Wolves suffered another setback in their journey courtesy of a 1-0 loss to Sheffield United. The match was a fairly cagey affair with Wolves arguably having the better first half and the Blades taking control in the second half. The winning goal came in the dying moments and capped off a few days that the Wanderers will want to forget.
Patricio was largely a bystander for most of the game but was called into action to spare Boly’s blushes, as the Frenchman’s lazy pass was intercepted and gave the hosts a clear cut chance until the Wolves keeper blocked the attempt. He also did well to save a flash McBurnie header, showing safe hands. Unlucky to have lost his clean sheet.
I feel that Doherty started the game quite slowly and often gave away possession and this is a problem against a team with marauding players. He grew into the game as it went on and tried to offer an attacking outlet, but nothing compared to what we usually expect from him. He should definitely have taken some tips off his compatriot Stevens, who was a constant threat down that left flank.
I was not impressed at all with Boly’s performance. Over the last two games, I think he has looked very shaky at the back and almost put Wolves in a predicament by practically passing to the Sheffield United attackers. I think at times he is looking far too casual on the ball and whilst we all know he is very capable with the ball at his feet, he also needs to show maturity. Egan rose higher for the winning goal, but initially, this was not Boly’s man.
Coady was one of few Wolves players that really stepped up to the plate against his former club. The skipper often receives plaudits for his distributional play, but in this particular game, I was very impressed with his positional awareness, as he bailed out his teammates on several occasions, by intercepting dangerous balls. He had a much stronger performance than the one against Arsenal and it is up to him to rally the troops for the next battle against Everton.
Saiss looked fairly solid defensively, however, at times his transition from defence to attack was rather slow and for a team like Wolves who thrive on quick counters, this is an imperative quality required from their centre-halves. He continues to do a good job there and doesn’t appear to be losing his place any time soon.
I have been very vocal about how impressed I’ve been with Jonny since the restart, however, this was the total opposite. Jonny was caught ball watching on several occasions and this resulted in almost allowing Baldock to score a free header. Consequently, he was punished as he was the man responsible for marking Egan for the corner that led to the goal. He allowed Egan to shrug him off with ease and thump the header home.
Neves, who was celebrating his 3 year Wolves anniversary, almost capped it off with a peach of a free-kick, which clipped the top of the crossbar. He was one of few players who showed some real hunger and desire to take the game to Sheffield United, taking several shots and even registering a shot inside the box (a true rarity). He showed true steel in the middle of the park.
A significant improvement from Moutinho, who by all accounts was not on top form during the Arsenal game. He passed well and did his bit to dictate things in the middle of the park, as both he and Neves did well against the 3-man Blades midfield. I would like to see more direct corners into the box, as this short play doesn’t seem to be working.
Within minutes of the game, it was evident that Traore had dislocated his ‘problem shoulder’ again. Despite this, he continued and did attempt to create problems for the Blades defence. He delivered several dangerous crosses throughout the game as he returned to his favoured right-wing position.
For general linkup play, Jimenez did very well throughout the game as he tried to create chances for his teammates, but positionally he was not where Wolves needed him. He found himself dropping deep to collect the ball and also drifting out wide. Wolves will hope he is firing on all cylinders again for the weekend’s game against Everton.
After sitting out against Arsenal, Jota returned to the starting lineup as Nuno adopted the 3-4-3 formation again. Some questions still on his decision making, but he was showing signs of intent during the game, as he glided with the ball before being cynically fouled by O’Connell. I am not quite sure how he lasted the full 90 minutes, as personally I would have liked to have seen Podence get some minutes.
It seemed like Dendoncker was brought on to shore up the draw and offer some protection in midfield, however, I believe as soon as Traore left the field, the dynamic completely changed and Sheffield United went aggressive on the attack.