Trending Topics | Wolves 2-1 Aston Villa

Wolves returned from the international period in style with an impressive victory over Aston Villa, which was enjoyed by the Matchday Live Extra panel.

Mikey Burrows was joined by former Wolves full-backs Andy Thompson and Lee Naylor inside Molineux, and post-match the trio discussed what they’d seen during the 2-1 victory.

Thompson and Naylor spoke positively of Fabio Silva, Willy Boly and Marcal, as well as delving into a number of other topics, the best of which is available on Wolves Radio and below.

On a good result which could have been more

Thompson said: “Wolves were comfortable for long periods of the game. There was only a couple of times where we created our own problems, and it allowed Aston Villa to have a bit of pressure. We could have put the game to bed – we could have won it quite easily in the first-half with the opportunities that we had. We maybe wanted too much time, too much space with the ball, rather than taking our chances, but you look at the result at those players will be really happy in that changing room.”

Naylor said: “It’s always difficult when you go in 2-0 up at half-time. The first five minutes, you wouldn’t have said who was going to come out on top. After that, Wolves got a grip of the game, and you’re thinking of keeping it tight at the back, not allowing them to have many chances – they were always going to in the second-half, you just have to limit it and I thought we did well. The goalkeeper pulled off some good saves at the end, but it shouldn’t have got to that.”

On the goals

Thompson said: “Podence had a try, Silva had a try, and it fell to Jonny. He’s put it straight into the top corner – what finish. It’s about confidence in front of goal and being clinical, and if we hadn’t have come out of that situation scoring then there would have been uproar, because the opportunity with two players slipping, having a chance. Podence could have shot earlier, Silva was blocked, but it was a great finish.

“Then it was all about the ball for the second goal. Marcal’s ball in caused Villa big problems and Ashley Young didn’t know what to do with the ball, because he knew there was pressure from Trincao, but you look at putting balls into areas which are going to cause teams problems.”

On managing the game

Thompson said: “On the back of the Leeds defeat, I bet they were a little bit nervous when the penalty was given away and the way things happened at Villa Park. You’ve got to be professional, you game management has to be good, and you make sure you play the percentages. There were times when we were caught on the ball but could have put it in the corner, rather than losing it where we’re in trouble. I would think overall Bruno would be pretty happy with the way his team played because sometimes derby games aren’t great games, they’re fiery and it was towards the end, but sometimes performances suffer a bit, but I thought Wolves knocked the ball around well today.”

Naylor said: “I thought it was always going to be difficult for Wolves at that time [late on]. They did well but gave a penalty away and after that it was nerve wracking. Sa made some great saves to keep the game at nil at the time. At the end of the day, it was a great performance from Wolves, which deserved a bit more.”

On a lively Silva showing

Thompson said: “I thought he was very good. He’s a 19-year-old boy still, he’s learning the game, he’s learning his trade. When he first came, he was raw, and didn’t have the stature he has now. A few times he held players off, he knocked them about, he caused them problems. You’re talking about Tyrone Mings who is an England international, who was just shrugged out of the way. He knocked a couple to the ground. It’s all about that, but he will be judged, because of the price tag, on goals.

“He’s bringing things into his game which are looking good – he’s willing to run beyond, to hold the ball up, to compete for the ball, which is great, but he’s got to be putting the ball in the net. He had the chance in the first-half and the second where Martinez saved it, but he’s got to take chances. He’s got to start scoring and has to add it to his game now.”

Naylor said: “If Fabio Silva performs like that every week, you’d take it. Even though he didn’t score, he did a lot for the team. As a player, if you’re not learning every time you go on the training field, there’s something up. I think the manager will be delighted with him. He’ll be working hard on the training pitch, along with the other strikers, and he’ll want to learn from Jimenez. He’ll pick it up along the way.”

On Silva learning from Jimenez

Thompson said: “He’s the Wolves number nine, but Silva will be learning from watching him on the training ground. He’s got to be learning from Moutinho and people like that. It’s a learning curve and I know there’s pressure on him – people speak about his goals – but I’ve seen an improvement this season. He was forced into the team because of Jimenez’s injury and he was getting knocked about a bit by experienced international defenders.

“Now he’s starting to realise he’s got to do something so he’s competing against those teams. He’s built himself up, he’s made himself stronger, he’s willing to run harder now, and he chases things down. I’ve seen a big improvement in him this year, with his physique, with the way he plays, but he’s got to start adding goals to his goals.”

On Marcal impressing on the left

Thompson said: “I thought he did well. The ball in for the second goal was a great ball in. Sometimes he can possibly play that little bit more advanced, which he’s started to a little bit, and in the second-half I thought he was more advanced. If he’s not advanced in the first-half, then we don’t get that goal. We know he’s a more natural defender than Ait-Nouri, he’s more experienced, but I thought he did well. Cash at Villa Park caused him major problems and I thought he handled him – Cash struggled to get into the game and that’s down to the way Marcal played.”

Naylor added: “I thought he had a really good game. After the first ten or 15 minutes he played himself into the game, put a lovely ball in for the second goal, and he did his duty.”

On a solid back three

Thompson said: “I think Boly was probably my Man of the Match, the way he defended, the way he stepped into things, challenging. I always thought he was a great player, but he was struggling to get into the side with the way Saiss and Kilman had been playing. He had Covid and injuries, but there’s no doubt about it, he’s a top quality player.

“You talk about experience and playing games, you saw it, he glides through to get the ball. Defending against Coutinho, one of the trickiest players on the park, he brushed him aside. He gives you strength and stability at the back. Kilman stepping out, he did it really well and looks more comfortable on the left. We’ve seen him on the right, and he’s been hesitant on his right foot – he’s still had a great season, but it looks a bit more natural coming down the left.”

On Moutinho and Dendoncker as a pair

Naylor said: “The two midfielders need a mention. They went through the game unmentioned and they’re the ones that don’t get noticed. They put a great shift in, worked hard for the full-backs, for the central defenders blocking off the balls into Coutinho, and I thought they were outstanding.”

On Newcastle up next

Thompson said: “I fancy us against any team in this division. On our day, we can give any team in this division a game. We’re getting more members of our squad back – it’s nice to see Neto getting minutes – we’ve got a talented squad, as we proved when it could have been tricky against Villa, and we can match any team in this division with the way we play and the players we’ve got.”