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.