Did Wolves Miss Out On Something Big?
Long-Serving Stowell Now An FA Cup Winner As Well
‘Whoever coaches that Schmeichel geezer……get him a gong for God’s sake’. So said one of the countless texts Mike Stowell had waiting for him when he switched on his phone in the victorious Wembley dressing room on Saturday night.
So Wolves’ most experienced all-time goalkeeper now has FA Cup honours to go with the medal he received for helping Leicester to their stunning Premier League title conquest in 2015-16.
As important as that, he has Kasper Schmeichel under his specialist tutelage – and what a hero, captain and role model the Great Dane has become.
All of which begs the question of why Wolves – in particular Dave Jones – didn’t appoint Stowell to their backroom staff when his record-breaking playing career was drawing to a close approaching 20 years ago.
He was popular with his team-mates, popular with the fans and in love with a club he had served full-time since 1990. He seemed a ready-made fit.
Did Jones feel threatened by him when he went instead for another ex-Evertonian in Bobby Mimms, who did a more than tidy job at Compton and Molineux for some seven years and has in recent seasons had coaching assignments in India and Bangladesh?
History suggests Jones didn’t need to be wary. Just look at the managers who have either appointed or retained Stowell at Leicester…..Rob Kelly, Martin Allen, Gary Megson, Paulo Sousa, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Nigel Pearson, Claudio Ranieri, Craig Shakespeare, Claude Puel and now Brendan Rodgers.
There are many fine operators in that list and some very sound judges. Across 448 League and cup games with Wolves, we learned Stowell had a safe pair of hands – Leicester’s different boards have obviously felt the same with the gloves off as they have installed him as (co) caretaker manager no fewer than five times. What a career he has had in the East Midlands!
There is, presumably, much more to come. He will be on the touchline at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, hoping the Foxes can follow up their weekend win over Chelsea by taking Premier League points off them as well.
They are close to fresh qualification for the Champions League, having already had one prolonged taste of Europe’s premier competition, and the 56-year-old’s working life is becoming ever more fulfilling and, apparently, successful. Not many individuals have left Molineux in recent decades and gone on to get their hands on the FA Cup, either as players or coaches.
Oh…..and that comment at the start of this article. That was the one we sent Mike while Leicester’s players and staff were celebrating on the Wembley turf two evenings ago.
We wish this proud but extremely focused individual only the very best now for the final week of the season and hope his professional dreams continue to come true.
*Almost unbelievably, a Stowell played in goal for Wolves on Saturday. Yes, 13-year-old daughter Ella, a member of Bristol City’s academy, played half the game for both clubs because of a goalkeeper shortage.