Friday, 14 December 2018

Rival Lines: 'It's nice to be top dog in the West Midlands' says Wolves Blog

Rival Lines
Match Preview: Wolves v AFCB
Blogger Interview: Wolves Blog
Twitter: @wolvesblog


This week I spoke to Thomas at Wolves blog about the great start to Premier League life that Wolves have managed since their return. As well as having a forward-thinking manager they have several young players that have contributed to the good start and I don't see this as an easy game for the Cherries who only just sit above Wolves in the table.

CC: What do you think Nuno's best qualities are as a manger?


WB: I like the fact he has a clear idea about he wants his team to play and never deviates from this regardless of the opposition. I also think it's admirable in the age of soundbites that he says little and prefers to let his team do the talking.


CC:  It has to be the best time to be a Wolves fan right now, but were you surprised at how long it took to get back to the Premier League?

WB: Well, I didn't expect consecutive relegations that's for sure. But we've spent the vast majority of the last 30 years in the second tier trying to get out so it was nothing new. Our previous owners were never that ambitious, so the Championship felt like our level until Fosun took over.

CC: To me it looks like Wolves have much more of a vision of how they want to play and how the club can develop now - is that a comfort to the fans?

WB: Absolutely. It feels like everyone shares the same vision for how we should be playing and there's limitless ambition. The owners have spoken openly about wanting to compete with the Big 6 and haven't been shy about backing that up with considerable investment. It's exciting times.

CC: You have had some great results in the Premier League already, but why do you think Wolves results against the top six have been better than some of the results against the bottom six?

WB: I think we play better on the break and when we're winning possession high up the pitch from teams trying to play out from the back. The top teams tend to do that more than those struggling at the bottom. Motivation and the pressure of expectancy may also be a factor.


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CC: A lot of attention has been focussed on Morgan Gibbs-White. Do you think he could be fast-tracked and be involved for England in the next European Championships in 2020?

WB: He's only just had his first Premier League start for us so probably premature to be talking about England. But certainly if he plays consistently for the next year or so as well as he did against Chelsea the other day, why not? The talent is most definitely real. He's been talked about for years so it's great to see the potential coming to fruition.

CC: Are you enjoying not having a derby game this season?

WB: It's certainly nice to be top dogs in the West Midlands as we haven't enjoyed that status in my lifetime. Every game has that derby atmosphere in your first season back in the Prem, so I'm not too bothered if I'm honest.

CC: Do you think we are yet to see the best of Ruben Neves?

WB: I'd say so. He continually improved last season and peaked down the home stretch and it could be the same this time. He's had to adjust to the pace and quality of the Premier League but you can see he's got a lot of quality himself even though he doesn't have it all his own way at times. He'll play in the Champions League again at some point, I'm certain of that. He's got the ability and temperament to go right to the top.

CC: Nuno has not played too many players, but if money is available in January what type of player would you like to see come in to improve the team?

WB: I think we need more options and more physical power in midfield and attack, so an athletic midfielder and a proper number 9 would be handy, even if they're just options we can call upon from the bench.


CC: Have Wolves got many injuries ahead of this game?

WB: Wing-back Jonny Otto is still out but other than that, I think we're dealing from a full deck, which is nice as we head into a busy December.

CC: How do you expect Wolves to line up?

WB: 343 - Patricio in goal, back three of Bennett, Coady and Boly, Doherty and Vinagre at wingback, Neves and Moutinho in midfield with Gibbs-White, Jimenez and Jota in attack.

CC: Do you see Bournemouth at home as a must win game, a difficult game or possibly one of the more entertaining games?

WB: A very difficult game but hopefully win or lose a good spectacle. There will certainly be two teams intent on playing attractive football and trying to get the three points, so should be a great match up.

CC: Thanks to Thomas who has a great Wolves Blog. You'll see some answers to questions that I answered for Thomas on his blog this week. I think Wolves are enjoying life in the Premier League and are one of the teams that are capable of surprising teams, so it is going to be a tough ask for Bournemouth to get something from this game. I wouldn't be too disappointed with a score draw.


Cherry Chimes' T-Shirt competition
Send in your score predictions for Wolves v AFC Bournemouth to @CherryChimes on Twitter by Saturday at 12am. We will picker winner from the correct entries to win a T-shirt. Good luck 

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