After a week of football which saw Diogo Jota score five goals in two games, a debate has risen around Molineux.
Tim Spiers – The Athletic’s Wolves correspondent – tweeted about how Nuno Espirito Santo hadn’t used the 3-5-2 system since a 4-0 win over Besiktas in the Europa League, a game in which Jota netted a hat-trick.
Then, when the Portuguese coach resurrected the same system for the Round of 32 clash against Espanyol, Jota popped up with another hat-trick – tellingly, his first goals in all competitions since that Besiktas game.
Well, while it is evident that Jota likes 3-5-2 – Spiers mentions that the former Atletico Madrid man prefers a central role – that specific formation does not accommodate one other deadly Wolves star in Adama Traore.
If Nuno uses the 3-5-2, it means that the former Barcelona flyer has to operate as a right wing-back, as there is only space in attack for Jota and the arguably undroppable Raul Jimenez, who has 31 goals involvements this term.
Of course, it can be presumed that any manager wants to obtain the maximum from his best players – however, here’s why Nuno doesn’t need a perfect solution to this apparent dilemma.
How often does Plan A tend to work for a football club?
If you have a well-documented style of playing, opposition managers will make it the focus of their pre-match presentation in an attempt to nullify it.
Of course, sometimes they cannot stop it. However, the opposite can happen and that Plan A becomes stifled.
With this in mind, that is why Nuno mustn’t fret over trying to squeeze Jota and Traore into the same side, for there is no need.
He must simply choose one system to begin the game and see how that works out, and if things go array, he can just as easily bring Jota – or Traore, depending on the system – off the bench to try something new in the game.
As much has been made of this topic, it shouldn’t be one that causes Nuno sleepless nights – if anything, it’s a good thing.
In other news, Wolves may have missed out on the next big thing as a result of their January decision…