What can we expect from Wolves under Nuno Santo?

Mike Holden by Mike Holden / 07 August 2017, 09:47

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) looks at what we can expect from Nuno Santo and Wolves during the 2017/18 Championship season.

Background

Wolves continue to attract national media attention over their involvement with Jorge Mendes after they broke the Championship transfer record for the second successive window in July. Ruben Neves made a £15.8m switch from Porto in July, just six months after Benfica winger Helder Costa turned his loan deal permanent at a cost of £12.8m. Walter Zenga started last season in charge but was gone by October, then Paul Lambert lasted only seven months as Wanderers laboured to a 15th-placed finish. Former Valencia boss Nuno Espirito Santo now takes the reins.

Personality

The Portuguese has developed his own way of performing numerous routine tasks, such as his preference for watching matches back on video through a camera positioned behind the goal. He firmly believes it gives him a better real-life view of how the game mapped out from a players’ perspective, rather the luxurious advantage spectators have, which is a fine example of a rational, analytical mindset in action. He speaks several different languages, including English, despite spending his 43 years almost exclusively in Portugal and Spain.

Quote

"I want to help the team succeed. We as a coaching staff have to see and adapt. We know it’s tough, but we are ready. If you look at my career, in Valencia, we ended up with the best points total ever in the history of the club. Then last season, at Porto, players who were not performing well before went on to have the best seasons of their careers. I’m talking about players of 15 years, they had the best numbers in their whole careers. I can develop these players."

Verdict

There’s an exciting project taking place at Molineux but while the bookies are understandably wary of laying big prices about Wolves for the title, a promotion push looks ambitious given the sheer volume of negative unknown variables. The Old Gold might be sensational at times but Nuno is overseeing a change in philosophy and most of the supreme talent at his disposal is younger than 23, getting used to life in a new country where the schedule is notoriously rigorous. Their time will come, just not this season.

Prediction: top half

Nuno Santo

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