Barring Saturday’s defeat to Cardiff, Wolves have started the season with wins over three potential promotion contenders – what’s your take on their first four games?
Everybody’s been pleasantly surprised, really. I don’t think we really knew what to expect having had a new manager, entirely new backroom staff, new players, a new formation and a new style – everything’s different this season and they’ve only had a few weeks to put it all together. It’s been a really impressive start even though the bubble was momentarily burst against Cardiff; they’ve come through it really well and to take nine points from those tough fixtures against Middlesbrough, Derby and Hull shows some really encouraging signs for the season already.
On paper Nuno Espírito Santo has assembled one of the strongest squads in the division this summer; are the short odds of promotion warranted?
They started the summer at 18/1 outsiders and I think everyone has got a bit carried away with the amazing start they’ve had, but on paper the quality is right up there with the best in the division. There are a few variables in that nine of the 11 players brought in have come from overseas and haven’t played in the league before, but it’s the same as last season when a few of the lads from overseas got off to a great start. It’s not just how they adapt to the style of the Championship but how they adapt to the relentless nature of Saturday-Tuesday games; that can be a real shock to the system. We will have to see how they get on in the next few weeks, but I certainly fancy them for a top-six finish with the quality they’ve got on paper, though they have still got a little bit more work to do in the transfer window. Arguably, the only thing they are really lacking is a prolific proven goal-scorer, otherwise the defence looks really good and I think they could be there or thereabouts.
Which player should the Bees be most wary of?
I would say Diogo Jota. He’s made a really impressive start and like I said he looks to be in the Helder Costa mould: his footwork is amazing, he’s very quick, great with the ball at his feet, got good movement and he looks like he’s got a goal in him as well. He scored against Hull and looks a real threat - he’ll be looking to get 10-15 goals this season.
If you could bring one Brentford player to Molineux, who would it be?
I’ve always liked the look of Nico Yennaris actually - having started at Arsenal, I think he offers something different that Wolves haven’t got and would probably fit well into their squad. The same goes for Romaine Sawyers as well, he was always an explosive talent at Walsall, with great technique. He’s really settled in at Brentford and looks as though he could be a real force.
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