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18 Jan 2021 14:44:52
I think our current demise can be traced back to the Seville game or even the Olympiacos game before it. We were played off the park in both games and saw very little of the ball. Indeed the back end of last season in most games we were averaging a little over 30% possession. I think that's when Nuno decided we needed to change in order to progress, get in the top 6 and challenge the bigger teams in Europe. So far so good.
But then what happened. With the intention of playing a back 4, we sold two wing backs that were not great defenders and replaced them with two more wing backs, Semedo and ait Nouri. Who were also not great defenders. With the emergence of Neto and Podence, the offer for jota was too good to pass up. But we still hadn't got adequate cover for Raul. We let Bennett go, an out and out CB but didn't apparently think about replacing him with a similar upgrade. A back 4 also needs strong creative midfielder with an eye for a goal. After all, we had lost jota and doc's goal contribution and were then just seemingly hoping that someone else would pick up that mantle. Attempts to sign other players failed for whatever reason and we were left with 3rd or 4th choice options. So even before our current injury crisis, we just hadn't recruited well enough for us to make the change. Yet for some reason the coaching staff have persisted in going ahead with it even after the team has been decimated by injuries. Why? Yes in order to get established in the top 6 you need a more possession based style of play but the change has to be made when we're ready for it and not at any cost.
As I've said before, Nuno is stubborn. Just look at the short corner situation. It took him half a season to admit it wasn't working. How many goals did that cost us?
Hopefully now we'll revert back to a back 5. It's not going to be pretty, but it's our best chance of gradually stopping the rot and survive this season.
Maybe then, someone can come up with a less chaotic transfer policy and we can go again next season.

Agree0 Disagree0

18 Jan 2021 15:01:34
Sharesum - superb post!

18 Jan 2021 15:19:03
Sharesum - probably the best post I've read on here in ages and I'll add/ reply a little later when I have more time. Some superb points and I will mention Sevilla/ Olympiacos, coaching staff (in particular Ian Cathro) and injuries when I get the aforementioned time, but just to repeat superb post mate.

18 Jan 2021 15:59:42
Sharesum made some great points earlier on varying subjects.
Firstly he pointed to the 'slide' starting back against Sevilla or Olympiacos which I agree with completely.

I read a lot of comments at the time from Olympiacos fans who were annoyed and shocked at how we had beaten them over two legs with minimal possession and limited shots on target.
Most Wolves fans replied with 'well that's football'. True enough look at the Black Country derby stats!

However, look at the Sevilla game - we were quite simply over run, it was so one sided it was painful to watch us just hoofing the ball clear only to see Sevilla come back wave after wave. After the game I actually thought to myself I wonder if Fosun will want to see us play like this? Especially as Sevilla's manager Lopetegui was actually their first choice post Jackett.

Has the new possession based type football been put on Nuno?
I think we can all agree the close season signings probably were.
Which brings me onto coaching and Ian Cathro, first team coach.

A young coach who Nuno met on courses in Scotland. Nuno employed Cathro at Rio Ave and Valencia earlier in their careers.
Cathro endured a very poor time as manager of Hearts in Scotland and was I recall ridiculed not only by fans but the press for his bizarre post match press conferences.

If you read his Wikipedia page (appreciate Wiki is not an unchallengeable source of info! ) it reads 'After Hearts failed to qualify from the 2017–18 Scottish League Cup group stage, Cathro was sacked.
It was said that there appeared to be a "confused" approach at Hearts, with a mismatch between the style of play Cathro wanted to implement and the type of players signed by the club. After Cathro left, Hearts interim manager Jon Daly and player Cole Stockton claimed that the physical training under Cathro had lacked intensity. '
Now, I may be wrong but this is a man Nuno puts a LOT of trust in I believe. This is his right hand man - so is Cathro given a lot of sway re tactics hence why we are finding such 'mismatches' and a 'lack of intensity'? .
I think our tactics and approach to games have become muddled and problematic more recently.
The stubbornness to recognise we are suffering as a result borders on insanity.

Injuries - since Nuno came to the club injuries seemed to be a thing of the past, until very recently.
I think you'll always find when a club/ team is successful injury lists are short and get longer when it's struggling.
Ok Raul (which was a planned assault by David Luiz in my opinion - not to fracture his skull granted, but to 'let him know' most certainly) and Jonny aside, why is it Marcal, Podence, Dendoncker, Boly seem to have had such innocuous knocks yet are or have been out for 4/ 5 weeks at a time?
Marcal has spent more time injured than fit.

The club Doctor left the club recently - has something changed on the medical? .
Why does it seem we're like the Wolves of old where important players were missing for months?

It's painful seeing the current form and the onus of responsibility slipping from Raul to Traore now to Neto who 7/ 8 months ago was an exciting prospect, now we see him as our matchwinner at 20/ 21 years old!

Neves and Moutinho don't fit that criteria anymore, Traore too inconsistent.
Not even Coady since his England call ups has put a foot right. Where as he used to encourage and promote he now stands hands on hips, silent or head in hands.
Patricio barely leaves his goal line and is ripe for at least one soft mistake a game.

18 Jan 2021 16:03:11
great post.

18 Jan 2021 16:10:04
Excellent post sharesum my thoughts exactly
Nuno's stubbeness in the past could cost him his job.

18 Jan 2021 16:28:46
Wow - good post. Interesting points re backroom.

18 Jan 2021 17:14:35
As usual lads some great points raised above. The only thing I would query is that the idea that the intention was always for a back four because that is not how it seemed at the start of the season?! In fact the back four thing only seemed to come about cause Coady had his first injury in years! This is what I don't get, shockingly Share I think your version of it is in fact somewhat more planed than what has actually happened! 😭.

18 Jan 2021 19:20:01
Really enjoyed reading that Sharesum and Italia Wolf fantastic posts.

18 Jan 2021 19:46:37
If you go back in time I said we were light years behind Olympiacos never mind Sevilla
Last season we gave up possession and played counter attacking football and to a degree it payed off and to a degree bought us some beautiful results and some surprise points.
But and it’s a big but, how many times did we pick up points from losing positions, the answer far too many.
After lockdown we were found out, I knew Nuno knew and most on here knew it, so where could we go what was the way forward.?
Change personnel? Change the system?
I would say yes and yes.
And that’s where the problems started.
We sell Jota and Doherty raising £60 million 🤔
Ok Neto replaces Jota Doherty can’t defend find a Johnny type right back 😀 job done and £40 million in the bank.
At that point we all think realistically £60 million coming in happy days
Then we blow it on 2 players who aren’t improving the squad.
We can’t be as lucky with injuries surely can we and no we can’t
So a team that scrapped and fought for so points was only going to go backwards
Add to that the injuries and shocking transfer window we’ve got what we’ve got we are were we are.
Who’s to blame we probably will never no, who sanctioned the transfers will will never know
What happened to Dalrymple Thelwell The Dr we will never know.
The was always going to happen how we rectify is going forward is the key.
I said a relegation was a possibility it must not turn into a reality
Step forward Jeff Shi step forward Fosun time for reassurance not burying your heads.

18 Jan 2021 20:19:07
Some decent points Realist.
As you rightly say to some of them we will never know I guess.
I do think the Dalrymple episode was an own goal as he was good for the club-fan relationship.
Thelwell - likewise but now Scott Sellars is in the seat so let's see if something changes.
We can't allow Shi under the guidance of Mendes to execute our future transfer policies surely?
Doctor Perry, I'm not entirely sure he's been replaced 1:1 but it's strange how injuries long/ short term have rocketed.

We must remain positive in testing times and trust that our luck above all will change.
No good sulking like Nuno did Saturday or Coady has been in the past 2 months when we concede.
It's time to show guts and big balls now, January incomings or not. We have the personnel.

18 Jan 2021 22:23:24
Great and highly rationale thread - tks guys v good posts!
The last point in the last post is the key - we do have the players to survive, especially with several really bad sides still below us thanks to our 17 point start. But, we must play them not the kids who sadly are some way short of the level required in this league.
Niall Ennis had a v successful youth career scoring goals for England youth teams and looking like he was going to the top - he went to Plymouth.
Most kids don't make it - we can't afford to be the team that is used to sift the wheat from the chaff for the game or we will be pulled down by the process.

19 Jan 2021 06:04:39
Very good reading.

19 Jan 2021 09:36:00
Just a thought guys/ gals: Is it possible our success came much too quickly for Fosun and their estimation of Euro football in 5-10 yrs, I think it was-- and perhaps they weren't prepared to match Nuno's vision of ready-made players to lift us in to top 6 and Euro f'ball but spending more wisely on proven quality rather than buying a lucky dip in youths who may turn out to be a golden nugget? I remember a few transfer windows ago Nuno seemed furious with our transfer policy and spec that he was going to walk. Anyway, just trying to make sense of why we are spiralling in wrong direction.

19 Jan 2021 11:11:32
Belfast - another interesting and thoughtful post - tks.

19 Jan 2021 12:53:16
Wow, some excellent posts, ideas, and food for thoughts, especially about the backroom staff. They have such an impact that we cannot always be aware of, but many of us will no doubt be concerned that there appears to be some disunity of ideas there now.



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