Fighting for a place in the Championship the previous season, Wolves have been one of the surprise treats in the Premier League this season.
The Wanderers’ course to top-flight has been trailed by intriguing circumstances. Tumbling into relegation from the Premier League in the 2011 – 12 season, a further smudge on the club aspirations as Wolves were relegated to the EFL League One the following season.
An immediate return to the Championship was assured however as the Wanderers amassed a 103 club record points in League One to gain promotion back to the Football League Championship.
Dalliance with the EFL Championship with Wolves coming 7th, 14th, 15th, in the 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 seasons, the Wanderers romped to a remarkable win in the 2017-18 season, gaining promotion to top-flight with 4 games left to play, and cruising to the EFL Championship title on the back of two outstanding games.
A loss to Leicester City on the second weekend in the Premier league, and it seemed the Wanderers were balanced precipitously between the EFL and the Premier League. However, the Wanderers turned out a star performance in the following game against Premier League winners, Manchester City, scoring first and holding out for a remarkable draw in front of the home support.
That culminating moment marked the West Midlands club turn in fortunes. The Wanderers have trudged on an unbeaten six-game run, scoring seven goals along the way. More impressive are the wins as Wolves strung out victories against West Ham United and Crystal Palace, with the winning goal in the Hammers game coming in the 94’ minute.
The Wanderers have managed to pick up wins both home and away, ceding possession in most cases, but still coming up with the final result.
All over and everywhere the question has been what has led to the Wanderers’ inspiring run.
Could the answer lie at the feet of Nuno Espirito Santo?
Nicknamed ‘The Philosopher’ by ardent fans, the manager’s 3 – 4 – 3 formation with Wolves emphasis on playing from the back, while pressing opponents when possession is lost, with the midfield putting in dogged work-rate, could it be key to Wolves robust emergence?
Other detractors point to the midfield partnership of Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves – Portuguese compatriots filling in the same positions for club and country.
Rivals suggest the Wolves backline with Crystal Palace centre-back, James Tomkins stating the immense effort required to get behind the Wolves defence.
What makes Wolves tick?
Regardless of what answer fans, pundits or opponents may arrive at, the Wanderers occupy 7th on the league table with 15 points from 8 games, and are halfway on course to ensure their stay in top-flight for another season.