There are teams that come and go at the Premier League level when it comes to sustaining their place in the division, and there are others that are able to make a real impact and extend their stay for many years to come. Either way, they’ve got a place in the history books, but let’s be honest, the success stories are much more memorable than the failures.
As such, the rise of Wolverhampton Wanderers over the course of the last few years has been something to behold. The Midlands-based club are widely considered to be one of the most notable sides in the history of English football, mainly due to their longevity as well as their title/cup victories from back in the day. In the modern era, however, you could certainly argue that the names ‘Jorge Mendes’ and ‘Nuno Espirito Santo’ have something to do with their popularity.
Oh, and Fosun.
The rise of the Wolves
You all know the story: since being taken over Wolves have been on a rocket ship to the moon, the pinnacle of which came during their Championship winning campaign last season – or, so we all thought.
They’ve gone on to have a thoroughly enjoyable first year back in the big time, as they’ve been able to all but cement their place in the top half of England’s grandest stage. It’s the kind of thing that many of their fans could’ve only dreamt of just a few short years ago when they were lingering down in the third tier, and yet, it’s now a reality.
However, in recent weeks, question marks have been popping up regarding their ability to sustain this current run of good form. Why?
For those who don’t know, Wolves were able to reach the semi finals of the FA Cup at Wembley where they met Watford. To cut a long story short they surrendered a 2-0 lead to wind up losing 3-2 in extra time. Since then their surge for seventh place, which would see them qualify for the Europa League next season if Manchester City win the FA Cup final, has faltered.
The big joke is that Wolves give to the rich by taking points off the big teams and give to the poor by dropping points to relegation-threatened sides, and while that may be amusing to some, it needs to be closely analysed by the club.
What is the secret?
There seems to be this mental block that has hit Wolves at this late stage of the season – as if they’re already on their holidays. While the fans can appreciate what they’ve been able to accomplish up to this point, that doesn’t necessarily bode well for next season.
The squad depth really does need to be addressed because there are clearly some areas that need developing, and in equal measure, Nuno has made a few tactical decisions that have left fans scratching their heads.
We aren’t suggesting that things are going to instantly fall apart, but second season syndrome is a growing reality – and a lot of fans probably won’t commit to saying that Wolves will get into Europe next season.