THE MIDLANDER: It's only November but Wolves' derby date is a six-pointer

20 November 2009 07:54
Mick McCarthy surprised a few of the assembled hacks after Wolves' defeat to  Portsmouth.

'I don't subscribe to the theory that it's been a reasonable start,' he said. 'It's not been good enough.'

That statement seemed harsh at the time, but one look at the fixture list has proved the big Yorkshireman absolutely right. Until the clash against Arsenal a fortnight ago, Wolves had not played one of the big four.

Net pains: Ronald Zubar scores an own goal in the defeat to Arsenal

Now they face Chelsea and, even with Frank Lampard sidelined, it would be a  major, major shock if Carlo Ancelotti's men don't pick up the three points. McCarthy, I think, had seen this coming.

On the face of it, Wolves' start wasn't too bad. But neither, in the grand scheme, were their opponents of the more difficult to be found in the Premier  League.

West Ham's summer had been difficult due to the financial issues that continued to dog the Eastenders. Fulham arrived on the back off a midweek Europa League clash. Portsmouth were  in all sorts of trouble when they pitched up in the Black Country. And Hull City are a team that McCarthy would have targeted for three points.

   More from Neil Moxley. THE MIDLANDER: Warning signs are ominous for Coventry as Coleman soldiers on12/11/09 THE MIDLANDER: Foxes boss makes players wear heart monitors to bed03/11/09 THE MIDLANDER: Time for Nigel Clough to emulate Old Big 'Ead after yet another boardroom upheaval at Derby County29/10/09 THE MIDLANDER: Di Matteo must wise up for West Brom to win promotion21/10/09 THE MIDLANDER: It's tough at the top - as Martin O'Neill is finding out14/10/09 THE MIDLANDER: It's high time Nottingham Forest told Billy Davies his job is safe - or at least banish David Pleat to the shadows02/10/09 THE MIDLANDER: Reo-Coker was wrong to tackle O'Neill - just as I was24/09/09 THE MIDLANDER: Goodbye but not good riddance to Sullivan and Brady16/09/09 VIEW FULL ARCHIVEAway from home, it has to be said that a point from Everton and Stoke respectively is more than creditable. A share of the spoils against Villa, one week after they turned over Chelsea at  Villa Park, is not to be scoffed at, either.

But, as most Premier League managers will tell you, it is how well you perform in front of your own supporters that really defines whether or not your mission will be successful.

Three seasons ago, Birmingham City suffered terribly at home. They didn't win at St Andrew's until they defeated this weekend's opponents, Fulham, in early December.It put them on the back foot throughout the season and, almost inevitably, it was their form on their own patch which ended up costing them.

The point is this. Next week at Molineux against the Blues may not look to be much of a six-pointer. But the fact is that if Wolves don't win, they will have played all of those  teams who will be in and around them at home. And, so far, they have managed to take three points off Fulham.

I fully expect a charged atmosphere next week. I suspect that there is a large chunk of the Old Gold support that will be aching for payback following a strangely toothless display at St Andrew's seven months ago against 10 men following Lee Carsley's inexplicably-horrible tackle on Chris Iwelumo.

It is a game they could really do with winning. 

 I cannot help but think that the new Chinese owners of Bimingham City are throwing good money after bad in pursuing David Sullivan and the Gold brothers.

Surely if they had completed their due diligence properly, they would have discovered any debts that were outstanding and thrashed out an agreement with the club's former owners before handing over the balance of the money due in the sale?

As Sullivan said last week, the City of London Police have been throughthe books at St Andrew's with a fine toothcomb in an effort to justifya massive two-and-a-half year investigation that has, as yet, notresulted in one conviction, although admittedly there is one pending.

Settling in: Carson Yeung is unhappy with the former owners

Sullivan and the Gold brothers have always operated at Birmingham City using cash flow as the guiding financial principle and the suggestions that the Chinese are 'surprised' at having to pump in some cash to help the day-to-day running appears to me to be naive.

They have made a reasonable start. Slashing ticket prices in an effort to win back missing fans, holding discussions with supporter groups to discover why people are so disaffected is a start.

But I can't help think that the former owners have put one over on them. Caveat emptor is the Latin phrase that springs to mind - or 'buyer beware.' They really should have done their homework a bit better.

 Explore more:People:Carlo Ancelotti, Mick McCarthy, David Sullivan, Frank LampardPlaces:BirminghamOrganisations:London police

Source: Daily_Mail