LIAM BERRY LOOKS AT THE THINGS WE LEARNED FROM WOLVES V MAN CITY
Wolves fell to an uncomfortably routine defeat at Molineux, losing 3-0 to reigning champions Manchester City.
The game offered a lot of talking points to focus on, like Wolves’ lack of cutting edge and how Bruno Lage could be under pressure, but we are going to narrow it down to just five.
So here is what we learned from Wolves’ third defeat of the season:
1. Neves’ defensive shift
Due to a red card for Nathan Collins in the first half, Wolves were left with only Maximilian Kilman as their senior centre-back.
Yerson Mosquera and Toti Gomes were on the bench but Bruno opted to use captain Ruben Neves in that slot, moving him back from his normal midfield position. Is that a sign of a lack of faith in the two young possibles he had on the bench? Perhaps. But it may also be Lage not wanting to sacrifice another outfield player and Neves did well in that central defensive spot. The Head Coach did confirm that he wouldn’t start the game against West Ham there, so one of the young hopefuls should get the chance provided there isn’t another dip into the free transfer market.
The only disappointment about Neves, who has been fantastic this season, is his continuing indiscipline. He was yellow carded for complaining about decisions made by the referee which was his fourth booking of the season from just seven Premier League games. One more and he will be facing a suspension, and he has another 12 games to navigate without a yellow to avoid that.
As club captain, you would hope that he would avoid silly bookings like the one picked up against City. His performances have been so good, but Wolves badly need him on the pitch, and he needs to set an example.
2. Collins sees red
Nathan Collins has had a great start to his Wolves career, a big part in the team gaining three clean sheets in six games However, on the weekend he was shown a red card for a horror challenge on Jack Grealish.
This red card should not undermine how good he has been for Wolves, every player makes mistakes and I’m sure he will be back to his best when he serves his suspension. Some people seemed to take offence that he was applauded off the pitch but I think that was a show of support from Wolves fans who have been so impressed with him so far this season. He will be back!
3. Pressure on!
A lot of question marks have been raised about head coach Bruno Lage’s status at Wolves. With an underwhelming start and the old habits from last season of a lack of scoring goals, Lage will have a whole new load of pressure on his back going into the next few months.
Will he be sacked? The rumours have already started. But even on such a bad run of results you would expect him to be given time, especially given the money spent in the transfer window, and that we are yet to see Diego Costa who, hopefully, might just be able to link everything together?
He definitely needs time with his players.
4. No Diego
Talking of Diego Costa, Wolves played another fixture without a recognised number nine which is what they have been crying out for a period of time since Raul Jimenez’s injury and loss of form.
They signed Sasa Kalajdzic, however, he sustained a serious injury in his first game, so they acted quickly to bring Costa in on a free.
He did not feature against Manchester City, presumably because he hasn’t played for so long, but hopefully the two week international break will give him more time to get that bit closer. Even being fit enough to be on the bench at West Ham could give Wolves a much-needed boost.
5. Good signs from the next Traore!
Boubacar Traore made his premier league debut on the weekend with a late cameo, and the midfielder looked good! He wasn’t afraid of getting on the ball and was composed. He also seemed very athletic, providing a different style to what Wolves’ other midfielders give us, and could prove to be a great coup for the club.
Despite the heavy loss, it still feels like Wolves have plenty of promise in attacking positions and with some fine tuning could still be in for a better season than we have seen so far.
ARTICLE BY LIAM BERRY
I am a life long Wolves fan that is passionate for the club. I am a sixth form student who loves writing about things I love!