This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more… 

Wolves pulled off one of the shocks of last weekend by defeating Manchester City to nil at the Etihad Stadium, leaving Pep Guardiola’s side some eight points of league leaders Liverpool at this early stage of the season.

Adama Traore netted a brace in the final ten minutes to stun the reigning champions, meaning the west Midlands club have now won three on the bounce in all competitions.

The injury to Diogo Jota has presented itself with opportunities for some of the fringe players amongst Nuno Santo’s squad, last week saw Pedro Neto take his chance, but the winger was surprisingly not named in the 18 that travelled.

That meant the Portuguese boss handed a rare start to Patrick Cutrone.

On the Chalkboard

However, the £16m summer arrival failed to take that opportunity with both hands as he put in an underwhelming showing despite Wolves snatching all three points.

Even though Cutrone was coming up against City, they had the rather calamitous Nicolas Otamendi partnering midfielder Fernandinho in defence, so there was a perfect opportunity to showcase his goalscoring exploits.

In his 68 minutes, the Italian failed to record a shot on target, lost possession nine times, won less than 50% of his duels, and conceded two fouls, per SofaScore.

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One issue was how close the 21-year-old was playing to his strike partner Raul Jimenez, who by contrast had a superb game, which included assisting both Traore goals.

WhoScored’s player position map shows something incredibly alarming.

The pair were almost on each other’s toes, which isn’t going to reap many rewards when trying to counter-attack, especially with the size of the gap between midfield and the front two.

His heat map, per SofaScore, shows another problem as Cutrone very rarely managed to get inside the box, and his presence defensively can’t have helped his cause too much, whether he was instructed to do that or not against a Guardiola team remains to be seen.

He needs to do much, much better if he is to cement his place alongside the Mexican in Jota’s absence, at this rate, the 22-year-old is going to walk straight back into the starting XI.

Did Wolves make a mistake letting Cav & Costa go?





Lewis Blain