Not All Wanderers Are Lost

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I don’t like it when people say they like this blog. I like it but sometimes they think it’s me and it’s not at all correct. What is any of this shit without all of us? The faces in the stories are ours in all their madness. So yeah…fuck Bolton. What even is a Bolton? I know ‘what’ it is as my Dad was born there and in all his sins and misdeeds the two things I most admire him for, well the only two things I admire him for are that he moved away from Bolton at a young age and the other he decided to support ManUFuckingnited. Jesus Christ what a godforsaken place Bolton is. That Godforsaken of course, one would abandon the team of their town or city of birth and prostrate themselves to the colossal red wankery of Manchester United. There is only one team of Wanderers though and it’s correct that not all that wander are lost, any more anyway. Have we not seen the path towards greatness? Will those who pretend to stand on the same mountain top as us try to shove us away? Is the top of this mountain our rightful place? We’re Wolverhampton! We’re top of the league and we sing it like we don’t quite believe it.

But it’s been snowing which is freaky. Outside Poundland the kids were laughing and the old ‘uns having a moan as I popped in to get some Polo mints. The bus stop windows on the main road outside are steamed up so I draw a big dick on it for old times sake and an old fella sees me and shakes his head sadly. Big dicks on steamed up dirty windows. I have to get home quick as our Vinny is giving me a lift up town.

It’s dead good being a blog writer though. I had dinner with Alex Rae last week. He was sat at my left side. I watched him dunk a bread roll in his soup while he waxed lyrical about things. It’s dead fucking civilised having dinner with these ex footballers. They are used to it and are relaxed and cool. I’m thankful for the nosh. I don’t want to talk about football I want to talk about expensive old guitars and fast old cars then remember I’m not in a Nickleback song but listening to Alex talk about things football and I told him about when I got stabbed at Millwall. It went quiet after that. yeah being a blogger is a weird experience for sure when mere words you type can get you eating a dinner with such company when normally I would be outside looking in, now I suppose there’s still a large part of me still outside in the rain. Always will be. Wondering if I pull that knife out of my knee will I get done for possession? The cop directs me to an ambulance but the wound is shallow and the knife practically falls out. I think I was kicked in the balls as well Alex, but he’s talking about the mortgage on his farm in Pattingham, so I shut up.

The North. Well we fucked off Leeds didn’t we? Their horrible little faces were a joy to behold. They are a people who would star in a dangers of fried food infomercial. Four-One eh. My Grandfather was called ‘Bill the Bastard’. Bill the Bolton Bastard. On the way to the match I think about McGinlay a little. Only a little bit. If I think too much I want to start writing those letters again and my shrink said I should start to accept he still exists. All the bad shit floats to the surface of a Wolves fans mind when you mention that cursed name. Then things aren’t all jolly and Holy. Nuno would come up and say ‘Lads it’s cool come on, let’s go. leave it behind’ in that soft voice of his. But Nuno…back off. This is raw revenge shit, this is thievery and dishonour, this is a lack of justice and the story of our town. This is shit that as much as you are our saviour and our Holy man you have to step aside and let this thing be settled by those who have walked the evil paths of those days long ago.

But then that’s the most Wolves thing ever isn’t it. Getting riled up and pissy. Not really thinking well of course Nuno knows how we feel about it. These fixtures with enemies come around a couple of times a season. We get all riled up and sweaty, we may even run around the ring road with our hoods up nearly getting run over. Angry yeah. Angry and stupid. Stupid because we have underestimated our Coach. We’ve underestimated him because he doesn’t give a shit about history and the past. He believes in the now. He approaches every game like a local derby. Meticulous planning, immaculate idea. Every game for him is the penultimate battle because it is the battle of the present and not of the past. But it’s Bolton and I hate Bolton.

Shall we move on too? Throw away that secret Voodoo altar in the shed where you have that little doll of McGinlay with his porky little face. You like to burn him over a black candle just little touches of flame and you hope somewhere that bitter little fat man is having that voodoo twinge as he watches Colin Wanker roast Hedgehogs on a garden bonfire. It’s VHS tape scratchy and jumpy and Colins face is a little yellow and the camera gets real close to his face and he says ‘The Wolves don’t like ugly under the counter stuff’. League of gentleman football. Once you get trapped in the village of Snotball-on-dull it’s hard to get out. Colin Wanker is the Mayor of that shitty little town and it’s populated by bitter little twisted men who define the hate mantras of the Warnockian way.

Again we have a plethora of ideas that are kind of bouncing around in the darkness of the void engineered by vapid pointless opposition tactics for sure. This Bolton football reminiscent of pussy grab courting, great lolloping tongues that taste of cheap alcohol and trying to find your clothes in the dark. Bolton are pretty shit to be honest, a bit like their blog too. Big words and tactics they don’t quite understand but are trying. Their team look like gasfitters, a lads night out, a lads day at Cheltenham races, shit trims and fat arses.

So fuck Bolton. How are they doing in general? I have a little look at them on Youtube. Very shit. It was like watching madmen chase balloons. It’s only what they deserve. I don’t know who plays for them except Karl Henry. But here at the footy they look kind of mobile in that mutton dressed as lamb groove they have. They look like they are pretending to play attractive football but the scent of the shithouse follows them around as Neves looks a bit confused by Bolton but another incisive pass through the fat of the fried spam Bolton philosophy delights again. It’s all very deep fried this Bolton thing. And they’ve had a ‘resurgence’ lately have they? Cavaleiro is ratcheting around like a lunatic again. He believes again doesn’t he? His link up with Bonatini is a thing for me. This whole Doherty thing is a thing too. I love their fume about our players. The snide comments about Mendes. You see we are not allowed to dream. We are too Wolverhampton for glitzy football they think. More FFP fume and grief. Every word the grey faces type gives me joy.

More control here. Saiss is beautiful. Commanding in midfield. How did Lambert denigrate this man so? He glides between Bolton players and another gorgeous stroke of foot and again it’s a runner. Helda down the side. Trembling with anticipation we bang our shins on the seats in front. Alas a fruitless run but beauty in itself. Costa I think I lurve you. It’s not ‘filthy’ football. It’s romantic candlelit dinner football. Dunking a fresh roll in your soup football. It’s having dinner with ex pros and wondering whether you have cabbage in your teeth. Privileged I am I suppose to watch it. Even though they aren’t moving out of second gear….what? Yeah no way were Wolves in top flow. The turbo didn’t even kick in and we were smashing them all over the place. See Neves run, see Jota twist.

Even if we were just jogging along we were taking the piss totally and lo and behold what happens? Bolton decide to act like little girls at a party and shit wasn’t going their way was it. A little pull here and there, an errant late foot, and poor Jota spent that much time in the air I’m quite tempted to fly ‘Jota Airlines’ next time I fly. Little Jotty baby I thought. He’s a lil soul isn’t he? Nah. Jota comes from hard stock. Jota is a hardnut, a lad, a piece of work, a head and a tough nut. He didn’t give a shit about Liam Softcock and his Bert Boilknob book of Championship Football tactics (all five pages of it, and three of them pages are Warnocks foreword talking about Wolves). What a disgrace Bolton are really. They don’t deserve the name of Wanderers. Notlob Disunited I name them. I’m glad their syncophants high in the corner of the Northbank were far away so I couldn’t see them. I’ve had my fill of ‘North’ this week. Oh there’s Jota in the air again, he rubs his leg and gets up and seconds later he’s giving little fat Bolton boy a lesson in Nunoism. Nuno of course is sent off in the next few minutes. It’s a Coach-tastic rumble in the jungle on the touchline. I’m violent at this point. If Nuno get’s touched I’m going around the front after the match and getting angry. Don’t touch my Nuno. Nobody touches the Nuno.

So Nuno alights into the sanctum of the Billy Quiet. The Northbank still think they have to pay extra for time added on and on 90 minutes they have gone home. Somebody should tell them they don’t have to pay extra ya know. It’s cruel.

Five goals. Five delicious slices of Nuno cake. And we weren’t even on fire. We will see in he next few weeks the attention I warned about early in the season. Now the words on most football fans minds will be Wolverhampton Wanderers. Articles are being prepared right at this moment. Maps are being consulted about where we are. Stories will be made up, rumours and propaganda. It’s ok for us to languish in some post orgasmic joy about our football, the ideas, the beauty and the moments. But we must also be prepared for the ugly and the dark as the world turns it’s eyes on us. We must be brave also and listen to what Nuno has to say to his team and we must also do what he says. Don’t worry about the league position. Take it one game at a time. Make every game a cup final. Control your opponents. Make your ideas stronger than theirs.

I’m waiting in the Chippy down Stubby Lane and the dude serving has a Wolves shirt on and he’s explaining the game to some of his customers. But he’s like all of us at the moment. We find it hard to explain what we are seeing and experiencing. We are struggling to find words and emotions that accurately narrate something like Cavaleiro/Jota/Costa/Douglas/Coady/Boly/Doherty and the madness of their methods. We don’t really understand any of this yet. Don’t understand why the journey to the bus stop takes 10 minutes when we win and twenty when we don’t. He can’t explain it because we don’t really know what we are experiencing at all. The algorithms are all clicking through the orders with clinical efficiency. Each player we have is uniquely suited to the tasks required. Nearly every pass and shot is weighted perfectly. Every knocked on loose ball has a Wolves player there to collect…and we stand there mesmerised by the whole thing. The Jota chip made my lower lip tremble and I though I was going to just start weeping and letting the stress of the previous decades just pour out.

And this is Bolton for fucks sake. What’s going to happen in the next few months as we consolidate our position and get stronger and stronger? What happens when the atmosphere is that permeated with victory and promotion? When we are standing there watching our team celebrate…I don’t think we are strong enough to deal with it. The team are, but me personally? This beautiful football is going to give me that much joy I may go totally insane.

 

The How, The Where and The When

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‘Leeds are falling apart again’

It was a storm of sorts I think. The wind whipped around and coat choices were by the by really as those fingers peeled through the layers and it was Leeds. Memories of the Northbank whenever we play them. It was my first game back in 1972 when things were just becoming colour and we were leaving those black and white days behind. It was a spectacle then of course. A match was more than just a match in those days. It was indeed a spectacle, a dose of pure theatre on a Saturday afternoon. Loads of them have come tonight and the Steve Bull is filled with 1.75 Million Leeds fans who are oddly quiet…and at the end of this match will be quieter still. Bereft indeed. The abyss of their hate filled with my love for Wolves. The Savillian dogmas burn and flutter in the flames of Nunoism. They will return to that godforsaken wasteland of Yorkshire with this new covenant blaring within their ears and making their hearts heavy.

Things now are becoming clear at Molineux and the tides and sand are shifting and are still dangerous. Reading last week showed that Stam in all his Voldemorty creepiness could still change and tweak a tactic here and there to try and throw a spanner into the cogs of the Nuno Machine. What tactical nous it was well I can’t tell you really. I just know all of a sudden they were pressing a lot. Getting chances. Ruddy diving around, Coady getting his vocal on, Boly being the unstoppable force and immovable object in one. Was I entertained? No not really. It’s November. We would have (in another pre Nuno world) have lost that game for sure. A curling last minute free kick into the net. The roar of the home crowd and we would have run out of ideas fast. Ordinarily of course, in the past. It’s not entertainment no. We are the story and the characters, the plot lines and the fables. We are tangled and wrapped in the whole Nuno machine.

Nuno utilised the tools at his disposal surely, and he was ruthless with it too. At Reading I watched as the ideas were unleashed in many ways. The input Nuno had in retaining shape and intent when Reading changed tack a few minutes into the game was a Masterstroke. I was quite happy to hail the Nuno wizardry in full pelt again but it was much more than magic. It was a switch and a response made by the team that impressed me the most. In between swearing at an upside down head Reading fan yards away from me, they had angst, it was palpable and real. Every grimace and abusive comment from one of ‘them’ made me laugh all the louder.

Walking up to Molineux from the Bluebrick these thoughts occupied my mind. There’s a lot of Leeds fans here, at least one and a half million of them thronging the streets around the ground. I’ve never seen so much shit in one place. A thronging torrent of Yorkshires finest shit. I’m not apologetic about how much i don’t like Leeds. Not at all. They are resurgent tonight. A few wins maybe. Their intent as shiny as their angst I suppose. But Nuno? What are your thoughts?

We are starting to look like a total unit. The squad looks like a well oiled machine in longer and longer segments during a match. At the start of the season of course,  we had bursts and glimpses of the whole glorious football. Now nearly half way through the season there is more control over games and that control can stretch to ten or fifteen minutes at a time before the opposition can react. Often that reaction is total offence. Many teams we have played this season have not been bad teams. They have reacted fast and with surefire intent as soon as they have sensed a moment of inaction from our team. We have also had reactions to this. At Reading we had a straight line of five men defending John Ruddy from an attack. Coady at the center is growing into his role the more games he has. Boly was not just an immense presence but has a sixth sense about sudden movement. His eye for this movement is clinical, the interface between what he sees and how he moves is slick and efficient. The sense of ease in which he switches his weight from foot to foot. Springing away on his left so his right is fast to the loose ball or a clearance. I’m happy to see Douglas and Doherty within the whole backline acting just as efficiently. I don’t remember us having a defensive unit like this for a long time. It’s poetry at times watching them all move as one. Spooky. I wonder what strange magic Nuno and his staff had to evoke for this.

The backroom staff. Dodging this awful traffic. Who are these men that wander around in the background? I’m not skilled enough to know who they are. The names unfamiliar and strange. But all highly motivated one thousand yard stares. Men you know are not going to be swayed by bullshit and excuse. I suppose the metaphysical essence of Nuno has to be balanced by the stoic empirical dogma of the bleep test and the heuristics of performance. Yin and Yang maybe. But Helda twisting and turning after his injury. He seems like a greater presence to me, a more complete player. The injury has been negated by the backroom staff. Can we even call them by that ‘anachronistic’ term any more. It smacks of black and white snotball. Surely with the global outlook we now employ as a club we may say something else? Maybe ‘Technical Support’ I don’t know. But I do see with my eyes that they have done a job on Helda. We may contrast this idea with what may have happened under the previous staff. Helda would be a cripple probably. The whole atmosphere within the club has had a holistic effect on the injury maybe…

Cavaleiro turns shoots on the edge of the box. There is none of that meat and two veg movement here. It’s a saffron tinged delight of a turn. Style and ease. It’s football as art really and why not? Creativity is a driving force in any artists and that’s why football will always be the greatest team sport in the world, we can create beauty and innocence through a twist of a Cavaleiro hip. Unload the vermillion joy of a well toe bunted ball into the net. The Douglas free kick. What is a Douglas? Who is he? Not an understudy for sure, to anybody. That international movement he has gleaned from his travels has done him good, extended his vision and provoked artistry like that free kick. I don’t see any difference between that goal and Fred Astaire gliding across a highly polished floor with a beautiful woman in a posh frock being thrown around while those twinkle toes do their thing. But twinkle toes is surely a Jota/Neves meme. The ‘Twinkle Toe brothers for sure.

Momentum…it’s become relentless now. In seasons past teams like Reading and Leeds would have steam rollered us with a nicked goal or some viable movement of the ball. Now they are crushed. You could see with ten minutes to go last night two Leeds players sitting down on the pitch. Fucked. Bereft. There was noting they could do except be a bystander to a flow so virile and strong it hurts to even think you can halt the flow of it. It was easy and steezy, all pleasey and feely. Boop, pass to Doherty, beep pass to Neves who collects, bonk, to Jota, boop to Neves again, Bonatini leaps, boop to Jota again, Cavaleiro collects, turns, shoots. Go again, ‘second verse, same as the first verse’ The Ramones sang.

But what is this constant struggle to win points and claw your way through the season? At first it was all that occupied my mind, especially at the start of the season and now that drudgery and madness is a distant memory nearly and we are now at the cusp of belief. Watching us slide and cajole that spherical object into the art it actually is was always the key I think. The nuts and bolts of this win against Leeds is empirically just another three points and we concrete our intentions fully into the pitch. Nuno pronounced that its the ‘How, the where and the when’ and when he speaks we all listen for at the end of the day he is our coach too, he galvanises us, the crowd, the fans and it’s ok for now to describe ‘the supporters’ the same way as you describe ‘the team’ and we can meld and amalgamate the dynamics of both team and fans as one. In the future we will look upon these times as the very best, when we all gather together with the same voice and love perhaps.

How? Assemble a squad of players who have the capacity to unleash their ideas on the pitch. Utilise the skills they have in abundance and channel those skills into instant reaction. Provoke ideas and artistic divine football. Instill your ideas on the pitch with aplomb and beauty, planning and an idea of its conclusion. Gather the support you have into an unstoppable force, make the whole club an idea.

Where? Here at Molineux and ‘there’ in the idea-less dysfunctional wastes of other grounds and other places. We gather every time we play and we sing  the Nuno-esque ballads. The importance of the ethos of Molineux has been gathered into the arms of the Fosun-Nuno nexus. We take Molineux with us everywhere we go. The ghosts hover at our elbows and sing with us in those strange foreign pitches. We hold the ideas firmly within our hearts everywhere we go.

When? Now of course. We have suffered enough over the past few decades when the promises and skills of those who would hold control over our club fall to the ground and are mashed in the detritus of plastic beer bottles and slippy floors. Now is the time when the planets have aligned and it has become our time and our moment. We stand, all of us at the cusp of greatness and this moment should be treasured and kept safe from the platitudes of those who would wish us nothing but disaster.

I have another bump on my head from Dannys elbow, I fell over at one point in the match. My glasses are hanging on by one arm. My Adidas have a big muddy footprint on them. I’m standing in Queens square as people sing and stagger past me and the rain has knocked off and my coat is damp and the Xmas lights are shining and magical. I’m looking up at Prince Albert on his great bronze nag and for a moment as the wind moves the lights strung across the street I see a shadow move across Alberts face but it’s not Albert for a precious second, it’s Nuno and he is proud, gallant, and resolute and that sword is his idea and his legacy for this town. Onwards as ever and who knows what the future may hold and for once I don’t care what the future holds because right now I feel that pride in the place where I live and every foot step I take is light and free. ‘How, where and when’ Nuno has said, and we listen to every word he says. Fuck the future, the time and the beauty is now.

Adventures in Nunoland

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Jaap Stam eh? He says he can beat us and he’s not scared. He waxes lyrical to the press about it with that Stam Steeze where his forehead wrinkles up like a Primark shirt after one wash. It’s an internal dialogue where he’s talking to himself really. Forget about our team Jaap. Forget about the lubrications and the magical football we play. What are your ideas? What is your philosophy? What is the platform for these ideas you have when really the idea is just a hypothesis isn’t it? It’s tilting at windmills like a bald headed Don Quixote hoping your words will galvanise your team into some viable opposition. You may even claw a win out of today but the question still remains. Are your ideas stronger than Nunos? I’m mixing sand and cement, thinking about the game to come and it’s cold and making my back ache. I know Frazzle Dave is watching me from his kitchen window, watching me lump slabs around.

Welcome to Nunoland! Nunoland, the magical adventure kingdom where you will vomit into your lap after riding the ‘Neves of Terror’ the ‘Jota-Train’ and the ‘Mean Bonatini’. Clutching your candy floss as you pass the ‘Carnival of Coady’ your forehead will wrinkle again and your ideas will be defunct as you power up ‘The Edwards’ maybe or the Bod for a final swansong against this unstoppable power and fairy dust from Nuno’s Wizard cloak. Jaap Stam stops in front of a Carnival mirror and laughs at his misshapen face and head…but oh it’s a real mirror.

Nuno entices you further into the maze of attractions with a wave of his hand and his top hat set at a jaunty angle. Come on in Mr Stam, and Jaap bobbles his eyes and the carnival lights reflect off his smooth head, the cards in Nunos hand skitter and tumble from hand to hand as he entices him to make a bet. The cards slip between his fingers twisting and turning, fast, so fast it’s hard to see where the three of Points is…Come on Jaap lay your money down. Nunos voice is hypnotic and gentle, rhythmic and sensuous…Find the goal, it’s easy. Stam picks a card and Nuno smiles and flips it over. The Joker that seems to have Dave Edwards face…. And Nuno smiles and puts the three points from Jaap into one of his many magical pockets. Try again? In the second half we were under almost constant attack and I can’t bear witness to much of it as I was crouched under the seat practically. Ruddy hoofs a ball upfield, it’s collected by Reading and they ping two three shots at the Wolves goal and it looks like the whole script is about to be rewritten. It’s sipping that eighth pint and things are curly and unsteady. Sip and hold on.

‘Dave Edwards is part of the family regardless of what you think’

Family get togethers and weddings are always weird. The smelly Aunties, the Uncles who used to touch you, the cousins ‘he’s been to prison for nicking cable off the railway’, you’re on your best behaviour, turning your nose up at the crap buffet that you devour after three pints listening to Uncle Combover talk about Hank Marvin and the Shadows at Willenhall baths in 1962.

This match is like that. Dave Edwards, Uncle Dave eh? He will be polishing his angst in the mirror at the way we shifted him on. Squirting himself with 50 year old aftershave, Old Spice probably or Brut. Putting his shoes on top of the gas fire to loosen up as they have been crushed at the bottom of the wardrobe since the last family get together and now look like a deep sea fish. Wearing a suit that wouldn’t be out of place on Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. You know that by the time the DJ plays ‘I am the Resurrection’ Dave will be white man drunk dancing in the middle of the dance floor, Dave swishes and knocks a drink out of somebodies hand, Dave knocks over a little kid and doesn’t even notice as it’s that bass bit in the song.

‘Dum dum dumma dum dum dum dum dagga dat dat da dagga dat’

Stone Roses eh? Uncle Combover slips over in the pool of alcohol that Dave spilled and now stares at the pretty disco lights on the community center ceiling, he thinks he’s had a heart attack but it’s the dodgy pork pie, always the dodgy pork pie. I am the Resurrection and I am the light.

‘We treated him disgracefully. He’s a Welsh International for fucks sake’

An industrial estate town, a cultural abstract, a place of potholes and wife swapping parties, holidaying at Center Parc. We left Dave and Bod there in Reading and I feel a little bad about it. I feel bad about the pre match arguments that started about Dave. He still has an effect on some peoples hearts. An old girlfriend thing. We are going to get it on with him again. Not love but fumbly touching and memories of that time you both went crazy. When one of those errant aimless runs he did made the ball  bounce off his head or foot while he was in the box and it just went in. That one goal that Bod scored. Is this not love? No, I can’t love them any more, as soon as they walk out the door at Molineux they are gone, unless they did heroic things of course. Which they didn’t really, not that I remember.

Oh Dave, your football was as inspiring as a book about potholes really. It reflects beautifully the diaspora of Reading. Dave is an office party fuck in the photocopier room with Denise Purplefringe from Procurement, slightly drunk with cheap wine, hands clawing wins here and there, and probably a bit of a clap after. The crumbs of a mince pie would be suck on the hairs on her upper lip as you groped your way to that five seconds of bliss and the sadness of paper towels, Dave wheeling away from a goal he scored arms outstretched…’We’ve got Dave Edwards! Super Dave Edwards! I just don’t… want… to….. understand…’. The glass on top of the photocopier is making cracking noises as you pound away to that knee trembling festive fuck and contemplate the next twelve months of abject eye avoiding post xmas office fuck angst. And crikey it was a fuck and a half during some points in the second half as Reading had pop after pop at our goal until at times it felt like Wolves were Denise perched on top of the photocopier getting ball after ball slammed towards us only for Boly or Coady to get a face or a foot in.

Now of course we are having a fling with that sexy Portuguese thing from Marketing, flouncing around with her sexy football, you don’t know what she sees in you, she’s beautiful and fit, she’s making all the right noises at you, touching your hair (or bald head) telling you how much she adores you in that lubricative Mediterranean lilt, her breath smells of lemons and saffron, sunset dinners, arse like a peach…..but Denise is giving you the evils from across the office. Dave and Bod will be wearing low cut tops, tottering on heels, shouting about how many times they go to PureGym so you can hear. Dave and Bod still love us. Probably waiting for that lil Portuguese slut to wander off not interested any more so she can say ‘I told you so’ if you hadn’t blocked her on social media. Today will be that. I drop a slab into position and kick it up a few millimeters, stand back with my hands on me back feeling those scars ache in the cold. At Reading I watch the net bulge as Cavaleiro scores. It seems like normal service. But for a moment that cold drizzle that’s falling from the sky is leaching the colour from it all, at least our play still has some brightness kind of faded and sun worn maybe. Their right back is emotionless and uninspiring, he looks like he doesn’t give a shit, he lacks anything. Horace tells me Lambert loved him and tried to buy him. Blank Face. Typical.

Of course the Santa Maria football we play now is an anathema to Dave and Lambertino. Dave plays for Reading now and that’s pure Denise really. Just about getting the impetus to fly into the stratosphere of Premiership football and Reading falling over on those heels at the door of the swanky nightclub, her boob has fallen out and a heel has broken off those shoes. People are laughing. Reading. What is a Reading? What is this slab? It weighs half a ton and it’s a struggle as I can’t grip it properly as my hands are cold. Denise Purplefringe…I could just put my hands up your jumper for a warm…Just like I will clap Dave really. It’s something to do with your hands as you avoid his eyes when he runs onto the pitch. His first ‘pass’ rattles across the pitch for 40 yards and goes out of play. For half an hour I don’t realise he is on the pitch.

Now returned from international duties some of our players will be that crowd that giggles at Denise with her tit out on the pavement. I mean Reading can play some attractive football sometimes but you just know the addition of ‘Dave’ and ‘Bod’ shows a lack of imagination and idea. But also as grey and bland as Reading is I’m sure that they will have some elements of their game, some obtuse idea of how to knock a ball around. Of course they will probably score a goal too.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Frazzly Dave has put a bet on for Dave to score because Frazzly Dave loves Dave Edwards. I’m going to get £20 for laying these slabs in Frazzles garden  so I could buy a beer at Reading. Dave was out in the garden most of the time avoiding his missus who has this Hyacinth Bouquet thing going on. Talking to the scum laying slabs eh? But Dave loves Dave and he wants to talk about him. Dave wears his work polo shirt on his days off. Dave bets on football. Dave has a racing bike worth 8 thousand quid he never rides. Dave owns his own printing company. Dave loves that Frazzle thing, Dave drives a BMW, his missus has a £400 hair-do and a 58p body. He eats bacon corn snacks in little bacon-y strips, little packets he scrunches in his mouth and spits the crumbs out as he talks. About Dave. Dave has a Dave Edwards shirt framed up on the wall and a little spotlight illuminating it.

‘After what he did for us I think it’s a disgrace we let him go, I mean yeah Nuno is doing a thing but blah blah Dave blah Wales, against Leeds blah Wales international, blah Dave, Dave Blah Dave….’

I nearly crush my finger dropping a slab down but Frazzly Dave doesn’t notice that I really want to drop a slab on his head and I close my eyes as I mallet it level and Daves head is under that Mallet turning to a mush of brain and half chewed corn snack and I wish Bod and Dave were under it too. Especially if they score today. Half of Molineux is at the ‘Madge’ or the ‘MadStad’ and the surroundings are pockets of ‘Ayits’ and ‘Ars’ and ‘Yeows’ which sound like exotic Amazonian birdlife but are really ‘Yes it is’ and ‘Yes’ and You’. The feeling is stressful to me, the day is abstract, the industrial thing is thick and heavy. The Police are grumpy and leathery, the sky looks like Yodas ball sack. It’s like your head being wrapped in clingfilm.

‘We never understood the skill Dave has, you fuckers in the Southbank only watch one end, I see it all in the Billy Wright’

We sing because that’s what we do. It’s proper English folk music this is. The denigration of rivals and neighbours in song form is the purest expression of Englishness in the world. Forget Royalty and Westminster, democracy and Empire. It’s all about how many fingers ‘they’ have. That the place where they live is a shithole. That the team that represents them are shit. There’s a lot of ‘shit’ in these songs. That’s the way it should be.

‘We’ve never had a baggie in our seat’

The match? Well. it was ‘that’ kind of a match surely. This blog post reflects the game perfectly. Meandering and curly with a chunk of those tactics here and there. Reading did well to get that many shots on out goal. Ruddy, immense. Doherty solid and incisive again. But I can’t write about how we did this and that on the pitch when the weight of greyness that surrounded us on the way in to the stadium, it’s a tragedy for sure. An endless Bentley Bridge. Signs, signs everywhere a sign fucking up the scenery wasting my mind. Landscape affects the football maybe

But it was a match. I’m delirious. Yin and Yang ball surely but here and there it was a cosmic experience only countered by the wastelands that surround us on the way out of the area. What is this dystopic miasma of corrugated steel and plastic crap we have filled this country up with? A disgrace. Another three points Nuno my sweetheart. Another step up that lofty ladder to Moneyville and everything is crispy and Christmassy. A skip up the kerb outside. A heart laugh at something Horace has moaned about. Another beautiful day in Nunoland. I’m holding a load of brightly coloured balloons that all have Nuno’s face on them. Could Reading have won? Maybe a few years ago this match would have been them equalising and then them scoring the winner in the last minute, their jubilant support raining abuse upon our heads….but now? This victory, as scrappy at times as it was shows us that a momentum exists now. The wins and the beautiful football we have played so far has added a weight to our intentions and that weight is now pushing games like this, that we would have lost a few years ago to a victorious conclusion. Momentum of the idea I suppose. This momentum is important in games like this when the opposition decide to stand up and be counted. They just get rolled over. No matter how brave and big they are the momentum of the Wolves is now too great. The ideas are too vast for simple tactical changes to have an effect.

We listened to Tony Pulis and enraged Albion fans on the radio on the way back to Wolverhampton and Horace kept laughing at their angry semi incoherent rants. I laughed too as we walk and move with that momentum we must also look down the road at the Birmingham clubs like West Brom/Villa/Birmingham City who have either no momentum [Villa and City] or backward momentum like West Brom. We’re going to pass them aren’t we? Waving at their glum faces as they stand with their faces pressed up the windows of the train to Nowhere. Looking at the pure horror of the environment around Reading I’m secure in the knowledge that despite the monochrome sadness of the place we have dug deep indeed to react and finish the match with three points and that’s pure belief in a system as well as that momentum. The team need a medal for that. Onwards and upwards.

Sorry it’s so long. Waffling.

 

The Ballad of Conor Coady

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Do we not love him? I do I’m afraid…love a funny word really. I love my dogs, I love getting on my bike but how do I equate ‘loving a player’? I think it’s football love. He’s a fantastic Captain of our team, he is a rock in defense, a constant ‘face’ in the team and I am much happier when he is there and I scan the pregame blurbs for his name on the team sheet. Thing is dear readers…

When I was in Wales this Summer I would park the bike up on a mountain somewhere and think about the season to come. There were names mentioned and they were signed, there was excitement and madness. But I would always think of what Conor Coady would do this season. I was always thinking how he would do among this influx of delicious footballing dudeness. I wasn’t afraid he would get dropped of course, well, a little bit. But I did have a hope that he would excel at moving among these sexy players and he would indeed find himself lining up with them on the first game of the season and know deep within his heart that he had a right to be there and in his humility never think he would end up a giant among them. I mean the whole idea of this blog was initially ten thousand words I wrote about Coady during last Summer. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know. I just felt the need to pontificate on his football for a few hours and then when I did look up from the keyboard the day had turned into night and my back ached. Where would I put these words for others to see? Wolves blog, and here it is in all it’s grotty glory, Southbank Resistance. It’s Coadys fault, all of it, blame him.

Nuno must have played a significant role in the process of Coady-development since he came to Compton, maybe in the organisation of his training and maybe even the guarantee of enjoying the total experience the player gained during the process of moving from the static un-dynamic situations he found himself under other coaches. The development of Conor is a whole process of maybe constant renewal of one’s experience in the team I suppose. Probably the idea of his interaction between the football he plays and objective of learning must have been emphasised on some level or another by Nuno. But I suspect that Conor looked at Nuno on that first day and he knew deep within his heart that here was a man he could work and develop with. Maybe Nuno looked at the DVDs of the games before he arrived and looked at Coady and thought here is a base I can build upon

We played Preston and there was Coady easing an attack away from Ruddy and all the time he was shouting to his comrades to move into dangerous spaces, shut down this player, shut down that one. Arms going ten to the dozen, lunacy, intent and desire to win. You could see everybody else doing exactly what he wanted. I’ll tell you why. It’s all in the way he speaks and processes information. He talks fast and thinks fast, more importantly too, he can physically drive himself into spaces and incidents while he is processing the information he sees in front of him. He doesn’t have to think about what his body is doing. He just does it. That is the mark of a great footballer. Eye to brain to the physical, a process for him that takes a split second.

Of course as I’m picking a decent couple of Avocados in Aldi these thoughts about Coady drift through my mind. Conor isn’t even ripe yet. That head of his will still be developing into the total footballer he is about to become (if Nuno stops slapping it). I can’t for the life of me think why he was moved on by other clubs he had been with. I mean I’m a bit jealous to see he has flirted with them, had his photo took in their shirts etc. I regard him as ours pretty much. I’m possessive about it. But he was stuck in a defensive midfield role. A stopper. What a strange choice. What did other Coaches think of him to put him there? I am sure that when he came here I would have said stick him in the back four. I was ignorant and lacked the skills to see what a player he is. Tall, rangy, typical back four player. I could punch myself in the balls for being so stupid.

But then we had a back four. That Stoic typical English approach to building an impenetrable wall against attack. The back four was always an anathema to me. It just reeked of bad building work, the mortar oozing out between the bricks. It was always about tackling and snotting, Gary Mastic Sunday football bollocks. Of course Conor would have curled up and dried out in a back four. I mean he pretty much curled up when he played in midfield for us. I don’t think it was the fact he was playing midfield that took the glow off his game but the fact that we were playing with a midfield that lacked any guile and skill, any real idea of how a midfield should play. You could tell in many games he played there that that lack of inspirational football must have played on his mind a little, made him not want to understand it. Of course he played there with a 100% dedication regardless of the dullness of it. He wasn’t being driven to consume the role he was given and I think the space was mentally confined and narrow. The role was part understudy and part patching the holes we had in previous seasons.

The back three espoused by Nuno has given Conor a role he can fill out. Colour in the edges and sit back, comfortable that he does have space to define his own ideas and creativity. He can play the ball out of the danger area with skill he picked up from untangling attacks, grabbing the ball back when he played midfield. But as well as that the back three gives him an intellectual challenge too. It’s the area where he can operate his formidable mind into defusing attacks, rapidly appraising opposition players so that he pretty much knows what to expect from the tactics employed by many of the Championship teams we will face this season. Watching him play gives me a pleasure that I haven’t felt for a long time watching a particular player at Wolves. But why pleasure?

For one he represents the old order even if he has only been here a short time. He definitely represents the flow or continuation from past teams over the past two years into this all singing all dancing group of players we have in the squad now. But more importantly for me, he has showed that progression and ability to transcend the politics and changing opinions of past Coaches at Wolves for sure. He has never let his head drop in any game I have watched him. Even in the defeats we have suffered this season he was directing and cajoling his team mates until the final whistle. I stood on the Southbank a few times and all I could hear was his voice echoing off the steel shuttering at the sides and the back. I could feel my fears evaporate, I could feel myself believing we could get something out of the game through him. Is he not the filter between the team and us? I think he is. The lubricant between the lofty ideals and screaming pistons of Nunoism and the crankcase sweat and snot of the crowd. The thing that keeps the whole Wolves machine turning.

At Liverpool last season he basically won us the game. Now I’m not arguing with anybody at this point in this post. I’m not listening to you. Conor won us that game and I think discovered within himself a rich vein of footballing ability I don’t think he knew he had, or he was unaware of it. Colossal in defense? I would say so. He negated attacks with aplomb, dicing the ball up in the midst of Liverpool attacks. Same at Manchester this season. He faced the most formidable team in Europe at the moment. He made them look negated and blank. He looked as if he belonged there. He looked as if he had always played against such teams.

May we say he has a ‘hunger to improve’? I think that’s like saying the Titanic got sunk by some frozen water. I think the whole process of Conor becoming probably one of the greatest players to pull on a Wolves shirt is far more complicated and metaphysical than that. I think that Conor needed the intellectual hunger to become one of our best players and I think Nuno provided that arena for the footballing brain of Coady to thrive. The environment is more important than useless words and platitudes, whiteboards and rants. I suspect the holistic environment Nuno has placed at Compton has allowed players like Doherty and Coady to thrive. But I think Conor has responded to this environment a lot better than others and it’s going back to the whole idea that Coady is the consummate footballing intellectual. As much as I can wax lyrical at the madmen of a team galvanising the play on the pitch I also think that this intellectual and academic basis of Coady also has a place within that particular meme.

What will we see in the future for him? He will grow into his role in that back three, I can see it, feel it and taste it. Every game he has he stores that game away in his head and uses it as an operating system for his game and every time he plays he is becoming a stronger and more intelligent player, you can see it. Positions and blocking, moving the ball from defense to midfield. The attacking ethos we have instilled in our team has given Coady the tools to base his game on the very ideas and memes that constitute a ‘whole’ footballer. As Captain too (of Wolves) he finds himself in a position where he can spread out and disseminate his own philosophy on how a footballer grows and develops aided and abetted by possibly one of the greatest coaches we have seen at the Wolves in Nuno. I would be inclined to give Conor the Captaincy of our team right now, officialy. That’s not denigrating Danny Batth at all. But I think Conor espouses the new groove within the team now and if we are building for the future we have to not only keep hold of the players we have developed but give them the intellectual framework and responsibilities they need to be that whole footballer to be that solid but effervescent personality we need to progress. I suspect handing him the Captains armband will do that. I think Coady is the leader we have craved for a long time and I think also he will be an integral part of this team in many years to come.

The greatest thing about blogging your views is that they are exactly that. My views. But my view on Coady is made from watching him play when more exciting things were happening elsewhere. I know a team is based on it’s core strength and that strength is deep and ‘inside’. Conor Coady is the missing piece of the jigsaw for us. I believe that with all my heart and this piece should be seen in that light. I love watching Coady play. I loved watching him play since the first time he pulled on a Wolves shirt and I’m sorry but I wont listen to anything negative said about him after people read this. I’m not going to engage in debate about it simply because when he plays I can feel it in my heart and it has become a metaphysical thing. It may be relative and subjective but I don’t really care to be honest. Am I skilled at such lofty announcements? Well I predicted the Manchester City game to be a draw. I should be able to make money out of betting on games really but no. Coady will become one of the greatest players ever to pull on a Wolves shirt, trust me.

The Heresy of Nunoism

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Heresy: (The act of having) an opinion or belief that is opposite of for or against what is the official or popular opinion, or an action the shows you have no respect for the official opinion.

Are we not all Heretics?

The journey back from Molineux last night was a circular and twisted one. Talking about the match with friends as we walked back we were animated and loud. We didn’t have any plans at all where we should end up. We were concussed by what we had just seen. It was Post Traumatic Nuno Disorder. When you have watched football so beautiful and so refined it was a shock to the system, it makes your hands shake, heart swell, sweat to break out on your back, hope, love. It was a velvet club of beauty that constantly bopped us over the head as another pass from Saiss incised a feeling through our stand. Were we annihilated by it? I was. At times I was holding my breath a little as the whole team moves as one. Intent and passion was etched on that pitch with a theology not a message from Nuno himself. It was a display of such lovely football I was emotional. This morning I was weeping at a video of Nuno hugging Captain Coady. Emotional, warm, ripped apart by love. I had to get out of the stand as quick as I could last night because I knew there was going to be some element of emotion I couldn’t hold in. I wanted to grab people and ask ‘what was that I just watched?’. Yes, I wanted to weep in happiness and joy. I wanted to run on the pitch and ask questions as now the whole momentum we have has taken on metaphysical properties. It is starting to seem like this fairytale has sprung to life in front of us as we watch. It grabs your heart and fills it with love. Are we not entertained? It is more than entertainment now. It is possibly a religious awakening. For we all need that figure that will galvanise and provoke such feelings.

Heresy? The Crazy Train is pulling up at another station on the journey now. That place where’they’ live. The natural order of things is about to be upset in great ways. We have a leader in Nuno and he has come down from the mountain to his people as Moses did. He is holding tablets of stone that have commandments carved on them by the Gods. Solidity, meaning, a message of sorts that say to the team in front of us commitment, love, solidarity, effort, strength words that I can sit and type all day as I heap platitudes on the head of our holy man.

Does he say anything? Does Nuno open his mouth and let fall a host of similar words that bounce back and forth between media platforms? No he doesn’t. The overtures from Everton are greeted with a simple emojji. A little cartoon head of a Wolf. and the dogmas of English Championship football burn on the horizon as this simple message falls among his people. Did we understand? Head and heart for sure we understood. We understand this because we know he is us and we are him. That love we have is envied by other teams, the Warnocks and the Holloways will never know such love and they twist and turn in the flames of their unimportance.

Did we need a leader like him? Of course we did. Watch him stalk the touchline. Animated at times and at others he stands with his arms crossed like Napoleon watching his troops fight the battles he himself has dictated for them. Behind them his coaching staff cajole, inspire and whisper in his ear about events that are judged in seconds and minutes, a reply given, the twist of a tactic and the tweak of a position. Fulham have fallen under the strength of ‘idea’ and of ‘love’. And does not love conquer all? Have Fulham in their transparent shift football understood it? No. All they have is the slur of a few empty seats. An insult so bereft of quality and creativity it makes me sad. Is this all you have? You fat arses who watch us with envious greedy eyes, your bitter lives laid bare in front of the joy of our victory. Lower than rats you are who heap your missives about the nuts and bolts of football and you lack the heart to understand what we watch, you lack empathy and your grey faces will stutter as you speak, your lives are defunct in front of this movement, this beauty. I check my pocket for my DaySaver bus ticket. I shiver a little. I look at the fella next to me and we shared that look. We have stood in the same spot for years and walked out in tears and now? We are shell shocked by this display of football and I grab his arm and just say ‘what’.

Fulham, that strange club filled with blankness that crept through and stained their football. Did they have an answer to this display? I stood in front of a Jackson Pollock painting when I was about 16 years old, Birmingham art gallery. I looked at that painting for hours just stood there trying to work out just what it was about. Those swirling lines of colour, the drips and splashes in seemingly random places. I listened to people that came and went through the morning I was there saying things like ‘my dog could do better than that’ and all the variations on that statement.

It was simply ignorance. I see this morning that there are bitter comments like that from other teams, broadcasters and pundits on the interwebs. I see their ignorance held forth for all to see and I am not sad about it. Yes the NunoRevolution and the Heresy of his approach is strange to them. It’s strange because they too love Nuno but they do not love us. They wonder why he is here, in Wolverhampton, they see Fosun and wonder ‘why not our club?’. Thus the bitterness falls in 140 characters, it drips across Facewank, in text messages, in articles and in post match discussions.

Are they bitter and twisted? Of course they are. That is good. Millwall always harp on about how nobody likes them but we too should have a song about how we are not disliked but we are hated. We are hated by the tight shirts in satellite broadcast media. We are hated by our local media, we are hated by everybody because of our heresy. As Neves split the midfield with another pass, as Neves tries to score from his own half we see those tenets inspire our team. We see the power of the universe flow through the ideas Nuno has given us. He has welded his team together with common purpose. Willy Boly scoops another ball from the foot of a Fulham player and we attack again. Every footfall from our team is a thunder that echoes through the streets around the ground. It echoes through the Bus stop post mortems, through the spangly lights on rain splattered windscreens in traffic, in the shuffling feet waiting to get served at the bar in a pub in town. It reverberates because we understand fully what has happened here at our club. It is a sound we have not heard for many years..

We are Heretics every one of us. We are going to crash the party with a tinkle of a CS gas canister through a pub doorway and the shouts of our allegiance. You see we haven’t been invited to the party. They other guests have been there for a long time and are comfortable in their appreciation of themselves and the higher orders of the football league and their syncophants are narcissistic and corrupt. They will fail to bar the door against us. Us, the people with the funny accents, who are a bit scruffy at times, we haven’t really enjoyed the same universities or moved in the same circles. Sometimes rain leaks through our shoes and we lose things in the torn linings of our pockets. Simple coins are kept safe within our pockets and any amount of money we do have is sorted in a pint here and a pint there, a ticket for this and the bus fare for that.

It’s a movement and a momentum they will never understand as we creep further and further into their circles. Of course the negative views on our club will get more frequent and the missives will stain the media with their bitterness. But we are allowed I think, to look at ourselves, especially after that display last night and say ‘we are coming, we have a message’.

The Pollock painting. I stood there for hours as folk moved backwards and forwards glancing upon it. It was the same as standing on the Southbank. I have stood there for years and years. Like those whose ignorance slathered the hardwood floor of the art gallery I too sometimes shook my head and didn’t understand our football. I didn’t understand our leadership as we lost a game to Burton, Bristol, Rotherham, these teams that should have felt a fear from us but never did. The Pollock painting was a confusing swirl of madness but you see. I stood and looked at that time, then i stood back and looked and that confusing swirl of paint suddenly came alive and I saw there was a message in that painting and it was a moment of intense understanding. There in every swirl was the hand of it’s maker. The personality of Pollock was made real and concrete in the ethereal madness screwed to that wall in Birmingham. The colour was just that, and the line here and there, the splashes were true things that indeed told a message. Nuno himself has splashed his personality upon the canvas of Molineux and it is only us that truly understand what he is saying. It’s only us that ‘know’. The dark cobalt blue of Doherty splitting the canvas into segments, the magenta of Neves, here and there in vivid broad gashes, the scarlet of Jota dripped here and there, the background greys,  blacks, silver and gold of Coady/Boly/Douglas, the sunshine yellow of Bonatini a glaring line here and there, a drop and a splash again of Cavaleiro in sanguine umber. All taken to the edges of the canvas by the artist himself, Nuno.

‘They’ who are ‘them’, the back biters and the back slappers will never understand the art and the love. They have led bitter twisted lives in the glare of finances and broadcast money. They will never understand what happens at Molineux and what it means to us waiting in bus stops counting out bus fare, seeing if you have enough for a bag of chips. But they will never know walking through the front door of your house with a happiness you never thought you would experience again. Seeing your family watching the TV or chilling out in the front room. Seeing how happy you are and the smell of a bag of hot chips, salt and vinegar, which is of course just how we like it. And they will ask ‘How did they get on?’ and we will smile and stuff a hot chip in our mouths as we talk about it, but no words will describe what we have and sometimes all we need is a simple emojji to explain it all.

 

Peasants At The Gates

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Just a few thoughts on the negative stories the Express and Star put out on Social Media yesterday.

Norwich was weird wasn’t it? Me and Horace stood outside the ground pre-game sipping a Coffee and just observing the absolute madness that permeated this crazy load of fans from Norwich….ok that’s a lie. It was like somebody had died. People from Wolverhampton often shout when they talk. This is probably a result of working in places that are very loud because they ‘make stuff’ out of metal. That metal clangs on the floor when dropped. Machines pump and crash through great echoing factories. We shout because we are in loud places. This place is not loud. What was a Norwich? A quiet place for sure. A place where when me and Horace ‘talked’ it was often loud and obviously upsetting to the people walking to the ground. Yes, we were loud and the conversation was permeated with lot’s of ‘Yeows’, ‘Yams’. ‘Arrs’, ‘Ahks’ and swearing. The people of Norwich shrunk their heads further into their collars and didn’t look at us.

The result was a god sent thing, ‘bouncebackability’ they say, it’s a definite promotion thing for sure. Winning after a defeat gives you the horn, after QPR it was needed, it was in fact required. Of course after the Norwich win it seemed like the Express and Star had a hard on for ploughing out a few negative stories about Nuno going, about November when we don’t win. All doom and gloom of course. But why? It’s not news that other teams will be after Nuno. It won’t be news that a plethora of clubs will be looking to pick through our presents off Uncle Mendes either. It’s a sure thing. These stories stick like shit to a duvet when ever we are doing well. I’m a bit of a paranoid fella. I often wonder what the underlying message is, what the real narrative really is. I know the press has agendas too. I suspect that the owners of a newspaper will define what that narrative is going to be before sending out their minions armed with lap tops to fill the newspaper with stories. So when I woke up Wednesday morning to see a few negative things on my social media timelines from the Express and Star my mind started working. It started defining a hypothesis as to why. Wolves and us were definitely on a high for sure. And we were being dragged back to negativity and worry.

Yes, we rarely win in November but that meme is surely dead. That was before surely?when we had a squad that lacked focus and ambition, but now, it’s different isn’t it? The Express and Star did a little feature about Nuno going to Everton. A non story for sure, even me in my addled state could see that Nuno wouldn’t be off there but the E&S had a hard on for the story and saw an opportunity for fume. #DontGoNuno was the hashtag. It was a barely emotional plea for activity on social media. The campaign died within minutes of course, and that’s the thing with letting fresh graduates of digital content blah degrees loose on the mass of lunacy that is us, the fans. We are quite happy in the golden glow of a good start to the season and we wanted to enjoy it a little. Like sitting down after xmas dinner, your belly full, eyes gently closing with the promise of 20 minutes kip while the soft xmas lights tinkle and twinkle, the dogs asleep, the kids are quiet, gently drifting into a soft, hazy,warm…..BOOM! Somebody has booted you in the bollocks and are shouting in your ear…’You’ve eaten too much! You’ll have a heart attack! Another drink? Do you know the damage that will cause to your liver??’. Lovely, thank you. The E&S love it don’t they?

I wouldn’t say they had an agenda to disrupt and annihilate our little happy thoughts at this time but fucking hell I’m suspicious. The Steve Morgan hagiography when he visited the city, the big spreads about his ‘return’ etc. And now this, happy in the win at Norwich we suffer the next days negative bullshit from the local press. We haven’t fallen for it have we? Some did I suppose. Those who still think that the local press are a viable and important part of the Wolves project. You see when we hear the word ‘Local’ we think that maybe, just maybe the local paper will be an important part of what it means to be a fan, they will support initiatives, provide stories that are positive and enlightening. Fully paid up members of the whole idea that at last we have momentum and intent, that the days of gloom are past. But no.

There is a gap between the Express and Star and us, the majority of fans. Years ago the paper would be bought and we would instantly turn to the back pages to see what the Wolves news is. It was sparse, as sport wasn’t awash with the money it has now. So we would buy the paper and find a few paragraphs about a latest injury, the thoughts of the manager, maybe even the odd photo of our current team hero. The press is no longer the ‘Press of Necessity’ and the longer and faster the march of the internet goes on the more we see the printed press is unimportant, separate and mostly uninvolved with the day to day information gathering of the net linked football fan. Now you can get information you want often at the click of a finger on a screen. The information world is fast and so is opinion too, so are conclusions I suppose. We gather the information from a variety of sources and let those bits of information leak around your network until indeed there are a number of opinions floating around. Some you don’t agree with and some you do, there are some in the middle too and we read all of them, constantly reading between the lines until we have come to some sort of conclusion about a story or a rumour. This conclusion however is not set in stone, we assimilate further bits of information and our conclusions change rapidly for some, slower for others. But eventually we reach a consensus opinion which we all agree on.

The Nuno rumours took maybe an hour to rubbish and Wolves fans on Social media had already come to a viable useful conclusion it was all a load of shit within a time frame that was dynamic, fast, information heavy and maybe more true than the Express and Star rumour mill.

We shouldn’t expect our local rag to be one of us just because it’s the town newspaper. We have to get rid of that idea now. For too long Journalists have cherry picked the stories they want to tell and been given the keys to access backstage areas where they can pick up info here and there. They get to interview players and managers and the interviews are lacklustre North Korean type press releases, boring bollocks, stuff we already know, recycled bullshit. We should have an arena of information supply really where other new dynamic media forms are given access to Managers and Chairmen. Where we can ask questions we want answered. Are we not Kings also? We pay the money required to tangle ourselves in the machinery of the emotional madness of football should we not be able to ask the questions we want answering? No Press pass for us. No subsidised expense account. No access. but we do have the new medias, the blogs and the webpages we set up to talk about our loves and hates, what we think from day to day. We have no axe to grind with our club, we support and love it. We may have a few things to nitpick over, we may even get emotional sometimes and that emotion may blur the edges between impartial flowing of informations to our readers and what really happened. But that’s what the world is like now, people who read these missives want emotion, want clarity through that emotion, and they want to know that we are as committed to the club as the club is to us….I hope.

I’ve waxed about football being a global thing now, international, dynamic and fresh but I think that having a local newspaper define the narratives coming out of the club and presenting it to us behind paywalls or on dirty newsprint isn’t dynamic and isn’t global. It’s old hat, it’s fat bastards with bellys bursting through their food stained shirts with a fag in their mouth ash falling on their notebooks as they try to mangle the half baked post match thoughts into something their readers will understand. It’s old shit, it’s Phil Plywood Sports Journalism and it’s dying a sure death thank God and alas that death is a slow painful one as we see when we finger another clickbait story purely to drive advertising revenue..

But I want to know what music Conor Coady listens to, I want to know what Nuno thinks about aliens, I want to know what Jeff Shi thinks about old British cars, I want to know what Bonatinis favourite films are, I want to know how much they pay for a haircut, what their favourite computer game is, why they get annoyed, what they love to eat, drink, what they laugh about. You see that information is the most important, it’s where we fill in the gaps between the blank dull information we are spoon fed.

But we need access to the main people. When I say ‘we’ I mean the dickheads like me that pummel away at a laptop keyboard for a few hours after a match trying to mangle thoughts into a viable read. I want to talk to Nuno. I want to talk to Jeff Shi. I want to present their thoughts to my readers in a way that is (sometimes) honest and seen through the madness of gold and black tinted glasses. I want to tell them about us as we know about them. I want to get the whole fan-club nexus on to some sort of coherent level. I don’t want the local press to be the filter between us and them. I dunno, perhaps it will never happen and the whole carousel will be tinkling around and around with the pretty lights and the jangly organ music while the members of the press cavort with players and owners alike while we stand there at the edge of darkness holding our overpriced candyfloss, but I hope not.

 

Brotherhood Of The Wolf

 

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Gather around children…

Once upon a time in a land called Molineux there was a brave handsome Prince named Nuno. In that land in which he lived the people didn’t smile much. It wasn’t that the land of Molineux was a sad land. They were generally a happy people, singing songs, drinking beer, laughing, drinking, singing and laughing some more. Prince Nuno was a very wise and brave man. Everybody in the land of Molineux loved him and when they saw him they would all sing to him so he would wave at them, then the people of Molineux would wave back and cheer. Prince Nuno made them very happy and they made songs for Nuno and Nuno smiled too for he knew that they loveth him.

The Ruler of Molineux was King Jeff who came from a land very far away from Molineux. The people of Molineux were very happy with King Jeff because King Jeff brought sacks of gold and jewels from that far off land. This made the people glad because their last King the wicked Morgan of Scouseland was very miserly. Often he would be seen in his tower at Molineux counting his money and cackling to himself. Baron Moxey who was King Morgans Chancellor was also a wicked man and he would steal some of that money too but it wasn’t called ‘stealing’ children, it was called ‘commission’ and King Morgan and Chancellor Moxey became very rich and the people of Molineux became sadder and sadder. The songs they sang became sadder too and people didn’t like coming to Molineux any more. It was even rumored among them that King Morgan didn’t even want to be King of Molineux at all and that he didn’t love them he just wanted their money and land to build expensive houses and fill them with grey people.

One day the people of Molineux became very angry that King Morgan and his friends didn’t really love the people that came to sing praises and songs of happiness every Saturday after working all week. Soon the people started calling the King horrible names and the Chancellor Moxey got called even worse ones because as well as keeping all the money he would also eat all the pies to himself. But soon King Jeff came and kicked the wicked Morgan out of his tower in a great battle and with him he brought the brave Prince Nuno and lots of Knights from sun drenched places that saw no snow or rain.

One day Prince Nuno was told he had to take his brave Knights to a dark land far away called Norfolk. Within that cold dark land was a place called Norwich which had it’s own King and there was to be a battle. This battle was to gain ‘magic points’ and these magic points were collected all year in various battles. The points were gathered together at the end of the year and the Kingdom that had the most magic points would be allowed into the land of the Premiership where there was much Gold and jewels, enough for everybody to share. King Jeff summoned Prince Nuno to him.

‘Prince Nuno! Thou shalt take your brave Knights to the Land of Norfolk and battle for these magic points for I wish that the people of Molineux should also sing my praises and I will let that Gold spill from my hands unto their hearts and the songs will be mighty and loud, verily much beer will be drunk’ and King Jeff pointed to the East…’Goeth with these men I have arrayed for thee and they shalleth be called ‘The Brotherhood of the Wolf’ and verily you shalt have my blessings upon thy wisest of heads’… and Prince Nuno gathered his Knights and prepared set off.

The land of Norwich was ruled by a man named Balls and verily many did laugh at this and so it was the people of that land in the East became bitter and waved their lobster hands in the air as yay! they were cursed and hated the people of Molineux because we had flags of deepest Gold and Bible black and our totem was a Wolf but the people of Norwich had flags of bile green and vomit yellow and verily their Totem was a small singing bird.

They remembered too many years in the past a brave Knight of Molineux Prince Kevin of Muscat who when battling the evil no necked dwarf ‘Craig of Bellamy’ verily did try to snappeth off his leg. The people of Norwich did click their lobster hands in a rage when this evil dwarfs name was mentioned and verily the people of Molineux dideth mention his name much when battles were met. Much to the jollity of the Molineux but not to the sad Lobster handed peoples of Norwich.

Prince Nuno set off with songs and much praise even if he had lost his last battle with the wicked bald headed ogre of West London only a few risings of the sun before. The wicked Ogre although victorious went back into it’s evil smelling cave to chew the festering bones of it’s season and Prince Nuno although beaten was glad he had the knowledge of the Ogre and would be prepared the next time they met in battle. But King Jeff verily said unto Nuno…

‘There are riches enough my Prince in this war and verily it will last until Spring and the coming of Summer and it is early in your battles as it is in your years, go forth with this knowledge and my blessing for I require three of these magic points today and thou wilt bring them to me so verily the people of Molineux will be triumphant and glad and we may sing songs’ and Prince Nuno was pleased.

So it came to pass that the singing and happy people of Molineux dideth travel through many dark roads, passing through valleys of fear and cold until at last they came to the place of battle. Verily did the peoples of that place also cometh for did they not come to see the Gold and Black standards of the Molineux and the Brotherhood of the Wolf?? Did they not wish to see the splendour of our banners? Were we not beautiful to look upon? And the peoples of Norwich did pour from their caves to watch the Knights of Gold and Black arrive upon the battlefield and there was Sir Conor of Coady, Sir Jota of Jota, the brave young Prince Bonatini, the warriors Sir Neves of Neves, Sir Bright of Enobakhare, the laughing Cavalier Ivan of Cavaleiro and Sir Alf of N’Diaye together with others who had yet to marketh their names upon the rolls of honour.

The battle commenced and yay the hordes of Norwich did sing strange songs in the language of their caves and verily we dideth struggle to understand their plaintive wailings and yet our own songs were sung loud and clear upon the battlefield and our warriors did feel themselves heartened and strong with these voices and the leadership of Prince Nuno. For Prince Nuno did consult with the Wizards of the Kwan and they were wise with their words and it was the will of Nuno that his young Knights did run hither and thither unto the gaps between the un-named soldiers of Prince Farck who commended them in his fashion. Verily it was seen that indeed these warriors of ours were brave and forthright, for were not the songs we sang full of the glories of the past? Did we not have the right to sit at the tables of Kings and proclaim our rightful place among them?

The battle commences and what a sight to behold it was. The strategies were simple and yet eloquent, a veritable delight of linked interplays, the flashing of foot, the incisive tactics. Prince William of Boly stretched his long shanks around the pitch of battle as a storm, every attack by the men of Norwich instantly pushed back under the weight of his skill. The night sky of that cursed land was aglow with the delights of the crowds that had come to feast their eyes upon such skills and even the trolls from the surrounding ditches of Norwich did verily attend and thus the battleground was awash with the puke yellow and gang-green of their flags.

But verily and yay! They were quiet under the storm of the Wolfs again and again our Princes and Sirs battered the defence of the Norwichians and their greenbelt wizardry. But alas the flatland trolls had no answer and an attack dideth tear asunder the vanguard of the Norwichians and the black Prince of Boly did smasheth thy head upon the ball and verily that ball did’st erupt upon the back netting of the Norwichian goal. What songs we did’st sing upon this goal and verily there were limbs and much accusations that these Norwichians did’st touch themselves in sordid and sinful ways when within their caves. There were also promises of eternal brotherhood as the Wolf hordes did proclaim yay! and verily! for this is the greatest team upon the earth by far and verily Norwichian battle plans were lower than an eel and verily they were much proclamations and statements that the Norwichian hordes were ‘shit’ and their songs lacked the virility that was showethed by our attacks upon them. And indeed these flatlanders were silent much of the battle unless we dideth sing of Prince Kevin of Muscat whereupon much bile was released and the Norwichians didth strike themselves in the balls often and their plaintive wailings did’st fill the ground as an animal in pain.

Sir Jota of Jota did’st indeed showeth also his array of skills and set the standard of the Wolf firmly upon the middle of battle and verily dideth proclaim his own bravery and lack of fear as he danced around the Norwichian Princes and Sirs and made them look as sad burned monkeys upon a fire as the commands of Prince Nuno did’st echo indeed throughout the field of battle.

But what ends are these as Prince Bonatini took it upon himself to seize the day and settle the standard of the Wolf upon the goal of the Lime Green and Lemon yellows of the Norwichian goal? Verily he did standeth upon the green grass of that place among the blood soaked field of dreams and verily did proclaim yes! This is our power and never again shall we visiteth this place and not mention the day as it stands, a victory and a day of fired hearts, belief in the Prince of Nuno and his Holy writ…

The simple warrior Jack of Price did’st attend the battle in the later stages of it when victory seemed certain. Harried and forlorn were the men of the Norwichian flat lands and verily the support of those around did dwindle as the battle drew to it’s close and the crows did circle upon the pitch ready to devour the lost dreams of those men. For is it not a thing that they too had dreamed of victory? That they, in their dreams had seen the standard of the Wolf fall upon the soaked grass to be trampled? Were not their dreams important? Verily this mere scribe did not give a shitteth and sang great goodbye songs to them as they filed from the battle with long faces and strange garbs.

The journey is at an end at least for this chapter children. And verily the journey back to King Jeff was a long and arduous one as the Norwichians in their depravity and lack of honour did’st closeth off the road leading to the fair city of Wolverhampton. Verily dideth we seek a path through the black clouds of their misfortunes at the hands of the Wolfs, verily did we seek upon the horizon that golden glow of our spires and towers. Prince Nuno it is said held the precious three points within his hands ready to present to King Jeff this gift from them who have done battle upon the darkness and the unlight of Norwich.

Let it be said as he hands those points to King Jeff that alas there will be voices from other Kingdoms this day that Prince Nuno shouldeth join with another city or another Kingdom and that he may gather around him other Princes and men so that their city will also have the joy and laughter that the Brotherhood of the Wolf haveth enjoyed. But nay! and Verily! for is it not seen that Prince Nuno has been given his own kingdom here. Do we not see that this Kingdom is not upon the concrete and steel battlements of their kingdoms and gratitudes of gold upon his purse but instead within the hearts of its people? Shall we not say that this reward is worth thrice that of golden coins? This humble scribe will say at least these Kingdoms who would offer lies and mistruths to Prince Nuno shouldeth fucketh off and that my friends is the end of this tale……for now.