I do like Holloway. There I’ve said it. His little turns on camera where he ladled out these superlatives were funny…but they are funny at a distance. When you have YouTube cranked up and feel like a warm giggle. But earlier this season Horace made me have my photo took with the QPR Mascot and I thought that was funny too, until we watched the match and were trooping out with faces like we’d just snorted somebodies eczema dust. Now I wish I’d have set the Lion or Tiger whatever it was on fire.
Holloway. He’s got a face like hes been sucking goat piss through a tramps sock while he’s being beaten with nettles. Like he’d forgot to finish his shit. Like the dude on the stag do that quietly packs away the blow up doll ‘for later’. A bloke that has all the Managerial football nous of a canal walk in Darlo. But I still like him, but I want him on that coach back to Shepherds Bush sitting there in the dim orange light of the overhead lamp crying that much strings of snot are leaking from his little peanut sized Gollum head. He’s got a flat cap on. ‘You’re just a shit Peaky Blinder’…your actually a shit Ian Holloway to be honest. And I don’t even watch Peaky Blinders because the accent makes me feel violent and angry.
We need revenge for sure. I had a lovely day down at QPR apart from the football, where Holloway used his one football idea to stick the knife in a Wolves Team that were squashed by the horror of that ground. Fair enough we were just getting to know each other then, our team. And somebody has to have a crack sometimes. Somebody had to throw caution to the wind and have a poke, and they did. Although it wasn’t quite football as we knew it. The same old tackles on Jota and the odd thrown elbow to the throat. But we have learned a lot since then and our idea box is full of jangly fangled sexy things that Nuno can pull out. Now we have an Afobe. But we also have a Neves and a Big Alf. I hope he plays today. I hope we show Cider Gollum what we have learned since we last played his team.
You see this is the beginning of the end now. The season will be speeding up both in our minds and on the football pitch. This morning was sunny and I opened the curtains and it was like memories of summer (apart from the odd snowflake). The birds were noshing from their feeders in the garden getting fat ready to make baby birds. I hope they are a success as this food costs 3 quid a bag and they are noshing a bag a week. But yeah speed. Momentum of ideas has certainly pushed our team up the table to the heady heights and the top spot. More importantly than that it’s woken up some right trolls in the media and social media. Radio phone ins are now stuffed with prongs from Albion and Villa who sit around in their piss stained joggers all day waiting to phone Radio Birmingham with their latest rant about Wolves. I love it. I want their anger to blow a blood vessel in their head. Live too, that would be good. And all you would hear is a dull thud halfway through ‘yeah well Wolves will blah blah blah’ and through the radio you will hear a tinkling and a crash as they fall through the safety glass on their ‘DONG’ coffee table from Ikea. Radio Birmingham my arse. I can’t wait for Villa and I may even tune into whatever show it is that has these prongs on so I can laugh my balls off when we destroy them. Aston Villa, Jesus Christ.
It will spoil a lot of football fans Summers for sure if we get promoted as Champions and this should be our target. We have big matches coming up and now that momentum should not take us that fast that our legs fall from underneath us and we go crashing on our face. Now is the time for Nunos ideas to shine as Spring starts to raise its pretty little head through the winter mush. Now is the time to take that slice of early morning sun and utilise it to galvanise and inspire our last few steps to glory and the madness of a promotion piss up where we will tell tales of Swansea away and Barnsley, all those insipid horrible shit holes we trekked through to watch our team. This is our time too you see, this is where we get to slap each other on the back too before we have to scrimp and save, sell our belongings and maybe even do away with a holiday this year to watch our team play some Premier league football. But it’s not here yet. We have some more work to do and Holloway, his team, and that defeat he subjected us to will be banished forever and that little Gollum head will wax bitter missives while we laugh and dance a little.
Fucking London. The thing is…it was bound to happen wasn’t it? Of course the hangover from Manchester was a pumper, one of those bone deep hurting ones and it was accompanied by that Cider Gollum of the West Country Ian Holloway himself, a man that epitomises the tight knot in your shoelaces you can’t tease apart. It hurts your fingernails, frustration, complication, exasperation. The train screams and squeaks to a halt at Shepherds Bush tube station and I imagine for a moment that’s exactly what the toilet in the Holloway household sounds like when he’s having a shit.
But it’s that weather again. Coat choices. This morning is cold I know but it’s time to sweat a little or freeze a bit due to the wrong choice. That’s why Nuno is a Philosopher Coach. He has a myriad of choices to make for his team and here’s me wondering what coat to put on. I would like Big Alf to play, I think he has given us some much needed Yin to Neves Yang. Everything looks more balanced and more dynamic. I love Saiss but maybe he needed some time off, a few games to recenter his groove. That blonde hair do is a thing. He’s been shit since he had it done. It’s affected him those toxins from the hair dye probably. Made him a bit addled. There’s a few addled souls in the pub too.
Match wise I’m totally loving the Morgan Gibbs White thing. How secure is he? I don’t know if secure is the right word but he harried the QPR midfield like a Don splashing out a few angelic balls to feet. Moving around well, shutting down players, moving players away from danger areas with his movement. I like him. Especially as he looks like Nuno has grown him in a little soil and watered him with Nuno skills and now he unleashes him. The stamp of Nuno is on everybody in this team. Eloquent and civilised reactions to every situation in that first half. Two beautiful goals. Holloway was getting angsty on the touchline and you could feel his comedic malevolence threatening to boil over a few times.
Nuno reacts to Holloways touchline antics with a few of his own enraged shapes. It was like a dance off at some points, but it’s that time of the year isn’t it. February is a funny old month for football. We are starting to see other teams going for the ugly sister instead of thrashing out the moves for the sexier more lush football we see from our team. QPR banged it about. Their fat striker who’s name I forget was a bit of a handful at times. They are a team in the Holloway mold for sure. They have a good pop. Like Uncle Nobby at the disco, he doesn’t quite get the ‘agadoo’ song and it’s moves but he has a go….while people laugh. So weird darting runs at our defense are met with confusion most of the time by our back three, or four, or five. They move well these QPR’s but blah. What can I say about them? At Loftus road I watched them play the same game which at the time was quite effective for them at least . They won. We trotted off back to the tube with big sad faces. But here’s the bit I don’t understand. QPR played the same game as the previous meeting with us this season. Kerplunk football. While we were a completely different looking team to that day last year. We had progression and they had…oh look…that big fella is coming on. Now we were in for some ping pong football as Holloway dusts off his one tactic again. He goes in the cupboard and there at the back it’s right where he left it. Bit of dust on it. Nothing that a squirt of Pledge and a duster wont shift. So Big Neck comes on the second half I think. I notice him because at one point he’s standing next to Jota and he towers over Little Wolf. Not that little Wolf cares. Jota gets a punch in the face off one of QPRs defenders later on and to be honest Jota doesn’t give a shit. Neither does the linesman who has obviously seen it but ignores it. What a shower of shite these ‘officials’ are.
Of course the last twenty minutes is an Afobe cameo really. It will come Benik trust me. I’m right most of the time. I can feel your desire in the middle of the Southbank as you moved towards goal, a chance, header but it’s over or past whatever…I can feel the energy you have and it will come Brother. Your day in the sun at Molineux will bear fruit. It will bear waves of love too because nobody wants you to score as much as us. Our goal is getting battered. It’s now route 666 to our box as balls get lumped in. Willy Boly really doesn’t care about their strategies. He knows it’s defunct. Boly has an intellectual basis to his play and moves with a certain grace that belies his size. His temper too is level and controlled. He’s been booted and pulled around everytime he goes up the pitch for a corner. He has some beef with their defender, a unit, but not as ‘Unitty’ as Boly. At one point Boly is pulled from behind and he trails the defender along with him like tissue paper stuck up a beer monsters arse crack. They’ve scored a goal. Oooooh you’re hard. Ruddy has problems with those kind of crosses. Always from that side too but hey, it was an onslaught. Captain Coady is kicked in the face, there’s a goal line clearance from him or Bennett I couldn’t see, I was hiding like a coward in my seat biting somebodies fingernails.
Walking back up to town I’ve got to the pub without any real idea how I got there as when I’m walking by meself I go off into a kind of trance state where I’m fitting together what happened. All those incidents and goals into some sore of coherent narrative again. It’s building up this whole idea. You can feel it like electricity through the crowds as they move around outside the ground. It’s a tangible thing this static electricity of possibilities for the future. What is it going to hold? Dare we even think about what the fuck is going to happen during the Summer? I’m trying to juggle the expectations of us all with some sort of inner peace. I want to wave flags and let off smoke bombs now. We’ve been waiting too fucking long for this. Cider Gollum will be back down the M6 waxing his Holloway Lyrics to anybody that will listen. They are funny, like your dopey flat cap but jokes don’t win things Mr Holloway, neither does ‘belief’. A bus nearly runs me over outside the art gallery and some dude grabs my arm and pulls me out of the way. ‘Cheers ahk’ I say and he just smiles and winks. He knows that I know and I know that he knows what we all know but nobody wants to say it yet. But we know don’t we? We know. But we can’t talk about it now we just have to look at each other over the empty pint glasses in noisy pubs, when the conversation gets a bit quiet, there’s a lull. We catch each others eye and just wink or have a little half smile. The thing we don’t want to talk about is coming. The thing we have been dreaming about for years is coming. The thing is about to explode onto this town like a gold and black nuclear explosion. The thing we don’t want to talk about is coming.