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1 Mistletoe and nine?

What a fantastic Christmas present this has been. Santa’s sack has been stocked full of points and he has delivered them all to Wolves fans everywhere. With only the arguably easier game against Everton at home to come, Wolves have already accumulated more points than even the most optimistic of Wolves fan could have envisaged over the festive period. With a squad that lacks depth, the final game of the Christmas trilogy may be a step too far, but Wolves have taken a huge amount of pressure off the game against Everton already and will go into that game thinking that they can achieve the perfect Christmas. Pressure of needing to get a result would have been an additional drain to already weary legs. Confidence and the comfort of having points already on the table, will feel as fresh as an extra couple of days of rest. Wolves will go into the final game thinking nine points and a position in the top half of the table are there for the taking.


2 O’Neil adding value as well as points. 

Wolves’ points haul this season has been impressive but as well as the handsome looking league position, individual performances have added significant value to players who a short time ago, may have been binned for cut price deals. Ait-Nouri and Hwang have probably doubled their transfer value over the season so far. Mattheus Cunha now feels something of a bargain rather than a liability at around £40 million. Kilman is looking every bit like the player that was knocking on the door of the England squad again. Neto’s value was diminishing but it would take extraordinary money to force Wolves to move their most valuable asset. Gomes and Lemina must be the envy of many clubs in the league. The point here is that Wolves have not only created a very respectable league position, the manner in which they have done it has raised the value of the individuals involved. We are not seeing pragmatism where individuals could be lost in favour of team discipline, the team has been created in a way that individuals have been allowed to flourish. This is not only pleasing to the fans in terms of league position and enjoyment of the spectacle, it will also have pleased the accountants.


3 Merry Christmas Nathan Collins, sorry I didn’t get you anything.   

Nathan Collins is going to be a really good footballer. He will in time prove to be a bit of a bargain for Brentford who abused Wolves need for quick cash to secure the defender in the summer. Last Night however, Nathan Collins would have had difficulty getting to sleep and probably woke up in cold sweats thinking of what can only be described as a horror show of a performance. Despite the flattering score, there wasn’t too much between the sides. Wolves will feel that they deserved to win of course, the clinical way that they despatched Brentford alone merited the victory, but the key differentiator in this game was Nathan Collins. Were it not for the two terrible passes that directly lead to goals, Collins may have been angry with himself for the poor clearance that Toti was able to head a through pass to Hwang Hee Chan to delightfully despatch, but this error was nothing compared to the level of errors that lead to Wolves second and fourth goals. It was Nathan Collins best performance for Wolves by some distance and one the defender will want to forget.


4 Mario Lemina is low-key the best player in the league.

In the form of his life, Mario Lemina is on current form the best player in the Premier League, and I will happily die on this hill. His all-round game has been sensational, and he has somehow managed to add four goals in nine games. What a ridiculous footballer and what a ridiculous bargain Wolves have secured. He is the talisman for Wolves. Whilst Kilman is the captain and a very good ambassador for Wolves, Lemina is the man on the pitch. With every game he seems bigger, his shoulders broadened. He sets the standards and players rise to him. Lemina has gone under the radar for much of his career, a solid performer with an attitude issue. Not anymore, you simply cannot ignore his performances and contributions and Lemina knows it. Something has clicked for him; he is in the form of his life and showing no signs that this is a fluke. Long may it continue.



5. Who goes? you decide. 

The likely transfers out are becoming more obvious. What is less clear is who will drop from the first team when Wolves inevitably bring in at least one, but more likely two forward players including a central striker. Wolves need depth and will lose players to injury and oversees tournaments in the short term, but if Wolves play with a new central striker and a returning Neto, then players are going to be jettisoned from the first eleven. Pablo Sarabia is likely one to miss out, his all-round game is not quite on the level of the rest of the team, but there can be absolutely no doubting the numbers. Sarabia is creating chances and is deservedly enjoying an extended spell in the side. Cunha, Neto and Hwang (when available after January and February) seem guaranteed starters. How then do Wolves fit in a striker whilst maintaining the formation that has changed them from relegation contenders to a team threatening the top half of the table and even the European places? The answer is probably a ‘horses for courses’ approach, but there is a very real risk that the addition of a striker could unbalance a Wolves side that may lack consistency but, on its day, can test any side in the league.


6 What a difference a year makes. 

This time last year, there was so much doom and gloom. Fast forward twelve months and Wolves have, at times through desperation rather than planning, managed to reinvent themselves and are once again looking up the table rather than over their shoulder. The feel of the club seems totally different to the one that managed to desperately fight for Premier league survival last season. Christmas is about more than football, its about friends and family and for some, the chance to escape from the pressures of life, for a short time at least. Christmas, however, feels a lot better with 25 points in the back pocket, and the taste of the Christmas food and tipple of choice, so much sweeter.


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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