The first month of the season has gone. The lighter evenings are still here but the looming shadow of the autumn days hides in the darkness.
Ooh, that sounded a bit extreme, didn’t it?
Oh well, It’s time for what we found out about Wolves in August.
1. Diamonds are forever?
Gone is the classic wing play, in comes a narrow diamond formation and it does not look pretty.
Perhaps Jackett is getting his players used to a Plan B. Perhaps he feels Wolves will have been found out this season playing the same football?
Perhaps Kenny never liked wing play all along and played it to utilise Bakary Sako (one to think about).
Whatever the reason, It’s a style of play which is uncomfortable to watch and seems like the players on the field are still trying to get used to.
It might work over time but I’m a classic wing play kind of man. Give me Henry and Van La Parra bursting down the wings any day.
Jackett has the international break to re-coup his notes and thoughts.
This diamond formation isn’t going away anytime soon people.
2. A nervy start
On the balance of play, Wolves should have twelve points out of fifteen. However, defeats to QPR and Cardiff make it seven.
Wolves rode their luck after a dubious Edwards winner against Blackburn Rovers on the opening day of the season. Hull were next. Wolves missed numerous chances by inches, but a draw would settle the result.
Wolves somehow go from Barcelona to bust in their 3-2 defeat to QPR. Lose in miserable fashion to Cardiff, all on glorious techicolour and grind out an unconvincing yet dominant win against Charlton.
Most of this might attribute to my first point, but Wolves still seem to be getting used to a new formation and their domination of posession has not led to the team converting easy chances.
They look nervous, unsure at times with no killer instinct at the final hurdle.
I’m sure though that this is opening season rust which will polish and shine as the weeks continue.
3. I am the danger
Say his name.
Just when you think his time might be up, he shows up right back in your face. Dave Edwards has clocked two goals in his first five games and perhaps should have been added more.
It is strange to think that opposing teams have still not learned more about his threat. He seems to go unnoticed.
Then, out of no-where, RKO style, the 29 year old is there with a glancing header, near post clip or tap in.
I, like many fans, still doesn’t understand the need to play him on the right wing. But if this works in a diamond formation and he keeps raining in the goals, who cares?!
Keep it up Dangerous Dave!
4. Dropping the ball
Jackett is not afraid to make the big call. We’ve seen this over the last two seasons. All of which have paid off.
However, have we seen the first big call that has not worked?
Martinez was drafted in from Arsenal on a season long loan after Wolves opening day victory to Blackburn.
After an expected debut against Newport County in the League Cup, you would have guessed it would be the bench from there on in.
Martinez surprise league debut came at the following game at home to Hull.
It was a satisfactory performance and Jackett seemed to signal that Martinez was now the new no.1 with Ikeme needing to fight to win back the shirt.
Martinez then suffered a howler of a performance at home to QPR. Two of the three goals conceded easily the fault of the Argentine.
Surely it was just a fluke from Martinez and the Arsenal ‘keeper needed another chance?
Away to Cardiff and at the cry of the fans, Ikeme returned in goal. Despite a sound performance in general, Ikeme’s rising punchline miss led to Kenwyne Jones easy opener for the Bluebirds before half time.
Ikeme would go on to spill a shot against Charlton for their first and only goal of the game in Wolves 2-1 win on Saturday.
Should Ikeme take all the blame for these mistakes? Or has Jackett’s decision to mix up the goalkeeping position given Ikeme a lack of confidence?
Mistakes are made but removing a proven and improving goalkeeper, without just cause, is a bold and in this occasion disrupting move.
If a series of mistakes were made, then you can see why a change would be made. But swapping each keeper game by game could be the first bold move that Jackett will regret.
5. Tears for Stears
The shock of the summer transfer window.
All the talk was on Afobe, Norwich and the price tag for the England U21. In the shadows though, there was a deal which would rock Wolves to its foundations…..
Again, probably not that serious. I’ll get back on track.
Richard Stearman’s move to Fulham for a rumoured £2 million was, well, unbelievable.
Last season he was the multi award winning player, now he was surplus to requirements. The captain for four games, now playing at Craven Cottage.
Jackett explained it was for ‘footballing reasons’. Many would like a further explanation as to why.
It could be that Jackett see’s Ebanks-Landell, Hause and Iorfa as the future. How the trio will only develop and Stearman has hit his peak in his defensive evolution.
Wolves though lack leadership in the back line.Batth will return but even at his young age, I feel that the captain still needs an older head learn from on the pitch.
So one day the mantle of experienced/rookie can be passed onto him. Something we have seen before with the Craddock and Stearman partnership.
As mentioned, Jackett is not afraid to make the big call. This one could be as successful as the others.
What will be interesting with the loan window approaching is whether Wolves will bring in an experienced defender.
What will this say about Jackett’s view of Richard Stearman?
We’ve shouted about Stearman’s ability until the cows come home on Fancast. We will miss him and we wish him all the best at Fulham.
Is there anything that we learned about Wolves in August that I have missed. Share your views below and join the debate.
(Image via www.wolves.co.uk)