Wolverhampton Wanderers could be heading back to the Premier League for the first time in three years – which is quite the turnaround for the West Midlands club, having only gained promotion from League One last season. Johann Sigurdsson looks at how the last top-flight team at Molineux shaped up.
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Goalkeeper: Wayne Hennessey
The first-choice keeper had an up and down career, which was blighted by injuries, at Wolves. The team went a club record 30 consecutive league games without a clean sheet. Hennessey finally managed to stop the rot against Sunderland, but tore his knee cruciate ligament, making it a season to forget for the Welshman.
Left back: Stephen Ward
Ward joined the club in 2007 from Bohemians in Ireland. He was a mainstay in Wolves’ defence until being sold to Burnley before the start of the current season. He is also a regular for the Republic of Ireland squad.
Centre-back: Roger Johnson
Johnson signed for Wolves in the summer of 2011 and was handed the captaincy almost immediately by manager Mick McCarthy. After he was sacked in February, the defender fell out of favour and featured in only two games until the end of the season. He signed a short-term deal for Charlton after being released at the start of last February.
Centre-back: Christophe Berra
The Scotsman was a first-team regular at Wolves before eventually being sidelined when Dean Saunders, who couldn’t halt their slide to League One, took over in 2013. Berra left the club at the end of the 2012-13 season to reunite with former boss McCarthy at Ipswich.
Right-back: Richard Stearman
Stearman is one of only two players in this team who are still playing for Wolves. Since their relegation to the Championship, he has also spent some time on loan at Ipswich under McCarthy.
Centre midfield: Karl Henry
Henry lost his captaincy to Johnson during pre-season, and things got worse as fans booed him off the pitch when he was substituted in Wolves’ defeat by Newcastle. Current boss Kenny Jackett’s arrival at the club spelled the end of the midfielder’s stay and he signed for QPR – then a Championship side – where he is still plying his trade.
Centre midfield: David Edwards
The other player who is still on the books at Wolves is Edwards and he played an integral part in the side that finished as League One champions last season. The midfielder scored nine goals to help gain his side promotion.
Right winger: Matt Jarvis
Jarvis made his Premier League debut against current employers, West Ham, in August 2009. After relegation to the Championship, he handed in a transfer request, which led to his sale to Hammers.
Left winger: Stephen Hunt
Hunt endured an injury-plagued spell at Wolves, which meant he never really got going for the club. In a recurring theme, he’s another of McCarthy’s former Molineux players who play under him at Ipswich.
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Striker: Steven Fletcher
Fletcher joined from Burnley in 2010 after their relegation to the Championship. His 12 goals could not stop Wolves from relegation, though, and he subsequently joined Sunderland in August 2012.
Striker: Kevin Doyle
The Irishman joined QPR on loan last year, before signing another short-term deal with Crystal Palace this season. He returned to Wolves from his stay at Selhurst Park in January, but in March it was announced that he would be moving to Colorado Rapids in the MLS at the end of the season.
Manager: Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor
McCarthy had been at the club for five-and-a-half years when he was sacked in February 13, 2012 – the morning after being thrashed at home, 1-5 by Midlands rivals West Brom. He has now been the manager of Ipswich for three years.
His assistant manager, Terry Connor, took charge until the end of the season but was unable to stop their slide to the Championship. In late 2012, Connor reunited with McCarthy as the Tractor Boys No2.
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