Wolves V Reading – Carabao Cup
If you’re honest with yourselves you can draw parallels between a first round Carabou or whatever Cup game with trying to jerk off to the women’s underwear section in Kays catalogue Spring 1979. It’s hard to concentrate, it’s often hard work and the end result leaves you with a disgusted feeling about your existence, a limp usless arm and a vow to shoplift one of those ‘Fiesta’ magazines next time you’re loading up your paper bag with newspapers in the Newsagents. But it’s also an opportunity to cast a yellowed teary eye over the investment Fosun have made to our under 23 squad. It’s a chance to see what might be coming our way in the near future…pretty much like looking at the women in the September 1977 edition of Fiesta magazine.
Playing against a team currently in the arse end of the Championship isn’t going to get the blood flowing in any way. Charlie Adam for fucks sake. I thought he had retired but there he is, little chubby legs going ten to the dozen as he trundles up and down trying to remember why he was here, maybe having a few thoughts about previous visits to the Golden Palace. Poor Charlie. The Lurpak Kid iterates that ‘he had a wand of a left foot’ while shortly after this statement Adams boings the ball into the North bank from a ‘shot’ of sorts. I bet that woke somebody up. Me and Lurpak exchange side eyes. Reading are a great reminder of how we have dragged ourselves out of the mire we wallowed in for so many years. Kevin Doyle, Alex Rae, ‘that match’ all these things flying through my head before the game. I had almost forgot about Reading as a footballing entity. How these lofty heights make your brain go fuzzy eh? Their team have some insane bad trims. But hey, if you are going to splurge £40 on a haircut at some Hipster barbers you want your moneys worth don’t you? I think most of them had got their moneys worth to be honest but they look like they had just lost a battle with Moms K-Tel Trim-O-Matic (£4.99)
I wasn’t sure about anything that happened before our Lazio lad Bruno trundled a ball goalwards and the Reading Goalie made a right muff up of gathering it up and off it bounced into an open goal. You have to be in it to win it yeah? You have to get that ball going goalwards to get a chance and I enjoyed Brunos contribution. I’ll be honest the chanting ‘Bruno! Bruno! made me have a moment of extreme weirdness fora few seconds. It’s a thing in Wolves football lately that we don’t have many more cracks at the goal through defenders. I mean Palace last week have had joy doing it as most sides we have conceded to this season so far. I like Bruno, I like that hungry feeling he has. Busy and moving, good vision for a pass, he dinked some lovely balls around for sure. So here’s the point where I started to get all sticky and weird. Bruno gets stretchered off after some bastard falls on him. Was it Charlie Adam? Later on our sub Shabani is off with what looked like something horrible. My mind shouted out that it was a fracture or break and to watch him roll around in pain was freaking me out a little after my own experience with leg pain bollocks. Before that Shabba was getting more and more comfortable with the ball and his team mates. I was basking in some sort of confidence that here were two players that could fit in this team of ours and throw their own minds about football into the mix. Of course pride too, before the fall. I was sickened by it to be honest and just wanted to go home at that point. I hate it when players get hurt and when it’s our players it’s a thousand times worse.
I hope the injuries to both of them are relatively mild, I really do hope that with all my heart so best wishes to both of them X
Max Kilman was sublime. He is growing fast as a player. He looked refined and to be honest looked like he grew there. Countering attacks, putting the odd foot in and spraying a few gorgeous passes around. I would like to see him move up the pitch a little more to be honest and support other madness happening in midfield, but did you notice how many headers he won? He goes up high and perfectly times, snatching the ball off Reading heads like a pure Don. Moving the ball out of defence was slick and right on the button too and there is nothing I love more than watching a player pass out of the back in arrow like lines that go ‘dink dink dink’ until everybody is standing up as we blast up the pitch. It’s exciting and I like it.
Bruno also, seemed like he had grown there. He was also assured and on point sniffing out the ball whenever he could. Getting in faces and challenging second balls brave and strong. Some of his runs were an art in themselves…without the ball. I’m just watching for a moment what he is doing by himself when not in possession. He holds the shape Nuno wants superbly by moving into space, shutting down space and making the fifteen yards around him purely his own. Man, I’m gutted he had to go off. There would have been more madness from him as he grew into the game I’m sure of it. I’m guessing that the concession of a last dying seconds goal was a reaction to the injuries, the mind just flipping off for a moment or two as some sort of weird screensaver came plopping into their minds.
Strangely enough I had to piss off home before the penalties were done and dusted and here we are having another competition to play in as if we don’t have enough games to play this season. I know it’s bad enough (or good enough) that we are playing so many games and I’m wondering whether my mind can sort it all out into some semblance of order yet alone the players.
Matt (75k) Doherty should have a stand named after him I think. He reminds me of…me. No matter what the hell is going on within the greater metaphysical circles that revolve around Wolves there he is, the ultimate Stoic ploughing up and down the touchline again and again doing what he does best, simply being Matt Doherty. He was constantly probing and moving into areas that oozed danger. He’s obviously had a few moments over the past few weeks where things have gone a bit weird, but he’s always there, always. But no Conor Coady and I read he has played 7,020 minutes of football unbroken. By God I hope he put his feet up on a comfy footstool and watched UFO videos on Youtube all night for a good chill out. I missed him for sure.
Later on of course while I’m getting my head in some disorder to go to sleep I read that Jesus Vallejo is getting some pelters off various quarters for his display tonight. I don’t really know how to react to people that tend to castigate our players on a regular basis and it’s the same group that always do it, with a few no marks piling in too. Of course years ago (sorry for time travelling again) if you were in the South Bank shoulder to shoulder with other similar minded lunatics…if you did cuss a Wolves player you were odds on to get some beer monster nutting you a few times. I’ve seen it plenty of times. Paul Birch springs to mind now. I remember him getting some verbals off a ‘stand actor’ that had crept under the section 8 bit of the terrace and said actor being bundled down the steps with his eyebrow hanging on by a hair. If you didn’t like a particular player you kind of kept your mouth firmly shut. Jesus is getting the same shit we reserved for Helder Costa and Traore this season and most of last, always has to be a fall guy for the crowd and I suspect Jesus might be this years. My own opinion of course is that Jesus has fucking tons of potential and his football at times leaves me breathless, I’m thinking of that pass to Cutrone a couple of weeks ago which was like a dart in the eye it was that accurate. Jesus now lives under the tutelage of the Nuno Mafia at Compton and is undergoing re-education that will bring him out of his shell and turn him into a Wolf. It’s a slow process sometimes, Nuno has to juggle egos and game time, judging where and when to put players into the mix and when to take them out. Put Jesus into a team that’s not performing very well at the start of the Season and it’s an uphill battle for Jesus. He has to get into the groove, has to learn what the fuck is happening, here at Wolverhampton Wanderers, a team he’s never even heard of, a City that looks like it never recovered from recession after recession. Young, fresh and thrown into the mix straight from the off. I’m surprised he has played as well as he has. Especially in the rough end of the pitch too, playing a Youthful if unimaginative bunch of Reading necks. The gift we can give Vallejo is time. Let him start to push out his own personality and idea of how he would like to play his football, let him try to impress his own model through the rigorous framework that Nuno and the Coaching staff tend to erect around the idea of how Wolves should play. I bet there are a thousand things going through Vallejos mind at the moment and I would like to say…chill out man, everything is good, relax, enjoy your football and don’t worry about the odd errant decision, we all make them dude.
I think Morgan Gibbs White will also be finding this parched footballing landscape a little trying lately too. It’s hard to shine when everybody else has turned their love lights off. Morgan plays an extremely tight game tonight. I tend to think he is holding himself back from going full tilt at a game. Of course it’s a team game we all know that and Morgan will have orders about shape and movement going through his head and all the while he is trying not to listen to the little voice in his head that is imploring him to do this or do that. This means there are moments when simplicity is the tactic but there are so many fast and beautiful possibilities going on in his head that everything becomes tangled up and a simple pass is missed or a steezy beautiful Portuguesey movement becomes a local park kick around. If only we could stick an old head and brain into a young mans head. Put our addled brains in Morgans head and yes you would see a player that would ‘see’ the simplest pass would be the best. But being young eh? When I was his age I was fighting Hells Angels in a tent in Wiltshire all the while holding onto my beefburger. We are critical and it is our right I suppose but something tells me most of this team are learning and criticism becomes that dude slapping his toddler becuase she couldn’t stand up by herself. Fragile footballing egos become bruised fast. The whole team tonight are young.
Neto is a stand out and an errant variable. Errant because he has steamed into the squad with pure footballing intent. This is a footballer who is so confident in his own ability that he can drift into any tactical set up or philosophy with barely a shiver. He attacks everything. He grabs hold of the ball at one point and he is just gone into the Reading half for a chance or at least a goal effort. He is tripped of course, in the box. Penno? Nah the Referee books him for simulation not knowing that if there wasn’t contact Neto would have just barrelled onwards. It was like the Ref was castigating him for having the audacity to actually play football and having the cheek to take the piss. Jordao had the same outlook really. He scored a goal from a Goalkeeping error, fair play, have a bang at the goal if you are in sight of it and nobody seems to look like wanting the ball. Goalie goes down to gather and it was a ‘bobbler’ and bobbled off his arms trickling into the Reading net. Got to be innit to winnit. But do you see how things are moving now? These lads are the future. Taylor Perry comes on to throw some shapes around. Again there are a few moments I think that nerves come into play and the pace of the game becomes insane maybe. But it’s a concrete performance again. This is a precursor to what we will be watching in a few seasons time when the whole idea of playing for Wolves is that entrenched in their minds that a little of themselves is starting to leak out. At the moment it’s all strict and shape, effort and movement, all these keywords rattling around their heads while they try to remember who they are.
In direct contrast the ineffable Benno is in the driving seat at the back playing the Coady role. What can I say about Benno that I already haven’t? Consummate footballing pro and a pleasure to watch play football. It’s not glitzy shiny Moutinho level football and it’s not electric like Traore but it’s what we needed at the back. A presence. A player you can put your trust in that if you are pushing out of your position to close down or move then he will be there to mop up the crumbs. Poor Bennett is also struggling to offer some light at the darkness of our mini slump and also gets infected by the insanity of our bad run. But here he is ‘Benno’ and there isn’t a blade of grass he doesn’t cover in front of John Ruddy (who also never put much of a foot wrong tonight).
Of course, I will take a win on penalties all week mate. Onward through the competitions, throw them at us, we don’t care. let us wallow in every competition they can throw at us and we will throw our players back into the cauldron week after week, match after match. I don’t care about how tired we think they are or if the ‘threadbare’ squad isn’t big enough. Nuno knows, the mantra carries on, make our ideas stronger than theirs. Make being the operative word…
‘Make’ Where you form (something) by putting parts together or combining substances; create.
‘Make’ Where you cause (something) to exist or come about; bring about.
Watford on Saturday. Fuck Watford.