It’s looking increasingly likely that by 1st September Danny Batth will no longer be a member of the wolfpack writes Andy Gillard.
Even if he remains at the club, it could be the beginning of the end for the former academy graduate.
With several teams being linked to the big lad from the Black Country he may have played his last in the Old Gold.
Only a couple minutes looking at replies to any of Batth’s tweets (or even more disturbingly, his partners) will show that Danny has become a divisive character around the Molineux over the last few years.
A hero emerges
Joining at the age of 15, Batth has enjoyed the best part of a 12-year relationship with Wolverhampton Wanderers, with several loans along the way before making his first team bow in the famous Gold and Black.
After a few quiet years of producing homegrown players, Danny Batth was a name on the lips of many fans from an early age as the next off manufacturing line – hopefully the next Joleon Lescott.
A couple of League Cup appearances aside, Batth made his first team debut during the disastrous 2012-13 season under Dean Saunders, ending that season with 12 league appearances and a goal.
This time rescuing point at home against Leeds with a last-minute bullet header, this wouldn’t be the last bullet header Batth delivered to get Wolves out of trouble.
Much has been said about that appalling collection of individuals and management who took us down to League One, but the culprit which seemed to typify the toxicity surrounding the club was Roger Johnson.
The man brought in to take Wolves on the next step, to push towards the top half of the Premier League, had now spearheaded his 3rd and the clubs 2nd relegation in a row and caused ructions around the Molineux like never before.
The Era of Danny Batth
Enter Kenny Jackett for 2013-14. Kicking to the curb the likes of Johnson and replacing with young, local players.
This simple act reinvigorated the club and fans like not seen since McCarthy lead the team to Championship glory 5-years earlier.
Breaking records galore, Batth was an integral part of that team.
Starting every league game, bagging a pair of goals and helping secure 25 clean sheets, no wonder he secured himself a place in the League One Team of the Season and earned the respect of the fans, “Danny Batth’s from Brierley Hill” belted out with regularity.
2014-15 began with rumours of Premier League interest in Batth, but Jacket felt Danny was the type of player the club could be built around.
Well renowned author Michael Calvin also suggested to Wolves Fancast that Kenny saw Danny as a leader whilst managing at other clubs.
With Sam Ricketts game time limited, Batth was regularly handed the captains armband.
Another 44 games and 4 goals under his belt, the team overperformed on their return to the Championship and narrowly missed out on the Play Offs by only 4 goals.
With the parachute payments finally gone, and the sale of Batth’s partner at centre half being sold, Wolves in 15/16 was a different beast.
Fans who felt the team should build on the previous year’s achievements and push for the Play-Offs again were in for a rude awakening.
The team finished 14th, and the knives were out for Batth.
Never the most vocal of players, this drew criticism of his captainship, poor performances all round, barely a clean sheet and even fewer goals at the other end.
The club had grown stale, Batth being the symbol of New Wolves under Jackett became the symbol of Stale Wolves.
Two seasons of 15th place followed, and Batth still number one choice and still captain under Zenga and Lambert.
Three managers who saw Batth as the epitome of what they want in their leader – three managers who finished well below what was expected of them.
Batth’s on-field contributions were marginalised under Nuno, but used sparingly had some good moments.
Away at Bolton and Leeds, and goals rescuing a point late on at home against Bristol will be a couple highlights.
Danny’s critics they will point to Bristol and Villa away, where he played like a man desperate to take his chance and trying too hard.
Batth’s appearances drastically reduced, after three seasons of 40+ matches he only achieved 21 in all competitions.
However he represented the club like you’d expect a captain to away from the football pitch.
Always willing to talk to the press and any outreach work and he was there front and centre.
Danny Batth is a 21st century player and a man who has earned more respect than he is often shown.
He has never shied away from the criticism, he has only ever acted in the most professional of ways, and anyone who argues that he gave anything less than 100% needs to rethink such nonsense.
Have Wolves moved past his ability level? Quite probably.
Should he therefore be derided? No chance in hell.
Danny Batth is a big reason why there is a connection between players and fans now, if anyone understands the importance of this club and the community it is Danny Batth.
He is a man who would bleed for the cause, and if he is lining up for someone else come September 1st he will be all in.
From the outside, this is a player who has achieved three promotions in his career, at Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday.
He has his own charity foundation and supports his community.
As a club, a chairman and a manager, that’s a winning ticket.
His new club will get commitment in abundance and maybe away from the pressure cooker of the Molineux a fine centre back.
Listen to the latest episode of Wolves Fancast as we talked Danny Batth’s potential departure and more.
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