Not All Wanderers Are Lost


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.


13 thoughts on “Not All Wanderers Are Lost

  1. Sorry to say I love reading your blogs. you are a true wordsmith and literary genius !! You sum up the true feelings of real wolves fans who go week in week out – rain or shine – whether we are top or bottom of the league
    All I want for Xmas is for Nuno to narrate an audio book of your blogs so far this season

  2. Love it as always, but don’t put all of us in the North Bank in the same box. I’ve never left early and never will, especially with the late goals we score. I’d sit in traffic for hours after a game, if necessary, to watch the boys in Old Gold play till the end. Win or lose, I’ll back them until the fat referee sings.

  3. Took the wife and two kids yesterday. £30 for the four of us thanks to ‘Wolfies’ Jimmy Salville-esque generosity deal.
    They’ve never seen a goal at Molineux despite making several trips from the ‘northern’ Pennines back to the town of my childhood. Even during our goal ridden league one conquest, Shrewsbury conspired to serve up a 0-0 draw.
    Yesterday’s goals were great. But what made my kids and wife take note, what made their eyes bulge and go the size of dinner plates, what made them shout and scream and want to kiss Nuno, was they witnessed the ‘idea’ and fell in love with it.
    Last night I felt sad though. For the first time in years since leaving town, I’m missing it. Missing my ticket, my fellow yam yams. I’ll be surrounded on Monday by united reds, city blues and the odd Bolton lad – those of whippets and cap fame who think garlic bread is still the future.
    You see Michael, I like your blog, no I love it and not ashamed to shout about it. It connects me with my people, my town and my love. Your words are part of the ‘idea’. My religious evangelical big sister would probably say you have the ‘gift of the spirit’ as you communicate something godly to us mere mortals.
    As I sit on the M6 road to hell this afternoon, your thoughts will keep me thinking about what I witnessed at 3pm yesterday.
    Finally, Connor Coady! Class. Focused as fuck. But still has time to raise his arms with his back to the South Bank acknowledge his song.

  4. I have pals who can relate to your observations.
    They also shake their collective heads in wonder.
    They are mesmerised by the purity of the football being played.
    These fellas grew up with the Bully and post Bully era.
    I grew up with wolves in the late 60s and 70s
    So I am not in wonderment no, I am young again I am reborn. Like seeing a beautiful ship emerge from a fog bank, you knew it was there all along, it was massive, it had it’s own presence, it disappeared in 1982.
    Thanks for the blog.
    I like your style
    For the love of the football being played right now.


  5. Its glorious. Saturdays are great again. Did Donald Trump accidentally make Wolves great again instead of Murica?? But where are the wolf heads on the pies????

      1. I can picture half time gigs and a very profitable line of tshirts, hats, cups etc…. I’m in.