Wolves seek successor as Taylor resigns

Football

PHIL SHAW

Wolverhampton Wanderers will today begin wrestling with the dilemma of whether to go for an experienced old hand or an inspirational younger man to succeed Graham Taylor, who bowed to public hostility yesterday by resigning as manager of the First Division's big spenders.

Following Sunday's 0-0 draw with Charlton, which left the pre-season promotion favourites in 18th place and sparked an anti-Taylor demonstration outside Molineux by several hundred fans, the 51-year-old former England manager spent the morning in talks with the Wolves chairman, Jonathan Hayward. Taylor was only 20 months into a three-year contract, and it is believed the pair discussed details of a financial settlement.

After four hours, both Taylor and the club secretary, Tom Finn, emerged to make terse statements. Finn, with masterful use of euphemism, explained that Hayward had "informed Mr Taylor of the board's concern over the team's performances and position", after which Taylor "tendered his resignation in the best interests of the club".

Taylor, alluding to the abuse directed towards him by some supporters, then said: "This is sad because it has as much to do with matters off the pitch as those on it. Obviously the team have not been playing well. But, only 13 weeks into the season, we are still in all competitions. Our recent run of two defeats in 13 games is not as bad as our sterner critics claim.

"A return of confidence among players who last year enabled Wolves to have their best season for over a decade is of prime importance. If it does return, I see no reason why promotion cannot be gained this season. However, a team cannot gain confidence if the board and a section of fans do not have confidence in their manager."

This time last year, Wolves led the table, only to finish fourth and miss out in the play-offs. Despite an overall outlay of pounds 7.5m on players, Taylor has been unable to take them higher than 12th this season. The relative success of two local rivals, West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham, added to the pressure on him, and Taylor admitted before what proved to be his swansong that there was an "undercurrent of feeling" against him.

His assistant, Bobby Downes, will take charge on a caretaker basis, but is not a serious contender in the long term. Prior to appointing Taylor, Wolves' owner, Sir Jack Hayward, considered offering the job to Bryan Robson, and may now be tempted to take a chance on such a figure, perhaps even a player-manager.

If so, the names of Steve Bruce, Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle are likely to figure strongly in his thoughts, although there may be an internal candidate. John de Wolf, the 32-year-old Dutch defender Taylor signed from Feyenoord last December, now rivals Steve Bull in the affections of supporters, and was the only player applauded off the pitch on Sunday.

In his programme notes, Jonathan Hayward hinted at a wider role for de Wolf: "He may yet pull this team from the edge of the cliff by the scruff of its neck into the land of milk and honey."

Should Wolves seek a more tried and trusted figurehead, Ron Atkinson would be an obvious choice. Having served as an apprentice at Molineux under Stan Cullis, Atkinson may find the attraction mutual. He also has the let-out in his current post at Coventry of having installed a ready- made successor in Gordon Strachan.

Meanwhile, among compromise candidates touted in the Midlands last night were Danny Wilson, the Barnsley player-manager, Huddersfield's Brian Horton and Millwall's Mick McCarthy.

Taylor's credibility gap, page 26

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect