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Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers Story.
Season 3, Episode 34
After a month where we dropped points in the league, we find ourselves 4 points adrift of 4th, with 10 games to go. We’re in a situation where we really can’t afford to drop any more.
Manchester United, Spurs and Liverpool are still to come in those 10 matches, so if we’re to get wins out of them, something special with have to happen.
March also see’s us return to the Europa League. Since we bypassed the 1st knockout round due to finishing 1st in the group, we return to the competition for the first time since December.
Reading vs Wolves
1/3/2022 FA Cup 5th Round
We start the month we three away ties. The perfect time to try to test out new formation tweaks and make away defeats a thing of the past.
A struggling Reading side were up first. A usual for the domestic cups, slight rotation will be made. Sean Longstaff makes a rare start for me.
This is my formation change. A slightly more defensive unit at the back while using pressing forwards to harass the opposition back line into making mistakes.
The Regista is key to this formation and I will utilise Tonali and Neves in this role.
The Regista is a more aggressive version of the deep-lying playmaker. Suitable for possession-oriented systems that press high up the pitch. Given complete freedom to dictate play from deep positions, the Regista offers a dynamic and unpredictable creative outlet behind the attack who seeks to maintain intense pressure by constantly looking for new chances as his more advanced teammates get into goalscoring positions.Regista Description
We kicked off the month with an away win, but it should have been a lot more routine than it really was.
We gifted Reading two goals with mistakes from Vinagre and Audero. But we kept to the plan and pushed forward. Longstaff found the back of the net with his first goal for us while transfer-listed Maffeo came off the bench to score the winner.
With Mbabu and Augustinsson injured and Jonny suspended, Maffeo had to come back into the fray – he didn’t disappoint to my surprise though.
To our luck, we continue drawing Championship sides, late into the competition. Hull City are another struggling side. We cannot say the draw hasn’t been kind to us this year.
Aston Villa (13th) vs Wolves (5th)
7/3/2022 Premier League
The away formation experiment continues. I hope Neves can learn to thrive in this Regista role.
A solid win today. We didn’t offer Aston Villa many chances, and we took enough of ours to win the match. Jose Lima got us off to a great start and his performance over the 90 minutes earned him his first Man of the Match.
Sevilla vs Wolves
10/3/2022 Europa League 2nd Knockout Round First Leg
We travel to sunny Spain today to take on Sevilla. A side having a fairly good season, and we must be wary of their key player Rony Lopes.
The inside forward is having a storming season, with 11 goals in 33 starts with an average rating of 7.52 across all competitions.
A good result all things considered. We managed to get an away goal which could prove vital in the 2nd leg.
I’m confident going into the 2nd leg. I think we can prove we are the better team. The Quarter final has already been drawn and we will face (if we get through) either Hoffenheim or Bayer Leverkusen. Both sit mid table in the Bundesliga so I don’t have a preference who we face.
Wolves (5th) vs Manchester United (3rd)
13/3/2022 Premier League
A game that feels like a must win if we are to catch Chelsea who are in 4th. We cannot drop points.
Man Utd have just come off the back of a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League. Hopefully we can take advantage of this.
United are free scoring at the moment, with 77 goals already scored in the league, compared to our 54.
What a great result. It was an end-to-end game, and we had to weather the storm for the last 15 minutes as United tried to get back into the match.
This puts us 5 points behind Chelsea with 8 matches to go. A tough ask but do-able.
Wolves (1) vs Sevilla (1)
17/3/2022 Europa League 2nd Knockout Round Second Leg
The morale is high in camp. We must utilise this to help us reach the Quarter Final of the Europa League.
The squad is in good shape – no new injuries to address. We head into the Sevilla match with an unchanged line-up.
Emphatic might honestly be an understatement. We were nothing sort of sensational. Our best performance under my management. Every attack in the first half felt like there was a goal at the end of it.
Haaland handed in a world-class performance which saw his goal tally rise to 23 for the season.
The squad’s morale is at an all-time high and it doesn’t look like dropping off any time soon.
Bayer Leverkusen await us in the Quarter Final!
Wolves vs Hull City
20/3/2022 FA Cup 6th Round
A slight change of pace for us as we cap off the month. We host a struggling Hull City side where we can throw in a few fringe players to build up minutes and let them try to impress.
Another incredibly clinical performance from us again today. We were just too much for Hull City in the first half, and we were able to relax and close out the game easily in the second.
That’s thirteen goals in 2 matches. This has by far been the most clinical we’ve ever been in front of goal.
The hattrick’s are piling up this season, and it’s great to see all 4 of our strikers contributing well this season.
With Hull City comfortably dispatched, we head into the semi-finals of the FA Cup – we face Chelsea while Manchester United and Everton battle it out in the other semi-final.
The board considers our season objective “challenge for silverware” completed but of course we want to lift the cup.
Another year, another disappointing youth intake. This is my 3rd youth intake I’ve overseen at this club and none of them have garnered up anybody remotely interesting.
Youth facilities are currently under works and should be completed in October while I’ve requested a trial day as a shot in the dark just in case we can uncover some hidden gem. I’m not holding out for much though.
With a great deal of interest from Spurs, and 2 years left on his deal, I decided to renew Mepham’s contract.
He’s gone from strength to strength since signing for us in the 2020 winter transfer window. I’m happy to see him commit another 4 years year – I hope I can find him a solid partner in the summer as central defence is the area we most need to strengthen I feel.
We’ve had a much improved month, finishing off the set of fixtures with 13 goals in 2 matches – incredible.
I hope our free-scoring antics continue into April since as of right now we have a ridiculous 9 matches scheduled in the calendar.
This is how the table looks at the end of March. Five points adrift of Chelsea.
The Europa League gives us another way into the Champions League next year, however, I would like to take the 4th route. That’s not to say I won’t be taking the Europa League seriously. All games are there to be won, and while we’re still in the competition, I want to win it.
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