Nuno Espirito Santo refused to be drawn into any speculation or dreams (at least publicly) of Wolverhampton Wanderers being top-four contenders following Friday’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace, even in this chaotic and unpredictable 2020-21 Premier League season.

[ MORE: Wolves strengthen top-four case with win over Crystal Palace ]

Allow us, Nuno, to speculate and make the case for you, then. Sure, you’re only seven games into the season and you still have to prove yourself against the sides that have dominated the top-six for the last decade, but won’t you live a little and humor us with words of what could be?

No, as it turns out, he would not — quotes from the BBC:

“It’s all about the performance, the table is not important. The work is important. Playing without fans requires a lot of focus, we haven’t the edge of Molineux”

“I think we were good but we should play better. We started well. We had a good team in front of us. At the end of the first half we slowed down our pressure and Palace had chances.

“Second half we adjusted and didn’t concede too many chances and had our chances where we should do better.”

Unlike fellow early performers Everton, Aston Villa, Leeds United or Southampton, Wolves have been close — just on the outside of the top-six, looking in — each of the last two seasons, finishing seventh immediately after winning promotion and backing it up with a repeat performance last season. Compared to every other non-Leicester City top-four hopeful, Wolves have been the most consistent side to threaten a top-four challenge. Of the non-top- or “big-six” sides, Wolves appear most ready and able to take the next step.

[ MORE: Pep Guardiola intends to stay at Man City ]

Nuno is nothing if not insistent on defending as if his players’ lives depend upon it — they’ve been incredibly well-drilled and disciplined since the day they arrived in the Premier League — and that gives them a very stable foundation and high floor in the event their luck should turn sour. It’s not the defensive foundation, but the evenly distributed ability to score goals which raises Wolves’ ceiling and could allow for a massive leap upward in the even their luck turns golden over the next 31 weeks.

“To have goals all over the team is important,” Nuno said after Friday’s win. “It’s what you need.”

Though they have scored just eight goals on the season — fewest of any side currently residing in the top-16 — Wolves have begun to spread the goal-scoring responsibilities around a bit more with five different players having scored a goal already in 2020-21. If that trend continues, so too should Wolves’ ascent.

Maybe they won’t get their in the end — it would still be quite the upset, in all honesty — but Wolverhampton Wanderers fans have so much to love about their team these days and plenty of reason to believe that the best is still to come.

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Winners and losers after Pocono

WINNERS Denny Hamlin — Solid strategy by Chris Gabehart and a determined drive by Hamlin led to the team’s fourth victory of the season Sunday at Pocono. Kevin Harvick — A day after winning at Pocono, he finished second to…

IOC encourages athletes to continue preparations for 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite coronavirus fears

The Olympic governing body stressed it will obediently follow recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding measures of preventing the spread of the dangerous infection, expressing full commitment to the “success of the Olympic Games.” READ MORE: IOC presented forged…

World Cup 2022 qualifiers cancelled due to coronavirus

Fifa have announced they have postponed Conmebol’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers due to coronavirus. A statement from the sport’s world governing body read: “Following consultation with CONMEBOL, FIFA has decided to postpone the upcoming South American qualifiers for the FIFA…

Celtics have champions on the ropes

Boston’s defensive masterclass cages reigning Raptors LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida-The game plan from Boston coach Brad Stevens was simple: Start things off with an increased effort on defense to set an immediate tone. The Celtics did exactly as he asked-and…