Gary O’Neil’s side are beaten in an action-packed game by Marco Silva’s Fulham.
In a game where I could quite happily write a six-page essay on how VAR has affected the game and the downsides to it, I will do my best to restrict it to a few sentences!
Let’s take a look into what we learnt from such a crazy evening at Craven Cottage.
1. "Just sold my car, to Jean Ricner Bellegarde"
On just his third start in the Premier League, Bellegarde registered his first assist in English football, and delivered a solid attacking performance to match.
Going forward, the Frenchman’s ball carrying abilities were on show, and his trickery in tight areas ultimately gave Wolves their first equaliser, a neat run before lifting a delicate ball onto Matheus Cunha’s head.
Despite this, his defensive attributes might be something he needs to work on, with him often losing his man in the half spaces, which cost Wolves a goal very early on. But the way he has settled so quickly in providing an attacking threat suggests plenty of excitement from Bellegarde moving forward. Literally.
2. Suspension woes
After picking up their fifth yellow cards of the season, midfielders Mario Lemina and Joao Gomes will miss Wolves’ trip to the Emirates this coming Saturday.
Wolves will be without their two reliable powerhouses against a top side, so will be looking to youngsters Boubacar Traore and Tommy Doyle to make ends meet and put in a good performance.
On the one hand this isn’t ideal. But on the other, this may be a blessing in disguise to lose them both in a game which is extremely difficult. They can then come back and start afresh for more winnable games and, with there being no international breaks coming up, we will need them both available for the busy run towards Christmas and the New Year.
3. Bueno debut – the Santi version
We got to see our summer central defensive signing in action for the first time in the Premier League, and, despite conceding three goals, there could be signs of a good player in him.
Calm on the ball, Bueno built out from the back with composure and didn’t seem phased under pressure. His positioning could have been better but that will come naturally with more experience and time to settle in a new country.
He may not be ready for week-in week-out first team football just yet, but is certainly not one to write off this early.
4. Scandalous VAR
And now, the big one. Quite simply, we should not be talking about VAR at this stage, but unfortunately this is the reality we find ourselves in.
With the technology available, they should not be getting this many decisions wrong, and with grey areas in the rules it makes VAR a really confusing aspect to our beautiful game. The term ‘clear and obvious’ is one that should never be involved in sport whatsoever. It is a description which is subjective to everybody and makes decisions too opinion-based when VAR is supposedly there to avoid that.
The first penalty is scandalous, and should never be given, but VAR deemed it not clear and obvious at the time and, yet again, got it wrong. But, to say that’s not clear and obvious and Fulham’s second penalty is, simply can’t be excused. Not to mention the two red cards Fulham should have received, both which would have changed the dynamic of the game. From a Wolves perspective it was frustrating to say the least.
It’s easy to say get rid of VAR, but the on-field referees are still getting these decisions wrong time after time, and it’s not just against us, so what will that fix? The grey areas in the rule-book need to be clarified, and they need to get this right before more teams lose points, as these mistakes do ultimately define seasons. Var is an ongoing issue that needs addressing. Because it seems to be making things worse by the week.
5. Gary O'Neil
Since coming in, O’Neil has made it his duty to connect the team with the fans, and is doing well so far. He embodies the club and fans, with not only how he speaks but how he conducts himself in general.
His honest reaction to the events of Monday night is so refreshing as a fan. Despite the nature of his honesty, it feels good to have some direct communication, something we haven’t had for some time.
Great signs going forwards and hopefully Wolves can keep up their good run of performances and turn them into positive results.
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!