A T M O S P H E R E

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Has the atmosphere been bad at away games and at the Molineux? Is it the Southbanks fault again? I know it’s been quiet and I’m sure the diaspora of Swansea and Barnsley has added to that grief somewhat. At the Molineux for certain if you take out the gibbering opposition fans from the Steve Bull lower then your ire and your localism tends to dissipate into the cavernous environs of the ground. It’s a big ground Molineux and it takes a lot to fill it with noise for sure. In the 70s we knew the score from the sound from the stands. We would stand in Reans, anywhere in Reans and you could hear it. It rumbled through the geology underneath your feet. In fact we would dance around under the streetlights cheering then inevitably start kicking the shit out of each other with joy. Lads eh?

Yes, I suspect it has been quiet. I think the Steve Bull having a sing and ‘shaming’ the Southbank is hilarious. Of course it sounds loud to you singing in your stand. That’s cool, it gives you an identity I suppose. But really it just sounds like a few blokes singing in the gaps between our songs. Of course when we start the fucking ground shakes. In full voice the Southbank is relentless with it’s dishing out of decibels and limbs. We are brilliant really.

But what’s the zeitgeist here? Why is the atmosphere a bit shit? We are doing excellent in the league, beautiful football, everything is tanned and sexy, healthy, big white teeth time ay it? Well yes, it is for some.

Winter is a dodgy time for supporters, especially January. Nobody has been paid yet (if they get paid monthly). We’ve just fought through Xmas and the splodging out of large amounts of wodge so our Princes and Princesses can get their sticky ungrateful hands on the latest bit of tech from Father Xmas. Half the Southbank is probably into their overdrafts by a good amount. I see a lot of blokes and women I know didn’t have much time off over Xmas. Getting to the games still in their work clothes and boots. It’s a thing and I can wax all day about how tough it is for some people but is this the reason? It’s definitely one of them. But I suspect that it’s a problem that is circling around all football like Vultures in the skies above.

I suspect at least in our case the ‘problem’ with atmosphere is one with many variables. Not least the edgy feeling we have about the football we are watching. It is beautiful and it is sexy but we are here sitting on the edge of our seats. Trembling probably, with the fear that we don’t really understand what is going on. It’s information you see. Wolves have decided that the Express and Star isn’t really a partner in the information merry go round. This is where most Wolves fans go for their information about the team and it’s there in bite sized digestible chunks for your perusal. It’s generic and it’s a bit dull but it’s there for you. Online or in the paper we can check up on the scraps that Nuno and Fosun have decided to chuck at the media but its sterile and meaningless most of it.

There is a bit of a gap here between what we want to hear and what we are being told. Fair enough Fosun like to gather their information resources and let them out a dribble out a bit at a time. Information is a resource and it’s a valuable one and globally it’s the way big corporations tend to utilise the stories of their goings on. So that means we have to deal with these little morsels on a timescale of a few days or a week at the most. I realise signings both real and prospective have some element of secrecy and have to be kept quiet. But having to pick over these little bite size chunks doesn’t really give us, the fans, any great picture of what the club are doing in the wider informational spaces. We are ignorant in fact. There is a problem folks. I call it the ‘trailer’ effect. Every Saturday and maybe a game in the week we are watching what amounts to a trailer to a blockbuster film. We are offered glimpses of the vision Fosun and the club have but we aren’t seeing the wider full scale warts and all vision they have.

This means we are pretty much bystanders to the relentless juggernaut that the club is slowly becoming. We’ve heard the stories of the new stadium, the plans, the players, the ideas but they are just stories. Nobody has really told us anything at all. We are having to exist on what amounts to gossip and hearsay and that makes us a bit sad maybe. Perhaps we don’t really feel engaged at all with what’s going on. Maybe we feel a bit left out? Maybe we feel that this sexiness and virility within the club isn’t really anything to do with us as we are herded into another concrete away game dystopia and shoved around by stewards and dickheads into our seats. We watch the team, they win, a lot of the time, we get limbs and sore throats and we are proud….but we are still ignorant really.

Bristol City away was a limb fest. So what was the difference between that match and Swansea away say? Maybe it was the fact that Nuno had some needle, some aggravations about that match, he wanted to win it and his interview before the game with Mike Burrows…well you could see Nuno had a hard on for it. That made the game meaningful in an emotional sense. We had to get behind him no matter what. We were loud, proud and joyful all through the match. But after that the flow of emotional information stopped. We didn’t really have anything to pin our angst on at Swansea. Maybe with a few of the latter games at Molineux we felt the same?

Of course who am I to wax lyrical about the ins and outs of how the Molineux hierarchy perform their information war. Perhaps the propaganda from the grey faces and the lizards in the FA and the national press have made the voices within the club, who have access to information, reticent to share it? I suppose we turn up at the Molineux like ‘customers’ and ‘clients’ and are expected to just cheer and buy the cack from the concourse and shut up. Maybe, I dunno. I just feel that we are fumbling around in the dark eating the shit the Express and Star throw at us and when you are stubbing your toe in the dim light you don’t really feel like singing much. Perhaps that overdraft is really the most important thing on your mind. Perhaps we would like to know whats going on.

You see clubs always have a philosophy to underpin their intentions in any future. That philosophy is here to see. The magic of Jota and Neves, Cavaleiro, Costa so beautiful, so refined, so effective. We see the club being connected to this player and that player, rumours of war, rumours of the philosophy. But you see if a supporter hasn’t got a firm idea of future intent, planning or a discussion of a concrete philosophy then we are basically a customer and not anything to do with the clubs vision. This leaves a gap between us that is empty and that gap is then filled with hearsay and rumour, nobody knows what’s going on really and once a rumour starts then it’s hard to shake off.

It’s just a few things to think about anyway, a couple of points to talk about but personally I would like some more information thanks. A few morsels to underpin the season so far. I’d like to know more about this Nuno bloke for one. I’d like to know more about what Fosun have planned (as much as they can say of course) and I would like to see some funky artists impressions of the new stadium which to be fair everybody knows it’s going to be built but we would like a look at it. It’s our home you see and nobody has asked us what we would like seeing as we are the ones who are going to pay a lot of cash to actually be there. A model of it would be nice, so we can walk around it and look where we would like to sit for the best view. Maybe we would like to hear from Fosun about what they actually have planned for the next few years as they unload more investment and more ideas upon our club. Maybe if we feel a lot more involved with what’s going on we could better feel a part of it? The soul hasn’t gone for sure. We see the emotions laid bare every match in the faces of the people around us. It’s a battle for sure this season but we only have a vapid spectral idea of what we are doing. Promotion yeah, but then what? What’s the vision? Whats the philosophy you want us to pin our colours to?

What ya sayin’ Jeff?

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Storm In An FA Cup

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At one point the wind and rain blew a crisp packet into my face and I thought it was funny and I turned around to Tonka to tell him and it blew back again. Slap. Right in the mush. Now I had rain in my eye and my open mouth had rain in it with a slight cheesy oniony flavour maybe. So I just shut up and narrowed me eyes and navigated myself back the the Landrover by touch. They were Cheese and Onion crisps. The packet was following me.

Around the Swansea ground there were humps of hills that looked like some great prehistoric gargantuan animal had just reached Swansea and decided to lie down and die. Then some humourless council planning staff decided to open a catalogue of ‘Cack Dystopian Street Planning’ and went pointing with a snotty finger  ‘I’ll have that, and that, and that, one of them, two of those and yes. We want a fucking ruck of those’. I’d like to think, as we walked into the ground, that maybe one day we can visit somewhere that takes your breath away with stunning footballing vistas, beautiful cities. But now these visits are becoming blurred and melting into one great war, one great series of battles, one endless great grey landscape of trying to find somewhere to park and I think, although our bodies are not tired, our minds are becoming infected by them.

Leo Bonatini is definitely affected. He has a heart this lad, he runs and he jinks and he’s deep again. Too deep to collect a ball, poke it into the net. Four times the ball went across the face of goal waiting for the foot of a poacher. Four times Leo was a few yards away. The second incarnation of Nunos mind and idea was a whole different beast to Barnsley. It was Kerplunkian dynamics. Take out the colossus that is Boly and Coady and the marbles rattled deeper down the pitch. Batth and Hause did a job of sorts but the ghosts of Lambert and Jackett were wailing down the touchline clanking their chains of despondent negative potentials. The team played deeper with them and inertia set in fast. Swansea showed at least why they are in the Premier league. Moving was lovely at times, the ball zipping over a pitch that was uneven and Welsh. Like they had turfed over a hastily raked flat slag heap. But Swansea don’t believe anything at all. They are resigned.

Morgan Gibbs-White is a thing for me. His slight figure twisting and turning in midfield. So young and yet so full of promise. I watched him the most and even grew to love him a little. He needs anger and intent too. He needs to channel that look Nuno gives stupid interviewers and mold that into his intent in that midfield. Less tactical nous and more emotive expression when he has the ball. He needs to tell those expensive players around him where they should be to collect a pass or where he will be to receive theirs

We were deep and we were sometimes under the cosh. But when we did get hold of the ball, we flowed too and we had chance after chance. You see this was the League one team with a few additions. The base of the whole idea was our second incarnation of the partnership between Batth and Hause. Now I was ready to start slagging the pair off last night. I know, it’s silly. But the psychogeography of South Wales is a hard fucking porridge to chew, mentally at least. It gets in your mind fast and starts eating away. The rain and the wind, The damp cold. The lack of anything to see except the generic architecture of the ground, the dotted around fast food places full of disinterested staff, stewards with faces like they had been used to beat out a skip fire. Skin like an old football weathering away to dust on a garage roof, a single shoe dangling by a lace from a telephone wire above, and a wind that was relentless.

But we are getting to know each other aren’t we? Us in the stands and them on the pitch. I know it’s a difficult time, it’s fumbly and a bit leggy. Our conversations between the fans and the players are going to be a little mistranslated sometimes and that goes for the fellas on the pitch too. Yes, last night had a few errant passes and confused moments where the language of football was blown away across the pitch in that black miserable wind.

Saiss found it hard to understand the pitch for sure and the interplay between him and the team was like jumping barrels for sure. Add the ‘Bastard in the Black’ to the mix and stuff did get blocky and pixellated with confusion. A game of football did threaten to break out until he disrupted the rhythm with his play acting decisions. When ever a Referee tweaks his body into some vogueish contortion while making a decision, well it makes me want to run on the pitch and kick his head off. Don’t forget mush we paid money to watch football, not some jumped up prick who gets his fun out of taking pictures of his little acorn dong to send to bored housewives on Tinder.

Swansea fandom made strides in my mind today. Who plays crowd noises on their PA? Is this a thing? They are a dour lot in South Wales. Every Steward seems to have a bald  or shaved head and a broken nose. One of the women stewards actually scared me, she looked like she huffed deodorant, hair like Lucas electrics, dyed angry brown/red/grey. But look don’t hassle me about it, just observations.

Leo played well. I’m liking him more and more as I watch him. Fair enough the goals have kind of dried up but is that Leo? Has he been told to play deeper? Link the play more for Jota and Cav (when he plays?) Maybe. I don’t know. It certainly worked at times last night but I’m still thinking that they need a little more time together, a few dark periods to gel and become a complete team. The German Psychoanalyst Jung said that to be the complete man you have to embrace the dark side of your personality. Maybe our team needs nights like this. A tempest of football darkness to roll around in. Some chaos maybe? An instigation of intent borne from disaster and murderous footballing intent. There would be no greater place than this to investigate the darkness inside them. The sky was black and the raindrops as flung stars in the light from the floodlights. There is another Swansea rally call on the PA system and I felt like weeping again.

But the rain swirled and rolled over the stand and the storm grew more prevalent as the match progressed. Jota did a ‘Jota’ again and showed us why he is the ‘Jota’. I love him more I watch him. Only a little fella but I’ve talked about that before. But he has a strong mind. Who else could delve into thine bag of tricks and pull that goal out? Sublime and gorgeous for sure. I did erupt. The stewards were watching me closely and I threw a few swear words into the wind to provoke them. Why? I don’t know. I get angry sometimes and those fans in the stand, the moaners and the naysayers, the jolly, the half pissed, the fully pissed were my mates. I don’t like the hands of stewards on them.

Big Alf has the ball and he looks for a pass or a run but there is nobody there. The rain blocks thoughts when thrown stinging into your face and he wipes a hand across his eyes and the chance has gone, blasted into the black hills around this place. The Swansea fans are singing something but I don’t know what it is. A dollop of rain gets me right in the ear and I shiver. What is football but this? Wet feet, rain blowing around the stand, hungry, needing a piss, but you don’t want to miss a chance or one of those pinging cross field balls that slither out of touch. The ball goes into the Swansea stands and they don’t want to give it back. That sums them up for me. Stragglers and defunct of idea. The PCSO in front of me looks like an old Nuno and I want to throw him down the stairs when he points out a fan who has covered his face. The young lad gets escorted out. But lad? If you had kicked up a fuss I would have kicked off too. I’m a blogger but I was a fighter first.

Is this post ‘Pretentious’? I don’t know. Maybe. Or maybe the whole idea of writing about your team is pretentious maybe. I stand, there in opposition stadiums and all I do is support my team. That’s what I do, then I write about them as best I can. I see Wayne has stuck another ‘Southbank Resistance’ sticker on another opposition stand. He watches Wolves where ever and when ever he can and he supports the team. That’s what’s important to me. The drama on the pitch reflected in the dramas we have as fans and supporters. We were quiet yes. Maybe the landscape leaked the joy out of us. Maybe we looked at Swansea and thought ‘is this the quality of what we seek to attain next season?’ and found it lacking a little. The plastic stadiums and the plastic cups of beer, the shit food, the relentless dystopian landscapes we travel to week after week, the deleting of comments on here from other teams fans who don’t like what I’ve written. Well honestly you can gargle one of my balls. What the fuck do I care about your team and your town? Shall I do a podcast where I interview you and we laugh about our teams and it’s all jolly and friendly? Shall I add you on Social Media and wax about the state of football today? No. I hate your towns to be honest and I hate your teams, I hate your strips and I hate your players, I hate your songs and I hate your fans. When I walk out of your stadiums I just want to punch you in the face but it seems that I’m stuck in some weird future where we don’t do that any more. I think it’s a shame. Now you just ‘block them’ Jesus Christ what have we become?

I don’t give a fuck. You’ve all had your days in the sun. I’ve become stoical and malevolent as I watch my team. This is the part of the season now when you have to dig in. When I used to box our trainer made us use the last twenty seconds of a round to fling combo after combo at the opponent in rapid fire lung bursting effort. We must do the same now. This is a critical point. I suspected at the turn of the year that it would be all plain sailing now as we batter teams into submission. But you know. Even though we are flinging these punches willy nilly towards the lumps in front of us there’s still time to get caught by an errant punch or two. Right on the chin, on the nose maybe and your eyes start to water and blood-snot fills your nose. But sometimes you connect and he falls to the canvas and you want to kick him in the face too, but you can’t. Ah who knows. Forest on Saturday. I hope Horace is better because I’m missing his big grumpy face.

Going Underground

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Well this is nice isn’t it? The 35 odd people who followed the blog are now the only ones to see it. I’ve set it to private, now it’s just us. You and me. I’ve spent so long on the bottom that everything looks like up. I think that was Neil Young, who knows? The reason I’ve taken it out of circulation is that, well it was too big. I was getting a lot of traffic and attention. I didn’t like it. It was affecting my football love. Match days started to become days of drinking with people I hardly knew. People who would read my thoughts on supporting Wolves and not really understand what it’s actually like to grow up a few yards away from Molineux and to live and actually breath the air of my club. I had some doughnut constantly denigrating Costa in my earhole last Saturday at Barnsley. He knew me but I didn’t know him. It was a provocation. It was reading my love for Costa on the blog and he got a hard on using it as a screwdriver to get under my armour. It was shameful. What did I do? I looked at Nuno for a few minutes with his arms crossed. It was good. Thank you Nuno.

I know opposition fans didn’t like my thoughts about their teams and I can understand that. But I’m not writing for them, I’m writing for a handful of people. Not the 35,000 who have viewed the site this week. I don’t feel that Shaky Jake should be thought about by these people, I don’t think Gaz Mastic should have been either. I haven’t used them. I’ve been inspired by them, my story is theirs and yours I suppose too. The posts may have been seen as pretentious but that was never a thing. It was just love thats all. My club can rarely do wrong in my eyes. Managers, players, whatever. Now me Jake and Gaz can get on with knowing each other and learning to be friends and that’s good too.

We went to dinner with Alex Rae and the things he said there made me want to punch him in the face. How fucking dare he say he preferred to play for Sunderland. You see? That was his truthful speech. He’s a lovely man. But the second he said he loved playing for another club he became the enemy. I shouldn’t be invited to these places and the blog has made that possible. I have met former players at these dinners and I have found them lacking. I have met my heroes and seen them just as me, mortal and aged. Bitter in some cases and much jealousy too. I have met other Wolves fans too, people who would normally pass me by without a glance and I have found them lacking too, lacking in that they lack the capacity to understand what is actually happening in this city. I could weep. Sometimes being crazy is a strange and lonely place.

I’ll carry on doing the blog for everybody here because I’m scared that if I stop some line of Kwan will be broken and I don’t want that at all. We have to stop believing and start knowing. But at last I can breathe easy and keep getting to know Gaz and Jake a little better by maybe going to see them for a chat instead of farting around trying to explain why Rafa Mir is like a shopping trolley and who the fuck Melissa Multipack is to people I don’t know on Social Media.

The world will keep turning I suppose and there will be other Wolves blogs, people wanting to write stuff about Wolves and that’s good. But this place will be where the ‘strange’ people talk about Wolves and this place will be that corner of the Southbank where the rain used to blow in, we would huddle around in small groups because there was only five thousand of us there. We would laugh and sing and that pain of our distress would go away for a little while but we have to remember that pain is also the thing that holds us together in mad times like these. Yes, that’s what this blog should be, just friends talking together at half time.

Do we still resist everything? Yes we do. We resist not supporting your team 100% We resist denigrating your own players. We resist your petty arguments. We resist your poor ideas as well. Now me and Horace can carry on getting to know each other properly and that has been interrupted over the last month. My friendship with him is a solid and real thing and we can share a coffee again and a cheese toastie if he’s buying while we talk about Wolves and have a good fucking moan about other things.

Peace

Mikey

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

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Barnsley is a strange place. The people there look like they grow their clothes on their allotments and the whole aura and reason for the place is one unknown to me. It was senseless of course 0-0. All the noughts, noughty nought. Of course we won. We scored, which means we’ve won regardless of the Referee who was tripping his tits off on some strange chemistry or he was super turned on by the sexiness of our football. Who knows? Disallowed goal? There’s probably a good reason for it and someone will of course know what that reason is but, fuck. Ref? You’re another fucking midget, another obstacle to our journey, another fucking red light, another contra flow system. The feeling when we score. Addicted I am.

We were in a working mens club by the ground and having a couple of pints. They had a ‘home’ bar next to the ‘big room’ where we were having a drink. I say we. You had to stand outside as a line of Wolves fans came out a bit red faced, swaying a bit to get some air. It was a bit humid in there and you had to peel some layers off before the sweat started to break out and you felt a bit faint. Barnsley fans kept walking through this sweaty mass to get to their part of the club. They looked normal I suppose, a bit like us, But not as tall, and not as good looking either. Wolves fans are a handsome and beautiful lot….well most of us. But Horace is not here and we are feeling that absence strongly.

What did we think of the game? My friends?…we have to get out of this place. In the ground we noticed the ball boys had been relegated to the stands where they sat with their hoodys pulled up, curled up, put there by their club and told to slow shit down. This is their idea really, before a ball has even been kicked. A directive to smother and slow down the play. This was the tactic. In surviving the roaring tempest of the bottom of the Championship you have to swim hard and as Barnsley are getting lungfuls of water in them, they thrash the stinking waters to a foam in fear and maybe even terror. It is known that these poor souls who are drowning will grab and pull a potential rescuer down with them. This is what happened.

I’ll be honest, I did mention to my eldest lad these Barnsley players looked tiny until he said they were the mascots.

It wasn’t Warnockian madness, well not as bad any way. As soon as the referee came out you knew what was going to happen. Breaks in play. Weird decisions. The bitter Hobbit of a Ref strutting around like a prize prick without any real idea of what constitutes a game of football, So there were breaks in play. Barnsley would often forget themselves and roll the ball around quite well. In moments any way. Until Jota got hacked down again and… again. Which made things lumpen and grey like the sky over that place. Their team looked like it needed a lick of paint, like everything else but they lacked even the idea of Warnockism. The angst was uncoordinated and clumsy and I suppose we were too at times.

I thought Saiss had aged terribly over the past week with his blonde hair that looked grey from where I was. But he ran a great game again. In fact we did play ok, we made chances, took positions, looked like this years Wolves but it was a ‘bobbler’. Going after the second ball was a bit fruitless like Caffeine free Coffee. It looked like great football but there was something missing for sure. The ball wouldn’t fall right for us. There was some metaphysical blockage going on. A few Gremlins in the engine making themselves a nuisance. Costa is getting faster and his Kwan is increasing in power, slowly yes, but it’s coming. Some of his twisty runs were lovely to watch and of course I had Costas mortal enemy standing somewhere behind me and he was quite vocal in his cussing. But last week it annoyed me and I waxed about it in the last post. But today I can’t say anything. He’s improving that lad, and I like it. People should have different opinions and that’s cool. But you should encourage your team.

So it was bobble ball. A lot of our passing was straight at the knees. But some of our touches. Neves flicking the ball off the edge of his foot, caressing it. Boly, what a thing he is. Like a midfielder when hooking the ball from the morass of a Barnsley attack to spread it wide, or to Saiss/Neves. Coady being Coady again, marshaling, constantly directing the play. What a player he is. Of course we are going to have these games. Manchester City lost at Palace? There you go. There’s a benchmark for yesterday, there’s an indication of the day. But nothing went right. A disallowed goal, a booking, Jota on the floor again after a tackle that last weeks Ref would have got a card out for. Unfair decisions, snotty play from Barnsley who choked the shit out of everything in large periods. The Barnsley players were knackered at the end of the game and they went around congratulating each other for their display. It was a point for them. Maybe a precious one as they choke on the swirling tides of shite that this division offers us.

But wow there were loads of us there. Over four thousand, singing, dancing, half pissed, fully pissed, angry, happy, grumpy, laughing or crying. It was all there on offer. Then ten minutes into the game we saw at the side of the stand another load of Wolves coming down the hill from the coach park. The late arrivals. It could have had Bristol City levels of limbs for sure. But this was a snotty game from the start. This is Yorkshire for Gods sake. Suffocating where Bristol City was vibrant. The ground was small but not intense. I don’t think people are enjoying the Barnsley ideas at the moment. But how can you have ideas when it feels like your being suffocated in an Asda carrier bag?

Cavaleiro comes on and it looks like somebody has mixed his legs up and he’s cross threaded his ankles. He probably thought what the fuck is this place? He tackles himself at one point and Douglas just ten yards away falls over onto the grass for no reason while Saiss looks on puzzled. Air was sodden with dysfunction at times. It must be the horror of that place, an effect that gets in the turbos of our players. Chokes the carbs.

Leo needs a holiday. He looked like poor old Dicko at times running around after the odd ball in the box. Running around a lot but the ‘feel’ was lacking a bit. He’s getting a furrowed brow our Leo. He’s thinking too much about the game. I think everybody was thinking too much about football. But it’s that time of year isn’t it? I think we are going to have a few more games like this for sure, before everything starts to get really fucking real in April and March. But that’s also the time when the weather starts to get warmer, we see a bit of sun, our sap begins to rise. This is the calm before the storm for sure. May I prod the great mind of Nuno in my ignorance? I would have started Cavaleiro for Costa, played Mir instead of Bonatini. Swap Cav for Costa on 70 minutes, do the same with Leo and Rafa…but what do I know?

I don’t ‘expect’ anything at all when I turn up to watch my team. It’s dynamic and beautiful football that we play. There are so many abilities and temperaments in this team that Nuno must be cracking his coconuts trying to make sense out of it all. And he did I suppose, in a way. This really was a game Barnsley had set up well for. Those ballboys in the stands an indictment of their mindset. They were well set up to annihilate ideas we had. They again smothered the flames of our intent by needling at the second ball, a few elbows, a few words. Add the dystopic miasma of Yorkshire and you have a perfect storm of ‘non possibility’ of abstract relentless football which you find in this division. It’s bloody horrible. Like going around somebody elses house for tea every night. It’s food yeah, but they cook it weird and you eat it out of politeness.

We parked the car in a side street. I had given a couple of kids a few quid to look after it as it was brand new. It had screens, and sensors, a turbo that was slick and progressive, it drove us beautifully and it was filled with good beautiful people too and I didn’t want to return to it with a scratch on it, even though it wasn’t my motor. But as it sat their among the grime infested terraced houses and the shitty transit vans it looked lonely and I felt like it had got us here, but it didn’t want to stay. I think again. We have to get out of here man. We are banging our heads against the other teams in this division. I can pick apart the play and the tactics like everybody else. Being forensic and empirical but there is a bigger idea at play here. These games are hard for us because this division plays a football that we have no affinity to. Plus we have a Ferrari like team that are only used to pick up a few bags of cat litter from Aldi because they are on offer. It’s beautiful and fast of course but the cat still needs somewhere to shit and even if we have a fast sleek red sports car you are still only as fast as the old fella in the Nissan Micra in front of you.

In March and April we will see the sunshine. In those months we will enter a dual carriageway and ease the throttle of our Ferrari and slip past the old bloke with his face inches away from the windscreen concentrating. Maybe his air freshener is bumping his head too. We will look at him as our engine roars past his 27.5 mph Micra. The roar will shock him a bit and he may look around as he sees us glide past. He may even grumble a little. But set your eyes on that open road my friends, set your eyes on that destination in front of us. We are coming. Put the kettle on.

NB. Many thanks to Carl and Mark for their company, they are true friends and I feel honoured that they enjoy my company as I enjoy theirs.

Wolves Ay We

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Way back in 1977-78 I only had a ghostly grip on what I was actually doing when going to the Molineux  to watch a match. Me and a few mates would be up town walking around maybe doing a bit of shoplifting or just being a nuisance. Manchester United were in town and they always brought a lot of bodies with them. It was a definite thing and throughout the day we would bump into a load of them and get chased through the old bus station by what seemed like a horde of them. Thousands of them. I remember that day like anything because it was the first time I got a kicking. Now don’t get me wrong here, this isn’t one of those Hooligan Glory posts where I wax lyrical about famous punch ups. In those days it was horrible going to a match, but it was also exciting too. At that young age (10 or so) we shouldn’t have been up town at all, especially during a Wolves-Manchester match. But we were there and that counts for something

At the rear of the Southbank was a wall from a building, an old workshop I think, that looked over the right side of the Southbank. You could climb the crumbling brickwork and watch some of the match from there, we had 70% of the pitch in view. You could get an idea of the match anyway. Bits and bobs. Plus you were right over the open air toilets for the visiting fans and it was funny to drop the occasional rock or bottle at them while they were having a slash. Sometimes the cops would come and throw you off. Sometimes you would get a punch in the mouth off one. But we would be there. Four kids hanging on for grim death in a space for one, a toe wedged in a mortar crack.

There were loads of United in town though. They were everywhere. five minutes before the final whistle they would open the gates to the Wolves end of the Southbank. I can’t remember if there was a line of cops between the fans inside, but when we all poured out at the final whistle. Things got hairy fast. You see United were coming out too and we met, right by the subway. It kicked off big time. United were filling the slope up to the Uni art block and they poured down when we arrived. They couldn’t care less these United fans and just flowed in this mass towards Wolves who were flowing down from the Hotel car park. Wolves were backed off. There were too many of them. Red and White bollocks everywhere. As is always the case the Wolves at the rear legged it back up the slope. United pushed on booting and punching. I was only little and got a few whacks. But it was mad, we were trying to escape back up the hill to the hotel. I remember this dude just standing there. Wolves fan, big belly, half his shirt ripped off, hair everywhere, blood pouring from his nose looking back up the hill.

‘What the fuck are ya doing? Fucking Wolves ay we’

We turned back, poured down in fact. Everybody. Kids, adults, few women too. Rocks, bits of slab, bottles flew towards the United fans and they were off, chased back up the slope onto the ring road. Monsters man. He was a monster this dude. Moustache, a few teeth. Big rough hands, fingers like Cumberland sausages. Fucking Wolves ay we. There isn’t a question mark. It’s a statement. What the fuck are you doing running off, haven’t you any shame? Your Towns honour at stake mate. Stand your fucking ground. And we did. Me with sticky boy arms nine stone wringing wet. But I’d never thought of this concept of ‘us’ before then. Now I realised that yes, there was a ‘them’ and there were an ‘us’. My vision of my place within the universe was stamped firmly on my consciousness right there as I looked up at this beautiful blood soaked bloke who wasn’t fucking moving anywhere. So I stood by him, he fought, he dropped somebody with a punch then I ran in and kicked the fella in the nose and backed off quick. A kid, playing adult games.

It was funny watching Rafa Mir doing the ‘Wolves ay we’ video thing. It made me laugh. It made the stand laugh at Swansea when he appeared on the big screen doing his thing. Hilarious in fact for some. But then I wasn’t laughing. I had a horrible feeling standing there. Most of these people standing around me wouldn’t have had a clue. Identity. A sense of belonging. History that you wont see in the club museum. ‘Wolves ay we’ has become abstracted and a buzzword far removed from it’s snot and blood origins.

I’m not glorifying any of the violence, I didn’t revel in it at the time but it was the zeitgeist of our anger I suppose. A way to come to terms with the big changes that were happening in the world and the town.

Looking at the Southbank Resistance stats the other day I noticed that we were having a lot of hits from Hong Kong and India. Looking at the earlier stats from previous months I see a massive growth in readers from the Indian sub-continent. Pakistan, South East Asia. Is it reflective of footballs growth in these countries? Probably. Social media means we interact with these people…at the moment tentatively and with some suspicion I suppose. My club is precious to me and it’s fans more so.

Have we got a part to play in the next ten years of our clubs development? Has this blog got a part to play? I’m not sure. The club is definitely not losing it’s soul, not yet any way. When it does it won’t be the global entities that have shoved the soul away but ourselves I suppose. What changes will come? How will the ticket prices change next year? Season tickets, a few drinks before the match, a beefburger, a pie, taking one of your kids to meet Benito Bronzegod our new signing wandering around shell shocked under the glare of a few lights. Mumbling ‘Wolves ay we’ and not having a fucking clue. I know I’m going to struggle to get a season ticket for next season whatever happens. Already I’m cutting corners on other payouts and bills.

So what happens to the blog? Does it become a stale repetitive medium for old school tales and memories or do we strike ahead and make sure we become part of the narrative? I think the latter. We resist I suppose, we resist them using ‘Wolves ay we’ as some sort of marketing bullshit. It’s not theirs to use, it’s ours and sealed in the drops of blood coming from that monsters nose and dripping on the slabs by the subway. We resist changes that will affect us negatively. It’s time we were able to have a cheap nourishing pie or burger instead of something that’s been kicked around the floor. I want to resist expensive bottles of beer at halftime. I want to resist being treated like a number. I want to resist having to buy a ticket for a game without being on the phone for half an hour or sitting in front of the lap top refreshing the screen every ten seconds. I want to resist being charged a booking fee.

You see ‘resisting’ is part and parcel of the whole experience here. This post isn’t about being negative. My teams results are of paramount importance, my team is everything to me and if I had to crawl over broken glass to see them play then I would. But we mustn’t forget the past and what the club is to all of us that stand or sit every week watching it. Is this why the Southbank has been quiet over the last few matches? The lack of opposition fans to wind up, that feeling of disconnection? I’m resisting it of course. I have to. We’ve invested more than cash into this whole experience of Wolves. We’ve invested blood. I’ve watched Wolves holding my colostomy bag on because the skin around my stoma was infected and the gasket wouldn’t stick. I held the fucker on and clapped by smacking my hand on my forehead. Investment, yeah. We’ve invested everything, some of us.

We’re in a battle here. We have to get out of this division, it’s an imagination killer for sure filled with the boring and the unimaginative coaches who snot for a living, who denigrate us with lacklustre bars of their madness and their stress. Enough moaning. I apologise for being a little negative and unsure, a little angsty. Support for the club is everything to us. Positivity, constant support for our ideas, our coach, our owners and our team. But don’t forget us Fosun. Don’t forget those that spend nearly all their disposable income on supporting the team, don’t forget us when we are chugging stale out of date beers, half frozen pies and still find the energy to shout and sing until our voices just stop. Because what will happen is those stands will be filled with grey faces and moaners instead of us and the world will continue turning of course, the wheels oiled by the sad and the depressing onslaught of global dullness where ‘Wolves ay we’ is just another corporate buzzword.

Apologies again.

 

All The Worlds A Stage

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Tramodol 50mg sort to control the spirals of ache I have and I’m up town walking around and in pubs with people and we are chatting and laughing and all is good. But I have filters. What is a Swansea? But I’m that tranquilised it takes me twenty minutes to work out that they are in the Northbank. We have the other incarnation of Nunos mind today. The players he keeps hidden away from us. The Gibbs-White thing. He’s a handful isn’t he? Head up searching for a pass. His movement more refined from when the last time I saw him. I don’t remember when that was but my addled head works out, yes, he’s improved a lot. Especially the way he moves into space, the way he blocks and moves. His runs are a thing for me. I see him in all sorts of roles in the future.

‘Fucking hell Ruben you fucking wanker’

People hate the Southbank don’t they? Little snide remarks about it, much fume in Social media. It’s reptilian and the Lizards are scurrying around again. Up and down Molineux alley. In the executive boxes, in the seats among the woolen clad Billy Quiets, their families have had them seats for years and their fat arses are welded to them. Ruben Vinagre wanders off after a red card. Was it deserved? Some say yeah some say no, some say I dunno. It’s done any way and Ruben is now about to enter that part of his career known as ‘A Pain In The Fucking Arse’. Three games out and who knows what Nuno will think of the incident. I know sometimes these trials Pro Players face will either harden him up and recenter his kwan or he will wilt and be sent out on loan to Le Loco’s on the Iberian Peninsula. I loved him at the start of the season. I like the way he runs down the wing, I like his crosses too and now he’s carrying one. Ruben I can’t help you out man but have strength and let this make you strong.

 I laughed the other week when Brighty strode around in the gaps in the play against Preston, he was chilling out, taking it easy and to be honest I never understood why. But now I think I do. I think it’s not up to me to comment on why Bright does what he does. I don’t want to comment because 1. I can hardly run with my knees and 2. Brights football understanding is on a totally different plane to mine. (All Things Bright And Beautiful-Southbank Resistance)

Filters. We all have them, and they slide into place when we go somewhere or do something. It’s what we use to protect ourselves from the vigours and the madness. Some use their filters as a shroud to hide their vehemant and horrible opinions on how a particular player is doing. Others like me just grin and try to be happy as I hear the doughnut behind me cussing Brighty again and again. This is his stage, old misery guts is the central character in his own play ‘Miserable Cunts Who Think They Know About Football’ a play in two parts with an intermission. The play lasts roughly 90 minutes. ‘Gary Safttwat’ works in a factory making parts for things nobody wants to talk about becuase it’s dull as fuck. So he can’t wax about how he hates it, but becuase the dull man has turned up on time for the last 30 years and doesn’t like taking holidays he’s been promoted Sales and Technical manager of ‘the place that makes boring things’. His office window looks out onto another factory in Ettingshall. All he sees is this factory. Sometimes he sits in his car and cries before he goes home. His Phil Collins CD is skipping as he sits in traffic on the Birmingham new Road.

He a Wolves fan. He’s got a Wolves mug at work. Saturdays are his days when Wolves play at home. But he has filters. You see people like Gary have a deep seated problem with themselves and that problem is self hate.

‘Fucking Hell Brighty you fucking cunt’

Molineux is a stage with around 30,000 actors all vying for the audiences attention. All thinking they are the stars of the whole show and of course they are. But there are a few voices all shouting and a lot of it is negative crap. Gary is doing it. His mate does it a few rows over. Every now and again you hear it through the cheers and the groans. Solitary filterless actors letting that negativity they have harboured and grown throughout the week grow into a mass of bubbling angry moods they keep hidden under their scarves until an errant shot or a misplaced pass makes them erupt into madness. The Referee is one of those actors. His resilience to common sense is majestic. At times he choked the game at others it lost control careering across the filters and becoming confusing. Their goalie looks like he forgot his kit and has had to get stuff ‘Out of the kit box’. Scruffy bastard. Swansea are singing something I can’t hear.

I met Foz once. I didn’t know who he was at the time. I was taking a photo of my car outside the Northbank before I popped in the shop. He walked past and watched me for a second and blinked then said ‘Paint it black put gold wheels on’ then carried on his way. I would see him around the Molineux doing things I didn’t know about but never spoke to him again. Journey well Foz, people have spoken about you with much love and I suppose that will speed you on your way and I wonder how many other beautiful people have we not met and shared a few minutes of our day?

‘What the fucking hell are you doing Costa you useless twat’

Every time I hear it my own happy mood starts to dissolve and run away down the concrete steps like hot piss. For fucks sake. The back of my neck crawls every time I hear it and another filter goes down and my head starts to ache again. These solitary and sometimes numerous voices leach energy from me. They are the vampires of joy and happiness. Throughout the match he does this. Each time my head sinks further into my coat and my back gets hunched and I too see every shitty pass and mad attempt to score. I too start to build my own filters up and they are dark ones, I see dysfunction in the team, it’s not going right, he should have shot, he should have done this. And each mental node is stinging with negative vibes.

I see him at half time in the concourse drinking and laughing and I want to punch him in the throat. That’s how his negativity has affected me. He doesn’t give a shit about the match. It’s his moment to shine. It’s a day when nobody is going to ring him up moaning about the parts nobody wants to talk about. His Missus turns her back on him in bed and he’s horny and it’s doing his nut in. But that new secretary at work, he tries to suck his gut in a bit. Tries to wedge his thinning fringe a little with hair product that makes his head smell like pot pourri. This is where he pours out his bile. It’s not the team. It’s him.

Big Alf is having a great game. Everything that moves towards him is broken under the will of his intent. I like him, he’s a bloody useful addition. One day Nuno is going to let him attack and that day will be one to make Big Alf his own legendary part in the play. We didn’t play too bad I thought. Doherty looked a bit knackered. Defence did ok, Coady didn’t look hassled by anything at all really seeing as the team made a load of changes. There is negativity here and it’s reflected in the play on the pitch. No matter how Costa and Cavaleiro tried to jump start some movement I suspect the negativity in the stand is being felt on the pitch. We should have done Swansea. They were fucking lucky. Rafa comes on. Debut, he’s massive, all elbows and angular bits, getting the ball off him would be like trying to fuck a shopping trolley. Few glancing headers which made me feel weird and happy. Few moves, he’s strong, you could tell a bit stale too, nothing a week with Nuno wont sort out. The next time we see him he will be treading players into the mud and scoring goals.

Yes the Southbank is a bit quiet. Funny isn’t it? Most of the people in the Southbank probably haven’t had many days off over Xmas. Most of them work in hospitals, factories, building sites, places where you ‘work’ instead of sitting on your arse updating Facebook about how much you hate Bright Enkobahare. Probably slagging off the Southbank for not singing loud enough. Yes. But we do what we want, that’s the whole point. Here in the Southbank we are a tribal lot. Not everybody in the Southbank truly understands what it is and these people enjoy it but they don’t understand it. You don’t like the Southbank? Tough tit.

During my halftime fag break I had to go into the right side of the stand. It was quite unfamiliar to me and I was lost in thought for a while while I smoked, looking at the memorial bricks. I think all those names on the bricks would love to be there right now looking at these players and loving the whole excitement of it. I bet those names on those bricks, the Sandras, the Stans, the Steves, the Alberts etc would fucking love to be stood there now watching our team. Wrapped up with a big scarf on having a laugh and a sing, a beer and a chat. I wonder what they would make of Gary Moanarse? I think they would do what I did and just filtered them out. Because at the end of the day every time I walk in that ground I’m happy to be there regardless of the score or the match itself. Winning is just Cherry time, plop on top of the lush triflely feeling of standing in there, watching and loving it. Ah I dunno. 0-0 and me and Horace are off to Swansea to watch the replay next week. I don’t give a shit about your negativity, I enjoyed it, I thought we were brilliant but unlucky.

I love every game I go to. I stay till the end. I sing songs by myself. I clap so much I cant feel my hands. The next day I can’t talk. I love watching my team. I only see the good positive things. I only want to say positive things about my team. I only want to encourage performance. Those are my filters.

 

Poking The Nest & The Big Fucking Monkey

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The Inverterbrates are coming aren’t they? The Lizards. The men that have no soul. The War Pigs. I’m walking the dogs down the road to the canal and a van goes past and some comedian shouts something about Wolves with Fuck words and hand signals and he nearly fell out of his van. I had my wolves scarf on. The Lizards.  We’ve got a stick and we are poking their shitty little nests of cash they hide in. Allo? Allo? It’s us…..Wolves…poke poke poke.

Now these motherfuckers are starting to show their horrible little faces. The Coaches from other teams have things to say, things to do with us. We occupy their minds now and they are threatened. They are starting to make contingency plans for us. There in their little pea heads the plans stew and cook like bitter flavour for their bitter little lives. I am happy. What’s the remedy troops? How do we respond to this in the interwebz. We inform these motherfuckers of the truth thats all. Define your arguments, research your facts and bombard the ignorant with our thought and our intelligence regardless of the insult and the cack gif warfare. We must respond in the way our team does in matches, with skill and with reasoned debate…kind of, well not debate but maybe…I dunno. You know what I mean.

Cheeky bastards. ‘Let them have their day in the sun’ one said. A Cockney Red. Two words that make your throat feel like it’s got a fucking frozen fish finger in it. They make you look at your kids wondering if they are really yours, like walking past a cemetery while there’s a funeral going on. Day in the sun my arse, who the fuck do you think you are? You’ve had your day in the sun pal, spunk 90 million squid on a player. Oh God I can’t even talk about them and I know motherfuckers who used to drive up to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United from Wolverhampton. They were ‘Wolves fans who just liked to watch good football’ they said, The fucking animals. Now they keep popping up talking about Wolves a fucking lot. Lizards man, they could be standing next to you right now.

It’s going to keep happening as well and I’m not looking forwards to it. It’s going to be intense on a packed train and some lollipop having ‘banter’ says ‘yer well you’ve bought the title haven’t you?’ and theres no red mist, no getting your skin ready and thinking about where you are going to chop him.

It’s cool man. Because we are the fucking big monkey now. We are the big rich smelly ape on the squashiest, comfiest bit of the shitty jungle. We are the ones that are sitting in the sun while some underling (BCFC) picks the fleas off our ball sack. Being the Big Fucking Monkey B.F.M feels good and positive to me. Yeah it was dark in the jungle with the rest of the mange ridden outcasts trying to get a shag before Big Fucking Monkey saw us….well F.B.F.M (Former big fucking monkey) ie the current Premiership sides, their fans aren’t happy. The little monkeys are gibbering in fact and it’s disturbing our happy time in the sunlight chilling. Their gibbering is loud and soon the Big Monkey is going to get pissed off and he’ll make sure the little monkeys never get a chance to pick his ball sack ever again.

The JAMS and their little monkeys eh. I can’t wait to smash them in their own grounds. Watch their sad little faces file out all glum and miserable while I’m laughing half pissed with two hookers in an executive box because I sold loads of tshirts and books and stickers and now I’m rich and lads and lasses I swear I’m not going to waste a penny. My life.

Helda Costa & The War Pigs

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I don’t know what to write about the match. I have stories and angles but none of them fit what I witnessed. I haven’t a clue. I’ve never watched a more complete game of football than that. I can’t cuss Brentford, whoever they are. Played well. We did esoteric things. Otherworldy. If a UFO would have landed in the fucking center circle and Elvis strolled out I wouldn’t have been more gobsmacked. Jess Christ. I don’t watch other teams. I don’t watch them because I dont have any affinity to the end result of their matches. I don’t care. Elvis in his Vegas suit stepping out of a Flying Saucer. Fangyooverymurch Wolves. Amazed. Then the day after…

I do know the inverterbrates at the FA have decided to throw their fat arses around in regard to charging Nuno over the Bristol shoe shuffling out the technical area. You bastards, how dare you…I’m reminded of Bill Hicks

“Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok …

Well the War pigs and the demons are running amok. The demons at the FA the psychic vampires of  joy, a scourge and uncreative listless policy circle jerk. They disgust me…I know Nuno will get a fine and a slap on the wrist. He should tell them to piss off or pay the fine in ten pence pieces. Cheeky bastards. What it is of course is a similar thing to a load of gangland beef. Nuno is the new face who’s making a name for himself but he doesn’t care much for the fat men sitting in their expensive shirts driving big shit cars. He couldn’t give a shit.

Where Nuno comes from is a fucking harsh place to grow up. You see it in Nunos face. It’s years of thinking fast on the edge of shit, kerbside lunacy with the traffic. He’s edgy Nuno is because he’s driven and intent. But he knows that shit could come to an end at anytime he takes his eye off the road. He’s seen it so many times before. His passion and his absolute dedication to his art borders on the metaphysical and the realms of the eternal fight against the light and the dark. That’s probably why this whole Wolverhampton thing attracted him. He knew it was the right thing. Deep down he knew it. On the western side of his island I bet he would have spent a lot of time looking at those Atlantic storms smashing onto those rocks and feeling that awful power through the rocks under his feet. Yes, he has passion and knowledge. They are afraid of him. He scares them. They are knocking his door. Fucking around with his car. The FA are the person on the other end of the telephone at 3am and they aren’t saying anything just breathing heavily. So he gets the fucking message.

Helder my little pudding. It’s one of those times isn’t it? Everything seems to be going to shit. Every ball that comes to you has the wrong spin or is just off center for you to collect. You run, you dink past a player and he gets the merest of toes on it, a taste that’s all and its lost. Maybe you feel the ankle tweak a little, maybe some other turn of the great wheel of the universe bobbles over a metaphysical pothole. A lost pre-season, maybe Lambert playing you through an injury. Who knows?

I do know what it’s like to try and regain some kind of movement after injury and I know it’s tough and I was nowhere near the athlete you are. But I know it was a bloody grind trying to do the same things I did pre injury. I know it’s shit looking at all these fresh faced new recruits who seem to be able to twist and confuse the opposition as you do. Watching them receive the love. I love you Helder and I’m thinking about you every match, I look for your name on the team sheet, I sing your name loud and proud, you…Helder are ‘my’ Helder Costa.

I know it can cause a bit of depression and a feeling of isolation maybe too. We used to call it ‘The Clutch’ in skateboarding. You see we would often have almighty fractures and concussions that took months and in some cases years of rehabilitation to get somewhere near full flexibility but then the Clutch gets ya. What is the Clutch? It’s the fear Helda and the pressure. The injury is done and dusted but the fear is still there. In your case it’s maybe the fear of getting a further injury, a long lay off, it could be the fear of not being able to do what you did before the injury.

Last night when you were subbed in the Brentford game my heart dropped because I knew the Clutch had you. You were upset about being subbed as all good pros will be but you came off after doing a sterling job. You decimated Brentfords left back. He was fucked. You ran him all over the place. Your movement off the ball was sublime. I know we were getting our Jota and Neves love bone going. I know most people were watching them, but I was watching you Helder. I was watching you because I understand what you were doing and what the whole game play was. Now I could wax about how great it was to watch the game last night. It was brilliant and it was entertaining and to be honest it was that beautiful I sat with my keyboard on my lap ready to write the ‘ab’normal match report I do every game and all I could think about was you walking off the pitch.

I don’t think you have found your ‘place’ or know how valuable you are within the team, I don’t think your Kwan is flowing brother. There’s a blockage there that makes those potholes appear all over the pitch. Get that Kwan back Helder, have some time to get your head straight as you above all people in that team deserve to walk onto the pitch with your head held high. Remember last season? Remember how you settled into your rhythm? Remember how you ripped apart defenses with your runs. You alone fought through the bullshit Lambert months while others sat and fiddled. You alone stood up and puffed out your chest and ran those channels with aplomb. You Helder, little Helder had the whole world of Wolves on your shoulders and you did fucking brilliant. Now is the time little brother, to castigate the naysayers, to throw caution to the wind and let your footballing soul burst through these dark clouds we have had in the skies above and state your claim again. Get that Kwan back, listen to Nuno, listen to us. Believe in yourself little brother, believe in yourself like we believe in you.

Emotions Promotions Commotions

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Those were the days my friend, we thought they would never end, we would sing and dance, forever and a day. It was funny coming out of Ashton gate with that feeling and it was familiar of course. Somewhere deep in the belly you remembered it and it kind of put a spring in your step and even the banterous bullshit City fans outside the ground were a bit taken aback with the vehement replies to their crap bars. The write up was a bit poor and I do apologise. Shaky Jake came round the next day laughing in his new groove. He’s been off Heroin now for eight weeks with my help and we are coming to a point in our relationship where he needs to know about the Wolves and what happened in Bristol. The fog is clearing a little and it’s the same with Wolves. Nuno is getting his shake on. Going mad in the Directors box. I point Jake to the Gif and I point him to his own victories. In my mind alone they go hand in hand. Both of them surmounting the odds to achieve some sort of relevance in a world that can crush and annihilate you in a second. A bad game would change Nunos zeitgeist and a visit from the Bailiffs did indeed change Jakes.

My cash supplies are down to £2.47p as I spent £8 in Bristol and Jake needed to get milk so now that last few vestiges of the cash society have withered away and gone but all is good and all is positive. If Nuno can survive this shit, if Jake can hide away his shakes then yeah. All is good.

Brentford I can truly say, ‘What is a Brentford?’. Do I have to castigate every team I write about? I had a great email from a Bristol City fan berating me for not mentioning one of their players in my last post. I didn’t even mention Lee Johnson either. But he was a bit confused as to why. It’s because I’m not interested in them as individuals or as a team. You truly are just another stop on the journey. Barreling through these towns I can see the fog of faces standing on the platforms but you all just blur into one and often I dont even look at you, I’m staring at my own reflection in the glass, wondering and pondering. Your journey doesn’t interest me. I’m done with forensically analysing team form and shape, how they have done over the past few weeks. Ignoring all the ‘they have done well this month’ talk. I couldn’t give a shit. You are a number and three points maybe. My heart has hardened.

I’m driving past Jakes and I see two arseholes in quasi military stab proof combat booted horribleness and I block their car in and get out.  One of them has a shit beard and soy protein tits. Jake is nowhere to be seen but his woman is in tears and I am angry. I want to kick these doughnuts around but they are camered up with funky Go-Pros. I ask one to take it off and come around the corner for a proper chat. Angry and stoic I suppose. Don’t be afraid. Nothing is won in anger I know but the season is now at that point where anger is palpable in the air and solid. But it’s time to think properly and be academic about things. I’m ready to kick off but afterwards when these doughnuts do get their money and after a load of abuse from me and the lads they go off into their little bitter existences. I find out afterwards there were things I could have done to alleviate the situation but I lost it.

So I stand with the dogs down the canal in the cold rain under Devils Elbow bridge and the dogs are sniffing invisible scents and the cold canal is clear and I can see beer cans, bottles, a bike frame, a microwave, a lone Perch and a dead Jack Pike. I see Brentford tonight and I don’t know who they are and I don’t care either. That rain is cold and we have to reign in our fire too. Not on the pitch. Our team are too professional to let the next few months bother them, maybe. Jota is becoming a machine. Saiss a leader. Boly a monument. Doherty grows with each game I see him. Bennett, how they castigated you at Norwich, how you have instilled new belief in yourself. Douglas a vision of the dead ball art. Neves unstoppable, dynamic, sensuous, a delight, a constant threat. Ruddy again believing, commanding. lithe and bald is indeed beautiful. Coady on that stairway to legendary status. I go through the whole team and I see no negativity in it, no angst. What will Brentford bring to this concept tonight? I’m not sure. How would you play against Wolves? Bristol City relelgated all ideas at one point and brough a hulking tower on for snotting. The ball arced over the midfield again and again. Lost ideas. Lee Johnsons concepts were lacking. 94th Minute and I still can’t talk now, a few days later.

One game blends into another but I will not waiver and lose it. My mind was set on the positive from the start of the season. I just chose to believe for once but not just that errant belief you have at the start of every season but a new belief. Always be positive. Never cuss a player. Never criticise during battle. Give your all every game. At Ashton Gate the Wolves fans behind that goal sucked the ball in with belief. If that ball was just placed on the centre spot with no players there our energy would have sucked that ball right into the netting. We must do the same every match we play. Are we the proverbial 12th man? No, we are the soul of the whole edifice of Wolverhampton Wanderers. What is our bonus for promotion? Zilch in monetary terms, it’s not going to pay that gas bill, the Virgin media bill, the demands from Severn Trent,  but in emotional release? Everything. Why do our emotions tangle up with Nunos celebrations? Because he is us, he is our edifice and our monument too, for now at least. Our empathy is complete with him now, his journey is also our journey, our footballing DNA wrapped up with his. Did you see Jeff? Do you understand the courage and bravery he showed in running up those steps to Nuno. to stand by him as if Nuno was going to be attacked? Do you realise he broke one of the central tenets of Chinese business ethics in an outpouring of emotion?

Do not listen to negativity I plead with you all. Don’t worry about anything. This whole concept of the Nuno-Jeff-Us merry-go-round is starting to enter it’s last conclusions whatever anybody says. Nuno is right, nothing is won in January but we have won one thing already and that’s the belief that we can actually do it and that my friends is a priceless thing in the months to come. Hang in there Brothers and Sisters and those that aren’t sure. Be strong and carry on believing. Oh yeah. Fuck Brentford.

Concourse Corner- A Guest Post

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Mad isn’t it? This whole ‘Dingles’ thing. I mean the Shit don’t call themselves ‘The Shit-ites’ or the ‘Shittys’ do they? I’m all for fruitcakes on social media getting their little groups of mates together on Facebook to send funny gifs and talk about each others illnesses but…you have to remember what this whole cack has some history and maybe not too many people are aware of it. Anyway this is the first of a series of guest posts from people I know and love. I’ve called it the concourse corner because it’s the kind of place where drunken grabby chats happen and you forget what people were on about as you are half pissed and trying to have four conversations at once. The content will be unedited so there may be things you don’t agree with or make you feel a bit ill. It’s all good, its all chat, To start you off here is a post by my good friend Bloxwich Bill about Dingleism, a strange social media phenomenon. 

The D word, loved by the Sandwellian swamp dwellers. They’re so quick to espouse it as an insult to followers of Wolverhampton Wanderers. But to understand the validity of the phrase Dingles as an insult – you need to appreciate the genesis of the term. Was the barb coined in Bearwood or Oldbury? No. The origins of it were steeped in the football rivalry of Lancashire – Blackburn & Preston fans came up with the slur about their detested rivals Burnley. So there’s the facts about the Dingle derision the great unwashed of West Birmingham are so quick to spew towards us of the Old and  Gold Black persuasion. Plagiarism. Simple as. None of the fucking idiots had the originality to come up with it themselves. There was no West Brum wit or wisdom on the matter. Their cerebral capacity wasn’t extended and their collective IQs never got above room temperature. They jumped on the bandwagon. The irony is some soap-opera family are the neighbours nobody wants. As if people want to be associated with West Bromwich! A weird, weird place. Full of even weirder people.

Their club crest is a Throstle – which is another name for a  Thrush. Quite fitting that, seeing as their ground gets frequented by irritating cunts. The Thrush’s is a member of the Turdidae family. Even the Latin name has fecal connotations – it’s an inherent recurring theme with them. Shit. Everywhere. Their nickname is The Baggies. What the actual fuck that means is anyone’s guess. ‘C’mon you Baggies’ they shriek, they enjoy coming on things. Usually a sibling.

This is allegedly how their nickname ‘Baggies’ came about. Two Tipton Wolves fans were on a night out in Dudley in the early 1970s visiting JBs. As the evening wore on and their beer goggles impacted on their attractiveness filter, they got chatting with two wenches from Greets Green. Introductions were made, and a visit around the back of the local supermarket arranged for an end of night knee-trembler. The first Wolf was wise and used his hands to undertake an advance scouting mission. When he felt spherical objects nestled in Cyclops Cindy’s belly button warmers he knew to get the fuck out of there. So a swift kick to the knackers and a Lost City kiss, saw the intrepid Wolf beating a hasty retreat in search of his friend. The second Wolves fan, was more Molineux Mix. Educated on a staple of Beano comics & Sun editorial columns. He couldn’t believe his luck that he’d managed to ‘pull’ particularly in his opinion a looker like Linda. Even her pronounced Adam’s apple wasn’t off-putting, and she confided in him that this was a result of a bout of childhood tonsillitis. Unfortunately Linda conveyed to the ingenuous fella that it was her ‘time of the month’ but she did really like him, and as he was endowed with a full set of teeth and both eyes, she’d still like him to make love in the ‘Greek’ fashion. Now our boy had visions of moussaka and tzatziki covered kebabs, but Linda said no she wanted to be serviced up the Marmite Motorway.

Terry from Tipton, needed no second invitation – the thought had him in a state of tumescent attention immediately. Previously the most exotic place he’d spent time in was the local Chinese takeaway. So their frantic coitus was undertaken over a pile of wooden pallets amongst the detritus of local commerce. Terry had quite a task of maintaining rhythm as he was prone to slipping out on numerous occasions. Once the act was concluded, the young fella was full of machismo, if not a little disconcerted how Linda was servicing herself with rapid hand movements in a most masculine manner. Terry left Linda akimbo on an industrial sized refuse bin as she sobbed and lamented that all men (herself included) were all fucking bastards.

He sought out his Wolf brother, and located him at the bottom of Castle Hill enjoying a bag of batter bits. Terry couldn’t wait to regale his friend with the proceedings of the last five minutes and forty six seconds. Tom our first Tiptonian was really curious given the close call he’d had earlier on so asked Terry ‘what wuz er loike?’ his response was ‘er’s a goer, but she’s a fookin Baggie Bird kidda…’ They scream it ‘Ya Din-gul bastard!’ – ‘but you follow The Shit’ is the stock retort. ‘Dog-head’ what the fuck does that even mean for God’s sake? But we’ll deal with it – ‘You still follow The Shit’. The contemporary one they cling to like a possessive limpet is ‘Wo1ve5’ their affection for this one is potentially explained by the number of digits they have on each hand. The number 6 resonates deeply with them. ‘ But you’re still a Shit fan, who follows The Shit’!’ The enmity towards West Brum is totally organic and inherent from a Wolves perspective. Whereas from the twats in Tesco Carrier Bags it’s more learned and contrived – the fact that they have another two clubs in the City of Birmingham is probably the read that underlies this phenomenon. This gives you a flavour of the collective absurdity when dealing with fans of West Brum. They argue that they’re a Black Country club. Yet they have a Birmingham postcode. The dialling code is the one for Birmingham. The local NHS Trust is Sandwell & West Birmingham, it all adds up. Their Ground The Whorethorns has a sign within 25 meters of it with the message ‘Welcome to Birmingham’. For fuck’s sake their primary stand is ‘The Brummie Road End’ a veritable cesspool on match day. Where discussions on match day center around incest & 1980s Yellow Ford Cortinas.

So as you can see the whole Dingle issue is apocryphal. Based on smoke and mirrors. If you’re a Wolves fan and you use it in context – be it a Twitter or Facebook username you’re wrong. Some Wolves fans have been known to sing ‘I’d rather be a Dingle than a Cunt’ – well you’re not Burnley supporters, so that can be ruled out. So you must conform to the latter… If you do use the Dingle word. Stop. Don’t give those fuckwit Olybion fans any validation. Starve them of the oxygen their pea- sized brains crave. Get on a desktop computer and change your Twitter @ & Facebook account name. Fuck the Albion.