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1. The obligatory VAR section.

If you have ever seen Nelson Semedo play football, you know what this incident is about. Semedo is not making a tackle here; he is trying to evade the challenge by rolling the ball and spinning. Its his ‘special move’ so to speak. He is not trying to go through the player, his leg is almost limp as he is trying to drag the ball away. Unfortunately for Semedo, Macallister is going for a tackle, and he wins it but follows through onto Semedo’s foot that is now high. Having missed the ball, Semedo then comes down on the ankle of Macallister. There is no speed here, no real force, its not out of control as it’s not technically a tackle of any kind. Not every bad landing following a coming together is the result of an intended bad tackle. The slow-motion ending position does not show any of the context of what was happening, what was intended by both players. It ends badly for Semedo, and I suppose you can argue that whatever the context, the landing is deserving of a yellow card. It’s never a sending off. It’s never clear and obviously wrong enough to warrant a change in the referee’s decision. It was another horrific use of the technology. It’s hard to not read the narrative of the day into the decision-making process here. We all know about the game, and I am trying to not mention the ‘K’ Word at all within this piece, but this game was tighter than expected at this stage and the game massively swung on this decision and the subsequent 10 minutes. Add it to the list. 

2. The unintended consequence of VAR.

It’s not a red card anyway, I’ve gone through my opinion on that already. What is even more frustrating though is not the impact on this game, there is every chance we lose to Liverpool away from home. The bigger issue is the three-game ban that Semedo now faces at the start of next season. This is another example of the rules of the game not following the differential use of VAR. A 3-game ban is a substantial penalty. It was a punishment put in place in the days of Vinnie Jones to try and stop players from flying in at other players with leg breaking challenges. The three-game ban was never intended for a ‘tackle’ that at worst is slightly mistimed. The rules have not kept pace with the technology. In much the same way as Penalties being awarded for micro infringements or debatable and non influential handballs, the rules of the game have not been adjusted. We now have a player banned for almost 8% of the following season. The punishment was designed as a preventative measure and to punish horrific challenges not to look at a still on an incident that carried almost zero force. The punishment in this instance in no way resembles anything like the crime. Wolves will not win the argument on VAR in the summer, but if it stays, rules need to be adjusted along with the general usage. That’s the reality of where we are, VAR is more important evidently than the rules of the game. Make it make sense.

3. Thank God its over.

I don’t think as a collective of fans, players, management, and a whole club have ever wanted a season to end as desperately as we have here. It has been a death of a thousand cuts since the quarter final defeat. When the whistle blew, the collective relief was palpable. It’s finally over. We all need the break. The players have looked dead on their feet for months. To their credit, the effort and attitude have remained. Wolves haven’t had the kind of defeat of Brighton Away last season and in most games, they have been competitive at the very least. The meaningfulness of the games though departed some time ago. Everyone go and have a break! 

4. A fond Farewell but to who?

Someone has played their last game for Wolves. Pedro Neto was many people’s favourite to leave the club earlier in the season, but that situation has been complicated by injuries. Who is going to pay the asking price on a player who has been plagued by injuries for years. Wolves will not want to sell him for a low price and Neto leaving looks a lot less certain than it did a few months ago. He will need a season clear of injuries and of a similar standard to achieve anything like a value that Wolves would consider reasonable. When you start to consider Wolves other assets, there are similar caveats that need to be applied. Ait-Nouri has massive talent, but this is the first year he has really come to form. Joao Gomes has had an exceptional season but is unlikely to get the kind of bids that would meet his potential worth. The only two players that are likely to achieve maximum revenue compared to their worth are Max Killman and Hwang Hee-Chan. Both players would likely achieve maximal value and are to an extent replaceable. If Wolves want to add depth, then these two players along with some fringe assets seem most vulnerable to an exit.

5. We need a good summer.

This season has punctuated the lack of quality this team has outside of a very competitive first eleven. Wolves would fancy themselves against most opposition if everyone were fit but scratch the surface and you find rather large chasms in talent. Players need to come in, the squad needs building. We also need a summer of stability. It would be a disaster should there not be a continuity of management. Wolves seem to have accepted their lot as a mid table Premier League team, content to be in the pack of clubs scraping for a European Conference position at best. It feels a dangerous game, an acceptance that at some point, things are not going to go well, and you will face a relegation battle or relegation itself. It almost becomes an inevitability. Brighton and Brentford have been given as examples of sustainable clubs, but would anyone be really surprised if either of those clubs were to have a poor season and leave the league, probably not. Accepting sustainability, means an acceptance that the worst-case scenario could happen. If we don’t have the summer we need, that could become a reality sooner rather than later.

6. Best season for a while but worst league position.

Wolves deserved better than 14th, their worst league finish since returning to the Premier League. Only a couple of months ago, Wolves looked certain for an FA Cup semi-final position at least, along with a top half finish. A catalogue of injuries and a run of results that were worse than the performances merited followed. Whilst the position was the worst achieved, the performances and the season itself were better than the seasons that proceeded this one. The football was brighter and more entertaining, the doldrums of negative and pragmatic football released. This Wolves team have been engaged with the fanbase and it doesn’t deserve the mantle of the worst performing team since the return to the Premier league. Wolves have shown fight, resilience, flair, and skill this season and it was hugely welcome. It didn’t so much splutter as fall of a cliff at the end, but when reflecting on how the season began, this was a season way above expectations. It’s what could have been that is most frustrating, but most Wolves fans would have snapped the hands off from anyone offering them this season back in August. 

Dave Porter, Always Wolves Fan TV


Wolverhampton born, East Sussex based supporter. Old enough to have seen the descent to the bottom, young enough to not have experienced the days my friend. Not many Wolves fans to celebrate or commiserate with round these parts, so had to find an outlet to discuss the enormous highs, crushing lows and share the frustrations that only come with following Wolves.  

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