Wolves draw against Man City on Saturday was proof indeed that Wolves are not just there to make the numbers up in the Premier League. On the day they gave the Champions a real good run for their money and those pre-season predictions of a top half finish are not so fanciful if they can maintain that level of performance. The pre-match odds were 10/1 Wolves, 5/1 a draw, and 1/4 Man City but it was much more even than that on the day and it would have been cruel on Wolves if Aguero’s injury-time free kick had gone in rather than hitting the bar.
In fact, City hit the woodwork three times on the day and brought some good saves out of Wolves keeper Patricio and the Wolves goal went in courtesy of an accidental handball by Willy Boly. Well, they say luck evens itself out, and last week at Leicester it was Wolves who hit the woodwork three times, brought some good saves out of Schmeichel and were beaten by an unfortunate own goal and a deflected shot.
There were plenty of good performances on the Wolves side on Saturday and new signings Patricio, Castro, Moutinho and Jiminez were four of the best. The keeper made a number of fine saves and one excellent one from a Sterling effort. Castro was excellent in defence and attack as he had been at Leicester. Moutinho had his best game so far with his tidy passing and tireless movement. And Jiminez to me has been Wolves best player so far over the three games and was inches offside to prevent another goal to add to his one against Everton. Willy Boly is over his over his below-par performance on the first day and is back to his best. And Costa and Jota who had been well below their best in the first two games were much better here. And a special word for Ryan Bennett who many were expecting to lose his place at this level, but he has barely put a foot wrong so far.
And there is more to come from Wolves in the coming weeks, as Traore has really whetted the appetite with two sparkling cameo performances from the bench. And the highly rated Dendoncker has not yet been fit enough to make his debut.
I remember thinking when the fixtures came out that Wolves could play well in their first three games and end up with no points. Well they are now through that difficult introduction to the top flight and they have certainly played well in the last two games, have two points on the board, and after Saturday the optimism has, if anything, increased.
Wolves have four Premier League fixtures in September starting with West Ham away on the 1st, followed by Burnley at home, Man Utd away and Southampton at home. Four established top flight teams but a run of games where Wolves will be looking to get a couple of wins under their belt to really ignite their season. Matching the quality of the last two performances may well be enough to see the points total rise a few notches in that month, and then the belief in a top half finish will grow even more.