1. A statement arrival into the top ten.
Wolves have been threatening an arrival into the top half of the table for a while now, today their entrance was far from a team showing any humility that it deserved their place. This Wolves team didn’t quietly sneak in the back door of the party, they smashed the front door down and turned the music up to maximum. Wolves look like they belong and don’t show any signs of going home early. They have earned the right to be trading blows with teams who started the season with more grandiose expectations than the unruly new guests. Wolves have a swagger, a freshness and a resilience that is going to be unwelcome and problematic to the usual crowd.
2. Neto and Cunha are terrifying opponents.
They are at the moment unplayable, on par with anything the rest of the league have to offer. Cunha walked away with the match ball and Neto has probably ended the career of Thiago Silva. Wolves scored four today, but let’s not hide the reality that this could have been six or seven. Gary O’Neil even had the luxury of resting Neto after his work was so effectively completed in the first seventy minutes, who knows where the score could have ended up if he had stayed on. Neto and Cunha are Wolves’ diamonds. They transition with electric pace and effortless quality. On current form, both players walk into almost every team in the league and almost every team will want them in the summer. It feels like this show is just starting and no one wants it to end just yet.
3. There’s only two Joao Gomes’
There cannot be just one of him. A glance of Gomes heat map was like Jackson Pollock number 5 in red and amber. He was absolutely everywhere. There cannot possibly be just one of him. Tommy Doyle has been excellent for Wolves over recent weeks and was unlucky to be rested for this game, but Gomes looked like a man who was well rested and let off the leash following his suspension. He is another Wolves player who must be attracting glances in the footballing world. He is destined to go to the very top.
4. The full backs are so important to us.
Even before his departure to the AFCON, Ait-Nouri’s importance to the balance to the team was well known. He was always going to be missed. Doherty has filled in as best he could, but it isn’t his position, and he simply does not have the same skillset as Ait-Nouri. It is inconceivable that this is a player that last year, could not convince a manager to give him a game. Wolves as a team are significantly more effective with Ait-Nouri in the side, it’s not just what he brings individually, it’s the space that opens for others. On the other side Nelson Semedo is having a tremendous season. Another fantastic all energy display. He may not have the numbers he should get in terms of the goals or direct assists, but he is regularly the ball before the assist or involved in some capacity in Wolves best moments. In a season where Wolves have played well with several individuals standing out as contenders for player of the season, it is testament to Semedo’s contributions that he must be part of that conversation.
5. They are just so likeable.
This team has character. It has resilience, it has a connection to the fans. The players are smiling, they do not know when they are beaten, they have a freedom and a verve to their game. They are exciting, they will try the out of the ordinary. They also have determination, discipline, and a willingness to work for each other. Wolves have been a difficult watch for the two or three years previous, not just for fans of the club but also the neutral. O’Neil has completely changed that perception. Games are enjoyable again. If Wolves of the past few seasons went a goal down, then that was usually that. Not anymore, there wasn’t panic when the first goal went in today, there was more a confidence that they will definitely score here. Goals today felt inevitable rather than improbable. Watching Wolves is fun again and that is important.
6. What a week.
We all know what’s happened over the last eight days. Three games in eight days is never easy, but this run of games really wasn’t easy. This was high stakes, a run that could have easily derailed a season if not navigated through carefully. At the end of it all, Wolves have come out with a win over their rivals, a heartbreaking but undeniably brave defeat and a glorious win. Three points, a place in the top half of the table and a place in the next round of the FA cup is their reward. Wolves have scored nine goals in the process and for one reason or another have been the talking point of English football all week. Wolves are trending and they are trending up!
ARTICLE BY DAVE PORTER
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.