Stale looks fresh at Molineux
The appointment of Stale Solbakken makes Wolves an unknown quantity at this stage, while uncertainty also surrounds the future of key players.
Barnsley ｜ Birmingham ｜ Blackburn ｜ Blackpool
Bolton ｜ Brighton ｜ Bristol City ｜ Burnley
Cardiff ｜ Charlton ｜ Crystal Palace ｜ Derby
Huddersfield ｜ Hull ｜ Ipswich ｜ Leeds
Leicester ｜ Middlesbrough ｜ Millwall ｜ Nott'm Forest
Peterborough ｜ Sheff Wed ｜ Watford ｜ Wolves
Steve Morgan provides financial stability at Molineux, the 59-year-old Liverpudlian has a net worth of around £350m. However, his actions towards the end of last season raised concerns about his strategical input. The knee-jerk dismissal of Mick McCarthy wiped out six years of managerial stability and the dubious appointment of Terry Connor extinguished any lingering hopes of Premier League survival. Increasingly outspoken, fans will be hoping he stays level-headed and peripheral rather than taking the egotistical route of trying to prove his intelligence.
The appointment of Stale Solbakken is certainly imaginative. The 44-year-old Norwegian achieved great things in five years with Copenhagen and then bombed in a single Bundesliga campaign amid financial crisis an in-fighting at Cologne, but it's difficult to translate those events into English currency. What we do know is that he prides himself on his tactical ability and that should make him an ideal fit for the Molineux crowd who had long become frustrated by McCarthy's short-term weaknesses and his inability to alter the course of matches from the touchline.
Wolves fans have a reputation for being a miserable bunch but supporters don't go to matches with the intention of being unreasonable for the sake of it. Now Solbakken stands to benefit from a clean slate by virtue of his detachment from the previous regime and lack of association with other English clubs. A solid start isn't compulsory, so long as he makes a difference in the course of some matches and shows positive signs of long-term progress come the end of the season.
Uncertainty surrounds the future of several key players with Steven Fletcher, Kevin Doyle, Matt Jarvis, Michael Kightly and Dorus De Vries all being linked with Premier League clubs. And it does Solbakken no favours that most of these issues won't be resolved before September, only then will he be able to make concrete plans. However, the Old Gold boast bags of pedigree and his ability to react to opposition strengths and weaknesses should enable Wolves to find their way into play-off contention once the campaign settles down.
Frank Nouble (West Ham), Bjorn Bergmann Siguroarson (Lillestrom), Jamie Tank (Walsall).
Adlene Guedioura (Nott'm Forest), Nathaniel Mandez-Laing (Peterborough), Louis Harris (Wimbledon), Leigh Griffiths (Hibernian), Ashley Hemmings (Walsall), James Spray (released).
Best of the Bets Show
- For me, it's 1.) Matt Le Tissier 2.) Rod Wallace 3.) Mark Hughes http://t.co/h5Dm8r8oPA Shame about there being no premium bonds though... — 7 hours 50 min ago
- @rpsly @jpmchugh Oh yes, Cheggars. John Peel, Friday afternoon, chilli con carne with extra jalapeños. Mint. — 9 hours 55 min ago
- "But I'm Norwegian. I'm not allowed to go that close to the opponents goal" — 11 hours 53 min ago
- @bizzielizzieFFC It was still awesome! — 12 hours 15 min ago
- @MattPBriggs Keep Parky and that squad together, I don't see much standing between you and top six next term. — 14 hours 6 min ago