It’s time for evolution. David Evans discusses how Wolves are on a route to evolving, rather than soul destroying their identity.
It’s not a bad time to be a Wolves fan, is it?
Top of the league. Some of the most exciting football we’ve seen, well, ever.
A host of foreign hipsters, and an on field captain in Conor Coady who you just want to be your best mate.
Wolves are doing grand, and the rest of the Championship are disgruntled by it.
A recent piece from Bolton Wanderers fanzine ‘Lion of Vienna Suite’ written before our 5-1 win at Molineux suggested Wolves had sold their soul to one Jorge Mendes.
I am here to suggest the opposite. It’s not a transaction, its an evolution.
First of all, I need to point out that in all of these points I’m about the discuss is that results matter.
Wolves sit pretty, and our optimism and excitement is all down to the root cause of football – winning.
It can be like rose tinted glasses. Take it away and things don’t always look as pretty.
Uncle Mendes with Wolves
Let’s start with the tanned genius.
If another team in England were to be told ‘Hey, would you like the world’s most powerful football agent to be someone you can go to for players?’, I doubt they wouldn’t say ‘Oh no. A bit dodgy that. We’ll pass’.
Yes there have been stories of this relationship with ol’ Jorge not working out over the continent, but so far this is becoming a success factor.
Manchester United have been provided players, such as Lukaku and Pogba under the agency of Raiola, so why should this be any different to another team?
It’s because we’re in the Championship. The rough housed, Neil Warnock style ‘true’ heart of English football, that’s why.
It’s no place for that kind of thing.
With Fosun having shares in Mendes’s agency Gestifute, the relationship dynamic changes here from contact to business partner.
Mendes is in some capacity working for Fosun, and he’ll want to impress.
The easy go to tactic for other fans will be to talk about Wolves splashing the cash.
Yes, £15m was spent on Portuguese international Ruben Neves. Yet Wolves weren’t the biggest spenders, with Middlesborough topping the table.
When you look at Wolves victory against Bolton on Saturday, three of our goalscorers, Boly, Bonatini and Jota, are all on the loan.
The players perhaps are not on the big wages people would think also, which this article suggests.
Clever recruitment me thinks.
English football is cultured in a mentality of teams that should succeed in leagues like the Championship are the underdog team, with home grown players and a manager who has been given a chance, to rise above the ranks to ‘play a British style of football we can be proud of’.
It’s what the press lap up, and looking at Burnley as an example to an extent, it’s what we all love to shout out about.
What is happening at Wolves goes against this belief we have all had ingrained into us.
That’s why perhaps initially the press, and still most opposition fans are opposed to what is happening at Molineux. Whether through jealousy or sheer opposition.
We’re now starting to see this boat make its turn.
The press are starting to slowly see the fantastic football Nuno and his team have put together, with some suggesting Wolves could be the most entertaining team in the Championship of all time.
Nuno is coming to town
On the field the work done by Nuno and his staff has been incredible.
Fosun went back to plan A in the summer, gave a new coach the summer months to instill his philosophy and the recruitment unit worked to bring in the players required.
This plan, so far, has been executed perfectly.
The side seem to be getting better by the game, with signs that there will be more to come.
Defensively solid, beautiful in attack. Nuno has so far has everything working perfectly.
The foreign contingent that has joined seems to have blended with the rest of Jackett’s guard perfectly.
You very much get a sense that this side seems like a brotherhood, a close unit both on and off the field.
Cavilerio seems like a different player. Saiss is the underrated master in midfield. Coady has blossomed in the middle of defence and Ruddy seems to be enhancing on his already startling reputation.
Adapt or die
Under careful planning from Fosun, Wolves are preparing for life in the Premier League.
Not just to survive, but the compete from the get go.
Fosun have learned quickly from their mistakes from last summer, stabilised to the needs to English football and are clicking the right cogs into place.
Sometimes sides in the Championship get lucky, have that team that all clicks, gets promoted but the infrastructure to progress isn’t there.
Jeff Shi and co are spending their money wisely, recruiting well in different areas and are preparing the side for permanent life in the top tier.
Like some at the start of the season, I was excited but held some slight reservations about what the future may hold at Wolves.
Now, I just look at what I’m seeing on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm, and I am brimming with excitement for the future.
We’re lucky to land in a scenario like we have when Fosun took over.
It’s still early days mind, but with each passing week, those niggling fears can’t help but float away.
Let others be jealous. We’re in the middle of an evolution.
Let us know when you’ll join us chaps.