Nuno Espirito Santo must change the formation for Wolves to avoid continuous slow starts and uphill battles.
The pack drew 1-1 away to Newcastle on Sunday. It was another case of Wolves needing to battle back after conceding first.
And it’s a recurrent story that needs to be stopped.
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How and why Nuno must change the formation of Wolves
Wolves play a 5-3-2 formation and it has worked wonders for them in the past. After all, it was largely responsible for their 2-0 victory away to Manchester City.
But, aside from at the Etihad, it’s a set-up that has mostly cost Wolves a lot of points. And this is because it makes them too conservative when they don’t need to be.
Against the top six clubs the formation works wonders, but against the bottom teams it’s a hindrance. It results in a lack of creativity when Wolves are forced to have most of possession.
This makes Nuno’s side very predictable and boring as they pass side-to-side and backwards forever without getting anywhere.
And fatigue from the Europa League isn’t to blame as the players all appear more energetic and creative as soon as the formation switches to 3-4-3. Changing from 5-3-2 to 3-4-3 earned Wolves three points against Slovan Bratislva and it almost did the same against the Geordies.
This is the answer to Nuno’s quest to resolve Wolves’ first-half woes (Daily Mail). Wolves don’t need to be so conservative against anyone other than the top six when playing at home. They also don’t need to be so defensive when playing away at clubs in the bottom ten.
Wolves need to focus more on playing their game rather than worrying about the opposition when facing teams who will be in a relegation scrap. It’s the only way to turn constant draws into wins as it will result in a lot more chances and thus goals.
In addition to playing 3-4-3 from the get-go, Nuno must also play Ruben Neves further up the pitch. Against Newcastle United the Portuguese midfielder was irrelevant thanks to playing so deep; he was ultimately another centre-back.
As for filling the void left by Wily Boly thanks to injury, Matt Doherty at centre-back is not the answer. Doherty and Traore must mercilessly attack the opposition together, and it should be the simple and clean Dendoncker in defense until Bennett and then Boly returns.
Either that or play the very impressive Max Kilman.