Tag Archives: Promotion

The Clubs: Wolverhampton Wanderers

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
152 32 40 80 156 281 -125 136 4

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Matt Jarvis 108
Christophe Berra 96
Karl Henry 94
Stephen Ward 94
Kevin Doyle 93
Jody Craddock 81
Richard Stearman 77
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake 76
Kevin Foley 74
Wayne Hennessey 71

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Steven Fletcher 22
Kevin Doyle 18
Matt Jarvis 15
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake 10
Henri Camara 7
Jody Craddock 7
Stephen Hunt 6
Carl Cort 5
David Edwards 5
Jamie O’Hara 5

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0 Blackpool 26th February 2011 2010-2011
Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 Leeds United 28th December 2003 2003-2004
West Ham United 1-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 23rd March 2010 2009-2010
Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 West Bromwich Albion 8th May 2011 2010-2011
Sunderland 1-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 14th May 2011 2010-2011
Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 Wigan Athletic 6th November 2011 2011-2012
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Middlesbrough 17th April 2004 2003-2004
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Burnley 20th December 2009 2009-2010
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Fulham 21st August 2011 2011-2012
Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-3 Leicester City 25th October 2003 2003-2004

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-5 Chelsea 20th September 2003 2003-2004
Fulham 5-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 4th March 2012 2011-2012
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-5 Manchester United 18th March 2012 2011-2012
Blackburn Rovers 5-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 16th August 2003 2003-2004
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-5 West Bromwich Albion 12th February 2012 2011-2012
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-4 Charlton Athletic 23rd August 2003 2003-2004
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-4 Aston Villa 14th March 2004 2003-2004
Chelsea 4-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21st November 2009 2009-2010
Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6th December 2003 2003-2004
Chelsea 5-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27th March 2004 2003-2004

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Dave Jones 1 1st November 2004
Mick McCarthy 3 13th February 2012
Terry Connor 1 1st July 2012

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 Manchester United 17th January 2004 29,396 2003-2004
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Everton 1st May 2004 29,395 2003-2004
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-3 Arsenal 7th February 2004 29,392 2003-2004
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur 15th May 2004 29,389 2003-2004
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 Manchester City 4th October 2003 29,386 2003-2004
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-4 Aston Villa 14th March 2004 29,386 2003-2004
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Liverpool FC 21st January 2004 29,380 2003-2004
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Newcastle United 29th November 2003 29,344 2003-2004
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-5 Chelsea 20th September 2003 29,208 2003-2004
Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 Leeds United 28th December 2003 29,139 2003-2004

 

Intro

Wolverhampton Wanderers made their Premier League debut in 2003 and in their first season, enjoyed one of their finest results as champions Manchester United were defeated 1-0 at Molineux. Despite having experienced title winners Paul Ince and Denis Irwin in their squad, Wolves were relegated at the first attempt. Another three-year spell followed under Mick McCarthy’s guidance at the start of this decade and they will return to the top-flight after a six-year absence in time for the 2018-2019 season.

 

2003-2004

Wolverhampton Wanderers enjoyed their first top-flight campaign in 20 years and their maiden adventure under the offices of the FA Premier League in 2003-2004. It was always likely to be a season of struggle for manager Dave Jones and his players and that’s how it transpired. Wolves managed just seven league victories all campaign. However, they did pull off the biggest surprise of the season, when Kenny Miller’s second half strike defeating reigning champions Manchester United in January. However, they failed to win a single match away from Molineux and despite beating Everton 2-1 on the penultimate weekend of the season; other results elsewhere condemned Wolves to the drop. They finished bottom and seven points adrift of safety.

 

2009-2010

After five years back in the Championship, Wolves returned to the Premier League in-time for the 2009-2010 campaign with former Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy now at the helm. There were nine new arrivals including a club-record fee paid to Reading for Kevin Doyle. They won their first away match in Premier League history at Wigan Athletic and sat 12th after just six games. A terrible run of form did follow which saw the club drop into the bottom three and McCarthy attracted criticism for fielding a weakened side at Old Trafford and was fined £25,000. It was worth the financial penalty as Wolves beat Burnley in their very next match.

March was the turning point in the season. A draw with Aston Villa and crucial victories away at Burnley and West Ham United lifted Wolves comfortably away from danger. Their survival was confirmed on 25th April when Burnley lost at home to Liverpool FC, meaning the Clarets had no hope of catching the Midlands club. Although they scored the fewest goals in the season (32) of any side in the Premier League, 38 points were gained and Wolves finished a respectable 15th.

 

2010-2011

Five new additions were made in the summer to Wolves’ squad, including the arrival of long-time target Stephen Hunt from relegated Hull City and the £6.5 million capture of Steven Fletcher, equalling the club’s transfer record. Wolves went unbeaten through August but after losing in injury-time to Fulham, went on a run of five defeats in their next six games. It was clear that it was going to be another season of battling against the drop.

McCarthy’s side would excel in games where they were not expected to get any points. They achieved their first win at Anfield since 1984, beat reigning champions Chelsea at Molineux and ended Manchester United’s 29-match unbeaten sequence with a 2-1 success in February. In fact, Arsenal were the only side in the top six to beat Wolves twice during the campaign.

With three games left, Wanderers were in the drop zone but then recorded crucial back-to-back 3-1 victories over West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland to ensure they started the final round of games outside the relegation placings. They faced Blackburn Rovers on a nail-biting final day but experienced a dreadful first half, losing 3-0 at the interval. As results at the other grounds progressed, a one-goal defeat would be enough to keep Wolves in the top-flight. In the 87th minute, Stephen Hunt delivered an unstoppable shot that flew into the back of the net. Despite losing on the day, Wolves had avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth.

 

2011-2012

There was a positive start to Wolves’ fourth Premier League campaign and for a few hours in the opening fortnight, they actually sat top of the table after two successive victories over Blackburn Rovers and Fulham. That was to be the high of what turned out to be a thoroughly depressing and disappointing campaign.

Wolves set an unwanted club-record of failing to keep a clean sheet in 30 successive league matches and also won just one of their last 24 games. After a 5-1 home humbling by Black Country rivals West Bromwich Albion, Mick McCarthy was sacked in mid-February. Alan Curbishley was offered the job but declined to take over and it was left to McCarthy’s former assistant, Terry Connor to guide the club through the remainder of the season.

It was disastrous. He failed to win any of his 13 league matches in control and a 2-0 home loss to Manchester City consigned Wolves to relegation three games before the end of a frustrating season.

Amazingly, a second successive relegation followed in the Championship but Wolves have fought back and will return to the top-flight in time for the 2018-2019 season.

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Premier League Files: Odion Ighalo

Premier League Career: Watford (2015-2017)

Still only 27, Odion Ighalo still has plenty of promise to fulfil and he has already shown this on the Premier League stage with Watford.

The Nigerian began his career in his native country before making his European breakthrough in 2007 with Lyn Oslo in Norway. After spells with Udinese and Granada, Ighalo made the move to Watford in 2014, initially on-loan before becoming a permanent signing after just eight appearances with the Hornets.

Ighalo played a significant part in the club’s promotion to the Premier League, scoring 20 times including four in a 7-2 thumping of Blackpool. He continued where he left off in the Premier League with a goal on his top-flight debut as a substitute in Watford’s 2-2 draw with Everton.

A devout Christian, Ighalo’s partnership with Troy Deeney in the club’s attack was scaring defenders up and down the country. Deeney’s physical prowess and Ighalo’s pace and own power meant they were a difficult combination to defend against. He won the December Player of the Month award in 2015, scoring in four successive matches including twice in a 3-0 triumph over Liverpool FC.

Ighalo ended with 15 goals for the season but his form tailed off in the closing weeks of the 2015-2016 campaign and although he signed a new contract in the summer, his confidence was hurt by personal issues and a change in Watford’s formation.

He netted just once in 2016-2017 against West Ham United before being sold in the January transfer window for £20 million to Changchun Yatai F.C. in the Chinese Super League.

For now, Odion Ighalo’s Premier League career is on-hold but I’ve got a feeling that we haven’t seen the last of him in this country just yet.

The Managers: Sean Dyche

Premier League Clubs Managed: Burnley (2014-2015, 2016-PRESENT)

October 2017 will mark Sean Dyche’s fifth year at the helm at Burnley Football Club. In that time, the former defender has transformed the club from one-season top-flight wonders into a team that is difficult to beat at Turf Moor. Burnley are looking forward to their first back-to-back Premier League campaign and a lot of that is down to the hard work and ethics in Dyche’s management skills.

For him, it is all about the team and not specific individuals and this was a factor throughout his playing career too. He made his professional debut in 1990 and played for six clubs before retiring at Northampton Town in 2007.

Dyche won promotion as a player during his time with both Bristol City and Millwall. In fact, he was part of the Lions’ squad that narrowly missed out on a Premier League place in 2002; losing in the playoff semi-finals to eventual winners Birmingham City.

However, the best spell of his career came at the club where he made his league debut – Chesterfield. He was the skipper of the side that surprised everyone to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1997. Dyche scored a spot-kick in that semi-final against Middlesbrough at Old Trafford that put the Spireites’ 2-0 infront and dreaming of a Wembley date with Chelsea. The match eventually ended 3-3 and Middlesbrough would win the replay at Hillsborough.

Learning the trade at Watford

After hanging up his boots at Sixfields, Dyche went straight into coaching at Watford, beginning to learn the trade by working with the Under-18s. He became assistant manager in 2009 to Malky Mackay and when the Scot left two seasons later to fill the post at Cardiff City, Dyche stepped up into the managerial vacancy.

Considering he was a rookie, the 2011-2012 season was an impressive debut season in management for Sean. Watford finished a solid 11th in the Championship, having been considered among the pre-season relegation favourites. It was their best finish at this level in four seasons. Unfortunately for Dyche, a change in ownership at the end of the campaign led to his dismissal at Vicarage Road. He would be succeeded by former Chelsea playing legend Gianfranco Zola.

After a summer on the sidelines, he was hired by Burnley in autumn 2012, replacing Eddie Howe who had just agreed to return to AFC Bournemouth for a second spell as manager. Four years after Burnley previously graced the Premier League, he guided them back to the top-flight of English football in 2014. Team spirit and getting the absolute maximum out of every single player were the keys to Burnley’s success. Having been tipped to struggle near the bottom-end of the table, the Clarets’ defied the expectations of many to finish runners-up in the Championship to Leicester City.

Bouncing back at the first attempt

So for 2014-2015, Burnley were back in the Premier League. They showed plenty of dogged resistance and determination. It did take until November before they recorded their first win of the season but the Lancastrians’ improved as the season progressed. There was a surprise victory over champions Manchester City in March and a creditable draw at Chelsea.

However, they lacked the overall quality and experience required to mount a successful survival bid. Burnley were relegated two weeks’ before the season concluded but did go down with a fighting 1-0 victory at Hull. That was a result that would ultimately condemn the Tigers’ on a similar journey with Burnley – down to the Championship.

Dyche stuck with the club despite the disappointment of relegation. They added guile in Joey Barton and finishing prowess in Andre Gray to their ranks. Everything clicked perfectly and promotion was earned at the first time of asking. Victory over Queens Park Rangers ensured their return with an unbeaten run in the division from Boxing Day onwards. Also this time, Burnley went up as champions.

The club transfer record was broken twice in the summer of 2016 to snap up Steven Defour and Jeff Hendrick. Burnley have always been very prudent with their spending allowance and this was evident again on their Premier League return. They will not spend silly money but are prepared to make the investment if it will improve team morale and quality.

Home form at Turf Moor was fantastic in 2016-2017. The likes of Leicester City, Southampton, Everton and Liverpool FC were all beaten in Lancashire and many other sides had to work incredibly hard to take points home with them. There was just one away win all campaign but the 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace in April 2017 ensured that Burnley would be playing Premier League football again in 2017-2018.

Burnley have already managed to bring more experience into their ranks in summer 2017. Jon Walters from Stoke City and Swansea midfielder Jack Cork already look like fine buys ahead of the upcoming campaign.

Sean Dyche is currently one of the longest-serving managers at his current club. His work has been highly commended and it will be interesting to see his development and Burnley’s progress in the months to come.