ANDREW BENNETT GIVES HIS OPIONS ON PLAYER PERFORMANCE
From the moment I stepped foot in Molineux this afternoon and in front of the North Bank Manchester City were completing a passing drill in such a compact space I was astonished by the year on year improvement of Pep’s teams. Just watching a five minute drill and I knew the task for Wolves was going to be challenging, much like writing these player ratings.
The first rating of the day is a 10 for the excellent reflection and commemoration both at the beginning of the game and on the 70 minute mark from the home fans for Her Majesty Elizabeth II.
Onto the players after this afternoons 3-0 loss to Manchester City.
JOSE SA - 4
A poor performance from Jose Sa this afternoon not really making any memorable saves and looking wrong footed on Haaland’s goal. I personally think he should’ve done better. There were also too many risky passes being made by the keeper against a team who can implement a brilliant high press. Too often slowing Wolves down in transition when it is the best time to exploit any weaknesses City have.
RAYAN AÏT NOURI - 5
An okay performance from the attacking left back, but too often in the first half he was too slow to release the ball and lost the ball often in dangerous positions. His performance improved in the second half but again too much time on the ball and a lack of awareness to release the ball held back Wolves attacks. One moment he did make a great cross Guedes somehow put the ball closer to the corner flag than the net.
MAX KILMAN - 7
A good performance from Kilman considering the attacking players he was facing. Didn’t look phased and was pretty solid especially given he had a new defensive partner next to him for over half of the game. As usual Kilman is only impressing each performance even in defeat.
NATHAN COLLINS - 2
Shocking positioning on the goal Haaland scored, should have pressed as he was the closest man. Although kicking Jack Grealish in the middle of the body is not the worst thing you can do from a Wolves fan’s performance it was unnecessary and cost Wolves any slim hopes of getting back into the game. The stupid challenge also will negatively impact Wolves as we progress this season with an upcoming three game ban.
JONNY OTTO - 4
More asleep than the North Bank Turnstiles (which for fans around me didn’t let them in until the first five minutes had passed due to a fault) to let Grealish in behind and score a minute into the game. Throwing any plan Wolves did have (questionable if one existed) out the window. Otherwise an okay performance but didn’t really inspire you and looked tired at the end.
RUBEN NEVES - 7
For a player who played centre back for the majority of the game I thought he was great. Out of position and playing against Haaland, Foden and co he looked comfortable. Maybe made a few sloppy passes throughout the game but nothing which cost Wolves. A good performance from Neves in the circumstances and probably couldn’t expect more.
JOAO MOUTNHO - 5
Was rather non existent throughout the first half, made a few nice passes and held position well. Second half improved but given we swapped from a three to a two in midfield clearly asked to do more than was expected. An average display and didn’t do anything poor nor spectacular.
MATTHEUS NUNES - 6
A promising performance from Nunes given the opposition. Looked lively running forward however lacked the final pass (albeit not his fault but those ahead of him). Impressive in the second half how he managed to make spaces between City’s midfielders and back line. Looked the most likely player to create anything if we were to find a goal from midfield.
PEDRO NETO - 4
Nice running and movement from Pedro however the couple of chances he had did not test Ederson and often looked too weak in the challenge especially in the first half. As seems to have happened in the past games Neto has been taking too much time on the ball and making poor choices in the final third. I was personally surprised he stayed on the pitch when Podence and Guedes were subbed as offered less than his fellow attackers.
GONÇALO GUEDES - 6
If Wolves were to score today looked most likely to be Guedes. Made some good moments in the first half but final ball or shot was poor. Had probably the best chance all afternoon for Wolves and the ball ended closer to the edge of the penalty box than the net. Really need players like Guedes to step up in attacking means without a focal point up top.
DANIEL PODENCE - 5
Similar to Guedes made some good moments but was not really in the game. Had a good chance in the first half putting a shot just wide, but didn’t expect him to score from such an opportunity. He was probably let down by Jose Sa on many occasions trying to find the smallest player on the pitch from long high balls. Unfortunate afternoon for Podence.
B. Traore (70 minutes for Podence) – 6
Looked promising on debut tried to move the ball forwards from a deep position. At one opportunity was ran past far to easily but against this Manchester City side can’t be to critical of a young debutant. Promising and I hope to see more of him throughout the season.
Hwang (70 minutes for Guedes) – 5
Lots of running and tried to get on the end of a couple of long balls, Wolves attacking movements mostly fizzled out after City’s third goal didn’t really do much of note to remember.
Semedo (81 minutes for Ait Nouri) – 6
Solid from Semedo a player I was shocked who didn’t start today. Ran a couple of times at the city back line with no success. With only 10 or so minutes on the pitch and City controlling the ball couldn’t really do much.
The final sub was Neto off for Chem Campbell in the 86th minute, didn’t do anything of note.
BRUNO LAGE 4
Admittedly restricted by the lack of any striker and Adama also out injured (who as we have seen in the past can damage City) but this said the lack of any seeming game plan to score a goal is worrying. Also some bizarre substitutes bringing Podence and Guedes off, although did have a quiet few moments did nothing worse than Neto and looked more like scoring than the latter. The final word on Bruno was to keep Neves at centre back after Collins red card just seems strange. Does not give confidence to Toti or Mosquera who were both on the bench as the central defensive cover. On this I am also sure I spotted Toti stripped off and ready to go before sitting down again, clearly a lack of communication between his staff. Keeping Neves so deep we could not make many chances going forwards. Don’t want to be too critical but the plan today seemed to be don’t get smashed (this worked as only conceding three goals against this side with 10 men could be seen as respectable) but the lack of any clear cut chances and really any moments a clear plan could be seen is worrying.
To summarise today, another disappointing result and flat performance to a match. One win in ten is concerning, admittedly City didn’t cut through us as much as I somewhat expected to go home from Molineux with a lack of hope for goals is not great, let’s hope Costa can get fit over the international break and the team clicks as something is going wrong.
ARTICLE BY ANDREW BENNETT
From my first Wolves match against Chelsea in 2003 I fell in love with the team and matchday experience. I work in digital marketing and have lived in Germany and Estonia over the past few years, this doesn’t stop me following Wolves and ensuring all my international friends become invested to the Wolf pack. I enjoy football, board games, a pint and travelling always excited to try new things.