You can look at this defeat in a couple of ways.
But I imagine the majority view will be that Wolves showed themselves incapable in the final third and a lack of investment in recent windows to address such a cripplingly obvious deficiency is bordering criminal.
It’s tough to argue.
Whether you form opinions based purely on what you see or introduce statistical analysis retrospectively, the conclusion will be the same.
The quality and quantity of chances created isn’t good enough and on those rare occasions we do deliver the ball into the right areas, nobody is attacking the penalty area.
Raul is understandably not as keen to put his head in where it hurts these days and Fabio still doesn’t possess the physicality or know-how to offer a viable alternative.
You’ve then got a couple of inside forwards that look great on the eye at times but lack devilment. That’s now zero Premier League goals between Podence and Trincao in a combined 34 appearances.
Technically and tactically, Wolves are a polished side, but the missing ingredients are aggression and desire to force the issue.
Arsenal are a similarly tidy outfit, but even in small bursts you could see they had the ability to create better chances and only Lacazette’s wasteful finishing prevented them from increasing their comfort level.
There was a nastiness to their performance in and out of possession that gave them an edge but could have proved their undoing had Wolves had enough about them to take advantage of Martinelli’s red card.
One crumb of positivity was Chiquinho who does appear to offer something different, whipping crosses in with the kind of zip and penetration that’s been lacking.
He also attacked the back-post from a Raul cut-back to nearly conjure the equaliser, which again, is the type of movement we haven’t seen from others in his position.
But between Dendoncker’s fifty pence head and Fabio inexplicably passing when it was easier to shoot, it was a repeat prescription for failure that won out.
With Bruno hooking his captain to bring on another striker and sending his goalie forward for the second game running, he doesn’t need reminding about the problem.
It’s something we will have to work around between now and May.
Can I get it out the way, then we can move on?
Jota scored two goals yesterday. Why did we sell him?
Now back to the serious stuff.
It’s fine margins – we lost by one goal.
Goal line clearance; great save: it could easily have been a very different result.
We’re still very much ‘work in progress’ and I’m happy with where we are, even if the result of this game was disappointing.
Besides, there’s bugger all I can do about any of it!
Frustratingly disappointed with last night. Lots of huff n puff, but lacking a killer instinct. Raul unfortunately is not the player he was. Not sure Fabio will make it, maybe a loan at a championship club may help. Feel sorry for Bruno, he certainly has transformed us and we are a couple quality players from being there. Trouble is Neves may want out in the summer, especially when he sees how Jota is developing at Liverpool. Strange times at the Mol…. That all said, we had the Bhatti brothers once, so we need to be careful what we wish for.
With respect, I feel it very premature to write off Raul. The fact that he is recovering from a potentially life threatening injury is bad enough in itself, and he needs time.
But far more importantly, it can be seen that he retains the majority of the qualities that always made him so special. For example, his ability to hold up the ball, pick a pass and bring colleagues into play, is exceptional.
The real issue for Raul is that he has to play alone up front. He has zero support. For far too long the team has been entirely reliant on his ability to score. The burden of knowing that if he does not score, then the team will not win must lie very heavily upon him.
My conclusion is that Raul still has much to offer — but this can only be maximized if he is given an ally up front with whom to develop a partnership. Then, he will likely regain his strikers instinct and the goals will come. Think back to the instinctive relationship between Raul and Jota, which was so deadly and productive.
The old Bill Shankly adage is surely very relevant here. ” Form is temporary. Class is permanent ”
So, come on Mr Shi. Give Raul the support he deserves, and then you can sit back while we all enjoy the benefits.
Ah yes Jota. Sale of the Century, for the purchasing party and possibly the agent
Not sure my post wrote him off Mike? Unfortunately, like a lot of players over the years, post a really bad injury they are not the same.
I feel we rely too much on him and as a consequence he tries too hard.
Just my opinion
A disappointing night all round. Again we lose one nil to a team above us. On the surface we were not far apart from Arsenal. But a lack of creativity in midfield and firepower up front are big problems for us. How many times last night did we hit balls into the box with no one there? If that doesn’t work you try something different surely! The next game at Spurs is another toughie but Soton showed they can be beaten.
You could look just at the negatives but I also see a few tweeks short of a very good side.
On to the next game….
Remember was it 2003 on our first experience of the Premierleague?
This result would have been a positive.
I know we aren’t in that place now but couldn’t knock the lads for effort
I agree Bruno. Here are some big positives that I see.
Saiss has been transformed by our new Coach, and has become a first class central defender. — who also offers a threat going forward. He`s still just 31, so surely we should get him tied down to a new contract PDQ.
Semedo has developed into a top class wing back. His pace and perception going forward make him a constant threat, and under Bruno his defensive shortcomings have been largely eliminated
Chiqinho appears to be an excellent purchase who will have a big impact going forward. Not only does he have pace and good technical ability, but his work rate [ and commitment ] is outstanding. In my view he is a big step up on the disappointing Trincao
So yes, the result last night was disappointing. But we surely have much to look forward to
Can’t disagree with any of that Mike
A win at spurs and the world will be a different place
Let’s hope that Putin & Biden wait until 5pm on Sunday then.
That get’s a “dislike”?
OK, just to cheer you up:
Wolves beating Tottenham will solve all our problems so Putin can invade Ukraine any time he wants; nuclear war will just be a blip on our path to Champions League glory.
Well said WTF. Good to see someone with a sense of perspective .
Why don’t some people get the black country sense of humour?
“Dendoncker’s 50 pence head”.
What a great analogy Thomas.
He’s a big lad. He often seems to be in position to meet the ‘rare as hens’ teeth’ decent crosses that we conjure up.
But… like a pinball machine on speed, the ball bounces off his bonce in any direction but goalwards.
And his general ball control leaves a lot to be desired.
Having a brandy with Dougie, Babs and Lord and Lady Twix after the game, someone said he’s like Dave Edwards.
But Dave Edwards SCORED GOALS!
I don’t want to pick on The Donck in particular.
Raul looks a shadow of his pre-injury self. Trincao did some fancy stuff then couldn’t put in a decent cross to save his life. Semedo did much the same. Kilman had the worst game I’ve seen from him.
And Marcal was absolutely awful!
Ruben did his best but HOW WE MISSED MOUTINHO!
I’ve always disliked Arsenal. But their niggly, time wasting and generally annoying tactics last night has brought that dislike to a healthy hate.
The fact that we were incapable of even getting a point from the game has left me still angry and frustrated.
But hopefully, an APV full English brekker will help ease the pain.
See you later.
You can only win games if you score and Wolves don’t 19 goals in 22 games says it all. Fuson and Mr Shi have got to start backing the manager with 3 or 4 quality signings in the summer or players like Neves will want out.
“19 goals in 22 games” clearly doesn’t “say it all”.
If it did, you wouldn’t say “You can only win games if you score and Wolves don’t”.
We’ve won 10 games, scored 19 goals and conceded 17; we’ve drawn 4 and lost 8 – and even that doesn’t “say it all”.
Perhaps you’d prefer us to be more like Leicester? They have scored 34 goals.
I agree. We should sell 4 or 5 senior players in the summer and bring in some more Portuguese players that Bruno wants.
Maybe someone of you can suggest the 4 or 5 players you want to see leave.
All very frustrating. The margin between us seriously competing with the top six and where we are I.e flirting around the edges is not massive in terms of whether arsenal, spurs,man u, West Ham are significantly better than us because they are not. However, we need to INVEST and properly.Many contributors to this blog have been calling this out for at least 3 transfer windows. Unfortunately we have compounded this problem by making some very strange decisions with the funds we have at our disposal. 4 cases in point . 1)Jota – sold for what increasingly looks like low market value but made even worse that so little of the money was received up front (4.5m) and c.10m spent on hoever . 2) Silva- deserves patience as a young player, but spending £35m at the point in our development as a club where we’re not yet fully established as a trophy winning or European threat, on a player that had a handful of appearances in Portuguese top flight football – really? I mean really? 3) Semedo- a much improved player this season but 30m on a wing back, was that really a priority with centre half, midfield and striker so clearly bigger priorities? 4) Traore- for all his foibles of which there are many, he can change games and loaning him out at this point in the season is crass stupidity and what frightens me even more is that reports are now suggesting we are simply going to swap him for Trincao- a latter day helder costa, displays fleeting talent but disappears for long parts of games and does not score or create.
Bruno Lage has done very well with little backing and the players we have should be proud of the committed, determined approach they demonstrate and they too deserve support . I am more convinced than I have ever been before that Fosun having initially provided some fantastic impetus into our great club now see us purely as a trading vehicle. Buy young players for little money, sell them on. The better ones may be hold for a couple of years then sell on. They are not into building a team that will take on Europe, they are not seriously investing, they are treading water for a buyer and asset stripping to avoid any risk of loss. In the same way that Nuno’s time reached it’s natural conclusion, Fosun’s is going that way too.
It’s a real pity and I await the brick bats that I know some will send my way but this scenario will play out. We will probably see Neves sold in the summer and may be one or two other pieces of the family silver but it is coming unless Fosun have a dramatic rethink or we are sold. Apologies, but I had to get it off my chest!
No need to apologise mate.
They are your opinions and I agree with most of them.
The only real unknown is the inscrutable Fosun and what their intentions are.
It seems that when they first took over, Jeff Shi was to the fore, explaining in no uncertain terms what was going to happen in the next ten years.
The more he has faded from public view, the less we know about what is really going on and the more we are beginning to doubt their long term plan.
Financial fair play seems to have been responsible for us not investing in the last couple of transfer windows.
I think the coming Summer window will finally tell us whether Fosun are genuinely looking to develop the club or just develop their bank account.
I’m a little bit apprehensive to say the least.
But I’m quite prepared to be proven wrong.
Agree 100% with points 1,2,3 and 4, not so much with the subjective Fosun point. Fosun have done brilliantly taking us from where we were to where we are. They’ve made some mistakes en route but they are novices in a game awash of experienced sharks ready to take their money. I think Wolves are a bit of fun for them looking at their assets, most of them are incredibly dull, banking, insurance, mining etc. They only have 3 assets in the entertainment business and Wolves are the only one they own outright. They will never make a lot of money out of football no matter how successful but they’ll definately enjoy the ride. It’s all second guessing though….
You make some interesting points, I’m just thinking though, if buying young and selling on purely for profit is the project, why pay 35 mill for an 18 year old! Or nearly 30 million for a 25-26 year old right back?
Obviously ffp has had an effect recently so I’ll hold my gunpowder until the start of 22-23 season.
Maybe some deals are done as a kind of repayment to an agent who has given us jota, neves etc?
Only my thoughts of course.
Marley. I agree and find that equally perplexing. I think your speculation around doing deals for some ulterior motive is possibly closer to the mark than some might think. Of course, this could be pure nonsense from both of us but as you say why do it and on such a large scale I.e 65m on a completely unproven talent and a signing where you are never going to recoup your initial investment in Semedo. It makes no sense In the context of everything else to do with transfers which makes me even more suspicious.and why were fosun happy to pay so much in agent fees to mendes and silva’s father which effectively took the deal to well above £40m?
Sorry predictive text MARNEY.
Make some excellent points Sutton, can’t argue with your opinion. The biggest problem is the deafening sound of silence that is coming from the boardroom. Maybe if they told us they have lost interest, we may not like it, but we know where we stand.
As Mr Greaves used to say :it’s a funny old game’
I’m fed up of basketball football. Where the attackers allow the defence to retreat into the penalty area, then pass the ball from side to side looking for an opening that’s never there.
Try a through ball as soon as get across the half way line. It could of happened a couple of times last night. Just for variety.
That last ten minutes was as frustrating, stressful, annoying and depressing as it has been on many other occasions… just knowing deep down that vital goal or two is never going to happen.
It’s unfortunate that good strikers don’t grow on trees, otherwise we’d all have them, but where on earth are ours coming from?
How depressing it is to be 1-0 down near the end of the game, and then we bring on a ‘striker’ to save the day, who we all know is completely out of his depth at this level.
Silva is probably a very nice young man, who undoubtedly has promise. It`s not his fault that Mr Shi grossly overpaid to get him here. But the fact is that he is simply not ready for the Premiership.
Surely, in fairness to him, it must be the right move in the summer to loan him out so he has the opportunity to develop his trade outside the spotlight.
?ike i said last week drop any idea off europe, we are midtable without fosun spending, silva oh dear, im 53 and a better player , still playing in veterans leauge, 35 mill, u having a laugh , have i still got potential, wolves aie we.
More crosses into the box last night than for any game this season and not one of them came close to being an assist. None of them came from Traore’s boot. Must have been his fault.
Two things became obvious last night. Dendonker isn’t the third midfielder we need and I sadly believe Raul may no longer be the target man we need. He plays as more of a number 10 now anyway.
There’s not much we can do to fix the problem right now but if Bruno gets his way, with maybe 2 additions and a 4-4-1-1 formation we could still see the best of Raul. We would need to invest in another quality striker though.
Our best 11 is easily as good as the teams around us but there’s no margins for absences.
It’s not looking disastrous but we’re a touch too thin to push for the European places.
I have to say I despair. Not for the future of WWFC, but for the future of football. First we had Cat-gate and a once-responsible club deciding it was better to play the miscreant than to refuse to let someone capable of that ever play for them again. Then, last night, we have the ugly scene of a player pushing two opponents to the floor in a few seconds and his manager deeming to call for a judicial review of the legality of showing two yellow cards at once. Did it not occur to him that the game is called FOOTball for a reason. Will he or the PL discipline the man who, in any decent league, would be banned for the rest of the season. No? I thought not.
Is there nothing in the game where money does not corrupt rational and decent decision making. No? I thought not.
Well said Ruben btw, you got it spot on.
Sad days Jazz.
I forsee a rough ride for cat slappers united going forward. Moyes was a picture of innocence, but their card is marked hereon in. The Puss population and their attendants, of which I am one, will be sharpening their psychic claws. They’ll be lucky to avoid relegation.
I worked in Ethiopia some years ago. The general population have a poor attitude to animal welfare, and I had to personally intervene in a cat cruelty incedent. No excuses, but the cruelty is a reflection of the misery of the human situation with little hope of betterment. ‘Grinding poverty’ doesn’t scratch the surface.
So the loverly West is feeding half the GDP of a small African nation to its pets every week. FFS.
Thanks for that Rasta.
I don’t want to get too serious on a blog which is mainly banter about our football team, but what a crushing burden of despair and injustice is summed up in your phrase “with little hope of betterment”. It puts our concerns about Europe or not into perspective doesn’t it.
20 minutes to go, they’re down to ten men. Who you gonna call?
Not Fabio Silva, I believe. I see a loan recall immenant. If not I’m taking the left over baby oil and moving to Barcelona.
Of course it would have made no difference, and truth is we can’t afford the luxury.
No Moutinho, no biscuits.
The top six door was flapping in the breeze and we didn’t walk through, but we gave it a good go. And we’ve done well to get to the flapping door in the 1st place. Let’s hope we get some results in the next few games and February doesn’t become a nightmare. Makes it interesting tho.
Sa made a rare error for the goal, Killman wasn’t at his best. Fine margins, sloppy passes. Bruno did his best, we could have nicked a draw.
Can’t be bothered to dwell on it too much, get back to training and prep, get the hard edge back, stuff the Spuds.
Be keen to hear what the Oracle, Muttleigh, has to say on the affair.
1 lv & COYW.
My almanac said there would be grief as much as joy and we managed to start with grief last night.
Much has been said about our inability to score and the finger is starting to be pointed at rauls shortcomings since his return.
Yes he is coming up short but surely the lack of goals is not just his fault we simply have nothing in the last third a fact brought up time and again by andy townsend on the nbc commentary.
We played some wonderful football last night then when it mattered our efforts hit the arsenal fire wall and petered out funny how they could get to the ball that was our only goal and was ruled out for rauls encroachment but none of our strikers could.
Adama probably wouldnt have made any difference last night as arsenal packed the last third for nigh on twenty minutes to see it out which they did with relative ease even with a man short.
Bruno has a lot at his disposal but it looks like not the lot he would really like at his disposal that problem can only be rectified with time .
I do believe we have enough to turn spurs over on Sunday and as my almanac says the run in will be much better than the immediate as the chosen few return to duty slowly but surely.
Have patience grasshoppers .
The ghost of Adama….
Once again lacking that killer instinct in the final third. Too many times taking the ‘easy’ option of just hopeful crossing, nearly always finding the Arsenal defenders or goalkeeper. I’ve worked out i’ve attended 9 Wolves games this season in the Premier League and FA Cup where we haven’t scored a single goal. And 8 of those games at home. Something is lacking. That is just over 14 hours of football. So moan out of the way. We should still be grateful we have managed to put 34 points on the board due to defensive efficiency and the ability to edge low scoring games. All the way through the Nuno years to now we have ticked along at around 1.55 points per game (apart from Nuno’s final season) and current trajectory of 58 points which is around the totals we got first 2 seasons back. So Europa league may still be on the agenda and maybe we shouldn’t be too down hearted. But it would be good to some invention around that final third and work the opposition goalies more than we do now.
I’ll put my hand up (in the air) to feeling a tad disappointed with the result …. It says a lot as to how far we’ve come since joining the PL that the Arsenal back room team should celebrate a victory over a humble, never talked about in the media, back street little club, with such wild and delirious fist pumping and open euphoria.
I can’t say it was deserved though, as I thought, yet again that, the official (ok Michael Oliver) showed far more give than take in favour of the Gooners.
What does disgust me though is seeing Arteta (undeserving of a forename) constantly moaning to the 4th official trying to get yellow cards when, strangely in role reversal he keeps his mouth shut… he was forever whinging and moaning….
Then we have the instance when Gabriel feigns injury , Oliver sends him to receive treatment off the pitch for him to suddenly feel sprightly enough to get back on his feet .
Likewise with Odegard who writhed in agony follow a Saiss tackle to start sprinting away after a booking against us.
Sad day for football officialdom and respect for the games laws.
Anyone who thinks a team scoring .86 goals per league game is going to finish in the top 4/6 must be living in a parallel universe.
And Thomas summarises perfectly what many of us have been saying for the last 2 years. In this context I make no apologies in revisiting the sale of Diogo Jota. We had a world class gem, sold him for a song and spent around 90% of the fee on a teenager who currently remains at best “one for the future”. Only jeff Shi and Jorge Mendes know the thinking behind that scenario and yes we have to move on, but that Jota has never been replaced is unquestionable.
Absolutely no discredit to Bruno Lage but the success he has had is mainly built on the back of Nuno’s defence. He can only work with the tools he has and he is making it clear himself they are not adequate. This situation has yet to be addressed.
So where to from here.
There are positives and there is mitigation. Investment by Fosun has been hampered by a combination of the pandemic, FFP constraints and almost certainly CCP politics. And we have Hwang and hopefully Neto coming back to ride out this season.
But as I understand it the FFP “sentence” is completed in the summer and the economics of the pandemic are seemingly behind us.
Another summer of inactivity is likely to see disgruntled supporters, anxious senior players who have their own ambitions and a manager who lacks the tools to do his job. Any viable business plan includes growth and development strategy because the alternative is at best standing still which in reality is going backwards. The critical need is now “ones for the present”. If Fosun wish to protect their own investment in WWFC then they are probably heading towards last chance saloon as far as a serious rethink of recruitment is concerned. The last 5 years have overall been a great success but it’s all in danger of failing due to inertia and too much of a future v present bias. The balance needs to be reversed.
An excellent summary PJB. The only minor point I would make is that Nuno`s defense last season was rapidly falling apart. Bruno has introduced far greater discipline and method, as well as somehow getting existing defenders — notably Coady and Saiss — to up their games by a quantum leap. We are also helped by having recruited an excellent keeper in Sa.
Like you, I can only wonder at the sick logic of blowing the Jota monies on a developing school boy. The ‘whys and wherefores’ of this we will never know. But the result of this decision has been devastating.
The main problem with a policy of paying relative big money for ‘ones for tomorrow’ is the proven fact that for the vast majority of these young hopefuls, tomorrow never comes. [ eg Matheson who having cost a million, now sits on the Scunthorpe Utd subs bench ]
My belief is that the only way our club begin to benefit from sound footballing decisions, will be the appointment of a quality Commercial Director of the ilk of Laurie Dalrymple. Mr. Shi has surrounded himself with commercially inexperienced ‘Yes Men’, who will never rock the gravy boat. Until we have a senior Board member, not directly beholden to Fosun, who is given some meaningful decision making clout as nothing will change. But that`s an unreal expectation. We are effectively stuck with Mr Shi, who will simply dance and sing to Fosusn`s selected tunes.
Para 1. Agree. Bruno has taken the defence to a new level. I do think the introduction of Sa has helped them all. Without a doubt the best all round goalkeeper I have seen at Wolves in over 60 years. But Semedo and Ait’Nuri have both improved, Coady is reborn and Saiss is a changed man. And Kilman has been given his chance and grabbed it with both hands, but I hope there is still room for big Willy in the squad if fit.
Para 2 – yes.
Para 3 – yes.
Para 4 – definitely yes. I think Laurie Dalrymple acted as a foil to the autocratic side of Jeff Shi and that is probably the missing factor to a more balanced approach. It’s almost certainly no coincidence that a sea change in
recruitment strategy dates back to his departure.
I got home at 1.15 am. Frustrated and tired.
Back on the 20th though!
Wolves ay we.
In my opinion to criticise Fosun for a lack of investment in recent transfer windows is taking a very narrow view and is excessive.
Fosun is a multinational business of which WWFC is only one small part. They have to regularly consider and perhaps alter their worldwide priorities. Reducing investment in one part of the business might save jobs in another part of it. Is investing further money in Wolves more important than keeping food on someone’s table ? I think not . Fosun have done a good job so far and we should be grateful for that rather than criticising and wanting more and more.
It’s a bummer but we were never the better team last night
Three more big games coming and I’d take 7 points in a heartbeat
Wouldn’t bet much on it tho
Come on Neto
We need you soon
So glad we’ve got 34 points already , how sad and disappointing that is. Last night proves we belong outside the top 6 and won’t threaten the top dogs any time soon.
It’s all very well looking for players to perform “in between the lines” but that’s why we look so good up to the eighteen yard line – we had SIX players in that zone and only Raul inside the penalty area.
Arsenal defended well but we now have no one who can break a defensive line (we sold both of them) and the decision making in the final third last night was very poor , the result being once again , no goals scored. Back to the start of the season, playing OK but no goals means no points. When Arsenal scored did we look like scoring? When they had a man sent off , it looked even less likely.
The thought of not having £30 million to spend in the summer beggars belief, Trincao is a luxury player , not someone who is going to scare the opposition.
Would you worry if you met him in a dark alley?
Will Fosun speak to us?
My heart sank when Fabio went for the cross instead of goal. He was close in and a bit of pace on the ball could have seen us draw level. I’ve always felt he’s prepared to have a go but he pulled out when the opportunity arose.
We’re not creating.