2008–09 Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. season

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Wolverhampton Wanderers
2008–09 season
Chairman Steve Morgan OBE
Manager Mick McCarthy
Football League Championship 1st
(3rd divisional title)
FA Cup 4th Round
League Cup 2nd Round
Top goalscorer League: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (25)
All: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (25)
Highest home attendance 28,252 (vs Doncaster, 3 May 2009)
Lowest home attendance 9,424 (vs Accrington Stanley, 12 August 2008)
Average home league attendance 24,153
Home colours
Away colours

The 2008–09 season was the 110th season of competitive league football in the history of English football club Wolverhampton Wanderers. They played the season in the second tier of the English football system, the Football League Championship. The season turned out to be a major success as the club finished top of the division and were therefore promoted back to the Premier League after a five year absence.

The team enjoyed their best start to the season for almost fifty years, winning seven of their opening eight games and scoring 23 goals in the process. They led the table continuously from October until the season's end, when they were crowned champions, winning their first silverware in 20 years. Leading goalscorer Sylvan Ebanks-Blake also finished as the division's top scorer for a second consecutive season.

Season review[edit]

The close season saw the club continue their policy of signing young players with potential from the lower leagues, rather than pursuing their heavy investment strategy of early times. The close season saw the likes of Richard Stearman,[1] David Jones[2] and Sam Vokes[3] arrive, along with the experience of Chris Iwelumo,[4] while making a transfer profit with the sale of players such as Seyi Olofinjana,[5] Jay Bothroyd[6] and Freddy Eastwood.[7] The squad was also boosted by retaining their most valuable assets in Wayne Hennessey, Michael Kightly and the division's top goalscorer of last season, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.

The season saw the club's strongest start since 1949–50, as a draw away to Plymouth preceded two runs of seven consecutive wins — scoring 23 goals and conceding only seven goals in the first eight games. Transfer deadline day saw the club add further defensive strength as three new defenders joined the ranks — George Friend,[8] Matt Hill[9] and Jason Shackell.[10] Although their winning streak was ended by a 3–0 home defeat to promotion rivals Reading, as well as a 5–2 defeat at Norwich, which saw Wolves surrender top spot to Birmingham City, Wolves rediscovered their winning form for the second run of seven consecutive wins to lead the table at Christmas.

After drawing their final two fixtures of 2008, Wolves endured a dismal start to 2009, winning just once in eleven league fixtures. Trying to arrest this slump, the January transfer window saw the arrival of three new faces: Kyel Reid[11] and Nigel Quashie[12] on loan for the remainder of the season from West Ham United; defender Christophe Berra also joined from Scottish club Hearts for £2.3million.[13] The FA Cup had brought some cheer with a fringe squad winning 2–0 at local rivals Birmingham in the 3rd Round, before the club exited the competition with a 2–1 home defeat to Premier League side Middlesbrough.

Weathering their bad run of league form, Wolves managed to regain an air of consistency, reinventing their game from the free-flowing, free-scoring football of the first third of the season to hold down a string of clean sheets and one goal margin victories against Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday. With promotion rivals Birmingham City and Reading unable to take advantage of their poor run, March saw an upturn in Wolves' league form as the club took 13 points from a possible 15, strengthening their position at the top of the table that they had led since October.

With just seven games left on the Championship calendar, Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood was loaned for the run-in,[14] though the team were also hit by the news that key midfielder Michael Kightly would miss the remainder of the season after suffering a broken metatarsal in his foot.[15] Further injury woe struck when Chris Iwelumo suffered medial ligament damage in a loss to local rivals Birmingham in April that ended a five-game unbeaten run.[16]

Championship trophy presentation at Molineux on the final day of the 2008-09 season.

However, Easter weekend brought 3–0 home win against struggling Southampton, followed by a 3–2 away victory at Derby County that gave Wolves a seven-point lead over third-placed Sheffield United. Promotion to the Premier League was confirmed on 18 April 2009 when a goal from Ebanks-Blake gave Wolves a 1–0 win over Queens Park Rangers. Seven days later, Wolves clinched their first league title since the 1988–89 season — and their first championship at Championship/Second Division level since 1976–77 — after a 1–1 draw at Barnsley brought the point they required for the title.

Wolves completed their season with a 1–0 home win over Doncaster Rovers, after which they were presented with the Championship trophy to crown their most successful season in decades as they returned to the top flight after a five year absence.

Results[edit]

Pre season[edit]

Wolves conducted a short three-match tour of Scotland, their first visit in three years. As had become common in recent years, only their final game was held at their Molineux home. A second "Wolves XI" team largely comprising academy prospects and out of favour senior players also played a series of matches during this period.

"Wolves XI" pre season results (all away): 4–1 v Chasetown (18 July), 1–2 v Rhyl (26 July), 2–0 v Stafford Rangers (5 August)

Football League Championship[edit]

A total of 24 teams competed in the Championship in the 2008–09 season. Each team would play every other team twice, once at their stadium, and once at the opposition's. Three points were awarded to teams for each win, one point per draw, and none for defeats. The provisional fixture list was released on 16 June 2008, but was subject to change in the event of matches being selected for television coverage.[17]

Final table

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 27 9 10 80 52 +28 90
2 Birmingham City 46 23 14 9 54 37 +17 83
3 Sheffield United 46 22 14 10 64 39 +25 80

Results summary

Overall Home Away
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts W D L GF GA GD W D L GF GA GD
46 27 9 10 80 52 +28 90 15 5 3 44 21 +23 12 4 7 36 31 +5

Source: Statto.com

Results by round

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46
Result D W W W W W W W L L W L W W W W W W W D L W W W D D L D L W D L L D L W W D W W L W W W D W
Position 10 4 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Source: Statto.com

FA Cup[edit]

League Cup[edit]

Players[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Key

      ‡ On loan from another club       * First appearance(s) for the club

Correct as of end of season. Starting appearances are listed first, followed by substitute appearances in parentheses where applicable.


No. Pos Name P G P G P G P G A yellow card A red card Notes
League FA Cup League Cup Total Discipline
1 GK Wales Hennessey, WayneWayne Hennessey 34(1) 0 2 0 1 0 37(1) 0 0 1
2 DF Scotland Collins, NeillNeill Collins 20(3) 4 2 0 2 0 24(3) 4 2 1
3 DF Cameroon Elokobi, GeorgeGeorge Elokobi 3(1) 0 0 0 1 0 4(1) 0 0 0
4 MF Wales Edwards, DavidDavid Edwards 23(21) 3 2 0 2 0 27(21) 3 3 0
5 DF England Stearman, RichardRichard Stearman 32(5) 1 1 0 2 0 35(5) 1 6 1
6 DF England Craddock, JodyJody Craddock (c) 17 1 0 0 0 0 17 1 2 0
7 MF England Kightly, MichaelMichael Kightly 37(1) 8 1(1) 0 1 0 39(2) 8 7 0
8 MF England Henry, KarlKarl Henry 42(1) 0 2 0 2 0 44(1) 0 12 0
9 FW England Ebanks-Blake, SylvanSylvan Ebanks-Blake 41 25 0(2) 0 0(1) 0 41(3) 25 2 0
10 FW Republic of Ireland Keogh, AndyAndy Keogh 21(21) 5 1(1) 1 1(1) 0 23(23) 6 3 0
11 DF Republic of Ireland Ward, StephenStephen Ward 38(4) 0 1 0 1 0 40(4) 0 3 0
12 GK England Higgs, ShaneShane Higgs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
13 GK England Ward, DarrenDarren Ward 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
14 MF England Jones, DavidDavid Jones 31(3) 4 2 0 0(1) 0 33(4) 4 5 0
15 DF England Little, MarkMark Little ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 MF England Davies, MarkMark Davies ¤ † 0 0 0 0 0(1) 1 0(1) 1 0 0 [nb 1]
16 DF Scotland Berra, ChristopheChristophe Berra 15 0 0 0 0 0 15 0 4 0
17 MF England Jarvis, MattMatt Jarvis 21(7) 3 1 0 0 0 22(7) 3 0 0
18 FW Wales Vokes, SamSam Vokes 4(32) 6 2 2 1 0 7(32) 8 0 0
19 FW Scotland Iwelumo, ChrisChris Iwelumo 25(6) 14 1(1) 0 1(1) 2 27(8) 16 4 1
20 GK England Murray, MattMatt Murray ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21 DF England Jones, DanielDaniel Jones ¤ 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
22 DF England Shackell, JasonJason Shackell ¤ 3(9) 0 1 0 0 0 4(9) 0 0 0
23 DF England Ward, DarrenDarren Ward ¤ 0(1) 0 0 0 1 0 1(1) 0 0 0
24 DF Wales Edwards, RobRob Edwards 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [nb 2]
24 MF Trinidad and Tobago Edwards, CarlosCarlos Edwards 5(1) 0 0 0 0 0 5(1) 0 0 0
24 MF England Reid, KyelKyel Reid 3(5) 1 1 0 0 0 4(5) 1 0 0
25 MF Republic of Ireland Potter, DarrenDarren Potter ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
26 FW Republic of Ireland Elliott, StephenStephen Elliott 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0(1) 0 0 0 [nb 3]
26 DF England Hill, MattMatt Hill 13 0 1 0 0 0 14 0 2 0
27 DF England Mancienne, MichaelMichael Mancienne 8(2) 0 0 0 0 0 8(2) 0 2 0
27 FW England Harewood, MarlonMarlon Harewood 2(3) 0 0 0 0 0 2(3) 0 0 0
28 MF England Friend, GeorgeGeorge Friend 4(2) 0 1 0 0 0 5(2) 0 0 0
29 MF Republic of Ireland Gleeson, StephenStephen Gleeson ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
30 GK Nigeria Ikeme, CarlCarl Ikeme 12 0 0 0 1 0 13 0 0 0
31 MF Republic of Ireland Salmon, MarkMark Salmon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [nb 4]
31 GK Republic of Ireland Stack, GrahamGraham Stack 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
32 DF Republic of Ireland Foley, KevinKevin Foley 45 1 0 0 2 0 47 1 3 0
33 MF England Gray, MichaelMichael Gray ¤ † 4(4) 1 0 0 2 0 6(4) 1 0 0 [nb 5]
34 MF England Bailey, MattMatt Bailey ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
35 MF England Bennett, ElliottElliott Bennett ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
36 DF England Collins, LeeLee Collins ¤ † 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [nb 6]
36 MF Scotland Quashie, NigelNigel Quashie 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0
37 FW England Hughes, LiamLiam Hughes ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [nb 7]
38 MF England Gobern, LewisLewis Gobern ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
39 MF England Melbourne, AlexAlex Melbourne 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
40 DF England Williams, PeterPeter Williams ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
41 FW England Hemmings, AshleyAshley Hemmings ¤ 0(2) 0 0 0 0 0 0(2) 0 0 0
43 MF England Bennett, KyleKyle Bennett 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
44 DF England Batth, DannyDanny Batth 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
45 DF England Malone, ScottScott Malone ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  1. ^ Davies was transferred during the season to Bolton Wanderers.
  2. ^ Edwards was transferred before the season began to Blackpool.
  3. ^ Elliott was transferred during the season to Preston North End.
  4. ^ Salmon was released during the season.
  5. ^ Gray was initially loaned to Sheffield Wednesday, and later transferred there permanently.
  6. ^ Collins was initially loaned to Port Vale, and later transferred there permanently.
  7. ^ Hughes was released during the season.

Awards[edit]

Award Winner[18]
Fans' Player of the Season Kevin Foley
Players' Player of the Season Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
Young Player of the Season Sam Vokes
Academy Player of the Season Scott Malone
Goal of the Season Andy Keogh (vs Derby County, 13 April 2009)

Transfers[edit]

In[edit]

Date Player From Fee
23 May 2008 Wales Sam Vokes Bournemouth Undisclosed[3]
25 June 2008 England Richard Stearman Leicester City £1.6 million[1]
27 June 2008 England David Jones Derby County £1.2 million[2]
14 July 2008 Scotland Chris Iwelumo Charlton Athletic £400,000[4]
1 September 2008 England Jason Shackell Norwich City £1 million[10]
1 September 2008 England Matt Hill Preston North End Undisclosed[9]
1 September 2008 England George Friend Exeter City £350,000[8]
2 February 2009 Scotland Christophe Berra Hearts £2.3 million[13]

Out[edit]

Date Player To Fee
June 2008 Republic of Ireland Gary Breen Released Free[19]
June 2008 England Keith Lowe Released Free[19]
12 July 2008 Wales Freddy Eastwood Coventry City £1.2 million[7]
15 July 2008 Scotland Charlie Mulgrew Aberdeen £150,000[20]
26 July 2008 Nigeria Seyi Olofinjana Stoke City £3 million[5]
4 August 2008 England Jay Bothroyd Cardiff City £350,000[6]
6 August 2008 Wales Rob Edwards Blackpool Undisclosed[21]
1 September 2008 Republic of Ireland Stephen Elliott Preston North End Undisclosed[22]
January 2009 England Liam Hughes Released Free
January 2009 Republic of Ireland Mark Salmon Released Free
13 January 2009 Hungary Dénes Rósa Released Free[23]
16 January 2009 England Lee Collins Port Vale Free[24]
26 January 2009 England Mark Davies Bolton Wanderers Undisclosed[25]
2 February 2009 England Michael Gray Sheffield Wednesday Free[26]

Loans in[edit]

Start date Player From End date
2 October 2008 Trinidad and Tobago Carlos Edwards Sunderland 20 November 2008[27]
27 October 2008 England Michael Mancienne Chelsea 2 January 2009[28]
27 November 2008 England Shane Higgs Cheltenham Town End of season[29]
15 January 2009 England Kyel Reid West Ham United End of season[11]
22 January 2009 Scotland Nigel Quashie West Ham United End of season[12]
2 March 2009 Wales Darren Ward Sunderland End of season[30]
23 March 2009 England Marlon Harewood Aston Villa End of season[14]
26 March 2009 England Graham Stack Plymouth Argyle End of season[31]

Loans out[edit]

Start date Player To End date
23 July 2008 England Matt Bailey Burton Albion January 2009[32]
29 July 2008 England Elliott Bennett Bury End of season[33]
31 July 2008 England Lee Collins Port Vale 15 January 2009[34]
8 August 2008 Republic of Ireland Stephen Gleeson Stockport County January 2009[35]
22 August 2008 England Mark Little Northampton Town 22 October 2008[36]
18 September 2008 England Darren Ward Watford 29 November 2008 [37]
3 October 2009 England Daniel Jones Oldham Athletic 20 December 2008[38]
7 November 2008 England Peter Williams Kettering Town 30 November 2008
12 November 2008 England Matt Murray Hereford United 12 December 2008[39]
27 November 2008 England Mark Davies Leicester City 24 January 2009[40]
9 January 2009 England Michael Gray Sheffield Wednesday 2 February 2009[41]
15 January 2009 Republic of Ireland Darren Potter Sheffield Wednesday End of season[42]
15 January 2009 England Lewis Gobern Colchester United End of season[43]
30 January 2009 England Darren Ward Charlton Athletic End of season[44]
2 February 2009 England Daniel Jones Oldham Athletic End of season[45]
10 February 2009 England Jason Shackell Norwich City End of season[46]
23 February 2009 England Ashley Hemmings Cheltenham Town 23 March 2009
25 March 2009 Republic of Ireland Stephen Gleeson Milton Keynes Dons End of season[47]

Management and coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Manager Mick McCarthy
Assistant Manager Terry Connor
Fitness Coach Tony Daley
Goalkeeping Coach Pat Mountain
Development Coach, 18–21's Steve Weaver
Academy Manager Kevin Thelwell
Assistant Academy Manager / Under-18's Coach John Perkins
Club Doctor Dr Matthew Perry
Head of Medical Department Steve Kemp
Club Physio Alan Peacham

Kit[edit]

The season saw a new home and away kit, both manufactured by Le Coq Sportif.[48] The away kit was all black with minor neon green piping.[49] Chaucer Consulting sponsored the club for a fifth and final season.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Stearman swaps Foxes for Wolves". BBC Sport. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Wolves complete deal for Jones". BBC Sport. 27 June 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Vokes joins Wolves from Cherries". BBC Sport. 23 May 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Iwelumo completes Wolves switch". BBC Sport. 14 July 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Stoke sign midfielder Olofinjana". BBC Sport. 26 July 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Bothroyd completes Cardiff move". BBC Sport. 4 August 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Eastwood seals switch to Coventry". BBC Sport. 12 July 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "Wolves capture Friend from Exeter". BBC Sport. 2 September 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "Hill surprised to leave Preston". BBC Sport. 2 September 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Wolves capture defender Shackell". BBC Sport. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "West Ham's Reid loaned to Wolves". BBC Sport. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  12. ^ a b "Quashie makes loan move to Wolves". BBC Sport. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Berra completes Wolves transfer". BBC Sport. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "Harewood signs for Wolves on loan". BBC Sport. 23 March 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  15. ^ "Kightly's season ended by injury". BBC Sport. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2010. 
  16. ^ "Birmingham 2–0 Wolves". BBC Sport. 6 April 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2010. 
  17. ^ "Relegated Reading start at Forest". BBC Sport. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  18. ^ "Live From The Awards Dinner!". wolves.co.uk. 30 April 2009. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  19. ^ a b "Wolves have end-of-term clear-out". BBC Sport. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  20. ^ "Aberdeen take Mulgrew from Wolves". BBC Sport. 15 July 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  21. ^ "Blackpool sign defender Edwards". BBC Sport. 7 August 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  22. ^ "Preston sign Elliott from Wolves". BBC Sport. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  23. ^ "Denes Departs". wolves.co.uk. 13 January 2009. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  24. ^ "Collins and Brammer sign for Vale". BBC Sport. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  25. ^ "Davies Joins Bolton from Wolves". BBC Sport. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  26. ^ "Gray makes permanent Owls switch". BBC Sport. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  27. ^ "Wolves complete Edwards loan deal". BBC Sport. 2 October 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  28. ^ "Chelsea loan Mancienne to Wolves". BBC Sport. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  29. ^ "Higgs in, Davies out for Wolves". BBC Sport. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  30. ^ "Wolves sign keeper Ward on loan". BBC Sport. 2 March 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  31. ^ "Stacky's Back!". wolves.co.uk. 26 March 2009. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  32. ^ "Burton bring in Wolves midfielder". BBC Sport. 23 July 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  33. ^ "Bury keep Bennett for the season". BBC Sport. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  34. ^ "Collins makes Valiants loan move". BBC Sport. 31 July 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  35. ^ "Hatters bring in Gleeson on loan". BBC Sport. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  36. ^ "Little leaves Wolves for Cobblers". BBC Sport. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  37. ^ "Loan pair to extend Watford stay". BBC Sport. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  38. ^ "Oldham sign Wolves' Jones on loan". BBC Sport. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  39. ^ "Murray heads for Hereford on loan". BBC Sport. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  40. ^ "Davies Deadline Day Deal Done". LCFC.co.uk. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  41. ^ "Owls sign Gray on short-term loan". BBC Sport. 9 January 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  42. ^ "Owls sign Wolves' Potter on loan". BBC Sport. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  43. ^ "Winger Gobern moves to Colchester". BBC Sport. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  44. ^ "Charlton capture Kandol and Ward". BBC Sport. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  45. ^ "Wolves' Jones returns to Oldham". BBC Sport. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  46. ^ "Shackell Returns To Norwich On Loan". wolves.co.uk. 10 February 2009. Archived from the original on 14 March 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  47. ^ "MK Dons snap up Wolves midfielder". BBC Sport. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  48. ^ "New home kit unveiled". wolves.co.uk. 2 May 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  49. ^ "Away kit". wolves.co.uk. 24 June 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2010.