Football is a results business, and if you focus on the five defeats Wolves have suffered this season, it doesn’t paint a very vibrant picture.
The Old Gold have been short of goals under Bruno Lage and they are lacking the ability to pick up points.
That being said, there have been some positives. Wolves have had bright spells against the likes of Tottenham and Manchester United in the league and on other days, it may have been them picking up all three points.
Although Wolves lost to Spurs on penalties in the Carabao Cup a few days ago, that tournament has been kinder to them this year than the top-flight. They demolished Nottingham Forest 4-0 and have actually been able to score goals as a consequence.
It’s bizarre when you consider that some of their star players have been missing for those encounters.
Lage has selected Trincao, Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore in every league match this term, but after the success the fringe players had against Nuno Santo’s Spurs this week, they should earn another opportunity.
Wolves drew 2-2 in normal time on Wednesday, with Leander Dendoncker finding a rare goal and Daniel Podence also scoring.
The dynamic attacker is now Wolves’ top scorer this season after netting against Forest in the last round too. Considering that he’s only played 47 minutes of league football, that nearly defies belief.
However, it’s a testament to the way the 25-year-old has responded to adversity. He spent four periods out injured last term and has never really been a first choice at Molineux.
Yet, now feels like his time to shine. Combine him with the club’s new signing Hwang Hee-chan, as Lage did on Wednesday, and this team could thrive.
Podence is a wily and creative character who should be able to establish a promising connection with Hwang, someone who is quick and dazzling in the final third. With Wolves needing some extra pizzazz in offensive areas, the promising duo would appear to be the answer at the moment.
The difficulty Lage may have, though, is where to play him. It’s unlikely that Jimenez or Traore will be dropped, so a change in formation may have to be applied.
It’s something which worked last term when Nuno began playing with a number 10. Reporter Tim Spiers said at the time: “I really like what I’ve seen from Podence in this new role that he’s got in the 10, Wolves have never played with a 10 under Nuno, they don’t have anybody in that gap between the striker and the midfield.”
The £52k-per-week earner was superb against Spurs a few days ago when operating from the right. He not only scored but completed 100% of his dribbles and was fouled twice, proving that he used possession effectively.
Podence hasn’t always been at the forefront of the manager’s mind but now he simply has to start.
A review from Conor Coady last year shows that he’s held in high esteem with the players, too. “They’re absolutely fantastic,” the skipper said of Neto and Wolves’ number 10.
The former Olympiacos forward hasn’t had the best of spells in the Midlands but hopefully his luck should begin to change against Southampton this weekend.