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Comment: The case for Wolves' defence remains strong as ever

By Joe Edwards | Wolves | Published:

For all the scintillating attacking displays we have been treated to over the past couple of years, it is the defence which has revolutionised Wolves.

Dependable skipper Conor Coady has not missed a single Wolves game since January 17, 2018 (AMA)

The talents of strike pairing Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota are there for all to see, they combine to great effect.

We saw it on Thursday night too as Jota scored a stupendous bicycle kick, set up by Jimenez, to wrap things up against FC Pyunik in Europa League qualifying.

But what allows those two to express themselves so much is the solid base behind them – a base which is seemingly going from strength to strength.

Wolves have conceded only one goal in their last seven outings, which is tremendous going.

And even that was an own goal by Ryan Bennett at Crusaders, so no opposing striker has been able to unlock the backline for weeks.

Clean sheets came against Newcastle and Manchester City as Wolves won the Premier League Asia Trophy, at home against Crusaders, in both games against Pyunik, and at Leicester in the Premier League opener.

But why are Nuno Espirito Santo’s side so good at keeping sides at bay?

Well, a huge reason is that Conor Coady provides everything you could ask for from a captain.

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Jesus Vallejo and Maximilian Kilman, despite shaky starts, enjoyed solid debuts on Thursday against the Armenian side because of Coady’s presence.

If one of them was out of position, the Liverpudlian got them back where they needed to be.

Constantly talking to those around him, offering words of encouragement and the odd tongue-lashing when needed, it is no surprise he has become Wolves’ Mr Reliable.

Coady has started a whopping 70 games in a row.

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The fact he has not picked up an injury in that time plays a part in achieving the feat, of course, but not many maintain those high performance levels over such an extended period.

And very few get to the point where they are pretty much undroppable.

Coady’s efficient approach will not win him player of the season gongs, but he is perhaps the most vital cog in the Wolves machine.

Bennett’s contribution to the cause has been nothing short of stellar too.

Ryan Bennett continues to defy the odds at the back (AMA)

Even with the arrival of Vallejo, it appears that spot on the right side of the defensive three is very much still his – as long as he keeps on going as he has been since arriving on a free transfer to little fanfare.

And Boly is a man mountain, whose performance at Leicester was superb.

Tracking runners, winning headers, and putting his body on the line to make blocks while possessing such grace with the ball, he truly is a joy to watch when at his best.

The season is young, of course, but one of the most popular expressions going is that you start as you mean to go on.

And if Wolves carry on in this vein at the back, we are in for another special season.

Joe Edwards

By Joe Edwards
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @JoeEdwards_Star

Sports reporter for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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