Our thin squad is often used as a stick to beat the club with, but there have been advantages to working with a smaller group.
Picking a consistent XI with only minor turnover in personnel over time is a good way to build understanding between players and establish patterns of play. Case in point the first half of the season for Wolves.
Getting a few more bodies back is good, but I think Bruno has made wholesale changes in the last two games and that’s contributed to the slump.
The wingbacks got injured so that was unavoidable and might be the main reason there was such a worrying lack of cohesion throughout the team against Palace.
But two experimental front three combinations have failed miserably and with enforced changes elsewhere, I think he should have stuck with the more tried and tested up top.
We don’t want to lose four in a row, so even if this becomes about grunting out a result with an ugly performance to address the slide, so be it.
There were a few triggered Watford fans earlier in the season when people – including myself – pointed out they fire a lot of managers. They’re now on their third manager of the season.
On reflection, they probably should have gone straight to Roy in the first place, as I think he represents the best chance they have of staying up.
Results haven’t exactly been great since he stepped in, but an important victory at Villa Park and a draw at Old Trafford were both pocketed without conceding a goal and tightening the team up defensively was essential.
Arsenal put three past them at the weekend, but they scored two themselves and more than had their say in that game.
I suspect they might have left themselves a bit too much to do over the last 11 games, but with Leeds and Everton flailing you never know. Interestingly, both of those clubs, along with Burnley and Brentford still have to go to Vicarage Road so those will be the games that decide their fate.
They’ve been better on their travels to date with three wins and three draws from their 13 matches and just 16 goals conceded, which is highly competitive.
I was glad to hear Bruno kicking off after that meek surrender on Saturday. He shouldn’t have gone in so hard on Hoever, but the point he was making about ‘too many kids’ was probably a veiled dig at the owners over the lack of backing he’s received.
The above is the XI I would be picking subject to availability. We can’t allow ourselves to be overrun in midfield again so a third body in there makes sense.
I thought Jonny did some good things in possession after coming on (despite giving it away a few times too) and with him and Ait-Nouri in the side I think we’d get more control in possession and attacking thrust in the final third.
Podence is an infuriating player because his all-around play is often appalling, but he also looks the most likely to deliver returns around the penalty area. I wouldn’t be upset if it was Hwang or Neto in that position though. Raul must start.
Last time out
We got a deserved victory at Vicarage Road – our first in the league this season – thanks to two of the scruffiest goals you’re ever likely to see. But we took control of the game in the second half and were good value for the three points.
The last game between the sides at Molineux feels like an eternity ago but was that early season 2-0 win that we used as a springboard to climb the table. Matt Doherty scored the opener and an own goal secured the points. They did beat us later in the season but it wasn’t enough to save them from relegation.
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Well done to @#£&?!/* (yes, you did read that correctly) who was the only one to guess the 0-2 defeat to Palace on Saturday.
Brompton Wolf is clear at the top of the overall table at the end of Gameweek 27.
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Up The Wolves!
Polite request – when commenting in the preview article after the game has finished, can you not place score predictions in the boxes, please? It confuses the system. Many thanks.