The odds on Huddersfield Town claiming a victory at Molineux on Sunday were incredibly high considering the Terriers recent record there. In the view of the bookmakers and most pundits it was a foregone conclusion that Wolves would stroll to victory, fortunately that was not the case as a brace from Aaron Mooy sealed the points for Town.
It felt even sweeter when you take into account the pre-match confidence from Wolves’ fans that bordered on arrogance. But what did we learn from the game? Was this Town’s best performance of the season? Read on to find out the answers to those questions and much more.
Billing’s coming of age
The game at Molineux was won in midfield, and whilst Jonathan Hogg and Aaron Mooy were imperious, it was the performance of Phil Billing that stood out for us. We all know how reliable Hogg and Mooy can be so their excellent showings were no surprise.
Billing however has been subject to criticism in the past for his propensity to float in and out of games, but on Sunday he was excellent. His physical presence and pressing in midfield was key to nullifying Wolves’ creative threat.
On the ball he was fabulous - as we have come to expect – spreading the play well and keeping things ticking over for Town as he provided the critical link between the defence and attack.
The most striking thing about Billing’s afternoon was the sheer length of his legs, demonstrated beautifully with his goal saving clearance in the second-half. Whenever a Wolves’ midfielder looked to have broken free from his shackles, Billing would extend a telescopic leg and retrieve the ball.
Hopefully this game marks the beginning of a new stage in his development, one where he moves on to combine his elegant passing with a rugged doggedness in defensive areas.
Mounie’s all round game
Our big Beninese striker etched closer to Ade Akinbiyi’s unwanted Premier League record of 1,500 minutes without a goal at the weekend, but he still has every right to be pleased with his performance.
Despite squandering a couple of decent chances to score, Mounie was formidable throughout the game. His presence certainly unsettled Boly and Coady in the Wolves’ defence, and the way he held the ball up for Town was impressive.
He was full of running throughout the game and never gave the Wolves backline a moment’s peace. When a striker isn’t scoring, the least you can ask of them is to put in a shift and Mounie certainly did that.
His snatched effort towards the end of the game that ended up high in the stands was indicative of his confidence in front of goal at the moment. However if he keeps on performing as he did at Molineux, the goals will come and with that hopefully a new level of confidence in scoring areas.
Wolves too big for their boots?
The Premier League has offered a welcome retreat from the posturing of insecure fans clamouring to tell everyone about how big of a club they are. We thought we had waved goodbye to that sort of thing when we left Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United in the Championship.
Fans of Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton, Arsenal, Spurs and even West Ham don’t insist on telling you how they’re a big club. They don’t need to, we already know and so does the rest of the footballing world.
Wolves’ fans were insistent on bragging about the size of their club whilst belittling little old Huddersfield. That made the victory even sweeter and it was refreshing to see the return of this picture on social media.
Can we push on?
You would certainly hope so as we have a home fixture against Brighton this coming weekend. The Seagulls have not been at their best on their travels so far this term and a second successive victory should be the target for David Wagner’s men.
Of course it will be a tough fixture as Brighton have shown themselves to be a very capable Premier League side in the last year or so. Town will have to match the levels of performance shown at Wolverhampton to grab that all important win.
Last season Steve Mounie was the difference in a 2-0 victory at the John Smith’s, let’s hope he can be this time as well.