This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
According to Chelsea legend Pat Nevin, one critical decision made pre-game by Frank Lampard is what contributed to Wolves’ demise.
Wolves were emphatically beaten by Chelsea at Molineux on Saturday afternoon as the visitors recorded a 5-2 victory.
Tammy Abraham netted a hat-trick to move to the top of the individual goalscoring charts, tied with no other than Sergio Aguero.
Chelsea boss Lampard slightly tweaked his system for the match as Antonio Rudiger was deemed fit enough to play the first 45 minutes of his season.
Watch Wolverhampton Wanderers Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv Below
The two-time Blues Player of the Year believes the change was the reason behind them cruising to all three points – speaking to Chelsea’s official website, he said:
“I bet a few people were surprised by the scoreline at Molineux at the weekend. I know I was for starters. Wolves are a tidy team, they have a well-organised defensive system that is generally drilled to perfection and they were arguably the favourites going into the game.
“The change of system [by Frank Lampard] against Wolves was in retrospect a masterstroke and one that would have surprised his opposite number, Nuno Espirito Santo.
“When you prepare for one system and a totally different one walks out, you must decide whether or not you should change.
“The home team rarely does in that situation and Wolves paid the price for not adapting.”
Whether or not the Portuguese boss should have ‘adapted’ upon hearing Chelsea’s team news is probably the least of their problems.
It’s not as if they put out personnel that was hugely unexpected – Rudiger was declared “fit to play” for this match, so that shouldn’t have been a shock and it was well-documented that Emerson Palmieri would be absent too through injury.
Had Wolves undergone similar preparations for this match and had someone of Willy Boly’s calibre in defence then it could have been a different game.
The 28-year-old was serving his one-game suspension and is their highest-rated player this season at 7.36, per WhoScored.
Santo very rarely changed his side last season, utilising a core squad of 19 players on their way to a seventh-place finish, so why would he chop and change based on a different formation from their opposition?