Former footballer Stuart Pearce has urged Wolves to be careful with the possibility of Europa League football being played at Molineux next season looming. The ex-manager was speaking to Sky Sports’ The Debate podcast (25/04).
Wolves were in a poor rut of form going into their midweek game with Arsenal. Having been brilliant all season they looked as though they were finally hitting a brick wall as the reality of European football started to sink in.
An FA Cup semi-final defeat against Watford initially looked as though it could derail their season but a phenomenal win over Arsenal got them back on track and back in the hunt for seventh place.
It seems to be a four horse race at the moment with Nuno Santo’s men challenging Everton, Watford and Leicester for that final Europa League spot.
However, speaking to The Debate Podcast about Wolves (23.23 onwards), Pearce was quick to specify that they’d need to add players otherwise they could be at risk of sliding down the table like Burnley did this season. He said:
“Their recruitment’s been brilliant last summer for this season. I think they’re going to have to expand the squad again if they take on a Europa League place like Burnley. They suffered so badly the whole season. Sean [Dyche] didn’t sort it out until February. Wolves can learn a lesson from that. Be careful if you get into Europe. Be careful what you wish for in some ways.”
It would be quite something if Wolves were to qualify for Europe after just a single season back in the Premier League but it would be a testament to just how good they’ve been this term.
Although they’ve struggled against some of the poorer sides in the division, the 16 points they’ve taken from top six teams is astonishing.
However, their squad does remain quite thin and as a result, European football could be a hindrance. You feel that Wolves need to really establish themselves in the top flight first before obtaining a spot in Europe.
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Pearce is right to suggest that the Midlands club can learn from Burnley. Their form at the start of the season was terrible and although Wolves do have better players, fans should be concerned about the size of their squad.
They’ll have to be shrewd in the market and also be careful with their investment if they do end up playing in the Europa League.