Opposition Q&A with Wolves

Wolves fan Alan Melville gives us the lowdown on Wolves ahead of the big matsh


After being battered by the Mighty Fulham last weekend, West Ham return to Premiership action when we welcome Wolves to the London Stadium.
Ahead of the game, I had a quick chat with Wolves fan Alan Melville to get his take on the season and this weekend’s game.
Hi Andy, how long have you been supporting The Wolves? What were your first memories, and who were your early heroes.
I’m from Cannock, just North of Wolverhampton.
My dad and his brother are big Wolves fans, so I’m been following them as long as I can remember.
I’ve been watching them since the mid-70s, when Derek Dougan was ending his career, and he did it in style helping us to win the League Cup. That team also had John Richards and Kenny Hibbert playing for it.
They were my early, and lasting Wolves heroes.
I’ve been watching them on (mostly) and off since then,
and in all that time Steve Bull has been my (and most Wolves fans’) favourite player! I mean over 300 goals, the man’s a legend around here!
Wolves currently sit 13th in the table. Are you happy with that? What is a successful season for Wolves fans?
It depends on who you ask. Fans like me who can remember going all the way down to the
4th Division would consider 13th a good return for a club of our size. We’ve ended up in 13th place the past couple of seasons,
so that seems about right. However, 2 consecutive years of being 7th 4 and 5 seasons ago means that some fans have expectations over what we can really hope to achieve.
One of our ex-players Gary O’Neill is at the helm these days.
Are you happy with him? He’s your 4th manager in five years – which of your last few managers were you most pleased with?
O’Neill seems decent enough. I thought he did well at Bournemouth at the end of last year, and I was surprised to see him let go from there.
As always in football things can turn sour quickly, we’ll have to see how it goes.
As for the previous managers, Nuno Espirito Santo did the best for us.
He had a great few years with us, getting promoted and leading us to those 2 7th-place positions.
He fell out with the board over transfer targets and that unfortunately was that!
You bought a few players in over the summer, most notably Matheus Cunha from
Athletico and Jean-Ricner Bellegarde from Strasbourg and Santiago Bueno from Girona; what can you tell us about them?
Cunha is really good – he’s strong and skilful like most Brazilians,
he’s scored 5 goals already and looks to be a good buy. Likewise, the other 2 seem to be good buys as well, both strong and reasonably assured.
Who have been the best players for you so far this season?
I’d say Pedro Neto, who sadly is injured at the moment and will be a big loss against you on Sunday, and Cunha.
How about from throughout the league, which three players from defence, midfield and attack have most impressed you?
Up front, I’ll go for Sarah and Harland, can’t split.
In midfield I’ll go for your old player Declan Rice – he seems to have gone from strength to strength. Not that he wasn’t great for you:
he’s continued to improve. In defence I’ll have Reuben Dias at Man City – I think he’s a great player!
We’re coming up to the halfway point in the season: who are your picks at this stage for
what is looking like a much more open contest than in previous years, and who are going to occupy the remaining positions for the Champions League spots?
It’s not going to be us, and I pray that Villa don’t get anywhere near. I think Liverpool might get it back, but I do think they over-rely on their ‘big name players’,
followed by Man City, and then maybe Arsenal and Spurs, out of those I’d prefer it not to be Liverpool or Man City.
What about at the bottom where things are looking a bit more clear-cut
Yeah, it’s looking at the moment that the promoted sides are going straight down, but if one can get a couple of results together things can change rapidly. Forest could get dragged into it.
Who are Wolves going to have to be on the lookout for from West Ham this weekend?
Jared Bowen always looks sharp and eager, and from what I’ve seen of him Kudus looks to be a handful.
How will O’Neill set Wolves out to face us this weekend? Players/formation
It will be a fluid 3 – 4 – 3 with Sa; Kilman, Toti, Dawson; Semedo, Lemina, Gomes, Ait-Nouri; Sarabia, Hwang, Cunha
Finally, will Wolves leave the capital with any points this Sunday? Prediction for score, please?
I very much doubt it, but I’ve got my fingers crossed for a 1 – 1 draw, although I would a win!
Well, many thanks to Alan Melville for his time and thoughts.
Last week I was wondering whether or not we might get our third away victory on the trot, now
I’m just hoping that we don’t play like we did against Fulham! But I’ve got to think we can bounce back and get a 2 -1 victory. COYI

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