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Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers Story.
Season 4, Episode 47
Despite our Champions League exit to the hands of Real Madrid, we are still very much on course for a successful season. The league title is just one win away while we have a 2nd shot at winning the FA Cup as we take on Arsenal in our very last game.
It’s been a remarkable four years with Wolves which has seen mostly highs. Our rise as a football club is unprecedented and I only have dreams of going even higher.
But first, we have the end of the season to contend with. There’s no place for complacency. A domestic double is within our grasp!
Leicester (17th) vs Wolves (1st)
3/5/2023 Premier League
For a team that boasts the likes of Mahrez, Tielemans, Zaha and Ndidi, Leicester have been extremely appalling this season. They’re 8 points safe of relegation with two games in hand over 18th West Brom so they should avoid the drop – however its indefensible the position they find themselves in.
Today is the day. Arsenal have 4 games left of the season, and we currently stand 12 points clear with 5 games left for us. Just a point here will secure us the title. The first league title since 1959, which will make it Wolves’ 4th in their history.
It’s been a remarkable journey so far and it’s taken us 4 seasons to get to where we are.
The line-ups have been chosen:
A classic 4-2-3-1 formation from Leicester. Our boys are buzzing at the moment. I don’t think a team-talk is really needed. We’ve worked so hard to get here and I expect the lads to finish the job, today.
We’ve done it! The Premier League trophy has been brought to Wolverhampton! I can’t quite believe it. In just four short years, we’ve lifted the title. An incredible achievement, and I couldn’t be prouder of the boys.
From the moment we kicked off, the win was never in doubt. Leicester are waiting for the season to end, while we looked like we were never going to let anything through. It’s slightly ironic that we’ve clinched the title against a team that last shocked the world with their title in the 2015/16 season.
With Haaland’s 2nd of the game he also secured his 100th career league goal. A sensational achievement for a lad that is just 22 years old.
The board are of course delighted with the result and this see’s us 4 years ahead of schedule.
We have four games left to spare. I cannot remember the last time a Premier League title was won so early on. We still have Liverpool, Norwich, Chelsea and Bournemouth left to play and our course Arsenal in the FA Cup final.
Wolves (1st) vs Liverpool (8th)
6/5/2023 Premier League
Just three days later have our historic win we have to host Liverpool. There isn’t much time for celebration, but there will be plenty in the summer. Even more so should we go on to win the FA Cup as well. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We must finish the season professionally.
Liverpool have chosen to take a page out of Chelsea and Manchester United’s book by hiring an ex-player as their manager. In comes Steven Gerrard. Gerrard spent three years at Watford before signing his new contract with Liverpool.
His first match, against Bournemouth, didn’t go according to plan, and they had to settle for a 94th minute equalizer from Lautaro Martinez to not leave completely red faced. They may have completely skipped the new manager bounce. For our sake, let’s hope so.
It was a nothing affair but I can’t be too hard on the boys. The energy was lacking today and while we did put in the better performance, we couldn’t grab a goal. This is the first time in 16 Premier League matches we haven’t scored.
Liverpool really needed to win as they are still chasing down a Europa League spot. No European football next season would be a disaster for them – especially since they have the likes of Joao Felix, Kai Havertz and Raphael Varane on over £230k p/w.
Norwich (9th) vs Wolves (1st)
13/5/2023 Premier League
A much needed solid weeks worth of rest as we prepare for Norwich. Injury struck us as Augustinsson turned sharply and twisted his ankle. He’s out for 3-4 weeks and may even miss the FA Cup final. A huge blow. Vinagre is just about back in training, so he will have to get up to speed quickly, otherwise it’s Jonny who will be filling in on cup final day.
Goncalves gets an opportunity to show off his talent today.
We had to rely on a penalty to get the win, but we got the win nonetheless. Norwich defended admirably, throwing themselves in front of shots at every opportunity. They needed the win to have any chance of a Europa League place, but that chance has sadly passed for them.
Wolves (1st) vs Chelsea (5th)
16/5/2023 Premier League
Another game, another team chasing down European football for next season. This time, Chelsea sit one point behind Spurs with a game in-hand over them. Two London rivals battling it out for Champions League football – but we’re not here to just give away points.
We just haven’t been ourselves since we officially lifted the league trophy. We really need to step it up as we only have one match left before the FA Cup final.
Timo Werner scored a sensational goal to give Chelsea the win, as he picked up the ball from his own box and ran the length of the pitch to slot it past Audero. It was quite reminiscent of Gareth Bale’s goal against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final in 2014.
Chelsea are now on course to secure 4th spot. Their Champions League future is in their hands.
Bournemouth (12th) vs Wolves (1st)
21/5/2023 Premier League
The final game of the league season is a bit of none-contest other than trying to find some good form going into the FA Cup final.
With Emil Audero already confirmed to win the Golden Glove with 24 cleensheets, I’ve decided to give John Ruddy (who retires at the end of this season), a last farewell. Ruddy has rarely featured under my leadership, but he’s been professional as ever and is a good role model for the squad.
Another big blow before the final as Onguene sprained his knee ligaments and will be out for 5-6 weeks. Wily Boly will step in, but it’s such a shame for Onguene to miss out.
Another lacklustre performance from us. Based on the past 4 matches, you would not have thought we have won the league. One goal in four matches is a horrible sight and it’s a shame our form is very poor in the run up to the FA Cup final, but we cannot dwell on that.
We must now fully focus on the final, and bring more glory to this wonderful club.
Shortly after the final game of the league campaign, awards started to arrive.
|Top Goalscorer||Erling Haaland (23)|
|Golden Glove||Emil Audero (24)|
|Manager of the Year||Matt Pierce|
|Players’ Player of the Year||Tanguy Ndombele (Man City)|
|Players’ Young Player of the Year||Erling Haaland|
|Footballer of the Year||Tanguy Ndombele (Man City)|
Players’ Team of the Year
In the Players’ Team of the Year, we have no less than six players. Rightly awarded in my opinion. They were outstanding. Had Vinagre kept a little more injury free, he could have squeezed his way into there.
FA Cup Final, 2023
Wolves vs Arsenal
28/5/2023 FA Cup Final
Cup final day is finally upon us. Since we confirmed our league title win, our form has not been very good. A lot of the players are tired mentally and physically. But we must put that aside and give it our all to try and lift another trophy for our fans.
A fitting end to the season as 1st place takes on 2nd place. We will be without Bruno Fernandes due to suspension, while Augustinsson and Onguene will miss out with injury.
Potential advantage to us as a few days before, Arsenal lost to Real Sociedad in the Europa League final. A thrilling final that went into extra time. Arsenal will surely be hurting from this and I hope we can capitalise on any loss of concentration.
The stage is set. The players seem focused. Let’s bring home another trophy!
A day before the final, Chelsea submitted a £110m bid for Erling Haaland which triggered his release clause. For weeks I’ve been attempting to negotiate a new contract with him, but he isn’t playing ball.
Should he end up leaving for 5th place and Europa League Chelsea having just won the league with us, my opinion of him would drastically change. He would clearly be moving just for the money. I’m in shock right now.
Do I play Haaland in the FA Cup final? I think I must. He’s by far and away been our best player this season, and I cannot leave out our 32 goal striker. Let’s hope if we win the FA Cup too, he will have a change of heart.
FA Cup Final
We’ve done it! Not the most memorable final, but both teams had chances to win it during the 90 minutes.
It’s heartbreak for Arsenal as they lose their 2nd final in a matter of days while we secure the domestic double. It’s our first FA Cup since 1960 – no doubt all Wolves fans will be partying long into the night.
The players will get a well deserved rest this summer and hopefully we’ll back back ready and firing for next season. I’d love for us to give our title defence a proper go.
Our biggest issue right now is keeping Haaland. With a £110m bid automatically accepted, there’s not much I can do right now. Haaland seems set on earning big bucks with one of the richest clubs in the world and we just cannot compete with that right now. Despite winning the league, we are still some way behind in terms of financial spending.
My summer will be very busy as I intend to try and keep our best players. You would have thought winning the league would make that easier.
As always, a season review will be up next for the series. I will take an overview of our competitions, players, financial situation and have a quick look at potential transfer targets.
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.