Osman: Nuno’s passion on the touchline is infectious

Leon Osman believes the passion, drive and style of Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is the reason the club has started life in the Premier League so well.

The former England and Everton midfielder is the latest BBC pundit to give their views on Wolves’ first season back in the top flight, and the 37-year-old has also explained why he thinks the credit for the club’s ‘fantastic’ Premier League return should go to the head coach.

On Wolves’ season so far

“It’s been good. For their first season back in the Premier League the points tally is fantastic – 29 points is a good return, it’s a good style of playing football, there was talk at one time of a possibility of catching on the coat tails of the top six.

“I do think that is out of reach, but the fact that it’s even being spoken about in Wolves’ first season back in the Premier League shows how well the club and the manager have done.”

On adapting to the Premier League

“It’s not an easy thing to do, but all credit needs to go to Nuno Espirito Santo. A lot of teams will get promotion from the Championship and then figure out how they’re going to start playing in the Premier League.

“But the standards for Wolves were set while they were still in the Championship. They’d already decided the way the team were going to go about it, the style of play, and it helped them comfortably win the Championship.

“Nothing needed to change, it could remain exactly the same, all it needed was to take those steps forward by improving in the players. The fundamentals, the basics, the way the team operate was all perfectly set up to play in the Premier League.

“You can see the club has hit the ground running, it’s flawless in the way Wolves approach their games, nothing changes, and that’s been a big strength.”

On Nuno

“You see his passion on the touchline, it’s infectious. Whenever you have a manager that you can feel their desperate to be on the field with the players – that white line is tough to keep them off the field.

“When you’ve got a manager who is so involved in his team and the game, you can see the veins popping out the side of his head, it’s easy to get wrapped up, sucked in, and ridden along with that feeling of desire and will to win.”

On club ambitions

“Wolves is a huge club traditionally and historically, and it does have the base of being a huge club again. Progress is being made. It’s a club that’s now back in the Premier League, striving, moving forward, being positive, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

“One good season doesn’t make success. It’s a slow progress, it’s four, five, six years down the line before it can happen. You have to show the steadiness, the consistency and ambition for a number of years.

“Wolves are on their way to doing that – but I wouldn’t get carried away just yet.”

Other footballing stars and BBC pundits who have had their say on Wolves’ season so far include: