What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been

IPPi3KomPhoto by @timlewis80

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace
I’m going through

David Bowie ‘Changes’

I felt the heat of the pre game pyro technics on my face. I was gibbering a little. Bottom lip quivering. For fucks sake. It’s only football. 22 blokes booting a bag of wind around a rectangular bit of green with thirty thousand half pissed ecstatic doughnuts cheering on every pass and move. But it’s not really like that is it? It’s more important, far more important. That is until it’s not. Being pushed down Molineux alley in my wheelchair I was talking about the whole thing being in flux. What do I mean by that? Things have been changing fast at our club, for the better yes. Changing fast, can we keep up with it without losing our heads? I’ve already lost mine a few times already over these past few months.

I loved the smoke bombs. I love the chaos. I love to see the little kids on Dads shoulders being hoisted above the swirling madness. Their little hands trying to wave the smoke away to see Neves or Jota or Nuno, these dudes who’s names have been repeated to them by their parents for months. I loved seeing the people I love in the middle of all the videos posted up on social media. I loved everything yesterday. Fucking loved up mate. But I’ve got one eye on those Premier league bastards don’t worry. I’m watching them with one eye while the other one has tears streaming down it.

The smoke catches you in the throat. The team Coach is appearing and everything is flux emotionally. The players get off one by one with faces like they are in shock. The match itself had the same groove. It’s been a long fucking season hasn’t it? I’m not going to go through the whole litany of what went on. You can catch the podcasts where I talk to people I love about that. But man, what a long strange trip it’s been. But Nuno is smiling and I’ve never felt warmer and more secure with him in charge. God bless you Nuno our Sanctus Espiritus. Not our ‘special one’ but our Holy one. We prayed for you and you came although at first we did not realise who you were.

In the Concourse at Bristol City I was soaked in beer dancing around like an idiot. Bennett scores. Last minute stuff. I’m crazy and try to run on the pitch but the boingy stuff they stretch across the empty seats in front of us is like one of those dreams where you are chasing something or being chased and your legs don’t move. I yell and scream and am lost in that metaphysical golden smoke bomb love but it’s all in my head at that time. You see after that match at Bristol I relaxed. I knew we had done it. There is a tenacity in this team. A yearning for greatness. There IS a philosophy. How we lacked that with Mick and Magoo. Now there is something else. As I walked out of Ashton Gate I knew we had done it. I knew it had come, this time it’s for real and it’s all about the now.

The front of the Northbank is a strange place. Especially with the wheelchair dudes and women. I’m afraid some Southbank madness has been transplanted straight into an ocean of calm. I mean the Northbank is quiet at the best of times but down there at the front it’s very laid back. Apart from when I’m in it. Here I can denigrate and insult ‘them’ the opposition. Foresteiro-ee-eye whatever his face his. The little cheating git. He’s right in front of me the little shithead. Doherty runs to the byline and he’s so close I can practically touch him. Golden Gods become real there. So I can plant a few insults in their players heads. ‘What a shit fucking haircut’ or ‘My Moms got more muscle in her withered leg’ maybe ‘Oi Shitbeard’ possibly ‘you little cheating bastard fuck you’. Something like that. Just something to taken a few inches of pace, maybe make them check their hair or beard in the mirror at halftime. A bit sad.

I have never forgotten the Sako thing. I haven’t forgotten when your team nearly cut Conor Ronan in half last season either. My cast bangs against the concrete wall and I don’t care. If I had a good leg….ok I’m not talking about it. This match is when she’s still gobbling away after you’ve bust your nut and it feels weird, you want it to stop. We’ve had our fun, we have had our laughs and tears and now we just want to bask in the glow like a Walrus, fat and happy on a fucking rock being baked by the sun and cooled in the sea spray.

Forestry or whoever he is dinks and turns. I watched him do it for a few years now. Two years ago I though fucking hell we need something like him. He seemed luxurious and real, a player, twisting and turning. He pissed me off. He had some of that flair stuff I liked. He’s a good looking sod too.But yesterday I wasn’t as insulting. I actually felt sorry for him to be honest, because he looked bloody average compared to what delights we plonked on the green rectangle. In fact he looked a bit crap. They had a neck of a player on too, that Serbian. Jesus Christ mate, what’s the weather like up there ahk? When he ran I kept giggling because he was using his head as some weighty momentum device…but there’s the keyword for today. Momentum.

Through the smoke and the flares. The spangly arch of victory, the TV cameras. Kids on the pitch, the pyro ribbons which nearly tripped Coady up a few times, families. Nuno going crazy. Everybody on the pitch going up to the Southbank….oh. I laughed. So we weren’t going to get any Cup waving love from the lads. I perched myself on the wall and chatted to Horace for an hour while we waited. But I didn’t care much. You see the Southbank is the heart of Molineux. This is where all the passion comes from. This is the most important place in Molineux because the Southbank although it’s in Molineux has a deeper meaning in our hearts and obviously those of Nuno and Company.

While the coach wound it’s way up Waterloo road I was reminded perhaps of it’s namesake battle. The smoke and the passion, the emotion, the madness. Fucking hell I love smoke bombs. This is where we really staked our claim to the premiership, as fans any way. This is what we will be like when Real Madrid come here when he play them in the Champions league. We will instigate chaos like it’s never been seen before. Not the choreographed dancing of Dortmund et al, but the insanity of Wulfrunia, the outpouring of passion that we hold tight in our hearts in times of lean. Was I there? Nah. I was in the bar around the corner talking about when the Southbank didn’t have a wall in the concourse separating fans, about how the bar sold glass bottles of Bass for 23p a bottle. How those bottles became projectiles and weapons. How everything became violent and real in that darkness underneath there lit but a few shitty bulbs and wire mesh windows dotted here and there to illuminate the insanity. I was with two very precious men from those days and you know who you are, you nutters, a bit quieter now, but you still had that gleam in your eyes.

Momentum. My brain was clicking through the permutations of the months to come. Who will strengthen the squad. Who will leave. What will be our ideas next season. We’ve had it fucking slick this season apart from the grotball and the shit refereeing. We’ve had it bloody easy. So among the madness of our victorious campaign this year I’m still underneath the Southbank, in the half light, thinking tactically. Next season will be tough. We will be playing some of the best teams in the country. We will have to think on our feet and instigate our ideas, as lofty as they have been this year, against other ideas that have an abyss between themselves and the teams we have played this season. These ideas will be as strong as ours and will be as dynamic. We will be standing among equals now.

The Manchester’s and the Liverpool’s, Tottenham’s and Arsenals. How strong are their ideas? Bloody strong mate. How dynamic? Crazy fucking dynamic. But still…what will Nuno bring to this table of greats. He’s a Maverick for sure. Implementing a team cohesion that will make those greater teams shiver. The Premiership lot are a lack lustre bunch. The demonic lure of cash and TV rights, the merchandising etc has turned their ideas into a many headed beast which they struggle to control. A loss here and there can turn their fanbase into slathering entities of grief. They are vocal in their castigations. That’s good for us. We have momentum and we have a stand at Molineux which is a throwback to when every club had a stand where the nutters stood. The songs got sung and the volume of our love would give strength to the team. We have Momentum in that a bond has been struck between the owners and us. We have to carry it on. We will get battered at times next season no doubt. Times when the opposition click into some perfect flowing loveliness. You’ve seen them do it on Sky. These teams can dismantle others at will…sometimes. These victories for them will be against us when maybe we are a bit lacklustre. We can’t be brilliant all the time ya know. There will be times when everything goes to shit. But there will be times when we click too and we will walk out of Molineux heads held high and lofty.

Now it’s all about next season for me. Has been since Bristol. Billy Wrights statue gets wreathed in smoke. It’s orange smoke but it’s really gold, in our minds anyway. There is black smoke too. The detritus of spent rage and of blackness in our hearts. The golden feeling that we have stood our ground and have seen the light. The two sides of the Wolves story. Next season we take this theology of Nuno. This togetherness and we must make it stronger, we must also take our part in the whole unfolding of these new chapters. We must play our part. Support the team next season. Through the black and the gold. Trust the people you stand with in that ground. Trust the players and the staff. Trust in Nuno and Fosun. Be strong and link arms against the new threats that will face us. Use the momentum of this season to propel us into the stratosphere of new challenges. This is what was on my mind yesterday. Plans and tactics for the season to come. We must make every visit to an away ground an event where we ‘own’ that places they put us to watch the team. Support 100%. Sing until you cant sing anymore. Clap until your hands fall off. Denigrate the opposition. Remind them how shit their towns and cities are. Let them know our ideas.

This Is Our Time

Valencia CF Announce New Manager Nuno Espirito Santo

Did we need a leader like him? Of course we did. Watch him stalk the touchline. Animated at times and at others he stands with his arms crossed like Napoleon watching his troops fight the battles he himself has dictated for them. Behind them his coaching staff cajole, inspire and whisper in his ear about events that are judged in seconds and minutes, a reply given, the twist of a tactic and the tweak of a position. Fulham have fallen under the strength of ‘idea’ and of ‘love’. And does not love conquer all?

The Heresy of Nunoism: Southbank Resistance November 4th 2017

It was darkness wasn’t it? 1995 and McGinlay. All week I’ve been thinking about that fat bastard and now this. Revenge? Yes, I think it is, I think they have had such a fucking thumping today that ghost of 1995 has been well and truly banished. The only bad thing is that I would have loved nothing more than to have been in the press box where I would have slapped his fucking head back right into the desk in front of him. Jesus Christ. Bully with his head down. Knackered. Desolate.

Enough of that shit. We have done it haven’t we? At last. It’s been a right journey and a tough one. How they denigrated us at the start of the season eh? How they mocked us and cast their slurs at us. Nuno ‘untried’ or ‘one of those European fly by night Coaches’. Man every time you clicked on an article it was full of shit. We don’t wonder why Nuno sits behind the desk at these press conferences and looks at these doughnuts with disdain like he’s just stepped into a hot dog turd in bare feet. He knows them well. He’s read the crap and the lies all season. He’s tired you can tell. Keeping the hyenas away from his Wolves. I say ‘His Wolves’ because they are his. How he has transformed a crazy bunch of second stringers and league one players into this team before us is nothing less than majestic. I am speechless.

I knew something was up. I knew that we had something golden and real in front of us. The games we have seen, the play, the goals all penultimate, all magical, all fantfuckingtastic. There is a time I suppose when I will sit down and write about it and try and make sense of it. The book I’ve been threatening maybe. But this moment, this absolute demolishing of accepted norms by this team is a thing I will remember for the rest of my life.

Of course I had to have a trip up to the top of the garden. It’s where I go to weep. I’ve done it a lot this season. There’s a compost heap up there with a spot that’s moulded to the shape of my arse. It’s where I go to reflect. It’s under an apple tree. It’s peaceful. At full time I went up there and sat down, covered my face with my hands and sobbed. Happy. Yes, I was happy but also sad. Emotional but stoic inside at the same time. Triumphant emotional moments like this always get me right in the heart. Because this is bigger than the team. It’s a whole experience for me and one in which the town too gets enveloped in the glow of this success. But it’s more important than just winning or just being Champions. It’s a victory for all of us that really is a triumph of Good over Evil. It’s that time again when there does seem something right in the universe that confuses us and in the end crushe us. Good does fucking prevail and the Gods have given us this moment and at Notlob too, where we stand and raise our hands and everything is good, in fact it’s brilliant.

The fact that Coady smashed in number four made me shout so much the neighbours over the road stopped jet washing their drives and cutting their lawns. I didn’t care. What do they know? What do they know about the freezing cold away games we have attended? What do they know about Fulham and the desolate capital? What do they know about those years behind us when we stood in the Southbank and urged our players on under the tutelage of buffoons and idiots. It’s an outpouring of emotion now of course. The time when we stand proud at the top of the table and look down at the Villa and laugh loud. Yes, I laugh very loud at them. How dare they question our hearts and our minds, our plans and our tactical supremacy. How dare they cast their lack of idea and bitterness on our club. I laugh loudly at them because they are doomed. This is a present to myself. I know I shouldn’t mock the afflicted but I am.

How many teams below should I mock? All of them. We are sitting on a golden mountain at the feet of a great Master. This Nuno…

I suspect that there are aspects of this Nunoism that we may forever be lost in the fogs of our ignorance. The facets which he displays in his post match celebrations, the measured tones during interviews, his humility, his unforgiving destruction of the opponents ideas. If Nuno has this relationship with our support then it is transcendent of both football and politics. So it becomes a fourth dimension. 4th Dimensional football in other words.

I wrote much in praise of this Nuno and I never regretted any of it. Even if the spark wouldn’t have struck and we would have struggled this season I would have sat at his feet and listened. Simply because his idea is new and dynamic, it is different and it is new. He blasts the cobwebs of this footballing nation away with aplomb, humility and with intent so strong and forceful that the Warnocks and the Holloways found ways to galvanise their teams against him initially anyway. This was the last gasp saloon for this grotball. Now the ideas of Nuno will spread around this league system like wildfire. It’s an overlap or a bleed through of Nunoism. Now he has set the template for how to run a football team, how to galvanise and how to inspire. We knew he would do this. There was something different about him, something strange and attractive. Something that made us love him as soon as he spoke. We saw in him a method and a litany of beauty that we could relate to. He has done us proud and I sing for him and I am inspired myself to create similar art and songs.

Even if the football and ethos we have is built from the familiar and traditional aspects of the game every single match is used as a building block for the next part of the story, the next match always. We are in a dream world of Nunos making and it will only be when we are awake and the season is finished we will be able to look back and see that Nuno had indeed hypnotised us with his magical skills. We will see that most of the matches were dreams, mixed in with a few nightmares just to balance it out. The stadium is the stage where this whole drama is played out and we watch it with eyes wide until we shuffle out when promotion is gained, we will rub our eyes and wonder what happened, why we are happy and some have tears in their eyes.

He looks ahead to the next match and I also look ahead too. Champions we are. But this has gone now for me. I let my joy out in the garden sitting among the dog eggs and the hot compost. Now is the next stage. Domination of the Premier league. The Mastering of those teams we see adorning the back pages of our newspapers or the glossy magazines. The funky web pages and the adverts on TV. Who there will have ideas bigger than our Nuno? Who will step up to debate the art of football with him? Who will stand in front of our players with more belief than them. I don’t see anybody. All I see are mercenaries who lack these ideas, who lack Kwan.

We will travel to the Premiership on a tide of glorious victories but we will enter that place changed. It will not be as it was before. The Premiership will be alien to us and strange because we have suffered for so long being away from it. The cold of Barnsley away and the desolate identikit stadiums around the country will still ache at us and remind us of where we have been but the directions that Nuno has given us ‘forward’ should annihilate the memories of them in the end for sure. But those memories will be relentless. The 1-5 Albion game, the times when we were destroyed by teams evidently more attuned to the ideas of football than Mick Mcarthy ever was. Those pains of the past we drag with us as we travel towards the new dawn of Nunoism. The speed in which he drives us towards success will pull those memories with us in our slipstream.

We will go to these palaces of football next year a lot better armed than we were in previous years. We have owners with an incisive learning mind. They absorb knowledge like a sponge. They learn and they act fast. Just like the team and just like Nuno. They learn and they act and they destroy the vapid ghost like ideas of others. They will be unstoppable and we will be unstoppable too. These heights will be lofty and tall, sometimes we will find ourselves trying to find meaning in it all and we will stand firm with the idea that everything is learning, everything is training. What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger. But while we are there at the top of the mountain we must never forget what went on before. Fingles at the forefront of a mass of gold and black that never ran. The bloke who cut a Wolves head into his lawn in Low Hill. Everybody getting the Bully cut. The four thousand of us that never stopped supporting our club when the wind ripped around that half empty Southbank. The way we always said we were proud to wear our shirt on holiday. They mocked us then, but now? The ghosts are triumphant and I know that they watch us and love every minute of what is happening. I know it man. This is for them not me. This is for those we have lost on these mad travels.

Gaz Mastic was at the bottom of my path today after the match and I went out slowly on my crutches to see him. He was beside himself and Gaz isn’t a bloke who’s emotions run free.

‘Wim Champions Mikey’ he said, and I swear his lip quivered a little bit and I dropped my crutches and gave him a big love over the gate. I crushed him a bit I was so happy. He was smiling and showing me the gaps in his teeth. This is why I’m happy. I’m happy for him and for us. This is the time we grab each other and love each other because that is the only way we will navigate the madness of next season. And it’s ok to cry a little bit through the laughter too. Thank you Wolves. Thank you Nuno. Thank you Jeff. Thank you Laurie. Thank you Horace for protecting me in more ways than one. Thank you Greeny and Bigmon. Thank you Rikky and Kate, Sophie, Andy Powell, Kate and Neil. Thank you to Southy and Ian Powell who gave me the courage to write about this season and teaching me about how football really works. You have given me my heart back.

Now we grow as we show that the morals we must know
Will be shapen and mistaken by the falls along the way.
But forget, don’t regret, to find love and happiness
Unless you’re willing to be strong when they are gone along the way.

Bad Religion ‘Along the Way’


The Journey Has Just Begun


Throughout this blog I’ve talked about an energy that seemed apparent around Molineux and that the energy seemed like it was causing some kind of sea change in the zeitgeist of the place. Promotion. It happened in some shit hole London ground hundreds of miles away from us. It happened on Twitter for me, you see I was checking scores and throwing HobNobs down my neck as fast as I could. It’s the way I roll man. Then, a last minute header and it was done and dusted. I would love to say I jumped up and face planted the rug again, but I didn’t. I sat there and nodded slowly to myself that it was done. It was Karma for sure. Karma for the shit we have had to deal with this season in terms of referees and clod hopping world war one football espoused by the likes of all the usual suspects. We know who they are. I don’t want to talk about them any more. I would like to cleanse my mind of their football if I can. Kind of gather a new blank slate kind of mindset for the season to come.

Birmingham City was a reminder of the season. It was like a highlights reel of what has gone on for months. You can see why we had to get out of here, why we had to move ourselves along. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think I could have hacked another season of watching teams like City, Cardiff, QPR et al. My mind was nearly broken by it. Jota rolling around after getting his ankle nearly snapped again did it for me. I was up out of the wheelchair waxing insults from the bottom of the Northbank again.

They sang though, these Northbankers. They had a right shout at times, but it’s always too late of course. Now you sing. Blah. I want to get back in the Southbank thanks. Among my people. But it was a great place to watch Matt Doherty racing down the touchline. He is very physical this lad. I was close you see. Close enough for Dohertys sweat to sparkle as it flew through the air and he out muscled some Brummie doughnut to get a foot on the ball and a beautiful cross. Did Saiss bunk him the ball? I’m not sure but it was forensic for sure. Bonk, right on him. Jota points to the sky. I wave at him like a dickhead. Laughing.

Close up as I was, you get to see the subtle and the sublime movements of a player. He was five yards away maybe? He had that stare going on and he only looked up for the merest second before sliding that ball over to Jota. Of course Jota didn’t fuck about with it. Straight in thanks. Jota didn’t even look hassled by the effort. It’s second nature to him now. These movements are refined and magnificent. His movement is classical, like a ballet dancer. His shots like a bear hug off a brickie. One nil and the script is there for everybody to see. Elbows fly in from Birmingham city players. The beards and the shit trims eh? Only the strip changes, never the lack of idea. They are fighting for their lives. I’ve seen tougher battles getting your hand stuck in a Pringles tube. Jesus Christ. Why did they bother? Who pissed on their parsnips? I don’t care it’s funny.

Twenty minutes in and Digga Davis is huffing and puffing. Looking like you just found him in your shed carrying your hover mower in one hand and your strimmer in the other. You can have the strimmer Dave, it’s shit. They always are, just like you really. Your footballing ability is the same as the strimmer string. Liable to snap and get tangled every few seconds. Oh Digga you poor sod. Of course the ‘dingleboys’ insult was going to come and bite you on the arse. It had to. Your shit tattoos. Your wide eyed realisation that this whole footballing carousel you have been looning around on for the past few years is about to stop. It was slowing down during this match. Soon he will be climbing down from those gay painted steps, the horses wide eyed and mouths open, the cacophony of the jingly music. He will step into the faceless crowd and be gone. Just another doughnut. He will attend a few supporter get togethers with the rest of the Lulus at some shit social club in Northfield. Good bye Digga. Watch what yam doin’.

The City fans were only a few yards from me. Ordinarily I would have been throwing some shapes at them. Having a few insulting waxes thrown back. All these Brummies looked the same. Bowl haircuts, black puffa jackets, tight black jeans, Nikes. Madness. Like angry clones. One of them made a cut throat gesture at me and I laughed. It would have been funny outside, me being chased in my wheelchair by Brummie bowlheads. It would have made a funny headline.

Aside from this Costa was making me laugh too. Man that dude jinks and turns lovely. He was knotting the Bluenoses up for fun. They didn’t have a clue did they? The ambience was good and wholesome for him. He was revelling in it. I think our Helda could play through the Summer and not get pissed off. It was lovely to see. Especially after his trials and tribulation coming back from injury when everybody slagged him off. He turns again and a Bluenose tumbles to the ground twisted up. He puts his head on the grass and just crouches there for a few seconds. You’ve been fucking Helder’ed mate. There isn’t any cure for it. To nobble him like you want to you have to catch him. And we call him little Helder…pffft. Massive player.

Big Alf who came on for Jota. Yes, I love big Alf. He’s a treasure. So physical yet so refined. He dinks a ball through to Benik in the second half and my black Prince chips the goalie and it’s all done and dusted really. Will we keep Benik? I hope so. He’s learning strange Nuno things, wizardry I suspect. Benik is praying at the feet of Nunoism but it’s early of course. What else will he learn over the summer? What freedom will he find in the Premiership? Much I think. Buy him yes. I would.

I think City didn’t even know what was happening to them. The match took on the aspects of an exhibition match. A display of total football. I don’t think we broke shape once. Nuno kept everything on the down low. No madness, just pure unadulterated love ball. Sliding balls through their midfield with aplomb. Even the Blue Jota looked impressed, though he must have wondered what the fuck he was doing in this side. But how much did their Jota cost? Millions I bet. Poor sod. Sitting in his hotel room, the beaches and beauty of his ends reflected back at him as he looks through the window at the dystopia of Birmingham below him. He flicks on the TV. It is a sad existence. You could tell in his face, he looked resigned. He will be phoning his agent after this game. Talking tactics and escape plans. I wonder if he’s building a glider on the roof like Colditz. Plotting airborne escape. There is no escape from Luluism young man. Ya fucked. Look at Digga, look into his eyes. Deep. You’re fucked son.

At the final whistle there was cacophony, there was madness. Three dudes got on the pitch and we had a bit of kiss chase with the stewards. Fair play to them I suppose. The madness of youth. They probably wont be watching Wolves for a few years and those few seconds on flicking the V’s at the miserable Lulus will seem a long forgotten memory I suppose. I cheered. Clapped a lot. The delight of getting promotion would have been nice with a win right there in the ground. You can’t have your cake and eat it I suppose. I knew we were going to be promoted all season, I’m not joking. You can read the past posts on here to see it between the lines. I celebrated when the team were playing in Austria, watching it on the web stream. Watching these young men go through their paces. I was happy to sit back in my wheelchair and just groove to other people enjoying themselves. Especially the kids. Now they can wear their Wolves shirts proudly and people will know what team they support. People will now know us.

Me? Well I’ve been here before. The joy is tempered by experience of course. I’ve already seen the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool getting dicked at Molineux. Tottenham, Everton, all of them. My emotions have run riot all season. Tears have been shed, pain has been felt. I’ve met beautiful people. forged friendships that will last forever. Talked about the football, loved the football. Taken away memories of goals that will stay in my mind forever. Bennet, Bristol City. This is what I will celebrate, this is what I will remember. Seeing our South Bank Resistance flag on the stand I love made me weep. There can be nothing bigger than this for me….apart from that Neves screamer, you know the one….maybe watching Benik score.

You see, the club will progress and will grow. The times we have had this season will be the most important of things and I sat there, in the chair with a few sad thoughts really. The whole zeitgeist will change now. The whole club will be changing and creating new paradigms for us to try and get our heads around. Premiership football for Gods sake. I can’t quite get my head around it of course, can’t quite understand it. I know the season tickets wills rise in price. How will we deal with that? Fuck knows. But we always do. Maybe it will be by pre drinking maybe, have one beer in the pub. Maybe get rid of Sky Sports, keep the car for another year, do some overtime, be a bit scruffier this year, tell the kids that Weston-Super-Mare is a great place to go on holiday as you clip out and save the Sun holiday vouchers…fuck knows. We will be there of course in August. Still singing and shouting, watching all the new sexy players Nuno will bring in. Keeping the belief strong and the passion flowing. Because at the end of the day it’s only money, worthless by itself. You could start a shit brief fire with nearly 500 squid. Go on holiday to Spain or somewhere. Cook your head in the Mediterranean sun as you chug cold weird lager out of the bottle. But for fucks sake, the feelings this club give us, the love, the hate, the holding your head in your hands, grabbing strangers and kissing them. That’s what it’s all about. Fuck the ticket rise. You can have my money. Take it. Give me love and pride back and we will call it quits. I watch the Lulus stream out of the ground. Sad bitter little faces. But they are envious too. Most people will be envious next season too. I want to watch it, want to breathe it all in again. I want Nuno to take me to heights of joy I have rarely felt in this past decade.

Bolton next. McGinlay. We have never forgotten. This is what we live for. The journey has only just begun. Soon we will be back on Nunos Crazy Train.




I couldn’t even watch the Fulham Brentford game. I sat in the garden and was in a state of suspended animation it felt like. The fucking sun had come out. I had forgotten what it looked like. The dogs were licking each others balls on the grass. My peg leg glowed. How many weeks has it been since the cold street outside that cursed Villa ground? The grass was sweet for sure. A bumblebee. I had asked my daughter to tell me the score when I went in and sat quiet. I couldn’t concentrate on anything other than just sitting and waiting. I knew it was going to come…it would arrive. She came in 20 minutes ago and told me and I wept. For me? For Wolves? I don’t know. But emotional doesn’t give any service to the feeling I had right there in the pit of my stomach…it’s a soul thing ay it. Snot and tears, years and fucking years. Glen fucking Hoddle. Dean fucking Saunders. How we have suffered. How we welcomed the Chinese men in Hugo Boss suits and the Italian shoes when years ago we would have turned our faces away. How they have transformed us with their ideas.

Little old Wolverhampton eh? The way people take the piss out of our accents, the way people come from villages on our outskirts instead of saying ‘Yeah I come from Wolverhampton’. Us, once the powerhouse of world industry, we made such beautiful things. Motorcycles, cars, the best tools in the world. We slaved in those dark places now ground down and lost. I suppose we lost something too. The decline of our town mirrored in the decline of our team. No more. This is important now and I feel different to previous promotion days. This is a lot fucking different. People around the world will soon know our name and what we stand for. This isn’t the place where we should bow our heads and be mindful of our place in the world. We are about to be a powerhouse beyond even my fevered imagination. My fucking town will overcome the castigations we have suffered for years. My Wulfrunian pride will not buckle under such scrutiny when it comes because I will point to my team and say ‘Look at them, how proud and fine they are, how brave and how magnificent. I will also point to the skyline of my city and say ‘This is where I live and I have always been proud despite the mockery and the laughter. This is Wolverhampton, and I have never know a place so entwined with it’s team. I heard a woman on the phone once. ‘Yes I come from a Village near Stafford called Bushbury’.

Before, after other promotions we would sidle up to the table where the rich men sit and beg for a point here, or a win there. They would throw down a few scraps for us and we would be content for a week or two before our slide down the Premier League leeched the life from us. We were further and further away from the table at times. Mocked, vilified and insulted. But this? This my friends is different. I feel something different. I feel that instead of pulling our forelocks at the tables of the great and good we have cast a chair out and sat heavily within it. I look around that table and I look at the faces of the great and good of this league and I hold the gaze of every one of those motherfucking big teams and say this ‘We are not afraid any more’. Thus we can kick up our legs and put our dirty war boots on their clean tablecloth and light that cigar. Because shit is going to change. It will change because we have a philosophy now. We have an understanding that things are different in the world, much different. This isn’t Mick buying a few crocked semi famous faces to grind our way through the season to come. This is us with a new idea and a new way. We look beyond this table of the English Premier League as a stepping stone to greater more lofty paths.

We are scarred for sure. Warnock, Holloway, Bruce. Jota rolling on the floor, Coady being sent off, Neves leaving the field of play after a ridiculous red card. The Referees we have endured, the ire of clubs PR machines planting stories in the press. The Leeds chairman vilifying us, sending letters to the EFL. Bruce, Dr fucking Xi or whatever his face is. Bristol away, Bennett. Cardiff, when they tried to crush us under the last minute penalties, the 40 yard throws, the evil ministrations of Colin Wanker. There have been times when the team were still learning and a defeat here and there klead to nervous breakdowns among a few. But I never stopped believing. You have to be honest and true to attain victory and we have done that even if they will accuse in the future. Nuno has done this. Humility in the face of crushing blackness, honesty in the face of lies, innocence under the judgement of liars and thieves. I am proud to have you representing our town. Nuno you are a treasure in the heart of our City.

We have come together as a fan base, we have believed too and we have fought as well as the team. Those journeys up and down motorways, trying to find a pub, strange roads and traffic systems, the cold always the fucking cold. But together we have fought other battles. Rumours on social media, the accusations shot down from the ether with facts and research, well defined answers and come backs, humour, art, and often brilliant new ways of restating our position in the world. It is no longer an abyss we step at the edge of. That experience is now Steve Bruces. He will look upon the bottomless pit and fucking forsake his very existence and that of his club. We will be at the foot of a great mountain and we will be fresh, ready to climb, and we are laughing. Top ten next season? Who would get ahead of themselves and think such a thing? Me I suppose. I see us as being unstoppable now. Fosun, Nuno, all the warrior like ideas now unleashed will be a hard storm to survive for many teams next year. May I think like this? Well I did at the beginning of this season. Something in the whole soul vibe of this club speaks to me. Tells me to fucking hang on because it’s going to be crazier than ever.

What do we do now? We plan. This is one great battle in a greater war. This is the way we and Nuno do things. Promotion is done and tonight I have some Jamaican Rum I want to get acquainted with while I plot. Because there will be battles to come. Nuno will know this. Hasn’t he said that he only thinks of the next match, the next battle? I will allow myself one drunken night tonight. Tomorrow another stepping stone, another thankless Championship team. Another idealess footballing side as opponents. By God we have some soul in this team don’t we? Who would have expected the magic of Neves/Jota/Cavaleiro/Costa/Saiss or N’Diaye/Doherty/Douglas/Bennett/Ruddy or that we would have a Captain like Connor Coady. I’m speechless. The art of Wolves, of Nuno writ large upon the desolate football grounds we have gone to. The shit beers, the awful facilities and now we have gone through the fires and come out forged much harder and tougher I’m sure. I know one man will. You Carl Ikeme, what say you? I want you here now with us and perhaps that chemo burn and fatigue will stop you but when we are Champions in my mind at least you will be there in the hearts of everyone who rejoices and I pray to God that the love we feel for you will give you strength and power.

But tonight this is for my team and my wafflings will not do justice to the beautiful edifice Nuno and the Wolves staff has built. Tonight I will raise my glass to them in thanks. This is for Shaky Jake who kicked his smack habit this season. This is for Gaz Mastic who struggles to pay for his season ticket but still manages every year. This is for Horace and everybody who has helped me through this intense season and you know who you are. Stepping stones brothers and sisters.

Notes on a pitch invasion


This pitch invasion thing bothers me. I was all for it of course but I can barely go for a piss with this leg…I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before? Any way…yeah Laurie Garglypimple has asked fans not to run on the pitch, I was thinking if it was Moxey and Morgan then I wouldn’t have give a fuck about what they thought and I would be on. Running around like a tit then stopping because you’re out of breath, you wave your arms, jump a bit, but then you’re knackered and you’ve run out of ideas. You wander around a bit, sing some songs, clap, wander around again. Some folk are running over to the away fans….you know the story. Like I said if it was Morgan in charge I wouldn’t listen.

Thing is man. The press, broadcast media, the FA, the EFL every club hierarchy in the league will be watching us. Ready to fucking pounce. We know what they are like. We have already seen it this season. All the bullshit propaganda, the lies, the deceit, they spread it like a virus. They think we should get back in our place. They don’t fucking like these sexy Portuguese football players, they don’t like Nuno either, he’s not one of us no, he’s one of them, won’t abide by the rules, all that bullshit.

If we invade the pitch they will pounce, they will be on us like a Rat at a potato. Imagine it for a second, the column inches they will give us, the reports the bullshit, every legal weapon they have they will use against us. It’s bound to kick off. The Brummies wont like it. We will want to take the piss. It’s a win win situation for the noses, their doughnuts get a reputation and we get doors kicked through at 6am by the goon squad. The club gets sanctioned and fined and the FA will have an excuse to put some bullshit investigation together.

I say fuck invading the pitch. I want to see my team win the game, walk onto the pitch celebrating, see their kids in Wolves strips maybe booting a ball about. I want to see how sexy their wives and girlfriends are.  I want to see Nuno striding across the pitch instead of Liam from Low Hill filming his self running into the centre circle singing Nuno had a dream. Maybe I’m too old now and wiser. But I don’t want aggro Sunday man I want happy shit, people singing and dancing around a bit. Do what you want man but lets do what Garglypimple says and respect their shit. This is where they do their work and magic where they have entrusted and invested huge amounts of money into the club. We must respect this and be as progressive as the club have been. Evolve a little bit and for once take the word of the man as honest and thoughtful.

These Are The Days My Friend


It was the second time I had jumped out of my wheelchair, stepped into the puddle of water at the bottom of the North bank, smashed my toes against the concrete barrier and the pain arced up my leg right into my hip. The pain actually made me feel sick. I wondered for a second if I was actually going to vomit as I felt the edges of my fractured bones grate against each other. I wanted to shout out to the universe and to the Gods above that this, this was what football was. This my friends was the totality of things, the azimuth of idea, the critical point where football, Wolves football had turned into the religious. Fuck, how I have waxed about poise and beauty, how I have sat here and typed out reams of cack about how fucking great we are and then this.

I know Neves is pointing at his head because that’s what he does, and I’m doing it too as the whole of Molineux erupts. The Steward in front of me is looking at the pitch with disbelief. I’ve got my plaster wet again. I don’t care.

Jota had scored and it was beautiful. I sat back down in my wheelchair and idly thought about how I would write about it. It was good. The through ball from Boly was threading a needle type shit. He had resigned the Derby midfield into sightless mannequins. He had made them redundant with that ball to Jota. So Jota did his thing, the jink, the turn and goal. Bang. Straight out of the chair and smash into the concrete. Yes, this was what it was all about. Still we hadn’t got out of second gear really and we were ascendant. We were chilling and I couldn’t be surprised by anything at all but…

Douglas puts in a corner, it’s the second half. I’m not sure what to expect. Those corners Duggo sticks in slices the air always, Afobe stands ready to flick on for whoever has thrown themselves into the box. The air is misty with pyro madness, smoke and mirrors this side. Who knows what to expect. The ball hangs for sure. Time is just slices and moments of anticipation with this team and we stand and observe. Our hearts are nailed to these moments. A Derby defender heads away out of the box and everything is still. You see I’m on my feet by now. Bones smash against bone. I’m not supposed to stand up but here I am. That pain is nothing. Because Neves. Our Ruben is in space. All the Molineux is a stage right now but the spotlight is on him. There is a strange silence. I am sure I can here the flags flapping on top of the Steve Bull stand. The ropes tapping against the flag poles.

He is in space because that is his place here. Everything is channelled into this moment. I suspect as that ball hangs in the air that even the Gods stop their governance of the universe and pause for a second to cast an eye upon him. The ball falls. Every player is motionless as they are about to witness something they will never see again. We stand motionless. Watch the video replay. Watch the crowd. Listen to the audio. There is a hush. There is a moment of intense anticipation and time is flowing on but slower and more refined in some ways. It slows down because for some reason we have already anticipated something divine and magical. Wizardry this is. Not Harry Potter bollocks but something deeper, something more divine.

Something is happening to the universe. Something is different in the wide schemes of surviving and eating, fucking, working, drinking, looking, hearing. Something is going to happen. We knew it and everybody knew it. His first touch is errant. A fumble if you will. It’s the dark side of the whole thing but an integral one. I alluded to the shadowy parts of our play. Sometimes you have to see the darkness for what it is to recognise the light. The errant touch that Neves had moved the ball slightly behind him. It was not optimal, it was not perfect but it was right in the wider scheme of things. It was a part of the whole delicious thing, the experience.

What should he do? Pass? There is a tangle of players in the box. This tangle is impossible to define in the timescale. He has to shoot, it is ordained in the wider topics of this season that he shoots or has a pop. He has to adjust his weight, it is too far forward now so his weight is balanced by swinging his right foot back further than it should comfortably be so his left leg and foot is now off the floor to give him the freedom to move that foot back to connect. He swings his foot in a beautiful arc. This arc has it’s own mathematics and I am reminded of the ‘Golden Mean’ the beauty of nature and of the natural world. It swings easily. It connects. The thing is my friends we knew straight away that it was a goal before he had even connected. Why? Because it was such a beautiful goal carrying such pathos and gravitas that time flowed forwards to a split second after the ball had hit the back of the net and recoiled back through time to the moment he hit it with his foot. My arms were aloft. Ruben isn’t even looking at the goal. There is nothing except him and the ball. He could be in the middle of a deserted landscape.

The bones creaked, here was the moment of course. He hits and the ball flies in slow motion. Time is relative now and flexible. It seemed like twenty seconds to me as I wasn’t allowing myself a breath but I was filling my lungs ready. Intake the air, the sour smell of the pyro, the stink of somebody vaping nearby, the stink of the brackish water that collects at the bottom of the Northbank concourse. This air filled me. The ball arced and fell as all bodies must do under the dominion of gravity but only enough, only the amount it needed to creep under the crossbar and beyond the outstretched finger of the Derby goalie.

A frozen tableau. Players static and unconnected with this event. We were too and then an eruption, a moment when all those dark days of the past were obliterated by such an intense burst of light that it seemed like the demons were blasted out of every dark corner of Molineux in that moment leaving the ghosts and us, the team and Nuno. This was the act of baptism, a cleansing of the soul, total immersion in the waters of football so gracious and holy that no evil could withstand it.

Neves wheels away pointing to his head. He does that because he knows that beauty lies in creative though, in the dynamic and the novel. Three pounds of meat. That is what the brain is. It nestles inside bone and defines our lives with moments such as this. What is promotion? What is going up as Champions? What concepts could be greater than this goal? I turn to Horace and just say ‘Fucking hell’ because that is all in my infinite ignorance I could say. The stadium erupts, the flags wave..

We’ve got Neves…Ruben Neves, I just don’t think you understand….

Who can understand this? Who can make any sense out of it? I can’t. I’ve never seen a goal like it. I’ve never been dumbstruck by anything, I’ve always had an opinion or some fucking senseless waffle to give out to anybody that would listen. But this I can’t. It has happened a lot this season. You know the stories, you can read them here. But this? No fucking way.

What happened during the rest of the match? I don’t really know. It was a foggy weird thing where my mind was that smashed to bits by the goal that I didn’t really take much more in. I had filled my head with it, breathed it in, heard it, felt it, the goal seeped into my pores and made everything else about that goal, that moment. And how many moments we have had eh? Every match has been filled with pathos and drama, every minute I have been rendered speechless by it. Yes, it has driven me towards a nervous paroxysm of joy, hate and violence, of speech that would turn a dockers hair white. But this my friends is it. If I have ever seen a statement of where we are going to be then this is it.

I know that many will be dampening the joy with their statements that we will not hang onto Neves. That the glamour clubs will come calling. But where would the beauty fit in in the disgusting political atmospheres of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, or Tottenham? Where would this beauty that Neves displays find a home in any of these redundant ideas of clubs? Glamour? These clubs have all the trappings of a history and a past but they are just that. Historical and the past. Old films, trophies won, things that inhabit memory and faded history. They are nothing now.

What would Neves or Jota or Boly have in these places? To inhabit the same dressing rooms as players on 150k a week, who have one eye on their bank balance and one eye on possible contenders for their place. These stadiums, these clubs lack a philosophy and lack idea. Neves may go to one, but without this idea what will he do there? He would shrivel inside, he would die a little. But here under the tutelage of Nuno he would develop both mentally and physically, he would thrive on novelty and knowledge. We humans build constantly in our minds, hearts and physically. Here at Molineux we build too. Here is where Neves will find his true home, his place in the world.

For us? We are merely the audience I suppose. We will continue to struggle to pay the bills, to keep a roof over our heads, and ignore the societal ills that plague the town in sleeping bags in the subways and tents pitched behind big stores and canal sides. What is it to do with us minimum wage poor bastards. Hope I suppose that we are witness to some things that seem right in the world. That there is some beauty among the ugliness and the depravity.

Ruben and the team have given us that at least and I am more than thankful. Now I can stand proud and say yes, I was there when he scored that goal and maybe in the future he will score better, or others may too. But I can say I was there and saw this. And it will be nestled within my heart forever and I will be sure that in this ugly life there is some beauty and there is hope.

I want to hug you all. I’m emotional and tired but happy. This is our time my friends. That goal has removed the darkness from the stadium. It has seen beauty again and desire, skill, masterful football not seen for many years. The demons inside the nooks and crannies of this stadium are gone. The Tesco bags the shit put over our seats during the Moxey years are burned to a cinder and the wind has blown the ashes back to that Sandwell shit hole where they belong. A baptism this was, a cleansing of the soul. Roger Johnson, Glen Hoddle, Magoo, Lambert, Morgan, all gone now and the wind that blew the drizzle into our faces has blown all the negative energy away from us. Thank fuck.

Ruben, that was more than a goal my friend.

The Fundamentals of Nunoism


Football isn’t something we invented but it is something we (as a club) now understand. It is a very complex sport and I sometimes struggle to understand it, often needing others to explain integral events and parts of the game I remain ignorant about. I have never played football at a competitive level. But I do suspect that Nuno and the ‘kwan’ around the club has a more important and meaningful part in our current success that I previously discussed. I think Nuno means more than we can easily understand. Football here at the moment transcends the idea of football as we know it and understand it. Although we may wax lyrical about the ‘front end’ of the play ie the players and tactics. I suspect there is something else at play too. Something different. Can we make statements about a subject so close to our hearts without fear? Perhaps. Nuno has discussed the bond between players and the crowd. It becomes metaphysical then and intimate, all memes which should have no truck with the  quantitative point accumulations of the games we have played.

I suspect that there are aspects of this Nunoism that we may forever be lost in the fogs of our ignorance. The facets which he displays in his post match celebrations, the measured tones during interviews, his humility, his unforgiving destruction of the opponents ideas. If Nuno has this relationship with our support then it is transcendent of both football and politics. So it becomes a fourth dimension. 4th Dimensional football in other words. We have been imprisoned by our past and our fears for the future so we inhabited a lone space and were held by it, especially during the Morgan era. Now of course Nuno only waxes a little about previous games, he does not dwell on them, he always looks forward. I would like to call this the ‘directions of Nuno’ always forward, always looking towards the next match and the next battle. Everything driven on towards the future. But it is not entropy, the movement of an ordered system towards chaos and disorder but actually the reverse. Chaos towards Order. This is a ‘meta-statement’ where Nuno has not only galvanised the styles of football we play but also affected the way we watch it and interact with it. Often the crowd noise at Molineux this season has been subdued somewhat apart from when we play a rival or a neighbour. It is subdued I suspect because we haven’t mentally caught up with what we are watching. Nuno has created a veritable dream world of football. The last minute winner at Bristol City away, Cardiff the other night, the Battle of Boro. All benchmarks of the dream world he has made us and one in which few teams even in the Premiership have experienced.  Nuno, his technical staff, FOSUN, Jeff Shi, the staff at Molineux have all come together to give us an experience of being at last totally alive when it comes to watching our team. In essence this direction of Nuno can cut back into the past, the present and the future all ensconced in the endless push forwards into the future. It has confused us within the stadium and it has brought opposition fans to a state of apoplexy and confusion which results in an endless tirade of ill thought abuse from them and from the media a typical ham fisted and insult ridden dogma of self destructive polemic crap.

Even if the football and ethos we have is built from the familiar and traditional aspects of the game every single match is used as a building block for the next part of the story, the next match always. We are in a dream world of Nunos making and it will only be when we are awake and the season is finished we will be able to look back and see that Nuno had indeed hypnotised us with his magical skills. We will see that most of the matches were dreams, mixed in with a few nightmares just to balance it out. The stadium is the stage where this whole drama is played out and we watch it with eyes wide until we shuffle out when promotion is gained, we will rub our eyes and wonder what happened, why we are happy and some have tears in their eyes.

The rhythm? Wolves have been temporal in their football this season. Every pass has a beat to it and its own cadence. We watch and the pass here and to there is ordered and defined, hypnotic. We are being lulled by beautiful football that I suspect if we count the passes and the tackles would exactly match our own heartbeats. Thus we are hypnotised and we are taken into a netherworld of Nunos making. In the Lambert and Saunders/Hoddle years we were ostracised from this experience. We never really felt part of the whole thing. The results of course reflected our own disenchantment with the way the club was being run. But we were louder then. We did feel it. but how much did we actually feel if we were pushed away so much by boardroom bullshit? So now our return to the Premiership is seen less as a return to a place where we deserve to be and is our spiritual home but more of an observation at the time that has passed since we were there. See the famous banner unveiled at Cardiff when we were promoted. 19 years. Time has trapped us, it has moved around us and through us even if we were trapped within the stadium and intent on the dramatics of games and transfers etc.

We will travel to the Premiership on a tide of glorious victories but we will enter that place changed. It will not be as it was before. The Premiership will be alien to us and strange because we have suffered for so long being away from it. The cold of Barnsley away and the desolate identikit stadiums around the country will still ache at us and remind us of where we have been but the directions that Nuno has given us ‘forward’ should annihilate the memories of them in the end for sure. But those memories will be relentless. The 1-5 Albion game, the times when we were destroyed by teams evidently more attuned to the ideas of football than Mick Mcarthy ever was. Those pains of the past we drag with us as we travel towards the new dawn of Nunoism. The speed in which he drives us towards success will pull those memories with us in our slipstream.

But even if we can’t escape the memories of the past we can transcend them to some extent and that is what Nuno has given us. We can transcend the memories of the past by making newer more positive ones. Coady slowly raises his arms after his beautiful pass to Helder Costa during the Burton game. Nuno running on the pitch after the Cardiff game, pick any you want. Do you remember turning to your mate on the stands and hugging them tight, shouting in their ear, do you remember singing in the dark streets after a game? The songs we sing? The footballing moments that left us speechless? Now we have to utilise these positive moments to construct a new idea of what we are and how we play football. These are the constructs of positivity that will propel us through the games we will play in the future. The bad memories too. How often have I read on social media posts about games we lost so badly, days where it seemed there was no release from this existence as a sad Wolves fan. The last minute equalisers, the crumbling of our ideas and the days of decrepit dinosaur players and coaches. They are still important and yes, they are building blocks as well. For we have to experience the blackness to understand the light. We transcend the ideas of football by zipping backwards and forwards through the years and experiencing each moment through a photograph, a piece of film, even the corner shop song. Thus transcending we move ourselves higher and higher. Transcend but do we lose a connection with what’s going on at Molineux? Maybe a little. There is so much negativity in the past sprinkled with positive moments that we are confused about our place within the whole idea. I suspect this is why we have Nuno. With him we may look upon this confusing landscape and see specific parts and occurrences, incidents and events, we can make sense of them because Nuno has become an interface for our experiences in the past with our expectation of the future. Surely as well our memories are only made concrete by the scars we have suffered too? These scars I know only too well and they pull you back time and time again to periods of pain. We have been scarred by Morgan and Moxey and we return to them constantly to make sense of this new beginning and Nuno (although he never mentions them) displays their inadequacy by shining that bright light in the darkest shadows of Molineux.

When Nuno runs onto the pitch at Molineux in delight it is he that shows us the connection between those days and these. It is Nuno when showing passion and humility lays bare the stoic ministration and misery of the Moxey years. It is Nuno that connects us to our past although he himself is abstracted from it. It is our love for Nuno that builds a bridge between the future and the past so that we may make sense of all of those years in the wilderness. In these times now we will discover who we are and what our relationship with this club actually is. There will be no more ignorance, no more confusion. We now have the ability to assimilate the past with our future and we may be unstoppable due to this metaphysical transformation of our club and team. Our love for our team will tangle with our own lives and we may see at last how important our club and town is to us as we stumble through this strange trip called life. We will come to know that every tear we spilled in the past is just as important as our joys and laughter. This is art in it’s greatest form. The ability to transcend a mere sporting event, a football match, a few hours sinking beers with people you love is the greatest of art works on a par with the greatest art works ever presented to the world. This art should give us courage for the future and Nuno is the artist that drives this passion. It should give us hope for the trials that come because we now know our team and this place called Molineux is our life and does give us meaning as we gather the madness of the past with the hopes for the future. It’s an art that is total love and will always transcend ideas. In the future most of these feelings may be lost in our day to day lives, destroyed under the forensic eye of the caustic medias and the sports page, the blog and the tweet. It is our duty to save this love and to keep it safe within our own minds as the world outside seeks to trample them under the foot of banality and clicks.

Nuno will see this next few weeks as a challenge and will not let these strange philosophical thoughts endanger his idea. He is a Warrior and that’s what warriors do. But we must hold onto every memory we have of this season to prepare for the next. We do that with trust and love, creativity and dynamism. We must display in the stands around Molineux what Nuno does within it.

The Blessed Wings of Nuno


“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.” ‘Look into the Spaces John Ruddy’ – Southbank Resistance March 18th 2018

How? What do I say? I actually held my hands up to the sky and said to God.

‘Dude? Forget about the concept of victory and of rewards and look at our faces. Look at our hands and bodies scarred from this season. Look at our hopeful faces. For isn’t hope also love?’ I hoped he would look at us and think yeah. Fuck it. Let them have some love and some hope and maybe it is more important than football. Maybe it is a victory of good over evil. I suspect God may have thought also that here is a man in Nuno who’s thoughts also transcend the concept of football that his mind seeks and discovers new ways of loving the game and that these concepts are like Gods own thoughts and everything is good. Let that ball be saved by John Ruddy. Didn’t I love you when they all denigrated you? Yes John Ruddy have the courage and the intellectual almost telepathic ability to stroke that ball away. Oh my days. Look into the spaces John Ruddy. Feel the path of that ball before it is struck, use the power of the idea to see into the future and sweep your hand across the face of the goal, caress the ball past the post. His face is a picture and Coady is almost crying with relief that he was not to blame for an equaliser. But I would never blame you Conor, never. You stand here with me and I will be proud.

Is this the greatest of games? Can we say that it was a victory more important than sport and the concept of stylised combat? Warnockian bad vibes permeated all of it but more importantly and in my mind what changed the outcome was that Warnocks team had stopped believing in him. You could see it in their faces.. drawn, pale and tired. Bereft of belief. They were cattle driven over the edge of the cliff by the harsh ministrations of their leader. They fought in a fashion, they humped the ball like ping pong. Boingy bollocks. You could see their lack of passion exhibited in every errant hoof back up the pitch. Neves rarely had a tackle to make. He instead chose to take his second free kick. What was this goal? What was it seriously? I was a glide of passion held aloft in the air inch perfect. As graceful as a Russian ballet dancer. It was in the air for hours I thought. Time did indeed stand still as it floated across that green stage into the top corner. The Cardiff goalie got a fingertip to it and I bet you it burned his fingers. He seemed reticent to touch it, I suspect it was that beautiful a free kick that the Goalie was embarrassed to touch it, to put his unclean hands upon it. Bang, One fucking nil. I see our flag in the corner where the Wolves fans are and I look for my friends but I cant see anything through the tears. Oh Ruben you beauty. How you too have blessed us. I’ve never seen a player like you at this club. Holy you are and perhaps one day you too will look back and say these days were some of the best you had.

“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…” ‘Look into the Spaces John Ruddy’ – Southbank Resistance March 18th 2018

At Hull I watched John Ruddy make a save that was unbelievable and twisty, getting his arm around his back, underneath him to palm away a shot. I was yards away my friends and I had a little moment for sure. Last night John Ruddy gave us something I think. He definitely channelled that feeling that inescapable feeling and groove that perhaps yes, it was a time when the Gods looked down on us and smiled I suppose. But what else could the metaphysical universe do when faced with the charnel house football that Warnock gives us. Hope again I suppose, that yes ideas are the most important thing, and good ideas must trump bad ones, perhaps evil ones too. But the team.

I know Coady was popping a zit on the Cardiff players back when he went over in the penalty area. It was the softest of touches and the colour drained away from Coadys face as the whistle was blown for a penalty. But what say you Coady? Trust. That’s what I had. I know you well Conor Coady, at least the player you are. My heart broke at your pain brother but I knew you would pick yourself up and put your shoulder to the wall again. John Ruddy gets to his left and palms away the ball. I stand up forgetting I have one leg again and I fall onto the rug that is full of Bonio crumbs and half chewed pieces of rawhide bone. My face is in that carpet and I’m screaming into it in pain and in absolute fucking joy. It is what must happen. We can’t let these motherfuckers win. This is our time. How dare you Mike Dean you bald headed little freak. The ball is pinging around. It’s injury time plus surely and I’m trying to get back up but I cant and I’m stuck. I can feel the Bonio crumbs on my face and my leg is shooting pains right up to my hip. The ball comes in, it’s a scramble a fucking mosh pit of bodies. They should score yes? No they can’t the ball pings off to the left and one of their players goes down on the edge of the box. I don’t see any contact at all in the replay as I brush the crumbs off and try to stop the dogs from licking my eyes as I struggle to regain composure. The laptop is on the floor too. I’m stuck. Dog lick wet face second penalty. I don’t know what to think but I know now that this is not Warnocks time. There is only so much fucking rage voodoo you can use to ‘inspire’ your players Warnock. Only so much rage fuel you can use to instigate your team. But that fucking fuel is running low Warnock. The Cardiff body steps back. Shoots. hits the bar, they missed. I shout again. These words have no meaning except joy and I watch this with belief now. I’m not surprised by any of it. Boro showed me. Bristol away showed me.

I have a brief negative feeling that I’m not there but my battle was at Villa park. My season defined there in pain and rage. This is for my friends who travelled down and this is the very least they deserve. My heart swelled for them, those miles they have travelled up and down the country and for a moment their joy inside that stadium travelled through the ether and affected me as well. I was there, I knew what the feeling was, the joy, the madness and the limbs. I knew what was happening in their hearts and that was communicated to me like a glowing ray of golden light up the motorway off at the junction at Oldbury. Up the Birmingham new road, straight to me. Jesus Christ man. Horace rings me minutes after the game has finished and I can hear the emotion in his voice, he is close to weeping too but I’m being brave, I was insulated by distance but Horace has closed those miles between me and Cardiff and the emotion is raw and ‘there’ and we talk about the match. I want this for him and for everybody else. I want them to feel the joys and the pleasure of this victory.

Nuno is beating his chest and the badge in front of Wolves fans. Here is our warrior. I’ve said before you can transpose Nuno into any ancient warrior King and he would not lack anything. Whatever Nuno does in the future he will always remember this season. The letters to the EFL, the assaults on his players, the snide back biting from his supposed equals, the dodgy and bent Referees, the propaganda, the endless fume and castigation of his idea and of his team. He will remember this for sure and this season will give him hope for the future that good can transcend evil. The British coaches do lack many things. Ideas for sure, they mistake bitterness and violence for passion, they profess ideas too that whither away in the cold light of day. They provoke noting but embarrassment at the state of our homegrown managerial nous.

At the end of the game Nuno gives an interview that is loaded with an honest humility and the offer of an Olive branch to Pulis and Warnock. I salute this, in fact it makes me want to weep again and I’m sitting down now still rampant and  adrenalin fuelled. Humility and beauty, that’s what Nuno showed. This man is greater than anything I have ever known. I suspect that maybe Nuno was brought to us as a gift not just an appointment. Now I would build a statue to him and I would put it right in front of the subway at the back of the Southbank. Nuno will be shielding his eyes as he looks towards the West and the setting of the sun. What honours has he brought us? Nothing yet of course in terms of trophies and trinkets, but he has brought us hope and has taught us the meaning of greatness, of ideas that are stronger than the opposition. A legacy too maybe, and a model that will be followed by others that come after him. He gives us hope that dark clouds do have a sun behind them, and that sun will peek out at one point and we can turn our faces to it and feel the warm rays touch us. Hope. Fucking hell how we have hoped. The ghosts of Molineux don’t wail any more for sure. Those ghosts shine for us now and light the paths ahead of us and the trials to come.

It was all emotional and I don’t really know what to say. Sometimes words are just senseless things that try to describe concepts that are far greater than could ever be described. This is one of those times I think. I sit here and see Nuno running onto the pitch to celebrate. Fucking hell, the passion of this man. How do you write about that? How do you describe his face? His technical staff glaring at Warnock? How do you describe Doherty grinning at Warnock? How do you describe the limbs in the corner of the ground? How can you describe Warnock telling everybody to fuck off?

We thought Boro would be a defining moment in our season, a game to end all games and yet we are presented with this too? How can we deal with it? I don’t know, I haven’t got a fucking clue. The way I do it is by knowing we will be playing ‘those’ big teams next year. There will be more moments of madness and more fume from other Managers. There will be pantomimes like we have never seen but we must also remember that the whole steel of the Wolves teams to come will be forged in games like this, hardened off and made strong in the crucibles of Warnock/Pulis bongoball. God bless Nuno, thank fuck we have him to hold our hands and lead us through this madness.

I wake up this morning and I still have Bonio crumbs in my hair after last nights contact with the living room rug. My leg hurts. But my heart is swollen with love and yes it does take away the pain a little, it does make the day seem brighter.