Wolves blog: Have we been worked out?
Before the Watford match, you could have easily predicted that Wolves would get six or seven points from their upcoming four matches.
But they head to the Emirates Stadium facing a pointless return ahead of the final international break of the calendar year.
That final half-hour against Spurs, and the spirited fightback, was a welcome change after their most painful hour of the season.
Wolves showed naivety in defending again, conceding two quick-fire first-half goals for the second successive Molineux match.
Once Wolves concede, it is difficult to see them coming back into games – they have only come from behind to win one match in Nuno’s tenure, at Bristol City.
Add to this the fact Wolves only have a single first-half goal, and have only led matches for 86 minutes this season, and it becomes a difficult task to win from behind.
Nuno has reaffirmed his belief in his system, saying it will not change – you wonder whether some teams are beginning to work Wolves out.
How one of the smallest players on the pitch, Lucas Moura, won an unmarked header in the box is questionable and these errors need ironing out quickly.
It was a surprise to see Joao Moutinho have a poor game – his corners were absolutely awful and never got past the first man.
But his replacement, Morgan Gibbs-White, was the force behind Wolves’ resurgence in the second half. He wanted the ball at all times, drove it forward and zipped it about to increase Wolves’ tempo. Surely he is pushing for a start in the near future – or at least pushing for longer appearances from the bench. He has proven he can forge a spot in that central position in Nuno’s team.
Nuno wouldn’t single out Gibbs-White for praise after the game – a common trait of the head coach. Does it show Nuno doesn’t see MGW as a young prospect gaining experience, but as an established member of the squad? It certainly seems so. Helder Costa also performed well in the second half after a poor first half for both Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro – but Costa’s miss in front of the South Bank at 3-1 was shockingly bad.
Raul Jimenez is proving he isn’t the real problem behind Wolves’ profligacy up front – he led the line well and tucked away his penalty, as well as his ‘offside’ goal – he has now been directly involved in a remarkable 63 per cent of Wolves’ goals.
Despite three losses in a row, it’s certainly not time to panic – we are a newly-promoted team and this kind of run is to be expected by most teams outside the top six in a season. Our early form banked us enough points that we are nowhere near trouble.
Getting something from in-form Arsenal will be a tough ask – but there is no doubt Nuno will take his team to north London and play the same way he always does.