Nothing that hasn't been said already, and a bit long, but thought it was worth a post. ------------------------------------------- Why all England should be supporting Wolves Wolves now top the Championship table by seven points, have been sitting top for what seems like months, and yet we are still being roundly criticized by almost everyone else in the division as a poor footballing side, as a team that doesn't deserve a promotion place, as a bunch of over-performers who will be found out soon enough. After a tricky 1-0 win away against a gritty Doncaster team that played with commitment and determination, Doncaster manager Sean O'Driscoll, himself a life-long Wolves fan, called Wolves a team that doesn't "put fear into you." After a 1-1 draw to then-second placed Birmingham, Blues front-man Cameron Jerome claimed that his side were the "Manchester United and Chelsea" of the Championship, belittling Wolves' title ambitions as a side-show. After a 3-1 trouncing at Bramall Lane by a rampant Wolves side that in 90 minutes came only a goal shy of doubling Sheffield United's season home goals against tally, Blades defender Matthew Kilgallon was quoted as saying, "If they are top and 10 points in front, we've nothing to fear." Every one of our league opponents shows a startling lack of respect for us, and Premiership sides look at us only in the context of attempts to poach some of our stars (hands off, by the way, we're not selling). When teams in the Championship start this well, they're always treated with a degree of respect. Why are we different? The truth is, we are what everyone has said they've been waiting for, for years now. How many times have you heard it? English kids don't get their chance any more. If they're not in the squad by 18, aspirants are written-off. Too many foreigners of dubious quality being brought in over the heads of talented homegrown youngsters with potential. Teams concentrate on the next game instead of the next decade. Managers are hired and fired too quickly. Nobody, except maybe Arsenal, tries to play attractive football any more. The litany of complaints along these lines have certainly been around for as long as I can remember. Furthermore, every team in England issues, with great regularity, the now perfunctory declarations, like clockwork, that they consider investment in academies and youth sides vital to the future of their clubs. That they look forward to bringing the next generation of stars up through the ranks. Etc. The reason Wolves are coming in for the abuse that we've been dealt this season is because unlike almost every side in our league or the one above it, we've actually done it. We've built a team of kids made up of our youth system graduates and the young cast-offs of a whole bunch of other clubs, we kept faith with a manager who failed to deliver badly in a season where he was expected to, and, barring injuries, we play some of the best attacking football you'll see outside of the Premiership. Our best starting XI have an average age of 23. Yes, 23. And thatâ€™s even over-inflated by the presence of relatively geriatric Chris Iwelumo. In it are six players from England, two from Ireland and Wales each, and one Scotsman. With the exception of injured left-back George Elokobi, who hails from Cameroon but who got his start playing non-league football in England at the age of 16, and substitute goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, who is registered as a Nigerian, but who was born in England and who graduated from the Wolves Academy, Wolves don't have a single player not from the UK and Ireland. Who are these wonder-kids who are romping their way through the world's sixth biggest football league? You may recognize some of them. They were the ones who weren't good enough for you. Exhibit A: Michael Kightly. Released by Tottenham, then released by lowly Southend. We found him playing at non-league Grays Athletic. Bought him for an initial fee of 25 thousand pounds. The kid who was just not good enough for Southend is now a regular in the England U21 set-up. Whether with us or with someone else, he'll be in the Premiership soon enough. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is next. Man U trainee. Wasn't seen as a having the potential to play at the highest level. Loaned off to feeder club Royal Antwerp, and then sold for a fraction of what heâ€™s worth today. Well, having won last year's Championship golden boot with 23 goals, and now in second place in the Championship top scorer table with 14, SEB is another whoâ€™s forced his way into Stu Pearce's plans for the U21 squad. Matthew Jarvis, Wolves' underrated but deadly utility winger? Rejected by Millwall. Captain Karl Henry? Wasn't good enough for Stoke. David Jones? Another one who slipped through the cracks at Old Trafford. Andy Keogh? Dropped by Leeds. Neill Collins? Roy Keane didn't see it, pawned off by Sunderland. Wayne Hennessey? Our 21-year old full Welsh international keeper, now rated at six million pounds and attracting the attention of Arsenal, Everton, and seemingly the rest of the Premiership? Man City had first dibs at him, before cutting him from their youth system as surplus to requirements. He was picked up by Wolves, progressed through our academy, and, while on loan to Stockport, set a Football League record for consecutive clean sheets. And the rest of our squad, the ones who never had the joy of being cast off as not good enough? We found them from lower leagues. Lower English leagues. Our team isn't populated by old and tired ex-Premiership journeymen, or foreigners looking at us as a stepping stone. No, we have the likes of Sam Vokes, picked up from Bournemouth, Richard Stearman from Leicester, George Elokobi from Colchester, Kevin Foley from Luton. Our manager? The much-maligned Mick McCarthy, who was fired by Sunderland after an admittedly dire season in the Premiership, but a season that he was forced to fight through with a fraction of the finances of any other team in the league. Last season there were calls for Mickâ€™s head from much of the Wolves faithful. Weâ€™d made the playoffs the previous season, weâ€™d strengthened in the summer, but things just hadnâ€™t come together. Injuries to Jarvis and Kightly had left us short of width, we lacked the killer instinct up front. We finished lower than we had the season before, not even making the playoffs in a season for which weâ€™d been tipped to go up in one of the top two places. Any other team in the league would have sacked the manager. Wolves arenâ€™t any other team. When Jez Moxey and Steve Morgan said that they wanted a manager to build around for the long-term, they actually, surprisingly meant it. In fact, they mean most of the things they say. How strange. And thatâ€™s why all the other teams laugh at us, and belittle us, and insist that weâ€™re not a threat. Because weâ€™re not like them. Because weâ€™ve done what they claimed to have wanted to do, but either couldnâ€™t do or werenâ€™t patient enough to do. Our wage bill is pitifully small, but our players are happy. Nobody recognizes our playersâ€™ names, but they seem to top the Actim Index week in and week out. We havenâ€™t spent big, but we keep getting better and better. Debt? Nope, we have millions in the bank waiting to be invested in the club. Foreign owner? Not unless you really hate Liverpool. Boring long-balls? When our team is fit, we play a fast-paced double wing 4-4-2, just like English teams are supposed to. 51 goals in 24 games tells the story, with 24 of those coming in away games. We donâ€™t pack the midfield just because weâ€™re not playing in front of our fans. Oh, and only two draws this whole season. We go for the jugular. Win, or die trying might as well be our motto. We represent, even stuck in the second tier, the best of the English game â€“ what football is supposed to be, but what it hasnâ€™t been for years. We are Wolves, and we are not like you.