I’d like to start this week’s column by expressing my support for Mike Bailey and his family following his diagnosis with dementia.
Mike was a tremendous player for Wolves and to hear he is suffering with such a terrible illness is very sad.
Unfortunately, he is not the only former player from that era to be in this position. I definitely think the Professional Footballers’ Association and the game’s governing bodies need to be doing more, both to support the families of these players and in terms of further researching the worrying links between football and dementia.
I was at Molineux on Monday night for the 1-1 draw against Southampton. It was a decent game in my view and a result I would probably have taken before kick-off.
Southampton are completely transformed from the team which lost 9-0 to Leicester a year ago and they and Wolves are well matched.
I thought there were certainly signs of encouragement in the way Nuno’s men finished the game.
Of course, it was strange seeing them play four at the back and even stranger not hearing Conor Coady’s voice throughout the 90 minutes but I thought Wolves adapted well.
Pedro Neto’s contribution was excellent. No doubt he will have been disappointed at being left on the bench but his reaction was exactly what his manager would have wanted.
He could have scored immediately after coming on but it still took him less than five minutes and by the end of the match he might have had a hat-trick.
For me he has been a real positive this season and it is even more exciting when you consider he has only just turned 20. There is plenty more to come.
Neto will be hoping his cameo has done enough to get him back in the starting line-up at Arsenal tomorrow.
Just like Wolves, their season has been a bit of a mixed bag so far. I’m expecting another close game.