Premier League Wolves have appointed Norwegian Stale Solbakken as their boss for next season.
The former-Wimbledon midfielder heads for the Midlands after enduring a short unsuccessful spell in Germany with Cologne.
Solbakken will officially take charge of the club on 1st July.
Despite being sacked by Cologne in April, Stale Solbakken has enjoyed major success in Denmark with FC Copenhagen. The 44 year-old won five Superliga titles in the Danish top flight and also won a Danish cup.
Solbakken also managed the club at the top level of European football in the Champions League and managed the club to a famous 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the 2006-07 season. His success in Denmark brought him to the attention of Bundesliga club Cologne.
Solbakken’s side struggled in the German top flight and the Norwegian was given his marching orders last month. However by all accounts all was not well at the German side before Solbakken arrived and it was just a matter of time before the club was relegated.
This decision is a brave one from the Wolves board. The club has been linked with the likes of Chris Hughton, Alan Curbishley and Steve Bruce in the past. However Wolves have gone for an unfamiliar face to English football fans.
Some more cynical Wolves fans are claiming that Stale Solbakken was the cheap option. I don’t think that was the main reason for his appointment. I do actually think that Wolves board believe that Solbakken can take the club forward.
Solbakken may be a new face to English fans as a manager but he isn’t new to English football having had a short-stint at Wimbledon during his playing career. Wolves are in desperate need of fresh ideas and a fresh approach.
Interim boss Terry Connor failed to provide new ideas but maybe Solbakken can be the man to provide them. He has admitted to being excited at the prospect of managing Wolves he told Sky Sports: “I am delighted to be taking up the important challenge to manage Wolves. It’s an exciting opportunity to manage a great club and I can’t wait to get started.”
One of Solbakken’s first tasks as Wolves boss will be trying to persuade his star players to stay at the club with Wolves facing life in the Championship next season. The likes of Steven Fletcher, Kevin Doyle and Matt Jarvis are expected to leave the club this summer.
The new manager will no doubt want to bring in his own players anyway and hopefully he will be given the resources to attempt to get the Midlands club back into the top flight of English football. The squad will definitely need a revamp for next season.
I’m sure like most European managers Stale Solbakken has a good knowledge of the English game. He will have to learn fast though if he is to be successful at Wolves. Interim boss Terry Connor will return to the backroom staff after the final game of the Premier League season.
The likes of Connor and the other Wolves backroom staff will be crucial in ensuring that Solbakken achieves success with the club. Connor may not have been a good manager but by all accounts he is a very decent coach.
Stale Solbakken has made a very promising start to his managerial career, Cologne apart. He is apparently a very astute tactician, who takes no-nonsense from his players. The Norwegian may just be exactly the sort of boss Wolves now need.
One thing that is for sure is that Wolves won’t find it easy to get back into the Premier League. The Championship is one of the hardest leagues to get promoted from. Stale Solbakken will have a big job on his hands to get the club back in the top flight.
Is Stale Solbakken a good appointment for Wolves?