1. Injuries can ruin a season
Danny Batth, Bjorn Sigurardarson, Razak Boukari, Bradley Reid, Nouha Dicko, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Kortney Hause, Emi Martinez, Mike Williamson, Jordan Graham, Michal Zyro, Dave Edwards, James Henry and Jed Wallace all missed at least a month’s worth of action due to injuries sustained over the course of last season.
Of course, some players were missed more than others. Nouha Dicko tore his anterior cruciate ligament, leaving him in agony during the win against Charlton back in August. His goals, directness and willingness to work hard were sorely missed for almost the entirety of the campaign as a result.
Jordan Graham, like Dicko, possesses the ability to be one of the best attacking players in the division on his day. He provided eight assists in a dozen games in a Wolves shirt after returning from a loan spell at Oxford United. Unfortunately for all parties concerned, the 2016-17 is likely to be well underway before we see Graham back in a Wolves shirt.
2. Better recruitment is required
With the exception of Benik Afobe, I would argue that Wolves’ most effective players since the club’s return to the second tier either played a part in the 2013-14 season in League One, or have come through the club’s academy. The likes of James Henry, Kevin McDonald and Nouha Dicko were signed two seasons ago now, and have been helped along the way by the likes of Matt Doherty and Jack Price.
It is safe to say that, aside from Mike Williamson’s brief, brief spell in the Wolves backline, and Conor Coady’s late resurgence, none of the club’s signings over the past year have been a consistent success. Sure, in Williamson and Michal Zyro’s case injuries are to blame, but some of Kenny Jackett’s other acquisitions have been dire.
Jackett never played the correct formation to suit Adam Le Fondre’s playing style and Sheyi Ojo always seemed half interested. Emi Martinez proved to be an inferior shot-stopper compared to Carl Ikeme, and Jed Wallace and Nathan Byrne were not given enough of a chance by Jackett.
And then we get to Grant Holt. Nice bloke, but absolutely diabolical.
3. Shooting practice is in order for pre-season
A run of four consecutive 0-0s was ended on the final day of the season against a much-weakened Sheffield Wednesday side. The impressive 2-1 result, in which a Michael Turner own goal opened the scoring, prevented a Football League record for consecutive home 0-0s being broken.
It was Wolves’ longest home goal drought since 1899 – the year that Hemingway was born, Winston Churchill was fighting in the Second Boer War and Aston Villa won the league. A very, very long time ago.
Bjorn Sigurdarson never got off the mark after his return to the first team frame, meaning his last Wolves goal dates back to 2013. Quite concerning, given that he was deployed as a lone striker for the majority of the second half of the season.
Grant Holt also failed to score, whilst Bright Enobakhare only found the net in the Capital One Cup. Adam Le Fondre and Joe Mason did manage to score, but couldn’t reach double figures between them for the season.
The football that we have witnessed at Molineux in the past year was a far cry from the free-flowing, counter attacking style that Wolves fans became used to in Kenny Jackett’s first two years in charge of Wolves.