We Have To Get Out Of This Place


I don’t even want to write that fucker Atwells name. He disgusts me. What an inept show, what a total disregard for the rules and regulations. He looks like he owns one of those off road Landrovers. He fucks off to Wales with his mates to rollock around country tracks scaring the wildlife. She unbuttons her shirt when she goes to the car wash because she loves the Kurdish lads…is that enough? I think so. Fuck you Atwell you bubble. Why do we always get these doughnuts? I mean I love conspiracy theories but fucking hell I wonder sometimes. That tackle on Cavaleiro was assault. Same old same old. We have to get out of this place. This isn’t our home, up there is, the dizzy premiership, that mad as fuck place.

We haven’t won at Boro for ten thousand years. The last time we won there we were probably still inventing agriculture. What is a Middlesbrough? Chemical warfare that’s what. Pulis with his shitty baseball cap looking like one of those burglars trying to jemmy open your patio doors while you watch him through your night vision CCTV camera. He always has trouble. What are you Pulis? Why did you tell your players to kick the shit out of my team? You must have done that. You knew the Referee was weak and had a penchant for your team. You knew the lack of your idea would be overlooked and ignored. You knew the play could be ugly and Atwell wouldn’t care. Your team have no honour. There are a few in it that would be wise to avoid this town in the future. But I think we knew what would happen. Deep down, us who have seen Pulisball and the emptiness of their hearts. What a decrepit system he plays, what sadness, what shamefulness.

We react of course. Have we not suffered enough? How often can you turn the other cheek. I suspect that Nuno in all his Holiness has as well a dark side and a shadow Nuno. Here is untapped potential and gone are the ideas of gallantry and divine philosophies, instead he is redolent and powerful. He instigated this defence and this resoluteness not through respect only but fear. Did you see him at the end of the match? Warrior stock, animalistic, rage, and victory. This came out of him from the touchline and started as Cavaleiro gets hacked in half. It must be a sending off? No? What? But Nuno. He boiled and plotted, he himself knew that what was to happen. The whole play had been written in those first ten minutes as Wolves player after Wolves player crumpled under the woeful Pulis commanded boot of Boro. But Nuno knew. I guess he would have taken both our goals happily because he knew that now Boros time was short. He had Mr Boly. What a magnificent display from this Prince among men. He bought a matt black Roller. The car would have gone ‘oooh’ when he saw Mr Boly. The Great Wall Of Boly’.

I’m sick by now. I’m still trying to work out where Neves is. I can’t listen to Don Goodman, he’s a lunatic. I’ve turned the volume down. Costa goes down again. Shit did I actually see him get tripped? Replay. Boro player obviously treads on him. Atwell. I find myself watching him and not the match. I’m being malevolent and giving him bad vibes through the lap top. Wanker. Are we in the second half. I went for a piss which takes ten minutes and Doherty has gone. What’s going on. Now I’m confused and I’m looking to see who we’ve got fucking left. Jesus Christ. I still don’t know where Neves has gone. I see our flag and I start laughing but cut to Nuno and he’s got his arms crossed and he looks angry as fuck. Malevolence. But now our shape is compact and formidable and nobody is shirking a tackle any more. This is pure English Championship football. The crucible where these Portuguese players can gather their children around them in years to come and explain the horrors of it to them. And those children will look upon Grandpa Cavaleiro/Jota/Costa/Neves with eyes that are full of love for the bravery of their beloved Grandfather. Jesus Christ we dug in. Costa smashes into this big Boro lunk who’s got his head down and just charges with the ball. No pass for him. Things are hard as fuck in there. It’s a mosh pit. Boro pressing. Last ten minutes but I remember little of the match at all. It’s been that crazy. What the fuck? Shot of Atwell being a prick again. Fuck off.

But something else is at work here too. The Kwan, I talked about it in my first post on this blog. Kwan is the power at work here. Nine men. Nine fucking men against eleven Boro Heretics and one Referee. But Kwan. It knits and flows through this team. Their playmaker gets sent off. No heads dip but new shapes are formed on the pitch and everybody knew what to do? They knew everything Pulis presented to them. Every shoddy biro and a fag packet tactic Pulis put forward Nuno and his team reciprocated with a better, newer more ductile shape. Attacks were being sniffed out before Boro players had formulated them. There were moments of course. The Coady clearance. The bravery and brilliance of Coady. Smashing into each other. Fuck it was like a Wolves Fancast wrestling podcast not a football match. But the Kwan.

You see the Kwan on Coadys face when we score or when we win, we score, You see it in Wily Boly walking cool as fuck barely displaying emotion but you know he has it coiled within him, but he can’t let it out not yet. You see it in little Helders smile, Douglas furrowing his eyebrows, Ruddy concentrating hard, Saiss shuriken sharp. That crazy Kwan took Nuno onto the pitch at the end and show us what he is made from and what he feels. Those ten seconds tell us more than any interview will ever do. Nunos thoughts and hopes as well as his dreams are all there on the pitch and wear the colours of Wolverhampton Wanderers. His past is probably there too, entwined in every pass and movement. Maybe it is like that, beyond words and everything is winning but winning beautifully. Maybe that stoic defending we did looked ugly and crazy at times. But I think this was what was needed. This was a statement match. This is the match that other teams fans would watch and hope that in the face of such ignorance we would crumble. Then Warnock, Holloway and Bruce would sit and watch too and their dried desiccated hearts would shiver as the time ticked on and we stood and faced the barrage of idiocy and stinging attacks.

Statement match this was. Now the rest of the Championship can fuck off. You have thrown everything at us this season. Shitty referees. You let our players get assaulted, you cast lies and accusations, you belittled yourselves in the information wars. Your propaganda has failed. Your soul sucking grounds have failed. Your fat media friends have failed. Man you are going to shit your pants at our successes in the future. You will have to say ‘Wolverhampton’ a fucking lot. It’s going to choke you and every time you say it you will look like you trod in shit and I will laugh loud at your discomfort. Nine fucking men you made us play with. Nine fucking men. Yet they still held the line and stood in front of your attacks. Man what can I say. We’ve done it haven’t we? It’s basically happened. I can’t see any other outcome. I’m not looking at points and games but I’m looking at the team and the passion of them. This shit you can’t buy. If you could then fifty million quid could buy you a lot of passion. But it doesn’t. Boro are an expensive crew. They spent. But within them with their boot on the Wolfs throat they paused for a second. Unsure, wondering. And the Wolf quickly flipped it’s head and chewed the fuckers foot off. This doesn’t happen to us. There’s another reason and the Gods do finally love us and have smiled down on our town. And there’s nothing all the fucking Warnocks and Bruces in the world can do about it. You had nothing at all either of you except bile and untruths. You have been found out. The good guys always win in the end lads.

The nutters I watch games with, get drunk with, and people I never met got together after they heard about my injury. They clubbed together and bought a big fuck off Southbank Resistance flag. It’s massive. I saw it on the telly today and nearly cried. It was massive. I hope in some way that the love I felt for them at that time was a big thing for me. It took me over a little. I wondered whether any of the players looked over at it and saw the word resistance? Perhaps a couple of them did. Perhaps the word ideas and resistance could have been a subliminal memetic command in some way. Maybe it rolled around their brains as they played. Maybe, who knows? I like to think so. I predicted a 1-2 win for us. They couldn’t take our flag to it’s first game and we don’t win. That’s not how it works. Now that cloth has lost it’s virginity and has taken on a distinctly holy groove. It’s first game was a battle and a victory for good against evil. What emotions soaked into that cloth once lifeless but now holding the emotions of two thousand Wolves fans on the edge of hysteria. Now we can take that flag into Europe and hang it up in some German bar while we wax lyrical about matches like these. Drink that strong beer and get giggly. Try to explain to some German football fan where Middlesbrough is and give them a warning never to visit there. I hope they fluff the playoffs.

Our flag is beautiful and I thank every one who donated to it. It’s our flag, you know that. Now it’s a fucking Holy relic living through this game. I thank you all, come and dance with me when we are in Europe.


Player of the Reason


Player of the Season. POTS we abbreviate it to. It’s easy to see the fume and the aggro such an acronym causes. We all have our favourites I suppose. Outside the house sitting on my bench in the odd bits of sun and the dogs are licking each others balls. Last year I sat in the same place and thought about starting a blog where I can talk about Wolves in a way that’s never been done. Where I could throw out to the public a few maybe esoteric reasons why Wolverhamptons number 1 team is what it is. Some way to describe the madness that was to come. Now here again. A busted leg encased in dayglow plaster. Shaky Jake asking me if I need any help. For fucks sake the season hasn’t even finished yet.

Neves. Our Ruben. He’s a thing isn’t he? I don’t remember another player down here with such silky skills. He’s often the reason I go home after a match shaking my head and laughing to myself. In fact I’m that confused about his football I tend to forget him when I’m writing about a match. What actually does he do? He does the Ruben thing of course. Effortless football. Dinking those passes from side to side. Pushing and pulling players out of position. He’s a Magician. And we walk away dumbfounded, at least I do. Yet he’s always on my mind even if that picture I have of him prowling the midfield is often blanked out by my ignorance of actually what he is and what he does. My puerile footballing knowledge can’t even begin to nibble away at what Neves is. He came here with some fine words attached to him and he unrolled the scrolls of his skills on the pitch too. Some of his goals have been sublime and the finest art. His movement low centred and poignant. Emotional too if only to point at opposition fans and say ‘look at this you bastards, this is exactly what we are’. It’s not filthy it’s beauty and balance all combined to unveil an idea of what football should be and we here are witness to it. Would he get my vote? No. Neves is beyond platitudes and plaudits. Beyond statements like POTS. Give me a poll that says ‘Player of the Decade’ and maybe I would dink that big X in whatever box you want, with a smile too.

Jota. Little Wolf. His courage has been phenomenal to me. How many times has he been on the floor rolling after Reg Gluehair has run him over. How many fucking times have we took in breath and held it, watched him closely to see if he was going to get back up. When he did get to his feet he would shake himself down and seconds later he would be doing his thing in the box. His delightful turns, the shoulder drop, the forensic perfectly weighted pass to a team mate. This isn’t learned stuff. This isn’t coached ability. This is pure spirit and innate knowledge of where that ball has to go. Psychological football for sure. Moves he plays are a few seconds ahead of his teammates sometimes but we see them. Up there in the stand we see exactly what he means. Where Neves is so advanced we struggle to understand, Jota we fully know. Would I vote for Jota? No. His skillset is natural and beautiful, brave and resolute, creative dynamic and for fucks sake I run out of things to say about both of them. I could do a painting I think or maybe write some music that might deal with the both of them. But words? Nah. You have to see it for yourself and delve into the madness of it. I spoke to a Leeds fan when we played them at their place a few weeks ago, who asked me about Neves and Jota and I couldn’t answer him. Just said ‘They are brilliant, I’ve never seen anything like it’. I’m sorry Leeds bloke, I haven’t a clue how to describe how both of them do what they do. I’m an idiot, you should go and talk to somebody else who understands it.

So we have Cavaleiro, Doherty, Bennet, Douglas. I could bung a vote in for Cav for sure. He’s been fantastic, my kind of player. Running around like a mad cunt and getting in players faces in a pure footballing sense. Some of his runs are breathtaking. He breaks down attacks too. I watch him do it every week. He’s not brilliant at it for sure but he’s there every time and he has that link with Costa too. Another player who I could chuck a vote into the hat for. The thing is man, I’m voting for this player, then that one, then somebody changes my mind again and I’m going hell for leather Neves, then Costa, his injury, but Doherty. Then before you know it all these faces are swirling around your mind like a fucking carnival ride or you’ve just stepped off a neck breaker of a ride at Alton Towers and the five quid burger you just ate is threatening to come back up. For fucks sake…

Coady. Now I’m reticent to wax lyrical about Coady too much. Most people know I love him to bits. But for reasons I can’t explain. I’ve been in his position before. Castigated and sad, not knowing which direction to go into. Thinking maybe I wasn’t good enough to do what I was doing. All that self doubt, all those crazy voices going blah blah blah in your mind until you want to sit upstairs in the quiet away from everything. I suspect that’s where Coady was at the arse end of Lamberts reign. Jesus Christ he played in some positions didn’t he? But he would always do his best there and I loved him for it even if like Neves I didn’t quite understand what he was doing but for all different reasons.

I think nobody represents the season I’m watching more than that link that Coady has with Nuno. Mr Santos has taken Coady from the drudgery of Lambertism to new heights and Coady has fully embraced every single idea that Nuno has given him. Coady represents the ideas of Nuno and channels them into solid memes like ‘Progression’ and ‘Improvement’ all the buzzwords that Mikey Burrows chokes out of Nuno at every interview. Coady represents the ability of the team to learn new ideas and often complicated ones. Who would have thought that this Scouse nutter would embrace the ideas of Nuno with both hands, utilising them to become one of the great players of this season. Could we say a vote for Coady would be a vote for Nuno too?

I suspect that Jota/Cavaleiro/Neves/Costa always were great players and that is why they were picked to play in this concept Nuno has given us. But the real work has been done between Nuno and Coady and this is where the whole concept has borne fruit for me. God knows what went through Coadys mind when he sat down with Nuno and his staff to discuss the whys and wherefores of Nunoism. This lad from Liverpool who we may hang all the stereotypes we love about Scousers. But here in him we see the architecture of the concept Nuno is building for us. And yes he has improved massively since the Lambert days. He has progressed so much it’s hard to see a similarity between him now and the player we brought to be a midfield master. Progression my friends. This is what I see and love. The way he has embraced Nuno and these ideas has staggered me and I feel a little jealous too. I would love some direction, somebody to point me in the right direction as Nuno has with Coady. Yes. I would vote for Connor. Simply because a vote for Coady would also be a vote for Nuno and his idea.

There will be much fume about voting and many will be castigated for voting for whoever. Yes, Carl deserves to be player of the season too but his battle is personal and tougher than a game of football. His gift wont be a trophy but will be fresh air on his face when he walks out of that Hospital cured and free. Trust me when I say that battle is the toughest and a trophy will mean little to him. Now we have to decide who will take that award and I think I am going for Coady. I think he is a lynchpin of the team, I think he represents this season for me at least. I enjoy watching him play. I enjoy watching him lead my team in that special way he does. I think in the years to come he will continue to improve until we can’t see another player in that position. I think now is the time to give our appreciation.

A Few Words from the International Void


International breaks are weird and strange things aren’t they? Like all voids in our Wolves related lives we tend to fill that void with awful shit. I was arguing with somebody about Danny Batth last week. I don’t really care about Danny in many respects. I’m not sure about his current skill set but that’s it. I just wasn’t sure. I didn’t have the data or the skillset to comment about the whys and wherefores of Dannys footballing groove. But…international break. The void. Of course I waxed lyrical. Then the doughnut disagreed with me. Then we started arguing. This was in Poundstretcher too. Nans and fat women getting their multipack groove on. Buying shit lampshades and shittier rugs. Christ almighty. And there was me and Sid Snot going at it like hammer and tongs. International break. We fill the void with shit because we love throwing stuff in holes. Amazing offers on Pringles today, Sour Cream and Chives £1.50 for two. Amazing. Love a handful of Pringles at night. Having a scoff. Danny Batth a distant memory even though Sid is still waxing.

Thing is folks. It’s been a bloody long season and to be fair to myself I thought it was too long by October and I’m sure I waxed about it somewhere. It was long because of expectation. It’s cool all the Nuno chilled out vibes and the team getting it together. The funky videos we watch on Social media and the chats we have when we have won. It’s brilliant. But underneath all that shiny happy people bollocks is a deeper angst. We are expectant and we are ready. We have been for months. We have been for fucking years. We know that the season is running out and we are getting angsty and a bit crazy. Are we there yet? Kicking the seat in front. Not letting your siblings have an extra 1mm of space on the back seat. Your Dad is on a slow boil watching the thermometer of the engine which is creeping up because of this fucking traffic. The kids are getting angry and nibbly in the back. You’ve packed half of the house into the boot. The duvet on the parcel shelf doesn’t block out the twat that’s driving a few feet off your bumper. Wolves. End of season shit this is. Madness. What even is a caravan in Great Yarmouth? This division of course. Next season the wife and kids will fuck off somewhere else and it will all be voluptuous models in San Tropez, red snapper and a divine saffron scented salad with fresh olive oil. You hold your gut in as the beautiful people walk past your table but we deserve to be here too for sure. Even if we are eating our ice cream dessert with the soup spoon.

Who is a bigger Wolves fan is a current favourite purely for the entertainment of course. How do you quantify it? I know an old fella that gets to maybe six or seven games a season when he can afford it and when his health is good. He’s 86 years old. I know the pain he has going to the match. I know he hardly has the strength to lift his pint if I see him in the pub. He watched Stan Cullis and Billy Wright years ago. Remembers things, important things. He remembers matches when I cant even remember last weeks. He’s a Wolves fan. So is a dude I know who lives in student halls a stones throw from the ground. He will hit two or three games a season because the ticket money is all he allows himself for food. He doesn’t flush his toilet for days because he’s on a water meter. He dresses like a freak in a video game. He’s a fan for sure. I could go on. Dudes who get to every away game and home. They attend the dinners and the hand shaking ex player stuff. That’s cool too. Most of them have their own businesses and can afford it. They can afford to dedicate their existences to Wolves and they become in essence Wolves. The club is everything to them. But the attendance at these games and events doesn’t make them a bigger fan than my old fart mate and my student mate. There is more to these two than football. More to them than spending their hard earned money razzing up the motorway to games hundreds of miles away. Sometimes it is more important to watch your daughter careen around at dance class for three hours on a Saturday afternoon. Sometimes you have to watch your lad play some weird under 11s football in a dog shit splattered pitch in the cold rain. Sometimes the hall stairs and landing have to have that fresh covering of autumn gold emulsion from Untouchables while your team are getting beautiful on a pitch somewhere while you try to balance on a milk crate and you notice the dog is speckled in Autumnal hues too.

The angst is amplified by the unknowing void of the weeks when we don’t have a game because England and other national teams are playing and to be honest we really don’t care about what England are doing. I care even less about Portugal and what part Neves has to play in that squad. I don’t even understand the magic Neves ladles out at Molineux yet alone on some pitch I’ve never heard of. Amplification of Angst is further strengthened by Social Media. Fucking hell what a place that is. This week I have watched meltdown after meltdown as fans have been at each others throats over the wrong word or opinion. Opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one. And boy those little errant letters tapped out by a gnarled thumb on a phone screen don’t half get some knickers in a twist. I’ve just read another threat of violence in a tweet over some comment lost in the fog of the timelines. On Facebook I know there has been a straightener offered. So two doughnuts will be rolling around on a pub car park somewhere punching the fuck out of each other. Be constructive lads, offer tickets, proceeds to Carls charity. Lets make it constructive at least. Raise some money. Offset the horror of pallid guts spilling out of polo shirts wrangled from the wrestling section of the straightener.

Remember we are on the last lap now. It’s nearly done you know. A few games and that promotion is just there at our fingertips. This next few weeks will define what we are to be in the future and we have to hang tough, we have to close together because that’s what a Wolf pack does under duress. This is the time when all those away trips to these featureless Lego stadiums in business parks make a little sense. This is where we wave goodbye to Reading, Preston, Barnsley all those shitholes. The Premier league eh? Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester etc. We are going to have to be at the top of our game at these places for sure. If you think the Talksport propaganda is harsh just wait until the Premier league mouthpieces start spewing the bile. Wait until those creativeless donkeys at Match of the Day or SSN start on us. Now we should be consolidating what we are as fans, linking arms and discovering who we all are and again in essence what we are, the link that drives all of us is that we are supporters of Wolverhampton Wanderers and we all share that love regardless of what financial position we are in and how many games we got to. They are going to be coming for us and if we are in a state over some off the cuff tweet or some derogatory post about uber fans then it’s all going to go to shit there’s no doubt about it. We have to stick together, we have to be strong.

Here we have owners who have firmly nailed their colours to the Wolves mast. We have a Manager/Coach who is part Philosopher and part Footballer. We have assembled a team that stupefy me every time I watch them. They have made me cry during games. I have begun to love certain players and have favourites again. I look upon this team and that includes all of the staff at Molineux as something we haven’t had for a long time and I am amazed by it. It’s a once in a lifetime experience this is. We will tell tales of it to our Grandchildren hopefully. We will spend idle moments thinking about Neves or Coady or Bennet or Douglas or Jota. We will think about Nuno too and say ‘Ah well, when Nuno was Coach…’ and people will roll their eyes again, the same as us when an old ‘un goes on about Peter Knowles or Mike Baily. These are precious times.

So in conclusion. Just take what you read on social media with a hefty dose of salt. People have had long seasons. Some people have Wolves that firmly entwined in their DNA that any post will provoke a reaction. Don’t judge people unless you have walked a few miles in their shoes. Everything will come good I promise. When we get promoted I promise you that you will be hugging strangers next to you with tears in your eyes. You will be running on the pitch next to people you have spent the last few weeks threatening on Twitter or Facebook. It’s all cool man. Take some deep breaths and trust each other. It’s coming.

Look into the Spaces John Ruddy


My Helder got the pelters at Fulham. Couple of balloons who were behind us started the rhetoric and I’m shutting them out, filtering them, getting them as far away as my mind could while concentrating on that awful game. Horace has taken his gloves off and he’s debating whether or not to pull them over the seats and start that funky ‘in stand’ violence thing. I’m wearing a boating blazer under my crombie. It ay right is it? We aren’t the greatest fans but we don’t cuss the team. Ever. Happy clappers? Probably yes. Helder scores and is gliding across the snow flecked inhuman coldness of Molineux. Wulfrun Heantun or something. Wulfruna High Town. The wind whips around like Neves and those balls he threads and weaves. It’s microsurgery, it’s brain football, it’s holy and beautiful and the wind carries the sounds of Molineux down the alley to me on the doorstep of me moms where I’m smoking a roll up and listening, watching, leaning on me crutches. Helder has seconds to decide who and when to twist up. Neves has three seconds to decide how much back spin, curve, aerodynamic magic to put on that ball. Boly could write a blog post he has the ball that long at one point. Saiss grows his hair at one point he has that long.

I watched the Wolves fans huddled up, walking up, wrapped up and happy regardless of the Villa result last week. It shows how much Villa affected us as we have seen so many times this season, a defeat means nothing to these men. These young men. It means nothing to these people walking up and I watch them and love them too. We weren’t worried because that defeat didn’t really mean anything in the wider scale of things. It didn’t mean anything because the ministrations of the fat headed egotistical bastard who coaches Villa had nothing. His team had nothing. We have everything and in everything there is an infinite amount of possibilities, an infinite amount of emotions too. I juxtapose Nuno with Lambert for a second and wonder. I try to juxtapose Nuno and Bruce but I might as well compare a Ferrari to a Shopping trolley and I fail. I want to kick Bruce in the face (with my good leg). Maybe my bad one too. Later that evening I watch Karl Henry in the face of some Villa player while Bruce is telling him to ‘fuck off’. Oh my days Bruce you total lollipop. This isn’t 1981 any more. Could I see Nuno doing that? No…maybe not, I hope not. Thus the columns of the architecture Brucism has cast up in Witton crumble and fall as we knew they would and I laugh again.

I always thought that Lambert won his games despite the lack of belief, that some how he ground out a win here and there through his stoic philosophy of ‘shift’ football. Journalists write ‘shift’ articles. I have read one this morning from the Daily Mail again. Some prong waxing about the Wolves when it’s obvious they don’t understand a thing about what is actually happening here. They don’t have the capacity to understand this. They never will. They crouch over their IMacs in first class carriages tapping out their crap. Coughing up their prejudices over a Costa coffee and a shit sandwich. God help these people. Is this football something other than that? I think it is. But I can only understand this Nuno in the context of his predecessors, it’s the only way.

Helder glides over the snow flecked wind whipped hallowed ground. The ball is just an afterthought to him. This is more than football. Yes, it still needs the academic tactical analysis and the unlocking of opposition offence. It still needs the days at Compton, going through those gates and parking the funky expensive motor and razzing around on the training pitches. I see that. But I can’t extrapolate ‘training’ and as Nuno says ‘Hard work’ with what I see on the pitch, where everything all of a sudden takes on a different groove entirely I suppose. Costa has scored. Down Molineux alley the sound of the crowd roars past discarded settees and the rubbish, the  makes little tornadoes in the vicious wind but that sound is unstoppable. Helder, my little ghost. They think they fasten you with their eyes but they are deceived, you are gone, you glide and are lost to them. Boom. Fucking have that. Burton, a desolate place I can’t even be arsed to denigrate. My crutch slips a little off the step and my broken leg hits the step but I don’t care. Hahahahaha I laugh and some refugee looks at me strangly. You don’t understand my travelling friend. Not yet. But stay awhile and maybe your children will.

Helder was given my love when he first came here and not an ounce of that love have I lost for him and there are I go again, it’s nothing about position and strength, completed passes, assists, goals. It’s never been like that. It was always that unstoppable Kwan as I said in one of my first posts on this site. Kwan. It was supporting these players through anything 100%. Forget the displays when things seemed a little slow and confused, when things were never going quite right. As Helders season stuttered over many months then Benik was perhaps a microcosm of his. A short time, two games, people were crying for his body to be dragged behind the team coach. I heard it at away games and I heard it to a lesser extent at home games. But this isn’t a statement of how my own personal dogmas are more correct. Benik flies in for two goals yesterday against Burton and Helder still ghosts around adding to the tally. It’s what it is because there is something else at work at out club that transcends results and work. Benik is learning and other teams should fear this. We have not seen everything yet, but we will. Benik. Dude.

John Ruddy lets one in for Burton. It was toe bunted through a mess of bodies. Unsighted, may be a few deflections. Ruddy is a big fellow, he is fast though but not really fast. He’s our goal keeper, drafted in to replace an ill and much loved goalie for the season. Has he done well? I think he has. It’s an indicator of how well the team has performed that we have to look at the position of least effect tactically but the final defender of our intent. John Ruddy for me has also been a wake up call. He does prowl the box. He has made saves, not stunning stretched panther like swoops across the face of goal but workmanlike, foundation goalkeeping. At the beginning of the season I suspect it was his intent that the defenders in front of him were cajoled, ordered and seduced by his commands. He is a presence. His shiny head darting here and there, does he flap? I’m not entirely sure to be honest. I know when he is in the box ready for a rare attack from another team he is resolute and dynamic too. In the air there are again an infinite number of possibilities over where the ball will end up. He is the one that has to try and define the physical variables of leaping and either collecting the ball, or punching it away from the head of the big oaf attacking it.

His field of view is narrow and fast changing. Decisions have to be made in a micro second. His capacity for error is much larger than say Coady maybe or Boly simply because that’s what goal keeping is. He faces an attacking ball that is sent with and attacked by an opposition that have adrenaline rushing through their bodies at the chance of a goal for their team. Mad ball my friends. Fast as fuck decision making, decisions that may tilt the outcome of the game and thus careers, millions of pounds of investment, league places, trophies. I watched his interview with Mikey Burrows and was struck by how scary and intense Ruddy was. Those eyes for fucks sake. He scared me just watching it. He’s controlled and resolute, academic for sure, empirical again…but what happens to him when the magic comes and he finds his soul?

The thing is as well, I don’t even think that Nuno has started on Ruddy yet. I don’t think that Nunoism has even touched Ruddy in any way. But if Nuno decides to keep Ruddy and should some of that magic rub off and makes him grow, like Coady and Doherty then we have a master goalkeeper. We will see Ruddy in the Premiership.

Supporting this team we have in front of us isn’t hard, it’s easy. But there are indeed times when expectations can outrun ability for sure and all those variables within the team can tangle up and become a knot of sorts. We saw it with Lambert. Cavaleiro and Costa struggling to understand this dour shift mentality. Games running away from us. Burton last season and before that. Trudging out of Molineux thinking what the fuck, shit, bollocks. Now of course this.

Social media was awash with short bitter paragraphs about John Ruddy and they are within their rights of course to discuss errors and flaps. That’s the beauty of social media and it’s ugliness. Here we are all pundits, all safe in the afterglow, the hours after the game to wax our bars about members of the team or the way we play. Hours, that’s the keyword. John Ruddy works on split seconds, keeping track of the ball and three or four players barrelling into his ends. Are we not happy with John Ruddy? I am. I am quite happy with him and I’ll stand and say it, the same way I defended Helder and Benik when it seemed like all were about to storm the castle at Compton demanding action, I suspected bedsheets to be ripped off beds and spray painted with with badly spelled propaganda.

John Ruddy has my support, of course he does, he always will while he plays for my team. Every player will have it as long as they trudge out onto the hallowed turf in my teams colours but I offer that support on one condition and that is that you learn to love this team and if not love nod a head to the beauty of what Nuno is doing here. Learn John Ruddy. Not the nuts and bolts of how to keep goal, not the players screaming into your box, not concentrate on the balls that fly across the face of your goal but learn about the spaces in between. This is where the greatest goalkeepers find their fertile ground, and this is where the summit of your ability will be climbed. Coady has done it, Doherty, Morgan Gibbs White is doing it, Benik has cast himself in front of his Master and has said ‘teach me’. Thus they have reaped the glory of their own climbs to the summit. Relax John Ruddy and open your mind, look into the spaces.

I awoke and watched Conor Coady with his arms aloft. It is slow motion. Cavaleiro slowly walks across the image and then Coady reappears. He has just slipped a Neves quality ball through to Costa for the first goal. The camera refocuses and Conor is sharp. His shirt is stretched up to his belly button. Slowly gazing at the bench he starts to smile and my tears are fucking flowing. I’m crying again. Now I know we are promoted. Now I’m sure. Help me as I follow my team on that Coach as it winds it’s way through Wolvo in May, help me out a bit, I’m going to be a bit unsteady and my eyes will be blurry.

Morphine Diaries


A Villa fan tries to pull the scarf off an elderly Wolves fan. The Villa fan spits in his face. I pull the old fella back and push the Villa fan away. It is getting darker here now and there is malevolence and hate. Crushing it is. Senseless. Pointless.

On Tuesday night I was at my Moms being spoiled. I had a packet of sweets and a cup of tea and she had opened the window so I could listen to the Wolves fans singing and talking going up Molineux alley. It was cold and the delicious frigid breeze was refreshing. It was glorious, the memories were smashing into my painkiller sodden brain like punches, as I poked my head out of the window I could see the ghosts of the old floodlight towers against a violet tungsten blurred sky purple sky. The Reading game. Tuesday night matches. When we were kids we would gather together trying to work out what was going on via the roar of the crowds. A goal would shake Whitmore Reans and we would jump around like lunatics. But now even if the memories were thick so was the pain from my leg and I limped back to my comfy chair laughing and grimacing and laughing again. Fucking have that Villa, losing to QPR. Still I think about them…For even if it was two days before tonight, I was still there, I had left something on those cold roads surrounding it but had also taken some things away too. A new love for us, new friends and a new/old friendship that was reinforced by a new love and respect, an awe in fact. I watched Horace hold back the madness of violence and the ignorance of the Police with his intent. Is he a fan of Wolves this Horace bloke? No, he is Wolves for me. All the songs I sing are for him. So I lie still as the kicks fly and the anger flows and Horace is a mighty thing and so are we.

My Mom has found out an old Wolves Diary 1981-82 season. £30 for a season ticket and I’m laughing again.

It is violent and black out of the stadium. I fall and suffer but I have no hate left for things as formless and vacuous as Villa. Where Birmingham City have tenets of their own hate they are borne from experience and misplaced love for their team. This Villa thing is a nothingness. This is an abyss. A cop tries to shift me out of the road where I have fallen. I think I’ve broken my cheekbone too, it moves under my fingers. All I see are feet. I have a tank of painkiller gas and I share it with another fan who just needs a hit. There are feet and there is Horace arguing and debating with the cops. I am safe with him. Villa could put out rows of hard faced fools to attack me and his eyes would have them back down in fear.

I mentioned it was hard to write about a football match days after I watched it when inside, mentally you are still there watching it, every kick of the ball and every song we sang still reverberating through the thick viscous vapour of the ether. It’s like that for sure. It was a swan song of games for sure. Goodbye to a functioning right leg for a few weeks and goodbye to the Batth enigma too, for me at least. I suspect Danny has had his moment and he will slip away somewhere in the close season and make a name for himself somewhere else, maybe.

What went wrong at Villa? In the grand scheme of Nunoism it’s a subtle blip on the heart monitor or the tremble of a muscle maybe. The game was hyped and the propaganda was in full flow…it was like that prematch. The hate had been stoked up and the vitriol was thick as the clouds that kept Gods eyes away from the diaspora of Villa park, the semi deserted streets of the jewellery quarter, the trains there from Stourbridge were full of fans going to the Hawthorns and other places. It was weird and strange. Steve Bruce had things to say before the match as did his ‘superiors’. Dr Tony Xia had waxed mutterings and obtuse crap for days. Villa fans were being put under a deluge of semi intelligible propaganda and ‘thoughts’ from their army of media darlings at Radio Birmingham and their own staff. This torrent of formless accusation and spin affected the day. We indeed had a new enemy that day and that enemy was not the rabid affected hate of Warnock or Holloway which in their own bitter way was at least concrete and emotive, but instead half formed bitterness, choked accusation over FFP and the involvement of Jorge Mendes at Wolves. There was other shit for sure but the formless ‘banter’ and mists of this war of words from Villa park was laughable, at least sitting at home on the lap top or looking at your phone. It was a landscape of funny gifs and banterous humour at least from us. But for them in Birmingham it was different. This was their dogma. Brucism, the malignant relentless symphonies of their angst and fears. It clouded their minds and brought their team out onto the pitch unsmiling and choked, emotionally at least. To the right of us at the Trinity road end their fans hardly watched the game. This was all about us, not football at all. It was about the simple tribalism of these ends, the songs, the cut throat gestures, the unbearable tightness of their horrors. The Stone Island stare, the fucking hateful glare, the rhythm of the violence had no end.

At one point in the game their ‘wonderkid’ Grealish stopped to run his fingers through his hair, he looked as if he was searching for a mirror. His performance wasn’t for the team, it was for the trendy bars and expensive nightclubs of Birmingham and his coterie of hangers on. It was pure Brucism of course. On paper at least the whole game ticked all the boxes for what should have been a season defining point for Aston Villa but of course we know it wasn’t that at all and even their team knew it. A victory, 4-1 to them but as they applauded their own fans as they walked around the stadium the Villa team looked as if they were going to burst into tears. This was Brucism, this was the result of their ideas. A victory in name only and ultimately it did define their season. It defined it as a twitch of a hanged mans leg, freshly dropped form the scaffold, it beheld an idea of a former existence, the corpse moved for sure. Four shots and four goals. But there wasn’t any life left within it just a resemblance of one.

We of course were the superior team and there isn’t any doubt in my mind at all. An artist always needs a Muse of sorts, a channel to let flow the artistry of football we have displayed this season and today our Muse had retreated to the shadows between those stands and seats. She had decided to retreat and let the foul odours of Villa Park settle into the hearts of our team so that we became simply a team for sure. There was no delicate flourish and incisive decision making. Every pass sound like a minor key, every ball through midfield had an inkling of dour and unexpressive love in the face of this Brucist style of football Villa played, where every pass had to have a paragraph of hate or a tweet of bitterness. Villa are a wounded animal at least in policy and hope and in that forlorn way these megacity teams play we had sucked up that virus too. There was a fever for sure. We commanded and we lead at times. But they had an extra dose of the virus, a few degrees more fever. Where we mourned the abandonment of the Muse, they revelled in their dysfunctionality and for a moment or two during the game they actually enjoyed the terminality and inevitability of their fall. The four goals were not delightful events they expected them to be, but were the codas to their decline if they can’t navigate the play offs, the end of this game is the cracking of the veneer.

Before the game of course we did as we did. Our team had just won at Leeds and we were ascendant again. Stuck in the arms of our lovers, delightful. We laughed and we sand and were proud. But the closer we got to the game the more heavy the air seemed and the more dull and listless the metaphysics seemed. Claret and blue is such a sickly death like colour scheme. It was dull and formless to me, as was the whole sacred idea of the match. If we had won of course it would have been a victory of delights and ‘rightness’. Good against evil so to speak. And fucking hell God, you can throw the odd spanner in the works for sure. By half time I had lost my voice nearly. It seemed to sing and to shout but the soundwaves from my vocal chords were just falling to my feet on the grey concourse of that cursed hole. Are we not rivals? No, we are fellow travellers for sure but to rival is to set oneself on a similar plane vying for the same illustrious victory but the difference between us and them is an abyss for sure. A void. Nearly as big as the ten point gap we set back in place after the Reading game.

It’s relentless isn’t it, this season. Never in all my years of following Wolves have I laughed and cried so much. It’s intensity and it’s beauty have dragged me to the edge of despair and to the rarified heights of crystal clear orgasmic delights. ‘Are you Wolves fans then?’ the Nurse in the Accident and Emergency department of Sandwell Hospital asks us. Horace is still with me and he nods with his brow furrowed and worried and I do love him, and I laugh. I have had too much painkiller gas and I’m stoned, I’m looking at my leg bent in all sorts of weird ways, there is bone sticking out somewhere, and blood, and pain. Of course we are Wolves fans. Are we not beautiful and handsome, are our threads not slick and delightful, casual and rare? Are we Wolves fans? Fans? I’m a fan of Sun Kil Moon, delicious acoustic songs of loss and beauty, love and loss. Sun Kil Moon never made me cry like this. Are we fans? No, we are not Wolves ‘fans’ we are what Wolves are and as the threads of Fosuns belief are strong and tenable, ductile, ever dynamic and resolute under the hate we ourselves have those threads that entwine around everything we are. Our loves and hate reflected in feeling and emotion over the hard arse spreadsheet and the figures that roll across them. We lose and we die a little, for a few days at least. I sit in a hospital bed and watch a man struggle to breathe, I watch a young Nurse on the 15th hour of her shift still smile and still rush to placate and reassure him. I watch everything and feel everything. The pain is unbearable now but it’s ok. In a few days little Helder, my Helder will slip a ball between his own legs to twist up a Reading defender and forensically slips the ball to Benik who slots home. They have brought me Morphine and I click the button which sends me into a fog of pain free minutes. I love you Coady. I love you Helder. I love you Benik. I love you Nuno. I’m laughing again.


Progressive Nunoism


So what’s the conspiracy here? The ‘establishment’ want to know where the cash is going and why it isn’t going in their pockets. The English FA and the Press have a great relationship, the English Press and shadowy business interests have an even greater one. It used to be forged with secret handshakes in Masonic lodges and in the corridors of power in Westminster but as you know Jeff the world has changed.

Southbank Resistance August 27th 2017

Benik scores. I’m beside myself, I’ve never wanted anything so much as this beautiful touch from my Prince. That strength, every sinew of his body twisted and resolute as he fought off the ministrations of a Leeds defender. The onrushing goalkeeper. The gap narrowed as they closed in on him and he saw the abyss of the goal narrow as the geometry closed in, became acute, the Wolves fans around me drew in breath. We never wanted as much as this. Air filled our lungs and were held inside, the rush of blood now drowning out the noise and the cacophony on Elland Road. The twirling of Leeds scarves stopped as if a new wind had taken the air from them too. Right leg extended. The simplest of touches and it seemed the boot of Benik hardly touched the ball. It was a lovers touch, the simple subtle touch versus physicality and there were now only three players on that pitch as the Goalkeeper flapped his arms in the face of this intent, of this assured moment. It was your time Benik, and your boot did indeed touch lovingly that ball and it arced into the air. Time had stopped but flowed nonetheless. Geometry and art as it flew into the air. Desolate, the Leeds defender had a look of anguish on his face, the goalie vibrated with a loss, a disaster for him, twenty five yards out from his line. They knew where that ball was to settle and so did Benik. The ball hadn’t even crossed the line and the tableau of these three men was frozen like a Renaissance masterpiece. The Salvation of Benik by Michaelangelo. In primitive oils it could have graced the stucco plaster of some dimly lit altar in a small church in Rome. The ball crossed the line and the lungs of us, these acolytes of this belief, these disciples of Nuno erupted. 3 fucking 0. Have that Leeds. My knees hit the seat in front. I fell forwards. My glasses half came off, I couldn’t see. I fell back. Somebody was hugging me. I held my gaze on the top of the stand roof as if calling out to God himself as I have done so many times over the past season. I looked for Horace and his face was a delight. I fought past bodies to reach him and celebrate. Fucking hell, what a team…and then a little tear came out of my eye. A relief, a victory. After these past weeks of Fulham and other senseless matches, this. We always believed and we were always resolute and our courage was rewarded, our belief and knowledge scoured the furrows of these barren Championship fields and we were harvesting. Emotional Benik.

They operate within a sterile passionless environment where soundbites and not succinct analysis are the cloth from which their careers are cut. But because their missives are short and defunct most of the time so is their emotive styles that they cast on Social Media. To them it’s a passive aggressive soundbite. To us it’s a fucking declaration of war. How fucking dare they.

Southbank Resistance February 1st 2018

They hate us. They always have. Now the angst mafia are in overdrive. Steve Bruce can’t keep his fat head shut. Now his superiors are joining in with the peasants as they storm the gates of Molineux with their flaming torches of hate and murmurs about Mendes, of Financial Fair Play that they don’t have the fucking wit or intelligence to understand, of Gefistute or whatever it is, of Nuno our Saviour, our Moses and our Prophet. Broadcast media bite their knuckles in anger and they pontificate and promote their false heresies and their bile right now in ever increasing amounts. This gives me belief, this gives me courage. Because when the most dynamic and creative business ideas encroach upon the sordid desolate landscape of English Championship football and suffers the ignominy of half researched facts and ball punching articles then we have won. We have won the battle of ideas. We have emerged from the doldrums of the past with new ideas and have grasped them with both hands. Us the fans have always believed. We only wanted belief. We only wanted somebody with a set of ideas that weren’t borne on the backs of a cigarette packet in shitty biro.

Boly scores from a Douglas corner. Saiss scores, again from a Douglas corner. What misfits these players were. Left out in the deserts of their former clubs intent. Outcasts. Not wanted, not needed. They could have gone anywhere these players. They probably would have had good careers somewhere else, maybe they would have faded and gone somewhere else but…

Nuno. Our players have cost some cash ably provided by our owners who have had a vision much lacking in previous regimes. A global vision of movements of talent, where the football landscape is one not of passion and love but of hard hearted decision making, investments and return. They look to the fertile football grounds of Europe and possibly beyond to glean prospects and the disenchanted. The possibility of making money. But if this is the hard battleground of money then they had to offer a balance. A philosophy also in order to attract these disenchanted warriors kicking their heels at other clubs training grounds. These men needed a pure and non dogmatic theory of football ably provided by Nuno himself. We have bought talent in? Yes. But the most important signing was Nuno himself. Only here could we expect that the previous games would be annihilated by this purest form of football led by a man who will be the greatest football Manager the world has ever seen.

The beasts are charging us down and we twist and turn through the landscape of points and goals, of winning matches, of losing them, of weather and rumour. Of the EFL ‘investigating’ our relationships and our investments. These men reflect everything evil and sad about football. They lack vision and they lack moral fibre, they are the whisperers and use the media platforms they have ensconsed themselves within to forge attacks on our pack. Chairmen, Chief executives, pundits, popular social media accounts slather and snarl at us. They are dogs and we are Wolves. Lies and untruths are reported as rote. These disgusting creatures twist and turn on the bloodstained stakes of their own lies. Their untruths are the groans of pain as they see us transform in front of their eyes and they die every time we forge our Nunos philosophies on these godforsaken away grounds on cold nights and colder days.

We played without fault. The pack under attack is a fearsome thing isn’t it? Boly and Batth operate with precision and intent. Hunting down any attacks on our half like missiles. Boom. Neutralise this threat and decimate an attack here. Leeds players wander the pitch in confusion. Their ideas gone in the swirling winds that Jota and Cavaleiro leave behind in their wake. Ideas, new tactics that almost come weekly, every match something different forged on the training grounds of Compton and then forged on these games. New things, new ways. Constant improvement and more importantly the demands from Nuno that they must improve, must work harder and harder. To present what beauty Nuno has in mind to face down the ugliness of other teams. To improve constantly is the liturgy of this new philosophy. To work harder and harder until they have performed as they should, as he expects and as he demands. Bonatini holds the ball and waits for the Gold and Black attack as waves of Wolves players swarm forward to attack. With speed and with absolute concentration. The attack thwarted for a second Cavaleiro rebounds from attacker to enforcer. He slides and plucks the ball from the feet of a Leeds midfilder who spendsa fraction of a second too long in trying to see an opening. This is the difference between these two sides. This fraction exposed and Cavaleiro plunges in a knife attack of such forensic precision I gasp and am lost in it for a minute. Ball to Bonatini and the swarm attacks again, Jota now the little Wolf ghosts around the center circle like a wind. He collects. Cavaleiro collects, boom the passing has it’s own rhythm and the importance of the collection of the ball is between the spaces and the movements. Attack, defend, this route and that route. Changing from one position to another this team has been drilled like an army of assassins.

Danny Batth, his courage is beautiful, his capacity to grow and develop still amazes me. Coady never put a foot wrong for me and I whispered months ago he would be an England Captain one day as every game he commands more and more respect from me and I delight in him, and in him the threads of Nunos philosophies entwine with his own ideas and he is a giant for me. An instigator and a leader and how England lack a man such as him, how it cries out for him..and I will be honest and say this, there will be a time when we will say that we saw him play, and we saw him grow and we will wax lyrical to people who will never understand really, what he means to us and what he has done.

You see, when the ‘established’ English football mafia see the work that Fosun are doing in our City they don’t like it. They never liked Wolverhampton any way. We are too ‘lumpen’ for them. We don’t have the attraction of bigger more glamorous clubs, we talk funny and we are funny too.

Southbank Resistance August 27th 2017

I love everything about walking out of this ground in Leeds. I hardly remember walking back. Young Kate had hurt her knee celebrating and I linked arms with her on the long walk back to the car. Limbs. Scars of our joy I suppose, and there were some songs sung for sure, some shouts of joy outside as various groups of Leeds fans watched us move through those dark tunnels and desolate streets. But we could not be touched. They knew in their hearts they had witnessed a spectacle of beauty they themselves did not possess today. But they knew that feeling. They still remembered their glory days and it was this memory I think that stopped their own anger solid in their throats. We talked and we laughed and we were resolute again. Our systems were alive, our throats sore, our knees and shins were bruised, we had a long journey back but that journey like our teams would be aloft and airy and that hollow feeling within our bellies after Fulham and Norwich was gone into the shadows around that ground. I gave a homeless dude my last £1.50 and rubbed his matted hair on his head because we too were lost like him once, but now we are found again.

Villa Saturday. We will have our Revenge for your untruths.

The Return of Gaz Mastic

2017-12-22 12.51.14

I enjoy a stroll down the cut. The fact it’s cut into the geology around here tends to muffle the ambulances, fire engines and Feds that scream up and down the Lichfield Road 24 hours a day. I enjoy the bird life and the ducks. In the summer you can see Perch and shoals of Roach, the occasional trio of Bream chilling out in the sun dappled puke green canal water. After the recent postponement of the Reading match and the rigors of a day on the piss regardless it was good to be out with the dogs. Alcohol was nearly expunged from the system, I still felt positive and there, poking their little heads above the rapidly thawing snow was a bunch of Snowdrops. Beautiful delicate things. I stooped down to look at them and even the dogs stopped pulling for a few moments. Beauty and delicacy, simple stems, those drooping white flowers nodding as if they are ashamed at being so beautiful.

Suddenly I was jerked out of my Spring reveries as a steel toe capped boot appeared and crushed the delicate plant. The boot was a paint splattered thing. The leather that old it looked like mummy skin, brown, split in places. A work boot from the past. No breathable textile upper here. This was War-boot shit. It was attached to a thin ankle. Flapping Umbro tracksuit bottoms flapping around those spindly fucking legs. The trackie bottoms were covered it idly wiped mastic and yes. There on top of that body that even a crackhead would be ashamed to own was Gaz himself. For the love of Christ that face. Those missing teeth. Skin like a tourist camels hump. What teeth he did have left reminded me of an old graveyard in a Western flick. The lips were moving but I was still in the moment. The dogs looked at him as if he was some errant happening.

‘…Nuno you see? I don’t even know where to start Mikey but….’ he said. Hello Gaz. For it is you is it not? Fucking hell, here we go. Yes, Nuno. What about him? Some more angst to pour on the fire Gaz? Some of that Northbank ire maybe? Gaz has transferred from the Southbank to the Northbank you see. He liked to check his bets and sit down after being on his feet all day. Now the Northbank was the best thing since sliced bread or roll your own fags. That cheap Polish tobacco he bought. Those nicotine lips that yammered. His hat looked like misshapen black fungus, a fucking toadstool of a woolly hat…

…’ I knew Benik would be shit back here and I said to me mate ya see, I knew it. If I knew it why day Nuno? He’s paid a lot more fucking money than me ay he? All that skill and it means fuck all. It’s a great view up there in the Northbank ahk, you can see everything. I saw him mate he was shit. Fucking Costa as well the knobhead. What the fuck is he about?’ Gaz pontificated. I hadn’t even said hello to him yet.

‘Mar fucking dog ‘ud knock Costa over, and I said to mar mate he should be fucked off and Doherty and fucking Ruddy, he ay done anything of value ‘as he Mikey? He ay done anything. Lambert wouldn’t have put up with that shit..’

Gaz is the black cloud of despondency and of misery. He talks and he waved his little spindly arms around. On the one wrist ‘Wednesfield Skins’ done in Indian ink and a needle wrapped in cotton, probably done over the Sneyd or Rough Wood., names of some of his kids too, a Wolves wolf head that looked like it had  a stroke and not in a good way. Ah Gaz. He had moved out of the way a little as he went mad and I reached down and tried to straighten the bent stems of the Snowdrops. One was ok just a little mangled but three of them were fucked. I had felt bad about the Reading game being abandoned but hey ho. The weather was awful and I had seen a few old ‘uns tumbling over. Why do old people go out in the snow? One of them had a carrier bag that had nothing but Jaffa cakes and a pack of butter in it. Couldn’t they just chill for a moment? How fucking bad do you need a pack of Jaffa cakes? I know a lot of oldies go to the match and I had a gnawing pain of worry that Saturday morning as I looked out of the window at the weather. I was thinking about fractured hips and pneumonia. Flowers spelling out ‘Grandad’ up Bushbury Crematorium. All for a fucking football match. For fucks sake what’s wrong with me? A day in the pub would be better. I was thinking about doing a podcast in there but there was too much noise and too much angst. And it was a bitter wind that blew around town that day I’ll tell you.

Gaz was spitting a bit’…Fucking Chinesers mate, wim going the same way as Blues trust me, fucking Norwich was an eye opener for me ahk, I knew it was all going bad ten matches ago, bloody Swansea, I got a stream day I? Crystal clear, the son in law bought us one of the them Firebox sticks ya plug in, fucking brilliant, all the channels mate all the films, I watched Predator and…’

It has all been a little too much lately I suppose. I have logged off Twitter and Facebook. I didn’t want to read the bullshit and the bile about the team. I wanted to keep a positive mindset, I wanted everything to be under control and the best way I knew how to do that would be to ‘trust in Nuno’ and self censor the opinions that were rife on there. I can’t deal with it at the moment. Turn it off.  It’s all I can do. This season has exhausted me. The beautiful football. The crushing defeat at Fulham. The away days. The drinking. The drugs. The dynamics, Neves curling passes, Benik trying hard, Leo seeming as if he was the world on his shoulders, Jota looking more like a punchbag as the games carry on….all of it was making me tired and I daresay it’s making everybody else tired too. Judging by the social media madness it was doing a little more than that. You see Gaz only has a Facebook page so he can keep up with what his Missus is doing probably. I know it’s on his phone because I was behind him in the queue at Tescos 24 hour One-Stop the other day as he was buying a fucking Easter egg for Gods sake.

‘The assistant at the till asked him, ‘Would you like to donate an Egg to a Childrens charity you see…’ He cut her off. ‘No I fucking dow’ and paid for his egg and fucked off without noticing me thank God. But he was checking his Facebook for sure and it looked like a Fart porn page. His missus messaged me on it once and said she was settling down with a few cans of dark fruits and had a pizza on dial up. I knew his dog would be prone on the floor fast asleep, till the pizza came and I knew the can of dark fruits would soon be kicked over and that sticky liquid would join the Pollock inspired fast food and tea stained canvas that was his £3.99 a square yard cord carpet from Mr Carpet. I deleted her from my friends list. I haven’t got time for that shit. I’d rather read ‘Dingles ay we’. The Tesco check out girl said ‘It’s like the Walking Dead in here sometimes’. I nodded and smiled.

Yes, the season feels like the siege of Stalingrad to me. Endless and cold. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to feel the sun on my face. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to win a game. Walking out down the subway singing. Lately its been walking down the subway looking at the condensation dripping off the ceiling and tripping over the homeless and the ubiquitous Staffy looking pissed off and fat. Standing in the pub listening to people tell me about positivity even if they don’t believe it themselves, they know that’s what I want to hear. Thank fuck these players have a good coach and a professional mindset. I hope they do any way. I’m glad the sun is starting to feel warm on my head as I still kneel looking at the crushed Snowdrops. I think my knee is soaked from the slush and I want to cry a little I think as Gaz Mastic waxes his bitter lyrics.

But that sun does feel warm for sure and it’s the first time I’ve felt it this year and I’m a bit shocked if I’m honest. I look up into the sky and Gaz is in silhouette looking like a shadow puppet of a fucking deranged scarecrow and yes, it’s there for sure. Definitely and it is hot on my face. That sunlight. Peeking through the grey clouds.

Maybe the season is about to turn for us. Maybe the solar magic will do something to the team. Steve Bruce said ‘wait till the winter’ and at the time I felt he was a total deranged fucking fool. But now at the arse end of it I feel like old Brucey needs at least a nod of agreement. We haven’t been firing it’s true. Swansea. That fucking storm. The bitter cold of Barnsley and Sheffield. Am I moaning too much? We have big games to come. Villa and Leeds. Teams that will regard our position, strong as it may be, as not unassailable at least. Teams now have scented blood and regard every game against us as a ‘cup final’ for sure. No Neves for Leeds but that’s cool isn’t it? We aren’t a one man team for sure…are we?. But I thank fuck I’m not Nuno. Thank fuck I’m not part of the whole merry-go-round that is the Wolves experience. I’m not strong enough to deal with this angst. All I can do is support the team. Be positive. Stand outside the pub trying to keep my roll up lit in the bitter East wind that always blows through Town, up Broad street, past the Hogshead, past the Royal London, past the University, getting through every hole in your clothing.

We aren’t the greatest fans ever I suppose. We have our moments of madness when the team isn’t doing too well…if you can say nine points clear on top as not doing well maybe. But I have to stay out of the arguments and the angst, the tweets and the statuses, the forensic analysis of who is doing shit and why, the graphics of the team selections, the targeting of a certain player. You look at who posted it and it’s an account that has no face, maybe a Wolves head or a player, or a foggy out of focus phone shoot of a bald headed fat bastard on Holiday with his weird looking kids and he’s called ‘Where I Live Wolf’ insert area. And he looks the same as everybody else and the faces and accounts all blur into one and it’s sad and I feel a little weird for stalking those accounts whose bile exceeds their wit.

‘…Fulham were great, I watched it on a stream, I’ve got one of those Firebox sticks our Wayne bought it for us for Christmas, crystal clear, all the channels mate, fifty quid a year and…’ Gaz goes on. Gaz always goes on. I stand up straight and my knees crack and my back is killing me. My kidneys are hurting from too much beer the previous weekend. The sun shines. It always gets better some how. Everything comes out in the wash. Out of darkness cometh light and I’m smiling to myself a little bit. The son of Gaz is called Wayne then? I’ve been calling him Shane for years.