Wolves’ performance against Crystal Palace yesterday was woeful.
The team just couldn’t get going at any point, with the damage done in the first-half when Palace flew out the traps.
Jean-Philippe Mateta opened the scoring after some poor defending by Conor Coady, Max Kilman and Jose Sa.
There was an element of luck about the way it fell for the striker, but Wanderers should have defended it better.
Kilman then tripped Jeffrey Schlupp in the area with a challenge that did not need to be made. It was a cumbersome tackle from the 24-year-old, and very at odds with the way he was played for most of the season.
Nothing went right really, and Lage was not shy in saying exactly what he thought after the game.
It was interesting, and perhaps a little surprising to see him basically question the professionalism of Ki-Jana Hoever.
The youngster was preferred to Jonny at right wing-back to replace the injured Nelson Semedo.
He picked up an injury meaning he could only last just over 20 minutes.
Lage said of the 20-year-old (via Sky Sports): “Ki is a good example of the young kids, they want everything to happen [now]. When you are out and your teammate is playing, and you are not training at the intensity, you are not preparing yourself and after, when you have a chance, these kinds of things happen.
“Injuries can happen, but this one happened because he was not prepared because Ki sometimes doesn’t work in the same intensity. This warning is not only for Ki, it’s for all the kids we have in our team.
“They need to understand that I don’t waste time with guys who don’t work hard every day to improve.”
The comments have prompted a big reaction on social media from Wolves fans.
It appears the manager has completely divided people as to whether he was right or wrong to dig out Hoever that forcefully in public.
Lage comments about Hoever are risky and right out of the Jose Mourinho textbook
It is the first time we have seen anything like this from Lage.
He has previously laid down the gauntlet to players in his press conferences. Challenged them to reach the next level. But he has never questioned anyone’s professionalism before.
It was all very Jose Mourinho. The Special One is well known for calling out players publicly. Joe Cole, Eden Hazard, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba and Tanguy Ndombele are all cases in point.
Whether right or wrong, Lage has taken a whopping risk here.
Some fans, and maybe some players, may feel as though such comments should have been said in private.
But others argue Lage needed to respond strongly in a public setting after yesterday’s performance and defeat. It has been really frustrating of late to hear him talk about things that pleased him in defeats.
It remains to be seen if this will now prompt an improvement in other the players and also Hoever when he returns to fitness. Or whether the stinging criticism will actually have the opposite effect. Hopefully it is the former.