Peasants At The Gates


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.


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