Wandering to Titles – A Downturn In Form (February) Episode 56

If you’ve missed an episode, why not take a look at my Episode Guide. Here you will find all the episodes of this story all in one place.

Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers Story.

Season 5, Episode 56

We’ve had a busy January month of fixtures and transfers, and we came out the end of it in good shape. It was sad to see Bruno Fernandes leave, but his performances of late were dwindling, and he was coming to the end of his contract. How can I draft up a new contract for a soon-to-be 30 year old that isn’t pulling his weight?

Young Phil Foden has come in to replace him for less money than we received for Bruno and he has all the attributes to fill the void.

Foden will play against his former team in a few days as we face Manchester City on the 6th of February. I have faith he is mature enough to not let the occasion affect him.

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Wolves (2nd) vs Tottenham (12th)
3/2/2024 Premier League

Tottenham are having a disaster of a season so far under Fatih Terim. But this is no time to get complacent. They still have quality within the squad and we need to be ready for anything they throw at us.

A case of the flu has spread through the squad a little prior to this match. Neves, van de Beek and Fiezzi all have it and are resting at home.

As suspected, Spurs gave us a real game today and we just didn’t turn up. We really missed Neves in the middle of the park. Our ability to create chances was not with us today. It’s a poor day for everyone really. Once we got a goal back we still didn’t push forward enough and Spurs saw the game our quite easily.

Onto the next one.

Wolves (3rd) vs Manchester City (5th)
6/2/2024 Premier League

Just three days later we host Man City. We got demolished by them last month and it’s time we got our revenge. Lots of incentive here to get a win and I fully expect we do – the lads know this.

Goalkeeper Emil Audero pens a new deal with us taking his wages from £28k p/w to a whopping £140k p/w. The fact he was on just £28k p/w prior was a little mad and he now earns what his talent shows.

Neves and van de Beek are still our with the flu. A huge loss but hopefully Mason Mount can step up!

We’re back with a bang and this time we demolished Manchester City. Where was this performance against Spurs? Cutrone and Goncalves were sensational today as the pair linked up wonderfully all match.

Jeronimo Fiezzi made his first appearance back from a lengthy injury. It’s good to see the boy back playing football. This win leaves us three points behind league leaders, Chelsea.

West Ham (7th) vs Wolves (2nd)
10/2/2024 Premier League

West Ham are having a surprisingly good season so far but a big piece of news just hit my desk. Manager Pellegrini has taken the available job at Liverpool, leaving West Ham currently without one.

Perhaps this is good news for us as their squad may be a bit disheartened by their manager leaving mid-season.

Despite good performances from Mbabu and Mount last time out, Neves and Lima finally return.

In the space of three matches, we’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly of this team. Another performance that was not up to scratch. West Ham sat deep all game and offered us no room to play football. However, that shouldn’t be an excuse not to win this game. Where was the level of performance that we saw against Manchester City? Our consistency is hurting our chances of retaining our title.

Wolves (2nd) vs Watford (12th)
17/2/2024 Premier League

Watford started the campaign off strongly, hovering around 6th until gameweek 14 where they have started a sudden trend of falling down the table. New signing Kasper Dolberg still sits in 3rd in the goalscoring charts for the league so we will have to be careful of him.

We lost early on in the season to Watford, so we need to get our own back today.

Another lacklustre performance from us today. I’m not sure what’s got into us. Has the busy schedule taken its toll? It’s been a rough month, but that can also be said for league leaders Chelsea, as they haven’t won in any of their three league matches this month, thankfully.

Wolves (3rd) vs Newcastle (19th)
24/2/2024 Premier League

If there’s a team we need to play against to get us back on track, Newcastle right now would be one of them. But we cannot take their league position for granted. We must forget about the previous two matches and put in a performance we know we’re capable of.

No excuses!

Back with a bang today and Ruben Vinagre was a man on a mission to lead this team to victory today. Everything we did went through him, down the left side.

This was just the kind of performance we needed just before our Champions League match against Schalke.

Furious At Fiezzi

Early Sunday morning I was greeted with an email letting me know that Fiezzi had missed training today and it was reported that he had been seen at a nightclub the night before.

I’m hugely disappointed in him. After three months out with a broken foot, I put faith in him to take part in recent matches and this is how he treats me and the club?

I’m not sure where to go with this just yet, but it could be the end of the line for Fiezzi. We have plenty of central midfielders vying for a spot, and to be honest, Fiezzi shows promise but he’s never really delivered much on the pitch since he arrived here. He may have just engineered his own transfer.

Wolves vs Schalke 04
28/2/2024 Champions League First Knockout Round 1st Leg

We’re finally back with our Champions League campaign today as we face German side Schalke. I feared the worst when we finished 2nd in the group, but we got a favourable draw against Schalke.

Tonali will sit this one out as he is suspended after receiving three yellow cards in the group stage.

A top of the line performance today. Everything went right for us and Vinagre has been nothing short of sensational of late. He’s having his best season with me so far, contributing 6 goals and 10 assists so far in the campaign. Phil Foden finally delivered an assist and I hope he continues as he did from this game onwards.

The two goals in the final 5 minutes of the match really killed of Schalke’s hopes of getting through this round. It would take something truly special in the next game.

Ruben Neves will miss the 2nd leg after he reached the three yellow card limit. A good job we did so well today.

Looking Ahead

It’s been one of our poorest months in a long time. Matches we should have done better in, but didn’t. Players not pulling their weight or even turning up to training. But we came out of February in good spirits as we are back on track with wins against Newcastle and Schalke.

The Tottenham result I am particularly disappointed by. At home against a struggling team, we really should have done better. No one turned up and it was just a day to forget.

Despite our form in the league, we still only sit 2 points behind league leaders, Chelsea. They to have been poor this month, picking up just one win in four league matches – ideal for us.

There’s a sizeable gap between us and Manchester City/Arsenal now. It looks like a three horse race for the title.

A mixture of tough and easier games await us in March. League One Blackpool have done especially well to get this far in the FA Cup. That match will be a good one to see the likes of Cristian, Jota, Phillips and Dudley strut their stuff.

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.

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.

3 thoughts on “Wandering to Titles – A Downturn In Form (February) Episode 56

  1. Love this blog. Have just started managing Wolves in 19/20 and Vinagre is already developing nicely. I see MGW as a long term replacement to Moutinho in the middle, but l have a feeling he is better in the update than your save.

    Keep up the great managing and writing!

    • Thanks, Alex!

      Vinagre is sensational. His assist and goal output is 2nd to none.

      I really wanted MGW to succeed at Wolves but I found it hard to develop him. He wasn’t good enough at the time to play week-in-week-out and by the time he was ready to play more football, other great youngsters had joined the team. Hopefully he does well at Southampton.

  2. Just a quick one – if you are worrying if Aarons can make the step up…dont be.

    Had him in my game, bought for £30m and now worth £74m and an “elite fullback” and one of my most consistent performers, brilliant right wing back never averaged less than 7.2/7.3 for the season for me.

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