Team of the Decade: Wolverhampton Wanderers

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Dave Edwards of Wolverhampton Wanderers is closed down by Yury Zhirkov (L) and John Terry of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on October 23, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Welcome to Last Word on Football’s team of the decade series – today we look at the players and manager who have made it into the Wolverhampton Wanderers team.

It’s been a decade of resurrection for Wolves following relegations from the Premier League and Championship. But the Midlands side are now one of the top Premier League sides and making waves across Europe, having progressed in the Europa League. The decade also saw the departure of long term chairman Steve Morgan, who sold the club to Fosun International.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Team Of The Decade

Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo

A relatively easy decision to pick Nuno as the Wolves manager of the decade. The passionate Portuguese manager arrived in 2017 and has taken Wanderers to levels their fans could only have dreamed of. Promotion to the Premier League in his first season was followed by a top-seven finish in Wolves’ return to the top flight. Nuno has led Wolves into Europe and they are looking a dangerous force in the Europa League. While the Portuguese takes the manager of the decade award, Kenny Jackett also deserves credit having picked up the pieces when Wolves were relegated to League One.

Formation: 3-4-3

Again, another easy decision. Wolves’ success under Nuno Espirito Santo has been built on this formation with Wolves winning plaudits both offensively and defensively.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Defence Of The Decade

Goalkeeper: Carl Ikeme

Wolves have had plenty of success in terms of keepers with Rui Patricio and John Ruddy proving key cogs in Wolves teams. However, loyal servant Carl Ikeme takes the place in the team of the decade. Ikeme is loved by the Wolves fans having spent 15 years at the club. His performances in Wanderers’ promotion from League One is 2014 was certainly the highlight of a career cut short due to leukaemia. Ikeme officially retired in 2018 having made 191 appearances for his beloved Wolves. He is a true Wolves icon.

Centre Back: Connor Coady

Converted centre back Coady has been a fixture in the Wolves side since arriving in 2015. Espirito Santo transformed Coady into a centre back and he hasn’t looked back. Coady has been instrumental in Wolves’ recent success forming excellent partnerships with the likes of Willy Boly and Ryan Bennett. He is a leader and going from strength to strength as the football stage gets bigger. Wolves’ captain thoroughly deserves his place in this team.

Centre Back: Willy Boly

The French defender has been a revelation since arriving in 2017. Initially arriving on loan, Boly was instrumental in Wolves’ promotion campaign before stepping up his game further in the Premier League. He has impressed in the Premier League and Europa League and has endeared himself to the fans. The big centre half has formed an excellent partnership with Conor Coady, and they are proving a difficult unit to break down.

Centre Back: Christophe Berra

Scottish international Christophe Berra completes the back three. The defender was a vital cog in Wolves’ success in the early parts of the decade. He helped Wolves to promotion in 2009 before helping the club consolidate in the Premier League for several seasons. He made 141 appearances for Wolves and lead by example during his four years in the Midlands.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Midfield Of The Decade

Right Wing Back: Matt Doherty

A Wolves team of the decade wouldn’t be complete with loyal servant Matt Doherty. The Irish full-back has stuck with Wolves through thick and thin, helping them secure two promotions and push on in the Premier League. His game has certainly got better under Nuno Espirito Santo. Doherty is certainly one of Wolves’ own, making over 250 appearances since his senior debut for the club. He is idolised by the fans and he certainly loves the club.

Central Midfield: Ruben Neves

When Neves arrived in 2017 from Porto, there was a real excitement to see what he could produce. The Portuguese international has sparkled in English football and is only getting better. He was influential in Wolves’ promotion campaign and has since adapted to Premier League football brilliantly. His long-range strikes and battling performances have captured the imagination of the Wolves fans. He continues to grow in a Wolves shirt and certainly, they are very grateful to have him.

Central Midfield: Dave Edwards

From a Portuguese all-round midfielder to a loyal servant, Edwards spent nine years at Wolves going through the highs of promotion and lows of relegation. He was a regular in the Premier League side prior to their shock relegations down to League One. Edwards stayed with the club and was outstanding in Wolves’ promotion back to the Championship. He made over 300 appearances for a player considered one of Wolves’ own. Edwards is remembered fondly and still loved to this day by the club and fans.

Left-Wing Back: Jonny Otto

Initially arriving on loan in 2018, the Spanish full-back has been key in Wolves’ recent success. His performances have been consistent since joining the club and has impressed. Jonny has made the left-wing spot his own under Espirito Santo and he continues to improve both offensively and defensively.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Attack Of The Decade

Right Forward: Diogo Jota

The Portuguese attacker has been an immense performer for Wolves since arriving in 2017. His 17 goals helped Wolves return to the Premier League and has since adapted to Premier League football well. His lightning pace and quality finishing have caught the eye. He works hard for Wolves and certainly he is a proven goal scorer only getting better.

Centre Forward: Raul Jimenez

The Mexican international has been sensational since arriving in English football. Jimenez has fired the goals to push Wolves both in the Premier League and Europe. He has scored all sorts of goals and his performances have been outstanding. Earlier this season, he became Wolves’ all-time top scorer in the Premier League. An outstanding achievement for a player who has only played one and half seasons of Premier League football.

Left Forward: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake

The Wolves’ team of the decade is completed with the addition of goal machine Sylvain Ebanks-Blake. The striker spent five years at Wolves helping them to promotion and consolidation in the Premier League. He scored 25 goals to fire Wolves to promotion. Overall, during his five years with the club, he scored 61 goals in 177 matches.

Substitutes

Rui Patricio

Scott Golbourne

Kevin McDonald

Joao Moutinho

James Henry

Bakary Sako

Nouha Dicko

Main Photo

Embed from Getty Images

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