Wolves are officially back in the Premier League next season, and it’s a wonderful time for a club that I have played against a number of times.
It’s not easy to go and win at the Molineux, especially on a cold evening, and I know a lot of teams come away scratching their heads. For some reason they are always so strong and play with a lot of belief even when the chips are stacked against them.
My last experience was when I travelled there with Wigan and broke my nose during a header in the last minute of the game. That hurt me so bad that i think I was out for a couple of seconds and our team doctor walked me off the field. I remember getting up and wanting to continue but he wasn’t having any of it and walked me to the dressing room. He then tried to put my nose straight and when he said it’s good I walked to the mirror.
“Are you blind?” I said, “you’ve got to be kidding, I look like my coach,” who was Steve Bruce at the time.
The doctor had a second go at it and you could hear the noise of him adjusting my nose to the right place. I checked, and the smile was back until the adrenaline wore off and the real pain kicked back in.
We won that game 2-0 but Wolves managed to hang on and survived the drop in 17th place that season. They were relegated to the Championship the following season though, and went straight down to League One the year after. They did come straight back up to the Championship, and then had a few mediocre seasons. They’ve been through six managers in the six years since they were relegated from the PL, but this season Nuno Esperito Santo has build one of the strongest teams the second tier has seen.
They have been a class above every other team in the league, clinching automatic promotion with four games to spare. Nuno played as a back-up goalkeeper under Jose Mourinho at Porto and says the experience helped him learn a lot.
He brought in former Porto captain Ruben Nevez who has scored some amazing goals this season and looks like he should be playing in the Premier League. And they’re not just there to take part next season.
“We are going into the Premier League to compete and compete hard,” said Laurie Dalrymple, the club’s managing director. “We don’t just want to be one of the 20 teams that is there to make up the numbers. There shouldn’t be any limits to what we can achieve as a club.”
Former Wolves player and record goalscorer Steve Bull has said they can finish in the top 10 next season. “We played Manchester City in the Carabao Cup earlier in the season. We had four one-on-ones, we didn’t put them away but we got a draw out of it and lost on penalties and I think if we can do that against Man City we can get up there,” he said.
If they build on their current squad they will be a team to keep an eye on next season. As long as they make sure they start well and get some points on the board early, they should be fine. When you come up and aim for the 10th position anything after that is bonus! #mmlove