I’m not a fan of lazy analysis, but it’s impossible to overlook the difference between first and second half performances.
The Wolves formula is start conservative, get a foothold and wait for the game to open up.
It’s yielded great results, so it’s hard to be critical of this approach.
But against sides who are prepared to do the same, such as Newcastle and Palace – our next two opponents – it can become a long old slog.
We drew home and away against the Magpies last season, unsurprisingly fighting back on both occasions after a slower start.
Nuno has spoken about how finding more variation and being less predictable is key to our evolution so it would be nice to see something more convincing, particularly at home.
It’s been a satisfactory if not spectacular start to the season for Steve Bruce and his team.
Good wins against Burnley and West Ham and a useful point at Spurs were offset by a thumping from Brighton and a late collapse against Man Utd last time out.
I speak to a Newcastle fan a fair bit and he’s not convinced by what Bruce is doing and sees his tactical approach as almost non-existent.
That’s probably a bit harsh based on the results he’s achieved but there’s no doubt they have the personnel to maybe hope for a bit better.
There’s a good mix of industry and technical capability in their squad with the likes of Saint-Maximin, Almiron and Fraser all able to open doors and players like Hayden, Lascelles and Fernandez able to keep them shut.
As always, it’s about finding that balance to get consistent results in games of fine margins.
You would have thought that the squad they had last year with the addition of Callum Wilson’s goals alone would be enough to deliver an improvement on 13th, so perhaps that is the benchmark to judge them against?
The away end
Some thoughts from the matchday thread on a popular Newcastle fan forum:
Either get pumped from the off, or score 1st and sit everyone behind the ball, eventually getting pumped anyway.
Great, more live football on TV. Wolves will win comfortably 3-1 after we take an early lead.
Sooner or later a side is going to take 5 or 6 of the huge numbers of chances they get.. I think Bruce’s had a habit of getting a result right when he needs it, but of he doesn’t get one soon he’s going to be in trouble. The media will come out on force though because they’ve go absolutely no idea about the situation.
Going for a 2-2 draw. Joelinton and Wilson.
I wasn’t confident about the lineup we’ve deployed in the last two games, but it’s done the job and in fairness, the players I questioned have been the star performers, which is why Nuno retains my complete faith.
Although Saiss isn’t a wingback, he does give us more physical presence and you can’t argue with his attacking output either after that rocket was ruled out at Elland Road. He also setup Podence in the first half with a brilliant cutback.
Kilman too has taken his chance and with two cleansheets since he came into the side, it would be surprising if he wasn’t in the team again on Sunday.
Traore can’t be happy having to continually make do with a place on the bench, but it’s hard to envisage either Neto or Podence being replaced at present.
Hats off to winchcombe wolf, Eintracht Silvaballs and Lord Twix who all netted a maximum by correctly predicting the scoreline against Leeds.
Northumbrian Wolf is setting the pace in the overall table at the end of Gameweek 5.
As always if you’d like to join in, simply leave your prediction for this game in the comment section below, which is where you’ll find my best guess.
Up The Wolves!