Adama Traore’s Importance to Wolves Once Again Made Evident in 2-0 West Ham Win

    Adama Traore was the difference | Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

    Prior to the enforced break, Wolverhampton Wanderers had played over 50 matches in all competitions in 2019/20.

    Despite Nuno Espirito Santo having a fairly small squad (compared to others), the Premier League outfit were going strong on numerous fronts. However, the three-month layoff provided Nuno and his men the chance to regroup and prepare for the season run-in.

    As has been the case with the opening games since the resumption of football in England’s top division, it has taken teams a while to find their feet and adjust.

    Wolves were the much better team on Saturday
    Wolves were the much better team on Saturday | Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

    This was the case for one team on Saturday evening, but it wasn’t Wolves. West Ham, who are fighting to avoid the drop, were expected to make a quick start and look to get at the away side, but instead it was Nuno’s men who effortlessly controlled the early tempo of the game. Fizzing the ball around with real purpose, not only did each player look prepared for playing in these unique conditions, they also looked sharp and focused.

    Despite their incisive passing, they struggled to really get in behind the Hammers backline and failed to create many clearcut goalscoring opportunities in the first half. While the likes of Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Leander Dendoncker are all very talented footballers, they do not specialise in making forward runs, dragging defenders out wide and creating space.

    As a result, West Ham were comfortable when sitting in their shape, with Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota struggling to really find any space to operate in.

    NFL Betting
    Raul Jimenez, Jarrod Bowen
    Jimenez struggled to find space in the first half | Pool/Getty Images

    Nuno needed to make a change to bring the best out of his star men.

    The key? Width.

    Jonny and Matt Doherty weren’t able to get forward and support attacks as much as Nuno would have liked and, as a result, he needed to bring on a player who could stretch the Hammers’ defence and bring the centre backs out of their fixed positions.

    With his side still struggling to break down the hosts, Nuno opted to bring on both Pedro Neto and Adama Traore.

    And these substitutions changed the direction of the game.

    Most notably, Traore immediately drifted out as far on to the touchline as possible, using the full width of the pitch. As he received the ball on 72 minutes, he used his speed to quickly shift the ball and breeze past his opponent before standing up a perfect cross. Jimenez was waiting in the middle to powerfully head the ball home and give his side the lead.

    It was another Traore-Jimenez combination that worked to perfection.

    The Spaniard was at the heart of it again for the second goal, finding space and feeding Doherty, who then whipped the ball in for Neto to sensationally volley home.

    Traore’s ability to know when to stay wide and when to come in-field to receive the ball underlines his understanding of the game, while his speed and power is like no other. His ability to shift the ball and glide past his opponent in the blink of an eye makes him simply impossible to stop in his tracks, and his decision-making once again highlights the fact that he really has taken his game to new heights.

    In a game of fine margins and few chances, it was Traore who once again showed why he is so crucial to Nuno and this Wolves team. The winger’s performances in the remaining games will be key in his side’s push for European football.

    For more from Adam Aladay, follow him on Twitter!

    Source link news

    Related articles



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Betting on Soccer

    Share article

    Latest articles

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic questions Ten Hag credentials

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has questioned whether Erik ten Hag has the credentials to succeed at Manchester United. Ten Hag has come under pressure after a difficult...

    Playing with Arsenal’s first team is a massive achievement for me – Charles Sagoe

    English-born Ghanaian forward, Charles Sagoe has indicated that debuting for Arsenal’s first team was exciting. The teenager started for Arsenal when the team beat...

    Champions League group chances – Bookies react ahead of Newcastle United v PSG at St James’ Park

    The Champions League group games are now going into the second round of matches. In total, 32 clubs in action on Tuesday...

    Kysre Gondrezick still ‘missing’ after alleged assault by boyfriend Kevin Porter Jr.

    We haven't heard much from WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick since she was taken to hospital after she was allegedly assaulted by NBA player Kevin...
    Betting on Soccer


    Subscribe to stay updated.