Bolton Wanderers 0 Wolves 4

Old gold, soaked in sunshine, securing the trophy that Stan Cullis made his own – at the home of an old nemesis.

Champions!

In much the same manner as the preceding 43 games, the script couldn’t have been written any better, with the ghosts of Burnden past and Reebok present fully exorcised once and for all, and that glorious swagger back in our stride.

Thank you Nuno and thank you to all you wonderful Wolves players for continuing to create memories like these, when we were thinking that you’d exhausted them all over the course of this never ending campaign.

This 4-0 drubbing might have lacked the furore and bitten fingernails of our ‘Boro, Bristol and Cardiff conquests, but for those fans too long in the tooth to forget the heartache of 1995, this victory will conjure the exact same blissful, fuzzy feeling when we wake in the morning – joyous in the knowledge that this hasn’t been a dream.

This was Nuno at his finest. Our adopted son and first bona-fide cult hero since Bully. Born 1,500 miles from Wolverhampton, but bearing the very DNA of our club on his shoulders like he’s been here all his life.

His three-at-the-back formation has been too tough a nut to crack for a perplexed league all season, but when you mingle his system with genuine soul, then you’ve got an otherworldly leader of men, who’ve recorded some ethereal performances as a result.

Did he know that we’d never won against a Mick McCarthy side since the old mule left? Or that we blew up back in 2002 in a similar position to where we’ve been? That we’d not won in Middlesbrough since the 1950s? Or how about never triumphing at the Reebok Stadium in a league fixture before now? Wearing the fabric of our very existence like a cloak across his back, how can anyone believe he didn’t?

Whether or not we now reach 100 points is secondary, thanks to Nuno cracking more millstones around our necks than opponents’ hearts. These are memories to last longer than a screengrab of a league table. These are the days my friends, consigning those miserable nights of the past to absolute irrelevance.

Somewhere, in a working man’s club where cigarette-smoke-stained-walls appal, John McGinlay loiters, regaling the spiritless locals about the time he punched David Kelly in 1995 and prospered. He shovels Monster Munch into his gob, ferociously licking his beef stained fingers, salivating over what happened next. The barmaid pours him another pint, rolls her eyes and looks to the poor souls who’ve heard the story a thousand times before. She nods wearily. Big John picks at his teeth, necks his Thwaites and foams at the mouth some more. Nobody hears a thing.

Like it ever really mattered. Thanks to Nuno and what feels like a magical stroke of his beard, all such heartache is void, as the Trotters spiral into a paradigm they laughed they’d never enter, and we majestically stride towards the Promised Land they once blackened.

Make no mistake, this 4-0 win is every bit as sweet as the 29 others we’ve chalked up, as it forcefully underlines the power-shift that so many old foes find so unpalatable.

We are the one and only Wanderers? You bloody bet we are.

Bolton Wanderers Vs Wolves Preview

Nuno would never admit it but his side effectively wrapped up the title last weekend.

One point is needed for certainty but it would take a dramatic sequence of events to deny Wolves the trophy with a goal difference buffer of 13 to lean on in the unlikely event of 7 results going against them.

Still, it would be nice to get the confirmation tomorrow to trigger a possible trophy presentation at Molineux next weekend.

We go in as red hot favourites for the win.

Bolton

The Trotters don’t have maths on their side just yet and need to accumulate a few more points from their remaining games to stay up.

Barnsley are only two back with a game in hand. Blues are sandwiched in the middle locked on the same points as Wanderers and only trailing by virtue of the two goals Wolves put past them last weekend.

After tomorrow Bolton’s remaining two games are favourable – away at Burton and home to Forest. It’s looking like another photo finish.

Wolves recorded their biggest win of the season in the reverse fixture at Molineux contributing to Bolton’s status as the worst performing away team in the division with just one win from 22 matches.

They nearly snatched a seismic victory at Oakwell last weekend, but in trademark style couldn’t hold on in injury time.

Wolves

I haven’t heard anything about Ivan Cavaleiro’s injury as I write this, but it looked like a hamstring tweak so assuming he’s done for the season.

Fortunately, Helder Costa has been back to his best lately and with Jota too looking sharper than he has for a while, we’ve got plenty of cover.

It would be nice to see Bonatini sign off the season with a few goals, but I’d start Benik.

Should we get the point we need tomorrow, it will be interesting to see if Nuno gives game time to some of the more peripheral figures in the remaining matches.

Predictions

This is a fixture we notoriously struggle to win but surely there will never be a better chance than now?

Not even the Bolton hoodoo, the curse of the former players and their appetite for the result can stop this Wolves side if they produce a performance.

I’m backing us for a 14th away win.

2-1.

Up The Wolves!

Wolves 5 Bolton Wanderers 1

Houston, we have lift off.

I have a confession to make – I didn’t go to the match. I wasn’t there when history was made.

But consuming the highlights, the tweets and the insights from my nearest and dearest, there was one consistent message – business as usual.

Ahead early through a set piece and then easing through the gears as and when required.

Rinse and repeat stuff from the victories over Leeds and Fulham.

Job done. Onto the next.

Let’s talk a bit about the set pieces.

For all the silk and sparkle, Wolves are dominating the meat and potato stuff to give themselves a foothold.

In this run of five consecutive victories, they’ve got themselves ahead via a free-kick or a corner on four of those occasions.

That’s no coincidence and underlines that we not only possess the most technically superior players in the league, but also the best drilled.

Ominous signs for anyone thinking of banking up and defending deep.

Things inevitably went south for Bolton pretty quickly after Willy Boly powered in the opener and Bonatini rounded off a slick move involving a sumptuous Neves pass for the second.

Then arrived the standard hatchet job on our best and brightest and the usual kerfuffle on the sidelines.

I for one am glad our bench are up for every decision. The home dugout has been too timid for too long.

And let’s be honest, teams come to disrupt our rhythm by any means necessary and if they want to dish out tough treatment, we should all be howling for the ref to dole out adequate justice.

It probably won’t be the last time Nuno is sent to the stands or the dressing room or wherever he camped out for the second half.

Much like me, he probably didn’t need to see the action with his own eyes to predict the likely outcome.

The goal rush is inevitable when Wolves are in the driving seat and the opposition start pushing.

Jota and Cavaleiro must be the most devastating counterattacking duo we’ve ever had, with the former bringing out the best in the latter.

The team, like those speedsters are sprinting away with it and doling out a clear message to everyone else – catch us if you can.