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Wolves Fans Verdict v Bolton: Champions!

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Our fans hails the best team in the Championship – Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Clockwise from top left; Russ Cockburn, Russ Evers, Adam Virgo, Heather Large, Chris Hughes, Natalie Wood, Clive Smith and Rob Cartwright

Rob Cartwright

What's your verdict on the match? This has been 23 years of hurt in the making: "Take that John McGinlay.”

Thank you Nuno, for yet another skeleton being laid to rest.

I think a 9-1 aggregate score over Notlob means we can finally move on. The fans sang “We’ll never play you again"...well let’s hope that is true. Good riddance I say.

As good a day as this was, it was yet another comfortable victory. It was a familiar pattern. The opposition really give it a good go for first 10 minutes; then realise they ain't scoring today, so we continue to keep the ball and pick them off at will.

Three former players in their starting 11 couldn’t make an impact either. Something else that has changed under Nuno.

The result was never in doubt – Bolton were never going to score.

Wolves had 62 per cent possession and with 21 shots really should have had more to show for it, but who cares?

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Champions once more, only this time I have the feeling that this is only the beginning, not the end. Fosun mean business. Nuno has a dream.

We scored a couple of nice goals in the first half, first with Douglas being in the right place for a rebound from an Afobe shot from outside the box. Then, a perfect full pitch pass from Coady to Afobe who rounded the keeper and slotted in the empty net.

It was as though Nuno had told them they must be 2-0 up at the break, as nothing much was happening at that point.

We completely controlled the second half. Costa and a Jota linked to get the third goal and then Afobe was fouled by Henry for the penalty. It looked like Afobe fancied taking it, but encouraged by his team mates Coady stepped forward.

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He enjoyed that as much as we did.

So, the last 20 minutes were played out in a celebratory mode. Personally, I’d have liked them to score more, maybe seven. There were a lot of chances to add a fifth. This didn’t stop the joy at the end which in the usual fashion carried on outside the stadium for a long while too.

This would be a great feature outside the Premier League stadiums next season. They won’t know what’s hit them!

Another fantastic away day. It’s a shame we only have one more to come.

Who played well – and who didn't impress? Everyone did their job well with no need to rise far above average. Another illustration of how Wolves’ “average” has been well above most teams' “good” this season.

The standout players were Costa and Afobe. Boly and Coady did well but in reality were against a very poor forward line. Batth did well too, without ever looking completely comfortable.

Saiss and Neves did enough, while conserving their energy for the World Cup.

Jota never stops running and always has a goal in him, just like yesterday’s third.

Man of the match for me was Costa, just above Afobe.

Natalie Wood

What's your verdict on the match? Championship sealed and delivered in style! A fantastic all round performance that summed up our season...unstoppable.

Bolton started the game well, with a couple of good shots early on. We weren’t quite at the top of our game but it was obvious that all we needed was that one perfect pass to completely split them open.

It didn’t take long until Jota created the perfect moment, Afobe got his shot away and was only stopped by a good save but there was Barry Douglas to put it away.

After that we never looked back. No disrespect to Bolton but we were just far superior to them, the way we were moving the ball around really was the work of champions.

Our second goal was the best of the game for me. An excellent Neves-style pass from Coady to put Afobe through who finished so calmly. Now having scored six goals since his return, he was just what we needed at a time when Bonatini’s confidence completely disappeared. I personally think he would be a great addition to the squad next year.

As the second half started it was clear we were not going to take our foot off the gas, Bolton at this point were just spectators to our masterclass. Costa was absolutely outstanding all game, he really is back to his best and is one of the many Wolves players that wouldn’t look out of place in a top six Premier League team. Our third was created by Costa cutting inside before setting up Jota for an easy finish. Just excellent.

Then came the moment of the season...Conor Coady scoring a goal. As soon as the ref gave the penalty you could hear the fans immediately shouting for Coady, he deserved his moment. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a player to score more in my life! It really crowned our season perfectly.

Coady has been my player of the season, not just for his consistent performances but for his leadership. We are of course lucky to have the likes of Neves, Costa etc but we are so lucky to have a player like Coady in our ranks – a true leader, great athlete and great character to have around the club.

We really were in cruise control for the rest of the game, we really could of scored a few more...that is a phrase I rarely said before this season!

As the final whistle blew and our championship confirmed it really felt like the end of a chapter...the end of the difficult and at times unbearable few years and the start of something new and exciting. The potential of our squad and what we may be able to achieve in the next few years is quite mind blowing and I can’t wait!

Who played well – and who didn't impress? Yet another perfect performance by all the boys, yet another performance where you have your choice of all 11 for man of the match but I think it has to go to Costa – probably his best game of the year, confident, relaxed and absolutely world class.

Russ Cockburn

What's your verdict on the match? This doesn’t happen to us does it? After years of mediocrity and failing at the main hurdles, we’ve got a team that turns up every game, well nearly every game.

Champions…champions, sounds great doesn’t it? Not content with winning promotion, Nuno and the boys thought they might as well banish some more demons and none bigger than Bolton.

A club who shares part of their name with us, but that’s about it. Tinpot support and a soulless ground in the middle of nowhere, yet somehow they’ve managed to have the upper hand over us in my time supporting Wolves.

Well not anymore. Fat John and Lofty the Loser can do one, whilst Peter Kay and Paddy can continue on their road to League One.

After a shaky start, we made it look easy, casually strolling around in the Horwich sunshine making pass after pass. Costa, Afobe and Jota were all imperious and Bazza added to his massive assist and goals tally with a good follow-up to start the celebrations.

It was pretty much plain sailing from there on in, with Wolves proving why they’re the best in the league by a country mile with controlled possession interrupted by a killer pass and the clinical finish. Even Karl Henry got in on the act providing a rare assist for us.

This is the best team I’ve ever seen both in ability, shape and the way they all seem to enjoy playing with each other.

Normally you have to think back about the best away days, but pretty much every time we step on the train and land in a town/city at 10am you know you’re going to be in for an amazing day.

It has been a very special season...now time to focus on the Premier League. The difference is I’m convinced we’re not going up just to be 17th, we’re going up to compete and Molineux can’t wait!

Who played well – and who didn't impress? Costa’s footwork was sexier than a Holly Willougby low cut top, but my man of the match goes to our leader, the real captain and a fast becoming Wolves legend.

Step forward Connor Coady, our best signing of the season. He’s a different player to years gone by and typified it yesterday with a 60-yard defence splitting pass and a coolly taken penalty. What a perfect way to crown us as champions with the cheeky Scouser unable to control his smile even before the spot-kick was taken.

Special mention also to the ‘box boys’, who rolled out the Wolves flag in the second half much to the disgust of Bolton’s Backstreet Boys. They just really didn’t care, enjoying a sing song whilst bottles rained up at them.

We’re Wolverhampton we do what we want.

Adam Virgo

What's your verdict on the match? Championies, Championies, ole ole ole!

I managed to get on the Express & Star fan video with Nathan Judah after the game so now I’m a celebrity, right? Best not to take my views on there literally though as I had a few too many, even to the point where I could barely remember who scored so at least I have this to make up for it, a sober version.

I wasn’t old enough to remember the McGinlay antics but having read about it, it was obviously nice to stick it to Bolton and become champions on their own patch, bit of payback.

I was always confident we’d at least get a point yesterday but to win 4-0 and do it in style just made it that extra special. Conor Coady scoring the penalty topped off a fantastic day, adding more memories to a wonderful season.

The second and third goals were truly brilliant, Coady’s pass to Afobe for a start was sublime and just shows how important his passing is in that central defensive role, and then the touch from Afobe was beautiful with a calm finish as you’d expect from a natural goalscorer.

The third was fantastic play from Costa to begin with and then Jota with a disgusting chip over the keeper after a heavy touch too. Would have been even better if Jota had pretended to sprinkle salt over the Bolton goalkeeper after it had gone in.

Until we got the first goal, Bolton did press us well and were forcing a few errors on our behalf. They had their own chances early on but that’s the difference between a team top of the league, and a team fighting to stay up.

We controlled the second half though and Bolton couldn’t get near us at times. In the end it could have been more than four and for the last 20 minutes it was like watching a training session.

The award for the biggest rustlers of 2018 so far definitely goes to those Wolves fans in the box who pulled out a flag and started singing along with us. The Bolton fans going over to them moved quicker than most of their team did all afternoon.

Who played well – and who didn't impress? The team were outstanding once again. It could have been easy after gaining promotion for the players to take their foot off the gas a little but there was no sign of that at all.

Conor Coady, what a man. Always plays with a smile on his face and it was such a nice touch by Afobe and the team to let Coady take it. Thankfully he scored which now only leaves Gibbs-White, Hause and Miranda as outfield players (who have actually played some part) left to score for us, I think.

If we get another penalty this season, unsportsmanlike or not, John Ruddy should be given a go.

Helder Costa troubled the Bolton defenders all afternoon with his turn of pace, and when he’s at full flow, he’s so difficult to stop.

Diogo Jota has came in for some criticism for his performance level after December but he’s now scored three in three and looks back to his best. His finish yesterday showed us once again how clinical he is when given the chance.

Ruben Neves just made the game look easy and the technique in how he hit they second half free kick which wasn’t too far away, was ridiculous as well.

Benik Afobe looked like he was playing to stay. If we signed him, I would be happy because he knows where the net is and he feels loved at Wolves. At Bournemouth it’s completely different for him which maybe made him worse off, whereas at Wolves he has the confidence and he certainly has the ability.

It’s not easy to single out individuals when everyone played as well as they did and put on a performance like that to win the title. Now we can go out and enjoy the next two games knowing the job is done, it would be great to reach 100+ points and also beating Sunderland would mean we’ve beaten every Championship team this season, another accolade to add to the huge collection already.

Lifting the trophy next week in our final home game will be special to everyone involved in the club and a moment we can all cherish, the Wolf Pack is back!

Russ Evers (Hatherton Wolves)

What's your verdict on the match? If ever there was a place to win it, Bolton must have been at the top of most lists.

Total domination all day and 4-0 flattered Bolton who could be facing Accrington as we go to Anfield.

Ruddy was unemployed but the rest were just miles above a woeful Bolton team.

Great finishes and hats off to Conor Coady with his first of the season.

A great day topped off in style with a traditional Hatherton visit to sunny Blackpool.

Clive Smith

What's your verdict on the match? As a football fan you have to take the rough with the smooth. More often than not the bad days outweigh the good so you really do have to make the best of the good days.

Yesterday was just perfect. As good as it gets.

Finding anyone in the away end at kick off who didn't think we would clinch the Championship yesterday would have been difficult. Rarely have we all had this much confidence in our Wolves team. There was not a chance of being disappointed.

Bolton, like Blues and Derby, had a reason to be a challenge, but failed to offer much resistance. Early on they chased us down, tried to press high and fired a couple of free kicks into our box. Once those moments had passed the Wolves bandwagon moved along and convincingly took over the game.

Just like our first away goal of the season at Derby, it was Douglas who was in the right place at the right time. This time it was an Afobe shot, poorly parried by their keeper, that gave him the chance to score. From that moment the result was never in doubt.

We dominated the ball, playing a mixture of long and short passes, with Saiss and Neves constantly involved. We played fewer long diagonal balls, instead playing to the front three with passes up the channels.

Just before the break an impressive box to box pass by Coady saw Afobe have a good first touch, beaten only by his touch that put the ball into the net. A typical no nonsense Afobe finish.

In the away end it was happy times...'some day we'll laugh with each other about these days, these days'. We will have all summer for that.

Just when you thought things could hardly be any better, some Costa trickery, ended with a ball to Jota and a clever finish for 3-0.

You could not have scripted the next bit. We all knew which player had not scored all season, and looked unlikely to. Only if a game was 'won' and we got a penalty might he get a chance. Our fairytale season granted us that wish and Coady had the honour of completing the scoring. Cue more ecstatic scenes in the away end.

Total contentment all round. A rousing 10 minute love-in after the final whistle capped a wonderful day that will live in the memory a long time.

Who played well – and who didn't impress? Frankly, everyone played well.

Ruddy was put under pressure early on and made one good block in the second half.

Doherty played second fiddle to his wing back colleague despite defending soundly and getting to the by line a couple of times.

Douglas reacted quickly to score just ahead of being kicked. He looked like he really enjoyed the game and was frequently getting involved in forward positions.

Coady and Boly shared a new terrace chant, while on the pitch they looked in control throughout. I am really chuffed for Coady to get his goal. I would like to shake the hand of the person who decided he should play in that position. Take a bow son.

Batth too defended well. Less accurate with his distribution, but good to see him put the Villa game behind him.

Saiss and Neves both looked a class act in the middle. Complimenting each other with their passing, tackling and finding space. Often it looked like we had an extra player and that was mainly because of their work rate with and without the ball.

Costa continues his good form. His tricky feet have to bring a smile to your face watching him. An assist in both the last two goals shows his value to the side.

Afobe - at his best. Man of the match. With his head up, looking for the through ball and taking up good positions in the box.

It was a neat finish again by Jota but he was often on the periphery of the game and could have made more of things when he did have the ball. Looks like he will end up being our top scorer. A fine season overall.

Bonatini, Gibbs-White and N'Diaye all had some minutes from the bench. After Coady's goal, Morgan looked on a mission to also score, falling just short of getting on the end of a Saiss cross aimed at setting him up.

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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