As we enter the final weeks of 2015, David Evans looks back at what we learned about Wolves in the penultimate month of the year.
Four games, undefeated in three and two clean sheets.
No win in four, two goals scored and no win at home since 3rd October. Two different ways to look at November.
The eleventh month of the year has once again been unkind to Kenny Jackett as Wolves hopes of a promotion race slip away game by game.
Did we learn anything about Wolves? Of course we did! Here’s five points…
1. Magic Mike
Newcastle United’s Mike Williamson was brought in on loan just before the start of the month to help bring much needed experience to our defence.
Five games played, 3 goals conceded and 3 clean sheets later, Wolves looked to have found the solidity they sorely craved.
Take the Stearman debate out of it, Wolves defence hadn’t looked this solid for a while. His vocal presence on the field helped to calm a frantic storm.
After his initial good spell, his loan deal was extended to the start of January. Much to the delight of fans.
Sadly, with injuries playing up at Newcastle, Williamson was recalled.
It was a big blow. We can only thank Magic Mike for his time at Wolves. Let’s hope it’s not the last time we’ve seen him in a gold and black shirt.
When Wolves brought in Mike Williamson on loan, the last thing you expected to follow was former Norwich and now Wigan Athletic striker Grant Holt.
The experienced forward played havoc with Batth and Stearman in Huddersfield 3-1 win at Molineux last season. Surely this wasn’t where Jackett drew inspiration?
Holt represents the type of striker we haven’t seen at Molineux seen Chris Iwelumo. Tall, powerful and a battering ram to the oppositions defence.
Jackett seems to have been courting this type of player for some time. A long time pursuit of Chris Woods failed, Sammy Ameobi’s training ground visit ended in no further talks and brother Shola’s short trial came to an end.
You can see Kenny and co’s thinking when signing Holt. However, the former Canaries striker seems like a panic loan.
With only two substitute appearances since joining the club, you wonder whether Holt will spend any more time on the pitch?
The idea was good Kenny, but the execution was poor.
3. Golden Grahams
One positive to end the month was the senior league debut of Jordan Graham.
After a brief and impressive loan spell at Oxford United earlier this season, the former Aston Villa man made his debut away to Ipswich Town.
Jordan then went onto make his home debut against MK Dons and became the clear man of the match.
His decisive runs, pin point crosses and lack of fear has already made him a fans favourite.
His substitution after 55 minutes will be debated, but the winger made quite an impression on the Molineux faithful.
Expect a regular run of games for the new golden man going into December. All he needs now is a goal.
4. Afobe Alone
He finally notched his first goal in just over a month against Ipswich Town, but the former Arsenal striker just doesn’t look himself lately.
The attributes we came to love last season are still there but the ruthless finishing is drifting away.
What’s going on then? You could put this down to two theories.
Firstly, position. Afobe has adopted a more deeper role this season. Coming back into midfield and helping to start play.
Afobe doesn’t really do anything wrong here but it’s up front where he is needed most. In the box, catching onto those crossed and through balls.
Secondly, is he simply missing Dicko and Sako?
The trio made quite the force in the second half of last season. The chemistry they had on and off the pitch was phenomenal.
Is Afobe simply missing the natural instincts and link up play he had with the Mali men?
What we can say is everyone is hoping that Afobe get’s his shooting boots back on and laced up as soon as possible.
5. Under pressure
Another run of poor results brings another bout of doubt over the head coach.
Kenny Jackett has come through minor adversity and produced relative success in his time so far.
However, with last season’s better than expected performance, the expectation level’s have greatly risen.
Has Jackett been too cautious in the transfer market? Has he made an array of poor tactical decisions? Or could the result of the overall performance of our current squad be down to decisions made from above.
The jury is still out on those key questions. We might not even know the answers at the end of the season.
Many are now open to the idea of Jackett leaving. Fans feeling he can not take Wolves any further.
There could be a valid argument here. But, with the current ownership situation off the field, Wolves options of attracting a ‘better’ manager are very limited.
Now throw in the current available managers to choose from. Wolves would be in danger of hiring a ‘Journey Man’ figure. Someone happy to be in a job but not being able to progress the club further than Jackett could have done.
Winter has always been a dark time for Kenny at Wolves. Keep the faith. At the moment, Wolves future is better with than without Kenny Jackett.
Is there anything else we learned about Wolves in November? Comment below and share your thoughts.