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Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers Story.
Season 3, Episode 27
Our first set of fixtures is very favourable. We entertain two of the three promoted sides while also coming up against an improved Leicester side and mid-table predicted Norwich.
On the injury front, we’re in good shape. Only Fernandes and Longstaff are out, so Horta will have the chance to prove himself in the upcoming games.
Conor Coady, our club captain, continues to be our 4th choice centre back in the 3 man defence. I’ve opted to switch the arm band to someone else.
Ruben Neves, now 24 and in his 5th season with us, has all the attributes to lead this team. I’m expecting big things from him this season.
Before we get into the matches, let me run you through our formation and tactic.
Not much has changed, but I thought I would go through it nonetheless (as a refresher). The 5-2-1-2 is still in play. This can change depending on the opponent and the players available at the time.
Generally, a centre-forward will be dropped down to an AMC to give us more bodies in midfield if we’re struggling to get on the ball.
Alternatively, we will change to a cautious style and drop a centre-forward position to a DM role. This suits the likes of Jota alone up top to run onto balls while Neves will dictate play from a DM role.
Leicester vs Wolves
6/8/2021 Premier League
Fernandes and Longstaff sit out due to pre-season injuries while Mababu makes his debut. Big signing Haaland starts on the bench as he lacks a little fitness.
Calvert-Lewin starts for Leicester, their new £7.25m summer signing.
A fantastic start to the season. Everyone played their part and we dispatched Leicester with ease. Mbabu was brilliant today and was a constant threat down the down wing. He capped his performance off with an assist.
Mepham’s goal was his first in the league for us. Robert Skov tried to get Leicester back in the game with an absolutely worldy of a strike – but it was no more than a consolation.
Wolves (2nd) vs Norwich (15th)
14/8/2021 Premier League
Just prior to the match, I was notified of a goalkeeper on my shortlist who had handed in a transfer request.
The asking price of £10.75m is just took good to dismiss. A bid has been made. I wonder if we can land him.
But first, we take on Norwich in the league. They had recently spent £121m in the summer. Incredibly, half of that was on David Brooks. Insanity in my eyes. Haaland makes his full debut.
Norwich gave us more of a game than Leicester did, but we came away with a comfortable win in the end.
Augustinsson has started the season on fire. His 2nd player of the match award in as many games.
Jota scored after 16 hours of football without a goal. I’m so pleased for the lad.
To give context about my opinion of David Brooks, here are his attributes. While he’s a good player, he isn’t £62m good. He only played 14 times in the league last season and scored 1 goal – I’m not sure what he did that warranted such a high fee. Norwich got fleeced.
BOUGHT: Emil Audero (GK) £10.75m – Sampdoria
Well we got our man. Welcome Emil Audero. A fantastic looking goalkeeper who is just only 24 years old.
He will join us in January, and we will give him the 2nd half of the season to get acquainted with the squad and the Premier League.
Amazingly he accepted a £28k p/w contract. A huge difference to current goalkeeper Patricio’s current £100k p/w contract.
Wolves (2nd) vs Southampton (17th)
20/8/2021 Premier League
Nothing of note heading into this one. I hope we can continue our great start to the season.
Another comfortable win. We’re on fire right now. Townsend scored just before half time against the run of play, but we came out after the 45 determined to win.
Haaland opened his account for the club. One of many many to come I’m sure.
The only downside was that in-form left wing-back Augustinsson sprained his knee ligaments and is out for 4-6 weeks. He was on a run of scoring 3 games in a row – such a shame. I hope his confidence isn’t knocked.
Huddersfield (9th) vs Wolves (1st)
28/8/2021 Premier League
We sit 1st in the Premier League for the first time in my career. We’ve had an incredible start to the season.
Jimenez I’m sure will start against us for the first time. I hope he doesn’t enjoy the game too much. I’m sure the media will be talking a lot about Haaland vs Jimenez.
We have to be wary of newly promoted Huddersfield. They’ve already shown their capabilities so far this season by beating Liverpool in the first game week.
This game felt eerily similar to how we’ve been playing the past two seasons. Plenty of shots, but we just couldn’t convert our chances.
Thankfully Haaland did get us a first half goal. He was fouled in the box and was awarded a penalty. The young 20-year old took the ball with confidence to dispatch the penalty. Phillips heroically saved it by tipping it round the post. I thought Haaland’s confidence could be in tatters after that. But he showed us his character by dispatching the resulting corner with a bullet header. Fantastic!
New club captain Neves provided the assist (yet again) and has notched up a total of 5 in 4 games. That’s the same amount in the league as the last 2 seasons combined. He’s in fine form!
The Thursday before our Saturday match, the League Cup third round was drawn. We will host Watford.
The Europa League was also drawn this month. The competition was won in our first season.
I would say we received the toughest draw in the competition (Jose Mourinho’s Napoli), but we faced tougher tests in the Champions League last season, and we topped the group without dropping any points.
A perfect start for us in our third season. Captain Neves is hopefully laying down a marker for things to come, while Augustinsson, our Swede left back, is currently our top goalscorer. Such a shame he got injured.
Tougher tests certainly await in September – especially with the home tie against Liverpool. I’m sure the players are eager to make amends after they knocked us out of the Champions League last year.
We don’t end the month on top the table, with Manchester United also going unbeaten as well. They pipped us to 1st place by smashing Spurs 6-0 in their last game.
As always, thank you for reading. Please share with your friends, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for the latest updates; @ExtraTimeFM. Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.