Wolves are still searching for their first win of the 22/23 season after being edged out by Spurs in North London.
The team played their best football of the season in the first half against a good Tottenham side, but a close-range header from Harry Kane was enough to see off Wolves.
Whilst there were positives and moments of quality, Wolves still struggled to create any real opening, especially in the second half, and never looked as if they were going to get back into the game.
One point and one goal from three is far from ideal, and Wolves will need to start putting the ball in the net sooner rather than later if they are to have a successful season.
Here are five things we learnt following Saturday’s defeat.
Wolves NEED a striker and they need it now
From the first three games of the season, we have seen that Wolves can get into promising positions, but what they can’t seem to do is turn those positions into goals, and it’s going to keep costing them.
Whilst Harry Kane’s goal can be classified as a simple tap-in, his movement to get in behind Collins and anticipate the flick-on is what all good strikers have, and is what helps them score the number of goals they do.
Wolves didn’t have anyone on the pitch yesterday with that natural striker’s instinct, and they can’t rely on Podence, Neto and Guedes to fill this void.
Whilst the signing of Nunes showed great ambition by the club in a position that was desperately needed, a striker being brought in is now just as vital in the coming weeks, and could be the difference between Wolves being a good side or a great side.
It’s probably best to part ways with Adama Traore
On his day he is one of the most frightening footballers on the planet, the big issue is the day doesn’t seem to be coming any time soon, and it certainly wasn’t on Saturday.
For the most part, he looked uninterested, didn’t want to run and didn’t have any real impact, his head just doesn’t seem to be in it since the loan to Barcelona. With one year left on his contract and him not looking likely to sign an extension, along with the arrival of Guedes, it seems the best time to cash in on Adama and use the money to help fund a new striker.
It’s a shame because there truly is no one in world football like him, especially as someone to come off the bench he is perfect, but if he doesn’t want to be here there is no point letting him run down his contract whilst at the same time seeing no value on the pitch.
Guedes looked a real threat
Our most likely route to a goal yesterday was through the Portuguese winger (no not that one…or that one) who looked sharp on the ball and made a brilliant couple of runs in behind the Tottenham defence, one in particular where Sanchez had to make a brilliant last stitch tackle to deny the 27 million pound man.
Very direct when on the ball and was causing issues for the Spurs back line in the first half. You can see he is going to cause defenders a lot of problems this season, and he is only going to get better as he continues to settle and adapt to the Premier League.
We can’t be going into another game with Podence as a striker
Podence is a wonderful footballer and one of the best creators at the club, but what he most definitely isn’t is a striker. This one feels a bit harsh because it’s not his fault and again refers back to the lack of striker depth in the squad (it was good to see Jimenez back though, in what could be the quickest recovery from injury ever!)
For a team that currently has the second most crosses in the league, having 5 foot 4 inch Daniel Podence as the target man didn’t seem like it was ever going to be an effective tactic – and to absolutely no one’s surprise it wasn’t.
Whilst his role seemed to be more as a false nine rather than a traditional striker it’s clear to see that it is not going to be a successful long-term strategy. Wolves need to get Podence playing off a striker and creating chances, which is what he’s good at, rather than competing for headers with Eric Dier, Christian Romero and Davidson Sanchez.
The next three games are massive
Whilst there are reasonable concerns with the lack of goals and points Wolves currently have, Wolves starting 11 on the weekend was up there as one of the best in the Premier League era. The squad is very close to being complete and with the final piece (a striker) of the puzzle, Wolves would have one hell of a team.
Having said that, Wolves are winless since last season’s home win against Aston Villa, and in the current footballing climate patience is hard to come by and points will be needed against Newcastle, Bournemouth and Southampton, or Bruno Lage could find himself without a job if Wolves were to lose all three.
There is still no reason to panic and the future looks bright for Wolves, but they will want to be getting away from the relegation zone as soon as possible.