Missed the squad report in our first episode? Head over to Episode 1 “The Dawn of a New Story – Squad Report” to catch up
Season 1, Episode 7
We started off the month with some good news.
Shi Jeff wrote to me and announced that the board had raised our transfer budget to £36m. Perfect timing with the January transfer window looming. Ideally I will be looking for a centre back to slot straight into the first team. It’s probably our weakest area at the moment. I have a certain Norwegian on my radar, but I’ll leave that until later in the episode.
We kicked off December with an away trip to Newcastle. A winnable game on paper, but we failed to cut the mustard.
Newcastle 1 – 0 Wolves
We had the majority of the ball for the duration of the match but we barely fashioned a decent chance. Newcastle got their goal and hung on. Disappointing.
Three days later, we were hosting Sheffield United. While I didn’t rotate too much, the players were certainly feeling the affects from Newcastle. We dominated the game, firing 21 shots to their 4.
Wolves 2 – 2 Sheffield United
How they managed two goals is beyond me. Three points we definitely should be walking away with. Are our tactics against weaker teams not adventurous enough? Perhaps.
Back to winning ways against Crystal Palace. But they certainly made us work for it.
Crystal Palace 0 – 1 Wolves
We finally broke through with a Raul Jimenez penalty on the 56th minute. As you can see we hit the woodwork three times. That seems to be a common theme this year. Vicente Guaita grabbed a man of the match performance in goal for Palace. I’m just grateful we came away with three points.
Sevilla was up next. I pretty much played an all rotated side. We couldn’t finish first in the group so there was nothing to lose. The fringe players deserved a start to show me what they could do.
Considering we lost the reverse fixture in Episode 5 (even though we absolutely dominated the game), I wanted to take the game to Sevilla. A new tactic was in order.
I’d been training this tactic for a few weeks, biding my time, waiting for the right moment to utilise it. Sevilla at home was the fixture of choice. The players were already familiar with the formation set-up, but our style of attack has changed, with a more creative outlook in-mind.
Wolves 4 – 0 Sevilla
Well the boys did me proud. We romped to a 4-0 win. Young Ronan fired in from 22 yards to set us off to victory. I feared the worst when Ruben Vinagre managed to pick up 2 yellow cards within 4 minutes just before half time.
But the lads were not fazed by being a man down. Pedro Neto managed to grab his first and second goal for the club. He’s had a tough started to his Wolves career. Currently 4th choice, but he certainly showed his talent today.
Unfortunately Boly picked up a knock during the game and is now out for 4 weeks with a twisted ankle. This is not what we need in the run up to Christmas.
My PA e-mailed me over a quick summary of our youth intake for the year. Initial impressions look promising. It’s a shame no wing-backs are coming through. Perhaps one or two of them could be re-trained? We’ll wait and see when we can get a closer eye on them
Back to the Premier League. We’re outstanding one game, dismel the next. I can’t for the life of me put my finger on it.
Wolves 1 – 4 West Ham
We went 1-0 up within 4 minutes, but we seemly decided to stop playing and it was all West Ham from there. Bizarre. Apologies had to be made to the home crowd.
Europa League Draw
We drew Benfica in the next round of the Europa League. A tough task, but certainly doable. Our board’s goal for this year was to reach the first knockout round. Anything further than Benfica is going above and beyond. Let’s hope we can do it.
Due to our Club Culture of signing Portuguese players, I definitely will be keeping a close eye on some of them. However the likes of Ruben Dias may be out of our league and I’m sure a monster of a club will look to pick him up soon. He will certainly go for a pretty penny.
We were back at the races again today as we hosted Aston Villa.
Wolves 2 – 0 Aston Villa
A penalty within the first minute sent us on our way. We did have a little scare as Neves was sent off for a second bookable offence, but we managed to hold them off to grab all three points. Villa are certainly a team we must take points off at any opportunity.
Lots of rotation was needed from the Aston Villa game (having played them on the Thursday and we travelled to Norwich on the Saturday).
Nowrich 2 – 1 Wolves
Moutinho, Boly & Jonny all injured and Doherty not fit to start, we were severely weakened. On top of that, as we know, Neves was suspended for this one. Our spine of the team was ripped out and a young Jack Scott (only 17 years old) starts for us. We were in for a tough afternoon.
To be fair to Scott, he gave a good account of himself. He didn’t see phased. A bright future for him potentially if he keeps it up.
We’re on course for our season objectives laid out by the board. Overall, I’m happy, yet can’t help but think what might of been had we not dropped so many points this month to opponents who are beatable.
Only 6 points separates us from 10th to 4th, so a couple of wins could massively change the layout of the table. Liverpool are storming ahead. While they’re only 3 points ahead, they have two games inhand. Incredible.
As we found out at the start of the episode, our transfer budget significantly improved. January is just around the corner and I have a keen eye on a few centre backs to bolster our leaky defence.
Kristoffer Ajer from Celtic is an ideal candidate. Young, low value and all the attributes needed for a ball-playing centre back. The only issue however is he is wanted by a whole host of European giants, and I’m sure we would sadly be on the bottom of the pile had he the choice of any of the teams interested.
An offer is certainly planned, but I definitely don’t have my hopes up.
What’s In Store
January offers us an FA 3rd Round Cup Tie vs Brighton, along with five league games. Hopefully an addition or two to the squad can help us as we move into the winter window.
Until next time. Remember to follow me on Twitter: @ExtraTimeFM