Dave Azzopardi from @TalkingWolves gives us the lowdown on Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves have had a mixed start to the season. Are you happy?
Yes I actually think it’s been very decent. Okay, results haven’t been fantastic but we played three really tough teams to kick off the season and pretty much played every single one off the park. We gave Manchester United and Tottenham especially a really good game and should have got something out of those games. Fortunately we’re off the mark though, beating Watford 2-0 at the weekend in a much deserved and overdue win.
We had some proper ding-dongs in recent times with the Bees getting promoted from Division 1 with Kenny Jackett’s Wolves in 2014 and us going toe to toe in The Championship year on year
We’ve had some cracking games against Brentford. I went to one at Griffin Park back in 2014 when you guys were on an unbelievable unbeaten streak. We turned up and got a fantastic 3-0 win and I think that’s when we knew we were going up. Even in the Championship under Nuno too at Molineux, I remember us scoring some great freekicks under the lights for another 3-0 win.
How do you think Brentford – a newBee to the Premier League – will get on in this league?
It’ll be intriguing to see how Brentford get on this season. They haven’t spent the amounts this summer that maybe Wolves, Villa and maybe even Leeds did in their first window back in the Premier League but you’ve signed some really decent players. I think if Frank just sticks to his style of play, you should be safe. Brentford fans would have seen it on the opening day versus Arsenal, you took the game to them and got a great win.
How has life in the Premier League been for Wolves so far?
We’ve had a fantastic time already in the Premier League. Getting promoted and then getting two consecutive seventh placed finishes is unbelievable. Even qualifying for Europe and getting to the Europa League quarter final just feels like a fantastic achievement (it’s a shame COVID lockdown ruined the end of that experience).
Last season wasn’t so good though. Nuno’s football turned very negative and defensive and I think he really missed that buzz off the fans. We had a number of heavy defeat which we rarely ever saw under his management and lacked ruthlessness and firepower going forward. It was probably best for both parties that he moved on.
Were you happy with your close season?
The transfer window was okay. Not fantastic but not dreadful. We’ve picked up some very talented players but wish we got one or two more. Of course, we have a new head coach now in Bruno Lage who may want to give some existing players the chance which I think is fair.
Our only major exit was Rui Patricio who left to join Roma and we’ve signed Jose Sa as his direct replacement but I think the loan signings of Hwang Hee-chan and Francisco Trincao will help us add a bit more going forward.
On the pitch, what can we expect from Wolves?
Wolves have been very good so far this season, despite our points total. We’ve played attractive, attacking football and really gone at teams. Adama Traore has started this season really sharply and Trincao who I mentioned earlier is really starting to settle into the squad. Defensively we’ve been pretty sound so far too, playing a 3-4-3 formation but able to attack in strong numbers and make life difficult for the opposition.
How will you deal with Brentford?
I’ll be intrigued to see how Brentford approach this game, whether they’ll attack us or be quite cautious. Ivan Toney is obviously the man to watch out for. I’ll be interested to see if he can continue to score the goals like he did last season. Ajer is a player I’ve always kept an eye on too, so I’m looking forward to seeing how he plays in the flesh.
I’m going to back my own team this weekend and go with a Wolves 2-0 win.