The only disappointment is we didn’t end the long wait for a victory.
Albion missed as many chances in the 10 minutes they showed up as Wolves did with an hour of dominance, but the approach from the boys in sodden old gold warranted the three points.
Having been roasted in the Molineux sunshine at the weekend, a more vibrant, attack-minded Wolves emerged from the deluge at the Hawthorns to give much-needed respite.
They kept the ball, made the angles, and were deservedly rewarded with the good fortune that allowed Fabio Silva to profit.
Vitinha was the architect in chief, appearing everywhere to receive and pass, drive and pass or just pass and then pass again. It was a joy to behold given our inability to retain possession for most of the season.
If we’re to become a team that dominates the ball, keeping a player who does that so effectively- as well as breaking lines and shooting with venom – would be a good idea.
Otasowie took longer to grow into the game but by the time he was prematurely withdrawn, we’d seen enough to know he, along with Vitinha, can give us the things we’ve lacked – energy, imagination, and the confidence to carry the ball forward.
Some of the combination play, including that which lead to Fabio’s stroke of good fortune, were things we simply haven’t seen.
Even the full-backs, much maligned for their defensive shortcomings, showed what they can bring to the table in a more fluid system. Semedo was integral to the goal and also missed the best chance of the first half as we finally saw him enter the opposition’s penalty area.
Ait-Nouri too shimmied and shaked his way through the Albion defence on more than one occasion to remind us why he’s seen as a valuable prospect.
In fact, this was the game where all the summer signings finally made some sense, mainly because the team was setup to play to their strengths rather than the players they’re replacing.
Credit Nuno for team selection and tactics, but inevitably the question from his detractors will be, ‘why did it take so long?’.
It’s been such a grind all season that seeing a Wolves team rotate the ball and play forward passes was invigorating – even in the context of a draw against a team destined for relegation.
The coach will be disappointed in the spell leading up to the equaliser because all sorts of spaces began appearing in the penalty area, culminating in a free header for the goal.
Those five minutes of madness underline the need for defensive reinforcements if we’re to seriously contemplate a long-term relationship with a back four.
Against better opposition that won’t surrender so much territory and possession, it’s not hard to imagine this XI being caught short in prolonged periods without the ball, but it at least gives us something different to work with for the remaining games, as well as making us significantly easier on the eye.
With the likes of Boly, Dendoncker and Podence out of sorts (and frankly terrible of late), now is definitely the time to lean on these youngsters to see us home in a season that’s long been a total wash out.