Wandering to Titles – I Knew A Title Defence Would Be Difficult (October) Episode 52

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Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers Story.

Season 5, Episode 52

We have a chance to really kick-off our Champions League campaign this month after losing our first match to Inter Milan. Salzburg and Anderlecht both await us this month and I have a good feeling about these games. We should be winning them comfortably.

Arsenal are still unbeaten and are really setting the standard for this season. But we have to focus on ourselves as we can only influence the outcome of our matches.

Only one goal for Goncalves last month. I will be ensuring we aren’t putting too much pressure on the young lad. As long as he’s working hard and getting in the right positions, he will get goals. No doubt about it.

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Wolves (3rd) vs Red Bull Salzburg (4th)
3/10/2023 Champions League Group E

This match is a must win for us after our loss against Inter Milan. Onguene will play against his former club where he spent four years playing. Salzburg have been depleted of a lot of talent in recent years and are not what they used to be.

What a match. An absolute demolition of Red Bull Salzburg. Everybody today was incredible. We had 38 shots in total, with our wing-backs playing a big part in creating chances as they surged down the wing to deliver crosses.

Neves got us on our way early with a trademark belter from outside the box. From there on in we just carved them open like they were nothing. It’s a moment to savor for our fans. It’s not everyday you put seven past a team, especially in the Champions League.

Watford (6th) vs Wolves (3rd)
7/10/2023 Premier League

I’m predicting a tough afternoon today against Watford. Newly appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to have them well drilled and new striker, Kasper Dolberg, has started his Watford career in fine form with 6 goals in 8 matches.

But our spirits are high after slotting home seven goals, so of course I’m still confident in the boys. No changes in the side that faced Salzburg. We have an international break between Watford and Liverpool, so plenty of rest for those that don’t go on duty.

Football is a funny old game. We were as high as kite after that 7-1 demolition. But a few days later we fall to a defeat in a game we really should win. I did predict a tough afternoon, but I never thought we’d actually lose this one.

Both time they countered us as we tried to get through their low-block. A disappointing day, but hopefully one we can bounce back from.

Wolves (5th) vs Liverpool (8th)
21/10/2023 Premier League

An international break stands, again, between us and our next match. This will give us time to reflect on our defeat against Watford while preparing properly for our game against Liverpool.

New boy Pietro Pellegri won his first cap for Italy against Gibraltar. He played 29 minutes in the 8-0 thrashing. Invaluable experience and I hope he can continue to win more caps.

Six points we trail Arsenal by in this early stage. Another defeat and we are in real trouble of losing any sort of grasp on a proper title defence.

A bore draw that on reflection seemed like a fair result. We both had chances and gave as good as we got but neither of us could break the deadlock.

It’s a much needed point and we now turn our attention to the Champions League again.

Wolves (2nd) vs Anderlecht (3rd)
24/10/2023 Champions League Group E

I’m confident going into this one. Anderlecht shouldn’t pose too much threat and it will be nice to rotate the side a little. No injuries to speak of, thankfully.

Another fantastic win in Europe. A very comfortable game and I’m especially happy due to the fact I made 8 changes from our previous match and we still put in a performance like that.

The only downside to the match was Fiezzi coming off early with a broken foot. He will be out for 3 months. A huge blow for the young load and I wish him a speedy recovery.

At just 19 he has 5 caps for Argentina. A real talent – yet to see the full talent within his gameplay for us, but I’m sure it will emerge sooner rather than later.

Blackburn (20th) vs (Wolves (5th)
30/10/2023 Premier League

Blackburn are having a real tough time of it at the moment. 10 games into the campaign and they haven’t scored once. I haven’t seen anything like this before.

The morale of the team must be at an all-time low. But we’re not here to feel sorry for them – we’re here to grab all three important points.

This feels like a great chance to give Jack Scott some Premier League minutes. Perhaps all 90 minutes depending on how we get on.

In typical fashion, Blackburn scored their first goal of the season against us, but no bother as we romped home to a 4-1 win. Jack Scott played the full 90 minutes and even grabbed himself an assist. His pace was a constant threat down the right flank.

Goncalves continued his goal scoring exploits and has no registered 13 goals in 14 appearances this season.

What a star is he becoming. I’m sure an international cap for Portugal isn’t far off if he continues like this. He also picked up his second young player of the month award after averaging a rating of 7.73 in the three Premier League games in October.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

An indifferent month in the Premier League for us this month. We had the good of a 4-1 win against Blackburn, the bad with a 0-0 drawer at home against a struggling Liverpool side and the ugly which was a poor 2-1 defeat to Watford.

But we have started to put away a lot more goals (as was shown in our Champions League group). Eleven goals in two matches is fantastic, but we have to beat Inter at home to have any chance of finishing first in the group.

Arsenal continue their incredible form having only dropped two points so far in the league. They have double our goal difference already. It will be an interesting match when we take them on.

Stoke City hold the record for the fewest points in a league season with just 10 which was back in 1889/90. Could Blackburn take that record? Stoke City certainly hope so. Based on what Blackburn have done so far, it’s honestly quite possible.

Not a very busy month in November, but we have two very tough games in Chelsea and Inter Milan towards the end. It will be the first time we are reunited with Haaland after his £110m summer move to Chelsea.

No doubt the media will have a field day with this match – making it all about him.

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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