If Project Solbakken was cancelled, Project Nuno Espirito Santo needs to be endorsed writes David Evans.
The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind at Wolves.
More signings and exits are likely to come, but the new season is about to dawn on us.
Little has been said about Nuno Espirito Santo since his arrival a few weeks ago. He seems to be quietley getting on with the job within the haze of transfer speculation.
Nuno Espirito Santo is the quality of manager that we have been searching for. Although he has completed part of the Mendes circuit, managing at Rio Ave, Valenica and Porto, he has brought success along the way.
From what we have heard and seen so far, similarities are starting to be drawn between him and Stale Solbakken.
The Scandinavian adventure
Stake Solbakken was a bold appointment following Wolves relegation from the Premier League in 2012.
Wolves needed a shake up, and Steve Morgan attempted to fizz up the bottle with the out of the box appointment of the former Cologne manager.
With a raft of foreign signings in his wake (one called Sako which turned out alright), Stale looked to bring a possession based game to Wolves, with the task of evolving the club’s style of play.
The McCarthy guard mixed it with the new boys, and at first the signs were promising.
Wolves could have gone top during the first half of the season, although a defeat at home to Crystal Palace halted that hope.
Despite this, Wolves would go on a miserable run with 3 wins out of 17. An FA Cup Third Round defeat away to non-league Luton Town would spell the end for Stale.
There are still some split opinions amongst fans as to whether he should have been sacked.
I’m of the opinion that the mission was aborted too early. The players showed they could perform with this new style.
Something neeeded to be ironed out, even if what was needed was the previous regime of players being replaced with Stale’s choices.
Wolves played a possession based football. But in games such as Mick McCarthy’s return to Molineux in Stale’s 2-0 defeat to his predecessor, Wolves would play the ball around the box, with no clear plan of what they needed to do with it.
Other factors could be theorised as to why it failed for Solbakken, as written in a previous piece here.
It just wasn’t meant to be.
Solbakken should have been given more time. Wolves inconsistency over the years may not have been the case if he hadn’t.
Re-generation into Nuno Espirito Santo
Nuno Espirito Santo has been given the cash, he’s got the power of Mendes behind him. Now it’s time to deliver the goods.
Something which seems similar to Solbakken’s early comments.
Despite the wealth of Fosun, this is still a gamble.
Wolves are taking an untraditional approach in the Championship. Going for european names, and despite their talent the majority don’t have english experience.
David Wagner at Huddersfield has shown that the mold can be broken. But lightning doesn’t strike in the same place twice.
The old guard will need to get used to these new ways and shipping players in and out if it doesn’t work won’t be a quick fix.
Results will make all the difference for Nuno Espirito Santo and Wolves are enivtably going to have a bad patch.
We as fans will need to be patient.
Fans will sometimes say after a defeat ‘I wouldn’t mind losing if we were playing well’.
Firstly, a codswallop statement.
I don’t think I’ve heard any fan say ‘We’ve lost six on the bounce but the Barca style football is great to watch!”
However, is this statement be true, we will need to give Nuno Espirito Santo time to fully implement his style.
Pulling the trigger too soon will not only set Wolves back, but will delve the club into pergatory. Leaving no clear idea of what the next approach should be.
Since Fosun’s takoever, Wolves need now consistency, not spiradic changes.
Whilst we’re all enjoying the ride, things could easily get bumpy.
Let’s hope the waters stay calm. If they do get rough, we need to give Nuno Espirito Santo as much patience as we can.