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.