Wolverhampton Wanderers Home Shirt 2010/2011

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Team Summary

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club formed in 1877 in Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands region of England. They were one of the founding members of the Football League and have three first division titles, four FA Cups and two League Cup wins to their name. They play at club ground Molineux (capacity 30,000) and are nicknamed ‘Wolves’.

During the 1980s Wolves went through a difficult period, triggered by some serious financial difficulties that almost resulted in the club’s extinction. In 1990, however, they were purchased by lifelong supporter Jack Hayward, who immediately set about funding a comprehensive rebuild of the club’s aging and decrepit ground to meet the new government regulations. They saw a turn around in fortunes recently and have been in and out of the Premier League for the last decade or so.

They secured their most recent position in the Premier League in 2009 by winning the Championship title. Last season, against the odds, Wolves finished in 15th position guaranteeing another year of top division football. Many pundits credited Wolves’ survival on a solid defensive element to the team.

Wolves Head Coach: Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy took over as head coach at Wolves in 2006 replacing Glenn Hoddle. Upon his appointment, Wolves were in a sorry state having recently sold the majority of their senior first-team players. Despite the hardship and challenge being faced, McCarthy managed to compile a squad of youth players, lower-league signings and some useful free transfers. The lack of expectation played into McCarthy’s hands as the club qualified for the play-offs in his first season, eventually losing to West Brom over two legs.

It took Mick two more seasons to get his club to the promise land but when he did they did it in style, having led the table for 42 of the 46 league games. Wolves survived relegation with two games to spare least season and their 15th place position represented their best league finish since 1980.

A pragmatic and no-nonsense coach, McCarthy’s teams are characterised by hard-work and responsibility. Born in the working class town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, he represented his home town club over 250 times as a player and also turned out for Manchester City during the mid-1980s. His previous managerial experience includes Millwall, Republic of Ireland and Sunderland.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Style of Play

Wolves are a group of average players that play as a great team. Each player knows his responsibility to contribute in defence as well as attack. Due to the limited financial resources available at the club they will be happy to consolidate their position in the league and build squad depth and quality over time.

Premier League Guide Prediction 2010/2011: 15th

Mick has no doubt already said “Same again please lads”. We think he’ll probably end up being right. Solid and unspectacular.

Wolves: Key Players

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle (26) joined Wolves in the 2009 summer transfer window in a £6.5 million ($9.75 million) from Reading. He spent four years with the Royals scoring 55 goals in 150 appearances and rose the prominence in the 2006/2007 season when he scored 13 goals to ensure Reading survived their debut season in the Premier League. Despite being relegated the following season, Doyle stayed loyal to Reading in a push to help them bounce back into the Premiership. However, his 18 goals in the 2008/2009 season were not enough to get them promoted and Reading accepted a transfer bid from Wolves to seal his move back to the Premier.

Quick across the ground, Doyle also has great aerial ability. In the 2007 season he scored more goals with his head than any other player in England’s entire football league. He has become the spearhead of Wolves’ 4-5-1 formation since his big money move and chipped in with nine goals last campaign despite missing the start of the season through injury.

Born in Adamstown, Ireland, Doyle grew up as a Manchester United fan. He started his career at St Patrick’s Athletic but made his name playing for Cork City – were he scored 25 goals in 76 games. Still only 26 years old, Doyle has represented the Republic of Ireland over 30 times and has eight goals to his name.

Jody Craddock

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Jody Craddock (35) joined Wolves in 2003 – having previously played for lower league team Cambridge United and Sunderland. He is Wolves’ team captain and has forged an impressive reputation as a commanding centre back. Despite his advancing years, Craddock hasn’t looked out of place in the fast paced Premier League and has used his footballing intelligence and strong organisational sense to more than compensate for a lost of pace.

As well as being commanding at the back, Craddock chips in with his fair share of goals from corners and free kicks. Last season he scored sieve goals throughout the course of the campaign which made him second top goalscorer in the entire team – not bad for a centre back. He was rewarded with a new one-year contract extension for his efforts last season and was voted Fans Player of the Year. It is unknown how much longer Craddock will play at the top level for but he hasn’t shown signs of winding down yet. Battler till the end.

Wolves: Ones to Watch

Steven Fletcher

Steven Fletcher Burnley 2009/10 Tottenham Hotspur V Burnley (5-0) 26/09/09 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International

Steven Fletcher (23) joined Wovles on a four year contract in the summer of 2010. He spent the previous season in the Premier League with Burnley for whom he scored an impressive 12 goals in 38 appearances. The fee paid for Fletcher was in the region of £6.5 million ($9.75 million).

Fletcher was born in Shrewsbury, England, but his mother is Scottish and he moved North of the Border as a schoolboy. He came through the ranks with Hibernian, scoring 52 goals in 190 appearances before becoming Burnley’s record signing in 2009.

He has so far made seven senior appearances for Scotland at national level and has one goal to his name. If Fletcher can build on the impressive performances he made for Burnley last season he could offer some much needed support for Kevin Doyle and the two could potentially form a quite formidable strike partnership.

Stephen Hunt

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Like Fletcher, Stephen Hunt (30) joined Wolves in the 2010 summer transfer window from another recently relegated club, Hull City. The fee paid for Hunt was quoted as £3 million ($4.5 million) and he signed a three year contract. Wolves were understood to have tracked the winger for over 2 years failing to land their man on two previous attempts.

Born in Portlaiose, Ireland, Hunt secured his first chance in English football with Crystal Palace towards the end of the 1999/2000 season. He later played for Brentford before joining future Wolves team mate, Kevin Doyle, at Reading in the summer of 2005.

Known for his tenacity, never-say-die attitude and quality set piece delivery, Hunt chipped in with six goals for Hull City last season. He has 25 senior caps for the Republic of Ireland, and has one goal to his name. A real battler, Hunt can be a major asset in Wovles mid-table finish objective.