Ten Men Went To War


Here we are again then, sat down, roll of choccy biccies, cup of strong tea. Phone to hand for Twitter updates and lap top warmed up ready for the nights madness. A little bit of blog as you go really. No way I’m going to get disturbed by canal side characters unless Gaz Mastic knocks the door. I’m not going to answer it. Dogs barking, I have to untangle myself from wires, get up to listen to him moan. But while I’m waiting let’s have a natter.

Last match was crazy wasn’t it? Douglas is a thing and Vinagre too. Much chat about who’s on the bench and who will be sitting with a big glum miserable face behind them as they aren’t playing. I suspect a few things about tonight and I have had a few chats with folk about it. Douglas looked OK last match, now I know I said he looked like a lost sock for some of the game. I think I was a bit harsh and wasn’t paying attention, I was probably looking at the mould on the Southbank roof again. Sorry about that. The zeitgeist says he did alright, offered some solidity. He certainly tracked back fast enough and was very hand signally but not vocal. But what I want to talk about is not who is on the bench but what time in the match they come on. Now I don’t want to get all back in the day but Kenny Charisma did my head in with subs. The game would be crying out for something and he would be standing there, arms crossed, chewing the inside of his mouth not giving a shit. I’m not a coach, I don’t know the variables but I felt like having him arrested for his crap street theater statue act. The only coins I wanted to give him were a few I chucked. These biscuits are stale. Fucking Poundland again.

More goals are scored in the second half than the first. The first half is pure foreplay most the time. A touch here and there of the hand or leg. Getting to know each other. Buy her a drink. The half a lager with an umbrella in it. The crunching tackle. She laughs at your crap jokes, you listen to her story about how her Rabbits escaped once and hahahaha her Dad had to chase…..and you laugh of course. That’s the first half. Tentative often weird too. The second half of course is the coffee at her place, now you know somebody is going to score (hopefully) unless it’s a nil-nil thing. That’s the equivalent of being thrown out of the house with your gimp suit and holding a a three foot long sparkly dildo, she’s screaming, the neighbours are all coming out, the Police are on the way and you don’t know where you are. You just stand on the lawn and go ‘What?’ Does anybody else feel that embarrassment or just me? We know we are going to score in the second half and that’s where the fun happens.

The longer the second half goes on the more we expect a goal. I call this ‘The Barry White Period’ it’s when the lights go down and the CD player gets booted up with Barrys 24 great hits of Luuurve. Brilliant, we get excited. Move the coffee cups, have a quick squint at your phone see if there’s any Wolves news. She’s gone for a whazz, you check for bogies or cheese cob in your teeth. The second half. The longer it goes on the more mad it gets. Here’s where the substitution makes a difference. This is where Nuno becomes Artist.

Now our Sub, be it Cavaleiro or Bright or whoever has a task straight away. The player he replaces has played maybe 60-70 minutes of high tempo bongoball. It’s bongoball because nobody wants to go a goal down and it’s still that ‘getting to know you period’ and it means you have to work hard. You see you don’t score in the pub or the restaurant, you score later on when the lights are getting dim and Barrys warbles are subsonically loosening blouses and buttons. But our substituted player is knackered by now, He knows her fucking family history back to front and her pets names. He’s shagged and not in a good way. He’s in fact mentally deranged by this point. Frothing at the neck so to speak.

Our sub on the other hand is like a dog with three dicks. Most of the digging  and sniffing has been done. Now is the point where you want a forward on. The replacement of a midfielder or a wing back will be greeted with boos and groans. You see we know that the player that is going to splurge the money shot by sticking the ball in the net is going (more often than not) to be a forward.

Now you can see why Kenny Charisma and Lamberto the Clown got lambasted by the crowd when we saw Saville or Wallace trot onto the pitch. It was a great WTF moment. Fatigue is a keyword here. The legs of the opposition defense have tired by now, midfield too. Saw that with Barnsley last week. Their number 4 and 11 were shagged by the second half. They had left the target of their possible shag by herself at the table and they were thinking about squeezing through the bog windows to escape. Both of our goals had targeted and were made through the lethargy of the 11 and 4 at that point in the game. The drop off of performance was glaring and of course Nuno made full use of it by pressing the play around both players. Douglas on, and their 4 had a mare of a second half and their 11 ineffective due to Jota and Neves twisting him up like a bad pill.

What are the stats for a fresh player scoring in the second half or the dying minutes? Probably significant to be honest. Nuno isn’t a slouch when it comes to subs. He knows the effectiveness of a player will degrade as the minutes tick. Wise man that he is I suspect he watches the opposition very closely during the latter part of the second half and utilises his subs with ruthless effect as seen with N’Diaye at the Barnsley match.

But back to the main menu. Sheffield United. What a godforsaken place Yorkshire is. I know that some folks will be irked by this but I’m past caring, I’ve had horrible times up there to be honest. The Police are like putting your fingers in electrical sockets or banging your head on a low ceiling. It’s a shock. People are generally friendly but the rain I suspect makes them dull and angry, prone to outbreaks of melancholy or directionless windmilling punches. I remember playing them many times in the Stevie Bull days when they had Tony Agana or something. The Play off final in 2003. But I woke from my afternoon nap earlier and had a dream I was fishing with Nuno and he was charming the fish by singing to them. All this Nunoism is starting to freak me out. I love him already. My dreams about Lambert were dotted with beheading scenes, nightmares, George Savillisms. No team news yet but i’m flicking my thumb across my phone screen like crazy getting past the porn accounts that dot my feed for some reason (cough).

OK the match has started and I’ve missed the team news and have to go to Tim Spiers account to see if he has posted anything. I don’t mind Tim, he puts up with some horrendous cack and he’s still young really and his forehead is growing exponentially with Wolves success. By May he will have a big shiny dome filled with knowledge I daresay.

So Conor Coady has gone home early already. Is Sheffield that bad mate? But it was a Heartbreak Ridge sacrifice. 0-0 Helda gets a few minutes flying around the pitch at least while old Leon has his bristles up. It had to be though didn’t it? It always does. Instead of doing the business for us, getting sold. They always come back to haunt us but it says less about the ability of the Clarkes et al than justifies the absolute disgusting people they are when they do score. Because they never did for us. What revenge have they on their minds when they do it? Do they get some sort of hard on? Fuck Leon Clarke.

But then again, it’s easy to fall into that trap of being a bastard to ex players and I shouldn’t get aggravated by it. Trust in Nuno I suppose. I read back what I wrote about putting subs on. Trust in Nuno to get something out of it. Anything. We are still young, fresh. I feel like I’ve been dragged out of the house by the cops in my gimp suit waving my dildo but instead of fun and jollity they gassed me and tasered me and are beating me in the balls with my dildo. Fucking Sheffield, a darkness there but what light? Half time now they have to find the elusive Kwan, time for Nuno to grab it by the balls and I think he will, trust, that keyword again. I suspect he will have been through similar moments. We know that Yorkshire darkness, that itching behind the eyes as we enter a ground. This time we have to grasp the game, demolish have heart and fortitude. I’m eating biscuits and there through the sounds of my angst I can hear Barry White and it doesn’t feel like he’s sitting on my chest any more.

Is any of this making sense? Penalty, oh Jesus Christ. What do you do to me Wolves. What heights what crazy fucking lows. I’m being pulled from pillar to post. I’ve eaten too many biscuits I feel sick. Neves to take. Hit’s the post. The darkness falls over the pitch right now. But the light for fucks sake, the light! Where is it Nuno. Bright is on for Bonatini. My Nubian Prince what will thou doest for us tonight. Do not fall over, channel your goal firework please. This is a night of work and of graft, it is a night that defines Championship football. What character will you show against these morose and violent people of Yorkshire?

I wonder in my madness if these words can reprogramme the result. I wonder if this little blog can swing the decisions of the Gods in our favour. I’m being overly dramatic aren’t I? I’m chewing my own angst in big bites but it’s still just a game, still just a football match and we have loads to play…..but the character, the Kwan has to show through, it has to spark and ignite our madness tonight. We have the character…

Tim Spiers hasn’t tweeted for a few minutes and I’m getting that feeling again. Fucking hell. Sweating like last week when I wore my big snow coat and nearly died in the heat of the Barnsley game. Sweating, I can feel it even though the room is cold. Leon fucking Clarke. Another set piece goal. Leon Clarke you thing, may fleas infest your hair, may the demon of wanting a piss visit you in the night.

Is it too much to think of a draw? Is it too much to hope? It’s a toughie but I’m thinking of all our supporters who have travelled and trudged through the rain half pissed to that wasteland of a Yorkshire stadium. Sheffield is full of hills, it’s as if the land is trying to shake off the City above. Our fans will be walking those very streets later. They are warriors. But it sounds like we are unraveling a little. What witchcraft is this? After that superb display last Saturday? Cavaleiro for Neves, the Terminator returns, this is the tactical masterstroke surely? A forward and we are down a man, this is a brave moment where Nuno surely stakes out his territory and his philosophy, beautiful substitution but to what end?

Spiers says it’s a 4-2-3 system. I don’t even know how that would work, I’m such a tactical imbecile. I want a cup of tea but I have a dog by me now and he’s on my left arm. I feel trapped by the football, by the dogs, by the rain. Free me Nuno please. I can visualise Cav running into the box, connecting, ball smashes the back of the net, he grabs the ball and runs back to the center circle. Somebody tell me this is happening please. If we build it they will come, random thought….but I’m thinking of all these great speeches by men of old who rallied their troops to a flag and victory over insurmountable odds, I’m being emotional again. It’s still an early game. the season has only just started and I’m over emotional.

Well fuck that game, fuck it right up it’s arse. Often these games pop up during the season. We should of course have put them to bed. Leon fucking Clarke, typical again. Can’t be arsed to score here but love scoring against us. What have we done to you Leon? How did you coax that performance out? With hate? Dislike? Did we treat you so bad?

Nuno will know what to do, he will have all the facts in front of him within hours. The backroom team will be analysing and forming some sort of hypothesis as to how it all went wrong. You don’t get to coach at these levels without a steely determination to get things right. By tomorrow morning Nuno will be sitting down relaxed but angry. He will have the culprits names in front of him with figures, quantitative analysis of the whole dog shit of a match. Conor Coady must not be blamed, I would have done the same thing. He will of course be concentrating not on the foul and the sending off, he will be analysing how the dude nearly got past in the first place. He will learn from it. It’s endemic in this squad that we learn and we develop and along that learning curve will be a dip here and there, an errant game where it all goes to shit. Trust in Nuno and trust in the team and we can look to the North tonight and curse the sky over it, shout out insults and abuse but more importantly plot revenge.