In continuation of the serie I started one week ago about the 11 best players Wolves let go a little earlier. The first two pars of this article can be found via : A Very Different Wolves Team – My First XI Part 1 and A Very Different Wolves Team – My First XI Part 2
STRIKER – Andy Keogh (Milwall)
Andy Keogh is a full Irish international striker. In fact Andrew Keogh was a very good player for Wolves, but he seemed to hit a wall after promotion to the Premier League. I firmly believe he should have been given more of a chance to shine and I’m surprised he wasn’t as he is married to the daughter of Mick McCarthy. Dublin born Keogh left home at 16 to sign for Leeds United. He failed to break into their first team and subsequently was sent out loan to Scunthorpe United and later Bury where he was earmarked to replace the outgoing David Nugent. It was while on loan at Bury that Scunthrope secured his services for a fee said to be around £50,000. He truly made his mark in the 2005/06 season and formed a formidably partnership with Billy Sharp. Scunthorpe were to be promoted as champions and Keogh played an integral part in that. His team finishing the season with 91 points. Wolverhampton Wanderers had two bids for Keogh turned down in January 2007 and came back with an improved third offer which was accepted. Keogh made the switch and made an immediate impact. Keogh earned many plaudits for his displays that season and helped Wolves to the play-offs which they eventually lost to arch rivals West Brom. Formerly QPR manager John Gregory described Keogh as “one of the signings of the season”. The 2008/09 season saw Keogh chances limited with the arrival of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Chris Iwelumo and the pair of them topped the Championship scoring charts. However it may seem Keogh still featured in 42 of the 46 games in Wolves’ title winning season. He scored the first goal of Wolves’ return to Premier League and their first away win in the league in a 1-0 victory at Wigan. Wolves again bolstered their attack and with Kevin Doyle and Steven Fletcher now leading the line it looked like Keogh’s days were over. He went out on loan to promotion chasing Cardiff to replace the departed Ross McCormack. This move didn’t go well for the Irishman as he found himself down the pecking order in the Welsh capital with Jay Bothroyd, Michael Chopra, Chris Burke and Craig Bellamy all ahead of Keogh. Another loan move saw Keogh return to Leeds United where he was used mainly as a left winger due to Luciano Becchio and Ross McCormack being the main strikers. A permanent deal between the two sides could never be agreed. On the final day of the January 2012 transfer window Keogh joined Championship club Milwall. Since joining from Wolves, he has made a strong partnership with Tottenham loanee Harry Kane. He has so far scored 16 league goals for them. One that Wolves fans will never forget, Keogh scored in the only goal in a 1-0 win over Wolves at Molineux in 2012. There seems to be a tradition building of ex-players coming back and biting us in the butt.
STRIKER – Jermaine Easter (Crystal Palace)
Cardiff born Easter, signed to Wolves as a trainee. Easter was released and joined Hartlepool in March 2001. Two years on from then and yet to start a first team game he signed a new two year deal in 2003. He spent a very short loan at Cambridge United and when he returned his contract was terminated by Hartlepool a year early. He promptly rejoined Cambridge on a one year contract. In March 2005 Cambridge allowed Easter to end his contract early so he could sign for Boston United for the remainder of the season. Easter chose not to extend his stay at Boston instead decided to sign for Stockport County. After many clubs in no time what so ever Easter left Stockport in January 2006 to sign for Wycombe Wanderers after rejecting moves to Oxford United and Bristol City respectively. It was at Wycombe where Easter enjoyed his best goal scoring form. His most famous goal coming in the League Cup semi against Chelsea in a 1st leg draw. This goal meant Easter had been successful in scoring in every round of the competition and it crushed Chelsea’s record of keeping a clean sheet in every round of the competition. In January 2007 Easter was the subject of transfer speculation over possible moves to Premier League sides Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers. However he remained at Wycombe and was named in the PFA League Two Team of the Year 2006/07, he also won Players’ Player of the Season. Easter joined Plymouth on loan the following season with the view to a permanent deal. He then went on to sign on a permanent basis. During his time there he was loaned out to Milwall and Colchester United and eventually left after handing in a transfer request. MK Dons was the next stop for the journeyman striker and he had a good stint at the club making 50 league appearances scoring 15 goals. With his contract at stadium MK nearing an end Easter joined Championship promotion challengers Swansea City. Despite being born in Cardiff, Easter described the move as a “no brainer”. He was keen to sign for the South Wales club on a permanent basis, but a move never materialised and he was sent back to MK Dons. Less than 24 hours after returning Easter signed for Crystal Palace on a two and half year deal. He has since scored 10 goals for them in 59 games. Easter has been capped by Wales. Although Wolves never really thought about keeping the small forward and perhaps they made the right decision to let him. He’s defied the critics. He’s a goal scorer with 96 to his name, and counting, something that Wolves could do with in this day and age.
Written By Gareth Wood