Missed the squad report in our first episode? Head over to Episode 1 “The Dawn of a New Story – Squad Report” to catch up
Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers Story.
Season 1, Episode 12
After a near pefect April, we go into the last month of the season. The grand finale. A surprising 4th place is actually possible. We wil have to rely on those above us to drop points, while also trying to beat Liverpool who have only lost once in the league all season. A tall order, but anything is possible in football.
05/05/2020 Wolves (6th) vs Liverpool (1st)
It’s such a big ask to try and take some points away from Liverpool. They could secure their first title since 1990 against us, so they will not be holding back.
Chelsea and Manchester United dropped points a day before we host Liverpool. We’re one point behind Chelsea and level on points with United. Time to step up!
It was inevitable really. The first 20 minutes, we were all over Liverpool. They started off quite nervous. But they grew into the game and after Roberston’s goal, there was just no way back. They proved why the ran away with the league this season.
Hat’s off to Liverpool. With that defeat, we drop down to 8th. Amazing how close it is for those European spots. van de Beek also picked up a red card and will not feature against Aston Villa. Not what we needed.
07/05/2020 Wolves (2) vs RB Leipzig (2)
Europa League Semi Final 2nd Leg
We knew Leipzig had to score, and although we were at home, I didn’t want to send too many men forward. We continued with our cautious apporach in an attempt to hit them on the counter.
We played a blinding game. With a score of 5-2 on aggregate, we will now faceoff against Arsenal in the final. An all English final. I would have much prefered to play Borussia Monchengladbach, as they sit 8th in the Bundesliga, but beggers can’t be choosers.
We also appeared to get under Julian Nagelsmann’s skin (RB Leipzig’s manager) a little bit.
“I wasn’t at all impress with how Matt conducted himself before the match, I wish he could just let the football do the talking instead of having to resort to mind games, the fact that we lost makes it all the harder to take.”
I feel Julian needs to grow some thicker skin. It’s a ruthless sport we take part in, and he needs to set his emotions aside.
11/05/2020 Aston Villa (16th) vs Wolves (8th)
The end of the season has seriously become squeaky-bum-time. A lot was at stake and we had a slim chance to bag a European spot.
Aston Villa had nothing to play for. They found themselves 16th in the table, but Southampton, Burnley and Crystal Palace have already been relegated.
It’s a must win game for us!
They certainly made us work for it. Aston Villa had nothing to play for, but put up a great fight. The game was end-to-end with chances for both teams. We came away with a win, giving us a small amount of hope going into the final game.
Doherty again twisted his ankle and will be out for the remainder of the games. Trippier is just about ready to play, thankfully. We’ve had serious issues at full-back this season. It’s a demanding position, where all of my players have suffered some sort of injury.
17/05/2020 Wolves (7th) vs Norwich (14th)
A nothing game for our opponants today. We have to rely on others above us to drop points in order for us to gain European Qualification. The only thing we can control is what we do on the pitch today against Norwich. A win at all cost is needed to give us the best chance.
I will be keeping a close eye on the scores as we play.
Arsenal and Spurs had a game in hand, and played on the Wednesday night before the final Premier League weekend. A nothing game for Arsenal as they will finish 3rd no matter what. But incredibly, they’ve done us a favour with a 93rd minute winner from Ceballos.
Brighton (13th) vs Chelsea (5th)
Sheffield United (12th) vs Spurs (6th)
Wolves (7th) vs Norwich (14)
We’re all playing similarly placed teams, the only difference here is that we’re at home. Hopefully this plays a part. I’m incredibly nervous going into the final match. A lot is at stake!
Rui Patricio has made an amazing 60 appearances this season. A day before our final league match he pulled his groin. Out for 5-8 days. A huge blow for him and us. I hope he’s back and ready for the Europa League Final.
We’ve done it! I can’t quite believe it. I’m in shock. Both Spurs and Chelsea lost, while Cutrone managed to score his first and second league goals for us after coming off the bench. Incredible scenes as our fans rush onto the pitch at the final whistle.
Final League Table
We even nearly managed to sneak into 4th, but were denied by our goal difference. What a season it’s been. Both Chelsea and Spurs finish outside the top 6. No doubt Frank Lampard’s job will be on the line while Mauircio Pochettino has already been sacked just hours after the Sheffield United defeat.
7 wins from our last 8 saw us surge up the table. Late in March it seemed destined that we would finish mid-table. I don’t think anyone could forsee the winning run we went on.
A special mention to Bournmouth who also snuck into a European spot. What an amazing season they’ve had also.
27/05/2020 Wolves vs Arsenal
EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL
As a club, we’ve never won a European Trophy in our entire 142 year history. A proud moment for all our fans – not something anyone anticipated at the start of the season, but here we are.
We travel to Poland to the Stadion Energa Gdańsk. Currently home to Lechia Gdańsk in the top flight Polish league and has a capacity of 41,620.
Doherty is the only casulty for the game, as Arsenal have a complete squad to choose from. Patricio has recovered from his pulled groin and will play his part.
Arsenal have less time to prepare for the final as they face Southampton in the FA Cup Final. They win comfortably 4-1 and will be a joyous mood going into the match.
They day is upon us. We kick off…
Against all odds, we’ve done it. Ther perfect end to a fantastic season. I’m over the moon. We were far and away the better side on the day.
Trippier of all people managed to get us the lead. A sight all Arsenal fans would rather forget. Not a moment later, Jimenez scored which gave us some breathing room.
Late on, young Saka scored, as we tried to hold on. The game was suddenly on a knife’s edge as Arsenal tried desparately to grab an equalizer.
But it was not enough as the final whistle went and I crumbled to my knees in utter joy and euphoria.
End of Season Review Up Next
The boys, I and the fans will be partying into the night as we try and come to terms with what just happened.
An unexpected league finished, capped off by a European Trophy that sends us into the biggest competition in club football.
I’ll certainly be expecting a card in the post from Frank Lampard as his team now qualify for the Europa League due to our win.
The board have already set in motion our next transfer budget, which amounts to £77.36m. A hefty sum of money, which will definitely be needed as we take on the best of the best in world football next season.
Next episode will be a season review. A look at our players, results, competitions and how I would like to strengthen going forward.
We have a very busy summer ahead of us. But in the meantime, my players have earned a rest with their friends and family.
Thanks for reading, and until next time, remember to follow me on Twitter: @ExtraTimeFM