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Wolverhampton Wanderers- The Road To Glory 

The last couple of years of Wolverhampton Wanderers - from a newly promoted side to securing a place in European football.

Saikat Banerjee
Last updated: 19.09.2019
Wolves players celebrating a goal | Sports Social Blog

Before coming back to the premier league last season, Wolves played their last match in the Premier League against Wigan on 13th May 2012 which they lost by a narrow margin hence finishing bottom of the league and getting relegated to Championship. The following year was even worse for them as they finished 23rd which saw them slipping down to Football League One. 

On 31st May 2017, Espirito Nano was appointed as the new head coach of the English Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers. 



Since then Wolves never had to look back as Nano in his first season won the Championship earning Wolves an automatic promotion to the top tier football 6 years since they got relegated.



Summer 2018 was a busy time for the wolves, having promoted to the premier league after 6 long years they were desperate to hang on their place this time around by signing new players and improving infrastructure. Santo’s team invested more than 100 million euros to strengthen their squad and filled all the voids they had in their areas of the game.



Wolves totally changed the dimension of the team by signing big players like Portuguese International Goal Keeper Rui Patricio, Portugal's most relying central midfielder Joao Moutinho, Mexican Striker Raul Jimenez , the Ex-Atletico Madrid winger Diogo Jota, the strong young right-winger Adama Traore  from Middlesbrough , Willy Boly from Porto and Jonny Otto from Atletico Madrid . Even though the newly-promoted side brought in so many talented players pundits predicted them to finish below 15. Every football analytics were eagerly waiting to see how wolves will set up their tactics and game plan. On the very 3rd game week of the new season 2018-19, they faced English Champions Manchester City at home and surprisingly Nano’s tactics outclassed Peps teams as they managed to secure a draw. On game week 6, they faced the most successful team in the England Manchester United away at Old Trafford, the match went beyond everyone’s prediction as Wolves yet again managed to secure a point against another top 6 teams. Wolves performance against all the London sides were worth watching as they lost only once against Spurs at home throughout the season, apart from that they defeated Spurs away, won at home against Arsenal and drew against them away, defeated Chelsea at Home and drew at Stamford Bridge.


Nano used 3-5-2 formation in most the games with Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez partnering up front scored 22 goals and assisted 12 times jointly throughout the season, Nano put Ruben Neves and Moutinho at the heart of the midfield to keep the midfield under control and lastly synchronizing the defence by playing skipper Coady, Boly and Bennett keeping 9 clean sheets overall.


All the new players showed immense passion and energy to fight until the last whistle and they got their reward back by finishing 7th last season just below the top 6 and securing an opportunity to play in the Europa League qualification round.



In the summer transfer window, Wolves made on-form Raul Jimenez deal permanent after he won CONCACAF other than that there hasn't been any big-money moves. They overcame all the preseason huddles by maintaining a 100% win record in the Europa League qualification round against team like Torino, Pyunik and Crusaders and thus making way into the group stages of the competition. After the draw of the group stages which was held on 30th August last month, Wolves share the group with Besiktas, Slovan, and Braga. Fans expect Wolves to put on strong performance in Europa League after their disappointing start to the season. After 5 game weeks, Wolves are 19th, bagging only 3 points from 3 draws and 2 defeats and still looking forward to winning their first league match this season. They drew all their first 3 matches against Burnley, Leicester and Manchester United before losing 3-2 away at Everton and getting thrashed 5-2 against Chelsea at home last weekend after Tammy Abraham scored his first hattrick for Chelsea.

 

It will definitely be tough for the wolves to play Europa League and Premier League both at the same time as the players aren’t used to compact schedules so it will be exciting to see how Nano’s side cope up with the pressure. In order to compete with big clubs, there should be enough players in the squad so that the manager can rotate the squad which will give him alternate options to many positions and also will give players sufficient rest. With Carabao Cup starting next weekend Nano is hoping his side will get back to winning ways no sooner than later just like the last season.   

 

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