Photo 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.