Jeff Shi explains why Wolves actually hired Gary O’Neil in odd new column

Jeff Shi has provided insights into Wolves’ decision to bring Gary O’Neil on board as the manager in his inaugural column for the Express & Star. This is a departure from his usual low-profile approach, as Shi rarely discusses the club’s affairs publicly. Some fans have expressed a desire for more transparency from the club’s leadership, and Shi’s new quarterly column is a positive step in that direction.

However, the content of Shi’s first column may raise some eyebrows. It delves into unrelated topics, such as his experiences with the Championship Manager 03/04 game and meeting friends in the music industry during a visit to Liverpool. While there is a fair amount of filler material, Shi does touch on the decision to appoint Gary O’Neil as manager.

Gary O'Neil vows to make Wolves even fitter as he prepares for his first  game in charge of the club after Julen Lopetegui's sensational exit with  Erik ten Hag's Man United looming

Shi’s rationale for this choice centers on the belief that the football industry has entered an era where teamwork is more important than individual talent. He emphasizes the club’s focus on promoting young English managers, advancing their own staff to senior roles, giving academy players opportunities, and recruiting ambitious players who see Wolves as a platform for their success. This approach aims to build a team with natural chemistry that can quickly adapt to one another, work towards long-term goals, and enjoy the journey together.

The column also acknowledges the fans’ desire for greater communication and transparency, a point of contention in the past. While Shi’s first column may seem somewhat peculiar, as it spends a significant portion discussing the challenges of staying in the Premier League and offers limited substantial information, it does mark a positive attempt to connect with supporters.

It’s worth noting that Shi was not directly involved in the process of hiring Gary O’Neil; that responsibility fell to Matt Hobbs. Some fans might perceive Shi’s comments in this regard as somewhat insincere. Nevertheless, Shi deserves credit for his efforts to engage more with the fan base, even if the initial column’s content may appear tangential and somewhat superficial.

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