Don Goodman reckons Wolves can compete for a Champions League spot next season – but warned fans that the hard bit is to come.
The former Molineux striker has been hugely impressed with his old club over the last two years, first winning the Championship and then finishing seventh in their first campaign back in the Premier League and qualifying for the Europa League.
But the 54-year-old believes they can crack the top four with the right investment this summer.
“I think Wolves can forget about Manchester City and Liverpool and probably even Tottenham, but the other three, at the moment, are very get-atable, for want of a better expression,” Goodman told www.wolves.bite.com
“The other three clubs (Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United) will spend significant amounts of money, if Chelsea are allowed to.
“That’s the problem Wolves have got. While they will strive to add some quality, everybody else above them will too, and below, because there are some quality teams.
“They have finished seventh, so cracking the next barrier is in their sights, which is the top six. But if you think the tough bit has happened, think again.
“Regardless of how much money people think Wolves have, the six teams above them have relatively equal amounts and some could argue better squads and they are from a different starting point as well.
“It’s about taking it one step at a time. I think with respect, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have been very weak by their own high standards, and they will undergo rebuilding jobs.
“There’s a bit of uncertainty about Chelsea as their situation is up in the air. Arsenal are in transition with Unai Emery and I think, while they flattered to deceive in the first half of the season, they have been found out for what they are.
“I have barely seen Arsenal play well but I have seen them win games because of their two forwards. Defensively they are a bit of a shambles for me. So they’re going to have to rebuild.
“United have appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but we know for him to get anywhere near the amount of time and money they’re going to have to spend, just to compete with Liverpool and Man City, because let’s be clear, they have taken our game in this country to a brand new, unprecedented level.
“I said halfway through last season that Manchester City were the best Premier League I have seen, and I acknowledge the Invicibles of Arsenal and the Treble winners of Manchester United, but for me, City have surpassed that, even before they had won the league.
“I was talking about the style of play, the attacking nature of their game, how they want to play, not necessarily the trophies they have won, although I am sure they can continue that theme.”
Goodman, who scored 39 goals in 154 games for Wolves from 1994-98, is convinced Wolves have got their recruitment right so far. The Yorkshireman believes their ‘quality over quantity’ approach can continue to serve them well.
“We all know recruitment is a very difficult thing to get right. You can spend £100m and not improve, and that’s the sad fact of the matter,” added the former Sunderland, Albion and Walsall striker.
“Fulham are a prime example of that. I actually believe if Wolves had kept their Championship-winning side, I think they would have finished halfway, in that middle tier of the Premier League, that’show good they were.
“But what I lked about Wolves was that went for quality over quantity, whereas Fulham went for quantity, and that’s the wrong thing to do.
“Signing two or three right players is hard enough, but trying to sign 15 is impossible. So it’s exciting times ahead.”
Tim Nash from www.wolvesbite.com was kindly invited to interview Don Goodman by Will Adamson from the Cleveland Arms, Willenhall Road, Wolverhampton for An Evening with Don Goodman and Mike Stowell. We very much appreciate his generous offer.