Wolves would be quite a cool team to take over on FM21 – but there’s every chance someone is going to get that opportunity in the real world before the end of the season the way things are going for Nuno Espirito Santo right now.
Three wins in all competitions since the 21st December sees Wolves a lowly 14th in the Premier League table going into this weekend’s matches and although they are unlikely to end up in a relegation scrap, they are far from achieving what they hoped to achieve this season.
According to the Sorare Review, Nuno has to be a good bet for losing his job before the end of this campaign.
It’s not just a case of ‘oh, Raul Jiminez got injured’ – sure, that hasn’t helped but Wolves were hardly performing superbly before that horror injury against Arsenal. Not terribly, but not superbly.
They’d won four out of ten before their victory at the Emirates and since then have picked up only four wins in total.
Willian Jose has been brought into to bolster the strikeforce but is yet to make an impact whilst Fabio Silva still looks like a boy in a man’s game at this early point in his career.
But if it wasn’t just down to Raul’s injury, what are the other factors?
Last season, Wolves had the longest season in English football history lasting over a calendar year.
Their early Europa League start combined with such a delayed finish due to the football season being extended after Project Restart meant that Wolves had been playing for over 365 days – and the fatigue is showing this season.
For example, Nuno himself must need a break – when we were allowed to travel the world freely, he would have been able to jet back to Portugal and spend time with family and friends to refresh. That isn’t possible currently, meaning there must be little respite to such a high-pressure job.
Is that affecting his management performance? Quite possibly.
Losing Diogo Jota to Liverpool is also another huge factor in Wolves’ form this season – he was key to their attacking game, one of the obvious reasons the league champions splashed big money on him and until his injury it looked like money very well spent. Wolves have recruited Willian Jose as a backup to Raul when he is fit again but didn’t really replace Jota – and it shows.
Adama Traore is regressing to his mean – becoming the frustrating wide player with no end product rather than the explosive threat that teams were scared of.
And Connor Coady seems to be suffering his first inconsistent spell since signing for Wolves all those years ago.
All these things considered could lead to Nuno being the shock managerial exit in the coming months – he might feel he needs a break and new pastures and, equally, the board might feel that they need fresh ideas to keep pushing the club forwards.
Whatever happens, whichever club gets a fresh version of Nuno in charge will have bagged themselves an excellent manager!