Today we grill Wolves fan and editor of It’s Round and it’s White Graham Large.
What is your greatest hope for the season ahead?
That we are able to secure a 4th consecutive season in the Premier League by finishing in a comfortable mid-table position. Gradual progression suits me down to the ground, and a 11th-14th finish would be ideal.
And your biggest fear?
It almost happened last season, where we were flirting with relegation for the entire season and faced a crucial Black Country derby fixture with West Brom. Fortunately we managed to win the game, and it proved to be the catalyst for survival.
My biggest fear this season would be another relegation battle. You can never be too confident when you are in a survival scrap, Birmingham City proved that last season.
Thoughts on the club’s summer transfer business
I am absolutely delighted with our business so far.
Jamie O’Hara was brilliant for us last season when he came on-loan from Spurs. His eye-catching performances left a lasting impression on the Molineux faithful, and I’d have been gutted if he had not returned.
Dorus De Vries on a free transfer is a very good addition, and will definitely keep Wayne Hennessey on his toes. Although he may not be a “big name” signing, I would happily take a punt on any keeper who managed to keep nearly 50 clean sheets in the Championship during the past two seasons.
Then finally Roger Johnson. Wolves fans have been screaming out for a commanding centre-back, and it looks like we have finally got our man. He is a born leader, and McCarthy making him captain is a huge statement of intent.
Who’ll be your most important player this season
Kevin Doyle – he will be hungry to make an instant impression after injury ruined last season for him. It frustrates me when Doyle is criticised for his lack of goals, because he works so hard for the team; especially when he has had to lead the line by himself for the majority of the past two seasons.
And who’s the fan favourite
Steven Fletcher – his goals at the end of the last season kept us in the Premier League. The brace he scored against West Brom at Molineux has earned him a place in Wolves’ fans hearts for years to come. He also had one of the best goals per shots ratio in Europe last season, and if he can continue this form he should better his 10 goal total from 2010-11.
Anyone new who we should keep an eye out for
Young centre back Danny Batth has a very promising looking future ahead of him, although he has gone out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday.
McCarthy has also announced that 17-year-old Irish winger Anthony Forde will feature in his plans for the season ahead, he is very highly rated by club officials.
The player you’d pay his taxi fee to his new club
Stefan Maierhofer – the transfer that brought him to Wolves should be investigated, as calling him a “footballer” is a violation of the Trade Descriptions Act.
Who do you want to beat most this season?
In this league, bragging rights is not as important as getting points on the board. However, I would be very satisfied if we beat West Brom and Aston Villa.
Opposition players you admire and you despise?
Admire – Vincent Kompany, Park Ji-Sung, Robin Van Persie, Youssuf Mulumbu, Gary Cahill,
Despise – Danny Murphy, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Emile Heskey, Anton Ferdinand
Have you got the right manager, and what advice would you give him?
Whenever I have started to have my doubts about Mick McCarthy, he has always proved me wrong. I am delighted that he has defied his critics and delivered a third consecutive season of Premier League football to Wolverhampton. If I was to give Mick any advice, he wouldn’t take it anyway, so I will keep my faith and #stickwithmick (a nod to my mate Kieran).
And finally, where will you finish?
I would love for us to finish 11th-14th and not get caught up in the relegation battle this season. However, I really have no idea where we will actually end up. Ask me on the 13th May 2012 :-)