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Championship 2012/13 Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers


Club: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Last season position: 20th (relegated)

Recent history:

Wolves gained promotion to the premier league as champions in the 2008/09 season and enjoyed a three year stay in the promised land, which came to a miserable end last season. Mick McCarthy was relieved from his position on February 13th after a winless streak of 9 and the search for McCarthy’s long-term replacement proved difficult causing the club to appoint Terry Connor, previously McCarthy’s number two, as caretaker manager.
Things went from bad to worse and the club ended the season with a whimper as they were relegated by eventual title winners Manchester City with 3 games left to play, goals form Aguero and Nasri confirmed relegation.
Stale Solbakken was eventually appointed the full time successor of Mick McCarthy early on in the summer.

Manager profile:

Stale Solbrakken, who? Was the general reaction to this appointment, bar perhaps a few German football fanatics, and on first glance Wolves fans would have perhaps been rather worried as the new gaffer, who had just seen his Koln side relegated to the second tier of German football, was announced.
Solbrakken is said to be a humorous character and, despite being under fire for Koln, troubles handles media very well and remains composed and honest with press. This trait of being upfront and honest will be interesting to observe from afar as if things don’t start well for wolves tensions could potential rise early in the dressing and board room, although he perhaps can’t be that bad to work based on new loan signings Peszko linking up with Solbrakken again after working with him at Koln.

Summer transfer activity:

Frank Nouble ..... West Ham ..... Free
Jamie Tank ..... Walsall ..... Undis
Bjorn Sigurdarson ..... Lillestrom ..... Undis
Tongo Doumbia .... Rennes ... Loan
Slawomir Peszko …. Koln … Loan

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing ..... Peterborough ..... Undis
Ashley Hemmings ..... Walsall ..... Free
Adlene Guedioura ..... Notts Forest ..... Undis
Sam Vokes .... Burnley .... Undis
Michael Kightly .... Stoke .... Undis

Expected line-up:

Hennessey, Ward, Baath, Stearman, Foley, Doumbia, Henry, O’Hara, Peszko, Doyle, Sigurðarson.

Expected Tactics/Formation

Solbrakken is said to be very stubborn in his tactics and is a strong believer in a 442 or 4411 system with two banks solid banks of four, he also renowned for setting his teams up to ‘get in the face’ of the opposition to try and force mistakes which his side can then punish with a counter attacking philosophy.

What are the fans saying?

Many fans, understandably so, are unsure of what to expect from the new gaffer and the team for this season, although play offs seems to be the absolute minimum expectation.
Despite the loss of Michael Knightly and potentially one or two others, the squad has mainly been kept in tact and fans are hoping new signings, such as midfielder Peszko and striker Bjorn Siguradarson, can bring more attacking prowess to the side and fire the club back into the premier league at the first attempt.

Main forum:

Odds: 10/1 champions, 10/11 top 6


A good start will be vital for wolves, the quicker the players are able to buy into the way Solbrakken wants to play the better it will be for the clubs promotion chances and it seems the club may have the right bunch of players which will suit the new gaffers tough tackling, in your face style, counter attacking style.
Assuming everything goes to plan Wolves could prove a really tough side to play against, especially in the ‘business end’ of the season where it’s all about grinding out results.
I predict Wolves to be pushing for an automatic spot through the season, although just miss out and finish 3rd.

Compiled by: @DartfordAddick


  • Strange choice of manager. He'll be a disaster. What should be a club striving for promotion with great fans, great stadium, a great history .. will slide into mid table mediocrity
  • Play offs
  • Was in charge of Copenhagen for 6 seasons and won the title 5 times. They still have a very strong Championship side so can't see them struggling. Sylvain Ebanks-Blake was top scorer in the Championship in his last 2 seasons at this level and can see him going close again. And with Jarvis and Fletcher leaving for ridiculous sums I expect more signings from them before the transfer window shuts.
  • Can't quite believe that they've turned down the ridiculous offers they have for Jarvis and Fletcher. They'll be gone soon and if they invest that kind of money wisely they'll finish as champions just in front of Birmingham for me.
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Roland Out!