Tag Archives: solbakken

Dean Saunders to speak to Wolves

Saunders set for quick Wolves appointment as Doncaster boss heads for talks

– Mick McCarthy

Feb 2012 – Jul 2012 – Terry Connor

Jul 2012 – Jan 2013 – Stale Solbakken

Their defeat by Luton Town was the final straw following a series of incidents which have suggested all is not well at Molineux.

Paint was tipped over Solbakken's car last month and he openly admitted having fierce discussions with Wolves' players in the dressing-room following a series of defeats both before and after Christmas.

A club statement read: 'Wolves have announced Stale Solbakken has left the club with immediate effect.

'The club has also terminated the contracts of Johan Lange, assistant manager and Patrick Weiser, first-team coach.'

Kevin Thelwell, head of football development and recruitment, will take charge of first-team training until Saunders is appointed.

Wolves were out-battled against Luton

Overwhelmed: Wolves were out-battled against Luton

Middlesbrough 2 Wolves 0 – match report:

Middlesbrough 2 Wolves 0: Late Boro double sinks visitors in tight affair at Riverside


17:28 GMT, 15 December 2012



17:40 GMT, 15 December 2012

Middlesbrough grabbed two late goals to move back into third in the npower Championship as Wolves' unbeaten December was ended at the Riverside.

Stale Solbakken's side, who had started the month with back-to-back wins, had not won on Teesside since 1951 although they seemed on course for a point until Marvin Emnes' penalty and Scott McDonald's strike sealed three points for Boro.

Wolves substitute David Davis went close late on with an effort which looked to be heading in until a deflection diverted it into goalkeeper Jason Steele's arms.

Close call: Middlesbrough scored two goals late on to steal the win

Close call: Middlesbrough scored two goals late on to steal the win


Middlesbrough: Steele, Friend (Parnaby 80), Woodgate, Hines, Hoyte, Luke Williams (Emnes 62), McEachran, Leadbitter, Smallwood, Miller (Ledesma 62), McDonald.

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Bailey, Jutkiewicz.

Booked: Leadbitter.

Goals: Emnes 89 pen,McDonald 90.

Wolves: Ikeme, Foley, Johnson, Berra, Ward, Doumbia (Davis 74), Henry, Sigurdarson, Sako, Ebanks-Blake (Pennant 74), Doyle.

Subs Not Used: De Vries, Stearman, Nouble, Batth, Forde.

Attendance: 15,662

Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire).

The latest Championship table, fixtures and results

The turning point came moments later
as referee Robert Madley awarded a spot-kick to the hosts when a cross
struck Karl Henry's arm.

The visitors were adamant the contact
was purely accidental with Henry keeping his arms by his side, but the
penalty was awarded and Emnes sent Carl Ikeme the wrong way in the 89th

To rub salt into the wounds, McDonald smashed in a second in the fourth minute of stoppage time as Wolves pushed for a leveller.

The hosts were the first to go close as Luke Williams forced Ikeme into a stop.

Ishmael Miller, who was given a
chance to shine with both Emnes and Lukas Jutkiewicz on the substitutes'
bench, tried to repay Tony Mowbray's faith in him as a blistering
counter-attack ended with the former West Brom forward curling a
left-footed effort over the top.

Both sides looked more comfortable on the break and Henry's good work almost culminated in a golden chance for the visitors.

Henry darted forward down the left
and pulled the ball across goal as Jonathan Woodgate had to step with a
last-ditch challenge to stop Sylvan Ebanks-Blake sweeping home.

Wolves midfielder Bakary Sako was
never shy of trying his luck from distance and a free-kick which just
went wide was as close as either team came to a first-half opener.

Chances were at a premium and Sakho again drilled an effort in from range with Steele right behind it.

Mowbray tried to inject some life
into his side with the double introduction of tricky winger Emmanuel
Ledesma and Emnes, and the former jinked inside before firing straight
at Ikeme.

At the other end, Kevin Doyle's
vicious effort almost caught Steele out with its movement, though the
stopper pushed it wide and away from danger.

The visitors looked the more likely
to grab a late goal and substitute Davis thought he had clinched three
points, but his effort was deflected into Steele's path.

Moments later Boro were awarded a
penalty when McDonald's cross struck Henry on the arm, despite Wolves'
protestations that the contact was purely accidental.

Emnes stroked home the spot-kick and
he then turned provider, teeing up McDonald as Middlesbrough made a
three-on-two break count.

Alex McLeish linked with Wolves job

McLeish could complete unlikely trio of Midlands jobs as pressure mounts on Stale at Wolves



22:46 GMT, 30 November 2012

Alex McLeish has emerged as a surprise contender for the Wolves manager’s job if Stale Solbakken fails to reverse the club’s fortunes.

The former Scotland, Birmingham and Aston Villa manager was at last week’s home game with Nottingham Forest.

McLeish, who has been out of work since being sacked by Villa in May, was spotted in the directors’ box as he took in the game. He retains a base in Warwickshire. He guided Birmingham to promotion from the Championship in 2008.

Closing in: Alex McLeish is in line for the Wolves job if Stale Solbakken gets the chop

Closing in: Alex McLeish is in line for the Wolves job if Stale Solbakken gets the chop

After failing to win any of Wolves’ last nine matches, Solbakken is under pressure. Although Wolves’ owner Steve Morgan has refused to ditch his bold plan after appointing the first continental coach in the club’s history, defeats against Bristol City and near neighbours Birmingham next week could see the supporters turn.

Vandals have already targeted Solbakken’s car — tipping paint over his black BMW.

However, unless there is an upturn in fortunes soon some unwanted modifications to his car will be the least of his worries.

Jermaine Pennant vows to seize chance to shine at Wolves

Pennant vows to seize chance to shine at Wolves after being frozen out by Stoke



09:40 GMT, 16 October 2012

Jermaine Pennant is relishing the chance to get his career back on track at Wolves after joining the Championship side on loan.

The out-of-favour winger agreed a deal to link up with
Stale Solbakken at Molineux until the new year after he was told he
could leave the Britannia Stadium by Stoke manager Tony Pulis.

Future's bright: Wolves' loan signing Jermaine Pennant

Future's bright: Wolves' loan signing Jermaine Pennant

And the 29-year-old is eager to impress and help Wolves maintain their promotion push.

'I'm excited to have made the loan move,' he said.

'Wolves are a massive club and it's been a tough game and a great encounter every time I've played against them.

'And there has always been a really good atmosphere in the games at Molineux which is a great ground.

'I'm just looking to do the best I can for Wolves and try to keep them towards the top of the table.

'Hopefully at the same time it will be good for me as well to get some games.

'Obviously it's not gone as planned for me at Stoke so far this season.

Fresh challenge: Pennant has a point to prove

Fresh challenge: Pennant has a point to prove

'But I've got a great opportunity now.

'It is in the Championship but it is at a very good club in a very competitive league.

'Wolves are going well at the moment and are third in the table and hopefully I can help maintain that and give the team a boost.'

Pennant boasts plenty of Premier League pedigree after spells with Stoke, Liverpool and Arsenal and he had plenty of options after being frozen out by Pulis.

He added: 'There were other teams involved but with the stature of Wolves, and their position in the table, helped make my mind up.

'I did some research into it and know they want to play good football and have got good training facilities.

Boost: Pennant boasts plenty of Premier League pedigree

Boost: Pennant boasts plenty of Premier League pedigree

'It is close to home as well and in all was the perfect choice.

'If I can get on the ball as much as possible hopefully I can benefit the club.

'I have come in here to do a job as any professional would and I'm ready to give it my all.'

Pennant joining in with full training on Tuesday and set his sights on making his debut against Huddersfield on Saturday.

'I know Karl (Henry) from back with the England Under-21s a few years ago and also Sylvan Ebanks-Blake a bit from playing against him,' Pennant explained.

'All the lads have made me feel welcome and I feel a part of it already.

'I'm looking forward to my first proper training session today and the first game.

'It's always a little bit like your first day at school when you're at a
new club but hopefully once I get going I'll get into the pace of it

'My fitness levels are great and I'm 100 per cent and I just came in and did a few medical tests and bits and pieces yesterday.

'I'm not presuming I'm going to go straight into the team on Saturday –
I might be on the bench and need to get used to it a bit.

'After that there are two home games and by then I am sure I will be bedded in a lot more.'

Wolves players and fans may remember Pennant notching the third goal in a hugely disappointing night at the Britannia in a 3-0 defeat 18 months ago.

Now though he is committed to putting smiles on Wolves faces.

'I won't be mentioning that one!' he says when asked about the goal.

'I'm playing in the black and gold now so hopefully can give Wolves fans some better memories of me.'

Wolves closing on Manchester United winger Robbie Brady and Cologne No 2 Weiser Patrick

Wolves closing
on double capture of United winger Brady and Cologne No 2 Weiser



12:53 GMT, 9 October 2012

Wolves manager Stale Solbakken is closing on the double capture of Manchester United winger Robbie Brady and Cologne assistant manager Patrick Weiser to his team.

The Norwegian hopes to sign Brady on loan, while his former No 2 Weiser could fill the gap left by the departure of Terry Connor.

Double swoop: Wolves manager Stale Solbakken

Double swoop: Wolves manager Stale Solbakken

'Patrick is one of the guys who we've been talking to for a long time,' Solbakken told the Express and Star.

'He's also someone I know from before. We're monitoring the situation and have been in touch with a few others.

'I'll probably have one or two more chats with people this week and then hopefully we'll solve it within the next 14 days.'

On the possibility of a loan
signing, he added: 'We've done some research and there's something we
want to test out and we'll see this week if it's possible.

'Because Slawomir Peszko and Razak Boukari are out for quite a long time, the wide area could be one we want to improve.'

Peterborough 0 Wolves 2: Three on the spin for Stale Solbakken"s men but poor Posh still pointless

Peterborough 0 Wolves 2: Three on the spin for Solbakken's men but poor Posh still pointless



16:44 GMT, 22 September 2012

Wolves' third straight npower Championship victory piled more misery on pointless Peterborough.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's 33rd-minute penalty and Bjorn Sigurdarson's 82nd-minute strike – his first Wolves goal – gave Wanderers three league wins in a row for the first time since April 2009.

It left Posh rooted to the bottom of the table having lost all seven of their matches so far this season.

Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson dropped George Boyd. The transfer-listed Boyd started on the bench and was replaced in midfield by teenager Joe Newell. Otherwise it was the same team that was beaten 2-1 by Bristol City in midweek.

Golden boys: Bjorn Sigurdarson is grabbed by Wolves team-mates

Golden boys: Bjorn Sigurdarson is grabbed by Wolves team-mates

Match facts

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Youth star Jaanai Gordon-Hutton was included among the Posh substitutes.

Striker Ebanks-Blake and midfielders
Tongo Doumbia and Slawomir Peszko were recalled to the Wolves starting
line-up as manager Stale Solbakken rotated his squad once again.

Solbakken also handed a first start of the season to Kevin Foley who replaced Richard Stearman in defence.

Peterborough began positively. Lee
Tomlin might have done better with an early effort and Grant McCann
stung Carl Ikeme's palms with a long-range shot after eight minutes.

Wolves were restricted to long-range
attempts with Karl Henry, Doumbia and Ebanks-Blake not causing Posh
goalkeeper Robert Olejnik too much concern.

Taking shape: Stale Solbakken's Wolves have won their last three

Taking shape: Stale Solbakken's Wolves have won their last three

It was a sloppy piece of play from the hosts that led to the opening goal.

Posh gave the ball away in midfield
and the resulting Wolves attack ended up with McCann fouling
Ebanks-Blake, who picked himself up to blast home from the penalty spot.

Kevin Doyle twice threatened to extend Wolves' lead before half-time but was narrowly off target on each occasion.

Bakary Sako also had a couple
attempts at goal at the start of the second half before Ebanks-Blake was
denied by Olejnik in the 53rd minute.

Sigurdarson shot narrowly wide midway through the second half before Bako went close again in the 77th minute.

Substitute Boyd tried his luck from long range in a rare Peterborough attack.

But Wolves sewed up the points with
eight minutes remaining when Sigurdarson got on the end of Doyle's pass
and coolly lifted the ball over Olejnik.

Cardiff 3 Wolves 1 match report:

Cardiff 3 Wolves 1: Whittingham treble helps Bluebirds bounce back in style



15:19 GMT, 2 September 2012

Peter Whittingham scored a hat-trick to give Cardiff their first npower Championship victory since the opening day of the season.

Bakary Sako's free-kick put Wolves ahead after 10 minutes but Whittingham brought the Bluebirds level a minute later from the penalty spot.

He then scored his second shortly afterwards from the edge of the box to give the hosts the lead after 14 minutes, before completing his hat-trick in the 65th minute with a free-kick.

Make mine a treble: Peter Whittingham (left) led Cardiff to victory

Make mine a treble: Peter Whittingham (left) led Cardiff to victory


Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Connolly, Whittingham, Smith, Noone (Cowie 74), Mutch (Gunnarsson 59), Helguson, Maynard (Mason 68).

Subs not used: Lewis, Velikonja, Kim, Nugent.

Goals: Whittingham 11 (pen), 14, 65

Booked: Mutch

Wolves: Ikeme, Zubar (Stearman 73), Johnson, Berra, Ward, Edwards (Nouble 73), Peszko (Forde 83), Sako, Doumbia, Doyle, Ebanks-Blake.

Subs not used: De Vries, Elokobi, Batth, Davis.

Goal: Sako 10

Booked: Ebanks-Blake

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex)

New signings Nicky Maynard and Craig Noone made their Cardiff debuts on an afternoon that indicated the Welsh club could be in for a successful season.

They replaced Don Cowie and Aron Gunnarsson in the starting XI as Malky Mackay's side lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. Another recent arrival Tommy Smith made his first home start.

Meanwhile, South Korean international Bo-Kyung Kim was on the bench for the first time following international clearance.
Wolves boss Stale Solbakken changed all 10 outfield players, with goalkeeper Carl Ikeme the only survivor from the Capital One Cup victory at Northampton on Thursday night.

Cardiff created the first chance as Noone's piledriver was palmed upwards by Ikeme after Wolves failed to clear a Whittingham corner.

Sako deceived Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall with a curling free-kick to put Wolves in front after Whittingham pushed over Sylvan Ebanks-Blake in the inside-right position.

But the hosts were immediately level. Ronald Zubar was off balance and left a leg dangling for Noone to fall over. It was a clear penalty and Whittingham calmly stroked his kick low down the middle as Ikeme dived to his right.

Whittingham then struck from 20 yards as Cardiff completed a quick turnaround after falling behind.

Only a fine fingertip save from Ikeme denied Whittingham his hat-trick early in the second half.

Wolves should have equalised when Zubar climbed highest to reach Stephen Ward's cross but he headed over the crossbar.

Whittingham made them pay, sending his free-kick into the top left-hand corner after Noone had been fouled by Tongo Doumbia on the edge of the box.

Heidar Helguson, Smith and substitute Cowie all threatened to extend Cardiff's advantage, but were unable to add a fourth.

It mattered little, though, as Wolves were thoroughly disappointing and created little else. Goalscorer Sako had an effort from just inside the area blocked by Matthew Connolly late in the game but that was as good as it got.

Wolves 1 Derby 1: Match report

Wolves 1 Derby 1: Robinson leaves it late to earn Rams a point



17:14 GMT, 25 August 2012

Substitute Theo Robinson struck deep into injury time to rescue a point for Derby at Molineux.

Robinson, dropped from the squad for the game against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium on Tuesday night, responded in the best possible fashion with his second goal of the season to salvage a 1-1 draw for Nigel Clough's side.

It had looked like Kevin Doyle's first-half strike would be enough for Wolves to get all three points.

Point made: Derby's Theo Robinson celebrates with team mates after the game after earning a draw

Point made: Derby's Theo Robinson celebrates with team mates after the game after earning a draw


Wolves: Ikeme, Zubar, Johnson, Berra, Ward, Peszko, Edwards (Elokobi 76), Davis (Forde 58), Doumbia (Jonsson 86), Doyle, Ebanks-Blake.

Subs Not Used: De Vries, Stearman, Sigurdarson, Nouble.

Goals: Doyle 35.

Derby: Fielding, Brayford, O'Connor, Keogh, Roberts, Coutts (Jacobs 80), Bryson, Hendrick, Hughes (Tyson 67), Ward, Sammon (Robinson 80).

Subs Not Used: Legzdins, Doyle, Gjokaj, Freeman.

Goals: Robinson 90.

Attendance: 21,861

Referee: Jon Moss

Both sides hit the frame of the goal prior to Doyle's strike – Sylvan Ebanks-Blake for the hosts and Jamie Ward for Derby.

The Rams had enough of the ball in the second half to get something out of the game and Robinson's effort ensured that they did.

With Matt Jarvis departing for West Ham in a club record deal this week, Wolves manager Stale Solbakken was forced to change a winning team.

Winger Jarvis, unlike last season's top scorer Steven Fletcher who also left Molineux on Friday for Sunderland, had played in both of Wolves' npower Championship fixtures to date, impressing against Leeds and Barnsley. David Edwards replaced him.

Solbakken was forced into another change in midfield, with Karl Henry absent from the squad following his second-half withdrawal during the 3-1 win over Barnsley in midweek. David Davis came in for the Wanderers skipper.

Derby made one change after losing 2-0 at Bolton on Tuesday night with teenager Will Hughes replacing Nathan Tyson, who dropped down to the bench. New signing Kieron Freeman was also among the substitutes for the Rams.

On target: Robinson gets Derby's goal

On target: Robinson gets Derby's goal

Football League blog

Ebanks-Blake hit the crossbar in the 10th minute after Doyle had knocked the ball into his path just six yards out.
The former Manchester United trainee then saw a header tipped over by Rams goalkeeper Frank Fielding less than a minute later.

At the other end, Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme got a hand to Ward's effort to divert the ball on to a post.
Solbakken's side made the breakthrough 10 minutes before half-time.

Going ahead: Kevin Doyle puts Wolves 1-0 up

Going ahead: Kevin Doyle puts Wolves 1-0 up

Edwards crossed from the right and
Slawomir Peszko cleverly shielded the ball from his marker, letting it
run across his body and into the path of Doyle who made no mistake from
close range.
Ikeme denied Ward again early in the second half.

Richard Keogh should really have got Derby level after 65 minutes but the defender headed over from a corner.
lead was looking a precarious one and Ronald Zubar should have eased
the tension late on but, like Keogh, he missed the target with a header.

It proved costly as Robinson, on as an
80th-minute replacement for Conor Sammon, curled a right-foot shot into
the bottom corner in the third minute of added time.

Leeds United 1 Wolves 0 – match report

Leeds 1 Wolves 0: Becchio's early header gets Warnock off to a flyer

Sportsmail Reporter


14:21 GMT, 18 August 2012



14:21 GMT, 18 August 2012

Neil Warnock's attempts to guide a club to promotion for the eighth time in his career kicked off in the best possible manner as his new-look Leeds side welcomed Wolves to the Championship with a deserved victory.

Veteran boss Warnock moved in at Elland Road part-way through last season, tempted by the desire to end his time as a manager with one last hurrah and targeted this campaign as the one where he would achieve it.

Luciano Becchio's 18th-minute diving header gave him the start he wanted, although in truth his players were not given the test they expected from newly-relegated Wolves who had Norwegian Stale Solbakken as their manager in a league game for the first time.

Perfect start: Luciano Becchio grabbed the only goal of the game

Perfect start: Luciano Becchio grabbed the only goal of the game


LEEDS: Kenny, Bryam, Peltier, Pearce, White, Green (Diouf 45), Norris, Austin, Varney, McCormack (Lees 75), Becchio. Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Drury, Kisnorbo, Brown, Gray.

Goals: Becchio 17.

Booked: White, Bryam, Varney, Becchio.

WOLVES: Ikeme, Zubar, Stearman (Edwards 82), Johnson, Ward, Forde (Peszko 46), Henry, Doumbia, Jarvis, Doyle, Ebanks-Blake (Sigurdarson 69). Subs Not Used: De Vries, Hunt, Berra, Davis.

Booked: Doumbia,Peszko.

Attendance: 23,745

Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire).

Apart the notable absence of wantaway
striker Steven Fletcher, he had the majority of the squad who were
relegated last season at his disposal and was able to start England
international Matt Jarvis, who has been the subject of strong top-flight

He did little to massage that,
though, as he was locked out of the game by rookie right-back Sam Byram
and, with no supply on which to feed, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kevin
Doyle rarely had a kick for Wolves.

Leeds lost a club record 11 home
games last season and Warnock, who took over in February, spent most of
the second half of the season promising opposition managers they would
never again encounter one of his sides that was so bad.

The way his new crop, which featured
eight league debutants, began certainly indicated he would be true to
his word, with Leeds doing all the running and, at large, creating most
of the chances.

Six minutes had gone when Luke Varney
skewed over after Ross McCormack pulled the ball back for him, before
Rodolph Austin had a header blocked on the line and Byram shot wide at
the end of a long goalmouth melee.

Wolves looked moderately threatening
in the air and Richard Stearman's header looked as though it could
trouble Paddy Kenny until team-mate Ebanks-Blake blocked it with his arm
and, less than 60 seconds later, Leeds were ahead.

McCormack was the provider, racing
free down the left on to Kenny's raking clearance and whipping in a
cross that skipped across goal and found and unmarked and diving Becchio
who did the rest at the back post.

After a frenetic start a period of
calm followed, although Warnock had something to think about when Paul
Green limped two minutes before the break, with El Hadji Diouf sent on
for a first league appearance for the club.

Wolves had held a high defensive line
throughout the opening half and seemed determined to carry on with
doing so in the second, although it should have cost them another goal
with 53 minutes gone, but Varney's touch evaded him as he broke clear.

Varney was not the only player to
show early-season rustiness, though, with Wolves debutant Slavomir
Peszko's cross finding no-one after Aidy White's slip allowed him to
break in to the Leeds box.

The introduction of Peszko did pep
Wolves up, though, and they started to enjoy more of the ball as a
result of his presence, even if it was without hurting Leeds too much.

They had two chances when
Ebanks-Blake skinned White and was dragged back on the edge of the box
and when Jarvis clipped a shot across goal but their poor start had left
them up against it and Leeds saw the game out.

Stale Solbakken faces tough test at Wolves – The Midlander

Tremendous track record New Wolves boss Solbakken faces tough test from the start



14:18 GMT, 9 August 2012

Stale Solbakken arrived at Molineux with a 'tremendous track record,' according to the man who appointed him, Wolves' owner Steve Morgan.

Neatly brushing aside the car crash at Cologne, the former Wimbledon midfielder's success with Copenhagen was highlighted as a principal reason for his appointment.

Let's hope the Norwegian truly is the 'real deal'. Because what is becoming more evident with each passing day is that Solbakken will be tested from the very first kick of the ball in competitive action against Aldershot in the Capital One Cup first round this weekend.

Tough task: Stale Solbakken is charged with getting Wolves promoted at the first attempt in the Championship

Tough task: Stale Solbakken is charged with getting Wolves promoted at the first attempt in the Championship

More from Neil Moxley…

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The Midlander: Solbakken faces uphill struggle to restore Wolves' fortunes

The Midlander: Council are the only ones who can revive Coventry

The Midlander: No more Mr Nice Guy if Villa want bums on seats

The Midlander: Wolves fans seem to have an over-blown sense of entitlement

The Midlander: Player power would be recipe for disaster at Leicester

The Midlander: Villa failed to muster up a single shot at Arsenal… that's shameful


Stepping into what is the most competitive league in English football with a fair wind behind you is one thing. Trying to engineer a flying start amid uncertainty with a couple of your more influential players is another.

No supporter should be surprised that the hired hands who pass for the modern professional footballer can dictate whether they stay or go when the merest whiff of a more attractive offer is in the air.

So it was with Michael Kightly. So it is with Matt Jarvis. And so, too, it is with Steven Fletcher.

It happened to Birmingham City last season. It will happen to another club in 12 months' time.

However, where Solbakken, chief executive Jez Moxey and Morgan can count themselves unlucky is the timing of these offers.

Demands: Steven Fletcher has handed in a transfer request

Demands: Steven Fletcher has handed in a transfer request

For the uninitiated, a footballer's contract runs from July 1 to June 30. When that date passes – and yes, I appreciate the irony of this – they are often due another portion of their signing-on fee or 'loyalty' bonus as the next 12 months of their deal kicks in.

Unless a buying club wants to make a statement regarding season-ticket sales by unveiling a name signing, it is normally only after this time that deals are struck, although the 'Fletcher to Sunderland' bandwagon has been rolling since mid-May.

Think about it. Fletcher could bank another portion of his signing-on fee after his move from Burnley on July 1. Then negotiate himself another chunk of cash when he moves to the Stadium of Light in late August. Nice work if you can get it.

Given Martin O'Neill's past dealings at Aston Villa, it is little surprise that the Irishman has waited almost until the season's start to make a concerted effort to prise the Scotland international to Wearside. He routinely waited until the last week before the transfer window closed to make his moves at Villa Park.

Jarvis has also been at the centre of bids by West Ham and Fulham to move him back into the Premier League for some time.

And Moxey explained that Kightly's sale was forced by the player entering the final year of his deal. It was, given the player's pay hike, probably a deal which suited both parties (although, I'm sure like me, plenty of Wolves' supporters would have liked to have seen him form part of a successful promotion campaign).

It may well be that Wolves' coffers are swelled by over 20m by the time that the transfer window closes in the Premier League (it appears to be a case of when, not if, both depart).

Fair recompense some might say. It would, though, have been far more helpful had this whole situation been finalised weeks ago.

Departure: Michael Kightly has signed for Stoke

Departure: Michael Kightly has signed for Stoke

The continuing swirl of uncertainty around Molineux with a situation not under the club's control is not conducive to Solbakken producing performances on the pitch.

Do the disaffected players remain part of the group Do they train with the first-team Are they named to start, safe in the knowledge that before the next match is played, they could be on their way How does that affect the squad Can it be allowed to affect the group

Solbakken has to deal with that in the early part of the season and put out a competitive team in this toughest of leagues.

Make no mistake, Championship managers will be smelling blood in the opening few weeks of the campaign.

The Norwegian has to get to grips quickly in a division in which he has no practical experience and manage those who want to get away and those who want to stay.

It is the first examination in what is sure to be a testing campaign. Let's face it, there is always a sense of impatience among supporters whenever a team drops out of the Premier League.

So, Solbakken might boast a 'tremendous track record.' But this Championship campaign already looks like providing him with an acid test as to whether he can cut it in English football.

And, you suspect, in just ten months' time we will have the answer about whether his stay in the Black Country will be a long one.