Thu. Sep 23rd, 2021

Molineux misfortune stems from flaws in shift to a back four plus Raúl Jiménez’s injury and Adama Traoré’s loss of form

The clear streets glitter in the quiet day. A cold wind haunts the silent underpass. Between Asda and the Mary Seacole Building, crows pick unmolested at drifting litter. People came here once, in the ancient times, the memory of their thronging presence echoing through the concourses and the aisles of a deserted Molineux.

The betting booths have not been touched since the crisis broke. On the Coral whiteboard, ghostly traces linger of a bygone civilisation. “First goalscorer v Brighton, 7 March,” one reads, “JIMENEZ 5/2, JOTA 4/1, NETO 6/1, DOHERTY 8/1, NEVES 11/1.” Expert opinion is divided on what these enigmatic markings could signify. A price-list of some kind? An incantation, perhaps, to the gods of commerce this lost people seem to have worshipped? Others see in that inscription a prophecy of doom.

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