A magical and rare Saturday night kick off in the Premier League, played out under the Molineux floodlights, should have been the perfect opportunity for Wolves to get back to winning ways. However, once again it was a game of should’ve, would’ve, could’ve. The same problems keep cropping up week after week for Wolves, and Tottenham beat them mainly because of their ability to finish. While Wolves played great football, again, and as passionate and inspiring as their comeback was it just wasn’t enough to secure them any points.
Wolves put in a solid effort, but a lack of star quality in front of goal, defensive naivety and a bit of bad luck let them down (we all know that goal wasn’t offside). On the whole, they had 48% of the possession, won 56 duels and 11 aerials, both more than Spurs won.
They pressed hard and almost pulled off the most spectacular comeback. The home crowd were behind them the whole way, it was a thrill to watch, and even though they didn’t come out on top, most seemed to appreciate the fighting spirit.
While that’s all well and good, they can’t continue to miss so many chances if they want to thrive in the Premier League. Out of 16 shots, seven of which were on target, the only two goals they managed to score were from the two penalties (that’s excluding the disallowed goal). Spurs had to make 23 clearances and five goalkeeper saves, and Wolves just couldn’t get the ball past them and into the net. It’s hard to be critical of a 2-3 scoreline, especially when they didn’t perform badly but it’s becoming the same story every week, and it needs to be nipped in the bud because otherwise good footballing performances are going to continue to go unrewarded.
The Future’s Bright for Morgan Gibbs-White
After Spurs’ third goal went in, Nuno threw on Leo Bonatini and rising star Morgan Gibbs-White and in all honesty, this completely changed the game. While Bonatini has not been scoring and is often criticised by fans, he was crucial in winning the two penalties and I feel his performance was better than it has been in a while. Morgan Gibbs-White was absolutely outstanding. When he came on the team came to life again and he produced so many intelligent passes while creating scoring opportunities. I think sometimes Neves and Moutinho are a little too similar whereas Gibbs-White brings something fresh to the table. Let’s take a look at his match stats.
As you can see the impact he had in just 28 minutes was absolutely insane. He had 87% passing accuracy, put in two crosses, six long balls and created one big chance. His work rate, enthusiasm and skill could not be knocked and considering he was only on the pitch for such a short period of time, he came out of the match Wolves second highest rated player (according to SofaScore ratings).
He also won five out of six duels which shows he was putting the effort in across all areas of his game. The youngster was even highlighted on Match of the Day for his top quality performance.
This is the best team Wolves have had in such a long time. It’s incredible to see players so skilled grace the Molineux pitch, however, seeing them drop points where they deserved to win is not what anyone wants. I said last week that it would be such a disappointment if it was the same story again, ‘Wolves should have won’ and here we are. I think they have been taught a harsh lesson about what not putting your chances away means in the Premier League and hopefully, they’ll learn from it.
Onto the next match away to Arsenal, I’d have to say change it up and give Gibbs-White a start because he made the world of difference on Saturday. Arsenal will be another tough match as they are unbeaten in 14 league and cup games, but as long as Wolves keep that passion, and continue working hard in training, I think the goals (and hopefully wins) will come.