Wolves 0-1 Tottenham: The Warm down
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 22: Nuno Espirito Santo, manager of Tottenham Hotspur shakes hands with Bruno Lage, Manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers after the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur at Molineux on August 22, 2021 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Sam Bagnall - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

Wolverhampton Wanderers once again came away with nothing after being the more dominant side. Tottenham Hotspur scored the only goal from a penalty early on in the first half, which arguably came against the run of play. 

Wolves have now had 42 shots in their opening two fixtures, with the Black Country side still looking for their first Premier League goal. The performance though was positive, with fans happy with the vibe and approach of the team being guided by new manager Bruno Lage.

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  • Dominance not yielding goals

Wolves struggled in front of goal last season, managing to only score 36 goals in total, which was the fifth lowest in the league. Lage's men have not managed to score in either of their opening two games this season, which is a worrying sign.

Interestingly, the team appear to be more positive in their attacking intentions this season compared to the last. The Wanderers averaged around 12 shots a game last season, whereas they have managed 42 shots already in their first two games.

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The side are also trying to get the ball into the box more, having registered 51 crosses so far. Last season, they averaged just 20 crosses per game. Their expected goals stat is also higher this season at 1.7, in which last season's was only 1.2. 

All these are great stats and paint a really positive image of the club's progression from 'Nuno-ball', but the same lack of end product problems still persist. Wolves will struggle this season if they do not start converting their chances into goals and Lage's reign may turn out to be a very short one.

It was though fantastic to see Raúl Jiménez back in action again and if there is any player in the Wolves squad to get some goals, it will be him. With the club though dispensing of the likes of Patrick Cutrone and Rafa Mir, Lage needs another option to bolster that attack further, as another injury could really be disastrous.

Another player that seems to be a bright spark is Francisco Trincão. The Portuguese winger seems eager to impress the terraces and fans are beginning to take a liking for the 21-year-old. This is very important following the disappointing news that Pedro Neto has suffered another setback in his return from injury.

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  • Defence still leaking goals

If your side is scoring goals left, right and centre, the odd goal conceded here and there is never normally a big issue. Wolves on the other hand cannot score at all at the moment, which puts extra pressure on the other end of the pitch. 

With Willy Boly and new signing Yerson Mosquera still out injured, the back-line was always going to be stretched thin, especially when no new troops look set to walk through the door at this moment in time. The defence clearly needs a proven solid central defender to strengthen.

Marçal has put in some great performances in recent games, as well as Maximilian Kilman. Yet, Wolves continue to leak goals, either from sloppy play, losses of concentration or just down-right poor defending. It completely undermines all the positive attacking football that Lage is trying to implement.

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What is concerning is that Lage seems to have settled on operating with three central defenders. This is because he does not trust the current crop of defenders to play in a back four, after experimenting with mixed results during preseason.

The extra man in defence then takes another player out from the attack, which is an area Wolves desperately need more players in for support. If playing 3-4-3 still does not prevent the team conceding goals, then the Wanderers are on a hiding to nothing, as their goal for column will also not improve.

  • Traoré still not the finished article

When watching Wolves right now, there is one man that is always guaranteed to get fans off their seats. Adama Traoré has all the attributes to be a sensational player in the Premier League and it is not surprising to see the Spaniard linked with a whole host of potential suitors during this transfer window.

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His pace, acceleration and dribbling can at times be unplayable, with every full-back in the country having nightmares about being the one tasked with stopping the 25-year-old. Yet, with all the furore surrounding Traoré, he still can be as equally as frustrating.

An example came early on in the match with the Spaniard beating his man and working an angle for a shot, only to see his attempt go wide of the goal. So wide in fact, that a throw-in was given.

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Traoré had one of Wolves' best chances later on, after fantastic work from Rúben Neves put the Spaniard through on goal with only Hugo Lloris in goal to beat. Rather than easily dribble past Lloris and tap in the equaliser, Traoré instead chose to shoot, which was then blocked easily by Lloris. Another chance wasted.

Unfortunately, this is not a new problem regarding Traoré and his continual poor decision-making will prevent him from becoming truly unstoppable. With Wolves very much struggling to raise funds for new recruits, Lage may consider cashing in on the Spaniard whilst his stock is still relatively high.

  • It is still early days

Wolves in fairness have faced two of the so called 'top seven' teams in the Premier League this season, so to come away from both games disappointed not to have converted their dominance is not necessarily a bad thing. Of course, points on the board means so much more than lovely football, but there are clear signs that there is a quality team in there somewhere.

Rumours of new recruits on the horizon continue to echo around the city and with Manchester United up next in the league, there is still a lot of uncertainty to follow. It would not be surprising to see Wolves still on zero points come the international break. 

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With fans applauding Nuno-Espirito Santo and bidding their old manager a good farewell in the game, Nuno would have had no qualms getting on that Spurs bus with all three points against his old club. Nuno's time is over and Lage needs every little bit of support from fans right now, as things may get worse before they get better.