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Craig hickey looks what we learnt from wolves first outing of the season at Old Trafford

There was much nervousness, angst and trepidation about the new era at Molineux under Gary O’Neill. So, what did we learn against Man Utd in this season’s first game of the season.

1. Gary O'Neil does know how to play good football

A Wolves team that some of our supporters thought would struggle under GON, we would get battered at Man U and free flowing football would desert us, goofball ahoy. It was one of the best performances away from home that I’ve seen for some time. We caused Man United endless problems and should have, yep, should have scored but look at the confidence of the players, the movement, the passing, the chances….23, if that’s the blueprint, I’ll take that. I’m confident this team can flourish under O’Neil, let’s see what the naysayers think. Glass half full for me.

2. Cunha brings his Brazilian samba feet to the pitch

Take a bow sir, that performance showed me why he is so highly rated. He has such quick feet, pace, the skill to drive forward and scare defenders, he was unlucky to be on the losing side just a tad more than all the other players. We’ve seen glimpses in pre-season of his ability which could be key to us unlocking defences this season, this game was by far his best in a Wolves shirt. Cunha is a big performer on the big stage and shone head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch in a red shirt.

3. Nelson Semedo can defend and attack

Without getting caught out. He made some good surges forward but let Neto do his thing. We’ve seen some difficult times for Semedo on that right side, busting a gut trying to get back after overlapping on the right and exposing us. I’ve seen a change over the pre-season in his defensive discipline, granted he was probably told to ‘bomb on’ but we need a steady defensive line to build on, that’s a part of getting positive results. Now Doc is back, perhaps he feels he has to be more aware of those responsibilities. 

4. There is life after Neves and Moutinho

Two legends in midfield have departed, which we all thought would leave us in a bit of a mess. We had some great times with them but times move on. Tonight, we saw a midfield 3 that look ready to fill that void, Lemina, Gomes and Nunes played really well. Lemina and Gomes putting tackles in, blocking, passing into space and dominating the midfield area, they worked well together. They looked strong, energetic and full of energy, breaking forward fast as our team used to do. Fernandes and Casemiro were chasing shadows and that’s down to the midfield, who wouldn’t let them settle and indeed bossed the game.

5. The stats don't lie

Reading the stats from the game, Wolves matched United in many areas but of course, the result is all that matters sadly a 1-0 win for the Reds. We should however take some comfort from our figures, 49% possession, 23 shots, 6 on target, 7 off target, 10 blocked shots, 1 off the woodwork, 23 crosses, 1 penalty appeal which should have been given via VAR (nothing new there then)……I know the points mean more but we should take great pride in the fact we could have won this game. There will be bad days but if we can have more days like these regarding performances, we will win some of these big games. It’s now all about reproducing these week in and week out.
It’s a positive start for us in many ways, especially after the turmoil of the last week and a change of manager 4 days ago. I daresay they’ll be some doom and gloom out there but I think there’s positives on show. It’s now time for the team to learn new things and kick on.
Craig Hickey


A 53 year old season ticket holder in the Steve Bull stand. Go along with my two young lads who love the Wolves and so far, the positive times. Long may it continue.

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