In the words of Elton John, “Saturday night’s alright for watching football on the telly”.
Tomorrow we play Wolves at Molineux, 7.45pm is the attention-seeking, attempt at ratings-grabbing kick off time. Why oh why? Money oh money. The TV companies fund the Premier League, the TV viewers get to choose when to watch it.
Wolves lie in tenth position having had of late, a bit of a dip in results. Everyone seems to agree that they are one of the best promoted teams that there’s been for a while, are we talking about money again? Maybe. They have spent, but it’s been targeted and specific in a way that’s foxed or baffled most people. The involvement of agent Jorge Mendes in the club and some of the deals that they’ve been able to make (with predominantly Portuguese players) has made some people think that there must be some dodgy business going on somewhere, there’s no evidence that that is true though that I’m aware of.
Goals have been their problem all season, only nine in the league thus far. Raul Jimenez is the only Wolf who has notched more than once. They’ve been well organised with Matt Doherty and Conor Coady getting good reports. They have conceded only nine so there’s a symmetry there if nothing else.
It’s the midfield that has been grabbing the headlines with the much-admired Ruben Neves and the much Spurs-linked Joao Moutinho providing the core that everything else revolves around. Whoever plays centrally for us (Winks and Dembele?) will have their work cut out keeping these two quiet.
Their early season performances against Man City and at Old Trafford raised everyone’s expectations with regards to their prospects for the season, recent losses to Watford and Brighton have reset them. They’ll be very keen to turn their results around.
The reintroduction of Dele and Eriksen during the last couple of weeks has improved our performances and morale immensely, which is what you’d expect from two players of this calibre of course. A good performance in Eindhoven was let down by some individual defensive errors, a good performance against Man City was let down by more individual mistakes, one defensive, but more offensive. We won’t get anywhere until we cut these out. The banishing of these errors was one of the great improvements that Poch brought to us during his first couple of seasons, we need desperately to eliminate them again.
With Dele, Eriksen, Son, Kane, Lucas and Lamela all ready to go, we should score and be able to put ourselves in a good position to win. This assumes the full-backs can cope with Wolves’ speed and trickery out wide and that our midfield keeps Neves and Moutinho quiet.
Mike Dean (gawd help us) is the referee.
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