Wolves in League 1

Wolves suffered their second relegation last season from the Championship and will now be hoping to stop the slump.
Wolves
To do this they have hired Kenny Jackett and this is a fantastic appointment and although I don’t think Dean Saunders was to blame fully for their relegation he should have never got the job in the first place. But I am much more confident that Wolves will finish towards the very top of the table next season under Jackett. He did a very good job at Millwall winning 130 games and during his time their winning promotion to the Championship through the playoffs. He may not be the biggest name or even the most adventurous appointment but he is exactly what Wolves need right now, a steady and consistent manager that may not excite the fans but he will certainly get the points on the board. I was surprised to see him leave his last job but sometimes managers do need a change and I really do hope it works out for both himself and Wolves. In my opinion it would not be a surprise if at the end of the coming season Millwall get relegated and Wolves get promoted.

Jackett does not have it easy because there are still a lot of players at the club that were there in the Premier League and they will be on high wages and need to leave the club. Karl Henry, Stephen Ward, Roger Johnson and Jamie O’Hara have all been transfer listed. Looking at the players that are still at the club and will stay they should still have a good defence with Danny Batth already experienced in League 1 after a loan spell with Sheffield Wednesday and new signing Sam Ricketts a capable player that can do a job in any of the four defensive positions.

Batth has only played 15 times for Wolves

Batth has only played 15 times for Wolves


The midfield is another story though and is looking a little light of experience so they will have to look towards David Davis who has played quite a lot but has maybe not quite shown his true potential. Anthony Forde is another that will have to play to his potential next season because there could be a reliance on him to create chances. He has played 31 times in his career and I would expect him to at least double that number next season. David Edwards will also be crucial to the team if as expected he stays at the club.
Davis has got 1 career goal in 87 games

Davis has got 1 career goal in 87 games


Next season Wolves could play with a young but exciting strike force with Leigh Griffiths coming back from his loan spell at Hibernian. Griffiths should be very confident after hitting 28 goals in 40 games last season. League 1 will be a different challenge but I think he could replicate this form and fire Wolves to promotion. He could be partnered by Jake Cassidy who has played in League 1 before at Tranmere Rovers and over two loan spells scored 16 league goals in 36 games. Kevin Doyle is still at the club but it may be better for both if he left because he has not had a great time and has not lived up to expectation.
Griffiths has only played in one cup game for Wolves

Griffiths has only played in one cup game for Wolves

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How much will Wolves miss Matt Jarvis and Steven Fletcher?

Wolves have sold two of their star performers from last season in Steven Fletcher and Matt Jarvis and although the fans must have half expected it, it is still a blow.

Along with losing Michael Kightly, Wolves have lost a lot of their creativity and may now struggle to create and take chances so manager Stale Solbakken may have to dip into the transfer market once again. One thing Wolves have more than most clubs is that their finances are always very healthy and I’m sure if the manager wants to use the money gained from the transfers to buy players the board won’t have any objections. But spending the money does not always make you successful and they may have good enough options in their squad already.

Upfront Steven Fletcher may be a miss but Sylvain Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle look to be first choice this season and between them they have a good pedigree in the Championship and I am expecting them to score quite a lot of goals. With Frank Nouble and Bjorn Sigurdarson backing them up, I don’t think they will have to bring in another striker or at least pursue another one. If someone becomes available and they think they can do a better job then they will have the funds to sign them so it isn’t all doom and gloom now that they have lost their star striker. But, if they do achieve their ambitions and get back to the Premier League at the first time of asking then they will need a new striker, as Fletcher got 12 goals in 34 games last year and even that didn’t keep them up so that just shows where they had problems.

Fletcher scored 24 goals in two seasons for Wolves

The bigger loss for me at the moment, is definitely winger Jarvis because he was often the spark for the team, he deserves to be in the Premier League and I don’t think he was actively looking to leave the club this summer even though he was in high demand. He has actually started the first two games at the start of the season and as we have seen with a lot of players over the years he could have refused to play and forced through a move. He will be harder to replace but, yet again, maybe they don’t need to. They have Slawomir Peszcko who impressed me on his debut against Leeds United and I think he will improve as the season goes on, and Stephen Hunt who can be very good on his day but he just hasn’t shown enough yet in a Wolves shirt. Also, waiting in the wings is the young Anthony Forde who actually started against Leeds on the opening day so they obviously have high expectations for him.

Jarvis also has one England cap

So, I can see Wolves keeping hold of their money at the moment and if they need extra reinforcements in January to push them on then we may see some movement. Or, if they get promoted then they have a little extra money to make sure they have enough quality to avoid a relegation battle in the next season.