Phenomenal Season For Wolves Will Be Difficult To Beat

Ahead of the Sunday kick off against Wolverhampton Wanderers, TEB had a chat with Thomas Baugh from Wolves Blog about the season so far, thoughts ahead of the game and much more.

Q. What are your hopes for the new season?

To finish in or around midtable at the very least and hopefully progress to the latter stages of at least one of the domestic cup competitions. If we can do that and enjoy the ride in the Europa League I’ll be a happy camper.

Q. Looking back, how do you rank last season now that the dust has settled?

Phenomenal. To finish 7th, qualify for Europe, beat most of the big sides, make it to Wembley and come within a whisker of the FA Cup Final is dreamland considering the 25 years or so prior I’ve spent mostly suffering. As hopeful as I am we’ll progress and improve, we’ll do well to better last season in the years to come.
 
Q. Do you think involvement in the Europa League will have a detrimental effect on the league form?
 
It already has, unfortunately. I think we’ve looked jaded in a few of the league fixtures after the qualifying rounds and key personnel have been missing, which wasn’t the case last season when the side was always settled. Hopefully, Nuno can strike the balance but I think it’s going to be a bumpy old journey as has been reflected in our slow start.
 
Q. How was the summer transfer window for the club – were all needs addressed?
 
I think we fell short. We recruited a striker (Patrick Cutrone from AC Milan) and a defender (Jesus Vallejo from Real Madrid) which were absolute musts, as well as a couple of young guys from Lazio with big potential (Pedro Neto and Bruno Jordao). I think we could have done with a more attack-minded midfielder and possibly another option up top to help out with the additional strain of European football. We let Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro go and looking at what we’re left with, one of them probably should have been retained.
 
Q. As fans of safe standing, we were impressed to see it brought in at Molineux – what have the fans made of it?
 
I don’t personally sit (or stand) in the safe standing area so can’t comment definitively but a lot of my mates who do think it’s great. Everyone was standing up the whole game in that stand anyway so it’s logical to make it safe for them. From the opposite end of the pitch, it makes the stand look jam-packed and pleasantly chaotic when we score, which is great, particularly on the night games.
 
Q. One to watch for Wolves this season?
 
In all my pre-season posts I was backing Diogo Jota to have a big season after finishing well last time. He’s been slow out of the blocks but I retain faith he’ll eventually find form again and get the goals and assists to reflect his enormous ability. A mention for Pedro Neto though, who could be a real bonus ball if early performances are anything to go by. You might see him off the bench on Sunday and he’s a quick, skilful attacker with enormous potential.
 
Q. If you could pick one Palace player to sign, who would it be and why?
 
I don’t know where Wilfried Zaha would play in our system but you’d have to take him to try and make it work, such is his quality. On the opposite side of the coin, I know exactly where Patrick van Aanholt would slot into the team and I’ve always rated him highly, so he’d also be high up on the shopping list.
 
Q. Name a player from each side that you believe will be a threat in this game?
 
Zaha and Jimenez for obvious reasons.
 
Q. Perhaps you could share your views on what you expect from Palace this season?
 
Pretty much what we’ve seen already. Capable enough, but up and down with any result possible in any game. I do look at the squad and wonder if there’s enough goals there to be comfortable and feel back to front it could do with refreshing. Players like Gary Cahill and Jordan Ayew are short term solutions. Roy Hodgson is an underrated coach though, so midtable is a realistic ambition.
 
Q. Your prediction?
 
We desperately need a result and you will rightly see this as a winnable fixture. We won at Selhurst last season and as much in hope than expectation I’m going for a repeat scoreline – 1-0 to the Wolves.
 
Best of luck for the season to the Eagles.

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