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’