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10 Apr 2023 13:12:44
First many tks to Long and the others for starting such an interesting and relevant thread below regarding the 2 interrelated issues of "Neves" and the style Wolves play/have played in over the last 5 years.
For me (and I strongly suspect v v few would dispute either of these statements) Neves is a very good player but yes Wolves are/have been a back foot quite slow/negative/defensive team over the period.
However whilst Neves is never going to gain 3 yards of pace or turn into a Kante like all action running machine he is in my opinion more than capable of playing not only more than one style but also more than one position in those styles, i.e. he is an exceptional footballer and surely the team is stronger with him than without. [He could play sweeper in a back 3, DM in a 2 or a CM in a more progressive role perhaps in front of a/2 DMs]
However, why are we so slow/negative and should we remain so?
Well when Nuno first designed the system he had a team of non athletes, slow players who couldn't run, and also in many cases quite limited players. {Lets be honest the first team/squad was 2 older players many thought were done in Moutinho and Patricio, 3 highly talented and promising youngsters yet to really arrive in Jota, Neto and Neves, 6 guys who although established pros had never really shown they were top quality in Doherty, Saiss, Boly, Coady, Traore and Jimenez and only 2 top quality undoubted stars in Otto and Dendonker} The system had to disguise those factors and let's be honest it did brilliantly! Sadly though the system requires a brilliant CF, Jimenez developed to play that role, fast skillful WFs Jota, Traore and Neto supplied that in spades and a RWB who could plough the RW dominating physically whilst supporting the attack and Doherty was brilliant in this role. Shortly after Seville however the team was entirely dismantled due to sales and injuries. Since then we haven't had a discernible system or a style and have had an unbalanced squad. We have merely battled on using a pale shadow of the old system, retaining the slow part of the slow slow quick quick slow dance Nuno instigated without the quick and results have unsurprisingly quite rapidly declined as a result to where we stand today!
So should we change the system? Well all you have to do is match the system to the capabilities/skills/strengths of the squad. Sounds easy but currently we are miles away with a squad that is still unbalanced and incoherent. Consequently there is no obvious sense of where we are going - cars on the left lorries on the right! - and given the financial limitations we surely face this summer and the possible/probable departures it certainly won't be easy to find a soln!.
However for me Neves is a diamond that will fit whatever style the rest of the squad is capable of playing and keeping him if possible would be a huge positive.

Agree0 Disagree0

10 Apr 2023 16:08:30
Logical analysis TFIOG that considers the origins of and puts the dilemna into an appropriate context.

10 Apr 2023 16:51:53
40 points by the end of the month also I would like to be in 12th place as 13th makes me unsteady being superstitious as I am.
Both neves and Nunes could be gone in the summer if so plenty of funds to invest.
You would like to think lopetegui will get the right players with the funds.
This lad from Bristol City I forget his name is well sought after.
It's plain and clear that a top goalscorer is top of the list.
With this young midfielder from Bristol he wouldn't cost the earth say 20 million roughly well enough funds for a goalscoring striker.
It hasn't got to be said that 20 plus a season goalscorers are rare like rocking horse poo but with substantial funds we could be in a lot better bargaining place to get one.
Just thoughts on a possible outcome if neves and Nunes leave us in the summer of which is likely.

10 Apr 2023 16:53:01
A most interesting analysis TFOG. I agree with a lot of it although your description of Otto and Dendonker is rather more generous than mine.

As to Neves, on any objective view he is a top top player who it would be good to keep although I suspect we will need to sell him this summer to raise funds to rebalance the squad. We got a glimpse on Saturday of what our midfield might look like without Neves and it isn’t all bad, indeed you could say the future is gold!

10 Apr 2023 16:58:05
Thats if we stay up of course of which I believe we will.
The current bottom 3 haven't won a game in their last 5 games.
We carry on and get results in next 3 games Brentford,Leicester and Palace we will be in touching distance of safety.
We win all 3 next games we will be virtually safe on 40 points.
One cracking result/performance has made all the difference and given huge uplift.
I'm dreaming to much so be it.
But before Chelsea game my morale was very low.
It's the ups and downs of emotions and it's made my easter break that much better.

10 Apr 2023 17:08:35
I hope Nunes stays. Neves and Traore will move on. Spend the incoming funds on a midfielder and a striker will see us in a decent state for next Season in the premiership.

10 Apr 2023 17:48:07
You're welcome Tfiog. I suspect successive Managers have used Neves's abilities to control possession within games as a primary function. Neves himself often comments post match how we 'controlled' the game, with or without the ball, but due to our shortcomings up front we've not really capitalised on that possession.

However, as you suggest such is his footballing ability he could play a major role within a variety of playing styles, I'm sure.
For that reason if he stays will his role stay the same and if he leaves will our playing style change?

10 Apr 2023 18:19:56
Innocent - I was merely stating what they were regarded as when they arrived (Otto and Dendonker were established international players when they came to us but were not "old") rather than any comment on their abilities - although Otto in particular was excellent pre his injuries.
Phil I suspect/fear you may be correct re Neves and Nunes and hope we get plenty for them - i'd hope we might even get as much as £100m for the 2 of them plus a few others that might leave -Otto, Giles (or RAN), Hwang and Jimenez for example?
You are obviously also correct re the central need a replacement for Jimenez.
However I watched Fabio score another cracker in Holland last week a diving header after bursting past his man with real pace so am (perhaps overly) optimistic that he might look the part this summer/pre season and of course Sasa wille back so maybe just maybe we might have options in house as Nuno used to say!
Keep the faith!
ps next season if we stay up
Sa - Bentley
Semedo -? Need a back up
Dawson - Collins
Kilman - Gomes
Bueno - Giles
Neves (please!) - Slow Traore/Lemina - or replacment maybe?
Gomes - Lemina
Neto {if truly fit } - Sarabia - Nunes (maybe here or a midfiled depending on system?)
Cunha-? back up required
CF Fabio/Sasa - first choice might be required
Podence - Chiquinho - Fast Traore (please!)

Not a bad base if we can only decide on a system and recruit accordingly!

10 Apr 2023 19:08:04
Good thread. Good squad for next season in the Premier League future! Good to see the planning good you haven't come up with a squad for what won't happen! Keep trusting me my friend you know what I said!
Re pace of play, that's down to the manager telling Neves . So maybe when he's back from suspension the pace will continue. Wonder how it will go against the physical Brentford at the weekend?

10 Apr 2023 19:35:58
Alex Scott the Bristol City midfielder.

10 Apr 2023 19:57:02
Ken - you have told us all what is going to happen and I have faith!
You are the man!
ps my assumption above is that we have bought Cunha and will build the team around him as a number 10 i.e. we will play 4 at the back and 2 up with possibly 2 wide forwards and 2 D/CMs on a v good day and no wide forwards and 4Ms on a v v bad day.
pps in my dark moods the squad for next season if we go down is not pleasant but as I said last week if the worst happens there will be plenty of time for doom and gloom and recriminations today after that fabulous win let's keep the faith and remain positive.
Yes it was a fabulous win!

11 Apr 2023 09:32:12
Re Brentford this saturday,
I think Brentford are very dangerous on set pieces something we have to be very prepared for.
Open play I think we can hold our own.



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