We’ve been used to talking about wins this season, but finally we get to talk about a victory built on control, shape, balance and workrate. The Wolves triumph at Colchester United was a breakthrough performance.
We need to stop tempering our enthusiasm with the line: “But it’s only League One.” Beat what’s in front of you with class and conviction and get straight back into the Championship. Then worry about the next step up.
It was a fine debut from wing James Henry and he linked up brilliantly down the right with the outstanding Matt Doherty.
All the talk before the match was the absence of Bakary Sako. Would Wolves miss that bit of magic to unlock a defence and poach another three points? Well, we looked more solid and structured without him, with our two banks of four working really well, although I’d still love to see the Frenchman stay at Molineux.
Saturday at the Weston Homes Community Stadium also reminded us that Kevin Doyle is far too good for League One, which is why he looks absolutely committed to getting us out of this division as quickly as possible.
Back in the Ireland squad, Doyle is not playing like an unhappy man looking to move. He is clearly enjoying his football, scoring goals and working hard, while the sharp finishing of Leigh Griffiths is another difference in class.
We knew about the quality of the Wolves front men, but the revelation was that we may have found our midfield. Kevin McDonald and Jack Price dominated, whether in possession, offering options or breaking up the Colchester attack. It was so good to see us run the engine room, with Henry and Scott Golbourne giving Wolves width.
The Wolves players wore black armbands in memory of Peter Broadbent who died last week. The word legend is sometimes thrown around too lightly. But if you were the player George Best wanted to be and were idolised by Sir Alex Ferguson, that makes you a legend in anyone’s book.
Comparing generations is fun, if often futile, but Broadbent would be up there today with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. By all accounts his silky skills were sublime.
His team-mate Peter Knowles described him as like a “skater on ice”. When you imagine the weight of the ball and the boots and the state of the pitches back in the Wolves glory days of the 1950s, it only adds to Broadbent’s aura.
Some say he was the greatest Wolves player of all time. It seems the attacking midfielder was one of the greatest players full stop. His death is another reminder of just how huge this club was in the 1950s when Wolves dominated the game and my deepest sympathies and thoughts are with his family. The minute’s applause in memory of Broadbent at tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy match against Notts County will ring loud and proud around Molineux.
Matt Murray was speaking to the Express and Star in association with What House?