Tomorrow’s the day and its the only time in the season when every football fan can feel optimistic as all the teams start equal, even though Wolves do have a distinct alphabetical disadvantage. Thankfully it’s never relegated us, though last season was just too close. I can’t wait and even though it looks like the same old supsects battling for the top honour, a new name in Man City could win it because of thier enormous backing. Anyway I’ve put together a couple of predictions on how the Old Gold will fare including our vey own Glen’s piece which recently appeared in WSC. Me? I’ll be happy with 15th.
Writers’ prediction 15th
Last season’s position 17th
Odds against winning the title 2,500-1
It is a measure of how far Wolverhampton Wanderers have come under Mick McCarthy that this will be the first time since 1982 that they have spent three successive seasons in the top flight. One thing is for sure, the Wolves manager is not the sort of person who will take a fourth Premier League campaign for granted. In fact, there is more chance of him signing up to Twitter, the social networking site that he despises and on which he half-expects a “disgruntled numpty” to reveal his starting line-up at some stage this season.
The reality, though, is Wolves should be much better equipped than the three promoted clubs and also capable of competing on a level footing with the likes of Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion, Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers, none of whom are expected to be tearing up trees in the Premier League this season. More
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Where will they finish?
It’s going to be another hard slog for Wolves this season and with Kevin Doyle missing the opening month or so of the season; it’ll be up to Steven Fletcher to fire in the goals. Another relegation battle. 16th
Keys to the season
Pretty simple advice – shore up the defence, score more goals and beat the teams around you. Last season, Wolves conceded 66 goals and managed just three clean sheets; the arrival of Roger Johnson from Birmingham should help to shore up the defence. While at the other end Wolves only managed to hit the back of the net 46 times – Steven Fletcher ending the season with just 10 goals, while fellow striker Kevin Doyle managing just five, albeit he did miss the majority of the season through injury.
Last season, McCarthy’s side managed to take three points from Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United, but struggled to beat teams around themselves. They’ll need to be much more consistent on this front.
After a successful loan spell in the second half of last season, where he made 14 appearances scoring three goals, Wolves have managed to sign Jamie O’Hara on a five year deal for £5m and to bolster their backline, Roger Johnson has come in from relegated Birmingham and immediately been made club captain.
McCarthy usually favours a 4-5-1 formation with Doyle (when fit) or Steven Fletcher spearheading the attack, tricky wing play and tracking back from the likes of Stephen Hunt and Kevin Foley, then the industrious Jamie O’Hara and Karl Henry in the middle of the park. Crossing was crutial for Wolves last season because according to Opta Joe – the attempted 900 crosses – more than any other Premier League side. More