Original article published 20 October 2022
Wolves' pursuit of a replacement for Bruno Lage is set to rumble on longer, with reports QPR boss Michael Beale has rejected the chance to talk to the club about the vacant managerial position.
Just over two-and-a-half weeks since Lage was relieved of his duties after 16 months in charge following a disappointing start to the Premier League season, the club’s hierarchy had appeared to have found their man to replace him before 42-year-old Beale rebuffed their advances.
After leaving his role as Steven Gerrard’s trusted assistant manager at Aston Villa to take up his first job as a manager in his own right at QPR, Beale has overseen an impressive start to the Championship season at Loftus Road with his charges sat top of the league after 15 games played.
The Wolves board will now turn their attention towards recruiting an alternative to Beale, with the Black Country club having won just two of their opening 11 Premier League matches.
On the books of Charlton Athletic for three years as a youth player, Michael Beale also had short trials at FC Twente and at clubs in the United States before calling an end to his playing days aged 21.
Making his first foray into coaching by setting up a futsal club for children in his hometown of Bromley in South London, the quality of his sessions saw him catch the attention of Chelsea Academy bosses who offered Beale a role nurturing the club’s Under-7s and Under-9s.
After 10 years at Chelsea, helping develop young talents such as Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke, Beale moved on to coach Liverpool’s youth teams.
Beale’s time at Liverpool would see him form working relationships with Anfield icons past and future – rubbing shoulders with fellow youth coach Steven Gerrard whilst mentoring a young Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Beale’s interaction with Gerrard would prove a significant, as following a six-month spell as Rogerio Ceni’s assistant manager at Sao Paulo he was contacted by the Liverpool legend to join him as his number two at Scottish giants Rangers.
A major figure as Rangers went unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership in 2020-21 to deliver a record 55th title and deny arch rivals Celtic from doing 10 in a row, Beale would go on to follow Gerrard to Premier League club Aston Villa.
After around six months at Villa Park, Beale decided to stand on his own two feet and take the plunge into management at Queens Park Rangers in the Championship.
QPR’s early-season form has raised eyebrows up and down the country, with just four defeats from their opening 15 games seeing them top the Championship table.
It wouldn’t take a football genius to identify what Wolves’ most glaring problems are on the park at present, with their total of five goals in the Premier League so far the lowest tally throughout the division.
This attacking profligacy is an issue which needs urgently addressed, with the introduction of Beale’s progressive coaching philosophy perhaps viewed as an ideal bridge towards breathing some much-needed freshness into this Wolves side going forward.
Beale’s preferred playing style revolves around high energy and an attacking intensity which is exciting to watch, comparable to that of his former boss at Liverpool Jurgen Klopp.
His proficiency in Portuguese following his spell at Sao Paulo is also likely to have bolstered his credentials for the job, with a contingent of 10 players from Portugal currently making up Wolves' first team squad.
Wolves bosses will now be forced to find a similarly suitable candidate to take on the job following Beale's decision to stay with Championship leaders QPR.
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