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S5 EP2 - Wycombe Wanderers - Mission Impossible Starts Now

In our last episode we covered all the behind the scenes changes that had occurred at the club since our promotion.


As we go through the first few games of the season the transfer window is open so I will keep you updated on any ins and outs as and when they occur.


So without further adieu lets get stuck into the hardest (and probably longest) season this Wycombe Wanderers side will face.


August 2024


The fixtures have been kind to us for the first month of the season as we face Brighton, Bournemouth and Southampton in the league, with a second game against Southampton in the League Cup.


Match 1 - Brighton (A) 0-0


We started the season with a host of new faces and a new system in place. I was delighted to see that the new recruits had bedded in so well during pre season. The training had prepared the lads perfectly for the new system and it clearly showed as we matched our experienced premier league opponents.


In fact we shaded the first half with a couple of very good chances to take the lead. Tiredness showed in the second half as we had less and less of the ball and by the full time whistle we were glad to have held on.


A clean sheet and our first point on the board at the first time of asking. An ideal start.


Match 2 - Bournemouth (H) 2-0


For the first time ever Adams Park was hosting a Premier League game of football.


Sadly for some of our fans this caused a capacity issue as the ground which is more accustomed to lower league football still has a terrace, which is against the premier leagues rules. This reduced our capacity by 2000, from 12800 to 10800, the smallest ground in the league by 8000.

Ironically the second smallest stadium is Bournemouth's who ere our guests for the afternoon.


The game got off to a flyer. After just 8 minutes a lofted ball over the top was latched onto by Max Verhelst who fired us in front.


The young Belgian not only fired us to this promotion he will now forever be in the clubs history book as our first ever Premier League scorer.


We dominated the rest of the first half but were unable to extend our advantage. 1-0 at Half Time.


The second half drifted by as both teams continued to cancel each other out. Bournemouth pressed for an equaliser and we were looking dangerous on the break. I thought we had sealed the match in the 88th minute as once again Verhelst broke the offside trap only for the linesman to judge he had gone too soon.


The win was confirmed in the 91st minute as new signing Vassi scored from a rebound after a fierce drive from Chorley was parried. 2-0 at Full Time and our first win of the season at the second time of asking.


Match 3 - Southampton (A) 1-2


The jubilation of our first win was short lived as we fell to an unfortunate defeat on the South coast. Two first half goals were enough for Southampton to take the points. The goals coming from their only two shots on target.


Jack Clarke scored what turned out to be our consolation goal. A lesson in being clinical from Southampton, one I fear we will need to learn quickly.


EFL Cup First Round - Southampton (H) 0-1


I wont sugar coat it, I could not have cared less about this competition this season. Previously it was a good opportunity for prize money and gate receipts. However this is no longer our priority.


With the size of the squad available to us and the strength in depth no where near as good as other teams I made 11 changes to the team that faced Southampton three days prior.


We gave a good account of ourselves but again fell to a defeat.


September 2024


If August had been a gentle introduction into the Premier League, September was a crash landing. Home games against Tottenham and Liverpool were followed by away games to Wolves and Manchester United.


Match 4 - Tottenham Hotspur (H) 0-1


An outstanding effort from the lads who threw everything they had at Spurs and ultimately were only beaten by a world class finish from a world class striker in Harry Kane.


This was another outstanding defensive performance and if we defend like this against some of the other teams in the league we could end up picking them off.



Two New Arrivals

Cesar Pedroza is a 19 year old Mexican left winger. He has international experience having played 14 times for Mexico, scoring 3 times.


Along side this experience he has 5* potential and I am keen to ensure he reaches that. Will probably be an impact sub this first season.


Ferhat Hebert is another 19 year old youth prospect, this time from France on loan from Marseille.


He will be here to gain experience and offer cover in the Shadow Striker/Attacking Midfielder role.



Match 5 - Liverpool (H) 0-0


If I thought we defended well previously against Spurs then i have no words for this performance. We had answers for everything Liverpool threw at us and to keep a clean sheet against a front three of Firmino, Mane and Joao Felix is sensational.


We had a few chances too however we were unable to make them count.


Match 6 - Wolves (A) 3-0


It was the Jack Clarke show at Molineux as he scored a sensational hattrick to record our first away win of the season .


We outplayed Wolves from the first whistle to the last and absolutely deserved this victory. Another clean sheet to add to the list also.


Match 7 - Manchester United (A) 1-2


Our biggest away date so far as we made the journey to the Theatre of Dreams to face the most successful side in modern English football history.


The players did not seem fazed by this huge occasion, and even after going 1-0 down when Marcus Rashford coolly finished from close range we showed character go get straight back into the game.


Jack Clarke getting his 5th goal in 5 games as he rounded off a flowing counter attack that the great Alex Ferguson would have been proud of.


We held on until the 79th minute when substitute Pellistri nodded in at the back stick to seal all three points for the home team.


These early season results are a world away from where I thought we would be at this point in the season.


To only concede 5 goals in 7 games is a minor miracle when you look at the teams we have come up against it is even more impressive.

8 points on the board already. Only 32 more to get to reach the magical 40 point "survival target" that every member of the press keeps asking me about.


Next up we will cover the games through October and November, Lets hope we can carry this form through with us.


Cheers


Panda

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