When Wolverhampton Wanderers got promoted into the Premier League last season, it was clear they won’t be the usual promoted team that will struggle to play at the highest level. “Wolves” were simply a team everyone respected, and for a good reason, as they proved they can run with the big dogs of the league. In the end, it was just the question of how high can they go in their first season back at the top tier. But despite their impressive renown in the English Premier League, Wolves made a statement in the FA Cup, where they dealt with Manchester United with relative ease on March 16th.
The match against Manchester United was an interesting one in its own way. Despite being considered an underdog, Wolves approached the fixture without any fear, and with a set goal. To win. And well… they played like that. Wolves were the better side, despite having less of the ball possession. In total Wolves endangered Sergio Romero (De Gea sidelined) goal 7 times, while United only managed to produce two shots on goal. Despite all the attempts, all the shots went wide until the 70th minute when Wolves managed to score an opener, to which they added their 2nd goal only 6 minutes later. With two goals scored in quick succession, Wolves were 2 goals up with only 14 minutes to go. United had to fight back, however, they failed to produce anything dangerous until 90’+5 when Rashford managed to score a goal, but it was too late too little for United to bounce back. Match ended in a 2:1 win for Wolves.
As it stands now, Wolves are waiting to face off Watford in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, which is the furthest they have got in this competition in the last 21 years. This is as of now the high point of the season for Wolves and their fans, who could not have wished for a better season for their team who, bear in mind had to fight their way into the EPL after being relegated into League one in 2013/14 season. While it’s “only ” the semi-finals of the FA Cup for Wolves, who still need to win against Watford and the winner of the 2nd quarterfinals fixture (Manchester City v Brighton), it’s still a great achievement for the team who has one of the most loyal fanbases in the world. Wolves have always been a team that you just want to see to win. They are the eternal underdogs, who could be relegated into the 3rd division one year, and then climb back into the Premier League and hold on to the 7th spot, just outside the “big 6”. It’s simply hard not to love them and hard not to celebrate their achievements, no matter which team you support. But at the end of the day, we need to ask ourselves:
Can Wolves go all the way and win the FA Cup?
If Wolves managed to defeat Watford in the semi-finals, it is safe to say they will meet with Manchester City in the finals, as I do not believe Brighton will cause any problems for the last season EPL champions. So, if we go on and compare Manchester City to Wolves, the difference in quality is undeniable. The only thing Wolves have over Manchester City is their high morale and desire to lift the FA trophy after 59 long years. Is that going to be enough? Probably not. But in words of Wolverhampton sports director Kevin Thelwell:
“Sky is the limit.”