Billy Price looks back at Wolves performance against Middlesbrough and if it’s set the benchmark for the season
Wolves have successfully started their championship campaign with a 1-0 win over a strong Middlebrough team inside a sold old Molineux. While it was a game all us Wolves fans were all excited for, many pundits did not feel we would be up for the task.
I’ll be going over a few talking points to see if this perfect start to the season will be a preview of what is to come for Wolverhampton Wanderers.
I think we were all a bit worried after seeing the opening fixtures this season, facing two of the relegated sides and Derby away (A fixture that has not been too kind to Wolves In the past) in the first three matches. But the opening result couldn’t have been much better. Similarly to us, Middlesbrough has been another team in the Championship who have been big spenders. Bringing in 10 signings worth around 45 million pounds. The biggest names include strikers Britt Assombalonga and Martin Braithwaite for a combined 25 Million. But many thanks to big Willy Boly and John Ruddy, Wolves were able to stop the pair, leading us to a 1-0 win, was a big shock to many. Wolves put in a great performance all round and after beating a team who are very much favorites for promotion, this is definitely one reason to be excited for the remainder of the season.
Once again, pundits were definitely not feeling the excitement that the fans were about Wolves this season, especially due to the large amount of foreign signings brought in. Some quotes include how “they would fail to gel together” and “not be able to cope in The Championship”. The likes of Boly as previously mentioned, as well as Douglas, Jota and man of the match Ruben Neves have shined brightly early on each putting in great performances in the first game and silencing their critics. Yes, this is a game against a team who in the same boat as us when it comes to new signings inside a sold old Molineux. Their performances could all be a different story when playing Ipwsich away in January, but it is definitely something worth mentioning. Brazilian striker Leo Bonatini is of course the one who got the goal for Wolves on the weekend on his debut for the club, but we should all remember what happened last time a striker scored on his debut for Wolves. Known by many fancastians as the Icelandic prince…
Coping Without the Stars
All the hype of the new signings has made some of us forget that one special player named Helder Costa even existed in our Wolves team. But thankfully, will still have him… somehow. Costa and Cavaleiro were both left out of the Wolves side for their own reasons. Costa still recovering from his ankle injury sustained last season will be out for a few more games and Cavaleiro banned after his red card during the last game of the season, will most likely play against Derby next weekend. After signing players like Neves and Jota, we should obviously not be still relying on these two to carry us to promotion, but they are crucial 1st team players when fit, and to win without them is without a doubt a good sign.
Also known as the Golden Palace, the Molineux itself may play a big part in this season for Wolves. The weekend’s game was the new Molineux’s fourth biggest crowd, having 29,692 supporters in attendance. We should not expect this for every game, and in fact, unless we are lifting the trophy on the final game this will most likely be the biggest crowd all season. But to have such strong support and excitement around the club after one of the most exciting pre-seasons in recent years, this may be the year that Molineux becomes a fortress in the championship and a stadium feared by all clubs in the league. A little side note, we do need a new post-game celebration now that the Icelandic clap is not usable, I’ll leave that one up to you guys.
There is not really much I can say about this that hasn’t already been said, I felt it would be wrong not to include something about this. After the shocking news that was announced that Wolves’ number 1 goalkeeper Car Ikeme was diagnosed with acute leukemia, Football fans all around the country have been showing their support to him and his family with Charity and fundraising events for cure leukemia and I’m sure these will continue throughout the entirety of the season. There is surely no more inspiration that both the old and new players need, than to just do it for Carl.