Football: 'Do I not like Taylor' becomes the Wolves refrain: Guy Hodgson watches Wolverhampton wander leaderless through a 0-0 draw with Grimsby Town

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The Independent Online
THERE is nothing like being popular and Graham Taylor is nothing like being popular at all. More than 40 faxes and letters arrived at Molineux before this match and only two want to see the former England manager installed at Wolves. 'Do I not like that]' would sum up the rest.

Wolves supporters had split loyalties on Saturday. Of an unrepresentative sample of 10, three wanted Gerry Francis appointed as Graham Turner's replacement, three opted for Bryan Robson, two for Howard Kendall and one for Andy Gray. Steve Bull as player- manager represented the Monster Raving Loony faction's choice.

Only one theme was consistent. Taylor for Turner would not be popular even if the former player Kenny Hibbitt, the current Walsall boss, was installed as the No 2. 'He did well at Villa,' one man said, 'but he made such a balls-up of England. They haven't forgotten here that Steve Bull's international career fell to pieces under him.'

But Taylor is on a shortlist alongside Francis and Robson, who was interviewed yesterday, while Kendall is also likely to throw his hat into the ring. A new man is not imminent, however. 'I wouldn't be surprised if the appointment was 14 days away,' Keith Pearson, the club's secretary director, said.

Which is a pity because if any side looked in dire need of leadership it was Wolves. They began the day still hoping for a First Division play-off place and ended it with their promotion prospects looking as remote as a punching opponent for Frank Bruno.

It was as if the players appreciated that off-field events were more important and behaved accordingly. The match snoozed along like an elderly gentleman after lunch, stirring sporadically only to get into a more comfortable position. David Kelly hit the bar from Kevin Keen's cross after 42 minutes and created the illusion of something more tangible with a shot into the side-netting eight minutes after the interval but, those moments apart, it was a full 40-winks snore draw.

Of course Grimsby's Alan Buckley, this match notwithstanding, is the sort of manager who Wolves ought to be chasing - a man who has worked wonders on a shoestring. But he will be ignored because Wolves will require a more prominent figure.

'I just hope whoever is appointed here has done a bit in the game,' he said. 'You see managers like John King at Tranmere who have performed miracles who never get a look-in and it seems unjust when a player packs up his boots and walks into a place like this.'

Taylor fits Buckley's criteria but not the fans'. Unfortunately for him, their voice is more likely to be heard.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (5-3-2): Stowell; Rankine, Blades, Shirtliff, Venus, Thompson; Keen, Marsden (Ferguson, 67), Cook; Mills, Kelly. Substitutes not used: Whittingham, Jones (gk).

Grimsby Town (4-4-2): Crichton; McDermott, Rodger, Futcher, Croft; Ford, Groves, Shakespeare, Gilbert; Livingstone, Rees (Woods, 75). Substitutes not used: Childs, Wilmot (gk).

Referee: E Parker (Preston).

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