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Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers Story.
Season 5, Episode 51
With one trophy already in the bag and Goncalves on fire at the moment, I have a good feeling about my squad. Not too many additions were made, just ones that are here to replace those that have left (discounting Gnonto’s transfer. He was too good to miss at just £6m). This has helped keep our squad cohesion going into this campaign.
We face-off in three competitions this month, and I am very eager to start tackling the Champions League once again. A tough trip to the San Siro in on offer this month. I couldn’t think of a more hostile crowd right now.
Everton (7th) vs Wolves (6th)
2/9/2023 Premier League
I’m eager to get back to winning ways and to do that we must beat Everton away from home. Vinagre is back in the side after missing last game. I’ll be keeping a close eye on him and Lima today – they cannot keep making mistakes like they have done in the first few games.
A tough match once again but we came out victors after going 1-0 down to an early Redmond headed goal. Lima and Vinagre were a lot better today as they made very little mistakes. Vinagre even capped off the match with a winning goal. A top performance from our attacking wing-back.
Everton came at us strong in the last 20 minutes and we had to hang on. But this game showed great character from our players and I’m pleased with how we responded.
The commercial income Manchester United generates is ludicrous. They generate almost double what Manchester City do, and they’re just one place behind them.
We have a long way to go commercially, but I can only manage what happens out on the pitch.
Wolves (5th) vs Brentford (11th)
16/9/2023 Premier League
An international break stands between us and our Brentford match. New boy Pietro Pellegri has been told ahead of time that he will start against Brentford. A home tie against a newly promoted side is just the right match for him to grab his first start.
Vinagre’s injury problems continue as he pulled his thigh and will be out for 12 days. Having a rating of 11 natural fitness may be playing a part in these injuries of his.
Tuanzebe always makes his first start.
A brace of assists for Lima and a brace of goals for Pellegri. A perfect display for Pellegri, I couldn’t be happier for him. Tuanzebe also gave a good account of himself as he subdued pace merchant Liam Millar’s attacks quite effortlessly.
This match also marked 200 league appearances for club captain, Ruben Neves. We couldn’t be luckier to have him to be frank.
Inter Milan vs Wolves
20/9/2023 Champions League Group E
An away tie in the Champions League at the San Siro is as tough as it gets. The crowd will be relentless. But this is a good benchmark to assess where we are as a club.
Prior to the match, Jose Lima signed on the dotted line for a new contract that takes his wage to £100k p/w. It was almost robbery that he still sat on a contract only worth £27k p/w considering how important he is to the squad.
We gave as good as we got but it wasn’t meant to be. Both Inter’s goals came from set pieces. On another day we could have won this match but that’s how football turns out sometimes.
No doubt we will have to beat them in our backyard if we have any hope of topping the group.
Wolves (5th) vs Brighton (13th)
23/9/2023 Premier League
Not long after, we host Brighton at home. Another good chance for some of the squad players to get a run out. Four changes to the side. I’d like to see more of Mason Mount today.
We were out of sorts today, despite grabbing the win. Mason Mount is not pulling his weight, and we need our attacking midfielders to do so as they are a strong source of creativity for our forwards.
Goncalves got his first goal in going 4 matches without one. At such a young age, inconsistency will always be there, but he’s getting in the right areas, so I’m happy with this work. He’s going to only get stronger.
Spurs vs Wolves
27/9/2023 League Cup 3rd Round
An indifferent start to the campaign for Spurs and we’ve already beaten them once this season. But the league cup isn’t on my list of priorities right now, so I heavily rotated side will be used.
Away from home is always tricky, especially with a lot of changes made. It will be interesting what kind of side Spurs put out.
Very very poor today. It’s the worst I’ve seen us play in a long time. Spurs also put out a heavily rotated side so there’s no excuse there. We were flying into challenges without any care due attention.
I know the League Cup isn’t a priority, but I still expect some level of performance.
Time to bounce back with a win and get this team going again.
Wolves (4th) vs Bournemouth (15th)
30/9/2023 Premier League
I expect much better today. We’ve played a lot of football this month but they should be used the schedule. Bournemouth shouldn’t cause us too much of a threat, especially while we’re at home, and I would like an onslaught of attack today.
A better performance today, despite just the one goal. I’m glad we got the early goal as it allowed us to settle down and concentrate on just playing football and not worrying about gaining the lead.
We had chances and in the coming matches I’d like to see us finish more of them off.
Young Player Watch
I’d like to bring your attention to young Jack Scott. You may not have seen him since our first season where we had an injury crisis and had to rely on an incredibly inexperienced 17 year old to play in our first team.
He’s come on leaps and bounds from then and is considered a Premier League talent by my scouts.
He’s a lot more defensive than I’d hope for due to his poor dribbling and crossing, but he has incredible pace that could cause real problems for some defences. Does he have what it takes to make it here at Wolves? Jose Lima and Mbabu are ahead of him in regards to making the first team so his chances of playing are limited.
But he’s had three loan spells (two in the Championship with Blackburn and one in Ligue 1 with Angers SCO) and has amassed a fair amount of playing experience.
I will continue to try and play him as much as I can without it being a detriment to the team.
A couple of wobbles this month as we tasted our 2nd and 3rd defeat of the season. I do not bemoan the players for how they played in the Inter Milan match. The San Siro is an extremely tough stadium to go to and there wasn’t too much that we could have done about both goals.
The Spurs match however, we were just not good enough that day. We played very poorly. While the selection may have been an issue (too many changes), we also have to remember Spurs made a lot of changes too, even playing some youth in the side.
Nonetheless, the League Cup was never a priority, and we now have fewer fixtures to contend with.
Right now, Arsenal are flying. They may only be three points ahead of us, but they have a huge 17 goal difference. In four of their seven league fixtures, they have scored 3 or more goals – the highest was knocking six past a poor Newcastle side.
With a 2nd place finish last season, Unai Emery has built a very strong squad. Consistency within management is key (I would say that wouldn’t I?). But I do strongly believe that it takes much more than a season or two for a manager to make his stamp on a club. It takes time to build a squad. I’ve been lucky enough that the board, here at Wolves, have been patient and are now reaping the rewards.
Liverpool’s start to the campaign is unusual. Already eleven points off the pace after 7 games, they are seriously struggling. Steven Gerrard has a lot to do in order to keep his reputation in tact with the Liverpool faithful.
If you glance to the bottom of the table, you will see Blackburn. Seven games without a win is bad, but what’s worst is not scoring in each of those seven matches, creating a new record in doing so.
They even played Championship side Huddersfield in the League Cup and failed to score there also. A disaster start for the Blue and Whites.
A must win game against Salzburg in the Champions League awaits us next. Our loss to Inter Milan puts them in the driving seat, and we cannot slip up again if we are aiming for 1st place in this group.
If there is anything within the save you would like to see, drop a comment below and I will add it in the next episode.
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