(Image via soccerladuma)
Could Wolves break into the top 6 this season? It’s not just plausible, it should be a priority writes David Evans.
A summer without Wolves and a hint of a signing (at time of writing) is a bit boring, isn’t it?
Whilst Wolves revel in their Nations League win (haha what a Portuguese bants joke!) and we look fondly back on our damn good looking players, some of the teams who finished above us are in flux.
If Fosun want Wolves to be one of these European giants they yearn for, now is the perfect opportunity to break the top 6 structure.
Yes fans outside the walls of Molineux may laugh but within it is a side who has gone above and beyond our expectations in a short space of time.
Wolves continue to astound, and now they have a chance to continue their wonder.
How is the 2019/20 season the time for Wolves to begin their journey to become part of the Premier League elite? Here’s why…
It’s the end of the Top 6 as we know it
Whilst Man City and Liverpool are going through a mega evolution, with Spurs not so far behind.
Three sides are starting a slippery slope outside their top 6 palace.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are in for a major summer of change.
Arsenal’s second year without Champions League football will not do them any favours.
Losing stalwarts such as Aaron Ramsey and the experienced eye of Peter Cech may help Emery to bring in his ‘players’, but without the attraction of that mid-week music, the aura around the Emirates is starting to disappear.
Chelsea are beginning a two window transfer ban and unless successfully overturned, they will have to rely on not only their remaining squad but the abundance of their young ‘loan’ talent which has been farmed out.
Even with Frank Lampard potentially returning to a hero’s welcome, Chelsea may be in the wilderness for a short time before they return to their recent glories.
Then comes Manchester United.
Ole’s at the wheel and needs to completely re-kit out the car. If one team is showing the definition of a ‘transition’, it’s the red devils.
With Pogba looking like he’s heading out the door and signings such as Swansea’s Daniel James, Manchester United’s ‘re-branding’ may take some time to settle in.
Three huge teams are in transition. One team growing.
State of flux
The flux of the teams that now house the ‘top 6′ is just another example of how teams’ ‘status’ does change over time.
Performances, management and investment obviously play a huge part, but over the last 30 years or so we’ve seen this flux happen not just at the top, but throughout the football league pyramid.
Where in the 80’s Liverpool were the top dog, Manchester United overtook the throne with Fergie and Arsene battled it out into the millennium and beyond.
Up stepped Chelsea to join the fight and by the arrival of the 2010’s Manchester City joined the party.
Now approaching the next decade, Manchester City and Liverpool lead the charge, with the original front runners playing catch up.
The Premier League used to be the ‘Top 2’, then the ‘Top 4’ before expanding into the ‘Top 6’.
Whilst the gulf between high and low deepens in the world’s best league, there’s no reason why the established six expand even more.
When I was a kid other Premier League stalwarts were made up of the likes of Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday, Coventry City and Wimbledon.
Now these teams have been in the wilderness for years, with one having to go to hell and back just to become a footballing side again.
Now the Premier League is dotted with a new breed of long serving partners such as Burnley, Bournemouth, Brighton and Watford.
Not names we expected even a decade ago, but it shows how teams switch places and have their moment in the sun.
Wolves can shock the system
You can clearly see that Wolves have a marcomms master-plan to use their footing to enhance their reach across the world.
China is a priority, with Mexico following suit. Wolves’ rapid rise is being capatalised on.
On the pitch Wolves have an opportunity to grow on the performances that made them stand out and strike fear into many teams last season.
Their style of play and pending European adventure will make them attractive propositions to new suitors, who may have otherwise looked away, and could cause them to think again when considering a move to some of the traditional ‘top 6’.
Wolves have a golden opportunity to claw their way into that top 6 and knock others off their perch.
It may not happen over a summer, but this is a side that continues to defy expectations, and they should use this season to prove, both on and off the field, why they’re here to bring down the system.