Wolves were one of my picks for promotion this year. The pundits were less certain with only The Football League Paper putting them in an automatic promotion position (2nd). Four Four Two predicted a 4th place finish and The Times had them outside the play off places at 7th. There was a feeling in some quarters that the club was unsettled after all the changes in personnel and the dismal end to last season.
But it's a new era under Norwegian manager Stale Solbakken. He has managed HamKam, FC Copenhagen (where he won five titles and drew with Barcelona in the Champions League) and Cologne. However, Solbakken admits that it will take time for his new systems to bed in: Solbakken .
They have been beset with injuries this season. Whilst there are no new ones, they remain without a host of players, having lost summer signings Slawomir Peszko and Razak Boukari on top of the loss of fellow wide man Stephen Hunt.
No.1 Iceland Addick Olafur Johansson said at the beginning of the season that one to watch was Icelandic whiz kid striker Bjorn Bergmann Siguardsson. In fact, it would be possible to have over a third of a team made up of his family as his half brothers Bjami, Thodur and ex-Wolves midfielder Joey have all played for the Icelandic national team. However, Siguardsson was left on the bench when Wolves went down 2-1 to Huddersfield last Saturday.
In fact Sylvan Ebanks-Blake probably has the better goal scoring instincts. Kevin Doyle supported him well against Huddersfield and linked up well with the midfield. It was Doyle who scored both goals against Bolton in the week. Bakary Sako was an imposing presence and created the one goal, but should have scored himself. He provided one of the assists against Bolton. Tongo Doumbia is a strong presence in midfield and is often used for free kicks.
Given that Wolves conceded two goals against Bolton, one naturally looks at the defence but reports indicate that keeper Carl Ikeme made some excellent saves. Against both Huddersfield and Bolton he faced unstoppable goals as can be the case for any keeper, but otherwise acquitted himself well.
One is left with the impression that Wolves are still a work in progress, but that it should all come good by the end of the season.