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After their narrow defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday, Wolves have just one win in their last 11 games and haven’t won in their last eight in the Premier League.
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Nuno Espirito Santo has never gone eight league games without a win in his managerial career, and Wolves are struggling massively as they are nine points off the relegation zone and the teams below them have games in hand.
I was flabbergasted to hear a Wolves fan on the radio here in England a few months ago call for Nuno Espirito Santo to be fired. Is that the answer!? I don’t think so.
Speaking to the BBC after their defeat at Palace, Wolves captain Conor Coady didn’t mince his words.
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“We’re in a really bad place and we need to put it right as soon as possible. We thought we could build on what happened midweek against Chelsea but we didn’t and it’s hard to know what to say,” Coady said. “It’s been a tough season for us but it’s only us that can put it right.
“It’s important we look at it and improve. We’re professionals, we’re lucky to do this job every day of our lives and we have to put it right in the second half of the season. We’ve got fantastic players but something’s going wrong and we need to work out what that is and solve it.”
What now for Wolves?
As Coady said, they need to sort it out. But is this a short-term or long-term fix?
It seems like the latter.
They didn’t play badly, at all, at Palace and Willian Jose looked sharp and could have scored a couple had Vicente Guaita not been in good form to deny him. But Wolves look jaded, as they have done for a while now, and perhaps that was done to their UEFA Europa League run over the summer and not having much of a preseason.
Joao Moutinho, Conor Coady and Adama Traore don’t seem to have the same spark they had over the past few seasons, and they are playing not to lose rather than looking dangerous on the break.
Look, Nuno Espirito Santo has worked wonders at Wolves but they are clearly missing Raul Jimenez and his cutting edge in the final third. How does Santo think they can get back to their best?
“It takes hard work and commitment from all of us. It’s something we have to sit down and talk about. We must improve fast. I don’t think it has to do with confidence. It is about finding our game. We must be much faster when we recover the ball. We were always a threat on the counter-attack, now we make too many passes,” Santo said.
Aside from that, these last few months have perhaps shown us that Wolves must freshen up their squad and have a big overhaul this summer if they want to push for Europe next season. They won’t be relegated this season, but they won’t rip up any trees, and motivation levels seem to be low and players have perhaps become a little comfortable given their incredible success over the last few seasons.
Absence of Raul Jimenez hitting them hard
Willian Jose looked sharp as he’s come in on a temporary basis to try and fill the huge void left by Raul Jimenez’s injury. And you can’t overlook the horrendous skull fracture to Jimenez, who is pushing forward with his recovery but is unlikely to return until the final months of the season.
Their entire attacking unit was built around the Mexican star and since he was injured they’ve won once in their last 11 games.
Wolves no longer look fluid in attack and miss not only Jimenez, but a fully-fit Adama Traore, badly.
The decision to sell Diogo Jota should also be questioned and there’s a big job on Nuno’s hands to restore the confidence in the short-term and to get recruitment correct over the next few windows.
Coady on Wolves slump: ‘We’re in a really bad place’ originally appeared on NBCSports.com