FIVE things we’ve learnt from Wolves this season

Wolves manager Mick McCarthyWith just under a third season behind us, Wolves lie in 19th position. That’s what the league tells us, what else have we learnt from Wolves so far this season?

1. That lad Jarvis is alright

On the face of it, it appears a little odd that fans and the press alike are raving about an attacking player who plays for a team who have the joint second worst goal-scoring record in the Premier League. But that is exactly what is happening with Matt Jarvis, and with good reason. The former Gillingham man has been on top form so far this season, and especially in Wolves’ last few games against the top four. His pace, control and confidence have shone through of late, he isn’t frightened to take on full-backs snd voices for an England call-up are growing, If Wolves stay up this season, Jarvis will be a big factor.

2. Why Mick didn’t sell Milijas

Nenad Milijas; the Serbian enigma. For reasons of tactics and fitness, Milijas never really settled at Molineux last season and he looked like a cert to be sold over the summer. But Milijas stayed put, and in his first game of the season against Chelsea he showed just why Mick McCarthy signed him in the first place. He may not be the best defensively, but he gives the Wolves midfield something that it has been lacking for a long time, creativity. His come back into the team has coincided with Stephen Hunt’s return and this has helped him immensely. When Wolves play with Hunt and Jarvis, two genuine wingers, it stretches the midfield and allows the men in the middlle, Milijas, more time on the ball. His goal against Manchester City showed just why Mick can’t leave him out the side.

3. The last 10 minutes of a game are just as important as the first 80

All stats have to be taken with a pinch of salt, but sometimes they do tell an interesting story. Of the 20 goals that Wolves have conceded so far this season, an amazing 9 have been in the last 10 minutes of matches. These have included games against Fulham, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Manchester United where Wolves were looking likely to grab a point. How many goals have Wolves scored in the last 10 minutes of matches? Precisely zero. If Wolves had been able to concentrate for the entirety of games, they’d be looking much better than they do at the moment.
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4. Where have the clean sheets gone?

Last season Mick McCarthy know that Wolves’ strength wasn’t in scoring goals, so he sent out teams with the main duty of stopping the opposition scoring goals, and without question this was the reason that Wolves stayed up last season. At the business end of last season Wolves secured safety by conceding only seven goals in their last eight games, and three of those came in a match against Portsmouth. Christophe Berra and Jody Craddock formed a good partnership and understanding during these games and Wolves ended up in 15th position. So what has happened? Wolves are the only side in the Premier League to have not kept a clean sheet this season and for a team who don’t score many goals, this has to be a grave concern.

5. Wolves are a dirty side, aren’t they?

Well, had anyone asked that question on the 2nd of October after Karl Henry’s red card that the answer would have been a pretty unanimous ‘yes’. Memories would have darted back to the Christophe Berra’s red card and Henry’s run-ins with controversy when Wolves were constantly under the spot-light. However since that dreadful day in Wigan, Wolves have picked up only four yellow cards in their last five games emphasizing the fact that the Molineux men were somewhat harshly treated. When McCarthy celebrated Henry’s tackle last Saturday it seemed as if he was releasing all of the frustration that had built up in he early part of the season.

 


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