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Positives and negatives: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Fulham

Written by Cameron Ramsey on 10th March 2024

We couldn’t make it three league wins on the spin at Molineux and there’s a fair bit to investigate in the aftermath. Here’s Cam’s breakdown – not meltdown – of matchday 28.


Late consolation cheer

Well, it may have been too little too late, but at least we didn’t fire blanks completely, eh? Alex Iwobi scored his fifth Premier League goal of the season in the 98th minute, an improvised flick that may have meant sod all but if we’re to take any pluses, we should appreciate the squad’s willingness to press on in the final few seconds, even when all was as good as lost.

What’s more, Armando Broja can also be credited with an assist, so his input will go down as his first actual goal involvement for the Whites. It was an untidy consolation, celebrations were ironic given the fact we’d peppered Wolves’ goalmouth to no avail for the game’s entirety beforehand, but what it does show is that Marco Silva’s men will plug away until the very end, in vain or in the ascendency, our collective attitude didn’t change. Setbacks happen, we just have to suck ’em up.

Nobody’s satisfied in defeat, but it was far from our poorest performance of the season, we may have lapsed defensively at critical moments but we were expansive, we were competitive barring the first 20 minutes of the second half and we had the last laugh, albeit a muted one.

Traore’s lively introduction

Wolves’ boo-boy supporters know firsthand what Adama Traore can do and as soon as he was introduced, the home fans gulped in unison. Stamina, strength, assertiveness, Traore is an attacker that does exactly what it says on the tin and I also agree with Dan Cooke’s estimation of the Spaniard. He’s coined as an impact sub and while I can see complete sense in that, he is far too threatening to be sat on the bench and if he were to start games regularly, opposition defences will automatically rock onto the backfoot.

He’s far from refined, but that’s what makes him uniquely terrifying. Against his former employers, a side that gave him a platform to truly prove himself in the Premier League, Adama swept fond memories aside and he was ready to rumble. His final product may be hit-and-miss, his qualities may suggest that he’s better suited for 20-minute cameos but I genuinely want him to be in the mix from the off. Fullbacks would be shellshocked within the opening 30 seconds of the game, and think about what that would do to their mental state if they knew they had to contend with him for 70-plus minutes. Rather them than us.


Golden chances squandered

We could’ve chalked up a cricket score in the first half but as it so often is with Whites, we created an abundance of opportunities throughout and we didn’t force the initiative. Jose’s Sa’s target was tested, he naturally morphed into a prime Gianluigi Buffon as he palmed a series of sharp saves in both halves but we had the goal at our mercy, we were in the driver’s seat and yet we squandered golden chances in familiar Fulham fashion.

We tallied up 23 shots in total, seven on target, and if Harry Wilson trusted his right foot, if Tosin Adarabioyo’s effort was a few inched lower, we could’ve fired ourselves into a commanding position at the break and given Wolves’ injury woes, there would’ve been no coming back for them with a hefty deficit to relinquish. Regardless of the opposition, regardless of the personnel they have at their disposal, if a team cannot finish your dinner at this level, they will be exploited. That is simply how the game works.

We’ve hit our hottest form in our two previous outings before Saturday’s trip to the Black Country, I cannot commend Silva and his men highly enough for their endeavour and I guess on another day, as cliched as it is, we would’ve stormed to a resounding multi-goal victory but it just wasn’t to be. You can’t win them all, but this is a game where we really should’ve had something to show for it and as the squad will undoubtedly acknowledge that, they’ll reset, refocus and go again as they always do.

Cruel on Cairney

Wolves’ winner was helped by a whopping slice of luck but for Tom Cairney, it’s as cruel as they come. Nelson Semedo let rip from a central position just outside the penalty area, his strike appeared to be on its way out of play but Cairney was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nothing could really be done to prevent the deflection, and as Fulham choked in front of the target themselves, the hosts sealed the victory by way of our skipper’s unbeknown backside and that is pants.

It’s typical that we’d fall foul of desperate misfortune, Wolves were pushing hard for a second, so they probably deserved to be two goals ahead anyway, it just smarts because it’s a goal that was completely out of our control. It was a very well worked move, granted, but conceding via rogue ricochets is rotten and it’s an unwelcome, unintentional blot on TC’s stat record.

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