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.