Wolves Fans' Verdict v Aston Villa: Yet another deserved victory!
Our supporters give their thoughts on Wolves strengthening their push for European football by beating relegation-threatened Villa.
Matt Cooper (Talking Wolves)
It’s safe to say that the West Midlands well and truly belongs to Wolves this season. Tactically, Wolves were outstanding and it’s probably the game this season where I’ve been the most impressed with Wolves’ shape in transitions.
As soon as Villa won the ball back, the midfield and defence were back together as a unit in seconds, completely nullifying Grealish & Co.
A lot of that was down to Leander Dendoncker who came in from the cold and dropped what was probably his best performance in a Wolves shirt. He marked Grealish out the game, ran tirelessly and popped up with an unbelievable finish on his weaker foot.
Credit to to Jonny too in the build up who was faultless. Wolves didn’t create many chances but it didn’t matter. I’d like to see another performance of that ilk against Arsenal who are there for the taking.
Not for the first time recently we were well below our best from an attacking perspective. Thankfully our defending is so consistent with barely a hint of any errors. From day one that has always been Nuno's philosophy.
Nuno deserves lots of credit. Hands up those who would have started with Traore? Hands up those who would have taken Dendoncker off for Traore? Apology accepted. Meanwhile it was one of our unsung heroes who scored the only goal. Dendoncker is the closest we have to a box-to-box player and he was able to fulfil that role perfectly.
Another unsung hero probably shades the MOTM award. Jonny was full-on from start to the end.
We have harder games than this to come and it is hoped Jota in particular finds more form. With Neto chomping at the bit on the bench, it would be no surprise if he got the nod to start the next game.
To have collected nine points in eight days has been a perfect restart to the season.
Another huge three points, still no goals conceded and up to fifth in the league, absolutely brilliant. A bit of a scrappy game but a fair result in the end.
We should have taken the lead before half time through Jota but his finish was terrible. Great composure from Dendoncker for the goal and phenomenal play by Jonny too, I’ve heard McGinn still hasn’t turned around from when he got spun.
Dendoncker and Jonny were the two standout players by far. Most people would have thought Dendoncker was going to come off when Adama was warming up but it’s a good job he didn’t. The Belgian made some impressive forward runs, breaking the lines well, and it paid off with his goal. Defensively he was solid too, a few times reading Grealish easier than the Mr Men books.
Jonny as well was outstanding, defending brilliantly throughout and then going forward he gave us an outlet more-so in the second half, playing a huge part in the goal.
We never really looked in danger of conceding and we defended really well as a team once again. Going forward there were a couple of moments where some better decision making would have resulted in us being in the lead at half time.
Doherty choosing to shoot rather than playing a ball across the box when it was clearly the better option. Then Jota’s glorious chance which Nyland gifted him, however he completely rushed it and opted for power rather than placement which was a bad decision. Obviously in the end it didn’t matter, we got the job done and we have now put serious pressure on United, Chelsea and Leicester.
Another satisfying result. Same game plan; same outcome.
A lot of these “behind closed doors“ games have a pre-season friendly feel about them. In the first half, the pace is typically slow with clear cut chances few and far between.
In the second half, we step up a little and, at some point, will have a good chance to open the scoring. Patience is key.
Villa huffed and puffed, but in reality have little quality in the team. Grealish had good presence in the first half, but was hardly involved in the second. Stop Grealish and you’ve stopped Villa.
I would have liked us to have gone out for more goals, after scoring, but our current form is based on getting the clean sheet and it’s working a treat. I’m sure we are playing well within our capability and will be able to step up a gear if needed in some games to come.
Traore was introduced after 60 minutes and the script was followed. He made an immediate impact and changed the game, to a certain extent.
The excellent Jonny started the move, Traore found Jimenez out wide. He crossed into the box and “Here’s Jonny” up the other end of the pitch to lay off for Dendoncker. Great finish with his left foot.
Dendoncker, Jimenez and Moutinho played well. Traore did well for half an hour. Jota and Neves were below par. Boly and Coady had a comfortable time.
My man of the match was Jonny. I’m well satisfied with our restart. A whole week off now until Arsenal. Just a shame we can’t be there to make our own crowd noise!
Russ Evers (Hatherton Wolves)
We didn't need to get out of second gear to be fair and seemed to just know that we would score and then be in no danger.
Nice to see two of the lesser reported on of our squad being easily our best players – Jonny and the match-winner Dendoncker.
Patricio was a spectator and if that was the best that Villa can do at home, it may be all over for them.
Three games gone since lockdown was lifted, nine points and no goals conceded. All against teams we used to struggle against. The future is bright, the future is gold.
Despite the frustration of reaching half-time all square, Wolves remained strong candidates to finish the job after the interval.
Jota’s inexplicable miss after being gifted target practice by an erratic goalkeeper was galling at the time coming as it did when Wolves were starting to exert their superiority. But, no matter; the team stuck to their increasingly effective game plan knowing that the inevitable was only being delayed.
Unsurprisingly, they had found Villa every bit as comfortable to subdue as West Ham and Bournemouth and it appeared likely that Villa’s anxiety and the extra quality of the Wolves’ attacking strength would eventually prevail. Right now, this Wolves outfit must be an absolute nightmare to play against; their discipline, organisation and attention to minute detail is exemplary.
Exertion is in proportion to what is exactly required in every area of the pitch and as Villa discovered to their cost, finding a solution is a devilish conundrum. With Grealish subdued and reduced to a peripheral figure, Wolves as they so often do were able to bide their time, see their patience rewarded and stifle at source any possibility of retaliation.
Villa knew that Traore would be waiting to wreak havoc around the hour mark. Equally, they also knew that they couldn’t do a darned thing to prevent it. His impact was again almost immediate and how satisfying too that Jimenez turned provider with a glorious ball for the splendid pairing of Jonny and Dendoncker to fashion a deserved winner.
Wolves were rock solid afterwards; there was no way back for Villa and their attacks floundered well before a confident Rui Patricio was called into action. Yet again, the perfect away performance based on supreme professionalism and exceptional management and coaching. Dean Smith joined David Moyes and Eddie Howe, grumbling in disappointment that his side like the other two clubs had been the equal of Wolves and deserving of more.
Methinks all three of them are somewhat missing the point!