How amazing it was eh? To have the good fortune to play a weakened Manchester City team and scrape a vital away win….oh hang on. I was channelling the Lizards then, that’s what you get for reading the sports write ups in the national press. I forgot that the top six are an exclusive dogmatic and unmovable mass. I suppose that’s what you get when plastic journalists get hard on jobs at Sports desks, I suppose that’s what you get when ‘Place-ism’ replaces that natural tendency for these fucknuts with media degrees to be either downright racists or that more simple of reactions sneer at our audacity to stick one on the hipster club everybody at the moment shuffles up to and has a sniff of their success.
We know of course. We have been the recipient of most of Nunos comments on how our team play. Preparation for one. Ian Cathro using his skills in picking apart the opposition and presenting his findings to the team. Cathro is one of Scotlands brightest and most promising young football Coaches and we have him. I think all of Scottish football may rue the day their own intransigence and muddled heads saw Ian ply his trade across the world. He learns all the time of course, he lacks the ego to bully and position. Everything is ‘team’ and everything is preparation and hard work. This is the Nuno way of course. Cathro has slid into position already signed up for the ‘Way’ Wolves are doing their business. Manchester City fell into a trap made by Ian Cathro et al today
We saw that trap work perfectly today at the Emptyhad stadium. Wolves victorious, City don’t lose games like this and someone mentioned that we hadn’t won at Man City away since 1979. We are starting to get a habit of smashing these records into the ground aren’t we? This is backroom stuff of course. The hard work nobody sees. Nuno inserts the very best people into the positions he needs filling. Positions or position in the back room team at Compton is perhaps the wrong word to use. I prefer ‘platform’ and certainly Nuno has given Ian Cathro something to put his feet against and push. Positivity too, have you ever seen a Wolves team smile so much or be as confident. There is me writing love letters to the squad when they are under pressure and things aren’t going right. But I don’t think it was ever needed because along with positivity there is also confidence. There you go with the last minute winners, the cherry on top of the cake. Driven by Cathro and companies incessant urging to fight until the very last, to always seek that game killing ball, to prepare and to play football until the whistle blows.
Yeah Ian Cathro.
Beautiful Wolves again, What a time we have had over the previous weeks. How many of us doubted that we would pull out of the trough we were in? Some for sure doubted, some exhorted Nunoist scripture, me included, that everything would come good. But this wasn’t about our feelings and how many dummys we would throw out of the pram until things came good again.
Manchester City dominated possession for sure. The ball clung to them like shit on a blanket. 70% was it? Pepe G schools his players well and every time they had the ball they threatened. But threatened what exactly? Rui Patricio doesn’t seem to get the plaudits he deserves sometimes. But two excellent stretches to keep the two serious shots out of the goal that Manchester City had. They were good attempts for sure. But Patricio eh? World class mate, absolutely world class. The whole Manchester City movement reminded me of pinball. It was endless the amount of times the ball would just ping upfield off City players to the back line of our BBC component (which started off as a SBC, get fit soon Saissy I love you man) and then it was like a brick wall had been hit. Conor Coady marshalling his backline with confidence, vocal, ever consolidating the players around him to cover this or that. Brave, moving onto players with a tackle or an attempt to shift the ball into a less dangerous position. Spanking the ball away when needed, fighting each other to put their bodies into a position where the ball deflected away from the goal. Away and gone, safe again until that Sky Blue press moved forward again and again. We were deep, but not from the pressing of the opposition but it was tactical. This tactic needs confidence and ability. Nuno, Julio Aibar and Cathro, Rui Silva, Antonio Dias, John Boston, Mat Pearson, the whole of the backroom staff must have instilled that confidence in the team to play like this. What an accomplishment that was. So now we look to play in quick breakaway movement we love and know so well.
Cutrone and Jimmy had chances early on, we should have been two goals up? Three? It was snappy reactions, jabs, feints and thunderous runs moving like sand between the grasping confused fingers of the City defence as we moved. It was poetic and it was at times beautiful to watch. There were indeed moments when it looked like dance. Otamendi the City centre back had no response to this, not today. I think he could still be playing against Wolves today, in his head, sitting in his expensive car in traffic thinking about Jimmy, Paddy Cutrone, Traore running at him and he feels their feet through the turf as they move. Pep figures large on the dodgy stream I have where the dude is talking Arabic and Pep is holding his chin in his hands watching. It’s as if he’s at a Lecture in Quantumn football and he is trying to get his head around the match. Why is Traore playing right back. It’s obvious that Adama would be better suited to playing in the Cutrone role. Pep can’t understand that, he can’t comprehend that Nuno is playing a system and tying one hand behind his back in keeping Traore behind the line. So Pep is getting confused already. Of course Pep would be playing Traore up front from the get go. Why doesn’t Nuno do that? It’s 4d Chess really, everything about this match is planning and strategy. Traore wears Sterling like a coat.
Every time Sterling does make a move Adama is there before him or very shortly after. Benno moves too and it seems Adama and Bennett have some sort of understanding and then I kind of understand that this whole team communicate on some hidden frequency that Nuno and his staff have designed. We see Doherty on and then Jonny replaces Vinagre, Doherty is at right back now and Traore moves up to replace Cutrone who with Jimmy and Vinagre has done a brilliant job in turning the City defence into a quivering mess. Moutinho hasn’t even broken into a sweat, Boly looks as if he’s at a local park having fun. Neves is lurking out of sight, waiting and watching. Adama of course has a few trial runs at the Manchester City back line. They are ripe for the picking now of course. City press for a winner and the trap is ready. So deep it’s silly. Now the Wolves defence sink back and defend with their very intestines flopping around. Now Boly is everywhere, now Coady turns his Coadyness up to 11 on the dial. Benno is getting his rage on and adrenaline is pouring out of him. It’s the full Benno gurn. Jonny is chasing and harrying, his low center of gravity allows him to follow like a shadow every City player in an attacking position. Even the diminutive figure of our beloved Moutinho is throwing himself at every player in possession. Thou shalt not pass. We entice them into the web and wait, we wait, we absorb the vibrations and then when the prey is at the optimum position we pounce.
Moutinho deposes a City player of possession and with the intake of breathe, he holds it and sends the ball to Jimmy. What fitness this man has, what skill and what absolute temerity to drag this shattered body that has seemed to play football constantly since he came here. What absolute depths he plumbed to make that run. My mind boggles. But he is off and away and the jaws are slamming shut. Traore shadows on the right keeping up, waiting. Traore has already scored before he receives the ball. His body language tells us this. Us that watch him close. But Jimmy has his own grooves to lay down before he passes the baton to Adama Traore. So he sends the City defender for a kebab and a can of Tango and the ball is sent first class to Adama who as soon as the ball leaves his foot, jumps into the air and punches the air in delight. He knows it’s in there already. 0-1 mate. At Manchester City, Champions of England, one of the most expensive teams ever assembled in the world, containing the very best players that the World can offer. Little old Wolves eh? The jaws masticate and move. We wait again. Manchester City are confused, they must press again so they chew at their own leg in the trap and another one snaps down. Jimmy again. the outside of his right foot is a Holy place isn’t it? Such a precision to the ball to Traore and my mind flashes back to the goal he scored at West Ham last season. Boom. 0-2. This match is done.
Manchester were trapped by their own confidence I think. I wouldn’t go as far as say ego. But their own Master tactician Pep Guardiola was outthought, outmanoeuvred and out Pep’d by Nuno and the team. Now I understand why when Nuno is given a rare Manager of the Month award he doesn’t touch it but gets his team to handle it and gets his team in every photo. Even if we listen to him for hours waxing about how the whole staff at Wolves are responsible for victories and we still pick out individual players for praise and adulation.
This team scares the life out of me I will be honest I shudder to think that the heights we are going to reach in the next few years absolutely boggle my poor shattered mind. Besiktas fall to the sword, Watford, we are slaying teams all over the world now and today we slaughtered the best team possibly in the World. Mad times. I am glad Wolves have offered a home for the ideas of Nuno and Ian Cathro. Like much of our team they were maligned and denigrated by previous clubs who didn’t have the time or the patience to nurture these ideas. What will they give us next?
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