Historical Transfer News and Team Gossip has been archived below:
Freshly relegated Wolves have had a nightmare of a season last year with the club achieving its worst points total for many years due to the sides inability to cope with life in England`s top flight. Manager Stale Solbakken has now set about rebuilding his side for a quick return to the premier league and the club are now in talks with many clubs regarding possible new additions to their squad.
One of the first targets on the clubs radar is Norwegian international Vadim Demidov after the player became available to sign from his current club Real Sociedad where he has been struggling to cement a place in the first team squad. Manager Solbakken is said to be extremely keen on the player and feels he would fit in perfectly at Molineux so talks continue with the club hoping to sign a deal for their man within the next forty eight hours.
A player who may find his way out of Molineux this summer is winger Michael Kightly after the player has had a nightmare two seasons after a series of crippling injuries which have left him out of action for many months during this time. The player who is coming up to the last year of his current contract is the target of many clubs and Solbakken is now set to cash in on his player before he is able to walk for free at the end of next season.
Peterborough have today completed the signing of former Wolves player Nathaniel Mendez-Laing after the winger had been on their radar for some time after leaving the Posh outfit in 2010. A three year deal which is thought to be valued at two million pounds has now been completed and the exciting winger will now be applying his trade for Peterborough next season.
The 1980s had started well for Wolves. They won the League Cup at Wembley in March 1980, with £1.49m record signing Andy Gray scoring the winner against Nottingham Forest, and went on to finish sixth in the First Division that season. The future was looking bright under manager John Barnwell. Yet the foundations for a decade of decay had already been established.
The club had spent as much as £3m on the new John Ireland Stand at Molineux – more than twice the British transfer record when it opened in 1979 – and debts started to mount when they were relegated in 1982. A consortium fronted by club legend Derek Dougan stepped in to save the day. Enter the Bhatti brothers, Mahmud and Mohammad Bhatti, who were the “financial muscle” behind the takeover deal. The mere mention of the siblings probably brings Wolves fans out in a cold sweat. The Saudi Arabian brothers did little in their reign of terror to help the ailing club. By 1986, Wolves were struggling to stay in business.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær takes a leaf out of Fergie’s book, Mason Mount channels vintage Lampard and Wolves’ woes go on
There has been recent evidence that Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s adherence to the lessons learned at Sir Alex Ferguson’s feet was wavering. His Manchester United have lately shown something of their own identity, but here Solskjær used a classic Fergie blueprint. Even when United were far superior to Liverpool, Anfield was where the old master’s team would sit deep and try to score on the counter, or from set pieces. It is not difficult to imagine unsung players like Scott McTominay and Fred being handed a Ferguson detail of sweeping up the bits and pieces in midfield in the mould of a Phil Neville or Quinton Fortune. There was to be no unlikely goalscoring hero in the mould of a John O’Shea, Diego Forlan or Gary Pallister. Instead, Sunday will be recalled in future for Anfield’s emptiness, a match endured rather than enjoyed. And Ferguson, even during his imperial period, would probably have been happy with a point. John Brewin
Nuno’s reaction. “We did not do a good game. It’s disappointing because it meant a lot for our fans. We didn’t do what we should do. Our restart in the second half was very bad. We conceded goals that made our task very hard. We tried to control the game, be more aggressive, but we didn’t do it. We knew they would do things on throw-ins, long balls and set pieces, and didn’t defend well.” He then explained that Coady’s withdrawal was indeed tactical. “A simple decision.”
Big Sam speaks! “The vast majority of that performance was excellent. The plan and the tactics. It’s the best I’ve seen us in possession since I’ve been here. Our defending at two set pieces put us on the back foot, but the lads were excellent in the second half, their heads could have gone down, but they came bouncing back. And they defended well at the end. It’s a good performance and even better for us in the position we’re in, and that we beat our local rivals. Hopefully we’ll gain some confidence for West Ham on Tuesday. I’m only asking the players to improve their fitness, technique and gameplay by one percent. When you add it up, it becomes significant.” He then stresses the need for better new players, who will, his argument goes, raise standards, earn everyone win bonuses, keep the team in the Premier League, and secure new contracts. He’s on a roll, and in a celebratory mood. Wine for his men!
Those three massive points bring West Bromwich Albion back to life. They’re still second bottom of the Premier League, but they’ve got 11 points now, just one behind Fulham and three behind Brighton. Fulham have two matches in hand, but Brighton don’t. All of a sudden, the Baggies don’t look so much of a lost cause. Fireman Sam, at your service. Wolves on the other hand ... well, they’ll not be panicking yet, but that’s now six defeats in their last nine. They’re comfortable enough at the minute in 14th spot, on 22 points, but can’t keep going on like this. A little bit of pressure building on Nuno. They’re really missing Raul Jimenez.
Sam Allardyce has his first win as West Brom manager! It’s well deserved after a fine battling display. His team - and they were a team today - cavort in joy. A massive smile plays across the big man’s face. A huge three points in the battle against relegation!
90 min +3: On the touchline, Big Sam masticates ferociously. Nuno by contrast looks extremely pensive.
90 min +2: Livermore is forced to knock a long speculative ball behind for a corner. The superb and ever-heroic Bartley clears. He’s been West Brom’s man of the match, surely, though Glenn Hoddle on BT Sport has given it to Pereira. A justifiable shout, to be fair.
90 min +1: The first of four added minutes goes by without incident.
90 min: Silva turns Ajayi in the box, some cute skill. He opts to go over a leg that’s withdrawn. No contact, and the referee has no option but to show a yellow.
89 min: Wolves are seeing plenty of the ball, but they’re doing very little with it. West Brom currently look as comfortable as a team can be in these circumstances.
87 min: Ait-Nouri cuts in from the left and sends a wild shot high into the stand. West Brom are keeping Wolves at arm’s length ... just about.
86 min: Neto floats a free kick in from the left. Boly can’t get a header on target. The ball’s half cleared. Semedo races in and pearls a shot goalwards from the edge of the box. Bartley extends a leg to make a brave and quite brilliant block.
85 min: Neto has a bash from 30 yards. No need to get so desperate quite yet. It’s easily blocked and cleared.
83 min: West Brom send on Furlong for Pereira, clearly opting to batten down the hatches in the hope of seeing this one out.
82 min: A spinning ball drops to Cutrone, just inside the West Brom box. Cutrone shapes like Zidane in the 2002 Champions League final, but gets the contact all wrong, the ball belted into the turf and ballooning over the bar.
81 min: Wolves win their tenth corner of the match. West Brom haven’t had one. Button punches it clear.
80 min: Some scrappy nonsense as a few challenges fly in. There’s still time for this Black Country derby to get dark.
79 min: Cutrone comes on for Moutinho. “Big Sam for England!” cries Simon McMahon. “It’s coming home!”
77 min: Neto powers his way down the left and digs out a fine cross. Traore can’t get a header on target. Wolves are having some joy down the flanks, but nothing’s quite happening for them in the middle.
75 min: Quick quiz: did BT Sport’s Peter Walton agree with Michael Oliver’s refusal to show Dendoncker a red card, or not? No need to respond, I know you know the answer.
73 min: Dendoncker is booked for high-kicking Snodgrass on the noggin. You’ve seen reds flashed for that sort of thing, but the Wolves midfielder gets away with one.
72 min: Silva has another dig, this time from 25 yards out. He drags his shot wide left, harmlessly so. Full marks to the 18-year-old striker for keeping going.
71 min: The Traore jets are showcased yet again. A barnstorming run down the right. His cutback should be converted by Silva, but the young striker wafts at the ball, six yards out, and the visitors clear. Traore cocks his head back in disappointment. He could have done no more.
70 min: Grosicki, who has been very decent this afternoon on his first Premier League start of the season, makes way for Robson-Kanu.
69 min: Saiss wins a header from the second corner but it flies harmlessly wide right. Big Sam will be pleased with the way his defenders are battling this afternoon, and indeed the manner in which the whole team are fighting. It’s Anfield revisited, but with added attacking panache.
68 min: Gibbs-White’s first significant contribution is to skip down the left and earn a corner. Boly rises highest, yet again, and his header looks destined for the top left. But Bartley deflects out for another corner. What a block!
66 min: Wolves steady the ship a little with some calm possession in the middle of the park. One step at a time.
64 min: An eyebrow-raising sub for Wolves, as Ait-Nouri comes on for the captain Coady, who doesn’t appear to be carrying an injury. It’s the first time Coady has been hooked as a Wolves player.
63 min: Neto whips a stunning cross through the six-yard box from the left. Neither Silva nor Traore can latch onto it. Any touch and it would have been in. It’s heartbreaking that Molineux isn’t packed for this back-and-forth spectacular.
61 min: Wolves are all over the shop right now, stunned at recent developments. Pereira finds Robinson on the penalty spot with a floater from the left. Robinson gives Coady the slip and dribbles a shot across Rui Patricio and inches wide of the left-hand post. Not sure the keeper had that covered. Worrying times for Wolves.
59 min: Snodgrass pulls back from the right. Sawyers drags wide left. Nuno has seen enough, and withdraws Neves, sending on Gibbs-White in his place.
57 min: Coady is fuming. There wasn’t much in that challenge on Robinson, and he’s arguing the toss with the referee. A futile debate.
Pereira lashes his second spot kick of the afternoon into the right-hand side of the goal, sending Rui Patricio the wrong way again. What a turnaround!
55 min: This is given, though! Grosicki rolls a pass down the inside left. Robinson, his back to goal again, tries to spin Coady and goes over. It’s the slightest of touches, but he’s clipped him. Penalty!
54 min: Semedo waltzes down the inside-right channel, a glorious run that draws three defenders. He’s about to break into the box when Bartley steps across him. It should be a foul, but inexplicably it’s not given. The referee will have assumed he wasn’t going to reach the ball he’d just poked into space, I guess.
53 min: This is a great game. Good luck calling it.
West Brom show for the first time in the second half, and how! Snodgrass works his way down the right and earns a throw. The ball’s flung into the mixer. Bartley wins the first header. Ajayi, the hero of Anfield, loops a second over Rui Patricio and into the top left!
51 min: The free kick’s fizzed in low by Neto. Silva traps and sets up Saiss, who shoots straight at Button. None of it matters, because the ball had hit Silva’s hand, and the whistle goes.
50 min: It’s all Wolves since the restart. Neto dribbles down the left and is dragged to the floor by O’Shea. A free kick, and a chance to load the box again.
48 min: Traore flicks on Moutinho’s corner. There’s a melee on the edge of the six-yard box. Dendoncker tees up Silva, whose sidefoot is deflected out for another corner, this time on the right. Boly, at the heart of everything this afternoon, meets the second corner, but his header is always sailing wide left. A highly decent start to the half by the hosts.
47 min: Silva makes like Traore, turning on the afterburners and zipping into the box down the left. For a second it looks as though he’s worked space to shoot, but has to settle for a corner.
Wolves get the second half underway. No half-time changes. On the touchline, Big Sam redefines morose. “Poor Sam,” writes Mary Waltz. “He resembles a cow chewing his cud who suddenly comes to the realization that yes, they do plan on cutting me up and cooking me to eat.”
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That’s the end of a very eventful, highly entertaining first half. West Brom looked lively, and could have been two up before they were hit by a Wolves double whammy. Both teams have contributed to a fine 45 minutes of football. More please! The Black Country derby is back, after a nine-year hiatus, and not a moment too soon.
45 min +1: Snodgrass loops long from the right. Gibbs volleys from the left-hand corner of the six-yard box. He pulls his effort across the face of goal and out for a goal kick.
45 min: Snodgrass makes his way past Saiss on the right, but can’t find anyone with his low cross. West Brom have played well, and will wonder how they’re losing.
Moutinho’s corner drops at the near post and instigates a quick game of pinball. The ball pings to Boly’s feet, six yards out. Boly opens his body and slams into the bottom left! Boly has given away a penalty, set one up with a backheel, and scored one himself. What a return to action for the Wolves defender!
42 min: Traore turns on the jets again, then takes it up a notch from there! It’s an unstoppable run. He reaches the byline but his cutback is blocked out for a corner. And from that ...
40 min: That goal came slightly against the run of play, after a decent period for West Brom. The scoreline seems pretty much right over the piece, though.
This is a lovely goal! Neto’s free kick isn’t up to much, and half-cleared by West Brom. Saiss hoicks it back into the mixer from the right. The ball hits Silva on the shoulder and breaks to Boly, who backheels down the inside left, returning it to Silva. Silva opens his body and steers a delightful sidefoot across Button and into the bottom right. What a finish!
37 min: Snodgrass clips Neto down the left, and this is a free kick in a very dangerous position, just to the side of the West Brom area. Neto gets up and takes himself, and ...
36 min: Ajayi is booked for a cynical tug on Dendoncker, who was threatening to launch a Wolves attack. One suspects Big Sam will be happy enough with that, too.
35 min: Neto’s slovenly touch is snaffled by Snodgrass, who exchanges passes down the inside-right channel with Pereira. Snodgrass enters the box and attempts a shot-cum-cross from a tight angle. He falls over backwards and the ball is cleared, but that’s yet another decent move by West Brom, who have a few green shoots on display this afternoon.
34 min: Neto shovels a gorgeous pass down the inside-left channel, nearly releasing Silva into space. Bartley does extremely well to anticipate the danger, coming over to skelp clear.
33 min: Grosicki lashes a shot over the bar from 25 yards. He’s looked very lively on his first Premier League start this season.
31 min: A free kick for Wolves out on the right. It’s flung diagonally into the box. Sawyers wins the first header. Pereira wins the second, steering it cleverly to Robinson, on the edge of the six-yard box. It’s a lovely move, and Robinson is onside, but he pokes straight into the chest of Rui Patricio, who had closed him down and made himself big. What a chance to double West Brom’s lead!
30 min: A little bit scrappy, all of a sudden, but very hotly contested by both teams. Imagine if Molineux was packed to the rafters for this!
28 min: Traore crosses from the right. Button claims under pressure from Silva. Wolves are enjoying themselves down this right flank.
27 min: The third corner is half cleared, but Neto comes back at the visitors down the right. He crosses low towards the near post, where Boly backflicks cutely from the edge of the six-yard box. Just wide right. A lovely attempt, and one Button may not have reached had it been on target.
26 min: Moutinho fizzes the corner into the six-yard box. Traore flicks on, and Livermore flashes over for a third corner. Back to the right this time.
25 min: Semedo probes down the right again, winning a corner. Wolves load the box. Moutinho curls long, forcing Bartley to head out for a corner on the other side.
23 min: Wolves take their turn of looking after the ball. Some pretty triangles, without any real purpose. West Brom are making them work for their possession. It’s all in their own half.
21 min: West Brom’s all-new improved press is giving Wolves a few problems. Gibbs and Grosicki swarm and win the ball off Neves, then advance down the left. A few flicks nearly make some space; not quite. But Big Sam will be delighted with the improvements on display so far. Small acorns, and all that.
19 min: Pereira sashays down the middle and looks to thread one into the bottom right from the edge of the D. There’s not quite enough oomph in his effort, and Rui Patricio claims easily. Wolves break, Traore going on another Power Meander down the right. The cross is no good, but what speed! This is superb end-to-end fun.
18 min: Some great hold-up play by Silva, who holds off three men and lays off to Dendoncker, who has another thrash from distance. He gives it some fierce welly, but it’s straight at Button , who claims.
17 min: Traore turns on the jets and makes off down the right. He digs out a cross for Dendoncker, on the penalty spot. Dendoncker is slightly behind the ball, and can’t get any power on the header he attempts to guide into the top left. It floats harmlessly wide.
15 min: Dendoncker and Traore take turns to whistle shots goalwards. The first attempt is wide and high, the second straight at Button. A really lively opening to this game. Great fun.
13 min: This is a good response by Wolves. Neto crosses from the left. Button struggles to claim under pressure from Silva, but does so in the end. The ball brushed the hand of Gibbs during the melee, but there was nothing he could do, it being punched onto his arm by Button from close range. No penalty. The little things are going West Brom’s way at the minute. Small margins between success and failure.
12 min: Incidentally, the penalty decision was ratified by VAR. The foul was right on the white line; another couple of inches upfield and it wouldn’t have been given. But it was the correct decision, made in real time, by one of the Premier League’s better and more thoughtful referees.
10 min: Wolves come straight back at West Brom, Silva grooving down the left. He’s clipped by Sawyers. A free kick just to the side of the D. Neves takes, but hoicks straight into the wall. West Brom clear.
Pereira spots Rui Patricio going one way, then calmly slots into the top left. A lovely penalty. West Brom get the reward for their lively start!
7 min: The visitors ping it around, Grosicki in the thick of it. The ball is slipped to Robinson, his back to goal on the edge of the box. Boly sticks a leg out and catches Robinson. Michael Oliver thinks about it for a while, then points to the spot.
6 min: West Brom continue to look bright during these early exchanges. Robinson is doing an awful lot of sniffing around up front, putting Boly and Coady under pressure. Wolves, that Semedo run apart, are struggling to play their way upfield.
4 min: Semedo takes on three men and zips with purpose down the right. It’s a fine run, made at full pelt, and he earns a corner which Moutinho takes. From the set piece, Neves has a whack from distance. Blocked. Then Boly has a dig, threading one towards the bottom right. It’s smothered easily by Button.
2 min: Allardyce will be pretty happy with that brisk, front-foot start. Gauntlet down. Wolves respond by stroking it around the back awhile, asserting their status as hosts.
After a blast of Hi Ho Silver Lining ... and the taking of the knee in the fight against racism ... West Brom get the ball rolling. The first Black Country derby for nine years is on! West Brom win a throw down the right immediately, and it’s a first touch in a Baggies shirt for Snodgrass. He wins another throw. The ball’s flung into the mixer, and Robinson nearly gets a toe on the ball at the edge of the six-yard box. Rui Patricio collects, but that was nearly a sensational start for the visitors!
Here come the teams! Wolves are in their famous old gold, while West Brom sport their trademark navy blue and white stripes. Two looks with plenty of old-school class. We’ll be off in a minute or two!
Nuno’s turn. “It’s been difficult to manage all the situations, because of what has happened to us. We have tried to find solutions. It’s the balance between senior players and youth that will make us stronger. We must compete and play a good game. We know what this means to Wolves as a club against rivals so we want to compete well. We must stay together as a unit, fighting for each other. It’s the most important thing.”
Big Sam speaks to BT Sport. “We’re desperate for a result and there would be nothing better than making the fans happy. We’re trying to stop conceding goals that are avoidable. Our concentration levels sometimes lapses at moments, and it only takes the opposition a few seconds to exploit that. So that has been the focus when we’re out of possession. In possession, it’s all about trying to create more chances in open play, our quality has to get better, but that’s something I’ve seen in the short time I have been here. It’s a balance of defending correctly and creating more opportunities.”
Wolves make two changes to the team that lost 2-1 at home to Everton on Tuesday night. Adama Traore has recovered from a hamstring problem, while Willy Boly’s thigh has mended. Morgan Gibbs-White and Rayan Ait Nouri make way.
West Brom ring the changes. Four in all from the team that went down to Blackpool in the FA Cup. Robert Snodgrass makes his debut, while Callum Robinson, Dara O’Shea and Romaine Sawyers return. Branislav Ivanovic, Lee Peltier and Filip Krovinovic drop to the bench, while Conor Gallagher is suspended. Sam Johnstone and Matt Phillips are both absent, laid low by coronavirus.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patricio, Nelson Semedo, Coady, Boly, Saiss, Dendoncker, Neves, Joao Moutinho, Traore, Silva, Pedro Neto. Subs: Hoever, Ait Nouri, Gibbs-White, Vitinha, Ruddy, Cutrone, Shabani, Kilman, Corbeanu.
It’s the first Black Country derby for nine years. As with any other local rivalry, football’s most unappealing prize - bragging rights - are up for grabs. Three precious points are too, manna from heaven for a couple of teams struggling a little bit at present.
West Brom’s travails have been well publicised. The short end of that story: Sam Allardyce has been wheeled in. It’s not been going that well for the Premier League’s most famous troubleshooter, though. Having run themselves into the ground for a point at Liverpool, they’ve subsequently lost the next two home games by an aggregate score of 9-0, then got themselves knocked out of the cup by third-tier opposition. Six points below Brighton and safety, albeit with a game in hand, they need something badly this afternoon.
Six matches after being parachuted in to save West Brom, Sam Allardyce has finally presided over a victory – and a particularly sweet one at that. Matheus Pereira scored two penalties either side of a headed goal by Semi Ajayi as West Brom upset their local rivals with a display of opportunism, spirit and relative defensive rigour. Wolves, though, have mostly themselves to blame. They have lost six of their last nine league matches and look no closer to solving problems that have emerged at both ends of the pitch.
The Black Country derby is back for the first time in nine years with local hero Sam Allardyce, a Wolves fan as a boy, at the helm of West Brom. Allardyce may fancy his chances of a first win since taking over against a Wolves side hampered severely by injuries. Nuno Espíritio Santo’s side have scored more than a single goal in a match only once in eight attempts since Raúl Jimenéz was sidelined. But Wolves still have the more exciting lineup and will likely create chances to test Allardyce’s stodgy backline. If West Brom do lose again and Sheffield United beat Tottenham they will suffer the ignominy of dropping to the foot of the table. Graham Searles