Uncomfortably Numb


I’m looking at this dudes face, he’s only about twelve inches away from my face and we are close together. He is uncomfortable because I’m uncomfortable at our proximity to each other and I think he’s trying not to look me in the eye and I’m trying to ease myself into the idea….I’m two hundred foot underground on a hurtling fast underground train that stinks of many people, It’s hot. He’s picking up that screaming claustrophobic vibe I’m giving off and he’s not happy but he can’t move any where. I’m smiling like a lunatic because I don’t know what else to do with my face. I can’t do the blank London look, disinterested and slack, emotionless. Horace says all the skin and hair that collects on the rails is cleaned every night so conductivity on the rails is maximised. Skin and hair. Nobody speaks. Everybody is locked into some sort of London silence. The train is rocking from side to side and I look out of the window instead of this dudes face and all I see is mine, yellow tungsten, ghostly, smiling and sick. Trepidation. A young woman walks past me and all she has on is a pair of black knickers and fishnet stockings but there’s a place for that and in my football addled mind that place was not here.

Fucking London. The thing is…it was bound to happen wasn’t it? Of course the hangover from Manchester was a pumper, one of those bone deep hurting ones and it was accompanied by that Cider Gollum of the West Country Ian Holloway himself, a man that epitomises the tight knot in your shoelaces you can’t tease apart. It hurts your fingernails, frustration, complication, exasperation. The train screams and squeaks to a halt at Shepherds Bush tube station and I imagine for a moment that’s exactly what the toilet in the Holloway household sounds like when he’s having a shit. His team today played the same way, they set the teeth on edge. They played with no breath, they played like a grumbling chest infection. Hemorrhoid  Holloway is sitting on my chest at that moment like a Limestone Gargoyle all dripping tongue and heavy, eyes like pissholes in the snow, his little bald head nodding. Ugh, plop, Holloway evacuates a bitter little turd into the bowl, another QPR goal.

I would love to say that they played the same strange bitter football as the Cardiffs and the Prestons but it wasn’t like that at all. QPR were a poor team and it was obvious that they deserved (in part) their mid table groove. They were a rag tag bunch of weirdos for sure. A number nine that had a fatter arse than the one that pressed into my face a few times on the tube as it rocked around. Some massive tool they lumped on at half time who looked eight foot tall. Well he wasn’t going to jink around the pitch like a beautiful footballer was he? Boom. The ball was incessantly lumped towards his head at every opportunity. QPRs ideas weren’t stronger than ours today they were louder. The contrast between the two sides was dysfunction in our team, an off day, a day off, a Sunday morning kick about. I think instead of the beauty of Neves and the grit of Saiss (who had a right mardy face most of the match) I suspect a pairing of N’Diaye and Price might have been more effective. It was a snotty game they would have excelled in for sure (maybe). One scans the mind for answers as we watch and the songs get quieter and the shuffling of feet is a thing.

QPR definitely rocked and creaked like those underground trains. They rocked of course our team who were in some sort of netherworld between Manchester and Cardiff. We were trapped. We were trapped in the idea of our ethos, trapped in a ground so strange I was amazed. The tube, the ground, the vibe was tight and cramped. Our team was inherently so affected by this environment their football mimicked the pyschogeography of the whole Shepherds Bush and London thing. It was edgy and dysfunctional, not massively cool and trendy. Fumbleball on many occasions. The play erupted in a game of head ping pong again and I could hear the ‘bleep bleep’ of the Atari every time it happened. I kept shuffling my feet and closing my eyes trying to ‘will’ a game of football to happen, but alas, again.

Did we not expect this? Certainly on the train down as I watched the countryside whizz past there was a feeling I admit, of trepidation. I knew two halves of a team would be glued together today.The histrionics of the dynamic gritty ‘put a shift in’ hero team from the Eat-Ya-Head stadium hastily welded to the bread and butter pudding sexiness of Neves and Jota et al. But I wondered whether it would come off. Yes, our ideas were definitely stronger than QPR’s today but the ‘Idea’ was in fact a number of ideas. It was a Venn diagram that was just random circles scrawled on the paper. Nothing overlapped. All separate and all brilliant in their own way but individual skills on the pitch were lone voices and had words that just fell to their feet like the carcass of a dead pigeon. Like the emotionless stares of the cops in contrast to the happy smiling ground staff at the QPR ground.

All our disparate ideas were infinitely better than Hollowayball. All much better on paper but there were too many and not one strong theme throughout the team today. Ideas flowed everywhere of course. They were sublime and intensely sexual passes we have come to admire and wax lyrical over. There was a fucking basket full of them from all members of our team. I dare say they were all great dynamic ideas…but every one of our team today had their own personal ones. Eleven great fucking ideas when there should have been one unifying theme. I suspect minds were left in Manchester a few times. Those ideas as strong as they were failed to weld with technique and intent, failed to connect with each other. Bonatini scores from a forensic display of clockwork beautiful play. Click, click boom. The sky opens out, there is beauty there is hope, there is a breath of wind after that goal and I breathe deep, my lungs open up, it’s inhaler time, the vapours of the Bonatini skill set opening those closed air passages for a moment, before it’s snatched away again

Even Jota on a few occasions seemed cramped. His football was stifled by the closeness of the QPR body that was assigned to be his nemesis today. He got away a few times, made some fine chances but he knew that this match today was going to be one of them. Tube train match. Close and warm. Echoed by the strange ground which was close and small. Nuno paced the ‘technical area’ as big as a toilet on a train. Every time he wanted to physically display his frustration at the team he was penned in by the press of bodies around him. That dashed line around our dugout was too small to allow him space to breathe. Nuno had a straitjacket on.No more the air and freshness of Molineux, this place was a tomb. The light that fell on the ground was close and yellow, there was no wind, no freedom and no real intent. I suspect he knew we were lost before a ball was kicked. And there’s the idea of the day. We were crushed by expectation I suppose. Crushed by the negative potentials of the Holloway vibe and a QPR team that were quite happy to play their world cup game against us. Every ball they played fell in just the right place. Every knocked on ball fell at the feet of a QPR body. Just the right foot to place a weird eccentric pass that would fall perfectly at the feet of their player who, in shock, would place it at the foot of another player before the ball once again flew into the air for ten minutes of ping pong football. We look to the football Gods who have smiled on Holloway today and say is this what you wish? Is this what is rewarded? This itchy groin football, this erratic tumbling dysfunction? Is this what you want? Have we not suffered enough?

I wouldn’t be surprised if Holloway said get that ball in the air a lot. We had no real answer to the pinging of the ball through the air. A pass that erupted into the air as it bypassed our midfield was given 2-1 odds that it would fall to a QPR player for a chance of another pass and another chance for them. We played the ball at our feet where we like it, where we know the strengths of our team lie but their idea as glaring and discordant as it is, was a lot fucking louder than ours. It was scruffy horrible crap. The Holloway doctrine of piece by piece A4 photocopied sheets of football tactics 101 were blowing around the pitch like confetti and we had no real answer to any of it. Matt Doherty at one point looked dumbfounded by it all, confused maybe but definitely pissed off. The very name Holloway reverberated around my mind as I stood in the stand watching. Hollow Way. Yes. Definitely that. Cavaleiro jumped into the air from a tackle that never was trying to get a penalty. As he sat in the box arms outstretched to the Ref in disbelief I reckoned the drama was to be a sad one.

Definitely one of those games when it failed to spark for us. The pitch and ground was small, like Holloways head. It impinged into the consciousness for sure. It was intense and negative, asthmatic at times, stuffy, wrong coat football for sure. Of course when we do get the idea right and the team do lock into some sort of comradely skill set we would have done them all day. Again we fall to a team that have all the imagination of a filthy subway wall and how many times has that happened this season? It’s not that we aren’t exotic and dynamic, it’s that again the psychology of the drudgeball tactic epitomised by Holloway and his ilk is one which we have no real answer for. Play football and we can win against any body, we just played Manchester City one of the best teams in Europe, had them on the back foot, we were dynamic and beautiful but today that beauty was stifled once again. We can’t beat teams with no ideas. We have no answer to the negativity of the Sam Scrotum school of skirmishing football and that bothers me more than watching us play brilliantly and losing. Our ideas are stronger, our ideas are loftier, our ideas are forged in beautiful football. But when faced with this ungainly football with tactics with as much depth and gravity as a fart on a hot tube train we have little answer.

Before the game me and Horace stood for a while on the opposite side of the road to the QPR mobs favourite pub. We watched as their fellas stood outside with their beers looking menacing and angry. Phones pressed to their ears. Expensive coats, expensive drinks, inexpensive violent ideas. I half felt like just running in and throwing stuff about, even thought about just going in and ordering a drink, turning around at the bar and smiling at the ugly faces that would of course be looking straight back at you.I would have raised my glass and winked at the ugliest among them. Of course we never did. We just laughed and annoyed them a little.

Today, QPR did just that. Annoyed us a bit, winked, and we fucked off back to Wolvo grumbling and moaning. Holloway would go back to his perch on some Cathedral ledge, settling himself down amongst the pigeon shit, looking down at the people below cackling at doing us over again.

Our ideas are stronger, our team is stronger, our Coach is stronger but sometimes the numbness does bite and effect. The whole environment today was one of numbness, it was a hangover. A limpid display of idea in it’s most abstract form when it failed to ignite from the simple words and names on a team sheet to a coherent and dynamic display on the day. We will have them in the future of course. These games will come and go as we plough on through the season. It’s trench warfare, hand to hand combat sometimes. It’s cleaning a drain out, it’s getting the limescale off the toilet enamel. Our team have to realise that sometimes we have to be louder than the other team, we have to impress our ideas with volume and intent. We have to stop letting other teams scar the beautiful landscape of our football with negativity and depression.

Kwan is all powerful, but it needs room to flow and this closeness and lack of air that permeates London was an anathema to Kwan. The negativity of Londoness was too powerful for the flow to erupt onto this particular stage and yes the Kwan was stifled by skin and hair on tracks, hooligans in their pub, me and Horace wishing we had a tin of old school gas to throw in and our laughter about this fell on to the dirty pavements. On the tube back I was numb but captivated by a very beautiful woman next to me but letting the key moments of the game play through my mind. Norwich next, Nuno will have answers to this conundrum and he will address them in a quiet thoughtful manner as befitting a great coach. It was not the worst of days. Are we not a pragmatic bunch? Are we not ever hopeful? We go on. Norwich next.


All Things Bright And Beautiful


Bright Enobakhare erupted into the minds of football fans everywhere the other night against Manchester City. This young lad kicked out the JAMS fully as he trotted onto the pitch and proceeded to confuse and kick up a stink around the 500 Billion pound city defense. Did I laugh? Damn right I did. I laughed the other week when Brighty strode around in the gaps in the play against Preston, he was chilling out, taking it easy and to be honest I never understood why. But now I think I do. I think it’s not up to me to comment on why Bright does what he does. I don’t want to comment because 1. I can hardly run with my knees and 2. Brights football understanding is on a totally different plane to mine.

His football is exciting and mad. He doesn’t fluff scoring goals I think. Maybe he’s already done all the hard work and everybody else is just struggling to keep up with the absolute avant garde football he plays. Instead of finding that player that has kept up with his groove and rhythm he often looks up after noodling a load of opposition players only to find that either there’s nobody to pass to or there’s a big chunk of the final ball missing. Final ball? The money shot, banging it between the keepers legs, popping it around him, sticking it in the bag so to speak. I’ve watched him play in the under 21’s and watched him coalesce into this team of absolute artists and he never looks out of place. I’m respectful. We are watching a pure artist but one we don’t understand yet. The jumble of football he presents to us looks confused but is it really? Are we watching him wrong? Probably he himself is struggling with the absolute weight of skill he actually has, and that skill is going to click into place soon as he runs riot. I’m sure he will. He is the random variable in this team of clinical and empirical skill sets. The random variable because we lack the capacity to understand actually what he’s doing. We don’t know because we have never done the shit Bright does on a football field. We will never be in that position.

All you have to do is work out how far one of his probing runs were against Man City. Work out the speed, look at the opposition trying to get the ball off him. This opposition bear in mind is the fucking cream of world football really. Bright is the Compton lad. Watch him make fools of them. Watch Bright Run, watch Bright skip, watch Bright control. It was effortless and it was beautiful and it was also novel in many ways. Has he not entertained? Do you have to score goals to put that full stop on such a game? Amazed wasn’t the word. I’ve noticed my hands shaking a lot when he gets the ball, and often falls over it. I don’t really care about him falling over, I don’t really care about him scoring goals. My Man City piece had a little about him not scoring and then me saying ‘I don’t care, I love him any way’. And I do. He is exactly how I would play. A little dysfunctional and raw, chaotic at times, mad man. But he’s not mad obviously, and his error is not that he is young and a bit daft. I think we just fail to understand him and his play. Miles Davis the famous Jazz trumpet player often hooted and blew daft riffs when playing with other jazz greats and you can hear this on many of the live club recordings he made. The errant note here and there was always a precursor to his ‘team mate’ whoever it was that night to try and correct the discordant Davis riff into a coherent melody. They struggled sometimes because they often lacked the capacity to understand what Miles was doing. Miles was provoking them. Now it’s a tough thing to extrapolate Miles and be-bop into Bright Enobakhare football madness but it’s the only way I can see. It’s not a superlative prod at the subject. I’m trying to understand football so abstract and beautiful that it boggles my mind to do it.

Bright is trying to ‘provoke’ football maybe and his vision of what constitutes football how he plays is not shared by his team mates to a degree, not yet. But I think they are getting a handle on things and I suspect Bright is also learning that the final note you play ie the goal is probably the most important to the listener or the fan. It’s the goal, that exuberant little melody or coda that encompasses and collects all the work that has gone on before and wraps it all up in a final triumphant finish. The thing is I don’t think Bright wants to finish, I suspect he wants the whole thing to continue in some endless jam in front of the opposition box. And Jesus Christ is it some tune that kid plays. Every time he has the ball I’m grooving to the whole idea of Bright Enobakhare and what he has to say.  As he’s that random variable or errant note he stands out against the melodious football his mates are playing so he’s seen a lot more. Center stage. People waiting for that tune or that coda….alas.

I love Bright, I have to say he’s one of my favourite players currently in the team simply because he’s exciting, a maverick, a naughty boy and he appeals to me purely in that sense. I know full well that among the kids I used to teach at school there was always the one kid the teachers didn’t like, who they couldn’t teach, and that kid was always in the wrong place at the wrong time, always the first name mentioned when something had kicked off and more often than not getting the blame for it. I know those kids and I took them under my wing because I understood that they were simply too bloody clever for their own good most of the time. I look at Bright and I see a man that’s going to pop out of that youthful madness with a plan, a plan to wipe out other teams with his own brand of skills and madness. For that’s how we see these players, as being a bit crazy. I’m sure I’ve written elsewhere about ‘mad men’ and how they can galvanise a team. I think Nuno understands that Bright is exactly what this team needs to finish itself off. To make it a force that will lay waste to teams for years to come. Bright is the random variable, the bad boy who nobody will ever understand except himself. As soon as Bright does start to understand himself he is going to be unstoppable.


The Rightful Place


Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers

That came around quick didn’t it? Manchester City. A blast from the past, it reads like a 1970’s teleprinter score on ‘The World of Sport’ with Dickie Davis. We couldn’t get hold of tickets so it’s going to be a case of watching the match through the filters of Social Media and nicking match action off Tim Spiers tweets. What is a Manchester? My Dads family are all from Salford and he was a United fan, which I found disgusting. He could have supported a local team like Manchester City or gone to support Orrel the Rugby League side. But Salford has always been a hive for Reds.  I remember my Great Nan going to watch the Rugby still wearing her Mill clogs. I’ll leave the United thing for another day. I remember my Wolverhampton Nan looking at my Dad like he had done a shit in the hearth when he used to put Manchester United on the telly. I remember my Dad punching me in the face when we went to dinner with George Best because he heard me whisper to my younger brother in the car going up, ‘fuck George Best’. But I’ve still got George Bests autograph and I still remember him standing around for three quarters of a match doing nothing. Jesus Christ on a bike. I’ll get all this off my chest when we are playing United next season. Beware.

Manchester. What is a Manchester City? I don’t mind them too much, I don’t mind Manchester either to be honest. It was always weird being dragged up there every couple of years to touch base with the ‘Manc-End’ of the family. Especially as my localism and Wolverhamptoness was ingrained from birth in Low Hill. I didn’t like my old man and so I hated his team with a vengeance but Uncle Steve was a City fan, he was ok. But why are we there again? The League cup. We will spill up there mob handed of course being loud and getting run over by the trams wandering aimlessly around looking where to go, looking for Wolves shirts so you can follow them to the stadium.

‘Where ya from in Wolvo Bab?’ You ask a couple of women in Wolves shirts

‘Oh we’re from Marlborough’ they reply. I tell my mate,

‘Where’s that?’ he asks. ‘Back of Heath Town I think’ I tell him.

‘Pattingham ay it?’ he says.

The media disinformation campaign against the Wolves is kicking in now. The odd article filled with bile and untruths. The Manager quotes (Yes you Steve Bruce) that have all the intellectual nous of a fucking Yoga DVD. Love it, bring it on. You fucking Dinosaurs, how dare you. You haven’t got the right to print anything about my club, you haven’t earned it. And your team got beat at the Molineux? Tough fucking tit. You’re all living in the past, Managers, Journos you have failed to evolve, you are old photographs, sad TV formats, you have failed to create new ways and new systems. We are the media now…..fuck, my biscuit has fell in my tea. Yeah the disinfo, the fake articles, the men in tight suits and tighter expense accounts, the back slappers, the sidlers, idlers, the useless dregs of the old order…picking out a floating half a biscuit in hot tea, shoving it in your face while your fingers burn. Got it all out too. Kwan. Belief. Just say No to Fake Football journalism.

It’s going to get much worse too once the sheeple who support other teams start to smell blood. It’s bad enough now with all this FFP wankery off people with all the financial skills of a fucking scaffold plank, they’re the ones who try to peel the foil off pound coins so they can eat the chocolate. Soon it’s going to be one big circle jerk with us stuck in the middle of it laughing. Christ, sometimes I wish I could throw a bottle of warm piss at the lot of them.

City have some cash don’t they? Oil cash isn’t it? Sheikh money or something. I remember them well, knocking around the Championship/Division 1  before they got a few quid in their pockets and started buying all these funky players who could move a ball around a bit. Same as our business plan really, investment, long term planning, loyal fanbase, local roots. I don’t want to big them up too much of course but this is the model we need to have in place. Growth, dynamic change, vision maybe, a global outlook. It’s mad that I’m using all these keywords, I suppose one day we will see what they mean when we are playing City twice a year and nicking their Euro spot. I’m not angry about not going tonight, I’ve been to loads of great matches. I’m not greedy. I’m saving for the European matches in a few years. Pound in the jar.

I don’t feel weird about playing them either. I know the youth have a bit of a hard on about a team that has been hanging around the top of the Premiership like a dog fart under a duvet. I get that. I also get these tasty rumblers of the ball too. I’ve watched a few games this year. I couldn’t tell you who they are because the names are tricky to spell. But there’s that little angry bloke, the big black dude, the Spanish looking fella with the bad trim, the ginger bloke ‘Kev’, that England player who scored that goal once….a plethora of names really that spill across my screen like a couple of packs of Pannini stickers. Of course they have foil bits and are shiny. That’s cool.

Manchester is a shiny place full of new buildings and shops, new ground too, the ‘Eat-ya-yed’ stadium or something. We’re kind of looking at them with a bit of hope wondering maybe, is this our bag? Our future? But that City team always get off the bus with big glum faces and bigger headphones, handbags, Premier league things. But they also have the greatest Poet in the world at the moment. Mark E Smith of ‘The Fall’ and ‘Kicker Conspiracy’ was my anthem and he was my Messiah for a few years I’ll admit. Maybe still is. We’re all ‘well read peasants’.

But looking at our team I don’t feel aggravated at all. They can all find the space here to expand a little maybe, stretch their legs out and not fear the incessant bitchball finangling, the odd ankle kick, the pulling at shirts, the toe stamp. All the bollocks that Preston threw at us last Saturday. What a Warnockian festival of wankery that was, topped off with a Refereeing display more worthy of a factory lunchtime kick about with a flat ball someone found on the roof, steel toe cap boots, fouls, apprentices for goal posts, ‘stand there you little bastards and don’t move’. I was a bit angry after that game even though we won it. PNE are the dirtiest team in the League at the moment. A fucking disgrace. Like looking for the TV remote in Steve Bruces hair and pulling the back of a settee out.

Jack Price, ink still wet on a new contract. Will he enter the stage as a little kid does at a school nativity play with his tea towel Shepherd outfit, little face looking all aggravated. Or will he stride on there like Richard Burton in Hamlet with Agueros skull in his hand? I hope the latter. I’m a big fan of Jacko. His passes in the Bristol Rovers game were sublime.

Will we open up the book of football Nuno has written so far at Wolves? The flowing sexual stuff? Of course. Are our ideas stronger than Pepitto Guardyacolas? Maybe. Pep looks like a bloke on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I think his players go above and beyond because they know he gets all weepy and wails like a Spanish Civil war widow when they get stuffed. Which isn’t often. There’s always a slim chance of course the City staff will have neglected to do their homework on our team. But I doubt it somehow. I think they are well aware of how we are on a high looking to rock somebody on their heels. Having a go at the ‘big kid’. I’ve got biscuits at the ready ‘Poundstretcher Chocolate Digestives’ quid a pack. I’ve got my Sports Direct free mug full of tea. Roll ups. Dogs. Tim Spiers Twitter account primed. Let’s fucking have it. Remember when we put Uniteds record breaking win record to the sword?

We’re off. N’diaye or ‘Big Alf’ as I call him is doing a thing apparently, straight away. I like Big Alf. Damn weird trying to make sense of the first ten minutes of any game. It’s the slow dance part, the Barry White phase where you are getting to know what’s under the clothes, having a smooch. Big Alf has smooched somebody with a smashing tackle already. Aguero looks like the star of a video from Mexico on Liveleak.

I  predicted the score at full time. 0-0. I was confident we would display the same resolute and solid underpinnings that have been exposed to us for the last few weeks. It was a pure delight from start to finish. The stream of course went blah a few times but it was all there for me to see. This wasn’t a ‘second string’ team by any means. This was another subtle materialisation of the will of Nuno and his coaching staff. A manifestation of the same idea but in different form. And yet I suppose I at least fell into the trap of thinking it was the second stringers, at least until they started to play and it became apparent that this wasn’t a gathering of the dysfunctional and the forgotten. They were the weapon Nuno and his staff chose to select to counter the threat of one of the top teams in Europe. Were we not entertained? Fucking hell, no joke there were a few times when I kind of locked into the rhythm of the whole spectacle and I saw a team that were vibrant, steadfast, agile and attack minded. A team in their rightful place.

We defended as 11 men, attacked as 11 men It was plain to see on the pitch. Manchester  City threatened constantly. Ronan I will never describe as ‘little Ronan’ again. What a display from him. As a man he is, his stature no relation to his strength. A pure artists. He made £50,000.000 players look like snot on a bus seat.

Jack Price in everybodys face again, that beard getting in the way of attacks, nibbling away, having the occasional dig. Fair play Jack Price. Big Danny Batth, derided most of last season and now collects the ball in his own box and executes a short pass to outfield and away, his blocking, his overall play. What has Nuno done with him?It’s Stepford Wives but football players from Compton. Vinagre growing into some sort of insanely creative force on the wing. Norris? He came from Cambridge as some snotnose with a good report, who is this man? This presence? Those saves? I mean he fluffed his lines a few times but he was probably nailing tiles to a roof two years ago. Give him the slack this occasion deserves. Insane player again. Love him. We are blessed.

There were times here when I actually shivered a little and the hairs on my neck stood up as our team expanded their ideas across the whole stadium. The idea I think was birthright and pedigree, history and pride. We did not seem out of place because this is our place. This is the idea our teams of the past forged in our names. Of course we played brilliantly, because that is the way we ‘should’ play and the tactics, at least for me pale away a little and that idea of birthright demands football that seizes back those days we had back in the past. This football reverberates back into those days and those past teams are made alive again forming this irresistible idea of beautiful Molineux football.

The misses are and should be ruminated over on other days I think. I love Brighty. The penalties are grist for the Social Media mill I suppose and I daresay someone will stop me this week and discuss it. But the beauty of it all will (I think) be the mainstay of my thoughts this week, at least until the next match. I bet Mark E Smith was entertained by it all. But for me it was an experience of a lifetime. Those fans that went, I don’t envy you at all for being there and experiencing it. I’ve had loads of great games from the past. I’m not being greedy. I wish those penalties would have gone in just for you so you could have felt your hearts swell up but it was not to be. Alas. QPR Saturday.

The Crazy Train



Are we still shell shocked after the Villa game? Those heady heights of a Derby victory wash through our veins still don’t they? We are still giddy with the whole crazy few hours, the glistening victory only really dulled by the idea of Preston at home. My ride home from the Villa match was one where I forgot what happened on the ride back, I was too busy talking to the assorted low and high lifes on the bus to notice anything outside the steamed up windows. Conversation was done by nodding furiously at affirmations about the team choice, the play, the madness and the oft shitting on those Brummie locals. Talk often phased back to other Wolves teams of the past, the Waggies, the Doogs and the Parkins, Cullis, a few Billy Wrights etc. Should we transpose these monochrome greats onto this current team? We haven’t really done anything yet but over 30,000 people crowded into the stadium on Saturday with some sort of belief system in place. It’s the Kwan of course. Even if most of the supporters deny some sort of metaphysical change it doesn’t mean it isn’t there and isn’t coursing through the veins of everybody involved.

Reading through my blog notes from the start of the season I notice there isn’t really any kind of negativity in any of it, that I think should be the benchmark for the future games to come. Should be our standard really. Even as we itch a little at the though of ‘November’ coming up I don’t think we should let those errant dark little thoughts enter our noggins. Not for one minute. Will November be just another month or one of those regular Novembers where we contemplate Adele albums and stand in the garden motionless looking at nothing at all…?

Last week, last match Jota was very much in mind. We kind of half expected him to erupt and decimate the idea of a typical Championship forward. Swashbuckling? He did the thief in the night act enough with his interlinking play with Neves and Bonatini when he did eventually come on. Jota was awesome last week, he may have been brilliant this week too but I missed those bits. So Jota.

But this Preston thing? What are they? I saw Gary Mastic after the Villa game, I’m wobbling across the Tesco 24 Hour fluorescent lit dystopic nightmare of available petrol and 24 hour shit to buy because you’re bored. Fucking hell Gary. His hair is plastered to his head in some new wave madness. It is recently removed from his settee arm you can tell, His has that drool thing going on too. Sky Sports on in the background, his fat missus on Face book uploading photos of his weird looking kids who all look like him. He looks like that knobhead out of Flock Of Seagulls. He has a Goodyear Wolves shirt on.

‘It’s all a load of shit Mikey’ he says to me.

What is Gary, life? Living in Wednesfield? Doing your mastic shit all day? I know we won but I don’t need this right now. I’m still in the afterglow of Jotas goal. The Villa filing out like sad little kids looking at Coco the Clowns dead body on the floor under the bouncy castle. I want a Ginsters pastie, I don’t know what Gary wants. But he’s following me in. We go past the Security Guard who doesn’t notice us. The Security dude has these threading a needle eyes that phone freaks have. Staring at his phone. It was a bit dysfunctional wasn’t it?

This Preston thing. Of course these games will come and go during the season. Of course they will, it’s a shift, a grafters job, one of those days when character and mettle come to the fore. What were Preston? I asked the same questions today as I asked Gary Mastic. Everything is coming too fast and I can’t assimilate it fast enough. I remember going to my Nans funeral in Preston and her body hadn’t even stopped at the bottom of the ‘lift of hot fire doom’ and the Vicar was getting changed into his Golfing clothes, looking embarassed, running to his car. Preston were very much like that Vicar, at least in the second half.

I’m following Gary around Tesco because I can’t find the pasties. He’s already collected his shit. Five ‘Hot’ Pot Noodles, a loaf, some Margarine. This Noodle life. He’s going on about how brilliant we were Saturday and I agree. It was a bloody eye opener. When all the orchestra played the same shit. Effortless football and easy football.

‘It’s all gonna go to pot mate’ he says. He’s juggling Pot Noodles and I can see him spooning that horrible mess onto his sticky white bread and sticking it in his face. His stick thin are cuddling the whole stack of purchases. He holds them like a baby

I don’t even know who their Manager is and I don’t care either. I don’t even know who plays for them. We stick out practically the same team as last weekend but things are definitely looking a bit fumbly. Perhaps that was Preston taking the piss but they seemed like there was more action up our end than theirs especially in the second half. I was rocking I must admit. It was totally a Wine day. Blossom hill I think. Of course by now if I was a pro blogger or reporter you would have all these delicious facts about who came on when, who played like Messi, who played like Jed Wallace. I would be sitting in the players lounge now chatting to Bonatini about his goal. Chatting to Nuno and laughing about zen bollocks and why N’Diaye has put so much weight on but I’m not. I walked from the match half pissed. I got on a crowded bus that smelled. I stood in a queue in a chip shop for twenty minutes waiting for a nuclear blasted meat pie while annoying little bastards screamed around their parents feet. What did I see of the match? Well I was there. I saw all the goals, I celebrated.

It was a bit physical. Conor Coady scored albeit for them. I don’t care, he made some brilliant moves in that defense, probably saved a few Preston semi skimmed half chances from becoming full fat chances. I don’t want to get too romantic about him but I love watching him more than Jota and Neves sometimes. But I was always the bloke that plays the chunk a chunk rhythm while everybody else doodles around, he does that too, back to the amps keeping everything flowing while Jota and Cav do the whole foot on the monitor hair rock football thing. But to be fair to Jota and Cavaleiro and to some extent Neves, they played todays football with a Preston player either on their back or jabbing some strange morse code into their faces with their elbows. Amazing. Somebody had obviously threatened to burn Referee Steve Martins new conservatory down. He was shit, to be fair we knew it would happen, lose control, get most of the decisions wrong. But at least he didn’t make it ‘about him’ like he did in the Cardiff match. He’s just a shit Ref, you get them, like bad pints, dickheads in BMWs, tight shirts on Match of the Day. It happens, no sense moaning about it.

The brawls were funny. Fancy having neck with Preston players? Whats the point? It’s picking fights while waiting for your kebab at 2am, going to nighclubs on council estates called ‘Frazzles’ or ‘Jangles’. We all love slapping people, it’s often very funny but you’re being paid to play football lads. If Preston players are acting like kids kicking bus shelters in then you’ve won the mental battle, they are destroyed lads, picking the chopped lettuce out of their hair, bleeding on their fat girlfriend. It’s a won thing. Now all you have to do is stop them from putting the ball in your net. Simple. It’s fighting Gary Mastic in Tesco. It’s just a noodle thing.

This is certainly a blogpost of post match drunkeness. One that I will stash away and forget about. Pretty much like this game. I was still happy, I clapped all the way up to the art block laughing. They pinged the ball about ok, certainly better than Villa did last week. I’ll comfortably forget that when we were three up I turned around to the bloke next to me and said ‘It’s going to be 3-3’ and I was half right I suppose. In the past seasons I would have put good money on it. Now that gap between 3 goals and 2 have some magical meaning. Some feeling of intent. It’s a massive gap really, as how often have we seen a lead like that gobbled up like a crackhead eating an apple pie/ Enough bloody times thanks.

Gary is talking to me about negative things. How Jota (who he called Junta) a few times, was a goal hanging player but maybe he will come good. Gary is clinging on to his negativity like a black cloak. He can’t let it go, that feeling from the past, I said before we have post traumatic stress from seasons past. I was right I think. There were times in that game against Preston when I started to get a bit sweaty, a little hot under the collar and no it wasn’t the ‘too thick’ snow coat. We sat back I think in the second half. Brighty and Alfred looked like Cheech and Chong in the last 15 minutes. Bright enjoying the stroll back to midfield, looking at the stars, ‘Yo Preston Massif!’ he says as he walks past a few Preston defenders. He’s smiling and chilled. But he needs to get back to fucking defend and that Grateful Dead Stoner football ain’t gonna wash mush. Slapped arse for him, but he’s brilliant and I love him. Yeah goals were scored. I know Cavaleiro scored one, Bonatini too. But Nuno will have some new  words to learn in English like ‘dopey twat’, ‘you fucking knobhead’ and ‘for fucks sake’ the set in concrete Wolves managerial handbook of words to say to players who were a bit shit.

But it’s all tactical bollocks. All fizz and farts, column inches, weird shouty moments in dressing rooms. I’ve watched football longer than most of these doughnuts have been alive. I’ve watched George Best and John Richards, Wagstaff, Parkin, Dougan. Stevie F Bull. It’s just a day isn’t it lads? Management screaming at you to get the order out but to be honest yeah you do too, but because you want to get home to sit by the fire with the dog on your lap, watching something stupid on the TV with lots of glaring colours. Lots of laughing too. Maybe later the Missus will fancy a fuck and you can go to sleep with that flow of endorphins, a lie in too. Wolves were just that, putting a shift in, getting the order out for the pissed off truck driver who wants to miss the traffic on a motorway you never heard of. Fair enough the shit you put on the truck will fall apart probably, the pallet wrap is a bit shit and halfhearted, there’s a few bolts missing. But it’s gone isn’t it? Off down the road and you can go home happy it’s all over. The grief from Preston was just that. A bit of pressure. Nothing we couldn’t handle event though the lads were a bit stoned.

Gary showed me where the Pasties were. In the fucking pie section of course. £1.56 though robbing bastards. I can’t even tell you what Gary was on about as we walked around the madness of Tesco. He was positive but he was still reticent, still wondering. You see this whole Wolves thing this season is waiting for the Crazy train. Some of us got on quite early and are running up and down the carriages naked with Nuno masks on playing football, half pissed, booking flights to Europe for when we are in the Champions league. Other fans are further down the track, other stations on the great endless track of the Championship football season. Gary is one of those people. He is scanning the horizon for a plume of steam and the scream of a steam whistle, the clickety clack of the wheels. He’s wondering whether he has bought the right ticket and he’s a bit worried. But Gary there’s only one train on this track and it’s the fucking Crazy Train mate and Nuno is driving it.

I’ve had a rough day with wine and Gin too. Is this post coherent? I’m not editing it.



Wolves V Aston Villa 14/10/2017

What the fuck is this? Why have you dragged us to these heady heights Nuno, it’s hard to breathe, it’s beautiful, it’s metaphysical, it’s not football as we know it! It’s not! What the fuck??? I was picking on a few Villa fans on the 559 to Wolvo, they had got on at the Bluebrick…”Shiiiiiiit on the Villllaaaaa” Harangue, intimidate, right in the face, how dare you come into our fucking town!!!I calmed down, it was ok, I had a feeling…I had to follow them all the way down the back of Carvers to the ground singing at them, singing at the backs of their heads, belief…Police holding me to one side, but I have belief! I want to tell them, but they would never understand. But it’s a leather clad hand around the throat from a young Copper and shoved off past the art block. Belief, that’s all.

Nunoism versus the stoic Bruce. Two men locked in a battle of the Philosophies. Nuno provokes beauty to unveil itself on the pitch, to enable his philosophy to flourish through the tools that Fosun has given him. Bruce has the stoic sense of groinball. And that groinball failed miserably. Stoicism destroyed by pure art, by philosophy, by rigorous intuition

The assembly of questions Bruce asked Nuno today were blunt and involved course questioning of fine Nunoesque points. We of course watched from the sidelines, offered support, shout and yelled over particular debates on the pitch. We sang songs about ‘shitting’ on our opponents. In fact we sang a lot about shitting on them and we did. Often, but it was a juxtaposition to the dynamics on the pitch, the control we showed, the absolute intent. The piss taking from the Southbank and the delicious football on the pitch.

Diatribes about the Villa eh? The Squeakies. It was a bloody funny day again, an aura of seeing your favourite band who play the same venue every two weeks. Villa are the support band. Steve Bruce, Manager with a head like a steamboat sailors duffle bag, like a sack of unwashed spunky socks, like a clay head made by a man with no eyes or arms, voice like he’s beating the dents out of a church bell. A face like he’s been  extinguishing a wheely bin fire with it. Hair like a Dogs bed. He was going to come here wasn’t he? At the time I was kind of unmoved by the idea, I knew most Wolves fans didn’t want him but a few Gary Foreskins did I suppose. They argued amongst themselves on Social Media happy to have a subject to tear apart with unstructured vapid boring arguments. I didn’t get involved of course. It was listening to chats about fuel injectors on VW Passats. Uninspiring and a bit dull. Like the Villa team really. They have Chinese owners though, but not as dynamic as ours for sure as their owner is called ‘Tony’ and Tone never inspired anything apart from Pot Noodle fan pages on Facebook. He looks like a Korean Fart Porn Mogul too.

But it’s Derby day and I’m not making the mistake of the ‘big coat’ again, not yet. It’s the curse of living in the temperate climate we do and we love the onset of cold Autumns of our youth but alas climate change has thrown the match day jacket choice into a cauldron of chaos when it come to picking it. Jacket it is, I don’t even want to go outside to test the temps. I’m going to wing it.

Winging it is pretty much what the Villa team did today. Already they have addled that high pitched Villa whine into some sort of incoherent buzzword laden narrative like ‘we can beat them if we do this’ or ‘if we take the game to them’ and other missives and mission statements. Weird really as for years they have been full of confidence and bollocks. But today it’s all changed hasn’t it? The tumble from the lush arms of supermodel teams to the sweaty bum crack of see through Primark leggings in the Championship. It’s shit isn’t it my little Brummie friends? Especially as you have to play those Small Heath Orcs every season. Villa can’t tell the difference between piss and vinegar yet, but they will, today.

But I don’t hate Villa, I just don’t understand them. And I don’t want to either.  Down the canal this week I met a fella who I’ve talked to before. Skinny little chap with some sort of kidney disease from drinking alcohol. He shouts at you when he talks and he has those eyes like poached eggs, pickled in the cheap cider in the blue bottles he dumps by the side of the cut. Strange that Shaky Jake  the Heroin addict knows him but deems him far below his class to acknowledge. ‘Villa Phil’ as he is known lifted up his trouser leg to show us his ‘piss bag’ strapped to his leg. ‘We’m gonna do ya this week ar yeah, we can bost yeow up’ he shouts. He wears a big pair of Panasonic headphones and listens to some bleepy dance bollocks and bobs his head up and down a lot. He decides to follow me and the dogs on our walk. While he shouts at me I try to wangle some sort of blog narrative, some message, but I’m stuck, I’m bereft of inspiration and that my friends is the curse of the Villa.

I had a kicking once off about five skinny Villa fans with that grey chip shop pallor on a train, I was holding a plastic cup of hot tea and none of it spilled. One of them went to hit me and smashed his knuckles into a steel handrail and screamed, another went to boot me and fell over, one did connect right on my jaw, another on my ear. I went to sip my tea but it was too hot, so I waited. No way was I wasting a cup of tea, I waited for my mates to harry them away, blowing on the beige plastic cup. Beige, there’s a thing, the Villa strip should be beige, or Magnolia. The Villa team are as poetic as a pubs Artexed ceiling, have as much excitement of a day out in Walsall…Villa are in fact a massive Walsall maybe. I never spilled a drop of tea during the ‘fracas’.

Coady was back, I’m happy. I love Conor Coady, I love his progression. Today he was mighty and agile, strong, a presence again. Fair play he pulled that shed thief Clarkey down at Sheffield, but hey-ho. We all have our moments don’t we? That few seconds when we lose control. You see a player at this level is running a tightrope of instructions tempered with facilitating his ability and drive with clear concise instruction. It’s a toughie being a player for Wolves, especially stuck down there while the Portuguese Porno-balls are being whanged around up top. Cav/Jota/Neves get the groove going early especially looking at Villas defence who were pedestrian. with all the buzz of an Invalid Scooter on charge. Why aren’t we 7-0 up?

But what of the game? It certainly wasn’t one of those Derby games, it was different, we made the canvas ours, the stroke of a brush here and there, a pattern emerges, Villa are actually shit or should I say they are ‘there’ but we made them look shit.. I suspect the Villa had some of that old Championship rub-a-dub-dub going on. Listless at times, other moments like a one legged man on an arcade Dance Mat machine. The response to our flowing beautiful rhythms a dogged resignation or an arm waving choked sympathy for their team mates. The action on Jota was worrying at times. He is a hard knock that lad. You pigeonhole and sort players into sections and I must admit I put him in the pretty as a picture section. I thought he’d be killed this season. Not so. See Jota slide and slip. See Jota manipulate the ball, sidle his way through. Action and reaction, problem and solution. Every time (or nearly) getting the ball into dynamic areas where more often than not there is a friendly foot or a flash of Gold to receive. He scores. I get another elbow in the head. That’s cool. Southbank is strong and the players know it. There are voices from other stands. Jota goes down under a challenge by some Villa bloke. Voices are raised again. Filthy words and venomous but true and rightly said. I notice I’ve ripped my bus ticket up in my pocket and now it’s full of confetti.

Cavaleiro shrugging, but not in resignation, he’s shrugging off a dude I don’t know, their full back, he shrugs off another Villa bloke as well. He has a low centre does Cav. That gives him room to twist and turn without that top heavy body shifting his weight, over balancing, instead he revolves around some imaginary cosmic point confusing a Villa defender who slaps his own leg in disgrace and maybe disgust. Villa are pedestrian here at the back. Sweet Magnolia defending. What are the Villa missing? Bruce teams play with belief and not a lot of nous. Square pegs smashed into round holes with the bellow of a command from the Bruce, it’s not a philosophy it’s a belief and ‘believing’ things often end in tears when the crushing reality of this Wolves team rumbles home. Coady within a trinity of sorts that back line of ours, still at odds sometimes. It’s a totally new squeeze for them still, legs in the way, arms tangled, unsure sometimes too but still slaving away over the Book Of Nuno, still memorising the tenets and the scripture. Nuno himself arms folded surveys the scenes and Neves goes over for a word. Nuno shakes his head and waves him away.

I’ve watched Duckens all week. I think of him as the point of an attack using this current team. My puny brain cannot contemplate that, it is too grand an idea for me, I try to visualise it and everything erupts into a great golden joy of fragments of goal celebrations, joy, positivity, bus top parades, madness. But Bonatini, his presence is sublime and understated but he is a vibrant theme in the whole team, Duckens is fading away into the back of my mind again for another day.

Jota gets a meaty challenge. Maybe Villa are infected a little, a drowning man will often try to drown his rescuer too. Arms and drama, a few little verses from the Bruce songbook which is discordant and blaring. Bruce is funny. But I’m laughing to myself a little as Villa press, get some fuel from somewhere even as you can hear their defense creak like a tree in a Hurricane. Creaky leaky bastards they are. Big on statement but we lack the evidence lads. You can learn by reading the whiteboard and being shouted at but you only truly understand with love. Does the philosophy of Groinball flourish here, on this beautiful pitch? Here at Molineux? Of course, if the Philosophy is loud and discordant then at times yes. The ideology of the fundamentalism of English football is represented well by Mr Bruce and Aston Villa. It’s not letting the debate flourish with the wide arcs of passing that Wolves displayed today. Broad ranging play, individual acts of brilliance (and of foolishness) tempered by that Stoic football by numbers played by Villa. John Terry is not an antidote to the Portuguese melodies. These melodies entwine and caress his zone leaving him confused and lacking the correct rhythms to counteract the delicious football. Terrys songbook involves fart jokes and bawdy songs, things that are more at home in a league far below this one.

Not Warnockian dystopic football this, no, it’s pretending to play football where Warnock never even tried to pretend. Going through the motions. Dancing slow, but you really don’t know how, don’t know how to bump and grind those hips. Terry moves one foot over to the next and back again. Jaeger bomb beats, 3am dances with elephants, a Villa defender falls to the floor twisted up like a bad pill got him. He punches the grass as he gets up. John Terry looks towards Bruce, but Bruce is looking at the floor, arms folded, imprisoned by his technical area which closes around him as the match continues, getting tighter. Bruce is thinking about Mini Pork Pies in the fridge at home where he will sit in the glow from his big expensive fridge from the USA like a pork pie Buddha, weeping probably as the pie crumbs fall to his lap. Ignoring the buzzing of his phone as his clubs owner ‘Tony’ send him another WhatsApp video of farting Korean girls.

And it’s starting to resemble a juggernaut this team. It’s starting to get momentum going like a tiny spicy hot snowball at the beginning of the season it’s now a few yards down the slippery slope of fixtures that needle and nibble away at the mass of a team as it gathers points. It’s starting to gain traction and weight. With this extra weight it’s going to be unstoppable and the beast that lies deep underneath the Molineux is indeed starting to open an eye and stretch out it’s limbs in readiness for something. Here on the Southbank of course a swell of emotion and relief. How many Villa fans do you work with? You know, the weird fellas who buy ‘Mens Health’ they have ‘gaming nights’ on the Xbox with their dumb as dull friends from work, wear funny tshirts from Primark….

Fucking hell. This isn’t a match report, it isn’t even about my day, it’s about our day and our stories. It isn’t about who passed to who either. It’s about me and Johnny Cund talking about the ways into the Molineux without paying in the 70’s, it’s about madness and passion, it’s about singing in the subway after a game, it’s about laughter and joy, it’s about shitting on the Brummies. Who is this Nuno geezer? Is it him or these Portugeezers? These sexy players who knock the ball around like an STD in a knocking shop. Who is Steve Bruce? Who are Aston Villa? these pedestrian ‘won a few on the trot’ dickheads from Birmingham….I’m standing on the Southbank and I don’t want to go home, I want to grab Bonatini and tell him how much I love him, I grab somebody else instead, I watch the Villa faithful stream out of the Steve Bull lower, sad dejected little faces all screwed up, all miserable.

I can’t tell you what’s going on, I can’t explain it. I’ve talked with the greatest minds in the world but I can’t fathom this, this beauty, this game where we stamp authority. Doherty jinks past a player and slices a forensic pass to Neves. Coady under pressure drops a shoulder, impresses himself on that back line, Batth clinical….Nunoism. A philosophy and pure intent. Make our ideas stronger than theirs. We did his today, everybody singing the same songs. Victory and the banishment of Brummighams. Jesus Christ.


Ghosts of Molineux


The Derek Parkin Tribute Dinner

I don’t get invited to many civilised do’s. Not because I’m a massively dysfunctional bloke (which I am) but people who know me are aware that my normal social circles are full of the highly dysfunctional too, gangsters, hooligans, crackheads and bagheads, etc. But last night I was invited to the Derek Parkin tribute dinner at the Molineux. Cold sweat time. There would be people there. Real people who had careers and were successful. I had to get the suit out of the attic. My suit was made in 1968 by Walsh of Sheffield in a mod style. A beautiful thing. Moths had eaten a big hole in the arm but that was cool. But Derek Parkin. Full back. One of my favourite players back in the 70’s and whenever a team was announced on a Saturday afternoon he was there, a lynch pin or an anchor point of the whole flowing beauty of that team. Of course there was a whole plethora of former 70’s greats there. I kept bumping into them rustling between the tables in a suite in the Billy Wright stand, exchanging a few words here and there, erupting into a sweat.

Thing is, back in those days these men were Gods to us. They used to drive past us on the Waterloo road and we knew what cars they drove, where they did their shopping. We didn’t stalk them but as we lived so close to the ground we always saw them and we would stop stripping the lead….er walking to school and for half an hour we would discuss that player. Last night I was bumping into these people and they would shake my hand as I stopped them. But I couldn’t say anything of interest as I was struck dumb. John Richards, Phil Parkes who looked great, Willie Carr, George Berry. Here I was in my moth eaten suit talking to these men. What was I doing here? I had a tenner in my pocket I was loathe to spend.

You see, I don’t move in these circles and at times it seemed highly abstract and unusual. Well out of the comfort zone initially. This environment was not mine. Everybody seemed to have all their teeth and knew what to do with the myriad of cutlery in front of them. I mistook the curly napkin display as funky bread sticks, I was concentrating on putting the chicken and mash main course in my gob. Eat with your mouth closed which was hard as my nose is shattered and I find it hard to breath through it so I had to eat holding my breath, use the right fucking spoon, right fork. Stop swearing so much, try not to laugh too loud, don’t take offence, stop sizing people up to see how they would fight later on. Fucking hell. On the pitch through the tinted viewing windows was the pitch and the empty stands lit by the movable grow lights to make the pitch happy and green. I kept glancing over to the Southbank and it was reassuring to see it standing there empty but powerful. I was wondering which bread roll to eat, the one on the left or the one on the right. One was wholemeal one was white, did you have to eat one with a certain part of the meal? The butter looked like little flower petals, what knife should I use to spread it? There was a bottle of water on the table, funky little wine glasses, should I pour the water in that?

These 70s greats eh? And they were greats. I was watching John Richards eat amazed I was, dumbstruck. I’m eating fucking dinner with John Richards. George Berry (who was my favourite player of those days) smiled at me as he brushed past. Fucking hell. Moth eaten suit, social sweats, shaking hands, trying not to swear. John fucking Richards spooning herby posh mash into his gob. George Berry laughing at something while he ate his roll. Phil Parkes moved past, Phil I loved you man and I want to grab him and hug him but you can’t.

George Berry was my favourite player because he was the only one I really identified with. The other members of the squad I hero worshipped but George I always regarded as one of us lot. He made me feel a lot calmer, a lot more chilled out. When he spoke about Parkin putting an arm around him and reassuring him when he came into the team was emotional. Black players put up with some hefty shit in those days. Derek Parkin was there for him and George Berry was there for me I suppose. Other players got up on stage and had a go heaping platitudes on Derek, all deserved, all on point. But I could see George nodding and listening, laughing too and all was good.

I’m a distinctly working class bloke there’s no getting away from it. My environment is bus stations waiting for buses, I know how to sew and repair my clothes. My clothes last a long time. I’m used to sneaking into the ground (see The Great Wall Of Molineux) hiding in the bogs when we used to travel to away games so the ticket inspector didn’t get you. Territorial and lumpen I suppose. Drinking over priced beer in the rain at the back of the Southbank trying to keep your roll up alight. But here I was with the great and good. There was Steve Plant who has rode the money raising train that hard all his hair has fallen out. PR animal Russ Cockburn smashing the social thing. All the people there were men and women that had ideas and drive, they were movers and shakers within the whole Wolves thing. I started sweating again. Shit. I had last worn this suit when I collapsed teaching engineering maths to a bunch of disinterested lunatics in a Wolverhampton secondary school. I remember being on the floor as the kids freaked out, the rush of feet, the ambulance.

Now normally this weird as fuck episode would have had me heading for the doors and the bus home where I could be safe and sound away from the crowds and the madness of dinner in the Billy Wright. But it was different here. Because despite the success, the career talk and the dynamism of alcohol fuelled social occasions it was ok. These people were held together by a common thread, a common interest. We were all basically the same people. The same hopes and dreams I suppose. The atmosphere was upbeat and we were doing ok so everything was positive and cool. People were generally positive about the blog and that was good too, because it’s not mine it’s ours. The whole thing was ours really because without us there wouldn’t be a dinner or fund raising, joy and laughter. Without us these great edifices of our club would be empty spaces, just gaps in the whole narrative. We are what fill these places with soul and love, all the emotions that we pour out fill the gaps in the abstract and the strange.

At a quiet point in the proceedings I found myself holding a pint staring at the pitch and lapsing into some sort of stand-by mode wondering why the fuck I was here really. My suit itched, my shoes didn’t have enough room. John Richards laughed loud at something somebody had said. But I had strength, and that strength came from my stand, all those empty seats. There are ghosts in there you know. Because when we were kids and we were bored we would climb that wall in the alley and get into the ground. We would go and sit on the Southbank terrace in the dark because we were out of the rain, safe from a regular kicking outside from who ever fancied doing it, away from the violence of those days. Safe and sound. But we would sit there passing around a crumpled No6 fag lit with a match. Chatting about the games coming up or the ones that had gone. But between the conversations and the bullshit, if you were quiet enough you could hear things in that stand. The emotions expressed in it were powerful and they leaked into the very ground it stood on. There was blood spilled in there, and sweat and bloody tears to be honest. The whole stand was soaked in it and on some metaphysical levels they were played back when it was quiet and a few scruffy kids sheltering from the rain, bored, were witnesses to it. You could hear whispers and the odd bang from underneath. Footsteps up and down the terrace.Ghosts mate. But we weren’t afraid because they were our ghosts.

I was cool here because everybody was friendly and everybody had a laugh and the atmosphere was good, funny, a bit flirty sometimes. Everything was cool now because I had a reason to be there. That reason was the ghosts, our friends. fellow supporters, family, workmates that had passed away still stood on that terrace and if you looked close enough you could see the old Southbank transparent and ethereal underneath the new build. You could just about see the figures shouting on Derek, George, and John and it might have been a reflection on the glass but there was a faint figure running across the pitch surely? Doog is that you? You would have loved this night mate.

You draw your power from the ghosts I suppose and now the moth eaten suit and the itch, the feeling that you shouldn’t really be there was gone. Those Ghosts couldn’t be here but I was, so I was strong for them, I experienced it for them and all of a sudden it wasn’t hard to talk to people and it was easy because the ghosts out there and the life in here had the same foundation, our emotions all soaked into the same geology underneath the Molineux. It’s definitely something Steve Morgan never truly understood and maybe that’s where he fell short. You must have some connection to that ground, a blood connection, a spiritual connection and an emotive one too. I turned back around and joined in the chat happy now I could move around and be social, I did it for the ghosts.

Many thanks to Stefan for getting the tickets. Ian Powell for sorting them out for us. Thanks to Steve Plant for putting on a great event. Thanks to everybody who I met and were friendly and laughing.

The Great Wall Of Molineux


We used to shiver you know. A few of us (and they know who they are) used to stand on the corner of the street in the Winter actually huddling together for heat. Whitmore Reans. The first day we moved in there was a battle between some Pakistani Clans which boiled over into a twenty a side war with swords, axes, shields (no joke) which ended up in people on the floor and over fences and lots of blood. It was a rough place only a few steps away from the Molineux. I though it was hilarious and it kind of set the scene for many years of the same thing. Reans had an aura about it, slightly evil with a good backbone of pure madness. We leaked into the environment of Molineux. It was light, the floodlights then would give you a tan they were that bright. The people would course up the alleys to the ground after parking in the dark streets around it. People from out of Reans with cars that were shiny and new.

Of course being so close to Molineux and not being able to get in was a serious thing, but we were resourceful of course. There were ways to get in and all around the ground ten minutes after kick off the plans would spring into action and the spots we knew would be observed for Coppers on the prowl. You see in those days you wouldn’t get a fine or a leaflet, maybe a talking to. You would get a punch in the lip and on occasion you would get whacked with a truncheon. Now there were a few reasons to get in there. One was it would be warm in the stands we chose. North bank and Southbank. The press of people in their generated a bit of warm. Secondly after the final whistle you would be hands on knees picking up the odd 50p or 10p that had fallen from pockets during goal limbs. That was good, it mean’t a bag of chips and a pickled egg, maybe a can of pop from Nicks on the Newhampton road, maybe a go on the Space Invader blobbing lasers at the hordes of aliens. Trying to see through the nitty heads of your mates craned around the screen to watch, offer advice, tactics, skills.

Yes, the ways in. There were a couple but the best one, the one that had a low risk of pain and death was turnstile jumping. In those days the turnstiles were operated by an old fart in a flat cap who would take your money then press down with his foot to unlock the turnstile. Click.Whirr. Snap.Click. There was a gap, not so much underneath the thing but above it. Now you always had a Copper or two standing behind the turnstile entrances in the Southbank. Two normally. Watching for drunks and the pleasantly inebriated. But often they would be walking around. We would stand with our backs against the huge concrete wall at the back of the stand waiting. You had to get the moment right, the perfect second, the opportunity to go. Waiting for the courage and the bollocks to do it.  The Cops would have to be inside of the entrances far apart. There had to be no one in the way. You had to sprint fast, aim yourself. Get the speed right because you would run as fast as you could towards the turnstile, dive over the top and get right over the turnstile like a dart, roll, avoid the two cops and leg it as fast as you could through the loiterers and up the steps, turn right or left hearing the abuse from the two cops chasing you and sidle your way as fast as you could into the bodies, the beer smells and the odd cloud of stale farts. Away from the cops. You were rammed in there, pushing through, small and lithe. You would get right into the crowd and you were safe, warm, watching the footy.

There was a second way into the Southbank too. The Great Wall of the Southbank in Molineux alley. I’ve mentioned it before I think. It was easy forty feet up and the crap bricklaying had bowed the wall out a little, the pointing needed doing, the frost had got at a few bricks, there were minor footholds and handholds and we used to stand there looking at these holds and grips for hours debating the best way to get in, to climb. Of course the first eight or nine foot was pointed and smooth, nothing to grip except smooth normally wet brick. You had to get a body. Some drunk late comer to the game, a lad. Older lad who would cup his hands for your dirty foot and he would bunk you up so you could get the first tentative foothold, the first fingernail in the crap powdery cement and you would hand there like a fucking spider trying to work out where to go next. The target was maybe twenty feet away. It was a piece of weather worn two by four that had been nailed into the crumbling brick and had stringy rusty barbed wire around it. You extend a hand and grab a hold, now you can move your left foot to the smooth but lumpy bulge of concrete. Grip it with your foot and easy yourself up to the next hand hold, a gap in the brick, shove your fingers in and have a quick look up and down the alley for the Old Bill. Nobody there, your mates would be giving you shit for not getting up there fast enough but that drop was big and those slabs were unforgiving. But you were there and you could hear the crowd inside and smell the stale beer piss from the toilets on the other side of the wire, you heard voices and you were close. Extend the right hand and get your fingers under that rotting two by four and pull up again, your foot slips and you nearly go. But that wood holds good and you can get your other hand up and tentatively grip the top of the wall. This was the point where you would get either a truncheoned hand and fingers and a big drop that would spangle pain (if you were lucky) all over your body. Or you could have died I suppose. It was a big drop. But often there would be a tattooed hand, a meaty fucking adult hand that would grip your wrist and pull you through the wire. Maybe they would catch you as you dropped into the bogs with the black painted wall and the simple open drain that clogged up with fag butts and litter. The piss would be a few inches deep sometimes and you would either drop in it and stink of piss all day or you would twist in the air and land on your feet splashing piss over everybody. ‘For fucks sake’ and ‘Oi you little bastard’ and you would be off again into the madness of the stand, and we had just scored but you just missed it.

In those days of course there were hordes of kids trying to get in to watch the match. Watch Doog and Waggy and all the names from the seventies. We were there to experience the madness everybody else did but were ostracised simply by the fact we didn’t have the money. But with had the balls and the temerity to go for it, to take risks and risk life and limb to get in there. I still see people from those days who were the same as me, leaky shoes, last years fashions, dressed in stuff from jumble sales and from older brothers. Handed down scruffy bastards. Now these lads have done well for themselves. They have great careers, wives and kids. They dress in lovely smart clobber, they can afford a pie and a drink in the ground. We stand around now and moan about our lives and the way we are playing that day. Sometimes we stand around and are amazed at our play. But if you look real close at them they still have that stare. That temerity to ‘get in’. It’s a stare that takes chances and has made us into the people we are. But you know when I put that Season ticket in the electronic slot thingy. I’m always amazed when it goes green, always amazed as I walk through into the throng behind the Southbank half expecting a Copper to put a hand on me and throw me out.

Rant In M Minor


A Little on the ‘Return Of The Scouse Git’

Am I allowed to talk about Morgan our Former owner and big noise? I am anyway, he keeps popping up in things I’m trying to read on Social Media because he’s graced our City with his ‘presence’ again. Business lunch apparently which I know is standing around networking with people in suits from Local Government and Local Business. Strange affairs those. But he was waxing about Johnson and O’Hara being a disaster in terms of signings. Glad I wasn’t there, I would have choked on my mini  samosa and grabbed somebodies tit as I fell on the floor looking the same shade as him. Somebody would have screamed thinking I was having one of those Chamber of Commerce heart attacks. Paper plates would be spilled. Somebody would try the Heimlich manoeuvre and only succeed in creasing my suit with their ‘office wanker’ arms.

Mate you don’t know what a disaster it actually was. You look at the Excel spreadsheet and some beard from your accounts department giving you these funky graphs about how much money you spent getting these pair of abject lollipops into the club. What do you know about pain?

How did it affect us? Morgan got a bit of lip off some lads at Preston where he was probably a bit confused after watching what football we were presented with. Us? Well we kind of huddled in the corner of the shower crying and wailing at first, then we got angry. It was all a load of shit, the complete reign of Morgan was a shit storm from start to finish but what did we expect? He’s a fellow that hasn’t got a creative bone in his body except to make himself cash. He depends on others to give him that particular drive and those people were the anonymous doughnuts that hold paper plates at these meetings nodding furiously at bullshit while they shovelled the food into their gobs. So you shouldn’t expect too much flair and brilliance from his team and didn’t we get that half hearted wank in spades.

I know Morgan should be held responsible and he was. He died by the zeitgeist. He was dead the minute he stormed into a dressing room to berate the players and the staff for another abject display. From then on he was struggling. Our local media haven’t got a voice to discuss the myriad of questions he should have been asked as the club went spiralling down the League system. Instead they were on the same side as him pretty much. Sucking the tit of Morgan for juicy bits to plonk out a 20 line boring load of bollocks about the academy or redevelopment. I’m still angry about it, and I’m angry to see him all over my social media again. He ‘made some mistakes’ he said. Mistakes? For one, if you’re the owner of a club that has the potential to smash the glass ceiling of the Championship with a devoted and dynamic fan base you can’t make mistakes. Decisions on investments have to be backed up with rigorous intuition and quantitative sureties, shit can’t be planned on the back of a fag packet like most of them seemed to be, they had to be planned and those plans should be five year plans stretching out to tentative ‘in position’ ten year plans. Compton is a lovely place to visit, at first glance any way, until you get a good look at the nuts and bolts of the place. It’s very cheap, it looks off the shelf when it should have been a grand location that attracts talent. It looks temporary like it could be knocked down in no time at all to slap up some of the houses he flogs. I was suspicious looking at it. I’m still suspicious.

But it’s all so negative too. It was negative when he was here and he’s still negative and that dark cloud follows him around like a bad fart. There’s something wrong with his presence in the town again and I’m getting itchy thinking what it is. I would have loved to have been at that funky meeting as I like little samosas and paper plates full of food, I bet they had wine too, I like wine if it’s free and you get people talking to you like you are some major important businessman because my name badge would have (cough) fallen off. My mate gave me a Ben Sherman suit that didn’t fit him any more and I look businesslike in it. I would have attracted a great many conversations as I shovelled samosas in my face and none of them would have known I haven’t got a single source of income or a job and I was in fact just a social media degenerate. It’s hilarious, I’ve been to these things before. Senior Leadership meetings where the food was good and the conversations dull and sad.

I think Morgan would have sauntered over spitting sausage roll crumbs in my face as he waxed mightily about his youth thing or whatever it’s called. I called little Callum from the Scotlands who I had to write a letter for to get him out of a custodial sentence after he was nicked at Molineux for being a fud. ‘Hey Callum tell me about when you went to ‘The Way’ (what 50k a year lollipop though that name up?) to get your CV in shape? Well he stood around for an hour waiting for somebody to speak to him then when he went to look where the staff had gone they were all updating their Facebook and drinking coffee. I did his CV in the end and thus he got a decent job lumping stuff around in a warehouse for seven quid an hour. It’s all a load of shit.

You see at the end of the day the club crapped Morgan out like a bad pint. There’s a Kwan that runs around Wolverhampton like a river and that Kwan is that we understand suits very well indeed thank you. We know bullshit when we see it most of the time. We are quite prepared to give an owner a long time to settle in and show some fortitude and some element of intent. But we didn’t see it with him or his appointees. The people that support Wolves are like Staffordshire Bull Terriers, we rarely start fights but we’ll always finish them. It was obvious he was not going to be the saviour the club needed, somebody with a vision and the intellectual global nous needed to get the club on some sort of solid ground. Somebody with half a clue at least. It’s a shame that he couldn’t get his arse in gear to have the vision to propel us into the footballing stratosphere and the reason he couldn’t is because he’s the same ilk as the typical wine gum that attends ‘business breakfasts/lunches/suppers’. He wanted a fight and he got one.

Morgan is now the fella who drunkenly reels back down the street with his shirt off and covered in blood and sliced lettuce  everywhere to carry on the three or four fights he had just lost outside Shariffs Kebab Emporium. Some would call it temerity and fortitude, I call it being a knobhead who should get in a taxi and go back home where he belongs. Now we have positivity and joy, an aura of the Kwan is flowing around the city. It’s Disney Princess time, pastel colours, dancing tea pots and singing cartoon animals, it’s finding something decent to watch on Netflix, it’s finding a pound coin down the settee amongst the old dog biscuits and fluff. So Morgan do us all a favour and fuck off yeah, don’t come back lathering your gloom from the past like an ex girlfriend on Facebook. Give us a break ahk.

Lost on Stone Island


Photo: Birmingham at Home original art by me. Watercolour and oils

Yes. We have all owned one probably. It’s also had us dragged out of a crowd on more than one occasion and had that Cop following you with his beady eye in the steady moving snake of the away fans going to the game. The convoy of half pissed football fan in enemy territory. Eye catching stuff but the quality and the beauty of the ubiquitous ‘Stoney’ is a thing. It’s a cultural meme all by itself a least here in the UK. A working class garment, one for saying ‘hey yeah 400 quid on a coat’ thing. Mad isn’t it? Imagine explaining to your Grandparents that you paid that much for a ‘coot’.

Way back in 1992-3 of course it was rare to find a decent Stone Island coat any where. Of course they were needed pretty much. The space age fabrics, the collar that zipped right up to your mush, the omnipresent badge. It was waterproof sometimes. Often the zip would give up. The badge would fall of during goal limbs. But it was an artwork not just an item of clothing. It was a cultural artefact in a very short time at least in the UK. Previously I had only seen it worn by skiers and snowboarders from Europe. Dudes and women who were quite happy to shellac four hundred squids on a thin over-jacket with layers underneath provided by yourself. Being one who also frequented the occasional football match I was happy to cast an eye over the garments. It was rough at Huddersfield on a grey wet Saturday evening trudging to the station. You wanted something to keep out the fingers of cold rain and the wind, that North Sea easterly one which would creep up your back and make the whole day full of COLD wank. The four hour journey back home on an unheated crowded train. You wanted a bit of peace see, the hangover was kicking in, dehydrated, in a bad fucking mood, the ‘beefburger’ you ate outside the ground coating your mouth and throat with a thick layer of indigestible fat. You wanted that badge then as you lean against the carriage walls giving everybody the stink eye. You wanted the badge because it kind of informed everybody you didn’t mind the occasional whack in the mush or giving them out. The badge was an exclusion zone.

Of course shelling out 400 large for a Stoney is a thing that’s pretty much out of the loop when you think a 16-20 year old football fan who actually engages in the occasional running across dual carriageways waving his arms around is a poor broke bastard. They are expensive things. I remember one mate who had travelled to Italy skiing and brought a strange 800 quid Stoney coat that had zips everywhere and was bright yellow. It was horrible, he looked like a fisherman on a mackerel boat. We were playing Liverpool back when we were in the premier league. He had a little bounce around outside the ground and then was instantly nicked. Bright yellow for Gods sake.

If you’re NOT going to bounce around waving your arms at a line of cops holding back a group of angry Scousers then perhaps it would have been a good thing to buy. The materials Stone Island use now will be the benchmark of materials in common all garden leisure coats in 3-4 years time. The research that goes into these things is an art in itself. The materials are dynamic, novel and new. They reflect light, can be laser etched, can be manipulated into a variety of styles and uses. The simple Monad of the brand silhouette is pure. The Monad is ‘dynamism’ and ‘diversity’ it makes challenging forays into materials that are highly technical, they are tech specific often and evolve fast. Of course to us it all seems a little twee and weird when you talk about a new seasons Stoney. But unwrapping it is a thing indeed. They always smell like a Stoney to me. The garment has an aura about it even before you put it on. The stitching is often straight as a die. Perfect spacing between the stitches and few loose threads. The lining is unruffled and square, the build quality on point and sharp. Put it on and you feel sharp too. The hood actually fits over your massive meathead. The collar zipped up only lets your eyes be seen. That Stone Island stare. You bop around in your bedroom scowling at the mirror.

It’s only a laugh though. New materials, new designs, the dynamism of the things, the absolute newness and novelty does indeed make you catch your breath. These are art pieces. They should really be in a museum so we can look at them up close without being closely followed by a smelly renta goon in a high end clothing shop. That’s cool man, you want to try it on and even touch the thing with your greasy dick hands but no. Just look. You can’t splurge that much money on a bloody coat. But it’s not just that for me. I am a massive fan of dystopian fiction. I see those great urban mega cities of the future keenly. I see the populations of those places wearing these garments. You have to be a little dystopian to buy one for sure but you’re still buying into a meme pretty much, maybe you don’t care. You do actually announce to the world out there that you can blast four figures on a bloody coat. People will regard you as a successful kind of dude or a doughnut for buying one. You can’t win either way, it’s the Stone Island dichotomy.

Will the Stoney be here to stay? In a football fan sense? I’m not sure. We are a pretty stick in the mud lot. There were some people that dragged the Donkey Jacket as match wear right into the late 80’s particularly in the North. But I think it may be time to put it away and get some style back in the wardrobe. I’m not going to wax about ‘The casual scene’ because I’m not qualified to do it. Years ago I remember the whole casual thing. I remember if you wore the MA1 jacket, the tight Levis, the Adidas Stan Smiths, the Ski Jumper, you were going to get nicked. Put yourself in a group of twenty lads all dressed the same and you would have a Fed wagon following you, you couldn’t get a drink in the pubs etc. It didn’t take much to realise if you walked around looking like that then the chances are your day would be either shit or shit.

But man, we work don’t we, in those dark places, we work with stuff that cakes your clothes and hair, sticks in your skin and on your hands. You get home and you have a wash, a shower, get some suds going, get that crap off you then it’s nearly 8 O’Clock and you want to chill out, get your comfy crap on. Get on the settee or your favourite chair before you nod off to the gentle refrain of dog farts and the discordant wailing of X Factor your missus loves. Then it’s bed and next morning the same shitty clothes with the holes and the stains. So yeah I can see that Saturday is a time to put some fresh stuff on. Those Stan Smiths you keep hyper clean, the nice shirt, the expensive coat. I don’t think it’s a cultural thing but I suspect it’s just a change of what you are about. Maybe the fact that everybody else is wearing the same shit makes you feel a bit more inclusive in the whole day. Maybe it’s just because you want to own something that yeah, it did cost a lot of money and no I can’t really afford it but it makes me feel like I belong to something. Makes you feel like yourself for just a day before being dragged around a shopping centre or Tesco on a Sunday, maybe the Hollybush where you will look at shit you don’t need, look at the fish in their tanks bubbling away. Maybe we feel like those fish sometimes trapped between panes of glass being fed the same bullshit over and over again. Does it give us an ‘identity’ who knows. It certainly provokes a few feelings.

I like Stone Island stuff, I’m all about the dynamic and the materials, the sexiness of Italian design. They build Ferraris for fucks sake, their women are beautiful. Walk around Milan and you will see the vast majority of people walking around look good, smart, sexy, stylish. We want a bit of that, a bit of style, a chance to forget about the building site or the fucking Bilston shithole we work in where we never see the daylight in Winter. I suppose that’s why we like the bright colours too but it’s not ‘Peacocking’ really, it’s just being and feeling a little different. When I have some cash I may indeed purchase one again, put some colour and style back in the whole thing scowling at people, looking dodgy, because it’s a laugh.

Here’s a poem I did for a Poetry competition a few years ago. It didn’t get any where so I just kept it on my hard drive, but hey, have a look.

Lost On Stone Island

It’s the rain gear you see the pain gear the old fashioned clip around the ear. the smashed knuckle the flying buckle the endless slap of a fucking Adidas shoe. senseless and lost under the overpass above and beyond the simple click of an interface the glare of a meeting on the internet.

the flags you flew the weed you grew the sucking fucking need to connect. still we laugh and gather round stand your ground. ‘I’ll defend this land that ‘aint mine till I die’ . the coppers of course will kick you in the back stop you dead in your tracks and you tell them on the side of the road ‘I’m lost on Stone Island mate’ but you haven’t got a chance mate, don’t push mush. we can’t run any more for the truncheon will put you in the road and you can’t hit ’em back as you’ll be laying at their feet in the van, then a ban.

this about the people of pain the youth with no name its easy to run through the door to dance like a psycho but we all wait and sing the songs lost on Stone island

but the running feet the need to clench the utter bloody violence of it that eases the day through

and we force another rancid pint down your throat another endless song to sing and we sweat on the chance to just sit back and enjoy the dance of the running dead

fire it up lads in hold it together the gloved pantomime and the stink of fed leather

the way we were and the way we weren’t all the songs jumbled into the way we learned but underfoot is greasy and the moves were never easy and the fat cunt dances and we took our chances lost on fucking stone island mate and we sit take stock answer the phones never enter the DayGlo shit fest of the pay day loans they never asked to play stuck in the world and never say

and the heat of it always dissipates you know and you can stand tall for just a minute happy in the delusional state as you dance and gesticulate the finer points you make the slapping the piss the iron Mike kiss

but we are all lost as you leave them on the ground the poor cunt won’t move and he doesn’t make a sound. Locked up on stone island mate and there’s no way off it just grin and make the best of it as there’s another sickly pint to force down another endless fucking round another shitty football ground a raging wall of sound and that grinding pain at the back of your head that says ‘your abandoned on Stone island mate’ but they can fuck off of course, it’s right we never had the chance to be anything different as the chances are always forced. The weakest a better chance to sing and the anger you had directed, inspected and rested. Laid at your feet with the corridors of school and culture is always for fucking fools. It’s all you had the warehouse and the foolish dad the beer stained national flag the diatribes and hateful words shot through with bloodied snot and the slap of slippery Adidas

trapped on Stone Island mate, abandoned on it and it’s always our own fault 

Bats in Wolftown


I was standing outside just chilling out smoking, watching the Bats in the street lights. I felt empowered by yesterday. I was twitching a bit and a bit brazen too. Loads of slugs on the garden path. Homeless Snails. It was a bit cold, there was another fucking super storm coming. That means it’s going to rain and be a bit windy. But it’s another storm that’s floating my boat. My team are doing well. My Team are a gathering storm.

I’m thinking about Jota too. How long he will be here with us? Neves? Costa? Vinagre? How long before Nuno goes, encouraged to extend his craft in another more lucrative arena. It will not be the filthy lucre that tempts him, it will be the dynamism of an arena where he can lay out his own footballing philosophy. Where he can stretch his own wings out. But I also think they could both extend their wings here. There’s no need to break up the band here. The team look like they have all the hallmarks of a bloody good premier league side. One which could develop under the tutelage of Nuno and his backroom staff. I don’t see why Molineux should not be entirely transformed into a stadium par excellence.

I don’t see why this Chinese investment doesn’t stretch into other areas in the town too. We have been starved of investment over the years. Our projects have always been shit as we see Government money flow into other towns and cities across the UK. The Council are a bunch of back stabbing liars and arseholes for the most part.

I read that Amazon are looking at ‘buying’ a City for a new headquarters. I don’t see why Fosun doesn’t do the same. I don’t see why they don’t transfer some of their European Business over here, in Wolves. Let some of that filthy money start to flow around the place and make sure it isn’t gobbled up by shady business interests. These Bats are freaky, darting in and out of the lights. It’s the first time I’ve seen them. Bats are cool. But I never liked Batman because Batman was a Cop.

So I can see in the not so far future when we are in Europe, a victory and success and our little city will be a thing to be known. ‘That’s where Nuno manages’. ‘Yes, Wolverhampton, they won the European Cup’. The name of the City will be synonymous with the success of the club and it stands to reason if their is further investments made by other businesses on the back of this success then Fosun will be in a brilliant position to lead and manage that investment.

It’s a thing that Globalism no matter how abstract it’s tenets are and how shadowy it has become, it is here to stay. Shit or get off the pot really, we have to embrace it fully as a City, start looking out of the box instead of in it. Nobody is going to save us, nobody gives a shit about Wolverhampton, yet.

I think Wolves may well be in a position to act as a catalyst for that global investment. India will soon be looking to invest in other countries, we have a population that for the most part embraces other cultures, do our best to get on, Wolves have a large Punjabi support base. Bats really don’t care do they? Echo location, I cant hear it but I bet the air is rife with hyper sonic bat screams my ear drums just wont pick up. Investment, Jesus Christ. We could do with it, some of that high technology shit that pays well, makes going to work worthwhile, invest in the University, make it a place where you train the people you need right there. Get some of those production centres right in the middle of town so people fill the place up, let people open interesting shops, subsidise those shops, borrow them money to start those shops. If the football is dynamic then so should the City Centre.

I know Steve Scrotum and Gary Electrician wont like it but that’s tough tit for them. We know they don’t like Fosun because we can hear them muttering about ‘The Chinese’ under their breath, they don’t want to say anything out loud yet, at least not in public. They keep that for the dicey sleazy Internet forums they hang out at, and the social media accounts without their real names. The reason Steve and Gary don’t like it is because they are comfortable. They are comfortable because they have worked hard to get where they are. They have a firm idea of social class and they probably think themselves comfortable, and warm, and they don’t like new things. They like a conglomerate of Businessmen to run clubs or a dynamic eccentric nutter. They are the lumpen Dingleariat. Yeah time for change, time to break out of the familiar and evolve as a city instead of just being uncomfortable when people talk of success and getting their hands on some cash. Instead we should look forward to it, stop listening to Gary and Steve, they have their own agendas and they ain’t always going to be in our best interests. I hope Fosun and Nuno and Jota and everybody moving this club on an upwards trajectory including us, the oi polloi can go hand in hand with all this global bollocks and share a little love between everybody.

Our Bert comes out and asks me what I’m looking at. Bats I tell him. He says I look like a nutter standing in the garden in the dark staring at the sky. Yeah man but if you don’t know what we’re looking at you will think that. It’s all perspective.