Wolverhampton Wanderers Training Session

Featured

4 Things that likely led to Bruno Lage's sacking by Wolves

Bruno Lage is no longer the manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.

The 46-year-old was informed of his sacking on Sunday morning, following Saturday night’s defeat to West Ham Untied at the London Stadium.

There were some moments of real promise during his reign at Molineux.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolverhampton Wanderers FC via Getty Images

But there were also a lot of frustrating times.

The last six months or so have been really poor in terms of results, and Wolves officials have done right acting when they did.

Here are four things that likely led to Lage’s downfall at Molineux.

Goalscoring woes

Perhaps the biggest issue for Lage was his inability to instill a brand of football that actually had an end product.

There is so much attacking talent in Wolves’ squad, that it is actually farcical to have seen the net ripple so infrequently over the past 15 months or so.

Lage arrived at Molineux with a reputation as being an attack-minded coach.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

He did great work at Benfica as he led them to the league title with a free-flowing style of football.

But we very rarely saw that kind of football.

Questionable in-game management

Very often in Wolves games, Lage would make very questionable decisions.

There have been a number of times where Wolves would be seeking to find a breakthrough, and he hasn’t turned to his substitutes until the final 10 minutes or so.

That was more common in his first season.

More often than not he came across as reactionary rather than proactive.

Making bizarre starting XI selections and overlooking more deserving players

Lage was no stranger to name really odd starting XIs during his time as Wolves boss.

Granted, he had to contend with quite a lot of injuries during his tenure.

But that still doesn’t excuse some of the strange calls he made when it came to team selections.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

The most recent XI against West Ham that featured Ruben Neves and Jonny Castro Otto at the back was borderline ridiculous. He also deployed Daniel Podence as a false nine, something that has repeatedly not worked.

Lage seemingly often overthought things, overlooking players on the fringes who deserved to play. Toti Gomes being a good example against West Ham.

Losing experienced players and leaders

The summer of 2022 saw a major overhaul at Wolves.

The club brought in a host of talented players, like Goncalo Guedes, Matheus Nunes, and Nathan Collins.

But the glue of the dressing room appears to have been lost with the departures of John Ruddy, Conor Coady, Romain Saiss, Fernando Marcal and Leander Dendoncker.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

These were all very experienced players. Some were not necessarily top-class players, but all were fairly reliable performers and big characters in the dressing room.

Experience and leadership within a dressing room is vital – and Wolves seem to have been hit hard by some of those summer departures.