No Mans Land


I was sheltering under Perry Hall bridge yesterday with the dogs as it has started to fucking pelt it down. Me and Gaz Mastic who has appeared out of no where his little legs flapping and his little Staffy ‘Mucky’ dragging him along in a rush for shelter. Where has the sun gone? It’s a bit cold. I came out in a t-shirt which is now sticking to my back. I scrounge a roll up off Gaz. He smokes ‘Drum’ loves it. His baccy is dry unlike us. His rizlas are a bit damp as I try to take out one and pull twenty out. Bollocks.

‘Shouldn’t have sold him Mikey…he did us a great job last season’ Gaz says. I like listening to him. He’s got that Willenhall Black Country twang going on. Of course I think that perhaps Gaz might have a point or not, I don’t know. It’s hard to roll a fag with two Staffys trying to pull you in half so then can lick a piss covered nettle fragment. Barry Douglas. You would think he would buy some new jeans with the money he earns. Look. His fucking knees are hanging out of them!

Opinions are great, I love them. I love it when people talk to me about my team and discuss the whys and wherefores of the tactics, team sheet, management. Everything. I disagree with most of what I hear but that is also good. You see it’s all information, all data. I have lost count of the times people have said something to me about the team that has made me re-evaluate what my thoughts were. A prime example is Dave Edwards. I was a total fan boy. I loved singing his song at Molineux. I loved everything about Dave…until somebody sat down next to me and dis-assembled his method of playing football. This dude took Dave Edwards apart succinctly and academically. This fella knew more about football than me and it was great to listen to him. I took all of what he said on-board and watched the next weeks match with everything he had told me ‘on-board’.

Fuck. He was right. Dave Edwards did point a lot. Then Dave went to Reading. Bye Dave. Gaz is muttering about beer, then a Midfielder, then a Striker, then a left back or something. He wants all these positions filled in our team. I just nod and try to keep the roll up from curling up like a forest fire. This baccy is dry and stengy. On social media the fume is real. Threats and counter threats, madness and crazy shit. People losing their shit. People saying shit. It’s shit. Not fun and not informative. But it is what it is. It is pure 2017 shizz. Same stuff as what we read last year. We lose at Derby in a friendly. Jesus Christ we are doomed. The tendrils of fear that roll through our stomachs when a bit of a bobbly road comes up. We are assembling a team that can challenge for the top half of the Premier league. We are two weeks away from our peak. Physically at least. Mentally who knows?


‘Am I a Superfan Gaz?’ Gaz chuckles…’I wish ya was I’d stand you in the corner of the bedroom’. I laugh but I don’t get it for a few seconds. A shoal of Roach swim past us as the dogs smell patches of historical piss under the bridge. A dude runs past in full running gear, he’s running fast like he’s trying to escape something. He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself.

Sometimes I don’t enjoy Social Media. It can be full of Vampires you see. Especially when you interact with any of them. They can suck all the joy out of your day in seconds with a few choice words. Sheila from Wordsley or Liam from Penkridge, a dichotomy if ever there was one. Two sides of the same coin really. One laments as he gobbles can after can of Monster while he plays Football Manager or twiddles with his fantasy football team. The other tweeting as she drives herself or the kids around swerving in and out of traffic. One peels off the pepperoni stuck on his tshirt which is stretched over his fat gut. The other channels her menopause angst at slights on Barry Douglas’s character…she will never forget that time she flicked her bean over Baz in his Stoney as she digested a bottle of Lambrini. Our Monster drinker checks Sheilas entire social media history for an angle he can get at her. Vampires mate.

This two weeks before the season starts is No-Mans-Land mate. What is a Superfan? It’s somebody who has nothing in their lives apart from Wolves. So everything is amplified, everything is LOUD, every subtle twitch of a finger on a screen is a fucking declaration of war. We lose our minds over a rumour of Douglas and Nuno falling out with each other. We extrapolate our bitter and twisted simple existence onto those we support and look to for support. We lose our minds that we haven’t got anybody in the club in the positions we want filled. We want, and we are often disappointed. They don’t have his size of shirt in the club shop and for fucks sake he’s going on holiday Monday. It’s a ‘fallacy’ and a ‘fucking disgrace’ that he can’t get his kids the new fucking shirt. I haven’t been able to spunk fifty quid on a shirt for years mate. I signed a few books behind the North Bank a few weeks ago. A fella came out of the club shop with five carrier bags worth of Wolves stuff. ‘I’ve just blown £600 in there’ he says to his kid who was a bit slow catching up as they walked to their car. The kid looks bored. Dad gets in the car and I watch him fingering his buys as his kid looks out of the window at me signing books. Best Wishes. Petalengro. My match day expenditure will be a Coffee somewhere before the match…in fact I know the place well. A coffee machine. A mug of Latte something. £2.10p. I used to teach the girl who owns the place. She will put me a chewy cookie on my plate for free as I used to give her the odd roll-up at break time because ‘Mikey if I dow have a fag at break I’m gonna fucking lose it’.

Trust in Nuno? Fuck off. Nuno is a giant among us, philosophically and footballing wise but does that leave him untouchable? Of course it doesn’t. Fosun are the same, a great business that dwarfs anything we have seen before. Must we bow down and tug our forelocks to our Chinese Overseers? Nah mate, not a chance. When you stop debate and exchanging ideas then the force that the whole crazy train has just grinds to a halt. Do I trust Nuno? Fuck yes. Who am I to challenge his thoughts? I am untangling dog leads and trying to peel a Rizla off a stuck together mass of skins. I’m fucking useless, I don’t know why anybody listens to me at all. Do I trust Fosun? Of course I do…there isn’t any intellectual basis for me to challenge their ideas…yet.

Monster gobbling Liam says that Douglas doesn’t defend as well as most Premier league players in similar positions. He posts a graph. It’s interesting and correct. Douglas lack the ability to attack a player running towards him. His covering play isn’t brilliant. Sheila says that she feels that John Ruddy has been unfairly treated what with the Ikeme news and Patricio coming in under a cacophonous thunder of bean flicking joy. I tend to agree Sheila. So the whole pantomime grinds on like some incredibly fucked up Punch and Judy show. Yes he did! No he didn’t! Yes he did!

But we can we subtly point out some areas that are concern to us? Of course we can. As a club and as supporters we can discuss what’s going on up at Molineux towers whether it’s negative worry-wort bollocks, angry ranting or sublime dismantling of the whole train ride. Because that’s how we make our ideas stronger. By talking and debating things that may seem uncomfortable to our cosy existence at the present time. I remember reading one of those quote sites where some doughnut said ‘Tea women and Busboys always have the greatest ideas’. Who ever said it was right of course. So Liam from Penkridge who jerks off over Brazilian fart porn might have a bloody good point. Sheila from Wordsley might also have one tucked among the Donald Trump memes she loves.

Gaz is talking about his love of fishing as we watch the Roach swim past. I wax a little about the woodcarving I’m doing and we spend ten minutes waxing while the rain blows over and then we part. His little legs flapping, my weird limp. I think maybe these fractured online personalities may have some point in all their invective but I don’t know what it is yet. I’m not looking at them. I’m watching those bastards we are going to play this season. I’m watching their fans closely for propaganda. I’m watching the Media Giants mate, waiting. It’s pointless arguing with those around you when there is a bigger enemy waiting for us.

Football is the craziest fucking thing isn’t it?

Wild Horses


I suppose your life changes a little when you have dangled your feet over the edge of the abyss, then have a little sneeky look over the edge to see what’s going on down there. What is down there? Not a lot my friends.

Carl isn’t going to play in goal any more. Something else has captured his attention. His life. That thing we take for granted most of the time, you never really take any notice of it while you are busy living it. Life is a wild horse you know. When we are young we can spend most of our hours running after it, trying to tame the fucking thing as it runs over the green grass of our existence. We grab it’s mane and hang on as it stampedes across the meadows hanging on for grim death, trying to get on top of it and always getting thrown off. At these times we feel tired and settle ourselves down in the sweet grass looking up at the blue sky until we have the energy to get up and start chasing it again. We do that all the time. For ever in fact. Get up, shake the dust off and again we are running after that beautiful pony all sleek and muscled. It tosses his head and neighs so loud it shakes the ground. Again we chase it, try to get on, get a leg over and fucking hell, see stars as we are dumped back onto the ground. That horse gallops a short distance away, it neighs to the sky, but it’s not laughing at you, it’s encouragement. To sit on it? No.

When I finished my chemotherapy I went for a skate, tried to catch that pony, tried to catch it good. Off it went. Dumped at the bottom of the quarter pipe in Wednesfield skate park. Lying in the dust and the piss, the litter and the crap, holding my ribs trying to catch my breath so I could get back on. Carry on fighting and chasing as the fucking thing has me back on the ground spitting blood out. A bit angry.

Carl is at that point where he is the proverbial would be rider. He’s watched that pony for a year now as he has been too tired to chase it. Sometimes it comes close and sometimes it is far away running over the hills. He glimpsed it you see. When his kids smiled at him. When people showed him some love, when he looked out of his window and saw the wind moving the trees outside, the blue sky. All of this, all of it. But some times it’s dark and you can hardly see the pony running. Sometimes all you hear is it’s hoof steps, a thunder low and bass like. You struggle to see it but just glimpses. Flashes behind the trees, the crashing of the undergrowth.

Carl has decided to retire. I knew he would when I heard about his diagnosis. Sometimes as you sit back resting from chasing that Pony you get a little tired and it’s good to feel the sun on your face and the wind on your skin. You have taken your shoes and socks off and are feeling that cool dew covered meadow grass between your aching feet. You feel like maybe it’s too much trouble chasing that horse around. Sometimes it’s good to just relax.

This post hasn’t even got a football angle. He will not play for us any more. I am sad about that. Ikeme trotting towards the Southbank always filled me with pride in my team. I trusted him. I knew what kind of a player he was but…the abyss, that’s a thing. I knew he would beat it of course. Inside Carls head is the Warrior but also the lover I suppose. Ikeme isn’t daft, he is a Philosopher also, a Wizard between the posts. Long hours having that shit pumped into your veins gives you ample time to think even if the chemical makes you sick, foggy headed and forgetful. Football is now not really important. He will still love it of course and at times he will feel sad that he is not out there fighting and clawing at a fast shot at his goal or wrestling away snothead big centre forwards. Oh fuck yeah he will remember those battles but this fella has just had the hardest battle ever. For his life. Did he catch the Pony? Nah.

You see…there comes a time when the beauty of the horse running free over the grass kind of captivates you. As you sit tired and sweaty, hands peeling from battle, but feeling also the warm sun on your face. You start to appreciate the Horse running. All of a sudden you don’t want to chase it any more, instead you want to admire it. The energy and the delight, happiness as it flicks its mane as it gallops and jumps. This is the point where our Carl is now. Admiration for life and what life is. The courage that the Horse has as it escapes you again and again. But still stays close. Of course as you sit there admiring this Horse it will come closer and closer to you and eventually it will let you stroke it’s flanks, ruffle it’s mane, it will let you give it an apple maybe too. The Horse is quiet and tame not because you chased the thing all your life but because you realise that it’s beauty and it’s freedom should be your life. You will never possess your life but you can admire it and learn to live with it as equals I suppose.

Enjoy these days Carl, they are precious and beautiful. Fulfil your dreams and enjoy your family. Cast your mind forwards and make great plans my Brother. Warriors we are mate, we know both love and war so let those wild horses run where they will. X


Fare Thee Well Man Of The North


God bless you Barry Douglas. Bristol. I was in tears.

My van is fucked. It has a dodgy wheel bearing, suspension issues, a crack in the windscreen, one of the dogs puked in it years ago and the smell never really went. But fucking hell what a vehicle. It has took me to the tops of mountains, it has been filled with half naked models snorting cocaine while I talked about chalk from a geological perspective. They found it hilarious. But my van is not what I need any more. It is still brilliant, but now I want an auto gearbox, a faster responding throttle, petrol, an estate. You see the vehicle I have now hasn’t changed, it’s still my favourite van I’ve ever owned…but I’ve changed. It’s me who isn’t the psychopath any more who does wild things in the mountains. I’ve chilled out. I don’t like driving any more. I want to feel like I am sitting in a comfy chair and I only have to move one foot.

Thing is about Barry is that he hasn’t changed. He’s still the consummate athlete, the dead ball expert, yes, he had much more to his game than that but…fucking hell Leeds are getting a bargain. Barry hasn’t changed but we as a club have. Douglas was a tool we needed for part one, the Championship. Now there is a different problem, an obstacle in the way. That is the pits and pratfalls of the posh end up there. Premier league shit. Things are different up there. Last season we were playing Ron Argoscatalogue and Jemail Jermallionz-Brown or whatever their names were. Now it’s going to be games against Runnio Fastio and Jesus Lukatimgo. Could we expect Barry to face these denizens of the Premier? We will never know. That particular problem must be played out in an alternate universe. But never in this one.

This next stage of the grand plan maybe calls for a nexus if you like of highly talented, skilful, artistic players, around them constantly revolving satellite team who are utilised ruthlessly but with great reward by the subtle management of Nuno and the Fosun entity. We of course will love them and then have to wave goodbye as our club makes a profit on each one which we then utilise in the transfer market buying depressed young Mediterranean men who lack direction. Bringing them under the tutelage of the coach that will be one of the greatest football coaches in the world in the next ten years. They join the team, they learn the philosophy and then they are sent out like Missionaries into the league that has been lacking any viable philosophy for a long time. We will grow. Witness the propaganda already. They are the drums of war being beaten by people that do not like us, and do not like our owners. Dark times ahead of course.

Just a thought. Farewell Barry, but not goodbye. Come and see us soon with Leeds and don’t forget to lose the knowledge you learned (except if you play us again).


Football Fwendz


The sky was the colour of brass. Hot brass. I’ve worked in a foundry, I know what it’s like. That factory was in Walsall too. Outside the Bescot ‘Stadium’ I waited for people and just wandered around in four square yards of space smoking roll ups. The team coaches turn up nearly squashing your humble scribe. Wolves coach is a funky chrome and black air conditioned thing all tinted windows and curvy love. Ajax coach turns up and it’s a Happy Days coach. Poor bastards. All these Ajax players look fit and veiny, tanned. Avoiding the Ajax supporters waiting to see them. All four supporters. A couple of them shout ‘Ejjionkkedahzzuurt’ which I think is a name of one of their players. It sounds like they are having some kind of seizure. ‘Aya Hunkadinka’. I feel like a gonk waiting so close to the players entrance. They might think I want some sort of interaction with them. But what do you say to Cavaleiro or Jota? ‘Orite mate’ and that’s it. Hey Diogo, here’s my 50 squid new shirt. Here’s a permanent marker please scribble your unintelligible signature all over it please. There’s Marc Overmars signing stuff. He looks fit and well. I suck my belly in and wonder about my man tits. These Dutch players trims look like they’ve been moulded on with clay. I haven’t seen one smile yet. Walsall. Happy Days. Burning plastic smells. One of the Stewards has got a woolly hat on. Mate. Walsall.

Helder gets off the Coach. Fucking hell he looks hench. What has he been doing over the summer? Boinging those protein drinks down his neck, eating power foods? Found a Dragon Ball? I wonder if his extra muscle will slow him down. The sun is baking my head. Walsall. I don’t want to say too much about it but fucking hell. What a place that is. I’m feeling inclined to forgive Barnsley on a cold winters day. The whole ethos of Walsall is one lost on me. Their stadium makes me think of terrorising those old 4th division grounds in the 80’s. Funny. Lost in thought for a moment. Bonatini walks past. He doesn’t look happy for some reason. Somebody tells me they left two tickets for tonights Ajax v Walsall match on their dashboard in the car. Some bastard smashed the window and left two more. Bloody hell. Walsall could do with some Ajax and not the footballing variety

Let’s talk about the football. A friendly against Ajax. They have some history although I’m not interested what it is. They have brought about thirty fans over and they are dotted around me. I keep thinking they are being sick but it is them shouting a players name again. They are a loud bunch. A few are drunk too. A few very quiet. Why are they quiet? Ryan Giles is running down the wing again and I can feel his thunder though the ground. He jinks a ball off the edge of his foot and knows where the thing will end up. Away from the presence of the Dutch fella marking him. Dink. He’s off again our Gilesy. It’s the first time I’ve seen him play I think. But he’s a lovely player. The occasional fumble and loss of possession he has is purely initial ‘meshing’ with the team. We flick the ball around with aplomb. Cavaleiro making those diagonals into the box. The sure presence of Doherty. Jota thunders a header in. Our front three are still in first gear. Fair enough they sweat and they puff but it’s early and the subtle Nuno riffs are there right under the brassy sky twirling around the Ajax defence, muted perhaps. Waiting.

Gilesy thunders past again, hooks a leg around an Ajax tanned limb. The player shouts ‘Zrrty uurky zzzt’ at Giles and our young bloke hooks the ball out. 19 years old he is. He looks mature and assured. He doesn’t give a shit. I like that. He’s off again down the wing. Coady is shouting at him about some defensive duty but our Giles doesn’t really listen too much. He can’t be a body in defence all the time. There is a point when he unleashes the combative, running into space with the ball element. That’s good, that’s positive. Nuno is shouting too. Everybody is shouting. These Dutch lads are playing a Champions league game next week. Giles turns his man again and is off. I like him. I think we will see more of his madness this season and I am looking forward to it.

They have attacks. Their bloke has five minutes in our box and bungs a header in. 1-0 to them. Yay! ‘Guurgazzrt oplong zrt’ the Dutch fans shout. Horace tells me this scorer is off to Barcelona. That’s nice. Bye. I’m fixing into this fan friendly thing. I want to throw them down the stairs these Dutch fellas. But no. It’s a friendly. Stop it Mikey.

Boly blocks another foray into our box. Mr Boly is a poetic beautiful thing in defence. Bravery and vision. His foot will appear in mid morning lucid dreams for those Dutch blokes tomorrow. I don’t think he is too bothered about Dutch passy the bally quick and easy stuff. Ajax play some sexy balls around. Neves understands it totally and pings the ball to feet. Poetic like Boly just poems about different things I suppose. Boly has milliseconds to decide. Ruben has two or three. It’s a different quality to one we watched last season in the hellhole of the Championship…Fulham aside of course. It’s enjoyable and artisanal football played by craftsmen who respect each others trade. So there are moments of brilliance. Coady delivering that beautiful pass from the edge of his own box to the feet of a Wolves player 30 yards away. Bonk. Right on the foot. Who is it? Giles again. Boom down the wing he goes again. Neves wants it. A pass here and there between our Gibbs White experience and Neves. Curling between the Ajax midfield threatening. Jota prevalent and alive to any ball. Cavaleiro wanting it. Cav isn’t vocal but his intent is sure and real. Into the box he goes, he shoots. Blocked. The Ajax player grimaces. Flesh slapped Cavaleiro love. Pure and simple. But coming into the ground earlier we pay for parking and give the money to a dude in a reflective coat who looks the fucking spit of Cavaleiro. Helder fends off a lunk of Dutch funk. Physical Helder. He is away and yes. There is a push and Helder lets that push become a deliberate shove and he tumbles to the ground in the penalty area. Peno to us. Ruben steps up and scores. 1-1.

It’s still early days of course. There are new bodies to assimilate. Patricio in the stands wondering what’s going on. He was in Russia the other week getting his World Cup gimp on. Now he’s at Bescot and the hot sun, the eyes stinging from the fumes that roll off the M6 yards away. Nuno demanding action from the touchline. I don’t think the environment even bothers Nuno. It could be an all singing all dancing European super stadium for him, or a gentle park kick about. But his idea is paramount. To play his way. To play the way he wishes. And among the pretty players and the super quick touches of the ball Wolves press. Always pressing. And in defence, poised. Ready again to move, pass, to delight and probe. Still. It’s a friendly and the groove is refined and passion restrained.

There are that many subs I forget who’s come on and gone off. There are players in our new shirts I’ve never seen before. Strange names. It’s all preliminary this stuff. The season is a long way away really and already we look highly dangerous. This momentum from last season shows no real signs of abating. The team still looks hungry. They look focused too. You could see the hunger on Leos face as he sits and watches the game. He wants to be on there, playing, fighting. Rafa Mir makes a run into the final third and for a minute I am seeing Steve Bull running. Fucking hell Mir is fast. He thunders a header too. That Steve Bull-Rafa Mir dichotomy is strong for me. I like him, not because he reminds me of Bully in the way he plays and runs but his intent. This lad will explode this season I think, if Nuno can get him more angry of course. You see Mir has also put on some muscle. I see some close season stochastic fiddling, some long hours in a dark room poring over possible teams we will face. I suspect Nuno and his staff have built up some idea of how we will play against every team already.

Everything is tanned and hot summer happy. Your eyes gently get back to normal away from Walsall and the M6. Your new shirts look beautiful, the football looks beautiful, our players handsome and debonair, confident and eager. Are we confident? Ar. Warming up ay we. As we drove around the back of the stand to get away I saw a bloke having a shit in a corner. Fucking hell.


…And so it begins…nearly


On the Lichfield road sat in the van. There is traffic. The dogs are hot. I’m hot. Everybody is hot. But not Linda Lease-Audi in her white Audi 4×4 who is aggressively dinking around inches off my back bumper in some hurry to do whatever Linda does in her 40k white fat arse carrier. Of course in another world I would have gently tapped my brakes and annoyed her a bit but Linda isn’t important today. She can wiggle her eyebrows all she wants. Now she’s shouting something but my exhaust has fallen off and it’s noisy and the van is full of fumes. She has got purple hair. Nuno has signed a contract extension. I’m asking the woman in Tesco for a pouch of tobacco..

‘Have you got the dead mans leg?’

‘No only Hole in throat and open lung surgery’

‘Ok can I have the Hole in throat packet please’

There is a dichotomy here, I can feel it in my balls. It was sunny last year when our team buggered off to mountain land to do some of that sexy stuff we watched on a shitty GoPro somebody had wired up. Memories eh? They did double team sessions and then went out to dink the ball around some other Euro knobhead team we’d never heard of. It’s happening again. I watched Jota skilling up wearing a pair of flip flops. I saw Costa looking like he had found a magic crystal of henchness and was waxing around with his new muscles. He’s had the Coady trim. Short, business like. A fighting trim.

Coady looks cored up to fuck, looks like he has taken on some advice to ditch the muscle and concentrate on the mobility angle. But you wont move him off the ball. We will see Coady making attacking runs into midfield this season. Trust me. Mobile? He was quite nifty any way but now? Has Nuno given him the green light to impose himself on the upcoming seasons fixtures? I think he has. What does that mean for the team? We may see him chasing down potential attacks from faster opposition players. I see this. Linda Lease-Audi reminds me of a Moth booping a lightbulb. What’s the matter with her. Fucking Star Trek eyebrows, Jesus Christ.

Rui Patricio has come to our club. I’d never heard of him before but he is a goalkeeper and Portuguese so of course I wouldn’t have. He’s very handsome and debonair of course. We have a great looking team apart from Doherty who constantly looks like he just remembered he’s left the cooker on. Patricio eh? I watched some YouTube videos which is the extent of my ‘research’. So automatically I get gigabytes of these graceful, beautiful swallow dives to all areas of his goal. Brave and creative movements where he saves the day again and again for his team. I like him straight away of course. Whatever incentives Uncle Jorge and Uncle Jeff have given him it worked. At least he wont get attacked at Molineux by masked thugs waving belt buckles around. It will be Brian and Gary with a protest bed sheet waving it around shouting incoherently about…something. The biggest injury will be sheet burn. Welcome Rui.

The other addition that thine hand of Nuno the wisest one rested upon is Raul Jiminez. Back to YouTube. Whoah. He can bang them in. But he does other things too. Sexy things with his feet. This lad looks up as well. Gareth Southgate. Shit. I’m struck by that hollow feeling in me belly remembering last nights match against Croatia. God almighty. Croatia Modric is spouting his propaganda on the TV. We ‘underestimated’ Croatia. Fuck off. England beat themselves, we always do. You lot are just bystanders to the greatest tragedy drama in the world. That of the ‘English Footballer’. It’s a dramatic live production of many acts and characters. In some of the most beautiful parts of the world and on the grandest occasions.

Alas my friends, the beauty of it all. Who would fucking swap being a participant in one of these displays? Who would give up the chance to feel this way? We lost but fucking hell we lived. I read the joy of Scottish and Irish fans, the Welsh too. How they bray and celebrate the loss of this team of men who at least kissed the sweet lips of that most troublesome, coy and shyest of Championships. The denizens of those countries may laugh and carouse. But at least we loved and hoped, just for a second. While you distil your bitter thoughts under cloud filled skies and in the greyest of lives.

The close season was filled with this madness. I mean those dull rumblings from last season are still echoing off the houses around here for me. The ghosts of those Championship teams still wail around. I’m sure that when our season kicks off that the wails will be silent for a while. I mean, Cardiff excepted. I don’t see them adopting any philosophy beyond the snap, crackle and pop of last season. I wonder whether I may like to see Cardiff play us again. I have a strange affinity to them I think. Their ugliness makes my team more beautiful. We play a team in Switzerland. Basle. They are a nice team and nice players. Their supporters are nice and everything is still sunny I suppose. We beat them 2-1. Willy Boly clearance at one point. That man knows football. I see him, after football studying in some beautiful European University, sipping coffee outside a Café. But our team are having fun. They are laughing. They look chilled out. Nuno looks pensive. But Nuno? We have your back. How could we not after last season? What you did for us. How you made us feel.

Why did Pickford keep booting the ball upfield? Was it a collapse of our midfield? Would you have taken Kane off? Stirling? Post Mortem football. I was very proud of the team and Southgate. Losing in the semi final is the most English of things. The world cup is a brilliant thing. But why would you need a Cup made of gold to underline that you played some teams and won against all of them. Who were the best team? Belgium? Spain implosions. Argentina. The cup doesn’t represent anything but a very abstract idea I suppose, that through some variable route the team managed to win most of its matches and lose none or one. I’m starting to warm back up now. Soon it will be the opening day. The end of the tabula rasa of everybody on nil points. What stories will it have for us this season? It fucking terrifies me to be honest. I’m not scared of the other teams. Not a bit. I’m scared at what amazing or terrifying things will happen as we traverse the country watching Wolves. Last season was fucking crazy. Now? In the Premier? The volume of insanity will be cacophonous. OK I’m warming up.

If you enjoy these blogs then click the picture below and peruse the book of this thing. 265 pages of me ‘Going on a bit’ about what happened last season and more.