDonald has played his last game for the club. Coady and Saville both got a run in the team at the end of the season but the jury remains out on both. Ok would be the general verdict and we wait to see if they can get a higher rating next season. Dave Edwards had a decent season and rarely lets the team down and is a useful squad player at either an attacking or deeper role. I prefer him more forward as he is the only midfield player at the club that offers a regular goal threat. Although Saville got a few late in the season. Jack Price meanwhile remains an enigma. Rated highly by a majority of supporters but regularly left out of the team by Jackett just as it seemed he was making a place his own. It would be a real boost to the club if they could find a midfield leader that could take control of the midfield in the way that McDonald did so well in League One.

In the wide positions, Henry was as good as anyone at the club last season, while Jordan Graham made a big impression in his short spell in the team before his injury. There were some signs of promise in what little we saw of Wallace. While Zyro made the mistake of scoring a couple early in his Wolves career and so was deployed out of position as a striker. We saw enough in him to generate some optimism though. The negative factor for the wide positions is that it may be some time into next season before Graham and Zyro are fit to play.

In attack I think there is a lot more to come from Mason. A centre forward he isn’t but that’s where he was forced to play mostly due to Wolves injury problems and he will surely stand more chance playing off a target man. And let’s hope Dicko can find his form quickly after a year out injured and turns out to be that man, Oh how Wolves missed him last season, and it was criminal that the club went from August to May without bringing anyone in to fill the centre forward void. Of all the criticism the club earned last season, I don’t think any had a bigger impact than trying to play virtually all of the season without a front line leader. For totally different reasons Afobe and Sigurdarsson weren’t up to filling that gap, although at least Siggy tried to. The signing of another centre forward in the summer is hopefully something we can take for granted, although I thought that for most of last season.

A new owner with a will to invest would be the most valuable signing Wolves could make. But that has to come with a change to the recruitment decision making process. Who knows who has been playing the biggest role in that in recent times out of Morgan, Moxey, Jackett and Thelwell, the one thing we know for sure is that it’s a process that hasn’t worked.

If the club doesn’t change that and continues in last season’s vein, then being 4th favourites for relegation will look like a good call. But despite the relegation of Newcastle, Villa and Norwich making it look like a tough division next season, nobody at Wolves should ever believe that the target should not be promotion for this club in this division, however far away that looked last season.