With the 2023/24 season now a few matches old, it’s now possible to take a more informed look at the prospects of Wolves being able to stay up in the Premier League this season.
It’s still early days, but the Premier League table is starting to take shape. Most of the usual suspects are already at the top end, and the bottom of the table is already occupied by the teams expected to struggle this season.
No point worrying about the top of the table
All fans of The Wanderers already know that they don’t have to worry too much about the top of the table. And with Man City making a strong start, followed closely by teams like Spurs, Liverpool, and Arsenal, normal service has already been resumed.
Manchester City were odds on favourites at 8/11 to win the title with the bookmakers before the season started, with Arsenal next in the betting at 13/2. Now, in the latest EPL winner odds, City is even shorter at 4/9, and the Gunners are still second favourites, now at 5/1.
Summer of Discontent at Molineux
It’s the bottom of the table that Wolves are focussing on, and the battle for Premier League survival.
After a summer of discontent, most Wolves fans were expecting a relegation dogfight this season. The majority knew it was coming last season, but thankfully Julen Lopetegui saw off the threat, and Wolves lived to fight another day.
As we all now know, Lopetegui has slightly tarnished his reputation by walking out on the club on the eve of the new season, leaving Gary O’Neil to pick up the pieces. But whatever the rights and wrongs of what Lopetegui did, Wolves are now where they are, and the club and fans have to forget about him and move on.
Reasons for optimism
Gary O'Neil has been appointed as our new head coach.— Wolves (@Wolves) August 9, 2023
Welcome to the club, Gary ?
Gary O’Neil has to work with what he’s got. But fans should be optimistic after he inherited a similar situation at Bournemouth last season, and kept the club in the Premier League. In the end, the Cherries finished a respectable 15th place, just two behind The Wanderers.
The sacking of O’Neil by Bournemouth seemed harsh. New owner Bill Foley, stated the club wanted to change the style of football they play and take the team in a different direction. This leads to another reason to be optimistic about Wolves chances of survival this season. Trying to make changes at a club sometimes can backfire. And the sacking of O’Neil smacks of that.
Crystal Palace tried a similar thing ahead of the 2021/22 season, putting Patrick Viera in charge and trying to move away from Roy Hodgson’s safe and cautious style. Look at who is managing Palace now!
Plenty of others in the relegation mix
Another look around the bottom end of the table is a reason to give Wolves fans optimism. Already down there is Luton Town, Burnley, Sheffield United and Everton. All three teams promoted from the Championship in 2022 (Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest) are still in the Premier League, and all three will feel vulnerable.
Yes, Wolves are in danger of the drop. But they are in the mix with six or seven other teams, and there is always that one team that could get dragged into the relegation scrap as well. These are all reasons for fans of the club to remain optimistic.