Wolves 1 Yeovil Town 0

Contemplating a ‘Plan B’ after two games of the season might sound a little churlish to many, not least when they’ve both ended up in 1-0 victories.

Embed from Getty Images

But during spells of last night’s unnecessarily burdensome League Cup win, you were wondering what we wouldn’t give for a physical presence up top to hammer home all that intelligent interplay behind.

Don’t get me wrong, ‘Plan A’ looks extremely encouraging and the yearning for a Chris Iwelumo-type probably misses the point completely in this principled new age of possession based football.

(And imagine a scenario if we score an early goal and teams have to attack us. Then we could really have some fun!)

But for all the quite brilliant passing and moving, the hunch is that we’re still missing that final piece of the jigsaw to convert our undoubted dominance up to the edge of the penalty box.

Bonatini – who cuts the jib of Cedric Roussel in my mind – is still some way from being fit, while Nouha Dicko is still to completely convince following his injury, despite his well-taken winner.

If not a big man, then someone with that bit of devilment to fashion a chance from clever positional play. Jordan Rhodes anyone?

In any case, I couldn’t help but be impressed with this performance, which was laden with quick, incisive interplay in what appeared to be a 3-5-2 formation.

The personnel was almost entirely different to the Middlesbrough XI, save for Boly and Bonatini, but you could tell this was another Nuno side at work with Connor Ronan and Jack Price looking particularly easy on the eye in the middle of the park.

Danny Batth and Ryan Bennett looked competent alongside Big Willy, while our wing backs Vinagre and Jordan Graham were exactly what you’d expect; cool and calm on the ball with no little inclination to attack. If anything, they could have done this even more, with Vinagre seeing a lot more of the ball in the second half, lacking only in a telling final ball.

Without doubt, Dave Edwards struggled, shanking the ball out of play in the opening seconds and generally looking ill at ease when asked to recycle the ball in the pinball game mode we now adopt. His early substitution was telling, as was his reaction to it, shaking his head, kicking a water bottle (albeit apologetically) and throwing some energy bar/snack back at the lad who lobbed it his way.

The times, they are a changing, it would appear. (Bright Enobakhare looked so exciting when he came on, with Jota also impressing.)

But not enough to stop a familiar lapse in concentration when a Yeovil striker was afforded oceans of room in front of goal before we scored, only to shoot wide.

Had that have gone in, then we could have been looking at another League Cup embarrassment. Thankfully it didn’t, Nouha Dicko planted home a close-range header and we all move on.


  1. sevlow says:

    A win is a win. Reading various reports tell me we were good/bad/indifferent. Nuno is looking for the missing jigsaw piece (though that will not be Andre Gray who, it seems, is heading to Watford for £11.5).
    I am glad we have made it through this game and continue to look solid at the back (well mostly).


  2. spikeyboy says:

    Sorry for dangerous , it looks like he has finally reached the end of his wolves road and he knows it.
    This system of play just doesn’t suit him .
    Great servant but we now have to move on and there simply isn’t room for passengers or sentiment.
    I am certain he still has a huge amount to offer someone at this standard but alas not us.
    I think we will be saying goodbye to a few more old faces over the coming months as Nuno starts to improve the quality of his entire squad and not just the first eleven which is looking pretty much sorted.
    His comments about EVERYONE being interchageble were obvious in the fact that still a few of the players available to him are not good enough.
    The win last night was no more than a test for many and although some are trying to change Nuno is no mug , he knows what he wants.
    A good work out and a deserved win , the score was not what mattered it was how they played that was under scrutiny and for the most they did well .
    Expect more transfer action


  3. Agree Ben its you’ve said basically what I said after Boro game only some fans don’t or won’t hear it. From midfield to attack that’s were we are struggling is that down to the system or the players……….at this stage I don’t know but it needs sorting and as I’ve said before I’m sure it hasn’t gone unnoticed by Nuno.


  4. pauluswolf says:

    I am trying to keep a sanguine mind about developments. True we have a better squad and a better management team, but I for one will not get carried away by the euphoria of a good win over Middlesboro – a win that was gifted to us by a slack pass by their defence. Only John Ruddy saved us from a draw/defeat.
    I was not present last night for a drab 1-0 victory by our ‘B’ team over a side previously beaten 8-2!
    As Nuno has said we are still very much in development and as we all know we are still a quality striker short. We will know better how things stand after Derby away, and by the end of the month, but for now can I ask that we get a sense of perspective………one swallow does not a summer make.


  5. Nippy Lobo says:

    It would be nice to score more goals, but I’m leary of Wolves spending £8m on a player, particularly someone as unclassy as Jordan Rhodes. I rate Dicko, would like to see Bonatini fully fit, and there is also Enobakhare’s potential. I don’t want to see a striker signed for so much money it puts pressure on Nuno to play him. I’d be much happier with Rhodes if, say, he was only £2.5 or £3m. This is special time when we have a lot of new and young players. I would like to see the kind of striker I would normally not want—an experienced and proven veteran from a top league. Too late for Rooney or Podolski, and maybe Crouch, Jerome and Gestede are not good enough, but you can see the kind of ball park I’m thinking in.


  6. It’s never easy to find open space when teams play one man up front and the rest behind the ball and no amount of passing across the midfield is gonna open things up. I would think those that played on Saturday would have had that bit of nous and added accuracy which could have made the crucial pass, but those who turned out against Yeovil couldn’t quite find it. An early goal would have transformed the game.
    Still, we’re through to the next round and all eyes will now be looking toward Pride Park on Saturday and a serious test of our promotion credentials. Derby won’t sit back with ten men behind the ball, that’s for sure, so hopefully no need for Ben’s ‘Plan B’.


  7. basherbaz says:

    Looks like we are missing out on Andre Gray, proven Prem goalscorer which I think is a big mistake, we can surely match/beat the wage structure and he would get on to the Neves,Saiss,Cavaleiro,Costa,Graham passes


  8. StuWolf says:

    This was definitely the Wolves B team on show last night, they did the job asked of them and at times there were flashes of really good possession football, where we made some really slick one touch passes.

    Being a retired Medical person, I would put £500 on Conor Ronan being under the weather last night with that heavy legged, worn out look after the first 20 minutes, his talent is frightening for someone of such a young age, but I’m convinced the lad was not well last night. When he came off Nuno had him around the waist talking to him for sometime before tphevwent to the bench, the lad done good under his circumstances.

    But, i have to wax lyrical on Mr Jota, Vinagre I do like the guy and in my own opinion he had a pretty good game, but, when Jota came on and the two paired up it was pure Samba football, they twisted and turned the Yeovil lads inside out and apart from some typical Wolves finishing, we would have indeed acheived my 4-0 prediction in those few minutes Jota was on the pitch.

    But, that was definitely a Wolves B team be under no allusion albeit we had 66% of the play, they will disappear slowly, but definitely will disappear and be replaced with a far higher calibre of player. When our new boys fire on all cylinders I think Samba footy will be the norm from Ruddy, Jota, Neves, Costa, Saiss, Boly, Miranda, Douglas, Cavalerio, Bontini and a new striker.

    If you look at that team, there is a wealth of talent now dropping to the B team so last nights guys will surely move on. No place for sentiment, we all want the same, that means folk have to go. If the rumour that Nuno himself is putting out there is to be believed, that we are still loooking, then that’s even more to move on.

    The times they are a changing.

    Three games 1-0
    Better footy.
    Better possession.
    No hoof ball.
    Actual goals.
    What’s not to like.


  9. colin says:

    If we stick with the habits of having the ball, not conceeding cheaply and winning more exciting and expressive football will surely come. The future is Bright the future is Enobakhare.


    • Couldn’t have put it better myself Colin. I agree. It is a new philosophy, with the onus on keeping the ball and being careful in possession – rather than lumping it long to Nouha Dicko’s head like so many of the games in Lambert’s final knockings. Ok, so we’ll lose some games and it won’t be plain sailing, but we won’t be putting in dismal showings like that one away at Burton, for example.
      If we were 1 up in such a context today, I would like to think we’d keep the ball, maintain momentum and pick them off.
      Would love to see us against a team with 10 men too. We only ever hear how tough it is to break down a team with a man less. Not under this regime I’d wager.


  10. ExiledWolf says:

    Indeed, the times they are a changin – but at least this time there was no blood on the tracks. That’s the Bob Dylan reference out of the way.

    From my perspective, I’m happy to take any win while we are still settling into the new season. I like the look of Diogo Jota but Vinagre looks promising also. Looking forward to our new striker – I would be happy with Rhodes.


    • You can’t beat a Dylan reference mate! How good a song is ‘Tangled up in Blue’?! I discovered it on a plane back from a Las Vegas stag do. I almost cried at the old goat’s broken heart. Poetry.


      • ExiledWolf (we're all with you Carl) says:

        Cheers Ben.

        Make you feel my love (he wrote it) is another good ‘un. Mind you, these days it doesn’t take much for me to become maudlin. Carl Ikeme’s pre match message on Saturday touched a chord or two.


  11. Johnok says:

    Any news on Ben Marshall,is he or isn’t he coming.If not there’s gotta be someone out there to do a job for us who’s got quality.
    Anyway a wins wins a win,last term we would’ve drawn that match.


  12. StuWolf says:

    Shit, forgot sorry Johnok.

    Marshall starts training next week.


  13. Idiot in Croydon says:

    If we take points from Derby away then I’ll start to get excited.


  14. Sad to say, but there can be little doubt that Dangerous is now out of his depth. He simply does not have the natural skills to be a part of the playing strategy now adopted. Given his long and dedicated service its a shame, but its time to face facts.

    Also, the game last night again highlighted the urgent need for a quality natural striker. I too am far from convinced by Dicko. A Squad player at best, but should be nowhere near the starting line up.


    • DancesWithWolves says:

      I’ve been one of Dave Edwards’ biggest fans for years. He was invaluable under the Lambert, Jackett, McCarthy approach. He epitomises “putting a shift in” . I recognise that the Nuno revolution/philosophy needs a different sort of player now. I’d say loan Dangerous out for the rest of the season to another club in this division (don’t want him playing against us) and then sell him if we get promoted. I assume wheels are in motion re another striker.


  15. DancesWithWolves says:

    I’ll take 1-0 with no casualties all night long, even if we’re playing a Pulis-style pub team.
    At least it didn’t go to ABBA penalties: You know what happens then: The Winner Takes It All…

    Bit of a rumour says we’re in for Norwich’s Oliviera. Makes sense with Gray gone, Gallagher knocked back and Oliviera being Portuguese to boot. Apparently he upset the German coach at Norwich with his goal celebration on Saturday at Fulham. No Wolves player will ever upset me after scoring a goal…


  16. Wolfman Jack says:

    Having seen the goals Yeovil conceded at Luton on Saturday (thanks, YouTube) I wasn’t surprised they introduced two new central defenders last night. Nor was I surprised that they parked the proverbial. No matter how well you move the ball around, if you’re facing 9 men only interested in defending their box its going to take a while to create clear chances. Still, we eventually got the job done so no complaints from me.


  17. Twixfix says:

    A win is a win … It was never going to be easy against a team playing 5:4:1.

    Yeovil came not to get pasted and snatch a goal …which they should have done btw …but in the end one goal was all that was required.

    The introduction of Enobakhare and Jota certainly livened matters up and the sight of poor Dangerous Dave taking it out of a bottle of water clearly reflected his frustration at being given the hook.

    Certainly Vinagre and Jota were carving things up down the left side and Jota was unlucky with a shot that whistled over near the end.

    Still we can only beat what is in front of us and I sense a few more 5:4:1 systems being deployed to stop us scoring….

    Derby on Saturday will offer a glimmer of what’s in store … and a point or three there will be very encouraging.


  18. Bedford Wolf (We're all with you Carl) says:

    Played 2

    Won 2

    Conceded 0

    That’s all you need to know.

    I’m very happy.

    Surprised everyone isn’t.

    Glass half full lads!



    • Clive from Houston ( We are all with you, Carl) says:

      Exactly what I was going to say, but I would have used a few earthier words.
      Actually, my cup runneth overeth, with IPA!!

      Are you off to Derby, Bedders!
      If so, I expect full coverage, as I cannot watch/listen, family funeral and all that.
      Adios, Compadres
      Which is the Spanish for Hasta La Vista Baby, the Portuguese version.
      And, surprised no one has mentioned, for me, the greatest ever Portuguese player….Eusebio.


    • Brompton Wolf (we're all with you Carl) says:

      No mention of Edwards? I am surprised. His performance added weight to your argument. What does Steve Daley known lol


      • Bedford Wolf (my wife's a quarter Portuguese y'know) says:

        Brompton – I didn’t mention Edwards as I was brought up very well by my parents and was always taught that it was wicked to mock the afflicted.


        • Brompton Wolf says:

          LOL. You coming to Hull? I am going down for that one.


          • Bedford Wolf (my wife's a quarter Portuguese y'know) says:

            I am not going to Hull – and am not at all sure I want to know about you going down!

            My next fixtures:
            19 August Cardiff (home)
            26 August Brentford (away)
            16 September Nottm Forest (away)

            p.s. in case you missed it whilst you were off in Dubrovnik (or was it Venice?) I can’t go to any of the three home games in September due to holidays etc so you are more than welcome to use my season ticket for any or all of those games – Millwall on Saturday 9th, Bristol City on Tuesday 12th and Barnsley on Saturday 23rd.


            • Brompton Wolf says:

              Thanks Dave,

              My next game after Hull is the Forest game on the 16th Sep, so I hope to see you there.

              I only have three home games planned this season. I have planned for 10 away games though, all closer to me than the Mol. But ……… depending on how we do, it may change lol

              My mobile is 07464 970597. Throw me a msg when you are at Forest if you want.


  19. Raydewolf says:

    Typical write up Ben, not getting carried away.
    We have a definite style of play and philosophy for the first time since I don’t know when.
    I also think Nuno won’t stray from this , if and when things get sticky ala previous coaches.
    I am not even cautiously optimistic, I’m very.


  20. Again, largely solid and organised defensively and in central midfield, protecting the back three and keeping the ball well.

    However, again lacking in threat going forward.

    I wish it was just a case of requiring someone to be the final piece of the jigsaw to finish moves off – however, the reality is more than this.

    Leicester aside, we have created very little goalscoring opportunities since the beginning of preseason.

    The reason for this is down to how Nuno sets the team up:

    *Central midfield: Largely plays deep to protect the defense and to retain as much possession of the ball as possible – meaning that there is often too much distance and disconnect between them and the front three and, consequently, they pose very little attacking threat.

    *Wingbacks: As good wide outlets as the WBs have thus far been, they are not wingers and, coupled with being saddled with defensive duties when we haven’t got the ball, they have generally thus far posed limited attacking threat.

    Forwards: With central midfield and wingbacks largely thus far offering little meaningful attacking threat, the onus falls on the front three to largely do it on their own. The problem with this is that the wide forwards we currently have fit offer very little consistent meaningful end product – ie creating goalscoring opportunities and scoring goals. Furthermore, aside of Costa – who we all know can, when ‘he’s on it’, deliver consistent end product – I don’t see who else is going to provide this, given that I can’t see Nuno playing the only other two players who offer end product, Graham and Marsall, in wide forward positions where can really influence games.

    If Nuno is going to continue setting us up as he thus far has, and we genuinely are serious about going up this season – christ, we’re going to require a damn sight more consistent end product from our two wide forwards and, of course, central striker. Requirements neither Cav, Bright, Ronan (not a forward) or Zyro have thus far showed that they’re capable of providing.

    Therefore, another striker? Absolutely. But without the service around him…


  21. spikeyboy says:

    Ok Steve but I will take 1-0 all season and I have a feeling we may all have to get used to that scoreline.
    Posession and control seem to be the order of the day .


  22. Paulcooksleftpeg says:

    I’d keep Edwards useful bringing him on if chasing a game, he is one of our better players who reads where a cross or corner is coming in,could win us a few points this season but will be bit part.


    • BARDWolf (Like Cream - Always rises to the top) says:

      SSD – Solid State Drive OR Super Sub Dangerous Dave.
      If we are one nil down with ten minutes to play, throw DD on to play as a proper number 10 arriving late into the box.


  23. john Payne says:

    I think we’ll have a lot more goalscoring once Cav and Costa are back, not to mention Marshall and Zyro.
    It’ll be interesting to see Wolves reaction to Sheff Unt bid for Coady – surely he’s earned a new contract.
    Generally though, we’re sound in defence and with those raking passes from Neves there will be plenty for forwards to latch on to.

    Conor Ronan situation worrying, if observations that he’s not 100%, maybe he really is not ready for the first team rough and tumble.

    Dave Edwards seems to be redundant to the new Wolves – maybe time for him to go back to Shrewsbury as he had planned for a few last seasons. He could become a hero there.


    • StuWolf says:


      There is no substance to the Conor Ronan tiredness observations, just my thoughts on how he looked after 20 mins, hands on knees huffing and puffing.

      Hope I’m totally wrong as I love the kid, I want to see him go from strength to strength.


    • Karlir-Johanarnt Kristjanson says:

      The bid was rejected. I Don’t know how high they went. I’m guessing 4-5 mill.


  24. I too have been steadfast in my support for Dangerous Dave’s inclusion in our team over many seasons, but feel his time now may be up.
    His limitations have always been there for all to see, but in the systems we have played under recent managers, his attributes far outweighed his drawbacks. His goalscoring record shows that. NES’s requirements are much different however and one or two touch football is not Dave’s forte.
    Mostly though, I’ve always believed he should play because we have had no one better to replace him with. Now it’s patently obvious we do, so, despite his wonderful service to our club over many years, it’s time for him to make way.
    It can be a cruel business, professional sport.


    • DancesWithWolves says:

      I think it’s cruel when a player has to cut short his career through injury, like Matt Murray. It’s even worse though serious illness like brave Carl.

      Dangerous, if we let him go, will still have a few years in him at this level, including playing for Wales. I’d love him back at the Mol when he retires. My local team Chelsea has lots of “Legends” walking around chatting to the fans. I remember shaking hands with Chopper Harris. My hand is still hurting. For the benefit of any ladies who don’t know him, Chopper explains where his nickname came from! Nudge, nudge. Dangerous could also explain his own nickname.


      • Brompton Wolf says:

        Chopper Harris, there’s a blast from the past. I always thought his nickname was because of his tackles not his tackle.


        • DancesWithWolves says:

          Nice one. I’ll pass that thought onto him. Chopper Harris likes to give the impression his nickname has dual origins. Maybe it does!

          Just as well he’s not playing for Wolves now, with Big Willy and Little Dicko around. Might get Amanda Cape going.


        • john Payne says:

          that’s right, I was going to Stamford Bridge in those days, and he scythed ’em down without mercy.


    • Brompton Wolf says:

      Nicely put Mark. I do not really see him staying much longer tbh.


  25. theDOOGooder says:

    As (nearly) always, Wolfstroker and I concur.

    And it’s not just because we both have huge, throbbing lumps of unbridled power between our legs.

    Dangerous Dave certainly does NOT fit in with this new style of quick passing and moving football that Nuno is trying to bring to the team.

    His skill level is not, and never has been, up to it.

    But I wouldn’t ditch the man yet for all sorts of reasons, not all about loyalty and being a nice chap.

    Managers come and go. Styles of football change.

    What if the new tippy tappy stuff doesn’t cut the mustard in the Championship?

    It’s possible that our new stars will be kicked up in the air and overrun.

    If this is the case, a man who can ‘bundle in’ ten goals a season in a kick and hope team will be worth his weight in gold.

    Plus, Edwards is the sort of chap who would make a great ambassador for the club after his playing career is over.


  26. StuWolf says:

    If it helps ease the pain and heartache experienced by die hard Dangerous Dave and us (thanks for the loyal service fans).

    Cardiff are reported to be in with a bid for Edwards.

    He does deserve the opportunity to play at another club and would fit into someone else’s system, but does look a little dangerous in our new set up, see what I did there.


    • sevlow (Carl we are behind you) says:

      Cardiff would be a good fit for Dangerous. I have a lot of respect for Dave but maybe his time is up at Wolves?


  27. Bedford Wolf (my wife's a quarter Portuguese y'know) says:

    Using my powers of time travel – have I not mentioned that before? – I whizzed forward in history and found this article in the 2047 Topical Times football annual rather interesting:

    “The 2017/18 football season went down in history as for the very first time since it’s creation 130 years earlier a club won every single match it played for the entire season. This came from 46 league matches, 6 FA Cup matches and 8 League Cup matches. So 60 matches in total. All won. No club had ever achieved this remarkable feat before or has done since. Consequently the club achieved an unparalleled treble of winning the Championship tile, and in doing so winning promotion to the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup. The FA Cup success was the club’s first for 58 years and the League Cup success it’s first for 38 years. The club, Wolverhampton Wanderers, achieved this unique success in an equally unique manner as they won every one of the 60 matches by the same score-line, 1-0. Johnny Halfglassfull, the head of the largest Wolves supporters club in the area commented “Yes we have had a half decent season but I’ve not been happy with the style of play. I would have preferred more goals, which we would have done if we had gone back to playing 442, and a few more players, preferably English or at least British, prepared to put a shift in”.

    To infinity – and beyond!



  28. sevlow (Carl we are behind you) says:

    From Twitter (not official Wolves)

    In better injury news @Morgangibbs27 is back in light training after injury


  29. colin says:

    As footballers go Dave Edwards is a very smart sensitive guy (and local) would love to see him kept in the club.


  30. DancesWithWolves says:
  31. Mark G Davies says:

    Thankyou Dances with Wolves above, what an absolute splendid piece of writing. I can`t see any football fans, well Wolves fans at least, disagreeing with your sentiments.
    Its our season 2017/18, and I see that there are no tickets for Derby on the website – presumably they have all been sold, and so they should have been.
    I`ve got mine, and I`m looking for a much happier time than the last couple of seasons at Pride Park, easy train trip for me from Nottingham. I love those senior rail cards.


    • Bedford Wolf (my wife's a quarter Portuguese y'know) says:

      Mark – echo that regarding senior rail cards. Got my ticket for the now sold out (I believe) Brentford away match on 26th August which thanks to StuWolf is a ‘senior’ ticket at a bargain £15. I have also booked my train tickets. Bedford to London St Pancras, then underground to Vauxhall, train from Vauxhall to Brentford and then the same in reverse and all for £13.85. Bargain! Match ticket and transport there and back for less than £29!! Who says the trains need re-nationalising?


      • StuWolf says:

        The joys of being 65 years young,

        Dances, what a brilliantly funny read, appreciated by age and experience of the said trips to Leicester, feck me I just spelt it wrong. Dementia the more it hits me the more I……. Dementia, the more it hits…….
        Sod it.

        Great find that Dances, would love more of that stuff, funny as feck.


  32. Bedford Wolf (We're all with you Carl) says:

    Just watching the League Cup draw – what a farce! New way if doing it – seeded team picked out, then a red or white ball to determine if the seeded team are home or away, then finally they pick the unseeded team. Clear?

    Well at the start they said a red ball meant the seeded team play away and a white ball meant they’d be at home. Ok so far? Then half way through they said that a red ball meant the seeded team would play at home and a white ball meant they’d be at home!

    So the first games they drew out were announced and shown all wrong and have had to be reversed. So Brentford v QPR is actually QPR v Brentford.

    Why can’t they just keep it simple instead of all this stupid nonsense? Bloody Sky TV!

    By the way we are drawn away to Southampton.

    Or maybe we are at home to Southampton?



  33. StuWolf says:

    Southampton away it is then, another long trek on a weeknight. Dohhhhh


  34. The Witley Wanderer says:

    This will be a good test home or away. Got to be shown live on Sky, fab draw.


    • Karlir-Johanarnt Kristjanson says:

      – With our defense we’ll always have a fair chance. It is a bit early playing a team of such quality though. Bonatini’s match fitness is an enigma. What kind of pre-season preparations do they have in Saudi-Arabia? :=)))


  35. I suppose the question is, will NES play our no1 team, which we will probably need to see off Southampton, or the team which played Yeovil?
    How important is the Carabao Cup?


  36. DancesWithWolves says:

    The Saints versus the Holy Ghost?

    When the Saints go marching out…


  37. Paulo Pereira says:

    Is there any way to see the Wolves games in the championship? Are they broadcast on any television channel?

    PS: I live in Portugal 🙂


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