Bruno Lage’s comments about Ki-Jana Hoever have made the headlines and former Molineux midfielder David Edwards has had his say.
In the Express and Star, he wrote that he cannot remember a player during his career being given such a public dressing down.
He said that Lage’s words could be damning for his Wolves career and questioned the decision to start the defender if his preparation was that bad.
I don’t think it would just be a reaction to this week and the game for him to make comments like that. There would likely have been conversation with Hoever and the other players will have seen it as well. I know that Wolves dressing room is very tight-knit. Lage would not have taken those comments lightly.
“He’s not the type that would talk and react on emotion. It may well have been somewhat premeditated and is really damning for Ki-Jana Hoever. You wonder if there’s a way back for him from that – it would take some character for the youngster.
“I can’t remember any time at all in my playing days where a player has been called out like that in the media. If it was the case, that his preparation was not up to scratch, was Lage right to put him in the team against West Ham and then against Crystal Palace?
“There is absolutely no excuse for a player at a club the size of Wolves, with all the resources there, to not give everything to their craft and prepare in the right way. Experts will work one-on-one with players, you need to tap into that. You would be silly not to.
“If that is the case you can see why the Wolves boss was keen to say he was not ready to accept it – because he shouldn’t have to be. Players are paid a lot of money to prepare in the right way.”
There has been a lot of talk about Hoever and the truth is that he is a decent young player and if he reacts in the right way, he can still have a future at Wolves.
This need not be terminal, but of course it is likely that Lage has tried other, less drastic methods to get him to buck his ideas up before this one.
But the fact that Lage did play the defender against Palace suggests he has faith in his ability, and that if he improves his attitude to prepartion, there is hope for him yet.
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