Pequeno Lobo – The Little Wolf


Jota..we are going to sign him on a permanent deal from Atletico Madrid. Young Jota my dear friend how I have been worried. Watching you slide and tickle the delights right up from the depths of my belly and into my heart. How I was worried you would be gone. That you would look at our little City and wonder what delights may be provided elsewhere. Little Jota how you have made me happy that you can see your way forward into the golden light ahead and choose to do it with us. How happy I am.

I saw you. I watched you play in Austria through the delights of a shit camera and a dodgy WiFi connection. Jinking and running around. Moving with a mind that seemed to be three moves ahead of everybody else. Then those around me had denigrated your presence but I was confident. I was sure that this beautiful football would be in your heart forever. You sweated and you fought. You did everything right for me then and you do now. What courage you have. What bravery. Then in dark places we have traveled to this season. The wind and the driving cold rain bothered you not. You still fought. Still out thought the opposition. Your blood runs hot with the fire my brother. That golden fire that drives it’s enemies into the dystopias they have dared raised their heads from.

I was of course reticent to show my love early this season. How can something as beautiful as you play love something as unbeautiful as us? Of course the love was conditional. That you would stay here and weld your vision with that of Nuno. Now I can see that there is a place in the future for both of us. Now can I love you properly? I think so. I would cast a glance at you as you played and my heart would skip a beat as you moved across the pitch cutting apart the enemy with your love for proper football. That you would often in your skill pass a ball into the maelstrom of the Championship and feel that this place was not for you and then we wouldn’t be loved by you either. I would hold my breath and believe that one day you would sign and that day has come. Now I can look into the skies and love being alive again. That you Jota would cast your signature on a document that bonds us all. It is a blood oath of sorts and now we have mixed our blood with yours and now your fights are our fights.

Jota my sweetheart. What will become of us? In a few years we will be skipping across the tram lines of some European City half drunk, singing and shouting. You will be in those songs. You will be in our hearts and in our souls even. We have cast our love to the mast and nailed it on with forged iron spikes so the wind will not cast it away.

Brave Jota. Our dogs are Staffordshire Bull Terriers. They are small and ferocious when attacked. They show no pain but have endless capacity to suffer the slings and the arrows. As you have this season. How I was angered by every misplaced tackle, every offer of violence to you. I would have ran upon that pitch and sorted it out myself if I wasn’t grabbed by others. But every time you picked yourself up like the warrior you are and I realised that you didn’t need me at all did you? You had the courage of a Lion and the heart of a Wolf and seconds later after another crushing stud ridden challenge you would answer that discordant football with your own notes, your own music. That music does flow across that green grass like a symphony and Jota? I could cry at the beauty of it. I could weep at your bravery.

Now a new dawn. A new beginning. We will worship you of course. You will never be loved as much by others as you will be by us. Bring us the victories we deserve Jota and we will set aside a part of our hearts and it will be forever a sun drenched beautiful place we call ‘Jotas place’. It will be next to Steve Bull maybe. Hibbit possibly. Derek Parkin too. Derek Dougan as well. And even if these players from the past that nestle in our hearts seem a little tall and tend to block out some of our love stand straight Brother, and push your way to the front.

The Premiership calls us and there is nothing to fear here brother. No darkness to sidle away at your heart. You may stand among them too, those teams that once left our mighty stadium sad and said the name ‘Wolverhampton Wanderers’ with fear and respect. Bring us that respect back Jota. Make them fear us again under the tutelage of Nuno. See his vision and tangle your own within it. Little Wolf you are and you will make the Lions of the world tremble.

‘Didn’t we have a luvverly time the day we went to Ipshit’


Another guest post! You’re being spoiled. My mate Ian went to Ipshit with a burning question from me. Has it changed?

I keep being cajoled to do one of these blog efforts and when Mikey posed the question about whether Ipswich has changed or not I thought I’d have a go.

I thought a lot about Ipswich well before yesterday, I’ve been a few times before and something nearly always goes wrong with a trip there and we usually lose.
Saturday was going to be different, I’ve no doubts on the football side, my man Nuno takes care of that, he might have blamed himself for the Forest defeat, but it was nothing to do with him, it was my fuckin’ fault.

Attention to detail is everything in preparing for games and I have to admit to letting the lads down recently, at Barnsley I wore the wrong coat, Mikey told me I looked froze and he was fuckin right, I was never going to make the same mistake again but the Forest game proved I had made more than one ghastly error. The dropped League points and cup exit in January were down to one thing  and one thing only – bastard shower gel. January is the time you have to use all that shit smelly stuff you get gifted at Christmas so pre Swansea, Barnsley and Forest I used David fuckin Beckham shower gel – it’s in the bin now replaced with Adidas Ice Dive only a quid from Home Bargains.

The demons were trashed I was able to set off for Ipswich showered in Ice Dive and wearing my trusty old jacket, nothing was going to go wrong.

The ticket machine at the station was bost so I had a valid excuse to travel to Brum without a ticket, the day was already getting better, in fact the journey time flew by and we were in darkest East Anglia before we knew it.

First impressions weren’t too bad, we even went in the designated away pub which is a fairly unique experience as old habits of trying to remain anonymous on enemy territory are a feature of away days. One lad was attempting the Nuno had a dream song at the top of his voice in a bit of a state, nothing wrong with that we’re all Wolves ay we, well of course we are you daft cunt it’s the fuckin away pub ay it. We chatted for a while about sensible stuff like Costa getting better with every game, the warm weather training and who we might sign in the window but I was getting fed up of my plastic glass and we needed to move on.

Once outside Ipswich revealed itself in all its dreariness, we walked across  the bridge over the River Orwell. River? The Stour has more fuckin water in it, if I’d stood and had a piss off the bridge I would’ve doubled the flow into the estuary. Only later did we discover Mick must have pumped the thing out the night before and flooded the pitch. My mate messages me to say he’s in a pub on the Marina, I remember it from before but never approached it this way and seen it in  the cold light of day, what a depressing place for what is supposed to be the town’s best feature, awful place and the boozer itself is no better, pretentious, pricey and full of pricks. We leave in plenty time for kick off which tells you how bad it all is.

On to Portman Road, a behemoth of a ground, don’t get me wrong I love the old grounds but this place is in desperate need of tlc. The roofs of the two old stands are starting to look dilapidated and it’s not hard to imagine Mick’s old underwear drying on the radiators in that corner from where the players emerge. Their fans have no life in them which is no surprise as Mick can do this to a club and there’s only St Andrews where I’ve see more blue empty seats.

The game was a bit of a stroll in the park really, Ipswich huffed and puffed, gave their all everything you expect from a Mick team really but they had no answer to us.  Our front thee ran them ragged and to their and Mick’s credit they didn’t try the Colin Wanker style spoiling tactics or the Alex Neil style physical assault, they did chase and harry sufficient to put Jota off on a couple of occasions though. The defense was solid as fuck apart from a late Ruddy flap at a cross and the occasional slightly lazy clearance from Boly  (he’s still class – it’s all a bit too easy for him at times isn’t it). Bennett has proved to be some signing though, he was majestic yesterday absolutely nothing got past him. The biggest difference between the sides was in midfield though, Neves again pure filth and N’Diaye providing a little bit more energy and presence, the lad done well. Add the fact that the warm weather experience rejuvenated Doc and Douglas it was easy to see we were back at it.

Once the goal came, the result was never in doubt and although the heavy  pitch, the lack of energy from the home fans and the generally gloomy conditions weren’t conducive to a decent atmosphere we made one of our own. Nuno had a dream had plenty of airing and we sung a little song of our own for our little mate Helder, he’ll be back to his very best soon, mark my words.

The long journey back gave us plenty time to reflect on the day and the good times ahead, the doubters will have gone quiet and WM’s Rego will have to go back to dragging up FFP again now we’re 15 points clear of his beloved vile, fuck him and the rest of them, this is our time and yesterday was very much a part of it. I got back home once more thinking I was part of something special, another one they cor tek off us.



Well here we are again. Ipswich and old big Nose eh? The last time I went to Ipswich was in the 90s and that was bad enough. Micks teams are a bit like the town really. A mix of Brexit leaflets, shit graffiti tattoos, crustiness, gritty, a bit boring, a bit sad maybe. Has it changed at all? Perhaps one of our travelling fans will illuminate me when they get back.

Our lads have come back from Spain now. It’s been sunny here the past few days and I was hoping that it would ease them back into some sort of ‘warm’ football love thing. The game will be a weird one for sure. Ballardesque. I keep harping on at people to read JG Ballard. He explains these places very well. Of course I’m not putting Wolvo above Ipswich in any way. Same thoughtless post modernist landscape filled with greyness. But we have an ace in the hole us Wolverhamptonians. We are funny, they ay. I can castigate them because they are the enemy today and of course they must be hated fully, that is the way.

Big Nose is out of contract in the summer and there have been rumours of his possible exit. Well. there’s only so long a guest is made welcome in your house before his underwear drying on the bathroom towel radiator becomes a pain. Those faded skid marks of past shits gone wrong, the faded cotton, the elastic half hanging out, the comedy pants he got at Xmas 2007 with the minions on. It’s all there for Mick. He hung on a long time fair play to him. But that’s Yorkshire for you. Temerity, stubborn stains that don’t go even when you scrub the bloody things. But he is history, and will soon be just footnotes in a book somewhere or a few lines on Wikipedia.

Mick wont be happy if they lose today and Jota & company are in for a wake up call from that sun warm lounger by the pool and the instagram lolz, Tyson Fury, sun. Jesus Christ the poor sods. Now they have to face an ‘injured wild Mick’ fighting for his job. The pitch will be a mud fest. He acts all nonchalant of course but we know the seething mass of anger and bitterness that lies beneath the surface of his persona. It’s his job on the line, his pennies are under threat, He wants to take McGlodbrick or whatever his face is with him to where ever he may be forced to go. So this will be trench warfare with a bit of dancing. I hope the sun remains in our lads hearts as they walk out there to play. We need to make a statement today and there is no better team to do it against than the void of ideas snotball that Mick is playing down there. It’s black and white telly ball. Dickie Davis ball. Pans People on Top of the Pops looking like they have snorted a couple of keys of Ketamine, moving around like slack jawed robots. I can’t help being critical of him but I liked him, he was funny at times especially in his team selections. In the grand scheme of things he wasn’t what we needed at the time. Morgan and Moxey kept him too long. They didn’t mind the underpants on the radiator and the way he flicked his fag ash in the tea cups as they really didn’t have to live with him, but we did.

But what of Nuno? It wasn’t a holiday for sure. Certainly time for squad bonding and getting to know each other, maybe to work on some ideas he had now that a big chunk of the season is gone. Perhaps he has time now to try some new things out, new ideas. I think we may well see that today. Ipswich are certainly a blank canvas, no pushovers don’t get me wrong. I have actually watched two of their games this season and although not impressed with their play I was appreciative of the way they moved he ball for certain periods. I think even Mick knows that sometimes you have to be a little delicate and clever at times. Nuno will love that now that he has ‘reflected’ on the previous few games. He’s a Chessmaster and he knows that time is getting shorter, already the snowdrops and crocuses are sticking their heads above the wet soil looking for the sun. I think we are too. Ready to unfold our leaves and get some of that solar love. I think then that we will expand our capabilities, not with new signings but for sure a new intent, the final few seconds of the round is where stuff is won.

So we unfurled our leaves for sure 0-1. Away win against the madness of King Mick. I bet he is in a right mood now. He’s been there himself, winning games like this, enjoying the adrenaline and the buzz, going home and doing a bottle of wine, King for the week. Watching Nuno celebrate with players in the golden shirts must have made him curl up a little over what could have been I suppose. But man, we lose or draw these kinds of games. This one last season would have had a 2-1 home win for Ipswich all over it, probably a draw. If they had done us for a draw at Molineux they would have clapped themselves off the pitch quite happy. But this? We won, one goal fair enough but it’s points that win prizes not goals, but goals help….I dunno, anyway.

Doherty got his head on one from a Duggo cross no less. Our front three moving about must have made the Ipswich defence feel like they have been sniffing glue. How insane did it look? Now things are picking up and getting weird. 12 points in front. Dare we? Just a little bit? Run away down the bottom of the garden where even the dog can’t shit and crouch down in the dark, cup your hands over your mouth and go, really quietly…’fucking hell’ into the dark so nobody else can hear. It looks good doesn’t it? 12 fucking points. I wonder what effect that break had, wonder how it affected them and then you see it all laid down in front of you in the form of three sexy points.

Last year I was woken up by one of my lads who said ‘We’ve signed a new manager Dad, Nuno or something’ and I was half asleep trying to raise myself through the different levels of waking. I had a weird feeling that I knew who this Nuno was because I had already stood in Queens square as an open top bus came past, there were players who I didn’t know on that bus. There were a few Chinese fellas, and this dude with a grey and black beard smiling and singing. At some time while I was dreaming I had already stood with my mates who I love, it was all a crazy day. We had been promoted already. We were going to the pub after the procession. Somebody had put a scarf on the man on the horse. People were hanging out of windows around town. The sun was shining. A few people were half pissed already. PremierLand. Europe on the horizon. Belief and madness. And there was me trying to shake these mad dreams off and try to find out who this Nuno was on a phone that I couldn’t focus on. But the songs were still reverberating through my consciousness, but I knew already. The feeling was that strong I knew I had to write about it. Get everything down on the internet so I could make sense out of it all.

I’m still going to go to the top of the garden to whisper swear words and excited things into my cupped hands so nobody can hear. Still tut when people talk about next season and smile. Still try and stop my eyes from stinging with tears when we win. Tread on that big butterfly that flaps around in my belly when I look at the Championship table. Still close my ears off to ‘that kind of talk’. But it’s coming isn’t it? It’s nearly here. Those long dark roads to away games, the storms, the getting thrown out of pubs, the feeling that you shouldn’t have come because you are ill, the trying to park the car, the trains, the tubes, the walking to the Southbank from town after a few beers, singing in the subway, checking your pocket for your season ticket again. Thinking about the ghosts. I’m emotional again. Ipswich for fucks sake and all of a sudden the dark black clouds have parted for a second and there is a glint of light right in the center of that blackness and fuck, have we not had enough of that darkness to see the light for what it is?

The Grit Bin: Wolves Ay We


As you know I like to bust open the doors of SBR to guest posts and here’s one from my good friend Hank who felt like getting some things off his chest and what better place to do it than here in the madness of the SBR blog. Gew on Son *Passes the Mic

Welcome to Molineux, the home of Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers. It’s a place of joy, excitement and togetherness as almost 30,000 supporters cheer on the most gifted bunch of footballers seen gracing the hallowed turf in a generation.

Except… it’s not is it? What the fuck is going on?

Hit Wolves Twitter up at any time of day and you’re guaranteed to see some fan(s) banging on to some other fan(s) about what it means to be a Wolves supporter. Like there’s some sort of hierarchical scale of support that requires certain achievements be met before you can ‘level up’ and only the SuperFan who has home and away season tickets, buys every shirt the club puts on sale and turns up to watch the U23 and Academy games can truly have their voice heard as a “true supporter”.

When did we put these rules in place about what it means to be a Wolves fan? Or decide to split ourselves from a united pack into a disjointed bunch sub-branches determined by what stand we sit in, whether we sing at the game, whether we arrive on time or stay until the end?

This has been brewing in me for weeks but was topped off after the Forest game when someone tweeted a complaint about the South Bank singing the “Nuno had a dream” song for too long and for too many repetitions, thus introducing a new rule into the game – if you do sing, do you sing the right songs?! The aftermath of a home game now focuses less on what happened on the pitch and more on what went on in the stands.

The South Bank sings about the North Bank not singing. The North Bank retorts that they’ll sing when they want and that they’ve never had a Baggie in their seats. The Steve Bull feels left out so pipe up for a few minutes, while the Billy Quiet has a kip. Then we get photos from the South Bank of the North Bank, half empty, criticising the fact that some people have decided to leave early and get back to their cars before they’re locked in after the game, while the North Bankers have a go back about how there are still plenty of gaps in the South Bank after we’ve kicked off because some people can’t resist one more pint before making their way to the ground.

At the end of the day does it really matter? If you go to a game and you want to sing, great, do it but don’t moan about the folks that just want to watch the football quietly. Conversely, if you turn up for a football match then expect to hear some fans singing. Singing songs of their own choice! If you don’t like what you hear, ignore it and watch the game but, please, can we all just agree that we all want the same thing? That little ‘P’ next to our name on Sky Sports News’ league table in May (or earlier!), our name on the Football League trophy again, a euphoric victory parade through the City Centre with fans gleefully hanging off the Mon on the ‘oss.

We have three and a bit months to go, let’s be one pack, united, not lone Wolves. However you choose to support the team, I salute you. We’re Wolves ay we?


Sunshine Super Nuno


Amazing what you can actually buy from Aldi with two quid. It’s like a Mediterranean breakfast or something. Four croissants, soft cheese, butter and a funky coffee. Two quid! So I eat like an Italian Prince as the rain and wind beats on the window outside. Beautiful Wednesfield. I’d swap it for a gentle bike ride around some Spanish island for sure. Wonder how the lads are getting on in Marbella? They look happy. Hause and Graham doing the Insta strategy good. They believe in themselves I suppose and that’s good. These times don’t last forever though do they?. Now is the time to be working on your game and getting focused I suppose.

I did intimate to a few people that this trip may well be a smokescreen of sorts. What a beautiful place to meet ‘certain’ people who may join the club. Somewhere quiet in a small bistro. Perhaps Nuno will be there, maybe Uncle Mendes too. Probably some Spanish or Portuguese starlet who isn’t feeling the love at the club he’s with at the moment. I bet there is a DVD somewhere of Compton and the Molineux looming large on the 4k TV back at this young lads Hotel. I mean you can’t drag the poor bastard to Compton in weather like this. He’d be like ‘fuck off’ in some Latin lilt and he’d be off quicker than a rat in a skip fire.

Add to that a leak from the Compton staff that ‘Boberto Sexylegs’ is at the ground and the Wolves Social Media army would be chewing their fucking fingers off. So is it all a smokescreen? That Vitamin D comment from Nuno sounds like a massive laugh. Perhaps his humour has levels, I suspect it does. Especially when you see the team loving their break. I think it’s a sterling move for sure. Of course Gaz Mastic wasn’t happy.

‘Eh fucking off to Marbella for a week Eh? Eh?’

As I’m trying to get through the front gate. The wind is trying to get into my coat and I’m holding my Croissants tight in case they blow away. It was writing about them the other day. These delicious French curly things. I fancies one. I had two quid. I dare not show Gaz what’s in there but he’s hanging onto his Staffy as she noses the bag. Gaz wouldn’t like a Croissant. I know he has Margarine on his toast. He can’t tell the difference between butter and Margarine you see and we’ve had a long conversation about it in the summer which I wont bore you with.

Of course the break will do them all good. It’s a working holiday after all. Now they can train and groove along by the pool for a bit. Have a sunbathe and a chill out. This season is long isn’t it? It seems longer than the ones in the past anyway. For certain. I think that’s because we have had so much to cram into our little minds about how the team do their thing. New members of the squad, the emotions and the madness of the start of the season. That loss to Swansea and to be fair that rain coming back from there was a nightmare. I fancied a holiday after it. Fosun should have chartered a few planes to take every supporter to Marbella for a week or two.Yes, I see it as a positive for sure. Our momentum had declined somewhat over the past few weeks. These are young lads after all. The incessant grey skies above us are a hefty mind bomb for kids that have spent their lives cavorting on sun drenched pitches. Now there is mud, and rain, and grey. As much as we British can huff and sneer at the weather you have to remember we are used to it. We have the skills to deal with it. We enclose ourselves in layers and get out there in it. I think we actually enjoy it sometimes. That’s why we go insane in the sun. Have a riot or two. We are just happy that we have one layer on instead of six. Perhaps these lads will redefine their game at Ipshit maybe?

‘I’ve always said we needed a striker, I said it last season and the season before that, there’s no difference between Moxley and Jeff Lee’

Gaz is apoplectic with eye bulge and the odd spray of spit. He is getting his rage on. He is Molineux Mix made large and organic. He is ‘Dingles Ay We’ there, right in front of me and there is definite rage for sure. His thin legs are trembling again. In my pocket I have a lone crumpled Southbank Resistance sticker and I give it him to try and stop the rage before he gets on to Afobe.

‘What the fuck am I going to do with that? I’ll put it on me tackle box ta’

I had been told that Afobe didn’t want to go, didn’t want to leave the club. Good sources too. He loved it at Wolves. Loved the stadium. Didn’t much love the ball being hoofed up field for him to chase. But I can’t say anything to Gaz because he has his own ideas about Afobe and they pour out. I wonder if his rage will turn my cheese into mush. I suppose that will be Moxeys fault. He rages. That’s what he does and I do love him for it because thats what you do when you love something. He shouts at his dog who rarely listens but that dog eats steak and Liver that Gaz buys and cooks for her. His rage is just the way he filters the world out. Do we actually need a striker? Leo may come back a different man. Ready to start smashing things. Perhaps that mystery Striker will come in the close season after he has perused the DVD and Nunos magic words start to entwine with his own Kwan and becomes a thing. Who knows. Would Benik fit into this team? Is he even a thing?

What interests me is that I suspect Nuno has the knowledge that despite a couple of losses he understands that we have won this thing. He’s not an idiot. He’s looked at the teams around us and I suspect he sees them lacking. Doesn’t quite see how these teams are going to challenge the quality he has at his disposal. I think he’s confident and this sunshine break is perhaps the perfect coda for the first part of the climb out of this division. The players wont understand of course, but I think Nuno does. I see this break as a perfect example of how Nuno works on the minds of these players. He has segmented and parceled away the previous months and now there’s a chance for a new start and a new opportunity for the players to really start to impose themselves.

‘Are you going on Holiday Gaz?’ I ask him. ‘Ar Skeggy in June same as always, Love Skeggy’ he says as he wanders off. That’s fair enough.

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Northbank Resistance


I’m only having a laugh. I don’t care where you sit, what you wear, if you sing, or how you feel about the whatevers. I don’t care if you haven’t been to a game for the past few years, I don’t care if you have only missed one match in the last 50  years. I was laughing to myself as I wrote this and I’m still laughing now. Perhaps it’s only me that’s laughing and that’s cool too. Don’t get aggravated too much but if you do write an email to Lorry Doolallyripple or something.

Match day again and the telephone has been buzzing all day with business calls. I walk into the Kitchen and Hilda has made fresh Croissants with orange juice and Matagavian Thigh coffee from Waitrose which was on offer at £25 a half kilo. I remonstrated with the girl on the counter that it should be in pounds and ounces. She had a pierced lip so when I got back in the Range Rover I sent an email off to Waitrose head office to complain. I don’t want to see that. These punk rockers should be working in Aldi I’m sure. Disgraceful behaviour. What has happened to the youth of today…back in my day of course…I rememeber having a fine bacon sandwich or two on match days but cholesterol and that scare while in Florida last year on holiday. Hilda looks after me the poor confused thing.

Is Nono Spanish? I’m not sure. Definitely one of these Mediterranean types with a tight suit, Italian probably, not what we need this man. Not upstanding, temperamental of course, not solid, not what we needed. We should never have sacked Mick McCarthy or Paul Lambert in my opinion. What a fine man Mick  was. Proper British football and man management offering a technical masterclass every game from the annals of Great British football. Of course we invented this fine game, we even gave it to the Peasants…I’m sorry the working classes. Tackling that’s the issue. That is the center of the game, mortal combat, the ether of sprayed blood from an errant tackle, get the ball up there so you can score. This is the crux of the style we should play. But this confusing tappy ball is not what we should be presenting to our support. It is not the Wolves way!

The Sat Nav in the Range Rover is playing up again so I’ll have to get young Benjamin in IT  to look at it. It’s confusing all this technology, in my day we had an AA map and some idea of where you were going before Europe dictated that we should have this plethora of signage every where. It’s a disgrace but of course my company earns thousands from Europe as it does from Nottingham too who we are playing today. They look a fine team too these men from Forest. Good solid players with fine names like Snotbollock, Armpitt and Jones. Not like ours, I don’t think I will ever get used to their names. Jota apparently is Silva? How confusing is this??

The Tettenhall road is busy again and I bully my way through the traffic. I run a young woman off the road in a Fiat 500 and narrowly avoid running over several old people ambling across the zebra crossing. Don’t they know that I drive how I wish? I’ve leased this monstrously opulent vehicle as a benchmark to my success in electro plating fasteners for the last 45 years. They should move, I’m a busy man. I’ve paid my money and that gives me greater rights on the road than them. It gives me choices. It gives me freedom to do as I choose, have these people no idea? I shout angrily through the window at the car parking attendant behind the Northbank who has the temerity to tell me where to park. How dare he. I write an email of complaint directly to Jeff Lee. I’ll have the little scrote of an attendant sacked of course and I park where I wish. There is no way on Gods green earth I am parking too far away from the stand. I do not wish to ambulate myself in such weather such distances. Sitting at a desk for all these years has given me a bad hip. Have the club no idea? I’ve been a season ticket holder for over 40 years and have only missed 900 matches in all that time. I write a quick email of complaint to Laurie Dazzlypimple. Many exclamation marks. Four as I recall.

A few South bank yobs pass me and they are obviously drunk as they are singing some awful tune that has players names within it. For Gods sake, when I was young we sang the National Anthem and that was it. Why have these ‘songs’ have so many swear words. I sniff and take myself past them and through the turnstiles into the stand. I take my seat and in front of me are a couple of oiks standing. I remonstrate with them and send a quick email of complaint to Laurie Garglypimple. I can’t see the pitch and yes! I know that the game hasn’t started yet but I wish to have my view of the pre match jollity uninterrupted by standing people. One of them has a foul mouth and I attract the attentions of a Steward to complain and the foul mouthed roughneck is told off. In my day he would have had a birching. Oh what has happened to my country and my club?

Of course the game had much of that continental style of play. The passing of the ball without real end product. Indeed at one point even I remonstrate with Nuno Espresso Santa and shout loudly ‘Just kick the ball to the striker’. What is this midfield nonsense? 4-4-2 was good enough during the war and it should be good enough for the present! I write an email to Laurie Googlyhandle about it and look at the video screens. Waste of money if you ask me. What was wrong with watching the action when you got home? We are 22 minutes into the first half and I go into the concourse to select a pint of beer which I drink slowly as I peruse my phone and take the odd glance at the TV screens dotted around. What a waste of money this is. In my day you waited…oh Nottingham Forest have scored! What an excellent goal too! Our ‘defence’ are a shambles of course. Conor Coady? I will have more respect for him when he actually learns to speak English. I clap this fine effort and as I ladle a burger into my mouth (but don’t tell Hilda) I write an email to Laurie Gangleydamp about getting Coady some English lessons. I hear the South end bank start singing some droning monotonous song about Nino Spirity Bentos and building a team. Building a team? I wouldn’t fancy him building anything. Have you seen the state of Portuguese building regulations? The quality of their workmanship? At our Algarve Villa I had to send out British workmen to fit our new double glazed windows. Disgraceful. I write a letter to Jeff Lee about it while I juggle another insipid ale and type on this infernal phone. Alas I miss the start of the second half due to engaging in an argument on Molineux Mix and writing my match report for the Express and Star. I know the Director of the Express and Star Stanley Tightarse very well and his young Russian wife Elena. Such a delight she is! How 84 year old Stanley attracted her I have no idea but she diligently reattaches his Oxygen lines when we play Golf at Patshull.

But the Express and Star never seem to print any of my reports and Stanley just dribbles when I complain. It seems I have missed most of the second half so I take my seat for the remainder of the match. Nottingham Forest score again. This would never have happened under Paul Lambert or Hoddle. But play reaches 75 minutes and I leave my seat and make my way back to the car to avoid the traffic. Amazingly I have actually watched 35 minutes of football today and I congratulate myself thoroughly. The South bank are singing that droning litany to Nono Esprilla Zanto again and I chuckle to myself that there are few cars waiting to release themselves from the confines of this car park. But I am cheered to notice other like minded souls from the Northbank also on their way home. At least there are some intelligent people who leave early to avoid traffic. I mentally write the post I will make about the disgusting play we saw today for Molineux Mix. I may even write another email to Laurie GaryBindle about how to attract Mick back to the club. The lights of the stadium dim as I drive effortlessly down the ring road back home to my village of Tettenhall. Traffic is good and I lean back into the lush upholstery of my vehicle…I fancy some football talk and turn on the radio, but all I hear is static…..


The 12.54 To Dysfunction Junction

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I staggered back to the underground
And the breeze blew back my hair
I remember throwin’ punches around
And preachin’ from my chair

The Who ‘Who Are You’

Hey you! You Nuno Espirito Santos! Who are you?

12 Minutes and 54 seconds the Southbank sang the same song over and over again. It was a mantra really. Nuno had a dream, to build a football team….and it carried on and on. We sang our hearts out really. ‘The Steve Bull’ song from the new stand lasted 12 seconds. I didn’t hear the Northbank. The Billy Wright stand are wondering how much of their pension fund was in Carillion shares. 12 minutes and 54 seconds my friends. Never castigate my stand to me again. Nuno is remonstrating with the Referee…who is this Nuno?

This man who has decided to pull this club from the nether regions of the Championship, who is he? We see him on the touchline, mobile, passionate, animated but also at times refined, magnanimous sometimes and sensitive. All these facets wrapped up in this man and yet to us he is unknown in many respects. We know his football, total football at times and yet he has not been here a year and this team is his. They belong to him. Saiss has been emasculated by his new blonde hair do. He should dye it black again. It’s cost him half a yard of pace. Another bow legged Forest player skips past him and he falls over like the kids trampoline into next doors garden. Confused, wondering what happened. Looking a little out of place. Nuno.

São Tomé is his place of birth and it bears the psychological scars of hardship. The boot of foreign invaders, the bare feet of the slaves that were brought to work on the sugar plantations around the island. Now looking at it you may see it’s beauty and it’s elegance but you also see the rage of rebellion, the cords of harsh work in tropical conditions, the resentment against authority too, independence and fortitude. I am a firm believer in the effect that a persons home town has upon them. Do we not know? Us in Wolverhampton, how a place can instigate a certain character and vision of the world?

I think this place São Tomé is indeed a place where Nuno or a person like him would be born. It is situated on an island, so yes, Nuno will understand the island mentality of us British. And I suppose in a way Wolverhampton is a proverbial island, surrounded by ‘others’.

But I think these things have condensed somewhat into a Philosopher now rather than a warrior. I suspect that his presence within the system of young men at the club has had a galvanising effect. I suspect that he has given them a new purpose borne from the sun blasted Island on the Earths equator. Maybe he has given these young men not only an arena to perform to the best of their abilities utlising all their creative aspects too, even the ones they thought they didn’t possess, and offered them a respect and an opportunity too maybe. These young men at our club have had varied careers and seen others places before them in the team. They have been farmed out to other clubs where they were a minor success or failed to spark. They were perhaps young men short on confidence possibly. Now they have the space and the philosophy to grow and develop into the players we as fans would expect them to be. We must forgive them for today. Forgive them completely and instigate them to pick themselves up and forge ahead again. Pick the sword back up and stand straight. Morgan Gibbs White, you too may stand with your brothers and be equal to them. You are growing and learning young man. Talk well with Bright Enkobahare and know each others minds.

I am comfortable to regard Nuno as Philosopher/Coach. I think there is a hint of Jedi about him. Recognising that ‘us’the crowd, the great unwashed demand the most excellent football but alas. Dark paths in front of us. Through one reason or another I had to walk home from town to Ashmore Park. Along the canal as soon as I got to Bentley Bridge. In the mud and the dog shit, the snow and the freezing puddles. Sometimes it was pitch black and all I had to see by was the lights from the houses that backed onto it. What happened today? I’m not quite sure. It didn’t fucking click did it. The gears of the universe that is Nunos intent lost some fucking teeth and slipped a little. We were slow off the mark again. A Forest team full of those grotty little bow legged boys with the 30 quid trims and the shitty beards. Probably on 300 quid a week, coming here and roundly taking the piss against us.

We were firing blanks. I wrote about atmosphere this week and totally lost the plot didn’t I? Moaning about Fosun not telling us everything. Communicating little to us but it was never that was it? It was always going to be that shiver that starts in your feet and works it’s way up your cold legs, up your spine to your neck, then around the top of your head to your eyebrows, then your brows furrow and you get that gold and black angst again.

A dropped glass or plate in the pub would make my Squaddie mate Ian jump and grab onto me, then he would go for a piss and hide in the bogs for ten minutes until he sorted himself out. Stress. We knew didn’t we? It was coming. It was great getting those wins but pessimists that we are we knew it wouldn’t last and that’s why it’s been quiet. We knew what everybody else didn’t know. We saw it in Saiss. We saw it in Bennet and we saw it in Doherty too. It was creeping in and the light from the floodlights got a little dimmer as our brows furrowed and those thoughts, those black dark canal paths disappeared into the gloom. Another puddle another fucking splash of mud on the back of your leg.

It wasn’t even that Forest were any good. They were just as good as Brentford who we bollocked 3-0. Same looking side, set up the same. Moving the ball lovely. But here we are and we are too fucking slow off the starting block. Fair enough the building of momentum throughout the match is a beautiful tactic. But these bow legged bastards need to be put under the cosh from the starting whistle. We need to destroy these teams from the get go. Instead we allowed them space to grow, space to move while we stepped over the ball, jinked a tasty pass into nothingness, ran…..somewhere, to do….something. I don’t know what.

The Crazy Train has pulled up at ‘Dysfunction Junction’ and the music has gone a little quieter on that train as we stare out of the windows at the gloom. It was bound to stop somewhere along the track so a few people could get off moaning and a few people could get on. We knew the party would get a little quiet around this time. It’s a fucking long train ride isn’t it? There may be a few more of these towns too. Dotted through the last half of the journey before we pull into the Premiership or crash off a bridge into a rain gorged river. I haven’t got a fucking clue to be honest. Leo looked knackered. Jota got a kicking again. Another useless fuckwit of a referee. Another long trudge back through the wet dark streets home. I’m sure somebody is following me at one point then see it’s my own shadow. I’m counting canal bridges, three more to go, counting matches left to play but all I count is months. 2 fucking 0. For fucks sake Wolves. I’m thinking of throwing myself in the canal, then laugh at this foolish though, then realise it’s dark, I’m walking down a dark canal laughing to myself. Jeff? Nuno? Laurie? This is what it means to love the Wolves. Half insane men down dark canals laughing at their own jokes.

But I’m not going to be sad. You see Nuno was born in a place that looked like paradise but had blood soaked into it’s soil through struggle. That struggle was for freedom from bondage. This division is fucking bondage to me. Do we have a right to say how shit it is? Forest fans sing ‘Champions of Europe, you’ll never sing that’. We fucking invented the European cup you fools. Nuno will know how to deal with this place, this Dysfunction Junction’. He now has to motivate a team that are demoralised by it. Who think their pretty little jinks around the pitch will shine a bright light in the snotball of this division. Sometimes it does. But poems don’t win wars. Pretty faces still get punched. Brand new cars break down. Wolves will sometimes lose games. Nuno will know what to do.

Massive respect to my brother Greeny who is a man I would be proud to aspire to be like. My brother Carl who’s appetite for Wolves is only matched by his appetite for burgers and my brother Horace who I have greatly missed. Much love.