2012–13 Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. season

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Wolverhampton Wanderers
2012–13 season
Chairman Steve Morgan OBE
Manager Ståle Solbakken
(until 5 January)
Dean Saunders
(from 7 January)
Football League Championship 23rd
(relegated)
FA Cup 3rd round
League Cup 3rd round
Top goalscorer League: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (14)
All: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (15)
Highest home attendance 28,595 (vs Ipswich,
29 December 2012)
Lowest home attendance 11,555 (vs Aldershot,
11 August 2012)
Average home league attendance 21,662
Home colours
Away colours

The 2012–13 season was the 114th season of competitive league football in the history of English football club Wolverhampton Wanderers. The club competed in the second tier of the English football system, the Football League Championship. They had returned to the second level having been relegated from the Premier League after three seasons during the previous season.

Norwegian manager Ståle Solbakken was appointed to begin the season as the club's manager,[1] but he was sacked on 5 January with the team in 18th place and having been eliminated from the FA Cup by a non-league club.[2] He was swiftly replaced by former Doncaster Rovers manager Dean Saunders who oversaw the remaining twenty games.[3]

After Saunders failed to bring any upturn, the club suffered relegation for a second successive season to drop into the third level for the first time since 1988–89.[4] This made them the only club to twice experience back-to-back relegations from the top flight, having already suffered this previously in the mid 1980s.[5] Three days after their relegation was confirmed, Saunders was fired having held the post for only four months.[6]

Season review[edit]

Former Norwegian international Ståle Solbakken began the season as Wolves' new manager.

Having been relegated from the Premier League after three seasons, the club sought to put a new playing style in place under new manager Ståle Solbakken[7] who officially became the permanent replacement for Mick McCarthy on 1 July.[1] In contrast to McCarthy's preference for British and Irish players, the Norwegian used the foreign market for all of his summer signings, with Bakary Sako,[8] Razak Boukari,[9] Björn Sigurðarson[10] and Georg Margreitter[11] signing permanent deals as well as the loan captures of Tongo Doumbia and Sławomir Peszko.[12][13] Despite these incomings, the transfer window saw the sale of several key players with leading goalscorer Steven Fletcher exiting for a club record £14 million fee,[14] and both Matt Jarvis and Michael Kightly also remaining in the Premier League with new clubs.[15][16]

The players began pre-season training on 9 July,[17] which featured a week at a training camp in Ireland.[18] After four pre-season matches, their first competitive game of the campaign saw the team narrowly win a League Cup tie against Aldershot after a penalty shootout.[19] League football began on 18 August with a 0–1 defeat at Leeds,[20] before the team registered their first victory at Molineux in nine months by beating Barnsley.[21]

After an inconsistent start September brought a run of four consecutive victories to lift the team up the table. Victory at fellow newly relegated club Blackburn in early October placed Wolves in third place, which was to be their highest position of the season. These results came at a price as their injury list grew with Razak Boukari, Stephen Hunt[22] and Sławomir Peszko[23] all sidelined with long-term problems. Winger Jermaine Pennant was therefore loaned to help but the team hit a poor run of form and failed to win any of their next ten fixtures.[24]

December began with a halting of this poor sequence as three wins were recorded from four games, but their three games over the festive period were all lost, leading Solbakken to declare that they were "in a crisis".[25] When the following game - a loss at Luton - brought their first exit from the FA Cup to a non-league side since 1986,[26] he was fired as manager after six months in the role.[2] He later expressed disappointment at owner Steve Morgan offering him such a limited period of time to oversee a reshaping of the club's playing culture and identity.[27]

In contrast to the club's criticised two-week-long recruitment process after the dismissal of Mick McCarthy,[28] Solbakken's replacement was swiftly announced within two days as former Doncaster Rovers' manager Dean Saunders was unveiled on 7 January as Wolves' fourth different manager within twelve months.[3] Steve Morgan defended the changes and stated that he hoped Saunders would be with the club "for a long period of time".[29]

Dean Saunders became Wolves' second manager of the season.

At the time of Saunders' first game at the helm, the team sat in 18th position six points clear of the relegation zone and nine points from the play-off places.[30] He said that, while he believed promotion still remained possible, "the more likely scenario is we’re going to creep up the league."[31] He soon used the January transfer window to make two loan signings as defenders Kaspars Gorkšs and Jack Robinson were brought in from the top flight.[32][33] The manager's first game brought a 1–1 draw against Blackburn, which was to be the first of nine winless games under his command.[34]

Saunders' first win arrived at the start of March, by which time the team had slumped into the Championship relegation zone for the first time since October 1999.[35] An upturn in form brought four wins from five games but the form of the other relegation-battling sides meant that Wolves were never any more than a single point above the relegation zone. Injuries to both of their leading goalscorers, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Bakary Sako, further endangered their risk of losing their Championship status.[36][37]

Shorn of attacking options, their final six games brought five defeats which meant relegation for a second consecutive season.[38] A home loss to Burnley in their penultimate match effectively consigned the club to their fate, and led to some supporters storming the pitch at full-time to show their anger at the situation.[39] Only victory on the final day, coupled with defeats for both Barnsley and Peterborough and a five-goal swing in goal difference would have prevented relegation,[40] but in the event, Wolves lost their game at Brighton to become the first club to twice be relegated from the top division to the third level within two years.[41]

Although Saunders initially spoke of his hopes to be allowed to rebuild the team in League One,[42][43] three days later it was announced that he had become the fourth Wolves manager in fifteen months to leave his post.[6] The club announced it would be taking an indefinite time to seek a "head coach" rather than a manager as it sought to restructure in preparation for their first season outside the top two divisions since 1988–89.[44]

Results[edit]

Pre season[edit]

The final pre-season friendly was scheduled to be held on 11 August against Aston Villa, but was cancelled to allow Wolves to instead take up the option of playing their League Cup tie on this date.[45]

"Wolves Development XI" pre season results: 0–2 vs Leyton Orient (25 July), 0–1 vs Kidderminster Harriers (27 July), 4–2 vs Birmingham (1 August), 2–0 vs Telford United (3 August), 3–1 vs Wigan (8 August)

Football League Championship[edit]

A total of 24 teams competed in the Football League Championship in the 2012–13 season. Each team played 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 18 June 2012, but was subject to change in the event of matches being selected for television coverage or police concerns.[46]

Final table
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
21 Barnsley 46 14 13 19 56 70 –14 55
22 Peterborough United 46 15 9 22 66 75 0–9 54
23 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 14 9 23 55 69 –14 51
24 Bristol City 46 11 8 27 59 84 –25 41

Source: Statto

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 14 9 23 55 69 −14 51 7 7 9 30 35 −5 7 2 14 25 34 −9

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 L W D L W W W W L W L D D L L D L L L W W L W L L L D D L L D D L L D W L W W W L L W L L L
Position 17 9 11 19 10 7 5 3 5 3 5 5 8 9 13 15 16 17 18 17 16 18 13 15 17 18 17 17 18 19 21 21 22 22 22 21 21 23 22 18 19 23 21 22 23 23

Source: Statto.com
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: D = Draw; L = Loss; W = Win; P = Postponed.

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 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 DF Cameroon Elokobi, GeorgeGeorge Elokobi ¤ 1(1) 0 0 0 1 0 2(1) 0 0 0
4 MF Wales Edwards, DavidDavid Edwards 14(10) 2 0 0 1 0 15(10) 2 1 0
5 DF England Stearman, RichardRichard Stearman ¤ 8(4) 1 0 0 3 0 11(4) 1 1 0
6 DF England Craddock, JodyJody Craddock 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 MF England Kightly, MichaelMichael Kightly 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 MF Poland Peszko, SławomirSławomir Peszko 7(6) 0 0(1) 0 1(1) 0 8(8) 0 3 0
8 MF England Henry, KarlKarl Henry (c) 36(3) 0 1 0 1 0 38(3) 0 8 1
9 FW England Ebanks-Blake, SylvanSylvan Ebanks-Blake 31(9) 14 1 0 1 1 33(9) 15 6 0
10 FW Scotland Fletcher, StevenSteven Fletcher 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 MF France Sako, BakaryBakary Sako 36(1) 9 1 0 0(1) 1 37(2) 10 3 0
11 DF Republic of Ireland Ward, StephenStephen Ward 37(2) 2 1 0 1 0 39(2) 2 2 1
12 MF Republic of Ireland Hunt, StephenStephen Hunt 8(4) 1 0 0 1(1) 0 9(5) 1 1 0
13 GK Nigeria Ikeme, CarlCarl Ikeme 38 0 1 0 2 0 41 0 0 0
14 DF England Johnson, RogerRoger Johnson 42 2 1 0 1 0 44 2 7 1
15 FW Iceland Sigurðarson, BjörnBjörn Sigurðarson 22(15) 5 0 0 2 0 24(15) 5 2 0
16 DF Scotland Berra, ChristopheChristophe Berra 30 0 1 0 0(1) 0 31(1) 0 1 1
17 MF England Jarvis, MattMatt Jarvis 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
17 MF Togo Boukari, RazakRazak Boukari 2(2) 0 0 0 2 0 4(2) 0 2 0
18 FW England Nouble, FrankFrank Nouble 0(2) 0 0 0 1(2) 1 1(4) 1 0 0
18 GK Slovakia Kello, MariánMarián Kello 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
19 MF England Hammill, AdamAdam Hammill ¤ 0(4) 0 0 0 0 0 0(4) 0 0 0
20 MF Serbia Milijaš, NenadNenad Milijaš 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
20 MF England Pennant, JermaineJermaine Pennant 10(5) 0 0 0 0 0 10(5) 0 2 0
20 DF England Robinson, JackJack Robinson 11 0 0 0 0 0 11 0 1 0
21 DF France Mouyokolo, StevenSteven Mouyokolo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21 DF Latvia Gorkšs, KasparsKaspars Gorkšs 15 0 0 0 0 0 15 0 2 0
22 MF Iceland Jónsson, EggertEggert Jónsson ¤ 0(1) 0 0 0 1 0 1(1) 0 1 0
23 DF Guadeloupe Zubar, RonaldRonald Zubar 7(1) 0 0 0 2 0 9(1) 0 0 0
23 MF France Dicko, NouhaNouha Dicko 1(3) 1 0 0 0 0 1(3) 1 1 0
24 MF England O'Hara, JamieJamie O'Hara 15(5) 0 1 0 0 0 16(5) 0 5 1
25 DF England Batth, DannyDanny Batth 5(7) 1 0 0 2 1 7(7) 2 0 0
26 MF England Davis, DavidDavid Davis 12(16) 0 0(1) 0 3 0 15(17) 0 4 0
27 MF Republic of Ireland Forde, AnthonyAnthony Forde ¤ 1(11) 0 1 0 2(1) 0 4(12) 0 0 0
28 MF Mali Doumbia, TongoTongo Doumbia 27(6) 2 0 0 1(1) 0 28(7) 2 2 0
29 FW Republic of Ireland Doyle, KevinKevin Doyle 40(2) 9 1 0 1 0 42(2) 9 2 0
30 DF Republic of Ireland Doherty, MattMatt Doherty ¤ 13 1 0 0 0 0 13 1 5 0
31 GK Netherlands de Vries, DorusDorus de Vries 8(2) 0 0 0 1 0 9(2) 0 0 0
32 DF Republic of Ireland Foley, KevinKevin Foley 24(2) 0 1 0 0 0 25(2) 0 1 0
33 DF England Reckord, JamieJamie Reckord ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
34 DF Austria Margreitter, GeorgGeorg Margreitter 0(1) 0 0 0 2 0 2(1) 0 0 0
35 FW Wales Cassidy, JakeJake Cassidy ¤ 3(3) 0 0(1) 0 0 0 3(4) 0 0 0
36 GK Republic of Ireland McCarey, AaronAaron McCarey ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
37 FW England Winnall, SamSam Winnall ¤ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
39 DF England Ihiekwe, MichaelMichael Ihiekwe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
41 MF England Price, JackJack Price 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
42 MF Sweden Jakobsson, TimTim Jakobsson 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
43 GK Slovenia Cotman, AljažAljaž Cotman 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
44 DF Slovakia Koštrna, KristiánKristián Koštrna 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
45 DF Wales Cranston, JordanJordan Cranston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
46 MF England Whittall, SamSam Whittall 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
47 MF England Ismail, ZeliZeli Ismail ¤ 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0(1) 0 0 0
48 FW England Kempton, JakeJake Kempton 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
49 FW Northern Ireland McAlinden, LiamLiam McAlinden 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0
50 DF England Tank, JamieJamie Tank 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Awards[edit]

Award Winner[47]
Fans' Player of the Season Bakary Sako

Transfers[edit]

In[edit]

Date Player From Fee
22 June 2012 England Frank Nouble West Ham United Free[48]
17 July 2012 Iceland Björn Sigurðarson Lillestrøm £2.4 million[10]
24 August 2012 Austria Georg Margreitter Austria Vienna £500,000[11]
27 August 2012 Togo Razak Boukari Rennes Undisclosed[9]
29 August 2012 France Bakary Sako Saint-Étienne £2.7 million[8]
13 November 2012 Mali Tongo Doumbia Rennes £2 million[49]
28 March 2013 Slovakia Marián Kello Unattached Free[50]

Out[edit]

Date Player To Fee
June 2012 England Ashley Hemmings Released Free[51]
June 2012 England James Spray Released Free[51]
11 June 2012 England Louis Harris AFC Wimbledon Free[52]
6 July 2012 England Nathaniel Mendez-Laing Peterborough United Undisclosed[53]
23 July 2012 Algeria Adlène Guedioura Nottingham Forest Undisclosed[54]
31 July 2012 Wales Sam Vokes Burnley £350,000[55]
8 August 2012 England Michael Kightly Stoke City Undisclosed[16]
24 August 2012 England Matt Jarvis West Ham United £10.75 million[15]
24 August 2012 Scotland Steven Fletcher Sunderland £14 million[14]
30 August 2012 Serbia Nenad Milijaš Released Free[56]
8 January 2013 England Frank Nouble Ipswich Town Undisclosed[57]
30 January 2013 France Steven Mouyokolo Released Free[58]
30 January 2013 Guadeloupe Ronald Zubar Ajaccio Free[59]

Loans in[edit]

Date Player From End Date
30 July 2012 Mali Tongo Doumbia Rennes 13 November 2012[12]
9 August 2012 Poland Sławomir Peszko Köln End of season[13]
12 October 2012 England Jermaine Pennant Stoke City 12 January 2013[24]
12 February 2013 Latvia Kaspars Gorkšs Reading End of season[32]
18 February 2013 England Jack Robinson Liverpool End of season[33]
28 March 2013 France Nouha Dicko Wigan Athletic End of season[50]

Loans out[edit]

Date Player To End Date
21 July 2012 Scotland Leigh Griffiths Hibernian 20 January 2013[60]
2 August 2012 Wales Jake Cassidy Tranmere Rovers 1 January 2013[61]
6 August 2012 Northern Ireland Johnny Gorman Plymouth Argyle 6 January 2013[62]
31 August 2012 England Adam Hammill Huddersfield Town 13 January 2013[63]
21 September 2012 England Jamie Reckord Coventry City 30 November 2012[64]
26 September 2012 Cameroon George Elokobi Bristol City 27 December 2012[65]
28 September 2012 England Sam Winnall Shrewsbury Town 28 October 2012[66]
4 October 2012 Republic of Ireland Matt Doherty Bury 3 January 2013[67]
9 November 2012 England Ethan Ebanks-Landell Bury 3 January 2013[68]
9 November 2012 Iceland Eggert Jónsson Charlton Athletic 6 December 2013[69]
16 November 2012 Republic of Ireland Aaron McCarey Walsall 31 December 2012[70]
22 November 2012 England Zeli Ismail Milton Keynes Dons 2 January 2013[71]
4 January 2013 England Zeli Ismail Milton Keynes Dons 8 February 2013[72][73]
10 January 2013 England Ethan Ebanks-Landell Bury End of season[74]
29 January 2013 England Richard Stearman Ipswich Town End of season[75]
31 January 2013 Northern Ireland Johnny Gorman Macclesfield Town 1 March 2013[76]
21 February 2013 Republic of Ireland Aaron McCarey Walsall End of season[77]
14 March 2013 Republic of Ireland Anthony Forde Scunthorpe United End of season[78]
15 March 2013 Northern Ireland Johnny Gorman Cambridge United End of season[79]

Management and coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Manager Ståle Solbakken (until 5 January), then Dean Saunders
Assistant Manager Terry Connor (until 3 September), then Johan Lange (19 October–5 January), Brian Carey (8 January onward)
First Team Coach Johan Lange (until 19 October), then Patrick Weiser (19 October–5 January) before role ended
Development Coach Steve Weaver
First Team Fitness and Conditioning Coach Tony Daley
Goalkeeping Coach Pat Mountain
Academy Manager Kevin Thelwell
Assistant Academy Manager / Under-18's Coach Mick Halsall
Club Doctor Dr Matthew Perry
Club Physio Phil Hayward

Kit[edit]

The season brought both new home and away kits manufactured, for the final year of their contract, by BURRDA. The new home kit featured the club's traditional gold and black colours, with the shirt having a gold collar. The away kit was a teal kit, reviving the colours used in their 1996–97 change strip. Both shirts featured the internet gambling company Sportingbet.com as sponsor for the final time.[80]

References[edit]

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