It Is Only For Us


‘It is only for us’ – Nunos post match Interview after Bristol City

Well it is that of which we said it was gonna be. What price this life and this madness? That you can commit your heart to such madness, indeed live it and breath it in with people you love and respect and then right at the end, such an outpouring of love and emotion that all of a sudden it seemed like all the stresses and strains of the last few decades have gone. We stand on our feet for a moment as the limbs thrash and shins get whacked, chaos ensues. Names are writ on the hot flesh of hearts.

Douglas, a man who defines the whole idea of a dead ball master. Bennett who was denigrated so badly by Norwich fans that his heart must have jumped from his chest the way he jumped up and then time kind of stopped didn’t it? The winning goal, I was twenty feet from it and my hand stretched out to grab Horace and everything slowed down and there was a silence of sorts. A silence of expectation of everything ‘being in it’s correct form’. Of course we were going to win it. I watched Bennett connect and it was done. The ball wasn’t even in the net and it was over for me and I knew we had at last arrived so I shut my eyes and shout screamed that primordial victory.

‘We’re going up, they’re going down, We’re going up, they’re going down’

What even is Sambuca? There was a tray of shots and I was invited to partake. I drank one and it was burny and good. I turned around and somebody was talking to me about this blog and I was wrecked and didn’t know what they were talking about. I was just a Wolves fan getting rat arsed before the game with my mates. All was wobbly and funny. All was wavy and curly. Outside the pub the people of Bristol did their thing and what a load of weird things they were. I understand the ‘idea’ of Bristol but I don’t understand it. We had a smoke outside and I watched their fans do their thing as they walked past. They were quiet while we were loud. Loud because we are proud? Nah and ar, loud because that’s how you talk in a factory where machines grumble and roar and some knobhead always drops a load of metal onto the concrete floor. That’s why ‘Tea’ is always ‘Tay’.

I’m in the concourse and I’m dancing around in the middle of Wolverhamptonism, a bundle of beer soaked singing lunatics. Beer is in my eyes and I cant see. Somebody kisses me on the forehead. My glasses fall off. My eyes are stinging. I can feel my wounds aching and I can’t feel the tips of my fingers. I put my glasses back on but everything is a swirl of Black and Gold, Stone Island coats, red and white Bristol colours. Somebody pours beer over my head. I’m laughing, singing.

What was this day? This day of victory? Probably the most important match of the season and still halfway through. It was sweet and it was divine simply because it was the test of ideas, the test of our metal, the discovery that our team are tactile and centered. What do I mean by that? Our shape never wavered. Danny Batth wanders off the pitch after one of those challenges you watch again and again. Was he right to be sent off? Debate and argument over it of course but I’m Wolves enough to back Danny whatever the outcome and I knew going down to ‘ten men’ wasn’t going to be a massive hassle for this team. Play restarts and our shape changed. There was new order and new tactics, new positions and it didn’t look as if we were bothered that much.

I’m thinking of what would have happened if Lamberto or Jackett would have been in the same Nuno position. Nuno gets sent to the stands because he puts a foot out of the technical area. I’m not bothered, in fact I like it. Passion, madness, the mind of an artist is never fucking still. Art grabs the passion out of you surely? But on the pitch the art was changed and mastered by every player in that position.

Cavaleiro comes on. Somebody turned the footballing volume up to 11. Play was louder now. Play was sublime. We never looked like anything was much of a hassle. Why? Because behind the team was a weight of intent. A juggernaut of possibilities with a momentum that cannot now be stopped and we saw that in Austria didn’t we? Pre-season which seemed that long ago now. Soaking up the rarefied atmosphere of mountain air our new look team marched onto the fields in those mountains, who knew?? Who expected it? Well I did to be honest. The season we had under Lambo was a disgrace, we needed a whole new philosophy and whole new outlook. Lambert was just the scrag end of a succession of club foot Sunday dinner football we have had to endure. Why can’t we have a Coach with thoughts of his own?

Saiss amazes me. Nuno had given him a new dogma. To make that role his own as Saiss sees fit. Thats the secret of Nunoism. Make the player not believe, because belief is airy fairy elf bollocks. ‘Belief’ is the death of intelligence. Nuno instigates players to cast away belief about the way they play and instigates ‘Knowledge’ of football. Belief in the way you play is a one way street when the crassitudes of the daily grind for points wears your team out. Normally around this time of the year as Bristol City has found out. Nuno is sent off again. They do not know what to make of him and now we are a target for those with a lack of idea. A foot inside the pitch? Outside his technical area? Nuno has a heart that wants to be on that pitch. His bravery is standing inside the area and not running on the pitch. During the first goal celebrations I too was climbing over seats. Love. I wanted to celebrate. I know it’s illegal. I was beside myself and emotional again. Thoughts of Nuno standing in the Directors box, all around him the enemy, the former Managers, the hangers on, the defunct Bristolian philosophies, still brave, still El Nuno, he doesn’t give a shit, I loved him after a few games and with each game I love him more, what passion what love, he is a Knight of old and that blood of the warrior runs in his veins. Five hundred years ago his phone would have been a sword. Castigate his name to me and I will remove you from my mind.

This match describes that philosophy perfectly. Here was a team that has just beat Mancrusty Disunited. Bristol had a belief going into the match. Their whole existence built on the ‘belief’ that they were doing something positive and heroic. And that’s shit my friends. Because we ourselves have had that belief for years and years. We beat Liverpool, we get areseholed by Burton the next week. We believed everything we were told because that powerful sense of belief is a real tangible thing that teams like Bristol City and us last season held onto tight. It’s all we had. But it didn’t do us a lot of good. There’s an old adage about a group of Fishermen in a life boat being buffeted by waves and in danger of drowning.

‘Pray to your Gods, but row towards the shore’. Bristol were praying and believing, our team were rowing that boat towards shore hard and fast for 90+ minutes. On 94 minutes we stepped out of the boat onto dry land and thanked God yes, but we have blisters on our hands and we watch the Bristolians struggle in the crushing waves of our joy and happiness. Costa my little love button. Throw away the beliefs you have in yourself and have knowledge instead. Have the knowledge that you are perhaps one of the greatest footballers to step onto a pitch. Don’t believe but know. You have been injured and hurt, you have watched other players come into the team and make positions their own. You have sat on the bench and watched them victorious. This place is yours Costa, if you start knowing you should be there with them. It will come in time Brother be strong, keep rowing towards shore.

Outside the ground there were a few words between us and them. Little snidey comments from people who really shouldn’t debate with us. Their words lack power. The words they have drop into the crusty potholed roads around the stands. They fall like dead things with a slap and a comment. I’m soaking wet and shivering a little.

It’s the halfway point really isn’t it? We have built up to our current position with creativity and with novelty not belief. In the games to come that stoic inevitability of a good result will continue to get stronger and stronger and then it will be over. What happens happens. I cannot see any team in this division challenging the Philosophy of Nunoism, it’s a philosophy that engenders positivist energy on all counts regardless of the situation. You see it in Nunos interviews where any negativity is trod on straight away.

Nuno has built a system were each player is given an academic basis to his play, where each situation and problem has a solution and that solution is drilled into them. But with this quantitative tactical madness there is also a place for a player to grow and to make his own decisions based on the creative component Nuno has also given them. The place where each Wolves player is under the impression that the ball is ours, and if the opposition has the ball then they have stolen it and it is not theirs and must be taken back. Saiss never let that ball get away from him. What a wonder he is. Constantly chasing ‘his’ ball, getting ‘his’ ball back so he can give it away to another Wolves player. Another attack. Another foundation stone in the great edifice that Jeff Shi and Nuno are building.

I’m emotional and tired. Wolves always do this to me. I’m sitting typing and smelling the stale beer from my jeans. I watch Nuno celebrating our winner and I’m emotional again. We have to play our part in this madness now. Get onboard this crazy train and hang out of the windows shouting at every passing City and Town on our way.

We have to get out of this division and it’s lackluster bullshit football where other teams have this vapid and spiritual belief in their club and their players. Even the Premier league will have it’s own ideologies and madness but again we must gather the momentum to break through that ceiling, smash the windows of football conformity and continue to grow and decimate our opponents. The Champions League, the epitome of beautiful creative football. That is where we must be. Look at the potholed roads surrounding these stadiums but keep your eye fixed on the lights at the end of them.


Kick Out The Jams


Racism eh? Songs and calls from the Millwall fans about the eating habits of some of our players. Big Alf here for the Chicken? Have you been to Dixies? Jesus Christ. Millwall of course were just being Millwall. They have been ‘Millwall’ for countless years. By Millwall I mean well…It’s a bit of a place isn’t it? Hemmed in on all sides by the cultural blancmange of whatever London is. They have a siege mentality, a kind of closing off of the mind when it comes to bantering and songs. They aren’t stupid, they know the songs and the casual racism will have some effect and they know those songs and ‘banter’ will identify them as purely Millwall. I’ve walked out of there with a lock knife stuck in my knee. I know this ‘Idea’ of Millwall. But fellas, to paraphrase Terrence McKenna ‘your culture is your enemy’ it stops you opening your eyes, it controls your lives, it filters out the world for you, its a firewall for interesting stuff.

The whole idea of Millwall as a club is solidified by a section of their fans as having that anti-cultural meme that all dystopian populations have. They do it because it winds us up and then there’s a whole gamut of threads on social media to  peruse and either laugh or cry. Lack of idea from them? Of course. When you have to use somebodies skin shade or country of origin to get banter points then you’ve pretty much lost the game.

It’s rubbish and it’s crap. But that’s culture for you isn’t it? Millwall have their own twisted entrenched and lumpen culture that involves being paranoid about what people think of them. Automatically thinking it’s going to be a negative view they are on the attack straight away regardless of what ‘we’ think. Can I cuss them? Yeah I think so but most of all I’m sad that they lack creativity to define themselves in the madness of their city. They lack the driving force of novelty to decide how their club should be seen by reverting to redundant racial slurs, songs about chicken, vociferous debates on social media about being a ‘snowflake’ a term probably stolen from the AltRight soy boys of the USA. It’s not banter, it’s just bollocks isn’t it?

I could blame the lead in petrol, the fumes around that place make your eyes sting. The chemicals, the lack of fresh air maybe affects Millwall pre natal mental development who knows.

What bothers me more is the identifiable and glaring casual racism shown by certain club Managers and the Sports Press. It’s there isn’t it? The odd throw away comment hidden in an article, the comment lost in the fog of a fast paced radio interview, the odd now deleted tweet. This is the arena that pisses me off the most because I know it intimately. I saw it in offices and schools, in meetings, visiting businesses. We get it in slurs about Winter time, whether these Mediterranean footballers can hack a cold North Easterly in Middlesborough. It’s rubbish isn’t it? Their ideas about our team are ignorant and lack energy.

We have in our broadcast media a tranche of people who regard casual racism as a way to further agendas. I know a lot of them have an agenda against Wolves. Against our Chinese owners, against foreign players or foreign involvement as a whole. I had a ten minute conversation with Robbie Earle years ago when he was doing a football show, he pretty much agreed with the above but in football in general. The FA I suppose has some blame as well. But Robbie Earle was the best commentator and pundit I’ve ever seen in the media. I looked forward to him talking, for him to show me new things I had missed during the first half. He indeed grew my football knowledge in leaps and bounds but…we never see him on the TV. Instead…Alan Shearer.

So what’s the conspiracy here? The ‘establishment’ want to know where the cash is going and why it isn’t going in their pockets. The English FA and the Press have a great relationship, the English Press and shadowy business interests have an even greater one. It used to be forged with secret handshakes in Masonic lodges and in the corridors of power in Westminster but as you know Jeff the world has changed. Now it’s done over expensive coffees and focus groups, in relationship initiatives and friendships made in Oxbridge University clubs. Even though these personalities wax lyrical about global opportunities and the global market they are in essence still deeply routed in the ‘old boy network’. It’s a white man dominated colossus, it’s a house in Buckinghamshire, it’s a Jag or two on the drive, it’s the weekend cottage, the back slaps, the juicy contracts, kick backs and fucking the PA in Travelodge. It’s defunct Jeff. Has been for years.

But under all the snide racist comments there is a method. This method is used as a vehicle to further an agenda and that agenda has to be set by somebody. I wondered, yesterday, who that group of people were. Of course I have some ideas. I intimated a few of them earlier this season when I said as soon as we started to put together a good run of results (which I knew we would) we would start to suffer the little digs and prods from sections of the media. And haven’t we half? Having a go at Saint Jack Hayward… we know he was a bit reticent about paying his taxes, we know he was a bit rah when it came to living his life. He loved his country (though he didn’t live here) and he loved his town (though he didn’t live here). There’s a whole thick folder of information about his financial dealings and the rest of the crap all in the public arena. I could write a shit load of blog posts about it to be honest. But…

We have fought these battles for years and years. Walked into meetings and had our accents mimicked and made fun of. Had our teams denigrated in the national press and media. This is what the ‘soul’ of Molineux is, the ability to withstand the slings and arrows and stay true to our ideas and beliefs even when it seems everybody is against you.

‘He’s one of our own’ part of the song we sing about Sir Jack. I’m quite happy to sweep a lot of his dealings under the carpet because of exactly that. He saved this club, which at the time was rattling around in some serious bad funk before he arrived. But he’s a target for sure. A way in which those fucking Lizards in the press can wheedle their filthy fingernails underneath our armour and get reaction, to try and build some sort of proto racist platform to have further digs at our club doesn’t amaze me like it does others. But he’s one of ours. With all his faults. This is why he is being attacked really and why some half pissed fat gutted shit beard journo fancy having a pop, because it gets a rise out of us, the fans.

Wolverhampton…for you fat press gimps, is a bloody hard and soft place. You prod it and it will bite back as it’s doing now on social media. You can’t have a pop at us because we are far too strong for you. Far too strong for you spineless free loaders with your double chins and your shit beards you grow to try and hide it. You are the blank men in M&S suits with the shiny arse. You are the 500 souless words on a website nobody reads. You are the glad handing grease smeared face on the other side of the taped off corridors of power. The FA were also you at some point and you circle and preen each other like arse sniffing dogs. How fucking dare you denigrate my team. How dare you denigrate people at my club.

You bastards never grew up here, never knew what real racism is, never knew the struggles we had. Those years in the wilderness have reforged the whole idea of what we are as a club and Sir Jack himself had a part in that albeit through the filter of Empire and The King. ‘Kick out the Jams Motherfuckers’ That Detroit band MC5 used to sing, but what was a ‘Jive Ass Motherfucker’? It isn’t the people that stand at Molineux every week. It isn’t even Millwall boneheads for we have discussed how their worldview is filtered by the dystopia they live within. It’s ‘them’ again. The dickheads from the home counties that get into good Universities because Mommy and Daddy have some cash. These people tumble through University on their Journalism degrees or new fangled Social Media digital bullshit degrees. They build contacts through the hazy bar burping up Jaeger bombs at a quid a pop. They forge links with others like them. People that talk like they do, make racial slurs in quiet voices while looking around to make sure there isn’t some angry black dude around. It’s like Freemasonry all over again but instead of handshakes it’s a tweet here and there. The odd weird article about a players background. The endless parade of crap pundits on Match of the Day. Their ‘ethnic’ friends have anglicised names and will choke back the overheard racism because they have a foot in the door of this world awash with cash. It makes me sick.

Here we are, us Wolverhamptons. For the most part we have embraced this idea of globalism and we are learning fast. That learning was forged in council estates where we had to learn to live with people from Pakistan, from the West Indies, Africa, India, the Middle East. That learning was hard for all of us. New cultures, languages, ways of doing stuff. New foods, smells, ideas. There were hard times when we couldn’t look each other in the face and we didn’t have the luxury of government cash to assuage the hardships. Sometimes it was so hard there would be battles and fisticuffs and there were things said and done. But on the whole we have come out a lot better than most places in the UK. Forged in the fires of the economic hardships of the post industrial landscape we have come out hardened off. Still with an idea of our own backgrounds and ethnicities but smashed together to form a new culture I suppose. Wolverhamptonism. Where the fellow you knew years ago who abused George Berry for being a ‘black bastard’ now walks his mixed race kids around West Park to feed the ducks. Don’t tell him his Grandkids are ‘little Monkeys’ He’ll probably kill you. In fact thinking about it he would.

That’s why we have embraced our Chinese owners. It’s not hard, we know this shit off by heart now. You tell us about your ideas and we will tell you about ours. You come from another country? What do you eat there? How do I prepare it? What music do you listen to? What are your ideas? And here of course is the rub. We have a Manager in Nuno who has been forged himself on an island in the Atlantic Ocean that has felt the boot and bare foot of many different cultures and ideas. Indeed he has come through that fire to present to us his own idea and how beautiful is it? How lucky are we? And how lucky is he that he decided to Coach a club that has itself been through a fire or two and come out tempered and stronger?

The media disinformation campaign against the Wolves is kicking in now. The odd article filled with bile and untruths. The Manager quotes (Yes you Steve Bruce) that have all the intellectual nous of a fucking Yoga DVD. Love it, bring it on. You fucking Dinosaurs, how dare you. You haven’t got the right to print anything about my club, you haven’t earned it. And your team got beat at the Molineux? Tough fucking tit. You’re all living in the past, Managers, Journos you have failed to evolve, you are old photographs, sad TV formats, you have failed to create new ways and new systems. We are the media now…..fuck, my biscuit has fell in my tea. Yeah the disinfo, the fake articles, the men in tight suits and tighter expense accounts, the back slappers, the sidlers, idlers, the useless dregs of the old order…picking out a floating half a biscuit in hot tea, shoving it in your face while your fingers burn. Got it all out too. Kwan. Belief. Just say No to Fake Football journalism

Let the fools in the media gloat and preen, present their shit to us, what does any of it mean now? The world is changing fast and they are too fat to drag their arses to the window to watch it as it goes by. What is a Talksport? What is a Broadcasting sidekick? What is all of this shit? My Nan used to say ‘if they are having a go at how you look then they have run out of things to say’ and that is the God sent truth. Talksport and the general Broadcast and print media have run out of ideas. My advice to all of us is to stop reading their shit. Get your news from fan blogs and web sites. Communicate with people, take in different opinions and utilise them to gain your own ideas of whats happening in football. Talk to people and exchange ideas, learn how to put a blog together so you can share your ideas and news, your points of view. Let everybody know what they are and build up a greater picture of how Wolverhamptonism flows. This is the way we destroy them, this is the way forwards.

Just Having Ten Minutes


Put your coat on over ya Xmas jumper. You’ve got new socks on. They are fluffy. Your head feels a bit weird. Posh alcohol your body doesn’t know how to deal with. On the way out the house put your hand in the Quality street tin and fill your pockets with those little sparkly delights. Then off down South to the ravaged land of London. There is a team there, we know a few of them. Millwall. Jesus Christ, I’m not going.

I have to pick and choose matches and I haven’t picked this one. Why? It’s a pain in the dick isn’t it? I feel like Ipswich was again one of those games where we didn’t get out of low gear. Of course if we had lost the match there would be fumes but we didn’t look like losing it did we? I think Nuno put the brakes on the team and the whole spectacle was one of ‘that’ll do’ and ‘just stick some stuff over it, nobody will see it’. Of course it was all tactical. Nuno won’t want to really throw the art shapes at a team like Yampy Micks. There’s no point, it would just end up in one massive circle jerk. Ipswich got what they deserved, which wasn’t a master class by any means but a sliver of what is to come.

I’m listening to the radio today and have a glass of whisky by the side of me and access to various foodstuffs within reach. What is a Millwall? It’s a very angry thing isn’t it? I don’t quite understand their angst and to be honest I don’t care either. Saville again today, he runs like he’s got curlers in the hairs of his arse crack. I’m glad to see the back of him to be honest and glad that he’s playing ‘down there’. There’s nothing worse than a player who fails to ignite your own team then we sell him to another and….oh he’s a bit shit there too. Plus I actually forgot who Jed Wallace was, I had to go on Twitter and ask. That was after seeing his name on the Millwall web site and it not even registering that he played for us. Wallace will be huffing those 30 yard pokes at goal today probably and Saville will be puffing around in midfield doing what he does best which is puffing around in midfield. But my days, what a difference in our team now compared to back in the day when Wallace was supposed to be the second coming. I’ve waxed about it earlier in the season so I’m not going to chat about it now apart from say…Jed Wallace runs like he’s forgot to turn the gas off in his burger van and the Plymouth fans who were hanging off his dong when he signed for us can really honestly do one. Man I was excited at the time. Even Kenny Jackett looked like some emotion was bubbling away but it was probably wind and when he tripped up in the dugout it probably came out and he wondered what the fuck he had done. Jed fucking Wallace. That’s him.

Millwall is probably the place for both of them as they now sidle away the money from football, investing maybe, looking at the new Ford Transit they are going to buy for when they are both plasterers again. But my team. Are we in the zone? The Southbank was quiet and I intimated it was an intake of breath before the final push. We don’t look jaded. Watching Cavaleiro against Ipswich was a thing of beauty. I loved it. He’s just behind Conor Coady in the SBR love in poll. I know Neves and Jota are a thing and I love them, but the progression of Coady and probably Cav too has given me joy and pleasure. I think, truly that Nuno has put the brakes on for certain matches. He knows we can do teams like this every week. The lack of imagination from visiting Managers makes the whole Wolves V Ipswich/Millwall/Cardiff etc etc not a fixture where you want our Jota and our Neves to stretch themselves. A clean sheet, a moment of brilliance then let the whole event run down through the 90 minutes as we soak pressure, deal with hoofballs and the odd off the ball elbow in the throat.

Nuno I suspect is holding these players back. Perhaps his intelligence gathering in the close season has paid off. No need to slather the Hugo Boss suit on for a night of bingo down the Royal Legion is there? Throw on a fresh Tshirt, jeans, comfy trainers. No need for slickness against teams like this and your aftershave is £50 for a spit full of smelly in a funky bottle. Do you want to waste it on Piss ya pants Phil down the Legion? His sense of smell stopped when he was hit on the head by a scaffold plank when he was 23. I’d like to say Doherty too has kind of kicked down a gear or two. Whether this is down to tactics or whether he is having a few weeks off I’m not sure. Our attack comes from the back always. I’ve noticed Boly getting forward a lot more until Coady bollocks him a bit, I think that’s a meme that runs through all of the Wolves team at the minute. They want to attack, they want to stretch those passes around and it’s only the Will of Nuno that’s holding them back. He understands I think that the whole Championshit season is built on gobbling up the points and at the same time trying to keep expectation and desire under wraps while conserving not energy (I think ‘energy’ is something we have in abundance) but excitement. I think this team just wants to attack constantly. They aren’t happy unless they are all swinging their way up the pitch waxing those balls around in intense 30-40 yard passes.

Costa will make an appearance today too. He’s been on a slow fizzle that dude. Watching him over the last few games has given me a lil tingle. He looks like he’s ready to start twisting up those mans on the by-line again. At Wednesday his cameo left three Wednesday players face down in the grass wondering whether they should have gone into Uncle Nobbys scrap metal business instead of football. He’s fizzling just at the right moment. Part Two of the season and I bet any money on it, will be the Costa show. Bonatini will be rested a little. He’s done a brilliant job and deserves five minutes to be honest. Keeping these players fresh will be tantamount in Nunos mind. Not only physically fresh, but as Nuno develops their brains as well as here abilities he is shaping them. These little drops onto the bench will not be done willy nilly without thought. I bet Nuno and his bredrins will have sat down and worked out every last detail in every mach to come. They aren’t fools this lot. Dropping a player won’t be due to angst or some passive aggressive needle, it will be part of the plan for sure.

But as is the way the baby Jesus treats us Millwall are having a go aren’t they? One nil down and Saiss is getting nibbled by all sorts of madness. He must have the wind too as Wallace and Saville are running things by all accounts. Of course ex Wolves players doing things they never did here is a common thing. Like a scab you keep picking. It keeps happening. Our Xmas Hangover headline memes are looming.

Costa slips past Millwall and puts a shot right on the keeper. It’s positive is it not. Millwall have given us the love eye a bit. Radio saying Costa should have wankered the thing instead of brushing it. I don’t know man, I’m making up pictures in my head as I listen and type. We will stretch this Millwall team out a bit in the second half. They will be fucked. We need to up the gears a bit. Chances are just dances my friends. That ball has to go in the net. Costa blazes over from 20 yards. We will win this I’m sure.

But chances have been all over the place in every game I think. Lost chances in a game where we won but the scoreline could have been more luxuriant. I’m dipping a biscuit in my coffee and everything does seem laid back in my mind at least. There has to be games where the other team have a pop. They are human too I suppose even though Wallace and Saville can’t really step up to that plate.

Mclaughlin nearly kills Douglas in a shite tackle. The Dutch dude on the radio is going mad about it. How many times though? We’re always targets especially for players whose names sound like someone being sick. He’s in the book any way. Maybe he will keep his clod hoppers to himself now, give Saiss some room maybe.

As soon as I type his name Saiss boots a Millwall player into 2014. Good work brother. Show them that you too can give a little loving back. Total enforcer. I’ve noticed everytime an opposition player goes through one of our team Saiss turns up to set the record straight. He’s the big brother that saves you from the scrotes.

Ruddy hoofs a low ball up front to Jota and Jota cuts back to Costa but blah. Millwalls haircuts are harsh council like things aren’t they. My mate Charlie has sorted me a stream out. Cav back battling a Millwall cross. I mean I know I love my team but we do look so much better than Millwall at the moment for sure. But Wallace has done more running in this last ten minutes than I ever saw him do at Molineux.

JOTA!!!! Thank fuck for that. Lovely movement, slick and sexual, stroking, candlelight football. Furry rug in front of the fire football. I’m in an open top car driving down the Californian coast. She is next to me smiling. She has great teeth. The car is a Ferrari Jota. Oooh she’s just put her hand on my thigh and laughed…

Oh my days.

Coady is being Coady again by being fucking brilliant. He just lets people foul him looking for the free kick but he always has a toe in the grass so in case the Ref doesn’t blow he’s up again and harrying their attack. Brilliant. Love him to bits. I should write a Coady Part 2 thing. It’s halftime and I’ve eaten two slices of Turkey, a fondant fancy, three strawberry cream chocolates, a Beef scotch egg and drank a coffee with brandy in it and a brandy with no coffee in it, another fondant fancy and a Walnut. The dogs are farting loudly and it stinks. Everytime I eat something one of them Turkey farts right underneath me and then slink off like it was me that did it. It smells like Savilles trim which is fully whack, he looks total speng. Dog fart haircut mate. I wonder what you and your mate Jedward are going to do in the second half. He looked knackered to be honest. These dudes we get rid of from our club are good for 20 minutes or so that’s it. I bet Nuno is whispering his magic words to our players.We kick towards our fans next half. That means we can suck the ball into the net with our belief too. How can a player not run for Nuno until he’s coughing his heart and lungs up?

Cav has taken a whack so I guess Bonatini will come on next to score the winner. He’s bound to have a bit of ooomph in him now. A bit of that fuel you get when you’ve been dropped to the bench maybe? He might score two, it’s overdue. I love Bonatini too, January will see some flash striker arrive but I think Bonatini will be a face in the next few months.

SAISS!!! From range! The laptop went up, I’ve spilled something on me leg. The dogs are barking. It’s all gone tits up! Hahahahahaha bless his little heart. Enforcer/Saviour maybe? This will take the wind out of Millwalls shriveled little chests. Quality and brilliance. Chances taken. Costa having his fizzle poured on his dizzle in spades. I told you he was just warming up. Another year on this lads head and he’s stellar. Absolute Universe. And at last one of those worldie shots goes in too. This is the point where I’m hugging Horace and shouting in his face but I’m damp with hot tea and for some reason there’s a cocktail sausage stuck to me arse. Millwall. Wolves. Boxing day. Saiss thirty yard wonder goal. My nipples are hard. Fat rosey cheeked women in scarves, winter walks along the canal, channeling Bill Hicks. Oh Mar Days.

Big Willy off-Miranda on. Looks like Bolys hamstring. Maybe it’s a little tight? I hope so. Miranda is a thing, maybe just what we need here too. He’s a lot more flexible and like moving around. I don’t know. Do a job son, don’t let them in. Get well soon Willy.

Spell of Millwallness here. Yes, they’ve scored. 2-2. Is it going to be one of those days? Balance upset? I’m not sure. It’s Xmas for them for sure. Playing and moving. Do we need a bit of madness a bit of Brighty? We don’t look very sharp here when really we should be hanging out the back of these freaks. Couple of mistimed passes. A cross that stretches the description…

But then again we are having a sunset moment here. Good crosses, a few decent passes into space but it looks angsty still. Maybe we are half a yard short.Millwall have upped the pace and a few balls are going skywards again. Ping pong ball a bit. All heads and falling over. The eighty year old grey haired bloke who plays for them is doing some running. Quite fast for an old’un. I love the way big Alf wants to get forward, I don’t understand why Costa is off but I’m not Nuno so I remain in ignorance about that.

So yeah Millwall. That was weird wasn’t it? But then again maybe all these fixtures against these types of team are weird. I’ll take a draw. It’s cold, you’re in London, you’re playing against Jed and Sav and company. It’s bound to take a mental toll on your abilities and fuck me even a Wizard like Nuno has to be content with that. Millwall are the team that exists even when you stop believing in them and I think this fixture will be one we don’t want to see repeated too soon. It was Farmfoods football that makes you scour the inside of your mind for a reason. I don’t want to say ‘Onward’ because everybody says that but I will say ‘Ay’ and that’s all I’ve got to say. This game was just having ten minutes to look around a bit. Get ya breath back.

The Little Voice Inside



All was quiet in Wolverhampton, it was Winter and there was a light dusting of snow upon it and in the distance you could hear the wailings of a lone Spicehead as he fought off one eyed demonic slobbering many fingered demons…or Albion fans as we know them better. It was a strange day and night even…

At his desk Nuno went over the team sheet again and again. He was balancing the team and seeing in his minds eye the beautiful forms they would take as he unleashed them on the frantic madness that he would see tomorrow. The heating kicked on and disturbed his concentration for a moment and he stroked his beard in annoyance. Yes, his mind was set and his philosophy was written. There was a knock upon the door and verily it was young Thelwell with his eager face excited and flushed. He was wearing one of those Primark ‘Jumper shirts’ and Nuno felt a bit angry…

‘Nuno! Nuno! Ipswich tomorrow, verily have you known better joys than a football match this close to Xmas eve??’ Young Thelwell exclaimed. But Nuno was intent and had thoughts, plans and ideas. His anchor would be Neves and the point of his sword the undoubtable Jota, ideas of new additions to his idea. The plans he had…

‘Begone!’ he shouted. His hands large and calloused rubbed his black and silver hair and ran down his face to his beard. Softer now…’begone’ almost a whisper and Thelwell with a tearful face ran from the room and slipped on the snow outside…nobody saw and nobody cared and little Thelwell ran back home with Nunos angry words ringing in his ears which were tingling in the frost.

Nuno was angry. He knew as he looked through his reports on Mad Micks Ipswich that the game would be one of those. A tangled mess of football. It was the McCarthy way. There would be six across the back at times and on others the beautiful midfield of Wolves would be negated by balls which would flash across the sky in huge lumps. Thus Neves would get a cricked neck and Saiss would giggle to himself at the whole crazy world of Ipswichian direball. And verily there would be two massive center forwards with big necks and little intellect.

Nuno threw the reports away and went to bed. He lay for a while and the voices and creaks of Molineux moaned as he tossed and turned thinking about McCarthy, thinking about Thelwell, thinking about everything and at last the ghosts of the Molineux went quieter and quieter until BANG! The door burst open and there stood a ghastly sight to behold and Nuno pulled the bed sheets up to his chin in alarm! Where was security?? Where was the protection from this!!! The sight in front of him was a shambling figure moaning and groaning. Covered in layers of fat it oozed out of a cheap Marks and Spencers suit that had seen too many office chairs and now hung on him like a black shroud. It’s face wreathed in a ghostly fog that crept across the floor of Nunos bedroom. The figure crept closer until it’s hand touched Nunos bare toe and Nuno recognised this ghost, this horrible specter! For it assumed the shape of a short fat man with greedy probing fingers and an angry countenance that wasn’t backed with physicality but with threats and rumours.

‘Yay Nuno, do not tremble’ the weedy shrill voice said for it was someone Nuno recognised and it was the Ghost of Christmas past. The Ghost of Jez Moxey! He shambled closer to the shivering Nuno and grabbed his hand and Nuno was taken away from his cold room in the Molineux and behold! He was taken to a strange uncomfortable place and he wondered why Moxeys hand was a little sweaty. The place they came to was a strange and horrible place. Here there was no laughter and no joy. The songs that used to be sung here were now just echoes between the glass fronted facades of offices and retail opportunities and Molineux was nowhere to be seen. Nuno was distraught! Where was the Molineux and where was the pitch, the noise, the place where Nuno made beautiful things happen. This place was bereft of Joy for there was no football here just echoes and ghosts. He could still see St Peters but where was the South bank?

‘Where is the MollyNox’ Nuno exclaimed and he wrenched his hand away from Moxey and ran into a central plaza where the odd plastic bag blew aimlessly around and there was a light in the foyer of one of the offices and Nuno ran towards it, his hands scrabbling through the tendrils of ghostly fog that crept around him as Moxey followed. At last he reached the light and Nuno banged on the door until a Security guard bleary eyed answered the door. The face of this man looked familiar to Nuno and then he realised! It was Young Thelwell!! Thelwell looked sad and ill, his security uniform was ill fitting and the enormous torch that hung from his belt threatened to pull his trousers down to his thin ankles.

‘Thelwell what are you doing in this strange place? Where is the stadium? Why are you not preparing signings for the team and doing whatever it is you do??’ Nuno said and grabbed Thelwell who shook him off angrily.

‘The stadium hasn’t been here for five or six years, they demolished it soon after Morgan turned down selling the club to Fosun, he built these offices and retail opportunities on the site, he made loads of money’ Thelwell said sadly. He waved his arm towards the colossal but emotionless surroundings and said, ‘Wolves play in Telford now and are pushing for a league place again and we had 3000 fans last week when we played Torquay.

Nuno was sad and he looked around at the Ghost of Moxey who was stuffing a pie in his face and in his other hand he held a ghostly spectral pint. He grinned at Nuno and Nuno saw in the ghosts black suit there was a slip of paper and Nuno pulled it out and read it. It was a P45 with Moxys name writ large upon it. The atmosphere grew dim and Nuno held out the slip of ghostly paper to Thelwell but the paper dissipated into the cold night and an even colder hand lay on Nunos shoulder as they traveled back to his bedroom at Molineux.

‘What is this!’ said Nuno to the ghost of Moxey who now had another pint in his hand and another spirit pie, he was chomping noisily upon it and Nuno noticed there were chains wrapped around him and in among those chains were the faces of all the players he had sold to other clubs so he could get his commission.

‘Verily’ Moxey said through a hail of ghostly pie crumbs. ‘This is the way things would be without Fosun and Verily the Scouser hath sold the Molineux ground for development and now you see Nuno Espirito Santos the things that could have been’ and the Ghost of Moxey wailed back through the door picking up the odd pound coin that had fell between his chains for verily no money escapes his eye and the room was again plunged into darkness.

It was now 11pm and Nuno shook his head in despair and had a quick look through his bedroom window at the pitch still lit outside. It was still there thank God. Nuno put his wise head back on his pillow and again the face of McCarthy came to him and that face roared his undefined words and his platitudes. Nuno felt his eyes heavy as he moved his players around his head in some pre sleep tactical madness unto… Lo!!

At the foot of his bed was another Ghost and this one was small and demure, it was dressed in a nice suit and had a jolly face and it grabbed Nuno by the toe and took him to another place. This place was Sheffield on a cold Winters night and there upon a football stand at Sheffield Wednesday was a group of men and women watching the Wolves and they were happy and were singing songs loudly. Nuno looked around at the little man and saw that it was Jeff Shi and Jeff was also smiling and happy and he said to Nuno.

‘See what happiness we have brought to these people? We have changed the emotionless chains of finance into something of beauty and happiness. Our hard work over the season has brought these people here, who can ill afford the fucking atrocious ticket price Wednesday charge to see our team and more importantly you, yourself. They believe now Nuno and you have a place within their hearts nobody may mar and spoil. For these days are golden’ The ghost of Jeff Shi said. They floated over the Wolves fans and looked at the expectation and joy on their faces and Nuno was happy and he too wanted to sing and join in the laughter, but that time was not yet.

‘Verily’ Jeff said. ‘We must continue to build our ideas into an unassailable lead and we must remove ourselves from these places. For have not these fans suffered enough the trials and tribulations of the Championshit? Have they not suffered enough? And in the true spirit of your name will you be the one who has the courage to guide them through these turmoils?’ And Jeff Shi floated across the crowd again narrowly avoiding an errant flung coin.

Nuno looked at the fans, he knew they were important, he knew they were passionate but now was the time when doubt was sown and he knew his team and his fans would be a target for the sad and the dejected of other clubs and verily the hearts of those fans were expectant but also fearful and it was his time to placate that fear and to assure them that his heart was within them too and our journey was ‘our’ journey and not just the abstracted dysfunctionality of those bastards down the road.

Jeff now floated above the crowd and Cavaleiro had just scored and the noise lifted them into the sky above Sheffield and all was murky and misty until again he found himself in the coldness of his room at the Molineux and the ghost of Jeff at the foot of the bed said ‘Sleep now Nuno for thou hast seen the past and the present, but what does the future hold?’ and Jeff whished away like a bad fart under a duvet and was gone into the mists of Molineux while Nuno again ran to his window to see if the pitch was still there.

Nuno wondered if the whole visit of Ipshit was bothering him on some metaphysical level. Why these dreams? The ghost of Moxey for fucks sake. Why him? This was one of those matches for sure. The virus of Warnock would again be fed upon the romantic beauty of the Molineux pitch and again would be sullied by those who would punch their balls at the football we play. Their would be elbows and off the ball incidents aplenty and when this starts Nuno would know that he has won the game. He knows once the tackles become insane and the referee in his abject and woeful life would not protect Nunos ideas and flow.

He knew the Warnockian diaspora of tacticless madness would slather across that grass tomorrow. He felt his eyes grow heavy again and as he was falling asleep he heard a strange sound. It was the sound of many people singing and shouting. There was joy and there was happiness. He thought there must have been a party going on downstairs and he put on his fluffy slippers and carefully. Quietly he walked down the corridor of the Billy Wright stand until he reached one of the conference rooms which was empty and in front of him the stands were packed with Wolves fans in a delirious state. They were singing and shouting, throwing confetti, there were flags and banners and on the pitch he saw Cavaleiro and Jota, Boly and Coady, there was Ruddy with a child on his shoulders, there wearing a suit was Bennet, Douglas right next to him and they were walking around the stadium in joy and happiness. Nuno placed hs hands on the smoked glass window and smiled himself. He felt a hand upon his shoulder. He turned and there stood Robert Plant in his Godlike stance.

Robert Plant spoke, ‘This Nuno is your legacy. You have won the Champions league with Wolves and the City now rejoices at your name, do you see the joy? This indeed is the reason you were brought here and we see that verily it has been done.’ Planty walked Nuno to the other end of the suite and onto the pitch floating above the streamers and the party popper strings, he pointed to the Southbank where there were limbs and madness not seen for many a year. We sang and danced all day for we had won the Champions league and on the horizon of the city there were new developments and new business brought to the town by it. Indeed from the Southbank and all the other stands the crowd invaded the pitch and grabbed hold of Nuno and put him onto their shoulders and took him all around the pitch where everybody sang his name and all was good.

You see, Nuno will awake the next day and indeed it was Christmas and Nuno will probably clap Thelwell on the back and whisper a few platitudes to him. Moxy and Morgan will always be ghosts to us now and perhaps we did avoid him selling the land our club has been built on, perhaps we did avoid the car crash that his ownership could have brought us. Maybe.

Yesterday I was as pissed as a fart wandering from pub to pub selling Southbank Resistance stickers. Meeting good people and drinking with them, telling stories and fables, laughing and being joyful. Our team of course will be preparing for the matches to come and the joy of Christmas is tempered by running around at Compton for a few hours before they rest and have recovered. There will still be tactical talks between the backroom staff and Nuno. Minor injuries to sort out. Ipswich of course has gone. The Cavaleiro goal a thing of beauty out of nothing. Our team keep doing this. Plucking out of the mud of the championship these diamond results. Even the stoic McCarthy has been sent from us with his face a bit grumpier. Fare thee well Mad Mick as you traipse back to the netherworld you have made your home. This is what could have been if you and Moxey and Morgan would have had eyes to see beyond the anachronistic dullness of your visions. This is what you could have had and the journey that Nuno had with the ghosts above could have been yours really but the ghosts that torment you are of your own design. Nearly half way through. The Southbank was quiet yesterday but not in any crux of pain. We are waiting now. This is the intake of breath part of the season when we are waiting for the end. We will erupt and we will define what it means to say ‘Limbs’. Our team didnt stretch through the gears yesterday and did what needed to be done. It was surgical and refined. Energy conserving. We could have done Ipswich 4-0 easy. But here the vision is the fixtures over the next few weeks. Conserve energy. Just do what you need to do to get those three points and another handhold out of this shit pit of a division where the tactical nous displayed by other managers is stick another lanky brick shit house on the pitch to steal a header in the box. It was disgusting Readers Wives football after you had leafed through a few pages of slick models getting to Rita from Huddersfield with a hairbrush stuck up her arse and a big boil on her arse cheek. That! My McCarthy is what your team are. Rita from Huddersfield while we are Angel from California who likes long walks, sky diving and hot sex.

Does this post make sense? I don’t know. My heads banging from yesterday and I’m trying to remember the people I spoke to who have disappeared into a fog of alcoholic madness. But I enjoyed it, I loved it and I love my team. Enjoy Crimbo everybody who has supported us over the course of this season and lets gather the strength to see the rest of it out. Merry Christmas Nuno, I know you read this blog and I’ve got a message for you from a little old lady I spoke to while in the Wheatsheaf, she said…

‘I trust him, I didn’t want to but a little voice said I should, and I always trust me little voice’

Ethos Pathos Logos


Ethos is an appeal to ethics, and it is a means of convincing someone of the character or credibility of the persuader. Pathos is an appeal to emotion, and is a way of convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response. Logos is an appeal to logic, and is a way of persuading an audience by reason.

One thing I have noticed over these past few months as we wax lyrical over the beauty of this team and watched them home and (thanks to Horace, away too) is the way in which we tend to define ourselves regardless of the opposition. In fact the Ideas of the Nuno have become that strong we have made the opposition team not an ‘opposition’ because there’s simply no way to describe this Sheffield Wednesday team as an equal partner in last nights football. Tenacious yes. Their movement was an attempt to define themselves, their passing was often eloquent and refined for sure but it lacked conviction. Again we warmed up by running in formation across the pitch before the second half started and the Wednesday players looked on. Hands on hips, staring into the Gold and Black or just simply the blank sky waiting for the whistle to start the game. They lack ethos

Sheffield is normally a cold place any way and I was a two coat man. Boots too. The rigours of an English winter. I have a mate from Norway who when he visited one cold November sat in his car dithering. I was like well, You are used to this cold surely and he said ‘Your Winter is different, it gets in your bones first’. After being thrown out of the first pub we went into by a barmaid that looked like the spirit medium from ‘Poltergeist’ we decamped and made our way to another pub. Hills everywhere here. The Barmaid here had skin like an old Kipper. She looked nicotine stained. I think if you waxed enough bars and got her into bed she would get naked and on that skin unseen there would be sanskrit spells tattooed on her back. She was nice. We were foreigners and the locals kept their jollity to a minimum.

The Wednesday ground is a soulless place and of course Forestieri is a thing. Apparently he doesn’t want to play there any more and I don’t blame him. This whole place lacks idea. Last year the Conor Ronan cameo. The way he was hacked down a few times. We came away with a 0-0 and back down an icy M1 with most of our love trampled into the ice that settled around the ground. Then of course, my hopes were pinned on the Ronans and the whispers from the academy of this or that player you’d never heard of. Wondering whether they would burst onto the pitch with the grace and fervour of Stevie Bull. That was year Zero really for us. That was Fosun looking closely at the whole model of Wolves before they started to make decisions, weighty decisions on players and ethos.

Tonight we watched a completely new meme and one where Momentum/Idea/Progress were the buzzwords of the night. But why? Around us, in the stand there were dissenting ‘football managers’ again. Horace was looking around at them with his angry ‘I’m about to kick off’ face. What say you? As you watch this football? Single out players for your ire. That computer game you play has infected you and your football is full Matrix. You have sold your souler to the Xbox controller. Cavaleiro my beauty. How you ran around getting busy. You were running around for 90 minutes and the strength and passion you had is clear to me. But ‘he’s having an off night’. He wasn’t.

What is clear to me now sitting in the afterglow of that match. How we have defined Nunos ideas so well and so effortlessly that we don’t see the hard work and the academic bones of the whole idea. We play and we impress. We are not ‘playing’ another football team and dare I say it although we have 3 points in the bag and extended our lead at the top of the table. This is not football as we know it. Tonight an errant challenge here and there. Bennett getting involved in glad handing the opposition. Jota hacked down again. Neves ‘passing’ or ‘threading’ the ball into the goal. It wasn’t football no. Maybe it wasn’t beautiful at times either. Yorkshire has an ugliness to it, a sense of entitlement over art and creativity. Wolves last night used them like an old wet wipe. Opposition teams are simply a framework by which Nuno imposes these ideas of his. Sheffield Wednesday were simply the medium by which Nuno like a Japanese Zen Calligrapher watches and meditates upon. Sitting there cross legged with his brush loaded with ink. He may sit for hours contemplating the blankness of Sheffield. Contemplating his materials. The Jota, The Neves, The Coady, The Boly and these players are like strings of pearls strewn across those wastes last night. Eventually of course. A burst of activity from Nuno the artists and he throws himself to the paper in front of him and slashes the brush across the paper and the ink is perfectly loaded, the paper just absorbent enough. The calligraphy is abstract and is simple, but beautiful at the same time. Nunos thought transcribed perfectly in simple movement. Nuno sits back and closes his eyes to contemplate the art.

There is Kwan, the ever flowing momentum of idea and grace but there is also Chi an energy which also winds it’s way around the monad of Kwan. Both of these things intertwine and melt into each other. I watch Boly collect the ball, and a Wednesday player approaches him full pelt to do one of ‘those’ tackles. You know the one, the Warnockian ‘I’ve fucking run out of ideas so I’m going to clatter the big bastard’ tackles. The player bounces off the immovable Boly who didn’t even look at his enemy twisting around on the floor like somebody flicked one of his bollocks. He passes to Coady who imposes his own unique brand of Nunoist skills, he dips a shoulder and his eyes constantly scan the ground in front of him to unload the ball and continue momentum. We move and pass in possession. We move and block when without the ball. We push on and are relentless and even their Managers ministrations at half time which to some extent galvanises his squad fall onto the pitch in empty late challenges. Intent but lack of idea. Momentum but negative momentum as Coady again places himself in positions of power and strength.

I love Vinagre. Some of his play was sublime too. Somewhat rough maybe a little too grand a flourish when a simpler movement would have sufficed but the ways of the youth eh? Next year he will be immense. When we are playing our trade with the money counters and the voids of the Premiership. His idea of course will be strengthened and forged in the cold flames of games like this. He will be a Warrior for us. The Wednesday defence is a Cats cradle of bodies that move from left to right as we prime an attack. Intent. We have three of our attacking forwards moving and twisting in the box and Neves waits, one step, then two. The bodies in the box are moving like a shoal and Cavaleiro is dictating that movement with his positioning. I am watching and holding my breath. I can feel a dribble of liquid from my burst ear drum trickle down my neck. Then there it is. Neves collects the ball and the movement is complete and all it requires is the Coda or the epilogue. The players in the box part and there is a gap, not much, maybe four foot of space between them. Neves hardly looked up. It was if he sensed that the gap would open for him. He felt the Kwan tighten and his Chi rear up like an Eagle hunting a small bird in the sky. Perfect position, perfect weight, and he digs the ball straight through that gap and the prey is captured and torn asunder on the cliff edge. Beautiful. It may have been the cold, my ear, the Jaeger bombs. I don’t know. Perhaps it was the whole season which started in the rarefied mountain atmosphere of Austria in preseason  which seems years ago now. But I had a little weep to myself in that cold stand. My brothers and Sisters singing and shouting and we had won the game.

Can we start to believe? Is it possible? The game was dictated by idea and intent for sure. The medium, the opposition rough and pockmarked with scars but still the art stood out upon it. This was again a game where we would have conceded a late goal, a final kick in the teeth. In the second pub we went into before the game the Landlord came around the bar to chat. It was a nice gesture. He spoke a little about our team and then waxed about his own for 15 minutes and the talk from him was all negative and sad. The things that had gone wrong with his team, the dynamics of their football. It was all so similar of course. On the way up we had chatted about Lambert and Saunders, McCarthy, Clipboard and those names lacked power and were seen in the NunoLight as wanting and derelict. We are looking down from a lofty position at the places we ourselves had sat despondent and angry. It still ‘feels’ and it still hurts but those tragedies at Burton and Rotherham and all those Godforsaken shit holes we have visited in the past are (for now) being forgotten and the traumas and shadows are being chased away by these strands of sunlight trickling through the gap between the Southbank and the Billy Wright.

Ethos. The power of the Nuno Espirito Santo to cajole and inspire through his own strength of idea and his own philosophy. He demands respect and that respect is laid upon a foundation of trust. His team are ‘HIS’ team.

Pathos. Nuno has the heart of a Lion and the emotions he holds onto would be a torrent not many could withstand. He demands also that his players channel that emotive part of their combative and forensic football into the mold of his idea.

Logos.The connection between this team and us, here in the stands, waiting at Bus stops in the rain, feeling the trickle of pus running down your neck as you watch them, walking into work proud of your team.

Constantly improving and fortifying our intentions as the season goes on and the dissenting puerile voices of other commentators, supporters, members of the press will fall like ash on the wind for sure. As we walked out of the ground we saw Nathan Judah with his video camera in hand to capture the zeitgeist from the fans. Of course, we would never be asked our opinions, us, those ragged loud, often swearing and proud. We have too may things to say and they would be punctuated by superlatives that can’t exist within the confines of the digital medium just like our football can’t be confined any longer to the Championship. Our voices are loud as we walk past the disgruntled Wednesday fans but we don’t give a shit. McCarthy next. Come on Big Nose, lets see what weird ideas you have for us…


Hold Tight To The Wolf Nuno


Right bear with me as I can hardly see anything. It’s been a liquid day.

It was cold down the canal especially going East. Bitter bone biter of a thing. Nuno has got Manager of the month then eh? The curse! oooooh. Nuno doesn’t give a shit about these things but on the Compton photo shoot with the award he wasn’t actually touching it. As well as having some dude hold the actual trophy Nuno had all of his back room staff around him in the snow cold. Nuno although pragmatic and again stoic knew the Kwan had to be protected. The Kwan and the team Juju would be affected negatively by that whole Sky Sports thing. Nuno glad he had won it, less glad to get tangled in the black tentacles of the Sky Sports curse. There is a fella in the woods at the side of the canal moaning and groaning to himself, he’s staring at the sun through the trees and my dogs don’t like it and growl sub audibly almost, deep back in their throats. The bloke has got a faded WBA pink woolly hat on. There’s half a foot of snow. Now he’s laughing, he’s holding a blue bottle of mad cider.

Sunderland in the snow cold. I’ve wrapped up warm today and there is no argument about coat choice. Snow coat. Boots. No Football Factory 80’s Adidas bollocks. Good grippy boots. Warm. What are a Sunderland? Coleman has just joined them. Coleman looks like he smells nice but also looks like he worries a lot. He’s going to be an hour down the motorway and think ‘fuck…did I leave the oven on?’. I wondered where Sunderland were in the league so I had a look. Oh dear. Coleman is going to look at lot more worried having to face us today. That Alan Hansen tan he rocks is going to look very pale. I wonder what happened to Alan Hansen? But I know how Coleman feels, I felt like it last Monday against City. Trepidation. I don’t want to talk too much about Sunderland but I wonder again if Coleman can galvanise those dejected well paid but highly dysfunctional team into some sort of shape to face this team of ours? What are you going to do Coleman you little Taff git?

Molineux has a thin layer of snow around it and that is purely a testament to how hard the ground staff have worked putting the game on. Thats the idea isn’t it? Last year there may have been a cursory sweep around but now, Nunoism even smashes the weather conditions.

Nuno is changing now. Gone is the peaceful Philosophy of the start of the season. The reasoning and thoughtful expressions he used to get his ideas to us. Then he was placating and reassuring, stressing the importance of bonds between club and support. Gently outlining his plans and desires. Now Nuno stands erect and is reiterating major points with a stab of his chin and head held back, commands rather than answers. Three Thousand years ago he would probably have been a great Greek General. But he looks like a man now firmly gripping the fur of the Wolf as he rides upon it and the accelerating beast rushes him through the dark forests of the Championship. Hold tight to that Wolf Nuno.

What may Coleman say to this figure? What idea will Coleman present to us on this cold Saturday afternoon? There are names within that team I am loathe to mention. My Southbank brothers have stories to tell about their fans too. The North  East is strange to us, there is both beauty and desolation within it’s borders. Their fans are quiet and their songs flutter quietly into the sky before they get to me.

The match starts with a customary exchange of pleasantries. But Neves starts by being Neves. Ultimate footballer for me. We’re at the top of the hill but I don’t think we have seen the best of him yet. He’s understated for sure. He collects the ball like he has an affinity to it. He wants the ball, needs it, but as soon as it’s collected it’s gone again across the pitch.

I’m stood by the canal again listening to the lunatic cry. I ask him if he’s ok but he looks at me with eyes that have absolute terror in them. The snow still Falls on him and he takes another swig of his cider and has another plaintive wail. Here at Molineux our team look fresh but bruised. Doherty slashing pieces out of the pitch on one of his few runs.

How was it all? You’ve been in the bath and shaved off all those errant pieces of hair. Plucked your nose hairs. Plastered what’s left of your hairline into some semblance of a trendy fashionable haircut. Have a pout in the mirror. You pick up the 40 squid bottle of aftershave you rarely use. Spray a bit on. You are sexy as fuck. Put your pants on, the ones with the fewest holes and the most lively elastic. Clean pair of socks. Put some nice clothes on, you don’t really like them but she does. She’ll be downstairs doing something . You are fit as fuck, hold your gut in. You sidle down the stairs and get Barry Whites 50 greatest Lurve songs…is it too early for that? Maybe George Michael? Ah fuck it, Barry White, go in for the kill. You put the LED lamp on you got from Untouchables. It’s supposed to change colour from red to green but it’s stuck on green. She comes into the room and she looks like the Incredible Hulk in the lamp light. Fuck. Press play. Barry White oozes from the Argos Bluetooth speaker hifi thing. You do a little shimmy and your hip clicks. Fuck. She is more than half way down the Prossecco now. She is playing with the hairs on her arms and looking at you in that way that hides her squint. You sit next to her on the settee and make an attempt to smooch and groove but she’s not having any of it. Barry gets turned off and as she gets up to turn the telly on she lets out a vicious fart. Ant and Dec, Celebrity Jungle. And it’s all a fucking comedy really as you go and stare out at the snow in the back garden…

That match was like that. Ready for some smooth moves and some funky foot play. Fair enough it was sexy and it was beautiful, and it smelled nice. The day was cold and crisp. Football weather. Gloves and scarves, jolly pre Christmas faces. But it just wasn’t to be. We did well to hold on to our concentration that’s all I’ll say. The movement of Jota was again a joy to behold. And Neves? What football from him. Pure funk in slices of hot Neves bass. He runs his own set list that dude. Faced with a Sunderland back five to unlock he was proudly reticent to inflict his football on it. But Wolves clicked the tumblers to the safe trying to unlock the meaty tumblers of Sunderland. Those meathead, long necked pale Northern motherfuckers. They are the Plumber that never turns up and the Gas Fitters hairy arse crack. What a fucking task Coleman has, and fair play to him he did a job today. A point for his team. A clean sheet too. But it wasn’t pretty Gary. It wasn’t real football. It’s supposed to be dynamic and brave combat full of thrills and madness that makes you want you scream and shout in joy and horror. But this was not that.

But it was a dip in the landscape I think. An intake of breath perhaps after the trials of the past month. But it’s important that we too had our part today and were lacking. It was quiet and reserved. The ambience was laid back and chilled out. It was football as sitting back in bed lighting a cigarette after hot sex. Everything is good. We have extended our lead at the top of the table for a bit at least. We are doing good and in January we will do better. I sense movement of players in and out. If Fosun are wise and Nuno demands then we will see a strengthening of this side of ours. Maybe here and now is the time to rest a few players, let some others have a go. Or is it a momentum that can’t be stopped and Jota, Cavaleiro, Neves, Bonatinni must play and must ‘crack’ on?

These next few weeks are important. These are the times when many of these young men that play for us have to spend Christmas away from families and loved ones. I know they are paid handsomely but still, it’s a time when you need people around you that you love and want to be with. They will have moments in the next few weeks when they will be a little slower and a little less committed because that’s the nature of the human being. Us? We must forgive these moments as we would deal with them in the same way as our players, a little selfish sometimes, a little sad.

My Albion fan is still in the trees and he’s downed half the bottle. He’s as pissed as a fart but he can see me and the dogs and he’s just watching me watching him while the dogs sniff things. Yeah sometimes I suppose these games come along in a season. It’s a bit of a shock though after the battering of Leeds and Notlob which is I suppose a Barometer of how well we have been playing. Onwards. I leave him behind and can still hear him shouting two hundred yards away. We will freshen up this team in January add to the already practically unstoppable impetus, new momentum and maybe new ideas too. Nuno is not one to sit back static and unmoving but constantly learns and acts on ever changing conditions. Yeah I’m not fussed by Nil-Nil. Learn and move on.


There was this beer in the Royal London…Jaipur IPA I think. Bloody lovely.


Full Spectrum Football


Nunoism Versus Luluism

Birmingham City v Wolverhampton Wanderers

It was a job wasn’t it? Going into the garden to pick dog shit up and the grass has grown a little too long. It’s a bit of an Easter egg hunt looking through the tussocks for those little shriveled turds. You get the shit bag in your hand and try to tease the soft shit from the tussocks and the musty shitty smell of dogshit rises pungent into your quivering nostril. Earthy and protein rich, cloying and clinging you gag as you feel warmth through the bag onto your hand. It’s repulsive and yet weirdly warming. You tie a knot into the bag and notice you’ve got a little bit on your finger. You bend down to wipe it on the grass and find you’ve wiped it through a whole pile of hidden dog shit and now your hand is covered. You stand back to shout at the Gods and fuck. You’ve trod in another load.

The above is the match report. Sometimes gaining points away is simply ‘picking up the dog shit’ an maybe even treading in it too.

How was it walking through those wastes tonight? The car fumes, the industrial stink, the misty can’t be arsed rain that makes your skin feel greasy. See what I mean about light? Tonight that light was a lot brighter than Birminghams for sure. The darkness of that place didn’t prevail and it was a major point in the Wolves campaign. Why? It’s the top of the climb. While tackling Welsh Hills on my bike this summer I know how key parts of the season will work out, I think. This is a tough match. It is an effort.

The hardest part of the attempt to get to the top of the hill is the start. At this point our muscles are not warmed up. You may not have used them for a while, or maybe ever. They are a group of strangers you have to get working together to get to the top of the hill. Some of these muscles are strong and fit, some of your muscles are a bit crap. But get them all working together and that strength can be taken up by the weaker. Pedaling at the start is strange. Start of the climb. Sometimes you get the wrong gear and almost stop. Cardiff. Bristol City. Sheffield. But eventually you get the gear right and the climb is slowly starting. You ease yourself into various positions to find the best one and here it is. Before you know it the going is steeper. You are maybe a quarter of the way up and those muscles are feeling it. The groove is relentless. QPR, Norwich, Leeds, Bolton. Sometimes you lose concentration too.

This match was the halfway way point of the whole climb. Not physically but mentally. Backroom work, health work, strange scientific shit to do with performance analysis. This has made this team ninja ready. Super fit. But mentally there has been a lot to get their heads around. The personalities in the dressing room have settled into some social hierarchy and the groups communication and display dynamics would have settled down. Everybody will be happier now there is order.

Nuno would have had a lot to do with that. He is an Alpha, wise, quick to erupt in temper but also quick to placate and reforge bonds. Unconsciously the team understand this and the trust between them will get stronger. It’s beyond white boards and tactical slashes in blue and red wipe off marker pen. You can’t really coach this team any more. My mate saw Nuno at a driving range. He set the ball down. Boom. 250 yards straight down the line. Ball down. Boom. Again 250 yards. He kept hitting them spot on, hard, fast, accurate, concentrating. Again and again. Nuno has told them their roles and he trusts them to fulfill that role in the manner in which their skill level and mental state allow. His role at the side of the pitch to remind and cajole performance, tweak the idea a little, maybe swap the idea completely? Who knows what magic goes through the whole set up?

But here tonight is where that light of intent was tested. The teams vision will have narrowed in the madness of Birmingham. I’ve described elsewhere the psychogeographical aspects of this ‘derby’. The hollowness of it. Coady and Doherty will understand it. Not simply because they understand rivalries as Cavaleiro, Jota and Costa do too. Football rivalries exist all over the world and the spectrum of discontent they cause are apparent and visible. But this isn’t Rangers and Celtic, United or City pick any one you want. This is a battle between light and darkness where hate just becomes an abstract thing and the battle I suppose looking at a stadium full of Golden light and then descending into the dystopic miasma of Digbeth is a dichotomy you can’t  ignore. Coady will understand it because it’s a uniquely English thing. Doherty because the Irish experience is heavy with that dichotomy too.

Tonight that light was glaring. Cavaleiro has a gentle and big emotional part of his being. This emotion is contained by him much of the time. He knows that his love is too big to show the world in case the world throws his love back at him. Tonight he was quiet and refined. His runs effortless and powered. His heart straining to keep back that power and emotion trying to channel it into physical exertion. He is susceptible to darkness but still he ran on and on into space, closing down players.

Football as well as emotions have a full spectrum. It is a range of ability and skill and the one end and at the other drive and ambition and this was visible tonight in all it’s glory. But with all spectrums there are areas at either end that we don’t have the sense to understand. Wolves are like that tonight. Some of it is ugly, some so beautiful it makes my heart ache. There are hings I simply don’t have the capacity to understand here. That communication Saiss has with the ball. It’s not an inanimate object for him it is a system of meaning. He certainly stamped his meaning all over that pitch tonight.

Bonatini a revelation again. Those runs of steeze like an Iron Maiden bass riff at times, thundering and punchy runs into the Birmingham half. Shrugging off the ministrations of the Godless city midfield and defencewith aplomb and grace. I don’t want to talk about the other end of the spectrum, the Warnockian wavelengths. A little pulling here and there. Don’t these people learn their lessons? The more you hump the motionless body of your skill set by kicking the cack out of our team the more resilient they become. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The Cardiffian model has been tested out on us by other teams since that day and have been found wanting. You can’t blank out this light. Jota crumples under a late foot. He stands almost immediately and doesn’t even look at the Referee who has become a mere bystander to the strength of this teams intent.

These games are never pretty. Orc ball. Birmingham started to get inspired by our football I think. Our beauty was taken in initially after some neanderthal tackles. Mad derby times. They had Ron Forehead sent off. There were some differences of opinion and tribal stuff going on but still we were in control. They had some moments of clarity through the dark mist of their football but no real chance to dim the light. Jota, what a marvel he is, what a nutter! If he walked into my front room now and did a shit on the rug I would just pick it up and get him to sign it.

Marvelous Boly, the giant Coady, the able and skilled Bennett. What light they did shine despite the darkness that crept into their hearts as the match progressed. This Birmingham thing reflected in Costas ripped sleeve. The warrior spirit of N’Diaye awakened. Nuno becoming more demanding, more virulent in his ideas because now at this point this team is about to crack open their shell and erupt into the world like a Gold and Black Eagle…

It’s done this Birmingham thing. Now our people their will be walking back through the streets of that place and will be in a glow of sorts but wary. I will take this 3 points in the spirit it was taken, with a bit of an edge, a bit of in your face belief and anger. Sometimes that’s what you have to do at these places. But us? Our team will have new belief now, to get a result in that place is a milestone and now you’re pedaling slow and you think it’s leveling out a bit and you’re right. The rest of the season will be all down hill now. Fresh air blowing in your face football. We can look back at this match as just one of those dark forest chapters which every hero has to travel through. Onward.

How to deal with ‘Wolves Rage’


Yes. We know you hate Wolverhampton Wanderers. We see you sitting or standing on the bottom of the Steve Bull stand. Sometimes you are gripping your mate tight as your angst blows over and a Steward has to tell you to behave. You could be at home looking at your phone and somebody has shared a Wolves goal on Social Media or Wolves have been linked with another sexy expensive player. You look at their beautiful Latin face and that perfect white smile and a name that just oozes lovely football. Your heart begins to pump harder, you start to sweat a little, your eyes start to bulge and you start to swear and rage. You shout or mutter ‘fnnnkin Wolves’ or ‘Fnnnkin Yamyam bsstards’ , Fukkknnnn Dingles’ or ‘fffnnnkin FFP’…you may even start ‘supporting’ your local rivals when they play us…

This is Wolves rage. That terrible illness that incapacitates many football fans in England and is linked to other terrible illnesses such as ‘Testicle punching’, impotence and Insomnia. It’s also been linked to the posting of unfunny Gifs and blocking accounts through social media fume. Here at Southbank Resistance Castle we take fan fume very seriously and try to help whenever we can by trying not to laugh and bringing this terrible affliction to the wider public.

Fortunately Southbank Resistance is here to help with a handy ‘print out’ to keep on your person in case somebody does mention Wolverhampton Wanderers or you see something on Social Media about Wolves. Please if you are often afflicted with Wolves Rage laminate the above card and keep it on your person at all times. I was thinking of a wrist band like a blood type thing but I don’t care that much. But anyway here’s your handy guide you poor bastards.

Stop talking about Wolves. One of the best ways to calm down if you’re already feeling stressed is to stop interacting with any conversation to do with FFP, Nuno, promotion, PornBall or Portugal, if possible. Sometimes, even taking a few seconds before you head back to Twitter can be enough to help you cool down. Try counting to ten, or taking 3-5 deep breaths, before you reply in a heated conversation or situation. Take a break. For example, if an argument with a Wolves fan is getting heated, stop and excuse yourself for a moment by saying something like, “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed right now. I need to take a 15-minute break before we continue discussing this.”

Go to a different place, focus on breathing deeply, and recite a calming mantra, such as “I can handle this calmly. I can do this.” or “They are only great because some Chinese conglomerate has given them loads of money”. You see in the future you will see and hear much more of Wolves because we are brilliant. Now this will cause a few problems such as teeth marks in your steering wheel, you will stop watching football all together or you will start to abuse hard drugs, or even yourself.

‘Rage wanking’ is a number one killer of football fans on social media and nothing has been done to stop this awful syndrome. The EFL have been trying their best by ignoring Wolves for years but soon will HAVE to start reporting from Molineux. This means every hour of Sky Sports news will have something about Wolves on it. I went to speak to the Patron of the RageWank charity Gary Lineker but he was on holiday or something.

Focus on your team. When we’re stressed, sometimes our bodies interpret the stress as an attack and kick us into “fight or flight mode.” This stimulates the release of hormones like adrenaline, which constrict your blood vessels, make your breathing rapid and shallow, make you post unamusing poorly researched GIFs and photos, fill your tweets with spelling mistakes and boost your heart rate. Over time, this panic response can also lead to replacing letters in a teams name with numbers from historical scorelines. This will become a habit for your brain in what’s known as “automatic rage reactivity.” and you will notice you will have numerous vocal outbursts like “Buying the fucking league” etc.

Slowing down and focusing on the individual physical responses you’re experiencing can help you learn to identify what it feels like when you’re afflicted with Wolves rage. Studies also show that this conscious process of noticing what’s going on in your body can help retrain your brain’s automatic habits. We know your team has all the imagination of a breezeblock and the technical nous of a leaf blower. But be positive. Try not to compare your team with Wolves. I can’t be done, it’s like trying to learn about quantum mechanics. It’s practically impossible.


Notice each thing that is going on in your body, but try to avoid judging it. For example, if you’re worried about Wolves being linked with another Mendes player worth 20 million squid, you might notice to yourself, “My face feels hot and flushed. My heart is beating very fast. My palms feel sweaty. I feel nauseated. I want to chew my fingers off, I want to punch myself in the balls” Try to keep your noticing these things as neutral as possible.

Take some deep breaths. When your body enters “fight or flight mode,” your sympathetic nervous system can seriously mess with your breathing. You may find it difficult to breathe when you’re stressed, but it’s important to focus on taking some long, even breaths. This will restore oxygen to your body and decrease lactate in your bloodstream, making you feel more calm and relaxed.

  • You’ll probably notice that when Wolves win a game or they are linked with another player your breathing seems to come from the very top of your chest, even your throat. Aim to breathe from your diaphragm instead. Place one hand on your lower abdomen just below your ribs and one on your chest. Try to meditate on the Wolves head graphic so you can accustom yourself to seeing it without singing about your town and punching yourself in the balls.
  • Inhale slowly through your nose. Aim to breathe in for a 4-count if you can. You should feel your belly expand along with your chest as you inhale: this is diaphragmatic breathing. I know there are some big words here but don’t be afraid. Diaphramatic means ‘ur belly top’.
  • Hold the breath for 1-2 seconds. Then, slowly exhale through your nose or mouth. Aim to exhale for a 4-count if you can. Repeat this process 6-10 times per minute for a few minutes. Concentrate on the Wolves head and feel at peace with their majesty and beauty.
  • You may also find it helpful to recite a song from your own teams support while you breathe, or count your breaths to keep yourself from getting distracted.A mantra may be a syllable, such as “ohm,” or it may be a phrase, such as “fuck the Dingles” [while inhaling], “Buying the fucking league” [while exhaling].”

I hope these few pointers help you out a little but I don’t really give a shit. It’s just a way to fill a blog post before the game on Monday. But seriously Wolves rage can be a killer. I don’t want to see fans of Villa or Birmingham City killing themselves in massive fumes about the Wolves/FFP/Fosun. Keep sniffing the glue lads.


This series of helpful tips will not work for fans of West Bromwich Albion as for one not many of them can read so it’s pointless and anyway they have enough fume with their own depravity without dealing with Wolverhampton.

Blinded By The Light


Are we insane yet? Endlessly checking your phones for news on Wolves. Bumping into things, the Missus talking to you and you can’t tear your eyes away from that Neves pass to Cavaleiro. ‘Yeah I’m listening for fucks sake’ we say. But the outside of that right foot has become the full Kelly Brook thing and we hear Beethoven or Elgar. At least Ed Elgar was a Wolf. I can’t eat properly. I’m staring at the moon outside in the frost cold and thinking about it all. There is a darkness out there. Underneath the silvery glitter of frost and stillness. It’s something that mars the memories of the last week watching us dismantle Leeds and Bolton. Like little cracked finders pawing at the mind muddying the waters. An unease. Yes. Birmingham City. The Lulus.

Normally I would start waxing some half baked rant about the next match and  opposition but now standing outside all I feel is an abyss of idea. Birmingham City leech the creative forces out of me. They suck the joy from me. West Bromwich Albion are comical and funny, clowns and the objects of intensely funny humour due to their inherent shitness. But City aren’t funny at all. They are psychic vampires sucking any joy out of our existence. I though it would be funny extrapolating their support into a quasi Lord of the Rings type scenario but. No. Orcs scurrying from their holes carrying their bitterness and hate, their lack of idea, their lack of beauty. Instead of holes they have Small Heath, Kings Heath…names that you really only see driving as fast as you possibly can through Birmingham on dirty road signs. Feet slapping on the road, the dull thud of the odd punch. You can’t just walk into Mordor but you can sing your way out of it. If I was going to the match I would be eloquent and waxative but here now, in the warm front room of my house I just feel blankness and greyness. They could be Cardiff or Bristol City really. The faces of the team all have that same generic blank beard/quiff/tattoo thing going on. They have a Jota but not a JOTA. I remember watching a video on Twitter of City fans on the ‘Party boat’ on the Thames, bumbling from foot to foot drinking expensive beer wondering what the fuck they are doing there.

It would have been too light a blog post for something so void of joy. My babies will be going there to play within that darkness and it makes me feel sad and unhappy. That their beautiful feet should press upon that cursed ground makes me want to weep. That they should perform their beauty and rhythms in front of Philistines and the ignorant makes my heart twinge and I am angry and this is what the metaphysical aspects of this derby really are.

We are used to presenting the ideas of Nuno to people that have a little understanding and empathy for this philosophy, as monkeys watching an ant hill they understand to some extent the concepts displayed on the pitch. But this? David Davis the exiled one. Your ministrations to the Southbank after your goal isn’t forgotten but it doesn’t really affect us in our hearts Dave. It was just you. Your whole ethos was defined by that display. Taking on the blue and white cloak of depravity you expected limbnal griefs from us, but all we did was sigh and look to the heavens. Accusing the Gods of terrible metaphysical banter that you should present Dave Davis to us in this way. Diggah, you will fade into future headlines about assaults and traffic violations and the press will lament your fall, but not us. We are driven by muscle and skill but directed purely by strong minds. Birmingham, you lack honour.

The walk through Birmingham to the ground is a Psychogeographical exercise in survival. Not only from the offer of physical violence but that of mental violence. This dystopian madness in those sad streets that surround the ground are relentless. Pressing on your mind as soon as you leave the sterility of the city center. What are Small Heath? Why are they a thing? I’m not sure. Aside from the various matches we have met and the shenanigans that have gone on. On my part it isn’t the violence and jollity that goes on in the after-party, it’s the lack of any identity they have that bothers me. They are a lumpen lot Birmingham City. I would have expected more of them being ‘second city’ and all that bollocks. I forget Aston Villa for a moment as I don’t really see them as having anything to do with us. But Small Heath. Yes, they are a thing for me. Outside the house the bats have given up chasing the few insects but the moon is shining as well as it can through the haze of traffic fumes and the odd vapid cloud. What is a Birmingham? I have some good memories of Birmingham but they are wrapped up in punches and kicks, Moseley Road, having illicit sex with blond WPC’s, Steve Bull half killing Citys goalkeeper, spinning him around like a traffic cone booted by a drunk 1st year undergraduate.

Over the past ten years I have watched them with interest. They have paraded a series of Managers that I had a keen dislike for. Every time I go to Saint Andrews I get a vibe there. It’s not the doughnuts whacking the odd ‘dingle’ or West Midlands Police getting their weekly hard on. It’s the area and the people. They look dejected. Even when they play us and enter the Golden Dragon they look pissed off and grey. They file in with a cursory song or two. Half hearted and sad. This makes me sad because I want their little faces to be angry and shouty. To put some vim into the whole away support thing. But it’s never like that. I suspect the darkness of their ends is a weight upon them. I feel like it’s a good job I’m not going really.

Pre-game mind propaganda from Steve Coterill is interesting ‘Wolves are the best team in the Championship’ yeah well we know that. But why are you talking about our team and not your own? At the Tesco one stop this morning putting some diesel in the van another decrepit Transit turned up full of Joeys and their van had a big Birmingham City sticker on the side. It was a dirty thing. I drew a cock on the grimy back just because I could (and they were too busy heaping Pot Noodles into the thing). Steve Cotterill eh. He’s about as dynamic as a shit Ford Transit. His whole team shout out Ford Transit in fact. On paper they look handy, until you open the back doors and a few crackheads fall out in plaster covered tracksuits and Moms woolly hats. One sits at the front cramming crisps into his face and  crumbs of fried potato are falling all over him. The pump display is getting close to the £20 I’m putting in but my eyes are shocked by the fact he’s eating his crisps with gloves on. Amazing. Birmingham.

But what is the rub here, what’s the angle with City? I can’t find one. They dull the imagination both here in front of the lap top and even watching them play. There’s a dichotomy of course between us. We have more or less the same attendances, we play 20 miles apart, both owned by Chinese global entities…but the difference. Lack of idea. We have a plan and a transformative algorithm. We have erupted from the nothingness of Moxey and Morgan et al with an idea and a dream I suppose, underpinned by business nous and a philosophy. But them? What idea can they drag from Small Heath? What philosophy? Silk purses from pigs ears? There is nothing in the geography of that place that gives any idea at all, any underpinning of intent by structured concrete thought. It’s all crisp packets blowing down the road. It’s potholes and fast food take aways run by angry middle easterners. It’s Kevin Phillips scoring a goal, it’s walking through Digbeth at 3am with your head pounding from that dodgy pill. It’s being herded together by West Midlands Police and truncheoned when you step off the kerb. It’s temporary traffic lights, it’s chavvy little fucks bouncing on their Air Max. It’s a metaphysical black hole that sucks any joy out of you unless it’s three points and a fast route out of the place.

I expect our team to again lash the Book Of Nuno tight with our attack and to not allow the Cotteralism of City to look further than their stadium. Their team will only perform if they forget what they are. There will be a moment when they remember their lives before Birmingham. Like a convict in a dungeon seeing a square of blue sky above him while he sits in the squalor of his existence. This little blue sky thinking will jolt them from their depressions and they will remember football, and playing it. They will remember those few joys they had playing before they entered this chasm of unjoy. Will they remember? Who knows. Maybe their football will be eating crisps with gloves on, being cramped up in the back of a transit with no real idea of how you are going to get out of it and start your life anew. We do inspire minds with our football, but how do you inspire others who have such an abject experience of it?

Our job is to confuse and blind them with our light and we will. The match will be a battle against light and darkness and it’s a darkness we remember too although the dark crept around our pitch under the lamentations of Paul Lambert it was held back by the light from our support. We never wavered and never stopped hoping. We know that we deserve the rarified atmosphere of academic and structured football, but them? What history do they have? Pitch invasions and throwing seats. The vacant Jasper Carrot blankness. The City is theirs they call out to their Villa rivals…of course it is lads. All yours, every grey street of it, every pothole, every errant mistimed tackle, every coin flung skywards.

Our team must be vigilant. Our plan and philosophy must be strong and applied with beauty and strength and as Nuno says ‘our ideas must be stronger’ and they must be here. Because here is where we must plant our flag firmly within the center circle. It’s not filthy porn football any longer for how long does that sexual act last? ten, twenty, thirty minutes? Beware that as we display our football we will also inspire City to play too. They will glimpse the meadows of our hearts in every ball played, every switch of play from the left to the right, the way our front three prowl and hunt the goals, the way our defence is hewn into shape under the masterful hand of our Captain. They will look into our golden light and want it very badly and this will galvanise them into some semblance of a team. The ministrations of Cotterill will be forgotten for a moment as they watch us and want to be us, and this is a most dangerous thing when our own beauty and passion becomes their inspiration too.

I’ll be back after this match has gone and I can sit and squeeze superlatives in between the meat of the whole derby sandwich but I had to say something before hand, had to write some madness down. Best of luck out there troops. Don’t let the darkness into your minds as you walk through Digbeth. Be brave, remember our idea. The dude who owns the Birmingham City transit can’t start his van and you can hear the battery struggling to turn the starter motor. He looks around with that blank look for somebody to fall out of the heavens to help him and I grab my starter leads from the back of my van and step out into the cold to help him. I’m not a total bastard but as I go around the side of the van I write in the dirt encrusted to it ‘FWAW’ and that’s the right thing to do as well.